The Training Methods of Vince Gironda

The Art of Bodybuilding Posing

The Art of Bodybuilding PosingThe idea behind bodybuilding posing is to create effect and illusion.

Your posing should be approached like a PERFORMANCE. Contests are shows. It’s showbiz, whether you like it or not. Promoters today are just starting to pick up on this again.

Be dramatic, heroic, even slightly arrogant in some of your side and three-quarter poses. Tilting the chin up creates better lighting for the face and the upper tie-in of the TOP of your body. For instance, on a three-quarter shot, the head looks up at a slight tilt and then over the shoulder – DRAMATICALLY – and it SLENDERIZES THE Sternocleido Mastoids of the neck to make your shoulders appear broader.

I repeat: what’s going on up there on stage IS drama. Play it up.

The Most Muscular shot is BASIC CRUDE! It will only make your waist look wider and your physique blockier to the judges AND the audience. The leg shouldn’t be pointed straight out, but bent (slightly) into a serpentine “S” and the hands fixed slightly BEHIND the waist – while the body is twisted a bit at an angle to DIMINISH waist size.

Also, NEVER LOOK THE CAMERA STRAIGHT IN THE EYE. The same goes for the audience. Look just above them or a little off to the side. Lift the head a little more. Learn to be more dramatic.

I cannot over-emphasize how important these (seemingly) little things are. They all add up to winning.

Mind-Body Influence

Vince Gironda talked about when he first discoved the mind-body influence.

He saw a fellow backstage at a competition slowly run his hands over his skin and watched the muscles jump to life.

The man's muscles went from smooth to hard as a rock within a moment. He went on to win the Mr. California.

The Larry Scott Shoulder Press

The Larry Scott Shoulder Press was developed by Vince Gironda to bring up Larry Scott's lagging shoulders for the Mr. America Contest. The rest is history.

This press is a little like the Arnold press except that the starting position is more conservative and much easier on the lower back.

Larry Scott Shoulder Press

Start with Dumbbells resting on top of your shoulders, elbows in front of body keeping pinky fingers facing up at all times. Press Dumbbells starting from in front of your neck at the bottom to behind the neck at the top.

Press straight up from shoulder width. Do not bring dumbbells together clanging at top. Don't lock out elbows at top. This keeps Triceps from taking over the weight and relaxing the delts at the top.

Look up when dumbbells are at bottom and look down as dumbbells reach top to keep traps out of movement.

Larry uses the middle 3/5ths of the movement never totally extending the arms or lowering them again to the shoulder. This keeps constant tension on the delts. In most if not all exercises Larry advocates never letting tension off even if it means a reduction in the weight used.

The other fact when training with Larry is that you always, always, totally isolate the muscle being worked.

Body Building Tip for Avoiding Sticking Points

Vince Gironda Sticking PointEvery trainer, sooner or later, will run into a sticking point - a point where both muscle and strength gains seem to slow down and stop altogether! We call this a "sticking point" or a "rut" or "going stale," etc. So what do you do when you hit a sticking point?

Well, there are many things you could do when you hit such a point, but the first thing you can do is to try to AVOID (at least as much as possible) sticking points altogether! Now, how can you do that?

Vince Gironda, before he started selling his training booklets in the 60's and before he became known as the "Iron Guru," was a physique contest competitor and owner of his own gym (Vince's Gym) in the pre-roid Golden Age. He developed quite a knowledge of natural training by experimenting on himself and never advocated anything that he did not try out on himself first! He said 'train for 21 days (3 weeks) and rest for seven (1 week).' Here is a helpful quote from his booklet called "Vince's Corner":

"I have found three weeks of concentrated training to be about enough, and the point at which most body builders become bored and stale. And at this point, after three weeks of hard training, I find that one week of rest to be much better than would a change of program, because the softening up of muscle tissue allows for renewed energy by the storing up of vitality and re-stimulation to muscles for the resumption of training."

Vince goes on to explain that the one week rest was more for the nerves than for the muscles:

"Rest is nature's method of restoring the nerves and whole body. Surely this is logical. If anyone robs himself of needed rest and allows his enthusiasm to govern him, he then continues on nerve force which will soon prove detrimental for muscle-growth. And if one cares to go into precise physiological technicalities he will readily find that the nerves need rest more than do the muscles. Muscles over bad nerves soon become weaker under the power of mis-directed nerve force."

So there you have it! A method of AVOIDING (as much as possible) sticking points in your training - train for 21 days, then rest for 7. Pretty simple. Give it a try and see if it works for you!

Vince Gironda's Definition Routine

Vince Gironda DefinitionHere is the classic "Definition Routine" by Vince Gironda.

This routine of Vince's can be considered as one of the last, classic definition routines since Vince himself was one of the last classic physique builders.

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