The Training Methods of Vince Gironda

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.

The German Overload Principle

Vince was the only one who implemented the German Overload Principle in his training. Silly and goofy methods haven’t changed since the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Swing, tug, jerk, pull and hoist the weight any way you can get it up. It’s the weight, it’s the weight, and it’s the weight. If you don’t lift heavy weights, you’ll never make any progress.

Vince completely blasted that theory.

Example: If you do 8 sets of 8 reps of dumbbell bicep curls with 25 lb. weights in an isolated strict movement with 15 seconds of rest, your biceps will be fully pumped and fried (25lbs. will feel like 100lbs.).

Nobody else talks about the German Overload Principle ultimate intensity. The most amount of work in the least amount of time and don’t over-train.

What German scientists proved years ago on rats and human beings is they took a group of rats and separated them into two groups. For the first group they put on a treadmill and ran them just like the long distance runner, a long period of time at a slow speed. The other group of rats ran like a sprinter, the most amount of work at the least amount of time, getting from point A to point B as quickly as they could!

Initially, with no additional protein or no additional nutrients to the diet, the rats that ran like sprinters got bigger muscles. After awhile though, they needed protein and amino acids to make their muscle bigger. The rats that ran like a long distance runner became skinnier and lost weight and their hormone levels dropped and they became emaciated, just like a long distance runner.

Sprinters don’t over-train, long distance runners do. Obviously a long distance runner does more total work by running long distances for hours or more and that’s a lot of work. But low and behold, to build muscles in the human body, the sprinter does the most amount of work in the least amount of time and this is what German scientist’s proved overwhelmingly.

This is paramount for the human body when it comes to building muscle tissue. And of course, that’s why sprinters look so damn good. And up until a few years ago, sprinters never lifted weights.

Today they make it some part of their regimen. The scientists proved that more than 15 minutes to a ½ hour of exercise three to four times a week will have huge negative health affects.

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