Vince's Gym, 11262 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA

Frank Zane Training at Vince's Gym

Frank Zane Training at Vince's Gym

In the summer of 1975, I was presented with an opportunity to train at Vince's Gym for a few months.

Gold's Gym had become a madhouse with the filming of "Pumping Iron". "We are making a documentary film about bodybuilding," photographer George Butler told me. "I don’t think so. Why don't you just call it 'Pumping Arnold'? It's obvious the film is all about him," I retorted to the biased shutterbug.

I wanted no part of it so I drove 20 miles each way, every day to Studio City to train at Vince's Gym.

Vince Gironda welcomed me. The gym had unique equipment, great equipment – the best dumbbells.

However, it lacked serious leg machines. "No wonder none of the guys who came out of here had no great leg development," I thought to myself.

Vince didn't believe in barbell squats – only hacks, leg extensions and leg curls (he would have loved the Leg Blaster).

I got along great with Vince because I agreed with him most of the time. One day I told him a parable that said in effect, "Only he who drinks tea truly knows its taste."

He really liked me after that. And I liked him.

Chris Dickerson at Vince's Gym

Chris Dickerson training at Vince Gironda Gym

Chris Dickerson training at Vince Gironda's Gym.

Thanks to Steve Speyrer.

Vince Gironda's Son Guy Gironda

The Wild Physique: Dedicated with respect, love, and frienship to my son Guy, in the certain knowledge that he will one day surpass my humble achievements, as is the order of things...

- Vince Gironda

- Vince had one son, Guy, who seems to have just disappeared. I don't think Guy had the desire and passion for bodybuilding that Vince had, but, of course, this is only my observation.

- A contributing factor to the gym closing was the severe health problems of Gironda's beloved son Guy. Caring for Guy sapped Gironda's energy, and his motivation to run his gym.

- Guy Gironda had a great sense of humor. Great wit like his dad.

- I did not last long on Vince's nutrition program. His son Guy, warned me it would not be fun. He was right. But that's just me.

- Guy Gironda handled the evening workouts for many. But Vince handled all the elite bodybuilders all the time as far as I knew.

- Vince his wife Bobbie and son Guy all became patients of mine when I went into practice and we got along just beautifully.

- Art Zeller and Gene Mozee were comparing cameras and Vince Gironda's son and mine were looking for trouble and finding it.

- I have met Guy nice person. Not like his father. I don't think he did much training. At least nothing showed.

- Vince's son had some substance abuse problems & I don't think he was ever found after Vince died.

Vince Gironda's Famous Wooden Dumbells

Fooling with the wooden weights of Muscle Guru Vince Gironda.

The weights appeared in many articles, photos, courses and even The Wild Physique.

Perhaps fake weights were sometimes used for photos so less shaking / movement was involved for photo clarity? To demonstrate technique? Impress magazine readers?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vince Gironda

Vince Gironda was Arnold Schwarzenegger's first trainer when Joe Weider brought Arnold to America.

Legend has it that a bulky Arnold showed up at Vince's Gym, where the Austrian announced, "My name is Arnold Schwarzenegger and I am going to be the greatest bodybuilder who ever lived."

To which Vince replied, "You look like a fat f*** to me!"

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