Women - The Future Of Bodybuilding by Vince Gironda

The last physique contest I attended was the last contest I appeared in as a guest poser. That was 11 years ago. Why don’t I attend physique contests? They are uninspiring, mundane, dull and unimaginative.

Well this has all been reversed because of a physique contest I was talked into seeing because of business reasons connected with the opening of my new women’s gym. Which is another thing I resisted. My experience with training women was, to say the least, boring. Bob Kennedy of the Muscle Magazine International recently voiced great admiration to me upon finding an old Iron Man magazine with an article about my first wife, Peggy O’Neal, who had the first chain of women’s gyms in California and a TV show. He revealed his great surprise for her obvious charm and beauty and the fact that we, Peggy and I, were the pioneers in the birth of the women’s bodybuilding movement we are in at the present time. Her forte was, as mine is, movie and TV actresses, mine being actors.

Peggy’s background was showgirl, model and actress which is why she was able to handle a TV show. Back to my former feeling about training women.

I find that this new breed of women are more positive, aggressive and eager to experience new things. They certainly have a higher pain threshold than men. I observe them grind out sets and reps with no need for surveillance or encouragement. They seem totally confident in that they will get results if they give it an honest effort. I am totally aware that the sissies are not in the women’s gym. They are downstairs.

About Frank and Christine Zane’s women’s Championship Contest that I attended. Well, I have never been so surprised and chocked in my life. I thought I was going to see a bunch of women trying to emulate men with ugly, ungraceful, muscular contortions. Well, I was wrong. I saw a new art form devised and originated by women. I made a spectacle of myself yelling and clapping. If I went in trying to be unnoticed, I sure failed miserably. But my excuse is that I was completely unable to contain myself. The grace, innovativeness of each and every performance is what I feel should be the thing men should strive for. (Men’s contests are - each one does the same poses as everybody else does). Actually the women’s performances were all so varied that in all fairness you could not say that any one of them was more outstanding than any other. I think they all should have received trophies. I don’t even think that they should be judged.

How can you judge 12 different things?

I think they have stumbled on to a new art form. If I am right, you will see this type of event in the Olympic games, were it belongs; where the whole world can share it.

(IronMan, May 1984)

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