Jim Haislop: Navy Bodybuilder Champion

Oldschool Bodybuilder Jim Haislop won the Mr. Florida and Mr. Universe title. Furthermore he joined the Navy. In this article you will learn how he ate, trained and lived. – Mr. Berg

Dick Dudge, the “Tampa Health Club” trained some bodybuilding icons and helped to win the title Mr. Florida.His first gym member was Lowell Scott back in 1959. The second winner was Jim Durrance for 1964 and in the year 1965 Jim Haislop. By coincidence, all three of these Mr. Floridas graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, and all three also participated in football and track. In Haislop’s senior year, the school team won the divisional and city championships and Jim was named all-city fullback of the year. He graduated in 1961.

Jim Haislop young bodybuilder

Up to this time Haislop had never used weights and knew nothing about them. One evening he was persuaded to accompany a former schoolmate to the Tampa Health Club where for the first time, he took some interest in barbells and dumbbells. He met Dick Fudge, the gym operator, who was quick to realize that Haislop had the posibilities of becoming a physique star. Fudge spent considerable time explaining the benefits that are obtained from training with weights, such as health improvement, acquiring a better physical appearance, increasing the strength and developing an outstanding body.

Nothing that his listener seemed highly interested, Fudge persoanlly demonstrated some of the basic barbell exercises so that Haislop could better understand the unsurpassed advantages of barbell and dumbbell training.

Jim also learned that weights are practical for people in different age groups and in all walks of life because the weights are adjustable and can be made light enough for even the weakest beginner or heavy enough for the strongest person.

Shortly after this Jim joined the Navy where he was kept so busy that he forgot about weights.

However, during the second year in the Navy he did begin some barbell training and when he visited Fudge’s gym again his upper body showed big improvement; he had gone from 160 to 170 pounds in body weight. Noticing that his legs lacked size compared to his upper body Dick explained the value of squats and other leg exercises necessary to increase bulk and bodyweight.

He suggested that Haislop do plenty of leg work for one year and then stop at the gym on his next leave from his naval. The following year in 1964, Haislop again appeared at the gym and this time his bodyweight had gone up to 208 pounds and his legs looked tremendous. In fact, his entire body looked more muscular and impressive. This elated Fudge and he decided to train with Jim during his entire stay in Tampa.

Jim Haislop squat

They used 350lb in the squat for 10 reps and three sets, using fairly heavy weight in all their other exercises. Jim’s strength was increasing. Jim had taken Fudge’s advice and spend much of his Navy pay on extra food, which included plenty of steaks, fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, honey and the oldschool supplement from “Bob Hoffman” in order to furnish his body with the best possible nutrition.

In 1965 Jim requested an earlier leave from his ship in order to compete in the 1965 Mr. Florida A.A.U. contest.

He arrived at the gym Fudge and Jim Haislop was not in well shape. But Fudge was not discouraged. He had considerably more faith in Jim’s strength and finally induced him to at least watch the event, and to weigh in just in case he felt better.

Haislop reluctantly followed the gym owner’s advice and when the lifting had begun Fudge convinced him that he should lift just for the experience at least.

So Jim entered the contest and as a result did 350 in the bench press, 485 in the squat and 545 in the deadlift. He proved to be the over-all winner and received  three trophies for his efforts; one for the squat, one for the deadlift and another for the best lifter. It started to be a great day for Jim.

The entire day’s activities were billed as the Southern Power Lift Championships plus Mr. South, Mr. Florida and Teen-age Mr. South.

Harry Johnson, former Mr. America and Paul Anderson were also on the program.
The affair took place at the University of Tampa’s Falk Theatre in Tampa, Florida. It was sponsored by the Smith Health Studios and sanctioned by the Florida A.A.U. The M.C. was popular Harry Smith, operator of the Smith Health Studios in Tampa and the contestants came from many parts of the south.

Under the capable direction of Harry Smith everything went off smoothly and quickly. The Teen-age Mr. South contest gave the huge audience an example of the results that weight training will give the youth of our country.

The next event…the Mr. Florida contest, brought together on the stage a gathering of fine physique stars representing many cities in the Sunshine State. Each had a remarkable physique and each received generous applause from the appreciative spectators. But none received as loud and as long-lasting acclaim as did golden tanned Jim Haislop.

James Jim Haislop bodybuilder

When he took his place on the stage, the uproar was deafening and the cheers and clapping of hands lasted a long time. The judges made no mistake when they voted Jim Haislop for the 1965 Mr. Florida title. This announcement brought forth another bedlam-like period of wild applause that lasted even longer than the first.

This entitled him to a fourth trophy and it certainly seemed this was Jim Haislop’s great day. Doug Betts of Tampa placed second, and Robert Brookens of Palm Beach placed third.

The next event coming up was the Mr. South contest. Everyone said that Jim Haislop has the greatest potential as a great physique star than any other contemporary in the State of Florida, and everyone seemed to feel that Haislop would also win the Mr. South contest that was next on the program.

When he made his appearance in this last contest he received the same wild enthusiastic applause from the audience. Much to the disappointment of many, this time, the judges gave him only third place and of course another trophy.

This gave him a total of five beautiful trophies which is quite an honor in any man’s language. The Mr. South winner was Billy Parker of Atlanta, Georgia. The second place winner was Jerry Clark of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dom Lodato of Tampa took fourth while Gene Hill from Jacksonville garnered fifth place.

Jim Haislop, the 1965 A.A.U. Mr. Florida could go far in the physique field. At 23 years of age he had his whole life before him. He did not use tobacco or alcoholic beverages and lived a Spartanlike life. He learned to eat well-balanced meals and appreciated the value of food supplement.

He used the split routine in his training and the poundages he used in some of the exercises are: benchpress 275lb, fron squat 300lb, inclined dumbbell press, 110lb; lying French press 145lb; inclined dumbbell curl, 65lb.. all with 8 reps and three sets of each and the full squat with 400lb for 10 reps three sets to name a few.

His measurements at this time are: biceps 18 inches, chest 50 inches, waist 32 inches, thighs 27 1/2 inches and calves 17 3/ inches.

At this time (1965), he was still in the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Vulcan in Norfolk, Virginia.

Life After Bodybuilding
In the early 2000’s, Bill Pearl (Mr. Universe Winner) had the pleasure of lunching with Haislop while attending a fitness trade show in Tampa, Florida. Jim had retired from Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company and continued to weight train. He kept his bodyweight at around a hard 220 pounds.

Bodybuilding accomplishments

Mr Florida – AAU, Winner
Mr USA – AAU, 3rd
Mr America – AAU, 5th
Mr North America – AAU, Winner
Mr USA – AAU, 3rd
Mr USA – AAU, Most Muscular, 5th
Mr America – AAU, 2nd
Mr America – AAU, Most Muscular, 3rd
Mr Southern States – AAU, Winner
Mr USA – AAU, Winner
Mr USA – AAU, Most Muscular, 2nd
Mr America – AAU, Winner
Junior Mr America – AAU, Winner
Mr Universe – NABBA, Tall, 2nd
Mr Universe – NABBA, Tall, 1st

7 thoughts on “Jim Haislop: Navy Bodybuilder Champion”

  1. Thank you for this great write up. I would. like to know how to reach Jim . Used to train with him and after my Vietnam tour lost track . Great memories. Had a tour of the USS Vulcan several times and many days post workout at the Open Air Markets consuming whole chickens and quarts of milk! Those were the days!!

  2. Need to reunite / closure on past times. Help if you can connect to Jim. Training partner in my teens when he was in the Navy , NORFOLK,Virgina text 949 665 1838 anytime. Live in California now. Also assisted Frank Zane at the same gym. Both were in the Navy same as my dad , Navy drummer.

  3. While attending school, I worked out at Fudge’s gym . One day , while feeling strength increase I decided to try the olumpic set on the bench. As I completed the second and went tothe third set, (alone in the gym so I cound’t embarrass myself, I got to number 8 and couldnt get the bar off my chest despite my best grunt….”Footsteps” came running across the gym and one hand reached out and pulled the 14o pound s off my chest saving my life! I looked up and thanks the man. I later heard “Mr Runiverse would be here the following Sat aso come and welcome him hone……. Up I looked and the man who had saved my life that day…was Jim Haislop…I am to this day, GREATFUL to Jim. ( he also told me, THIS is why you never work out alone!

  4. I worked out in 1965 at Harry Smith’s gym and I think I remember him. I entered the AAU Mr. Sunshine state contest with Chris Dickerson and Won “BEST ARMS”.
    They were 21 1/2 back then……If anyone can find me pictures from that 1965 AAU Mr. Sunshine state contest, it would make my day since I am now a weak old man…lol


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