Jim Park Mr. Universe Training

Jim Park. 1952 AAU Mr. America, was raised in Brave, Pennsylvania, population 500. At age 17, Park left school to join the United States Navy. Discharged in 1947, he moved to Chicago to attend the American Television Institute. Living at the YMCA hotel, he began weight-training.

Park won the 1952 Mr. World contest and the 1954 NABBA Professional Mr. Universe.

Jim Park’s training for the 1954 Mr. Universe contest involved three phases, an all-around exercise routine for every part of the body, a specialized program for arm and shoulder development, and work for definition which involved careful attention to diet as well as exercise.

He began his workouts with heavy pressing, varying barbell and dumbbells from day to day in order to add interest to his training. After pressing he preacticed lateral and forward raises, followed by the upright rowing motion and this completed his shoulder specialization.

Jim Park’s overall program with its variations

Jim Park Training Mr Universe

Deltoids Weight x Rep Sets
Barbell Press 155 x 10, 185 x 10, 205 x 6, 225 x 4, 235 and 250
Or: Behind Neck Press 145 x 10, 155 x 10, 165 x 8
Or: Dumbbell Press 62 x 10, 78 x 8, 85 x 6, 100 x5
Lateral raises (25lb dumbbell) 25lb x 10-15 2
Alternate forward raise (45lb dumbbell) 45lb x 10-15 (each arm) 2
Upright rowing (135lb barbell) 135lb x 10-15 2
Latissimus Weight x Rep Sets
Long pulley rowing 140, 150, 160, 170, 180 x 10-12
Legs Weight x Rep Sets
Leg curl 75lb x 10 – 15 4
Leg extension 150lb x 10 – 15 3
Breathing Squats 250lb x 15 1
Breathing pullovers with dumbbell 20lb x 15 – 20 1

Jim Park Stiff Leg Deadlift

Back Weight x Rep Sets
Stiff-legged deadlift 135lb x 10 2

Note:  He deadlifted on bench to allow full stretch. He occasionally worked up in the regular dead lift with low repetitions, finsihing off with heavy singles to as much as 500lb.

Abdominals Weight x Rep Sets
Sit-ups, flat surface or slight incline no weight, 50 reps 4

Note: Occasionally he worked with weight for less reps on a steep incline. This would sometimes be as steep as 45 degrees with 25lb for 20 reps, or 50lb dumbbell for 10 reps with only a slight incline.

Calves Weight x Rep Sets
Rise-on-toes 200-300lb x 20 5

Note: Calf development is important. It is the detail to win big contests. He used the York leverage machine, which Jim designed for the rise on toes movement. He did this with with the balls of his feet raised so he could concentrate on stretching as well as contracting the muscles.

Arms Weight x Rep Sets
Barbell Curl 145 x 8, 155 x 8, 165 x 5-8, 175 x 5
Dumbbell curl, one arm concentration 35-45lb x 15 2
French Press, overhead 125lb x 15 – 25 4

At a height of five-feet, seven-inches, and weighing 190 pounds, his arms measured 18 1/4 inches; chest, 48 1/2 inches; waist, 31 1/2 inches; thighs, 25 1/2 inches; and calves, 16 1/2 inches. Jim Park died of natural causes on August, 28, 2007, at age 79

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