Vince Gironda Training Philosophy

The following workout routines are based on old bodybuilding magazines (e.g. Muscle Mag). I never read one of Vince’s book and never bought them because they are rare and very expensive (around 200-300$). But I think the routines from the magazines are accurate. Have fun! – Mr. Berg

Vince Gironda outlined the following program which you may use. It’s a standard program that everyone can use in standard gyms!

1. Bench Press
2. Bent-Arm Later Raise Lying
3. Barbell Rowing Motion
4. Chins Behind Neck
5. Heavy Seated Dumbbell Curls
6. Dumbbell Triceps Extension
7. Abdominal Work
8. Squats
9. Calf Raise

Now here’s a routine based on Vince Gironda philosophy. 

1. Low Bar Triceps Dips (Sets: 6 Reps: 8)
2. Bar End Chins
3. Rise On toes
4. Pullover-Press Triceps Extension
5. Moon Bench Deltoid Raises
6. Cross Leg Abdominal Squeeze
7. “DO-IT-YOURSELF” Donkey Raises
8. Roman Chair Squats

Yes, there are machines in your gym you may not possess. And yes, Vince did not like the benchpress. The routine It’s very oldschool and Vince has developed his own machines for variety.

Vince Gironda: “Muscles need a holiday…not from exercise..but from sameness of exercise. “

How Vince performed these exercises?

Low Bar Triceps Dips

This exercise is a tough one. It sharply attacks the triceps from sharper angles than any barbell or dumbbell exercise for this tri-headed muscle group…even more sharply than when done on the parallel bars. This exercise is pure triceps stimulation.
You need low bars such as shown or two sawed down stools. 

Lower the body by bending elbows. Go as far down as your triceps permit, then pressing upward again to starting position. 6 sets of 8 reps

Bar End Chins

This one builds baseball biceps almost overnight, while at the same time it gets the lower lats like no exercise.

Grasp the end of a hanging bar, or grasp the cross bar in the same position – outside the apparatus – with a hand-over-hand grip. Pull the body up ( your back will naturally arch backward) until the head arises above the bar and you feel an intense contraction of the biceps and a deep muscle-ache in the lower lats.

Hold for a second and make a few extra squeezes before you slowly lower to dead-hang position. Try for six sets eight reps.

Rise-On-Toes Curls

The buttocks quite low on the bench. The feet will be flat on the floor, the heavy dumbbells hanging at arms length from the shoulders. The feet will be flat on the floor, the heavy dumbbells hanging at arms length from the shoulders.

Now, as you begin the curl, lean slightly forward just to get the curl past that nasty sticking-point where the elbows begin to bend..lean back…then, from here, the curl is done correctly – without cheating – but with this variation.

As the eblows bend and the weight begins to go up, push the body slightly upward on the bench bench by pressure on the toes as the heels are made to rise as shown in the illustration.

Six sets of eight to ten reps per set

Pullover-Press Triceps Extension

By lying upon a flat bench with legs crossed at the ankles. He did six sets of 12 reps with 80-100lb dumbbells. The weights are brought up and just barely grazing the face in pullover style until they arrive on the pectorals. From here, press them upward to arm arms length overhead (elbows locked at end of movement), sharply contract the triceps and slowly lower back to chest, thence in return-pullover style to starting position.

Moon Bench Deltoid Raises

Forget Standing Forward Raise; too much body movement and cheat. The curved or “moon” bench Forward Raise is peerless. By lying upon a special curved bench as shown. Vince raised a pair of 25lb dumbbells (or barbells) as high as he could.

He always did 6 sets of 15 reps

Cross Leg Abdominal Squeeze

According to Vince squeezing the abdominal has a much better effect on them than so much Sit-ups and other twisting exercises. He recommend this exercise for vitality and better health. Cross the legs at the ankles, clasp hands behind head. Now pull knees into abdomen and bring the upper body up as far as you can in a partial Sit-up.

When legs and upper body will move no further upward, make several static contractions of the abdominals before lowering SLOWLY to starting position for eight sets of fifteen repetitions. 

“DO-IT-YOURSELF” Donkey Raises

Instead of human resistance, pack a load of weight on the Leg Press or Multi-Power. Exerciser get under it in the position shown..feet (balls of feet) on a high block, with hands on knees to prevent them unlocking. Now merely rise on toes as in the regular Donkey Calf Raise and continue until your calves cry “Uncle”!. Eight sets of twenty reps will make them!

Roman Chair Squats

This exercise is older than timer. You will have to build a special apparatus for this, but it’s easy to do. Here’s how: Anchor two heavy vertical pieces of wood into a stationary platform or to the floor (or you can do this quite easily on your multi-power machine by lowering the movable bar to a position about 18 inches above the floor), and attaching a heavy leather belt to the tops of the vertical arms and one at the base to hold your feet in a stationary position.

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