Alas, real life has once again gotten in the way of blogging for a number of months. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is still alive, I promise! At last, we present another classic article on women’s fitness, this time the “Vivacious Womanhood” supplement to the July-August 1951 issue of Peary Rader’s Iron Man magazine. This piece demonstrates the value of weight training for therapeutic purposes. Today, decades later, physical therapy continues to incorporate resistance exercises with machines, bands and free weights.
This article was written by Peggy Gironda (nee O’Neil), the first wife of the “iron guru” Vince Gironda, fitness trainer to Hollywood stars and physique competitors in the middle to later decades of the twentieth century. Like Vince, Peggy had a background in show business. At a time when women typically trained separately from men, Peggy trained female fitness enthusiasts at Vince’s Gym and other locations. Unfortunately, she passed away from a brain hemorrhage at a young age.
A rare photo of Peggy and Vince Gironda together, on the cover of the magazine which featured the article below. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab) Continue reading
Many recreational lifters focus on areas of the physique that seem the most visible, such as arms and chest. However, only doing exercises for these body parts means missing out on the benefits of training muscular groups such as the legs and the back. Below is a brief article from the May-June 1962 issue of Physical Power, featuring the back training routine of Leon Burks. Burks was a physique competitor in the early 1960s in southern California. Unfortunately, precious little information seems to be available on him today.
Leon Burks displaying his back development in a photo which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (will appear in new window/tab)
Brief further reading, a list of contests that Leon Burks placed in: http://musclememory.com/show.php?a=Burks,+Leon
Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading
In a FOUNDATIONS OF IRON exclusive, today’s post presents a profile of the “Iron Guru” Vince Gironda and his gym and training methods, which originally appeared in the March 1978 issue of the now-defunct magazine Inside Kung-Fu. This is the first time that this article has ever been reproduced in electronic format for today’s online fitness community!
In the field of physical culture, Gironda is remembered for training competitive bodybuilders, as well as Hollywood stars who needed to get into proper shape for movie or television roles. This was carried out at Vince’s Gym, which he operated in North Hollywood from the 1940s to the 1990s. He is also remembered for ideas which were not always in line with the mainstream thinking within bodybuilding. Nevertheless, both his weight training and nutritional information proved very useful to many physique champions and movie stars.
Vince Gironda in superb condition at over sixty years of age, in a photo which accompanied the article below. Click to enlarge (appears in new window/tab).
What might not be quite as well-remembered is that Gironda also occasionally gave training advice specific to sports activities. This is highlighted in the article below, which applies Gironda’s methods to martial artists. Gironda also dispensed training information for such diverse areas as arm wrestling, caber tossing, and even powerlifting.
Further reading, an online archive of many of Vince Gironda’s writings: http://www.ironguru.com
Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading
Today we feature footage of the late “Iron Guru” Vince Gironda doing a physique posing exhibition, from the “ironguru” Youtube channel. The footage has been paired with Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire” theme, which was one of the preferred compositions of Gironda’s student Mohamed Makkawy.
The beach culture and the iron game of 1960s California come alive in the 1967 movie Don’t Make Waves, which features competitive bodybuilder Dave Draper. Today we present an original theatrical trailer for this fun and quirky film, starring Tony Curtis as an East Coast executive who has decided to move out west and get a fresh start. Sharon Tate and Claudia Cardinale also appear in prominent roles.