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Author Topic: Who is the greatest bodybuilder you have trained with.?  (Read 2249 times)
Jonsgym
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2017, 06:21:57 PM »

Going back to training with Reg Park, when I went to work for Reg, all of the instructors and some of the top competitive bodybuilders used to train early in the morning, from six to eight o'clock. This ment I had to get up at about four in the morning, have a large blender full of protein drink, Reg's protein of course. It tasted so good it must have had a load of some kind of sweetener in it, then drive into Jo'burg. Reg trained heavey and very intensely, though we all had banter going on all the time. We trained with a training partner and small competitions used to develop. If two sets of guys were doing bench press, then each pair would ribb the others about how light they were lifting, or take the piss in some way to try and put them off, so they would lift a lot less than you were. This created a great atmosphere, and I really believe this camaraderie is essential to makeing a gym, a great gym. Talking of the bench press, none of Reg's benches had any form of padding on them, no two inch shredded and rebonded dense foam with a colour co-ordinated covering. Reg's bench tops were plain hardwood, and nothing else ------ boy, were we tough in the old days! The only equipment that had any kind of padding on them were the sit-up boards and the Scott curl bench. Though Reg's Scott curl bench was nothing like the real one in Vince gym in Los Angeles.
I used to train with a great guy and a NABBA Universe class winner Eddie Silva, we were both short guys, and Reg used to train with two giants the same height as him, or maybe a bit taller, Theo and Ronaldo, both about six foot four and around 230 lbs. You should have seen the looks on their faces when we out curled and out bench pressed them, due to us short arses having great leaverage advantage.
Reg's showers was like a good size room with about 6 or 7 shower heads each side, the ends of the room were open, so you could walk in one end and out the other.
Now one of the instructors, Fani Du Toit, had an absolutly pathological fear of snakes, so every now and then, we would all be soaping up in the shower after our early morning workout, and Dougie Baggott another instuctor, and a very funny guy, would wait until Fani was covered in soap, then he would bring this rubber snake out from where ever he had hidden it and take it up to Fani. Fani would scream, " F--k off Dougie man, and run out of the shower swearing at Baggott and showering soap suds all over the gym. We all left to watch  two big blokes running naked round the gym, one with a large rubber snake in his hand and the other one shouting at him to, "bugger off man ", while trying to not skid on the floor and permenantly damage his wedding tackle............. Good times.
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Jonsgym
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« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 08:09:37 PM »

When I first went to work for Reg Park, one of the first things he did was to introduce me to Dougie Baggott, another instructor, who I have mentioned previously. Reg then said to Dougie, " take Jon round and show him where to eat and introduce him.
I thought this seemed a bit of a strange thing to say, anyway who was I to argue. So over the next couple of weeks Dougie took me all over Jo'burg and introduced me to all manner of folks who owned resteraunts, Greeks, Lebanese, Dutch and a lot of Italians. They were all very welcoming and we had great meals in all of them, but, --------- we never paid? Not once, ever! This began to get to me after a couple of weeks, so one day after a slap up lunch at one of these " free " resteraunts, I asked Dougie what was going on?
He looked me straight in the eyes and said, ". Well we look after them, do you get what I mean? " I replied that I had no idea what he was on about. So he went on," We make sure nothing happens to them, if you know what I mean". " But what could happen to them? I asked. " Nothing," replied Dougie, " because we look after them". I suddenly realised what he was on about, and just nodded. " Don't worry about it," he said just enjoy it."
I did, but only very ocassionally.
Strange thing was, that after every early morning workout, we would send out an order for industrial sized breakfasts for all of us instructors. Often steak and eggs,tomato, toast, you know, a proper breakfast to keep you going. None of this meal in a blender stuff. Now the guy who's cafe we got breakfast from was called Plottey, dont ask me his first name or his last name, everyone just called him Plottey. He was a thin, nervousness Jewish guy who looked like he had never eaten a square meal in his life. The strange part about breakfast, was that we all chipped in to pay for it? Don't ask me why, I never asked!
Often women who trained upstairs in the business men and women's gym would bring in cakes they had baked for us, great looking women and great looking cakes. They usually got devoured in the afternoon, the cakes that is, the ladies were at different times altogether!
There were some extremely rich people used to train at Reg's, and I remember a lovely family whose sons were waterski champions of South Africa invited me to one of their homes on the Vaal river for the weekend. I did manage to get up on the ski's, but only after I had swallowed gallons of river water, as I kept forgetting to let go of the ski rope handle everytime I fell in, and so was dragged along under water at speed boat speed.
Reg and his wife Marion invited me to his house for Sunday lunch one weekend. Being a well brought up lad, I wore my best suit, shirt and tie, the lot. The Sunday lunch was a bar-b-q, out by the side of Reg's swimming pool ( the same one you see in the pictures of Arnold and Reg together standing in the pool.) Regs son Jon Jon had to lend me some shorts and a t-shirt and swimming trunks. I must have looked like someone out of a gangster movie turning up in boiling hot sunny weather in best bib and tucker,as they used to say.
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Jonsgym
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« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2017, 08:35:28 PM »

Reg, great champion that he was, had that mysterious air about him that only a few truly great champions have. A sort of calmness and confidence and good manners. No strutting or swearing in the gym, just powerful no nonsense workouts,and intense sets and reps, broken up by a laugh and some banter in between.
You must have trained with people like that, other trainers feed off the champions sense of purpose and in turn they train harder and achive their own goals.
Very few champions have this aura, Bill Pearl was  a champion in every sense of the word, a real gentleman. Always with a natural modesty, not a put on one.
I was sitting having breakfast with my mate, in a cafe near the judging venue for the 1971 NABB Mr Universe contest. We had gone into London early, as the judging started about 10 am, and you could get a great seat, about 15 feet away from the competitors if you got there early enough, as unlike the Universe show, you could not pre-book tickets for the judging. First come, first served. I dunno how they ever managd to know how many people they were letting in, as folks were sitting on radiators and standing on window sills it got so packed.
So there we were in a cafe full of body builders both competitors and fans, when in walked Bill Pearl, with his manager Leo Stern. Everyone in the place stopped eating and talking, someone started to applaud and then everyone just stood up and applauded the man. No shouting, screaming " ALRIGHT ", and all of that meaningless bullsh-t that is the norm these days. Just pure admiration and appreciation of a great champion. Most great champions are respected, but only one or two are truly loved by the fans, Bill Pearl was loved, you could feel it. He stopped raised his hand in acknowledgement, looked all around the cafe nodding and saying thank you, in a very humble way, and then sat down, with his manager, at the table next to ours.
He just ordered black coffee and chatted to his manager. I could not take my eyes off legs, his calves were so big that his trousers sort of ballooned out under the knee as his calf size pushed them out like he had a kite under the material. Remember he was about 5ft 9inches tall, and weighed about 235 lbs, maybe a bit heavier. He wore a sort of lumberjack shirt and white T-shirt underneath, and was so darkly tanned that I was green with envy, as at that time all the tanning products available was a product called Quick Tan, which made you look like a muscular orange ice lolly. People respected and admired him,and his demeanour and the fact he would help anyone who asked, made the fans love him.
My very good friend, told me that when Bill Pearl toured South Africa for Reg Park, Bill went out for a meal and a beer with some of the guys who trained at Reg's, and Bill insisted on buying everyone a beer, even though he was the star of the tour. He was telling my mate that, he, Bill had a brother who was much bigger than Bill and had larger arms, but this brother was never interested in competitions, he just trained.
Reg had many guest stars come out to tour South Africa, but the guy who had the shortest tour was multi title holder Casey Viator, a prodigy of Arthur Jones, the guy who invented the Nautilus machines.
Casey got off the plane at Jo'burg airport, as high as a kite on either booze or other stronger stuff, Reg just took one look at him and said, " get him back on the plane, I don't want him ". So Casey toured the airport lounge and was back on the plane to the USA the same day!
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Jonsgym
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« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2017, 07:27:00 PM »

On a regular basis I used to train at Joe Golds, "World" gym in Santa Monica LA. This was the gym that Arnold had built for Joe, to say thank you for all that Joe Gold had done for him. I really liked that gym, it was at the end of Main Street and you had to go up a set of steps to get to it as it was a leval above street leval. I used to fly into California regularly with my job with the airline I worked for, and still do. It was a really large bright place and full of top bodybuilders.
Two of the gym managers were Zabo Koszewski, famouse for his great abdominals and Eddi Jiuliani, another natural from the 50's, 60's era. They were complet opposites, Zabo on the surface was quite taciturn and quiet, while Eddie was like a human dynamo, always cracking a joke and never still. Often Eddie would fire questions, sort of like a quiz, to any one in hearing, about bodybuilding, who had done this or won that. He knew absolutly everyone and seemed to know about the private lives and scandal of all the top bodybuilders.
I remember my first workout there, and the question he fired out to the trainers in earshot, was, how many top bodybuilders have beaten Arnold? Now this was in the eighties, and I had been present at the judging when Chester Yorton beat Arnold in 1966, so I piped up, Yorton, Zane and Sergio, which sort of shook Eddie and from then on he remembered me as the "Limey from England "
There was an open air cafe, where many of the early morning trainers from Worlds gym would go for breakfast, I had a couple of chats with Zabo there over breakfast and found him to be a nice guy, very deep and thinking, with a sarcastic sense of humour. He was very critical of all of the drugs the guys were taking then, and said most of them would be no one without them.
Many of the folks who trained at Worlds were extras in many of Arnold's films, Sven, Arnold's bodyguard regularly appeared, Roger Callard was another bodybuilder in them and many of the girls at the gym were extras in Arnold's films. I remember when Arnold was the first civilian to be allowed to own a HumVee, as it was up until he got hold of one and US army vehicle only. I had ridden to the gym on one of the airline bikes that we keep in hotels all around the world, through our sports club. I had finished my workout and walked down the the gym garage, where I had chained up the bike, I had just got on it and was about to peddle off, when this bloody great big army beige monster of a truck/jeep type motor screamed past me at 30,000 decibels, with Sven driving it and Arnold waving and laughing his head of, as I jumped sideways on the bike in fright.
There was absolutly no photography allowed in the gym, but that did not stop my mate Merve, who had come along on my working trip, as he was desperate to see all the top guys in California working out. He had it all worked out and put his video camera in his workout bag and cut out a whole in the side of the bag,so. The lense could just poke out. We worked out, and every 5 miniuts or so he would pick up his bag and walk around filming. I was shi--ing myself, as Joe Gold was very good to me and never charge me to work out and I did not want to upset him. Any how Merve got his footage of Arnold working out, and I lost about 5 kilos of sweat, worrying he would get caught!
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Jonsgym
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« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2017, 02:39:28 PM »

Guys and Gels, have you had enough of this rubbish? Or do you want me to bring back some more memories. Just let me know, as I don't want to outstay my welcome. Thanks.
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Jester
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« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2017, 06:43:07 PM »

Keep it coming.  I'm loving it.
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SCOTTGALTON
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« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2017, 08:52:46 PM »

Great to hear about the golden erA
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Jonsgym
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« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2017, 11:36:01 PM »

Another couple of memories that may interest you guys. Some of you may have seen pictures of Rick Wyane, a well known name in the sixties and seventies. He had a great physique, some of the best arms of the era, on a par with Larry Scott, and Freddi Ortiz. Rick had a great upper body, thighs were good, but his calves let him down, in my opinion. His personality was as big as his physique, he was a singer as well and performed in night clubs and made records ( well a couple ). A very friendly, happy go lucky guy ----- who also had an intellect that made him question everthing and make quite contreversial statements about all the politics in bodybuilding at that time.
Well, I had just won the teenage Mr England contest in Manchester so it must have been either 1965 or 1966, and Rick had been one of the guest posers at the show. I rushed to Manchester station after the show to catch the last train down to London. I was joined on the train by Oscar Heidenstam who was head guy of the NABBA organization. As the train pulled out of the station, Rick sat down across the aisle from us and smiled, said hi and lit up a cigarette! I was amazed, as I had never seen any bodybuilder smoke before, anyhow Oscar and I talked for a while and I became aware of the unusual odour of Ricks cigarette's and the fact that I was starting to feel very odd, sort of light headed and laughing a lot. I finally twigged that Rick was'ent smoking Marlboro Lights, and that I had just experienced what a spliff can do!
Rick went to work for the Weider organization in California as one of their magazines top writers and editors. He was really to intelligent for the Weider's though, and eventually returned to St Lucia, the Caribbean island he came from and worked as a journalist and broadcaster, and along with his wife Mae Mollica opened a gym, which I have been lucky enough to train at a couple of times in the past.
Talking of bodybuilders and smoking, in the sixties a bodybuilder called Sid Roberson, who did the original Strongbow cider adverts, he was the muscular archer who fired the arrows in the TV and cinema adverts.
Well Sid had a great physique and entered a lot of Wag Bennett's fantastic contests at the stratford town hall where I first saw him. The crowds at these shows was fantastic, standing room only, very friendly, very vocal,
You have to remember in the 60's there were very few gyms in London and nearly everyone knew everyone else. Everyone knew that Sid smoked, so when he posed, sometimes halfway through his routine some joker would shout out, " give us a fag Sid ", and you could see  Sid's abdominal start to ripple with him trying to contain his laughter, and then all of a sudden he would crack up laughing and have to start again.
Good Times.
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petrominator
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« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2017, 03:18:50 PM »

Jon, thank you for sharing this with us. It brings out memories I have from reading old school magazines and books. It must have been great experience to train with Reg Park, what a legend. I really enjoyed reading this post.
For me personally, I trained with Mark Oaks 2x, Jon Harris 1x and with Milan Panek 1x from the people you might know. It was all amazing experience for me and also inspiration. Mark Oaks always pushed me to train harder each set. Jon Harris home made training facility is like cut from Rocky movies. Milan Panek visited me here in Prague in 2013 I believe and we had a hardcore session in one of the local gyms.

When I first started to train seriously back in Portsmouth in City Gym, I was pushed by some huge guys. The atmosphere there was electrifying. City Gym Portsmouth became my home for almost 2 years. I spoke to Dianne Bennett, owner of the First Fitness in South-sea this year. The very same gym Arnold use to train while staying in Portsmouth.
Another great gym I was about to find was in Southampton, Collymore Leisure, where I met Pete Bullard. Great, simple gym with all you need and some serious bodybuilders and strong men.

Oxford gym Unique Bodies run by Mike Sheridan, another great gym I enjoyed training while preparing for my contests in 2011. Haven`t seen training Mike but he was there all the time behind the bar, very nice guy.

Oldbury Deans Techno gym became my home during 2012 contest prep. Dean was very supportive and friendly, truly hardcore gym with great atmosphere. I also trained in Temple Gym, Dorian Yates gym in Birmingham couple of times, worth visiting.

Dino`s gym in Solihull was another great place to train. All these places have something in common. They are not pretty, they might be dirty, sweaty, loud music, heavy iron clings... But places like these build champions.

I visited many places in USA, worth to mention are:
World Gym, San Diego. For me, one of the best gyms on this planet. Seriously. This places will take you back in time to 70`s and 80`s run by Rick Stephenson. I met many great people here, including Samir Bannout, Shawn Ray, Eddie Braccamontes, Pete Ciccone, Bola Ojex and others.

Stern`s Gym, San Diego. Yes, this is the original Leo Stern gym. Great place with all the original machines, barbells and dumbbells. Bill Pearl used to train here if I am right.

Gold`s Gym, Los Angeles. This place doesn`t need extra attention. Amazing gym and atmosphere. If you are lucky you might see Arnold himself training there during early mornings among other legendary bodybuilders and trainers. I personally met Robby Robinson, Dexter Jackson, Charles Glass.

Muscle Beach, Los Angeles. This place is not what is use to be. But still, a tons of history to tell. Worth visiting. (Original muscle beach is my favorite with all crazy stunts and acro yoga).

Original Gold`s Gym, Los Angeles. This was the place where it all started. Opened by Joe Gold, this place put together a lot of great bodybuilders. Atmosphere and camaraderie. It is not opened to public any more but you can still see the original building from the street.

New York, Brooklyn. I was lucky to meet Kai Green on the street while visiting New York, Brooklyn. I just left my apartment for some grocery shopping and later training when I spotted big guy across the street. Kai Green himself. After I introduce myself Kai offered me to train with him and gave me his cell number to call me during my stay in NY (in 2014). But I never called him... Did not save his number. Funny and stupid.

I could name you great gyms and dungeons here in Czech Republic and Slovakia (places where Pavol Jablonicky, Jaroslav Horvath, Stefan Orosz and other train and other old school legends like Petr Stach, Alois Pek, Robert Dantlinger, Peter Uricek, Josef Grolmus etc. trained.)...but it would be for another post.

For those who are coming this weekend to watch or compete at the UKDFBA, I`ll be there. Come and say hi  Smiley
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