Vince Gironda's Best Exercises

The Iron Guru, Vince Gironda was a master of "cosmetic bodybuilding", Vince was a sculptor of flesh, which today seems to have become a lost art-form. Unfortunately, bodybuilding has descended into "lift more weight at all costs" or "gain muscle bulk, no matter where it ends up".

For 50 years, Vince Gironda had turned out more bodybuilding champions than any other gym in the world. His North Hollywood studio gym had one objective when he wrote out a training routine. His #1 secret weapon which was his unique "Gironda exercises".

It's important that we mention that these movements are for the bodybuilding purists. These techniques will not have any application to sports plus they will not necessarily increase your functional strength. Vince's type of training WAS progressive; it was never about how much weight you lifted, because form was everything.

1. Body Drag Curls

It's an effective variation on the normal curl. It's needs to be ultra-strict and creating a strong contraction that feels like the biceps are cramping. In true Vince form it removes any and all cheating, putting 100% isolated stress directly on the biceps for maximum impact.

The key to doing this movement is to draw both your elbows BACK allowing the bar to slowly slide right up against your body, almost touching first your thighs, then your hips, stomach and then up to the chest as it curls upwards. You're literally DRAGING the bar on your body, NOT curling the bar outwards in the usual wide arc.

2. Wide Parallel (V Bar) Gironda Dips for chest

Gironda taught the bodybuilding world that there are two types of dips. One for the triceps and one for the pecs, most experienced bodybuilders consider tricep dips to be a completely separate exercise to chest dips. Vince explains that parallel bars which are about 32 inches wide must be used. Normal dipping bars are too narrow and work more triceps. Remember for dips: triceps = narrow grip and chest = wide grip.

3. 45-degree pulley rows (AKA "racing dive" lat pulls)

All bodybuilders know the seated cable rowing machine, which is a horizontal rowing type movement and the lat pulldown, a vertical pulling movement. Vince combined the two to put the wide grip lat pull-down at a 45-degree angle so you're leaning forward while pulling down.

4. 3-Phase Sissy Squat.

It must be clear that Vince did not claim to invent this movement, he just refined it because he didn't like back squats. He said they only built up hips, which he said an aesthetic bodybuilder needs to avoid. He did recommend certain squats though and one of these variations that he approved of was the sissy squat.

Vince attributed the invention of the movement to Monty Wolford. He said when he measured Wolford's thighs his upper thighs, and his middle-thigh were the same measurement. To Vince, this was what he called magical proportions every bodybuilder should aim for, hence his endorsement of sissy squats.

For more information checkout Vince Gironda's Workout and Diet Secrets.

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