Vince Gironda, a Tribute to His Teachings: Why Do Muscles Look Different On Vince’s Students’?

Why Do Muscles Look Different On Vince’s Students’? by Robert Torres

Vince Gironda and Robert Torres
Vince Gironda and Robert Torres from the DVD Vince Gironda, The Sculptor of Classic Physiques

“To begin with, Vince Gironda was an originator as well as an innovator when it came to developing certain kinds of exercises to bring out certain aspects of a muscle. He was able to enhance parts of a muscle that other trainers could not do effectively back then and even to this day.

Many of the exercises we see today in gyms all across the country are using some form or another of Vince’s type of exercises. For instance, Mr. Gironda was one of the first to develop the triceps rope pull, the 3 way compound movement, the double mule kickbacks and others to work the lateral head of the triceps. He also created exercises for the lateral head of the deltoids, such as:

• zorro’s
• rear dumbbell raises.
• incline dumbbell raises
• high bench lateral raises

And many others too numerous to mention here. All these were created by Vince to give the deltoids the illusion of width across the physique.

All one has to do is look at the champions of yester year that Vince helped enhance their physiques. Champs like Larry Scott, whose deltoid width was very narrow, Mohamid Makkawy, who was mostly front delts when he first visited Vince’s gym, Don Howorth (Mr. Delts) who performed incline lateral raises on Vince’s special incline bench, and Kay Baxter, who wanted a sweep to the outside of her thighs, all these champions developed outstanding shape to their muscles using Vince’s methods and equipment.

Vince also helped develop the “V” shaped dipping bars to bring out the outer pectorals. He then introduced us to the decline pulley cable squeezes (hugs), the barbell neck press on the smith machine (for the upper and middle pecs.) all these strange or weird movements (that some trainers like to refer to when speaking of Vince’s exercises) were Vince’s ideas or ingenuity to help his students’ muscles look different then other bodybuilders.

Here are a few of Gironda’s best exercises that he shared with me when I was being trained by him. Most of them will not be found in his courses or books.

1.) For The Lateral Head of the Triceps: The 3 Way (Triceps) Compound movement.

This exercise consists of 3 exercises or movements in one.

A.) The Barbell Lying Tricep Extension
B.) The Barbell Narrow Neck Press (Done at a 45 degree angle to engage the outside head)
C.) The Barbell Pull Over. (Elbows must be in to protect the shoulders.)

The above 3 exercises are done as a giant set of 8 reps each for a total of 24 reps.

2.) For the Lateral Head of the Deltoids: A Coconut Look to the Delts – The Dumbbell Rear Raises.

This exercise takes place behind your back. You begin the movement by touching the dumbbells behind you and then rasing them (while the db’s are still behind your back) to shoulder height.

Most important to Vince was to never bring the dumbbells forward. They must stay behind you at all times or they become a front deltoid movement. You do not have to use a heavy weight, it was not meant for that, because it is a leverage type of movement. So even a light weight will seem heavy at times.

3.) The Outer Aspect of the Forearms: The Area Right Below the Brachialis of the Biceps

When performing this movement, always keep the elbows back or it becomes worthless, according to vince. (see Vince’s dvd.) Vince use to tell me that many, not all trainers near him, would confuse the exercise for a biceps movement, when in reality, it was a forearm exercise. (12 to 15 reps because it is a high rep muscle.)

4.) For The Peak of the Biceps: Dumbbell “Spider Bench” Curls

You would need Vince’s spider bench or Larry Scott’s, but the back of a preacher bench will be fine also. On the upward movement or contraction part, squeeze the biceps for a count of 2. Most lifters just curl them up and down without the vital squeezing of the biceps.

5.) Hack squats (Knees and Feet Together)

This movement will help develop the middle and lower areas of the thighs that Steve Reeves beautifully possessed.

For an incredible pump, Vince would have me do a high rep workout consisting of around 15 to 20 reps of 4 sets with minimum rest between sets. It was torture because Vince would not let up on me, but I followed his advise to the letter.

For an added benefit to speeding up the metabolism and burning fat at a quicker rate, and also recuperating faster, try vince’s oxygen loading principal. Hands on knees, and chest high, take multiple, quick deep, breaths through pursed lips.

Most of the exercises described above were tailor made for me to enhance certain aspects of my physique. Give them a try and see how they work for you.” Robert Torres, Vince Gironda-A Tribute to his Teachings.

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