Dave Draper On Vince Gironda

Dave Draper

I was asked to write a few words about Vince Gironda — thought you might be interested in which words were used:


I hardly knew the legendary Vince gironda; I didn’t hang in his neck of the woods and I didn’t train under his influence. I truly admired and was inspired by his muscular, symmetrical physique. Many of his training edicts parallel my own, none of them are wrong and a lot are downright far-out creative.

While I bounced off the walls of the Muscle Beach Gym, or the Dungeon as it was affectionately called in the ’60s, Larry Scott and Don Howorth were pushing the iron in the tiny confines of Vince’s Gym in North Hollywood. Vince had had his day before the camera and on the posing dais, and his primary function had become ruling his roost and keeping his feathery friends from doing anything he wouldn’t do. Squats, bench presses and deadlifts topped his list of destructive acts, and low reps and long rests between sets were forbidden. Bulk up and you get a black eye, Bozo.

In reality you could do anything you wanted to do, but straying from his precepts gave Vince the opportunity to vilify the doer. He thrived on the act, practice made him quite good at it, and he became infamous for it. Eventually, unless you were the subject of Vince’s engaging verbal reproach, you couldn’t be sure he loved you.

His love was valuable and hard-earned, and disseminated among those who dared to be honest and themselves. He loathed, and readily exposed, personal deception and pretense; he could identify a phony and his lie a mile away. Vince was, after all, the Guru.

Vince and I were very good friends, brothers separated by 25 years yet bound by the inexorable pull of gravity.

Dave Draper, the Bomber


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