The average woman needs to take two to three inches off her waist, two to six inches off her hips, and build up her bust – or more exactly, the chest muscles immediately above her bust.
She is as likely to need to put on weight as to reduce.
That’s what Peggy O’Neil says – and Peggy O’Neil should know because over the state 600 women, aged from 9 to 91 years, are building up or taking down according to her specifications.
And that doesn’t count the ones who see her on television and do likewise.
A tall lithe blonde with green eyes, Peggy told the story the other day in her gymnasium, 122 W. First St. That is, it is Peggy’s gymnasium for women on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Or Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it’s her husbands, Vince Gironda’s gymnasium for men.
I came out to California from New York on an “Artists and Models” screen test. I was in ‘Ziegfeld Girl’ and practically all the musicals you can think of – including that Ginger Rogers film with all the dream sequences.Peggy Gironda
Vince and I met on the set of ‘Our Hearts Were Young and Gay’.
I got Q fever – that’s a fever you get from milk or meat – and I was in bed for six months. When I got up I was fat. Oh, it was awful! I began training nights and Vince’s North Hollywood gym after the men had gone. Pretty soon I began feeling wonderful.Peggy Gironda
I opened my first gym six years ago in Studio City. Now I have four gyms – Long Beach, Hollywood, Studio City and the Crenshaw area in Los Angeles.
I advocate that a woman exercise in a gymnasium about three times a week, all the way from a half hour to two hours.
Home exercises are all right if you know you are doing them correctly and know that they are the right exercises for you. A gymnasium has the equipment and can plan a program that is right for the individual.
In our gyms, we take a woman’s measurements, weight, etc. when she first comes in and plan a series of exercises for her. After 12 periods of exercise, we take her measurements again and plan a new series of exercises.
Women know about “secretary spread” and “dowager’s hump,” says Peggy, but a good many of them don’t know about “high pockets”, pockets of fat that accumulate just below the waist line where the dress pockets would be if she had dress pockets; and many of them don’t know about fat that accumulates in the long back muscles, or the marbles of fat that accumulate in the under thighs.
It is very important for a woman to have a pretty thigh, says Peggy simply.
Did you think, as the writer did, the planned exercise is a relatively new invention?
“Oh, my no!”, says Peggy, and her green eyes dilate with astonishment, “Statues the Greeks and Romans left us show wonderful development in the males – development that must have been brought about by progressive resistance exercises … And the Roman Chair we use in our gymnasiums was invented by the Romans.”
In addition to the Roman Chair, Peggy’s gyms have a variety of pulleys for back and shoulders; including boards for abdominal exercises; leg slide, leg press and even a toe raise.
A good advertisement for her own system, Peggy is 5 foot 8 inches, weighs 128 pounds (“My bones are slight, so that weight is about right for my height.”); 36 hip; 25 waist; 37 bust.
Her husband, Vince Gironda, was Mr. America of 1950; he had a prominent part in a number of pictures, including “Frenchmans Creek”, did stunt and stand-in movie jobs for quite a few years, and still is called back occasionally when movies need a he-man physique.