Do you know the “Iron Guru?”

Vince Gironda, Personal training

Vincent “Vince” Anselmo Gironda (November 9, 1917 — October 18, 1997) the “Iron Guru” was an American professional bodybuilder, author and owner of the celebrity-frequented Vince’s Gym. He competed twice in the Mr. America placing 4th in 1950 and 2nd in the amateur division. He was often quoted as saying that bodybuilding is 85% nutrition. He was also an early proponent of low carb dieting, and recommended the use of numerous supplements, including desiccated liver tablets, kelp, digestive enzymes and glandulars such as adrenal and orchic. However, he was vehemently against the use of steroids claiming that it contributed to a grotesque appearance.

By the early 1950s he was a very well-known trainer of both champion bodybuilders and movie and television actors. Gironda claimed to be able to get a person into shape faster than anyone else. When the 1960s rolled around, Vince’s reputation grew as a personal trainer due to his pupils winning all the important contests, the most well-known being Larry Scott winning the first IFBB Mr. Olympia in 1965. Bodybuilders who have trained at Vince’s Gym over the years include “Body by” Jake Steinfeld, Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk“), Frank Zane, Don Howorth and even Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition a short list of stars who trained at Vince’s Gym includes Robert Blake, Cher, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, James Garner, Brian Keith, Robert McRay, Tommy Chong, Gordon Scott and Erik Estrada.

In the 1990s the growing popularity of very well-equipped gyms with considerable mass appeal and the emergence of numerous personal trainers to the stars made it difficult for simple gyms to operate, and so Vince’s Gym closed in November 1995. A contributing factor to the gym closing was the severe health problems of Gironda’s beloved son Guy. Caring for Guy sapped Gironda’s energy, and his motivation to run his gym.

Vince had a very symmetrical pleasing physique which was very popular in the Golden Era of Bodybuilding.