Alan Palmieri, as diverse an individual as bodybuilding has seen, has been a lifelong bodybuilder himself, but he’s been much more than that. He’s been (and the list isn’t limited to the following) a businessman, a mayor (yes, that’s right, Arnold wasn’t the first successfully elected public official from the ranks of the iron game), a gym owner, a wrestler, and not least of all these, a trainer and a fine writer of bodybuilding and weight-training articles. His lifetime in and dedication to the weights has certainly made him qualified to do his work on the legendary Vince Gironda.
The uniqueness of Alan’s work on Vince stems from a wonderful interweaving of Vince Gironda material, including training information, phone calls from Alan to Vince, where Vince imparted vast training wisdom (along with a few of his usual verbal blasts) to Alan in his intensely personal way, along with Alan’s sage reflections, opinions and commentary on Gironda’s training and nutrition wisdom. Alan relates his unforgettable first phone encounter with the Legend Himself, which as you might guess, didn’t get off to a very good start. It almost didn’t even get off to any start at all.
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Fortunately for readers, and lovers of great bodybuilding material, Alan was able to keep Vince from hanging up on him and continued to receive the benefit of Vince’s vast knowledge, as their phone encounters continued off and on for several years. And although Alan never actually met Vince Gironda in person, you can sense from the exchanges a real mutual affinity developed.
Alan’s insights about Vince are legion. He points out how Vince was often like a racing target, as his mind and bodybuilding ideas moved at the speed of light, so the seeming contradictions so present in Gironda’s written work, his training courses, need to be explained or at least amplified in light of a kind of larger bodybuilding vision Vince had, which Vince seemed to be always working, re-working, attempting to bring to a higher level and perfect.
There were conversations, or rather lectures, about the glories of desiccated liver. There were the edicts to, at times, cut back workouts. Usually Vince didn’t explain why, but often Alan would later figure out a why. And this by far is his most valuable contribution to the examination of Vince’s training and nutrition gospel, especially in light of the growing discovery, if not revival of the Iron Guru going on today.
Also, though Alan expresses great admiration for Vince, he’s not afraid to say he experimented with certain ideas Gironda and found them not workable for him. He also offers astute commentary as to why some of the bodybuilding views of Vince were, though passionately held, maybe not the final word. This is extremely refreshing and necessary, as Vince has always engendered either such flaming passions that those for him have never had much taste for critical review of their Master’s ideas, while those against have wrongly dismissed him, or completely ignored him.
You will find some of Vince’s not-easily-obtainable training information, with enough to give even the seasoned Gironda aficionado plenty to enjoy, and there will be plenty for those new to Vince’s ideas, approaches, and personality. As an added treat, Alan has included terrific interviews with some people who knew Vince well: the great Bill Pearl, Don Howorth, and Larry Scott, all of whom share how in different ways Vince left an indelible imprint.
This is a big piece of work by Alan Palmieri, yet it only tantalizes and whets the appetite for more of the legend and greatness of Vince Gironda. Alan Palmieri’s work should be a lasting contribution to those of us who love bodybuilding.
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Greg Sushinsky is a natural bodybuilder who has trained for several years. He is a professional writer who has written extensively about bodybuilding, with numerous training articles appearing in Musclemag International, Ironman magazine, Reps! and others.Greg continues to train hard and enthusiastically. He strives to maintain a lean, proportionate physique (usually at 200-210 pounds), write and publish on bodybuilding, and continues to do and pursue many writing and publishing projects in his other areas of interest. He continues to advise and consult with bodybuilders, athletes and fitness people. More bio