Rich Gaspari And John Romano Talk Bodybuilding, The Olympia And Old School Tricks Of The Trade| Fitness Fame & Fortune

Key Takeaways

  • In the 80s, lunges were only for women who wanted to enhance the appearance of glutes – now, it’s a regular part of training for men in a bodybuilding competition (thanks to Gaspari)
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ for diet – find a guru with no dogma who will analyze what works for you specifically
  • Posing for bodybuilding competitions requires extreme muscle control to show off the density and striation
  • Diuretics can actually make skin look loose and not encouraged for long term use in a bodybuilding competition
  • People may be more genetically gifted but nothing will compensate for a lack of discipline and hard work


Rich Gaspari (@RichGaspari) is a pioneer of modern-day bodybuilding who competed in the 80s and 90s, widely considered the best era of bodybuilding. Gaspari placed second in the 1986, 1987, and 1988 Mr. Olympia competitions and changed the trunks competitors wear.

In this episode, Rich Gaspari and John Romano talk about the evolution of physique bodybuilding, advances Gaspari made to bodybuilding, and steroid use.

Host: John Romano

More information: Gaspari Nutrition

Posing & Bodybuilding Competition Physique

  • Squats use core and obliques and can give the appearance of bulk in the mid-section
  • Lunges in the 80s were an exercise for women to enhance glutes
  • The illusion of a small waist: fewer squats, more lunges
  • For the appearance of striated glutes on stage: more reverse lunges and walking lunges
  • Eat more foods to build glycogen

Steroid Use And Doses

  • On a regular basis: testosterone
  • Pre-contest cutting regimen: testosterone + winstrol (5 mg every other day) + primobolan (100mg, 3/week) + anavar (2.5 mg, 10/week)
  • The cutting regimen started about 10 weeks before the contest
  • Cycle on and off steroids in 4-6 weeks until 10 weeks before the contest
  • A diuretic regime can be detrimental because you’re taking water out of the muscle
  • When taking diuretics or you don’t have enough carbs in muscles, your skin looks very loose

Using A Guru For Diet

  • A good guru will be able to analyze diet and see what works for a specific person without dogma
  • Ethnicity makes a difference in what you metabolize easiest
  • Everyone’s body is different so you can’t treat diet as one size fits all
  • Need to breakdown competition and non-competition cycles

Competition Posing

  • Cutting posing from Mr. Olympia competitions hurt the sport
  • Posing can make the difference in muscle control and striated look but it’s harder than it looks
  • Posing is almost a workout – you have to squeeze your muscles hard and densely for a definition to show

The Art Of Building Muscle

  • Some people are more genetically gifted than others and build muscle faster
  • To activate more muscle fibers, try drop sets – train muscle to failure then drop weight and hit lighter sets; keep repeating
  • Pre-exhaustion training: isolation exercise with compound movement to work specific body parts
  • If you lock in diet and training, you have a shot against people who may have a genetic advantage
  • Nothing will compensate for a lack of discipline and hard work
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