Vince Gironda


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"The Kid" At Vince's Gym, circa 1980

When I was twenty I decided on a few things: move to Los Angeles; get a job in the film industry; workout with weights. As a young sports star in Michigan I never lifted weights—hated 'em. But, since I wasn't going to pursue sports I needed to stay in shape, so time for a switch. When I arrived in North Hollywood, I immediately took my motorcycle down Ventura Boulevard to get the lay of the land. That's when I saw the “Vince's Gym” sign (which is still up today). I looked the place over, decided it couldn't cost too much based on the small, worn exterior. And the inside matched the outside. It was affordable. I got a tour from a trainer, and decided to start for real the next day.

I say "for real" because that was the feel of Vince's Gym. It was basically a narrow room, with what looked like Rocky Balboa's original locker room/shower. In fact, within a week I was convinced by Vince to suck down raw eggs in that locker room after my workouts. Yes, Vince sold brown eggs.

It's true what I've since read about Vince: Do it right or get out. After the first time I saw that happen I made a mental note. The next morning I went to Vince and asked for his advice. From that point on he took care of me. And so did the other members, that included—Carl Weathers, Jeff Goldblum and the nicest guy of all, Robert Blake. Blake labelled me "The Kid." (Maybe from his days as a "Little Rascal".) Vince would give me a new and difficult exercise and Blake would say “Vince, 'The Kid' can do anything you throw at 'em.”

Vince taught me everything I needed to know. From that, I would soon start my 30 year career as an Exercise Specialist—creating training programs for any population. Eleven years ago I bought a classic-style gym—Body Builders Gym (Silver Lake), which is over the hill from where Vince's used to be. Instead of making movies, I devoted my health/fitness career to showing people how to do it right.

Thanks Vince.

Erik Flowers
co-owner of Body Builders Gym, Silver Lake CA.
http://www.bodybuildersgym.com


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