Vince Gironda’s Steak and Eggs Diet: Building the Best Physiques in the 1950s

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘LEGEND!! Vince Gironda’s Steak and Eggs Diet!! He knew in the 1950s What built the best physiques!’ by Rob Goodwin

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Vince Gironda, a legendary figure in bodybuilding, pioneered personalized training, popularized the steak and egg diet, and emphasized training to failure.

Key Insights

  • Vince Gironda is recognized as a legendary figure in bodybuilding and physique enhancement.
  • Gironda was a pioneer in personal training and coached many successful bodybuilders, including Larry Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • He popularized the steak and egg diet, which involved eating steak and eggs two to three times a day, along with other animal-based foods.
  • Gironda believed in the anabolic properties of red meat, eggs, and raw milk, considering them crucial for muscle growth.
  • He implemented refeeding days in his program, allowing athletes to eat whatever they wanted to replenish glycogen after following a strict diet.
  • Gironda emphasized training to failure with impeccable form and invented the preacher curl exercise.
  • Despite skepticism from some, Gironda's methods produced remarkable physiques and were ahead of their time.
  • His contributions to the fitness industry and his impact on those who continue to follow his teachings should be recognized and respected.

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Transcript

It’s just fascinating that you can’t escape the reality of what truly works in terms of building a strong muscular physique. If you have a real passion for bodybuilding and physique enhancement lifestyle like I have for 30 years, and regardless of what I’m into at the time, you know, I’ll always be a fan of bodybuilding and I’ll always love bodybuilding.

And if you are like me, and you know, your goal is just to be the best version of yourself that you can be, you want to be lean, you want to be muscular, you want to be strong at any age, whether that’s in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, it doesn’t matter. You know, we can really take a page from some of the godfathers of the golden era of bodybuilding.

And I think it’s very, very important regardless of who you are and what you’re into, to recognize the contributions made by a gentleman by the name of Vince Gironda. Vince Gironda was arguably the first, you know, really legit bodybuilder and is arguably the first bodybuilding coach and the first personal trainer, really. He’s really the first guy to put his stamp on being, you know, a real in the trenches personal trainer and making a living from personal training.

And Vince Gironda’s physique for the 1950s was actually staggeringly incredible. He had a physique that with just a little bit of tweaking in 2022 could do an NPC men’s physique competition and do very well, if not win the damn thing. So he had a very, very impressive physique for his time.

Now, what was also extremely popular about Vince Gironda? Well, he popularized what he called the steak and egg diet. And this is legit. It’s well documented. And you can hear people tell stories about this over and over again. Just do an internet search.

But Vince Gironda’s steak and egg diet was very, very simple. He would have he himself and he would have his clients and his top-level competitors eat literally steak and eggs. But to be fair, he also said that it didn’t have to be steak. It could be any version of red meat, you know, could be ground beef, could, you know, anything like that. But it was a steak and egg diet. And he would have his athletes and competitors eating steak and eggs two to three times a day, depending on the goals, depending on the client. And he also popularized a 36 egg diet as well. And it was sometimes used within the steak and egg diet, sometimes separately, whatever.

But what made this so cutting edge is because at his time, this guy was still looking at the science of the day. And he was a researcher. He was very curious. He delved into everything. He left no stone unturned. And he would do whatever it took to be the best at his craft. And he was a true guru, a true pioneer. And even, you know, in later in his life, you know, when he was elderly, he still looked great, still trained and still commanded the respect and the attention of bodybuilders and physique competitors everywhere.

But his 36 egg diet, the reason that he did that is because he found out that in the top burn centers in the country that treated people who had horrific burns all over their body, burn trauma wards, that they found that by giving these patients 36 eggs a day in many cases, that it would help regenerate and build tissue, skin and so forth.

But Vince Gironda, you know, obviously and logically thought, well, this if eggs are so great at rebuilding tissue and for burn victims, that a regeneration of tissue would apply to muscle growth as well. And it does. And he started eating 36 eggs a day and he prescribed the steak and egg diet to his competitors, which included Larry Scott, former Mr. Olympia, a guy named Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you’ve ever heard of him, former Mr. Olympia, Frank Zane and many others, and even guys that I absolutely love, like Mike Mencer and Arthur Jones, credited him for being a true pioneer in the sport.

And so, you know, all the way back then in the pre-steroid era, Vince Gironda knew that red meat and eggs were the most anabolic foods available to us. He also advocated drinking raw milk because raw milk at the time was the milk that was delivered door to door back in the 1940s and the 1950s by the milkman. And raw milk is arguably one of the most anabolic foods you can get, not the pasteurized shit you get in the supermarket and the big white jug, but raw milk in the glass bottles, which is literally unpasteurized milk directly from a cow. And anytime I can find it from a very generous local farmer, I always jump on that wherever I can.

But so to this day, you know, it’s kind of funny how everything’s kind of gone full circle. And for many of us, we never let go of the fact that, you know, beef and eggs and an animal-based diet is an anabolic diet. And there were other gurus back in the early 90s who believed this as well and wrote books on it.

And even at that time, people scoffed at them and told them that they were quacks, even though they were producing ridiculous physiques, promoting a hypercaloric animal-based diet with a lot of red meat and eggs and even raw milk to some degree.

So it’s just fascinating that. You can’t escape the reality of what truly works in terms of building a strong, muscular physique.

And the cool thing about Vince Gironda also is you could credit him for being the first person to advocate refeeds because in his steak and egg diet, he would have you eating steak and eggs a minimum of two times a day with other animal-based foods, train heavy. He always talked about training to failure. You ever heard that one? With impeccable form. He was a big advocate of that. And so many of his techniques in the gym went on to become absolute training staples for decades to come. And even to this day, he was credited with inventing the preacher curl to isolate biceps growth and other things.

But what’s cool about it is, is he is the godfather of refeeds too because he would have his athletes eat the steak and egg diet. And on day five, he would allow them to eat whatever they wanted for that day to replenish glycogen and which, you know, can be a benefit for the physique competitor to bring out that separation, that vascularity and develop in and show off a very hard, dense, strong physique.

So, you know, even to this day, when people, you know, if somebody says to you, why are you eating a carnivore diet or why are you eating a ketogenic diet or why are you eating an animal-based diet? It’s going to kill you. And you can’t build muscle on that.

Well, one of the most arguably one of the greatest, most prolific trainers and coaches in history who trained some of the most prolific, you know, golden era bodybuilders ever advocated a steak and egg diet, massive amounts of eggs, raw milk, training to failure, and occasional refeeds. And that was part of his program. And he produced amazing bodies.

And I just think that we need to always give respect and pay homage to the people that were really on the cutting edge of a lot of the things that I do now and my clients do now and you may be doing now.

So look into Vince Gironda. He was an incredible character and he was a character. He’s very eccentric. He commanded attention. He commanded respect and he got it because he earned it. And everyone from Olympia bodybuilders to Hollywood actors of that time listened to Vince. They employed his techniques and they followed his lead. And he will forever be one of the greatest to ever coach, to ever train, and to ever stand on a competition stage.

So I just wanted to share that with you. So, hey, go eat a steak, cook up some freaking eggs. Hell, you can have 36 if you want. There’s a lot of days I eat over a dozen and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And so go enjoy, train your ass off, train super heavy, train to failure, and then get the hell out of that gym, feed those muscles, recover and let it grow. So until next time, guys, train hard, diet harder and have a great day.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘LEGEND!! Vince Gironda’s Steak and Eggs Diet!! He knew in the 1950s What built the best physiques!’ by Rob Goodwin