TRAINING WITH ARNOLD
By Ric Drasin
This introduction came about in a really funny way. One day I was working
out at Bill Pearl‚s Gym in Inglewood. Not the greatest area in the world.
I had lost two sets of hubcaps up there so that tells you something.
I had seen pictures of the "Austrian Oak‚ in magazines and as I was
leaving for my car, and there he sat in the passenger side of someone‚s
car. I went up and introduced myself and he spoke very little English, but
was nice enough. He weighed about 260 at the time and was enormous.
About a month later, I entered the back door, (which was really used as
the front door) of the Original Gold‚s Gym. Came face to face with Arnold
again. We spoke for a moment and he asked what are you working today. I
said, Chest and Back. He said, Œme too, let‚s train together.‚ I said,
nah, I‚ll make you look weak. He just laughed. But we did start our workout.
We started with bench presses as usual. First, 135 lbs. for warm up then
to 225, 275, 315, 365, 405 and then I went to 425 and left him behind. He
was shocked since I weighed about 213. But then, benches have always been
easy for me. I did 4 with 405 that day and he struggled with one rep. I
think that I gained his respect from that moment on.
We went on to do inclines, then dumbbell flies, cable crossovers and then
on to back exercises. He used a very basic workout. Every exercise 4 sets
8 to 12 reps. seemed like the basics really worked for us.
I like to joke a lot as people know and Arnold laughs pretty easy. Don‚t
get me wrong, we trained hard and focused but we had to have humor and I
could make him laugh over anything.
After the workout he suggested that we become training partners. I had no
problem with that, hell; I could whip him into shape I guess. So, the next
day he came by my apartment, honked and we were off to the gym. This was
Delts and Arms. He came up with a routine that really blew my delts up.
Standing dumbbell presses but twisting the hands as you go up. We did
non-stop sets, from 30 lbs in 10 lb increments all the way to the 85‚s.
I‚d never do that today. So, we‚d work all the way up the rack and all the
way back down, non-stop. Then we did the same with standing dumbbell
laterals. Wow, what a pump! This was an awesome workout. That was pretty
much it for shoulders. Didn‚t need anymore than that. Then it was on to
Biceps and Triceps. We would sut these and do 3 exercises 4 sets for
each. The next day was legs. Again basics, calves, 5 sets,
Hamstrings, 4 sets, extensions, 4 sets and squats 4 to 5 sets.
At that time the all the greats trained with us in the gym. ED
Zabo, Dave Draper, Frank Zane, Franco Columbo, Mike Katz, Roger Callard,
Ken Waller and more. We had a real unique group and the nice thing was, we
all hung out together at the beach and on weekends. Not something you see
a lot of today. But it was great fun. The routine was breakfast at Zucky‚s
Deli a few days a week and again at 10 pm at night for Cheese Omelet‚s.
Train in the morning, go for a run on the beach, lunch at the Jamaica Bay
Inn, in the Marina, and swim in their pool after lunch and then home to do
whatever we had to do. I had auditions and then at night I wrestled.
Arnold was funny though. AS big as he was, he was insecure about dating in
America because of his English. So, he asked if I would go on one of his
dates with him just to give him moral support. Rheo Blair (nutrionist) set
him up with a date and I went with him. Nice looking girl too. We went to
a coffee house on Melrose in Hollywood. Just the 3 of us. I felt like an
extra thumb, but we had a good time. I think he liked her,but never
pursued it after that.
As I said, we would hang out at Zuckys Deli and there he met a hostess
named Barbara. He liked her cause she was a UCLA student and was
intelligent. It wasn‚t just a body. He liked to play mind games, which got
him where he is today. So, she gave him a challenge. She had to let her >hair grow in her armpits and legs, as he liked that in women, a European
custom plus he liked big asses. Her‚s wasn‚t so big though.
Arnold was German and I was Jewish and we had a lot of discussion about
that and a lot of mention of Hitler came out of him. He really felt that
the Germans were superior but now he was in a city that had an entertainment industry run by Jews including the guy who signed his checks, Joe Weider. So, he mellowed out and made jokes about us training
together. He‚d say, the German and the Jew were training today.
Time went on and we trained and I entered some contests for fun and won.
He came along to coach me. Then one day he got a call for a movie role. It
was kind of a Hercules role or on that order. He asked me to come along
and watch him read, and maybe there was something in it for me. So, I went
and we arrived at the place. Two men were there and handed Arnold a script
with about 3 pages to read. He looked them over and started to read them,
stumbling over the words and laughing. I laughed and on the way home, told
him, Œmaybe you should forget about acting‚, doesn‚t seem to be your
thing! Hmm, what the hell was I thinking?
One day we were at the beach and a man and women approached us from Habush Casting. They asked us to come and audition for a Heavy Chevy commercial that coming Monday. We went, and there were lots of guys there, but we got picked right off and the following week shot the spot at the beach. It was
good money and we had a good time. I think that was the first acting job for Arnold and myself.
There was a very unusual funny moment and that happened with Arnold, Ken
Waller and myself. Now this is the truth and it‚s really off color but it
did happen. All 3 of us were in Arnold‚s car as he pulled over on Wilshire
Blvd. to offer a girl a ride. She got in and he said I have to stop home
for a moment. We all went upstairs and I was mixing a protein drink in the
kitchen and the girl was reading an article in a magazine as Arnold and
Ken both walked out of the bedroom naked. Arnold proceeded to walk up and
stick his penis right in the center of the fold of the magazine so she
couldn‚t miss it. She looked petrified and I was laughing so hard I almost
choked. He stood there waiting for a response and she was frozen in fear.
Finally she got up and darted out of the door. Arnold and Ken started
laughing hysterically. It was really funny but I felt sorry for her.
I couldn‚t believe that they actually did that. Time moved on and we trained together for many years. He was always in control of his life and one day we drove out to Weider‚s office. He wanted a check from Joe and grabbed Joe‚s checkbook, filled in the amount and made Joe sign it. Joe would come down to the beach on weekends and train with us on Sundays. He‚d grab the 65 lb. dumbbells and then started doing curls cold. He was pretty strong for a guy who really didn‚t work out as much as he preached he did. Most of his photos were airbrushed to look like he wanted. I will say one thing about Joe; he was a workaholic and
made that magazine what it is today. Nothing got past him.
After our workouts, Joe would take us all out to lunch and discuss the new
products that he had coming out. He would advertise them before he would
make them to see if sales warranted developing them. I guess he didn‚t
want to risk the investment.
The connection with Arnold and Steriods has never been publicly stated, >but back in those days, everyone that competed was on something. At that
time Winstrol was good and worked well for me. It gave my skin a shine and
really cut me up. Then of course the original Dianabol and Deca-Durabolin - nandrolone decanoate - worked
wonders together. Arnold and Franco would bring their supply from Europe.
They had the best. Primobolan and Dianabol was what they used at the time.
I got all of that I needed from them. Franco would give me the shot as it
was a preloaded needle about 3 in long. ! Scared the hell out of me.
But, the results I got from their stuff was awesome. I blew up and got
really hard on it.
I don‚t know what all Arnold took other than D‚bol, Deca-Durabolin - nandrolone decanoate - , Primo
, Test and
Cytomel for cutting up. He didn‚t take all those at once but throughout
the year. He also trained hard, but didn‚t over train. Basic exercises
were used and nothing elaborate. It worked along with a high protein diet,
fats and low carbs. On the weekends we would go to House Of Pies and pig
out on sugar. Then crawl away from the table bloated. It‚s also no public
knowledge that Arnold had calf implants, but all of us at the gym knew it
as one year, he had no calves, and then that summer after a trip to Europe , he came back with them.
I was out with Arnold and Ken Waller for lunch one day and I have a habit
of drawing cartoons and doodling on napkins while I‚m waiting for my food.
Ken asked me to do a logo for Gold‚s Gym, as he was the Manager at the
time. I drew the little ŒBald Headed Weightlifter‚ in my own image, as I
would see myself years later. We printed up a dozen shirts with my
signature right by the foot. Then more were printed. I managed to get a
few to save until this day. It became the largest selling T Shirt in the
world. Arnold had asked why I don‚t make more designs and sell them to the
bodybuilders. So I did and came up with ŒBodybuilder‚s Stay Hard Longer‚,
and Dianabol, ŒBreakfast of Champions‚. These sold like hotcakes. Joe
Weider said he‚d put an ad in Muscle and Fitness, but I said I couldn‚t
afford it. I think then it was about $1000 a month. He told me not to
worry that he would trade me for product shots if I took photos.
Well we ran the ad and the orders came flocking in. At first he gave me ?
page and then later made it in to a full-page full color. I came out with
a Stringer Tank Top, and was the first to have it in the magazine. I had
them cut and sewed together and packed them for shipping in my garage. I
was doing about $75,000 a year on that alone.
Well, time moved on and Joe Gold had sold his gym and the name and went
out to sea as a merchant marine. Gold‚s became incorporated and took my
name off of the shirt and put a copyright instead. They took it to higher
levels and it became what it is today. Joe Gold came back but sold his
rights to his name and then opened up World‚s Gym. He then had me draw the
World Gym Gorilla that you see all over today.
I had my own line called Big Boy – and Arnold had his shirts and training
programs. We all had some sort of mail order ad in Weider‚s magazine and
it brought us all a good living. I think Arnold still has his today. I quit after several years as competition grew and the market was flooded with designs, etc. Everyone was stealing my design in some shape or form.
One gym back East not only stole my design but also my signature next to
it. I put a stop to that right away.
Well time moved on, Arnold did Conan and was on his way to success. He
started traveling and we didn‚t see much of him. Then came the Terminator
in which he gave his roommate Franco a small part. He hired Roger Callard
to bring around his gym equipment on the set and gave him Œextra‚ roles.
Roger wanted to be an Actor not an extra and he and I both had starring
Roles in ŒCharlie‚s Angels‚. I don‚t think that Arnold wanted to see any
of us get ahead as he NEVER gave any of us the opportunity to work in his
films. I think he felt he was beyond us and that we weren‚t worthy.
Too bad cause I know if it had of been me, I would have used as many of my
friends that were actors as possible. That‚s the way it works.
He had taken over World Gym and bought it from Joe Gold, then gave it back
to him and kept the property. Not long ago they had a falling out as he
raised Joe‚s rent and Joe moved the gym to another location. It‚s not as
though he needed the money. It wasn‚t the right thing to do. Joe always
treated Arnold like a Son when he came to this country and he shouldn‚t
have treated Joe that way.
Well, the rest is history. I don‚t see Arnold anymore but he has sent his
regards to me from people he runs into that mention me.
Those days were fun and we all had a blast. Bodybuilding was very special
in those days and there were a lot of unique characters. Today‚s breed is
entirely different. It was before Video cameras otherwise I would have had
a whole library of those special years.