OK. Before you read this review, please let me make it clear to you that I am a huge Vince Gironda fan.
So there will be some bias in this analysis of Vince Gironda: Legend and Myth.
That said, I will try to genuinely give you a fair review of this e-book.
So let’s get down to brass tacks – what is this book actually about?
What exactly is Vince Gironda: Legend and Myth?
This is a 334 page eBook authored by Alan Palmieri. This is not a “how-to” cookie cutter exercise manual like you would normally get with this type of literature – although it is crammed full of exercise and nutritional advice, almost directly from the lips of Vince himself.
What do I mean by this?
Well, this book culminates years of phone conversations and letters between Alan Palmieri and Vince Gironda and on a number of varied topics concerning Alan’s own training. And it is a surprisingly complete list of topics.
And in this way the shape of the narrative in this book is not laid out in a “step-by-step” way. Even though this book could radically enhance your training it is not strictly a training manual. I see it as training manual/novel/biography hybrid. And I’m being serious when I say this!
Who is Alan Palmieri?
Alan Palmieri has a diverse background. In addition to being a five term mayor he has credentials in the field of business as well as politics. He operates his own business and has held positions in corporate management.
At one time the owner operator of a 30,000 square foot gym, one of the largest and best equipped in the southeast. For about two years he operated his own Karate / Self Defense studio. He wrestled professionally for a short while and worked as a bouncer and bodyguard.
Over the years he has trained countless individuals and has conducted seminars and lectures on bodybuilding, as well as being the author of several published articles, courses and bodybuilding publications. He has appeared in various magazines and newsletters on bodybuilding and has appeared on TV as well as being interviewed on the radio.
Why is this an important book?
The hint is in the title. Much of what we know now of Vince Gironda is rapidly becoming mythic.
While the training methods of the huge majority of muscle building experts (whether fact or fiction), of the “Golden Age” of bodybuilding, were widely dispersed in many publications, Vince’s methods were so unconventional that they didn’t receive nearly as much publicity.
Whether down to his cantankerous persona, his unwavering contrary stance on many bodybuilding conventions or basically just his lack of interest in the widespread distribution of his training methods, a lot of Vince’s knowledge was lost when his gym closed in 1995.
Alan Palmieri has resurrected an important part of bodybuilding history and a particularly effective form of bodybuilding training by creating this book and it deserves the attention of the bodybuilding and indeed the greater strength training public.
What topics does this book cover?
Well, it’s pretty much everything bodybuilding related. Palmieri covers everything from nutrition, workout routines, Vince’s philosophy on pretty much everything and a stack of insight on what Vince Gironda was like as an individual. To give you an idea here is a partial shot of the contents below and this is just the first twenty percent of the book! (Click to enlarge)
So what do I think?
If I was buying a training manual, I would give this book only an average grade en though it is crammed with training tips and information. As a training manual alone it isn’t organized and doesn’t follow a linear plan of attack.
But it’s so much more than just a training manual. It’s a piece of history that gives us an insight into the “Golden Age” of bodybuilding and the real characters that trained at that time.
I’m not nor ever will be a bodybuilder. I’m by definition a strength generalist. But there are workout routines in this book that I wouldn’t hesitate to add to my yearly training schedule – especially in the interest of effective fat loss.
Vince Gironda and his methods are fast becoming myth in the 21st century. So for a book that is a complete package of training, nutrition, biography and history, I would have to give this product a 4 star rating.