Was thumbing through the latest (January) issue of Musclemag International at the store today, and what did I find? An article on Sergio Oliva. It was an interview. Found some very interesting stuff in there...
A little bit of history first. Sergio was a 3 time Mr. Olympia. He is the only man to defeat Arnold in the Olympia, and he probably should have beaten him twice. He is ~5'10" and weighed 245 in contest shape at his best (1972). Of course contest shape then wasn't quite what it is now, but he was incredible. Check out these pics:
the above pic is from 1972---his best
Well, you get the idea, he was one of the biggest, best shaped, most amazing bodybuilders ever.
Now, the interesting part. Sergio was invited to Arthur Jones' Florida compound in the early 70s. I had read about this in some of Jones' and Ellington Darden's writings. Of course, I took whatever I read there concerning Sergio with a bit of a grain of salt, because of the obvious bias. I had subsequently read that Sergio's training was this incredibly high volume affair. This sort of thing was often used to discredit Jones and his training techniques. Basically the idea gets presented that if Jones' training was so effective, Sergio would have stayed on with it etc.
Well, surprise, surprise! I had never read an account of Sergio's training under Arthur from Sergio himself. In the previously mentioned article, I finally had the chance. So, here are a few excerpts:
"Oh man! Arthur Jones believes in high-intensity training, and just beats the crap out of you in only 20 or 25 minutes. There's no resting between exercises- you just keep going. It's the worst pain. I took a while to adjust to it plus the new machines,
but that was when I was my biggest, when I trained with Arthur [emphasis mine]. "
"In '72 I had been training with Arthur Jones. I was so big and freaky that when I saw myself in the mirror backstage, I said, 'I'm ******* huge!' Everyone knew I was the winner, even Arnold.'"
A little food for thought. For all of the people who run around saying that Arthur only espoused his beliefs to get people through his gyms faster etc. This is a recent interview. Sergio had absolutely no reason to lie about his experiences. It's not like he is under contract, or has any financial reason to do so. Sometimes the truth speaks volumes... Again, I find it ohhh so interesting that literally everything Arthur expressed in the late 60s and early 70s is now being written about as "new findings" etc. The truth just takes a while to get out, especially when money is on the line. It is also funny how many of the writers don't give Jones credit when they write about his ideas, or they say "I don't agree with Arthur Jones for the most part, but he was right about....", as if they have to somehow disassociate themselves from him even as they agree with him.