Vince Gironda Bodybuilding Conditioning Workout

Sometimes we’re in a hurry to workout.

Maybe it’s “one of those days” and rather than skipping your planned workout, you’re looking for something quick, challenging and effective.  I’ve got the perfect workout for you to try.  This is a conditioning workout that focuses on the chest, back and triceps.  You’ll do 10 sets of three different exercises.  They are:

Pull Ups

Push Ups


You can do the pull ups on a regular chinning bar, use gymnast rings, trx, or get creative with a strong handle (shovel, rake, hoe) and a couple of chairs.  Once you’ve found a safe way of doing pull ups, knock out a few for a warm up.

The next exercise is push ups.  All you need is the ground.  Make sure you use good form and go all the way down to the lowest position.  Knock out a few warm up reps of push ups.

Finally, we go to dips.  Do this off the dip bar in the gym, gymnast rings, plyometric box, a big rock or a piece of furniture.  Once you’ve settled on your way of doing dips, perform a few reps as a warm up.


Vince trained all types in his Hollywood gym including:

  • Robert Blake (TV’s “Beretta”)
  • Cher
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Denzel Washington
  • Tommy Chong
  • Brian Keith
  • James Garner
  • Erik Estrada
  • and many others

When the Hollywood studios needed to get their “star” in shape they typically would send him or her down to Vince’s Gym on Ventura Blvd in Studio City, California.

Long before Crossfit, Vince Gironda, “The Iron Guru” was doing fast, strength based exercises in circuit style fashion. Vince used the clock to challenge himself and to finish the workout in a set time. Here’s an example of a workout that Vince was doing in the late 60’s outside on some parallel bars and pull ups bars.


Warm up thoroughly before doing:

10 pull ups

10 push ups

10 dips

Do each set as if it were the only set.  Don’t rush through the workout, don’t use bad form.  Focus on squeezing the muscles during the exercise.

Repeat for 10 sets with no rest/little rest

Time to beat < 20 minutes

Note – Vince was using both pull up and parallel dipping bars. My guess is that he did push ups off of the parallel bars.

Here’s a video of me demonstrating the workout.


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