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Old 08-08-2011, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Did Reg Park use steroids?

Long time lurker first time poster. I am curious if Reg Park was always natural or if he ever used steroids. I have done some research and it all points to natural but in some pictures he looks as big as Arnold.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:48 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I assume this is one of the images you are referencing?

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Yes thats one of the images.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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Here's a quote from Casey Butt:

Quote:
Some athletes' careers from the era, such as Reg Park's, do span the introduction of steroids into bodybuilding. In Park's case, he weighed 226 lbs when he won the Mr. Britain title in 1949, 214 lbs when he won the Mr. Universe title in 1951, 215 lbs when he won it the second time in 1958, and 216 lbs when he placed 3rd in 1971 (at age 43 - he returned again in 1973 to place 2nd). If Park did jump on the steroid bandwagon when he learned of them in 1960, then they produced one pound of muscle in 11 years for him.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Here's a quote from Casey Butt:

Quote:
Some athletes' careers from the era, such as Reg Park's, do span the introduction of steroids into bodybuilding. In Park's case, he weighed 226 lbs when he won the Mr. Britain title in 1949, 214 lbs when he won the Mr. Universe title in 1951, 215 lbs when he won it the second time in 1958, and 216 lbs when he placed 3rd in 1971 (at age 43 - he returned again in 1973 to place 2nd). If Park did jump on the steroid bandwagon when he learned of them in 1960, then they produced one pound of muscle in 11 years for him.
BTB, Casey doesnt present the full picture in this case. Let me put out a few numbers that I knew of to add to Casey's post. Here is a trend in Reg Parks weight change.

Early 1950s -
1950: Steve Reeves, 6'1", 213 lbs (source - Measurements of the first 15 Mr Americas)

1951: Reg Park, 6'2", 225 lbs (source - http://musclememory.com/show.php?s=Reg+Park&g=M from 1951 "Your Physique" cover under the magazine articles heading)

1956: Reg Park, 6'2", 230 lbs (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time)

1965: Reg Park, 6'1.5", 235 lbs (source - Measurements of Mr Universe Contestants)

1967: Arnold Schwarzenegger, 6'2", 245 lbs (source - same as above). Arnold stayed at this weight roughly throughout his career for contests, although his off-season weight has been known to go up to 265 lbs. Despite turning up around 245 lbs almost every time in 70s, he made improvements in conditioning (and presumably this meant some increases in lean body mass too).

1967: Reg Parks, 247 lbs (while training with the York group) (source - http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/regpark2.htm)

1971: Reg Parks, 216 lbs (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time). He mentioned that this was a big mistake on his part in cutting weight that year.

Reg Parks: Biggest ever - 250 lbs (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time)

I mentioned Steve Reeves 1950 measurements since that was when steroids were yet to appear in USA, and these measurements were presumably natural. I mentioned Arnold's stats, since he is a known steroid user from the 1960s and 70s era.

Incidentally, with stats being bandied around in this post, it is interesting to notice how difficult it is to get 20" arms in bodybuilding. The official records have Arnold taping in the 19.75" to 20.5" arms (20.5" @ 245 lbs), while Weider put out the 22" figure in his magazines. Reg Park had to go up to 250lbs in order to tape 20" biceps. Kind of puts a whole new perspective on the subject of "big" arms in muscular, fairly ripped conditions.

By the way, if anyone is interested for the first part of Reg Park interview from Bob Whelan's site, here is the link - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time

I will concede that all these sources I presented are from the interwebz. Knowing the internet, it is entirely possible that Casey had a better and more reliable source and his numbers might be more accurate. But, given the pictures of Arnold and Reg Parks together, I am more inclined to believe the numbers I put out).

Last edited by kitarpyar; 08-08-2011 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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I would give the nod to Casey's research regarding 1951.

Regarding his weight during 1967, etc., I have no idea what his conditioning was like so I hesitate to comment.

Quote:
Incidentally, with stats being bandied around in this post, it is interesting to notice how difficult it is to get 20" arms in bodybuilding.
It is very difficult. For a natural it won't happen unless he's very tall and/or has added bodyfat.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitarpyar View Post
BTB, Casey doesnt present the full picture in this case. Let me put out a few numbers that I knew of to add to Casey's post. Here is a trend in Reg Parks weight change.
You're right - I did leave out details in that article ...Park's weight was just a side-line, not the purpose of the thing, so I didn't delve into it deeply. What you have to keep in mind here are onstage vs. off-season conditions. I'll run down through them and add any comments I have that might help...

Quote:
Early 1950s -
1950: Steve Reeves, 6'1", 213 lbs (source - Measurements of the first 15 Mr Americas)
This measurement was actually taken the night of the contest, so it was Reeves' accurate onstage weight.

Quote:
1951: Reg Park, 6'2", 225 lbs (source - Park, Reg from 1951 "Your Physique" cover under the magazine articles heading)
This was from a Weider magazine, so it was probably just made up by Chas Smith. Having said that, Park's off-season weight in the 1950's was generally in the 225-230 lb range.

Quote:
1956: Reg Park, 6'2", 230 lbs (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time)
This weight was taken by Ray Beck in Vancouver during an exhibition in 1956 and reported later in an Iron Man article. I consider this accurate - though Park was listed as being 6'1" in the actual article, not 6'2". There are photos of him from this time ...though he certainly wasn't fat, he wasn't quite in contest shape either. Two years later he was 215-218 onstage at the Mr. Universe.

Quote:
1965: Reg Park, 6'1.5", 235 lbs (source - Measurements of Mr Universe Contestants)
This was Park's heaviest weight in the lead-in to the 1965 Mr. Universe contest - which he self-reported on the contest's entry form. (Incidentally, he listed 19.5" as his arm size at that weight.) He was actually 222 lbs onstage ...and not quite as sharp as his 1950's conditions. Park has said this himself in interviews and articles from the time.

Quote:
1967: Arnold Schwarzenegger, 6'2", 245 lbs (source - same as above). Arnold stayed at this weight roughly throughout his career for contests, although his off-season weight has been known to go up to 265 lbs. Despite turning up around 245 lbs almost every time in 70s, he made improvements in conditioning (and presumably this meant some increases in lean body mass too).
Schwarzenegger self-reported his contest weight to be 245 lbs for his shows, but I'm not certain of the truth of those claims. During the filming of Pumping Iron he was weighed at 225 lbs backstage at the 1975 Mr. Olympia. I also personally heard Lou Ferrigno confirm this at a seminar in the mid-1990s. So there's probably a reason Park and Schwarzenegger looked to be roughly the same size in the late 1960's - probably the same height (considering most people believe Schwarzenegger's claim of 6'2" is slightly exaggerated), and fairly close in weight ...with Schwarzenegger being 5-10 lbs heavier than Park, but on a smaller bone structure.

Quote:
1967: Reg Parks, 247 lbs (while training with the York group) (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time)
Probably true. Park himself has said that he let himself get heavy in the off-season from time to time ...but also too smooth for photos.

Quote:
1971: Reg Parks, 216 lbs (source - Reg Park - A Hercules for Our Time). He mentioned that this was a big mistake on his part in cutting weight that year.
Park, and others, have reported his 216-lb 1971 weight in numerous articles/magazines, so I have no reason to disbelieve it. His more typical contest weight in the early 1970s was 222 lb ...as in 1965. But again, he was no sharper at 222 in the 1960's/70's than he was at 225 for the 1957 Mr. USA guest posing, which is considered his all-time best conditioning (the next year, 1958, he was 215 to 218 for the Mr. Universe contest [Oscar Heidenstam weighed him at 218 that night, though the show published 215] - a little sharper, but not quite as "impressive").

So comparing roughly similar body-fat to body-fat conditions, Park's best weights were in the 215-225 range, peaking in 1957. To my knowledge, Park has never stepped onstage at a major show at more than 225 lbs. The heavier weights are off-season or the rare guest appearance.

Here is Park in 1952 and 1972 for comparison. No increase in size to my eyes. In fact, he was better in '52 (and also 20 years younger).



Quote:
Incidentally, with stats being bandied around in this post, it is interesting to notice how difficult it is to get 20" arms in bodybuilding. The official records have Arnold taping in the 19.75" to 20.5" arms (20.5" @ 245 lbs), while Weider put out the 22" figure in his magazines. Reg Park had to go up to 250lbs in order to tape 20" biceps. Kind of puts a whole new perspective on the subject of "big" arms in muscular, fairly ripped conditions.
Personally, I don't trust 99% of the available stats with respect to Schwarzenegger simply because they were given during Weider's golden reign of sensationalism and commercialism in bodybuilding. At the 1967 NABBA Mr. Universe, he self-reported his weight as 245 lbs and 20.5" arms ...but we all know Schwarzenegger doesn't necessarily tell the truth, now don't we? Arthur Jones publicly claimed to have measured Schwarzenegger's right arm at under 20" in the late 1960's ..."Schwarzenegger's arm was 19 7/8, slightly pumped – probably 19 1/2 "cold"."

Last edited by Casey Butt; 08-08-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #9
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I was going to say something, but I think it has been pretty much covered.
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Old 08-08-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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My brother met Arnold once in the 90's. He said he was suprised to realize that he was taller than Arnold. Not by much, but still it was the biggest thing he noticed, considering on the big screen Arnie looks easily 6' +.

My brother is Under 5'11.
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