FitMag has the absolute honour of bringing to you one of bodybuilding’s ultimate legends, Mr. Vince Taylor! It doesn’t get much bigger than this. First of all I just want to get some past history on you Vince, for our readers. I think your first every competition is a great place to start, considering the store! So start off with Mr. Berlin in the 1983! If I am not mistake, you won the whole thing as a heavyweight at 170lbs! Take us through that.
(Laughs) I went to park in the car lot around the back of theatre, but then I got into a car wreck right there. This happened right in front of the entrance, and the police took about 2 minutes but it felt like forever. When the police came we sorted it out and then we drove off, about 150 feet away we pull up to an inter-section, I look over my shoulder before pulling off but the guy in front didn’t pull off (laughs again) and I went straight into the back of him. That’s two accidents in less than seven minutes! Finally I managed to park the vehicle across the street from the venue, I ran in through the entrance and the show is ready to begin and I’m just sitting around waiting for the classes to go by. At this point my friend was with me who was in the heavyweight division and we are just sat down watching and watching. Then all of sudden something dawned on me, I started thinking man these guys look like my class. So I got up and went behind stage and heard this guy screaming my name out, ‘where is Vince Taylor?’ and he said my class was on stage now. Then he told me its over for you, you can go home right now! I thought after months of dieting on damn tuna and corn I’m not having this, so he told me I can get into the next class which happened to be the heavyweight class, so I thought why not and won!!!
What a great story! You turned pro in 1988 at the NPC nationals?
Ye I won my card that year and went on to my first pro win at the ‘Night of Champions’ in New York. That was the leap from the nationals to the pros right there for me.
In 1990 you released your video ‘Getting Pumped’! Was this more unique for a bodybuilder to do this back then?
This was certainly unique for me in regards to my exposure to the fan world. However the video wasn’t very good in fact, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing with this kind of thing back then.
What are the highlights of your career on a competitive note?
In regards to a show it would have to be the Arnold Classic, it was tremendous!
For sure and your robotic posing routine was phenomenal, that will always live on as one of the legendary moments of bodybuilding. What was your best placing at the Mr. Olympia?
At my first Mr. Olympia I took 3rd place and I achieved this again a few more times but that was as far as I got, but at least I got a taste of the top 3. At that point in time you were never going to beat the current Mr. Olympia.
Do you feel you should have won the Mr. Olympia at all?
No absolutely not. It was at a time where I was still in a development stage, I had only been training properly for 3 years and I believe you need at least 5 years to build a solid foundation.
How many times did you compete at the Arnold?
I competed 4 times at the Arnold, of course I wont it once. However I was really really really disappointed to have come second to Kevin Levrone, I knew I had won that one no question in my mind, yet I lost buy 1 point. At the time I was having conversations with Joe Weider and he said if you’re out of contract that can mean you lose at the show and that is exactly what happened!!!
So you obviously feel politics played a part there?
O ye, major, I mean major!
That’s always unfortunate when an athlete deserves a better placing but politics won’t allow for it. Do you plan on competing again any time soon?
Let me tell you I really want to. I tried to make a comeback in 2006, at the Mr. Olympia where I cracked the top 10 and it felt great. Then I went out to Australia in 2008 for a qualifier, and when I got back I injured my back. For the next 17 months I was messed up, I couldn’t compete, I could only train half the intensity but I was qualified for the 2008 Mr. O and wanted to go. However my back just wouldn’t allow it so I’m done.
That’s a shame; it would be great to see you back up there some day soon. How do you think the package presented on stage today has changed since you were in your prime?
I have heard that from many of the guys. The way I see it, I feel the athletes have excelled in regards to the quality. However, I blame the system because at the moment there is no certain criteria for them so the ‘horse is running lose’! In the 90s what we all had was aesthetic physiques, different but aesthetic.
How do you feel about this and where do you see it taking the sport?
As I said there is no rules for the guys to follow, and now you have them pushing the limits playing the mass gain card. But the problem with that is of course is that you have serious case of these top pros with distended midsections. Man I think there should be a rule or something, if you can’t fit this belt around your gut you can’t compete!
Something has to give to allow the sport to gain more respect and to attract more athletes. Back in the day what was your prefered style of training? Why?
From the very beginning it was always a method of push and pull training, it was never a case of heavy weight. It was more about keeping control of the weight for me and focusing on the muscle. For sure there were guys around at the time throwing around some tonnage but I said I don’t need that.
How does your training compare now?
It’s similar for sure but it’s got to a point where I have had to fine tune it. I have had to put more focus on it because of my back in order to allow myself to continue, which I call a ‘’joint rotation and contraction.’’ In the mist of all of this I devised a handheld training device which let me tell you Adam, is CRAZY! This training system all came about from my preparation for the Mr. Olympia return so I know it works and in fact I used this technique to train every body part.
That will be an interesting concept to see bro! How strong are you and what are some of your best lifts?
Personally for me I accept that heavy duty training worked for the likes of Dorian Yates, but I’m in a different realm where I believe repetition after repetition works best for me. This is because in order for the muscle to grow I believe you need to gain a full muscle contraction and force feed the muscles with blood in order for them to get in the right nutrients. So I am not a heavy trainer and never was, I mean my bench press was maybe 315lbs, military press 200lbs and I used to bomb the hell out of leg presses because I couldn’t squat! I never lifted huge weights but my muscles always seemed to react.
The old saying, it isn’t what you can lift but what you look like you can lift aye?
That’s it right there baby, look like you can turn the building over but of course you can’t.
What nutrition plan has worked best for you in the past and present?
I’m probably the worst one and my wife can testify that!!! I was never a bodybuilder with a 7-8 meal eating plan but instead perhaps 3-4 at the most and that was a good day. Most days I wouldn’t even eat breakfast man! I loved beef a lot though, but never a big eater all the way through my life. I was never a student of nutrition, maybe if I had of been I could have been great one day (laughs)!
I genuinely cannot believe that, that’s crazy to think what you achieved without a solid nutrition plan. However, I did hear that you were potentially the most genetically gifted pro of all time!!! When you were in your prime the supplement market was no where near as advanced, which supplements did you use?
I dabbled, but I would never take in the everyday protein supplements. Maybe for 2 weeks then I would forget about them and leave them in the closet. I was never a big supplement taker and I can honestly say that.
Again, amazing! Do you feel the new supplements today make a big difference?
Absolutely, I feel that the supplements available today work very well! I believe if you take it religiously you will benefit from it, this stuff is no joke. In fact, I would say it is a fundamental part of been an athlete today. Times have moved on and the stuff you get today compared to my day is so much better!
Right there is something on your history and views. Now let’s talk about you and your future plans.
Well I’m trying to get this J.R.C Principle out there man, its keeping me busy and it could potentially be HUGE! It’s that good.
Yes indeed! What are your plans for the future in terms of bodybuilding?
Using my J.R.C training principles, coming out and speaking on this and promoting bodybuilding in that atmosphere would be great. It’s a level where I can speak to people and help promote the sport. For me to speak about something there has to be a platform at which I can reach out to people, to make it work.
Do you feel bodybuilding is a good and healthy lifestyle for youngsters to get into?
Absolutely! I believe everything we try and do in a physical nature is something which every other sport needs! They need what we do in the gym whatever their sport may be. I think the image of our sport is not good and will never be accepted completely by the general public though, which is why we need to focus on fixing the criteria for bodybuilding today.
Hopefully it is soon. Once again I would like to thank you for this brilliant opportunity and for sharing your brilliant history and knowledge with our FitMag readers. We will certainly hook up again the future to catch up bro!
Thank you for the opportunity, I love the site, and I love what you guys are doing!