Rx Muscle: What would you say you’re most remembered for in your bodybuilding career? Most people know you, but tell us about some of your accolades in the iron world.
ER: I think most people remember me by the eighty- five covers I appeared on during my pro career which gave me tremendous exposure worldwide. And to tell you more about my accolades in the iron world… hmmmm, where do I start?
Let me take you to the beginning of time, I started lifting as a teen when I played football and boxed the Golden Gloves in Akron, Ohio. All through high school I enjoyed pushing heavy weight with the dream to play for Ohio State and hopefully have a pro football career. During that time I focused on strength training and started entering power meets and strong man events, where I set the power lifting platform on fire.
In 1983, I was going for a world record squat of 875 lbs. when I injured my lower back and my dream to take the teen world record in the squat had to take a back seat. I decided to take the world record lying down instead. I broke the teen world record in the bench press 220 lbs. class with a bench of 575 lbs. Then two months later I won the Teen Mr. USA. Later that night after the Teen USA, I got a call from the 'Master Blaster' himself Joe Weider, asking me to fly out to Woodland Hills, California, where we spoke about football and my dream playing for Ohio State to a lucrative contract representing Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and Weider Nutrition.
We sat in his back yard discussing the pros and cons of playing football versus competing and being a spokesmodel for Weider publications and nutrition. Joe said, "I'll give you three years if you’re lucky playing fullback for Ohio State compared to just getting in shape competing once a year being a spokesperson/model for the publications and nutrition lines."
Joe offered to train me and educate me to be the best of my genetic potential by using his Weider Principles, knowing I already was using the Eddie Robinson principles that earned me Teen Mr. USA, Jr. Nationals where I beat out Shawn Ray and earned my world records in the bench press. After a few days of discussing my future in the sport and enjoying my time spent with Joe and Betty Weider in their beautiful home, Joe sat me down and offered me a four-year contract.
After the week of discussions and listening to Joe's stories, seeing his heart's passion and dedication to the health and fitness industry, I accepted his offer with honor. Needless to say, my dream of being a pro football player changed gears during my teen years.
(Eddie and Joe Contracted 1983-2002)
In 1986, I then went on to take another record of 575 pound bench to a final lift of 610. I remember Dr. Fred Hatfield telling me, "Damn son, you just broke the world record in the 220 class." Later that month, Fred Hatfield aka "Dr. Squat" wrote a kickass article on me for Muscle & Fitness called "Strong Roots, The Eddie Robinson Story".
Mr. Joe Weider's offer was the wind in my sails to go on and win the Men's Mr. USA, my first pro show – the Canadian Cup Gold's Classic. I then went on to compete in the Olympia, Night of the Champions, Arnold Classic, European Grand Prix.
I also won the Panama Jack World Arm Wrestling Championships. Some of my greatest highlights of my 13 competitive years as an IFBB Pro were being featured on over 85 covers and 360 training articles. After retiring in 2002, I decided to be a coach to dedicate my time and passion to helping other athletes reach their dreams and to achieve their full genetic potential and teach them to be their best, no matter what the sport or training protocol.
I share my scientific approach to diet, training, and nutrition as I have learned from the greatest legends in the world of Muscle &Fitness. I trained under some of the best trainers in the industry and I owe it all to Mr. Joe Weider aka "The Master Blaster"; Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and Hammer Strength and Master of H.I.T. training; Dr. Fred Hatfield aka "Dr. Squat" and founder of the ISSA (International Sports Science Association); and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, world power lifting champion and editor of the Metabolic Diet.
Pasquale also dedicated to helping Olympic athletes compete without the use of performance enhancing drugs. This training and knowledge enabled me to put a mark in the power lifting and bodybuilding world.
Rx Muscle: Do you still follow the bodybuilding circuit and, if so, whose physiques do you most admire?
ER. I don't really follow the Pro bodybuilding circuit much anymore as I'm currently more focused on today’s amateur level athletes as I train and do online contest prep worldwide dialing athletes in and working with their diet and training, customizing a custom training protocol based on their strengths and weaknesses, bringing up lagging body parts in order to bring a winning package to the stage.
RX Muscle: You have been on over eighty-five magazine covers. Do you have a favorite?
ER: So many are my favorite. This is going to be a hard one. I would have to say my favorite would be the one on my Harley that Vince McMahon got me when I signed my four-year endorsement contract with the WBF… which is another story :) The two hardcore Flex Magazine covers I did with Rich Gaspari. Then I would have to say the two covers of Muscle & Fitness with the amazing Monica Brant and Jamie Bergman, which were both listed as two of the most popular Muscle & Fitness issues of all time.
Here are a few others to remember the 1990s through 2002
(Above is my #1 Fan, my son Seth Robinson, holding the December 2013 issue of Flex Magazine where I was listed as the Strongest IFBB Pro in the history of the sport.)
(Above is the May 2006 issue of Flex listing me as the world’s strongest teen and IFBB pro past and present listing teen and men's world records along with teen and Men's Mr. USA.)
Rx Muscle: What is your life like now? What's a typical day like and how is it different from when you competed?
ER: My life is rather busy raising my son, training him, along with football practices every night. When I'm not on the field with my son I'm working with my clients doing weekly diet programs and training routines in-season contest prep and off-season strength training.
I also do a lot of skyping choreographing posing routines to fit their body type… displaying their body at its very best, hiding any weaknesses along with drilling them perfecting mandatory poses and quarter turns to display their physiques at it very best.
It's critical to know how to pose and display their physiques in a line-up as many have such great symmetry but don't place high or get a second look or call-out because they just don't know how to stand on stage presenting their hard work. So by skyping I can run them through quarter turns and mandatory posing, polishing them to be stage-ready with flawless posing along with looking at their physiques, monitoring their diet, and adjusting their training.
The weekends are my personal time… as lately are spent relaxing, fishing, and watching football with my son and girlfriend, enjoying some well-earned sudz. (Beer!)
Rx Muscle: If you could go back in time and change one thing about your training or diet what would it be and why?
ER: in all honestly I wouldn't change a thing. I was taught and trained by the best in the industry so my training and diet was point on. However, I do feel as a teen attempting world records did hinder my bodybuilding career due to so many injuries per rips, muscle tears and sprains. To this day, I still wake up with the pain of the iron game from punishing the steel daily and often asked if I had the chance today to do it all again my answer would be "Hell Yeah!" Even though I wake up with aches and daily pain in lower back and shoulders, I still go in the gym daily to remind the steel who's BOSS! To my full body's potential.
Rx Muscle: How would you compare the fitness industry today compared to the 90s? What about the 70s and 80s?
ER: Let me start off with the 70/80's when bodybuilding was breaking ground in popularity worldwide thanks to the amazing greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva, Lou Ferrigno, Frank Zane, Tom Platz, just to name a few. All had great physiques on different spectrums. Arnold had size and balance. With his perfect balance and symmetry: broad shoulders, wide back, and small waist he knew how to pose gracefully displaying his strengths which made it impossible to beat when standing next to in comparisons, as his mass stood out of the line-up.The much smaller bodybuilder, Frank Zane, was the only one to beat Arnold because of his flawless symmetry, muscle tone, and balance. Zane brought the word "shredded" to the stage with his signature vacuum pose (arms overhead, pulling his abdominal wall to his spine). That was mind blowing, showing his ripped serratus anterior and obliques.Sergio Oliva was one of the mass monsters with his famous Olivia arms overhead pose, forming a V with his fists pointed outward while showing his massive forearms and biceps. All these different body types were pleasant to the eye and all unique individually bringing different looks to the IFBB stage. I recall talking to Joe many times during my visits with him at his Woodland Hills home, drinking coffee on his patio by the pool where we discussed the changing of times regarding the sport. Joe pointed out how the new pros of the 80's into the 90's kinda mirrored the old school pros. Arnold and Zane brought two different physiques and symmetry to the stage, standing side by side same as the late 80's-90's next to the great Lee Haney and Lee Labrada. I concurred with Joe that it was a mirror of Arnold and Zane, which Joe pointed out and stated that it made a great playing field, because at that time you didn't have to be a mass monster to win. Zane was the only one to beat Arnold and Labrada second to Haney, even though Zane and Labrada were much smaller in comparison to Arnold and Haney. It set the stage and proved that anyone big or small could win the Olympia. It wasn't based on mass, but more of a total package. It was about bringing a work of art to the stage that was pleasing to the eye and was achievable.
The 90's were the greatest of all time because most every pro athlete had a very lucrative endorsement contract. I was with Joe Weider, others were with the numerous nutrition lines. We were all booked guest posings, gym nutrition store grand openings, and attended shows. We would make a couple grand just signing photos. I'm very grateful and honored to be listed as one of the top 10 pro bodybuilders in the 80's and 90's with some of the great athletes such as Lee Haney, Rich Gaspari, Lee Labrada, Mike Christian, Shawn Ray, Gary Strydom, Dorian Yates, and Paul Dillett. Now to compare that to the last seven years… you won't see a physique like Frank Zane in an arms overhead vacuum any longer nor will you see a 176 lbs. athlete like Lee Labrada placing second in the Olympia anymore. The amazing flawless physiques of the past like Berry de Mey, Bob Paris, and Labrada are long gone. There is only one size and that's HUGE to the ultimate extreme, where muscle is on top of muscle and even where some doesn't even belong. It's now a freak show and is the reason why we now have new divisions such as Men's Physique, Bikini, and Figure that are keeping the sport alive. I'm going to end by stating Joe was a genius; he built an empire on the sport and was the godfather. Joe Weider "Master Blaster" sold millions in nutritional products and sold billions in publications such as Muscle & Fitness and FLEX.
(This is what the mass monsters of the early 90s looked like)
In 2002, my world stood still. Joe called me to fly out to Woodland Hills, California to talk to me about his future in the industry. We sat once again on the patio by the pool. He told me he was selling his publications to AMI. When I asked why, he stated that he saw the future of the sport changing. With the drop in sales distribution, and the new breed of bodybuilding mass monsters were not quite as marketable and they weren't increasing the sales to the average bodybuilding enthusiast.
I then told Joe, “You are bodybuilding. You lived it, breathed it, slept it, and made it what it is today! You can't sell and not be in control of the sports publications!" Joe told me he had to because he's not in control of the athletes and the sport had gotten out of control. If he was leaving I told him I'm retiring. So I did and decided to dedicate myself to training athletes as Joe once did. To educate them on cutting edge diet, nutrition, and training… building future champions! I'm "TEAM V FULLY LOADED." Putting the V in Victory.
Rx Muscle: How do you see the future of the fitness industry?
ER: The future of the fitness industry will always keep growing and changing to meet the times. There are so many great athletes from bodybuilding, Figure, Men's and Women's Physique, and Bikini. It will keep growing by leaps and bounds. The Men's Physique is getting very popular as well as the Figure and Bikini divisions. I get more requests to coach Men's Physique and Bikini athletes than I do bodybuilding here at Team V and I feel this shows the current direction of the industry.
Rx Muscle: I heard you’re training different clients with new techniques. Would you tell us about some of your training methods? What can your clients expect when it comes to training?
ER: Yes, I train clients nationally and internationally with a variation of techniques. What can my clients expect? RESULTS!! My training protocol depends on the person and their individual goals, whether it be weight loss, building, toning, strength training, specific sports training, or competitive bodybuilding, Men's Physique, Bikini, or Figure. I use a cutting edge scientific approach to all levels of diet, training, contest prep, and photo shoot prep. From carb loading and depletion to water manipulation to being rock hard and stage ready. I give my clients all my secrets that I have learned during my career. My diets are customized depending on the individual by depletion, water, nitrogen, and carb manipulation to keep them looking full without water retention. These are the same protocols I used to be at my best when shooting my 85 career covers using my scientific approach. Since my teen years and during my career I have trained under the guidance and direction of Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, and Dr. Fred Hatfield from 1983 - 2002. I key on a variation of training protocols from H.I.T. training that I mastered from the great Arthur Jones, strength training from Dr. Fred Hatfield and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, and diet and nutrition from Joe Weider, along with numerous variations of drop sets and super sets by overloading and training both the red and white muscle fibers in the same set getting the full benefit of muscle growth and adequate recuperation time. "To learn more about my scientific approach to diet, training and contest prep please visit my site at www.teamvictoryinc.com and FB teamvictoryinc for free cutting edge advice giving you the tools necessary to set the stage on fire." Team "V" Placing the "V" in Victory.
Rx Muscle: You made it to the top level in bodybuilding and in the world of power! Which world was harder to make it to the top in? How did you train differently for both worlds?
ER: I would say the power lifting was the hardest to be on top. It took intense training, dedication, commitment, and discipline. I had to push my body to new limits of strength to be better and stronger than the day before… to press on with the no holds barred attitude and to excel and be the best of my genetic potential. I was focused and I accomplished it in the Iron Game. I had the turkey, now all I had to do was carve it. And that I also did. I set the bodybuilding world on fire, displaying the power with grace. Etching the hard earned mass developed and built by punishing the IRON to hell’s end, transforming and becoming a mound of hard earned twisted steel with a hell of a lot of sex appeal.
RX Muscle: How do you see the future of the industry?
ER: I see a positive future of the industry as the Arnold Classic and the Olympia keep growing every year. It's good to see the women's division growing by leaps and bounds with Bikini, Figure, Physique along with the Men's Physique which all are keeping the sport alive. If the sport were to be like the old days with just Bodybuilding and Fitness, there wouldn't be a snowball’s chance in hell it would survive. Don't get me wrong, today's bodybuilders are losing interest and just don't want to do what it takes to be in today's bodybuilding line-up. This is one reason why you see the Men's Physique growing by leaps and bounds in the amateur world along with Women's Physique, Figure, and Bikini.
(What the 1990 Olympia looked like! Yeah, that's Ronnie Colman in the background minus 40 pounds from the 2000's.)
Rx Muscle: What was it like knowing Vince McMahon? Name five people in the industry that you met who have really inspired you.
ER: It was a great pleasure and experience working with Vince McMahon. He is an athlete at heart and a marketing genius. The empire he made building the WWE and scouting out the best athletes, making them into characters was ingenious making it a billion dollar industry. I feel if Vince McMahon would have concentrated on the WBF as much he did with the WWE, it would be more entertaining and more in demand than today opening the doors for more endorsements and shows. The WBF was based not only on great physiques but showmanship.
The people whom inspired and had an impact on my life were #1 Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, Vince McMahon, Dr. Fred Hatfield, and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. Most of my career I have been trained under the guidance and direction of these legends in the fitness industry. It was an education that is simply priceless and it was a great honor becoming friends with these men.
Joe Weider was like a father to me since a teenager and had a great impact in my life not only as my mentor and trainer but as a great friend to me and my family. Joe and I had a lot of great times working together as an endorsed athlete (1983-2002) for Weider Nutrition, Muscle & Fitness and Flex publications.
Joe and I always kept in contact and spoke often about the sport and how my kids were doing until the day he died (March 23, 2013). That was one of the saddest days of my life, as I lost a great friend whom educated me not only in the iron game, but gave me sound advice in life in general.
Rx Muscle: What are your 10 quick tips to a world class bench max?
ER: I will make this question quite simple, as it relates to both power lifting and bodybuilding. Please read the question below that starts off with "BALLS".
Rx Muscle: What are your 10 tips to a world class physique?
ER: I can sums that up in one word, BALLS: Defined as pushing yourself to no limits. Where there is no finish line and no last rep, to have determination, dedication, and commitment to be the best. Most of all, to program oneself to become the greatest of their genetic potential! If you only set your sights to beat the competition, and when you do, then who in the hell are you going beat? The answer is yourself. So I always strived to better myself, to beat myself at all times, and to become better and greater than the day before.
The tips I got from Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, and the men mentioned above were the fuel to my desire and drive. My goal was absorb and listen to their words that they spoke with such passion and sound advice to the scientific approaches to diet, training and nutrition and then to apply all their advice to myself!
I was a sponge and absorbed all the clinicals and information to set the world of iron on fire. To have that "No holds barred" attitude, dedication, commitment. To make my mark and to be "FULLY LOADED" with passion and fire that was handed down to me from these legends above in order to become one.
Rx Muscle: How are your son and family?
ER: I appreciate this question most of all and thank you for asking as family comes first. Family is the nucleus for one's success. If your home life is great, you become great. However, this can be a book on its own for me as I raised two children on my own.
Not only am I a dad, I'm a damn good mom also and have had the greatest pleasure watching them grow. As I matter of fact, right now I'm sitting at the Countryside Cougars football field watching my son practice while replying to this interview. My family is great. My daughter is now grown and on her own, so now it's just Seth and I and I can't leave out Kelly Lynn, my girlfriend and also a coach, who's making me shine these days even brighter. We have so much in common, both helping athletes nationwide reach their fitness goals, aiding in reaching their full body's potential.
(Eddie's girlfriend – Coach Kelly Lynn)
Teaching athletes to be the best they can, whether it be on the field or setting the bodybuilding and fitness stage on fire. We currently work with athletes nationwide with TEAM "V" which stands for VICTORY. We added "FULLY LOADED" as we educate our athletes. Teaching them sound clinical training advice customized to their body's genetic structure and having the proper tools to be the best they can genetically be. Making them "FULLY LOADED."
Rx Muscle: What are you up to these days?
ER: I'm currently active raising my son Seth, enjoying football games and practices along with working with all my clients at TEAM "V" which keeps me extremely busy. I am always writing out diet plans, training plans, along with peak week and contest prep.
I get great pleasure dialing my clients in for shows and working with these athletes as it keeps me living my dream as I did half of my life on the bodybuilding stage. I'm also working on numerous ebooks on contest prep, diet, training from A to Z, sharing all my knowledge that I used during my pro career. I've been dedicating a lot of my time working on my http://www.teamvictoryinc.com site where I outline all of my diet prep that won me the America, USA, along with my 12-year IFBB Pro career along with diet and training for power and strength that I used breaking my world records as well as training around injuries which I became accustomed to during my career.
I'm planning on launching this site the beginning of the year, being a full-time coach and helping athletes. I will be Skyping clients and helping with their posing routines, visually dialing them in. Most coaches use cookie cutter diets, but I customize each diet to the individual. Everyone is unique in their own way and need that custom diet and training protocol to fit their body's needs. I customize training based on my client’s strengths and weaknesses.
Rx Muscle: How do you want to be remembered?
ER: To be listed top of the Google search engine instead of second to Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson. LOL
Well, most people will remember me by the covers and the titles I once took; however, I wish to be remembered for the person that I am. At the end of the day people will forget about the titles and the covers, but will never forget how you made them feel. My goal is to educate, inspire, and encourage people to be the best they can be, and to do more, to be more, and to become more!
I want to remind people that you don't have to win to be a winner! The true winners in any sport are the ambassadors who are humble and set a good example of sportsmanship. To represent and be respected not only for their titles and accomplishments but for the person they are. I don't want to be remembered for the mark I made in powerlifting or bodybuilding, but for the mark I made impacting people’s life.
The second part of my life isn't any longer about setting the IFBB stage on fire nor breaking world records; the second and last part of my life will be spent being the best father and mate I can be, to dedicate myself to helping other athletes reach their genetic potential and dreams and to be the best coach helping others reach their dreams.
Rx Muscle: In closing is there any topic you would like to discuss that we didn't cover or a message you would like to offer to the workout world?
ER: Yes, my message to the workout world would be to train smart and don't spend all day in the gym. More is not better! During my career, I have learned a lot on what to do and what to not do and by combining what I felt worked best for me by mastering the training protocols and philosophy of Dr. Arthur Jones, Joe Weider, Dr. Fred Hatfield and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale and combining a variation of all four of these geniuses training protocols and theories into a custom training protocol that worked for me.
So I developed what I call my Spartan H.I.T. program that worked! It enabled me make incredible strength gains, to put on size, and dominate the Powerlifting World by taking world records in the bench along with dominating the world of bodybuilding by taking the Teen Mr. Florida, Teen Mr. USA, Teen Jr. Nationals, then the Mr. USA, Men's World Record 575/610 Bench along with my 12-year IFBB/WBF career, competing with the best in the world setting the IFBB stage on fire.
By mastering how to shock both the red and white muscle fibers in one set followed by numerous super sets exercises. This targets both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers which enabled me to get twice as big twice as fast with less time in the gym. You can read about all the training projects Arthur Jones did with me along with other pro athletes such as Sergio Oliva, Casey Viator, that both Mentzer brothers studied and passed down to other pros such as Dorian Yates.
However, My Spartan H.I.T. program is just a little different from Arthur Jones’ training protocol. For $30,000 I agreed to be a guinea pig in a project performed by Dr. Ellington Darden and Ken Hutchins and then relocated and moved with Nautilus to Plano, Texas for a 12-week project experiment to get me ready for the Nationals using the training protocol.
I used super slow movement with combination of slow speeds of lifting and lowering weight and general principals of HIT training that was used in the 1960’s by power lifters to break plateaus in their strength. This was known as muscle contraction with measured movement (MC/MM) which reduces momentum during exercise. The recommended set to achieve muscle fatigue was between 100 to 240 seconds per set and a workout should last non-longer than 30 minutes.
Research states that this type of training provides superior results compared to traditional training in as little as 10 weeks. It was hard on my body. During Dr. Darden's protocol in 12 weeks I lost quality muscle and had serious tendon and ligament strain. If I continued this training regime, it would have destroyed my ligaments and tendons and ruined my career. Training protocols were training 3 x a week, with workouts lasting no longer than 30 minutes.
Sets were i.e. chin-ups: 30 seconds up 60 seconds down, leg press: 90 seconds down 60 seconds up. Total training time for the week was 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was supposed to place in the Nationals. The bad news, I didn't. Good news was it was the quickest $30,000 I ever made in 12 weeks.
When I got back to Florida, I got a call from Dr. Arthur Jones asking me what the hell happened. I drove over to Lake Helen to see Dr. Jones and while we while we were throwing chickens in his alligator pit, we discussed what Dr. Darden had me doing. He laughed about the training protocol and he agreed in some parts and disagreed in others. I did enjoy being Dr. Arthur Jones’ experiment, training on the new leverage line later to be renamed Hammer Strength. I agreed to do another project to only use Hammer Strength equipment to get ready for the Mr. USA that I won using Dr. Jones’ HIT training customized for me using the Hammer Strength equipment.
The Leverage Line later named Hammer Strength was the absolute best developed equipment. It keeps you in the proper range of motion for targeted body parts and is ideal for the HIT training protocol. It was counterbalanced and very easy to follow Dr. Jones HIT super-set training, doing 30 second positive and negative contractions and 3/4 rep intervals that worked overloading the muscle. Hammer Strength is also amazing to rehabilitate from injury.
Rx Muscle: Anyone you want would like to thank?
ER: I would like to thank my family and friends for always being there giving me strength and the foundation needs to reach my dreams. To my fans that have followed me during my career; if it wasn't for you my achievement would be worthless. My fans gave me the fire, drive, and the determination to be the very best I could be! Joe Weider and Arthur Jones, thank you for believing in me and educating me by giving me the tools needed. Because of you it enabled me to break records and take titles. If it wasn't for Joe contracting me for most of my career, all wouldn't have been possible and I thank you. My family thanks you for enabling me to fulfill my dreams and to provide for them in the process. Joe, you were my #1 mentor, great friend and are greatly missed!
Rx Muscle: How can you be contacted?
You can go the Eddie's http://www.teamvictoryinc.com website and email Eddie on his contact page for free first-time consultation on diet, training and contest prep.