by Arthur Jones
From IronMan, January 1971, Volume 30 Number 2, visit www.ironmanmagazine.com
At one time, it was generally accepted that great size, "bulk", was
incompatible with sharp muscularity; physiques came in two distinct
styles -- the bulk of a man like Jack Delinger, Mr. America of
1949, or the extreme muscularity of a man like Elias Rodriguez, who
took third place in the Mr. America contest of 1948 (as well as the
Most Muscular Man title in the same contest) with a 14 1/2 inch
arm. And for the benefit of anybody who doubts the accuracy of
that measurement, I will add that I trained with him myself and
personally measured his arms -- with my own perfectly accurate
But even today, in spite of great evidence to the contrary, there
are still those, including many well-known top bodybuilders, who
still believe that the maximum in muscular size cannot be reached
without a resulting loss in definition, which, of course, is utter
nonsense. If, after looking at the pictures which form a part of
this article, there are still any doubts on the subject, well then
I hardly know what to add.
Look at the three photos of the literally enormous upper arm of
Casey Viator, current Teen Age Mr. America and Mr. U.S.A., then
look at the picture of his back; all four pictures were taken on
the same day, within a matter of a few minutes, outdoors under very
poor, harsh lighting conditions. These pictures were taken in
Florida on November 1st, 1970. Casey's bodyweight was 215 at a
height of 5' 8". Since Casey does not believe in quoting his
measurements, I do not feel free to say just how big his arms
really are, but I can say that they are by far the largest muscular
arms that I have ever measured, and insofar as their appearance
is concerned, they literally must be seen to be believed.
An arm's appearance of size depends on several factors; the overall
size of the man, the size of his head, the length of the arm, and
the shape of the arm. And in Casey's case, he has almost nothing
going for him in this regard. He is huge all over, and thus his
arms don't stand out over the rest of his physique. Like John
Grimek and Bill Pearl, Casey has a very large head, and especially
in pictures, this tends to make his arms look smaller than they
really are, since people subconsciously judge the size of an arm by
comparing it to a man's head. Casey's arms are actually quite long
as well, although they may appear short because of their tremendous
bulk, and this greater than average length also tends to play down
the real size of his arms; and finally, Casey's arms are extremely
thick, almost round, like John Grimek's arms, and such size does
not show in pictures.
If Casey was of average size, had an average sized head, had
average length arms, and wide, flat arms like many bodybuilders,
then his arms would literally defy belief; and they almost do
anyway, especially when seen in the flesh.
Casey has gained exactly 17 pounds of bodyweight since the time of
his sensational appearance in last June's Mr. America contest in
Los Angeles, and he has added exactly 3/4 of an inch to his already
huge arms since then. Has he done so at the expense of his
sensational muscularity. Well took at the picture of his back for
the answer to that question -- if you can take your eyes off the
pictures of his arm for a moment.
At the time of the Mr. U.S.A. contest which Casey won in
sensational fashion, together with all of the subdivisions except
best abdominals (and he took second place in best abdominals), Red
Lerille, Mr. America of 1960, and one of the judges at the Mr.
U.S.A. this year, remarked that Casey had obviously improved his
definition since the time of the Mr. America contest two months
earlier, but added that Casey "looked smaller."
Yet, at that moment, Casey was 12 pounds heavier than he was at the
time of the Mr. America contest, and his arms had gained a bit over
1/2 inch in the meantime; so he was actually larger, but to Red he
Why? Simply because, in Red's mind an increase in definition
always meant a loss in size; thus, since Casey was obviously more
muscular, he also had to be smaller.
The above, of course, is not intended as criticism of Red, who is
the possessor of a great physique, built in spite of the handicaps
of less than average height and overall size, and who of the real
experts on the subject of weight training, and a man that I am
proud to consider a personal friend. It is, instead, merely
intended to show that even a man such as Red, can be misled into
seeing something that isn't there; and I have been guilty of the
same sort of mistake, repeatedly.
By and large, all of us see what expect to see; or, as in this
case, we see one thing and it leads us to think that we also saw
(or failed to see) something else simply because the human mind
tends to relate things in groups, or pairs.
In weight-training circles, one such pair of mentally related
characteristics has always been "size and smoothness," and another
has been "great definition and a lack of size."
But so long as additional weight -- or "bulk" -- is added in the
form of an increase in muscular tissue, rather than intramuscular
subcutaneous fatty tissue, then such an increase in size will
actually increase the existing degree of definition, literally must
make the individual more defined.
At the time of the Mr. Teen Age America contest, a former winner of
the Mr. America title asked me just how much more size (bodyweight)
I thought Casey could gain without losing any of his fantastic
definition, and when replied that I thought that Casey could gain
at least 20 pounds (to bodyweight of 230, since he then weighed
210) and perhaps as much as 25 to 30 pounds, while increasing his
definition, he stated that I was a fool (or words to that effect).
Well, we shall see who is a fool.
"Then," you might ask, "do I think that just anybody can get that
big, while retaining good definition?"
Obviously not; in the first place Casey has far better than average
potential, in spite of the handicaps listed earlier. Second, he
has the willingness to work hard enough to make such purely
muscular gains. If there is any real "secret" to Casey's success,
it is just that he is willing to work much harder than almost
anybody I have ever seen train.
And, having gone so far, so fast, just what does the future hold
for Casey? Who knows? Only the future will tell; but I
personally think that he stands a good chance to be the first of a
new breed of bodybuilders, a man that still stand out over his
contemporaries in much the same way that John Grimek led the field
in his day. In fact. the two have more than a little in common;
both are of about the same height -- they are both of the same
general type of build -- and both are straight to the point, frank
individuals without any traces of the commonly encountered ego that
spoils the character of so many bodybuilders.
While it is rather common today to hear remarks to the effect that,
"I don't think Grimek was so much," I would like to point out that
I have never heard such a remark from a man that actually saw John
in his prime. I did, and he, too, was almost unbelievable -- and
he, too, had to be seen to be appreciated.
And while it may (or may not, that being a matter of opinion) be
true that Grimek has been surpassed, it is almost certain that
Casey will be overshadowed at some time in the future, by somebody
with an even better potential and an equal willingness to work very
hard; nevertheless, it is equally true that Grimek's name will live
longer in the history of bodybuilding than that of any of his
contemporaries and most if not all of his followers, because he was
the first of a kind, and I personally think that the same thing
will prove to be true of Casey.
We shall see; but when we do -- remember I said so in advance. And
in the meantime, what do you think of that arm now? What a shame
that he had to lose all of his definition to get such size -- ha!