Larry Scott needs no introduction. He was Vince Gironda’s pride student and the recipient of the first two Mr Olympias. Larry will always be remembered as the “All American Boy”. The Golden Hair, the tan, the smile, and that physique!!! Even in todays standards, Larry was impressive. Larry Scott however was not blessed with the best genetics, far from it. He remembers in his youth being the “smallest of the pack” or the “runt” of the family. At 5’8” and skinny to boot, he felt he could never get muscular like his father and uncles before him.
Bit by the Iron Bug
One sunny summers day, whilst performing his chores one afternoon and hauling garbage out to the local dump, a young Larry Scott would meet his destiny in the pages of an old muscle mag. After dumping the garbage cans of his trailer, Larry began snooping around for an “treasures”. He noticed a pile of magazines, and lo and behold there was a Weider magazine amongst the pile. In the first page, Larry would gasp at the phenomenal triceps of George Paine and instantly, Larry was hooked.
George was hitting a side-tricep pose, displaying his massive horseshoe shaped muscular tricep with the words “You to can have an Arm like this if you follow my instruction” written underneath. Joe Weider had a way with words, and he could instantly captivate the reader. Larry hurried back home and began assembling a makeshift home gym. Such was the impact of the old muscle mags. He scrambled and made a make shift workout bench from a pile of wood and used a train axle as a barbell, and before you knew it, Larry was performing set after set of tricep work. Larry recalls an exhilarating feeling from his first pump, as he knew that from the very first moment, he was starting to grow.
Soon after, his best friend at the time, partner-in-crime and fellow bodybuilding enthusiast Don Williams noticed Larry’s arms and joined in. Soon both of them were seeing growth in their triceps and therefore decided to try and increase the growth of their biceps…..so what could a couple of teenagers with no money do? That’s right, they both went to the local newsagent and looked at the next issue of Joe Weider’s Muscle Builder and found an article on bicep development. The two young bodybuilding enthusiasts would blitz their arms day in and day out like fanatics, working ONLY ARMS!
As soon as all the boys in town started to notice, Larry realized that through bodybuilding he could be somebody and make his dreams a reality. Larry trained like a demon, a man obsessed. He and his friend Don joined the local YMCA and got to work. By the end of his first year of training, Larry’s arms stretched the tape measure at a full 14.5” pumped! Not bad for a 16 year old.
After graduating form high school and enrolling to Idaho State College to become a Physical Instructor, Larry’s obsession with bodybuilding increased to the point where he set his sights on moving to California. Larry and Don would enrol in the California Air School and headed south. On arrival he headed to Bert Goodrich’s Health Club on Hollywood Boulevard and met Lou Degni as well as a very young up and coming Don Howorth. Lou Degni as Larry recalls, had a fantastic physique. His impressive and thick chest and back muscles were set off by his tiny 29” waist. Larry noticed that Lou’s back was “heart shaped”, with a well developed lower lat. Lou had full biceps, thick and full pecs. Larry was eager to learn, and Lou noticed Larry’s devotion and took him after his wing.
Lou noticed that Larry possessed narrow shoulders and began Larry working on this weakpoint. Lou taught Larry a special Hanging Scapula Rotation exercise to bring out his lower lats, and taught him how to develop the lower bicep. Although later on, Vince Gironda would reinforce many of the concepts and principles that Larry learnt from Lou Degni, it was Lou Degni that got Larry on his road to stardom.
Soon after Larry returned to Idaho because he ran out of money, and began to train and instruct at the new Sillowette Health Club. However, Larry’s eyes were still set on California. Now, it was his dream to become Mr America. A local state competition, the Mr Idaho was organized by the health club, and Larry decided to enter. Held at the local movie theatre, the competition was held in between movies, much to the surprise of the audience who had come to watch a movie!
Nevertheless, Larry won his first show, and took his first bodybuilding trophy proudly back home. With his eye’s still set on the sunny shores of California, Larry realized that he would need help. The first time round, Larry had run out of money in California which lead to his return to Pocatello in Idaho. It took the snowy winters of Idaho to eventually convince his friend Roger to move with Larry to California. Larry’s stories of the sunny beaches, gorgeous girls and warm weather were too tempting for the two, who packed their bags and soon found themselves on the front step of Vince Gironda’s Gym on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, California.
Bert Goodrich’s gym had closed down, so the two were looking for a new place to train. Little did Larry know the experience that awaited him…..his iconic meeting with Vince Gironda would set the scene that would elevate Larry Scott to win the Mr America, the Mr Universe title and the Mr Olympia, being the first man to win all three competitions.
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