Seminar and Posing Filmed in Adelaide, South Australia in 1987.
The DVD started off with a preview of what was to come in the DVD with some
eighties music playing in the background. Rich was looking incredible and it
gave a good impression for the seminar's contents.
First up, Rich was being interviewed and explained how he was happy to be in
Australia and then talked about his career as well as the bodybuilding
After the brief interview described above was completed, the seminar began.
Rich was received well by the crowd from down under. The interviewer
explained that Rich was the most popular bodybuilder in the world and that
he saw his popularity with his own eyes when visiting USA. Rich was in my
mind the most impressive bodybuilder of the eighties. While Lee Haney beat
him, I would argue that Rich deserved to win in 1987 and a good argument can
be made for other years also (1986 or 1988). He looked absolutely insane in
1987 and was the most impressive bodybuilder on stage. Check out the review and pictures below of Rich in 1987. Talk about impressive!
Had he been 5'11 and 1/2 like Lee Haney I think he definitely would have won. But being 5'8 and
1/2, those three inches made the difference in my mind. Although Lee Haney
had a superior shape, he looked soft compared to Rich and was not as
muscular - defining muscularity not in terms of sheer size, but size in
relation to frame size as well as overall conditioning (like Andreas
A question was asked to Rich about how he felt about training in New Jersey
and Rich explained that it wasn't necessary to live in California to succeed
in bodybuilding. He said he was still able to remain in contacts with his
connections in the industry and find success even residing in New Jersey. He
also said that the pollution wasn't a major problem and not as bad as people
may have thought it was. It would make sense that some in Australia may hold
that thought, since it is world's apart from the USA. Tom Platz told his
Auckland, New Zealand audience in his seminar DVD that California was very polluted and
he was happy to visit Australia because of the fresh clean air.
Rich discussed training and explained that starting young in life is
beneficial because there are less things to get sidetracked with as a kid in
terms of responsibilities. For example, less financial or family obligations
than what you may run into as an adult. Because Rich started training at 14
and competing at 16, he moved up the bodybuilding ladder slowly in steps and
it became a lifestyle for him so that by the time he was an adult he was
used to it. Rich was aware of his potential for bodybuilding due to his
success at a young age, but still went up in gradual steps - starting at the
local teenage level, then going to the local men's level, then state level,
regional level, and finally the national level. 1984 was his year where he
turned 21 in May and became pro that year, as well as Mr. Universe. By 1985,
he was displaying ridiculous size and conditioning at the Night of
Rich explained that he wasn't very social as a kid and that he was not
involved with sports in high school and that he liked training with weights
because it was independent and he didn't have a coach over his shoulder
telling him what to do.
On the business front, Rich Gaspari talked about some of his ventures
including endorsement contracts in the industry and he also talked about the
three bodybuilding videos he had out at the time. Later on in life, Rich
would come up with Gaspari Nutrition, which is now a national company. He
has said that business is his new "Mr. Olympia" and he enjoys the challenge
much like he did as a competitor.
Lee Haney said it best about Rich, he was not as balanced as he was. Lee
did not mean this in terms of physique development but in terms of
mentality. Rich was all bodybuilding. He literally had blinders on and Lee
said that it was for that reason that Rich couldn't beat him. I happen to
completely disagree with this statement. Rich took his potential way beyond
the level Lee took his to, and if they both had the same genetics, Rich
would have beat Lee. As I said, Rich made Lee look soft, as Lee's
conditioning was not even close to that of Rich. Not to mention his
muscularity. At the end of the day, Lee Haney would always beat Rich but
only due to his superior shape thank to his genetics - not due to Lee's laid
back and balanced mentality. No disrespect to Lee, but maybe he
underestimated his own genetics.
Rich said his best feeling was when he won the Mr. Universe and it was even
more satisfying to him than winning the 1986 Pro Mr. World. I think the
reason for this is because he knew he won the Mr. World the moment he
stepped on the stage. Mike Christian said in an interview on the day of the
contest that he expected to win first or second (he placed second). But when
Rich was interviewed, he had absolutely no doubt in his mind that he won.
Rich said at other times that he was literally just going through the time
lapse during that show and again stated that he felt he won it from the
minute he stepped on stage. For that reason, I can see why the Mr. Universe
was a more satisfying win for him since he perhaps didn't expect to win it.
Next Rich explained that he felt isotension was the secret to his muscle
hardness. He said he would spend hours a day practicing his posing. He would
practice this posing and squeezing of his muscles which he said brought out
cuts and striations. He said that was the reason for his striated glutes.
Well I'm unsure of the accuracy of that statement, I do agree that posing
and tensing definitely helps and Rich was a much better poser than plenty of
the bodybuilders today.
Rich's first guest posing on the DVD was up next. Rich was HUGE. He appeared
to be in perfect contest shape to me as if he could win a show at that exact
time. I didn't notice any acne on his back that he had later in the year at
the 1987 Mr. Olympia which would make me wonder how he tweaked his cycles.
Rich said that taking criticism was a big reason for him becoming a good
poser and a successful bodybuilder. I will go further to say that this is
great advice for success in life in general. If you can take criticism and
acknowledge your weak points you will be all the better for doing so. I
think that despite Rich's incredible self confidence, having this quality
was able to keep him hungry and humble and not simply rely on his genetics.
Lee Haney and Bob Paris were not arrogant or anything like that, but they
were two bodybuilders who I think relied on their genetics more than
anything. Bob was always eloquent and explained that he felt the male
physique should be developed in a certain way, and he seems honest enough to
actually mean that and not just be using it as an excuse for not achieving
top condition. He stated this in an interview during the 1986 Pro World.
When the topic of nutrition was brought up, Rich said that he did count
calories and he was very specific about his nutritional intake and what
various nutrients do to the body. What surprised me is that he said in the
off-season he only ate 3,500 calories (!!). He said that during a diet for a
contest he would eat as low as 2,500 calories. He explained the tweaking
process for his diet and when asked how he could maintain his muscle mass on
so few calories, he said that his metabolism was very slow which did not
make sense to me because he was in excellent condition year round and was
perhaps the best conditioned bodybuilder of all time. To put things in
perspective, eighties amateur champion Joe Meeko would eat upwards of 7,000
to 10,000 calories per day and even 8,000 calories per day when on a diet!
Joe said he would wake up in the morning 10 pounds lighter than when he went
to bed, and that he would shrink like crazy if he went off this diet. Check out some more pictures and info about Joe Meeko in my review of the Platinum Edition of GMV-079DVD, "Joe Meeko: Mr. Universe - Mr. America - Mr. USA".
Rich explained that he did not know a lot of the other competitors very
personally and sometimes would only see them on the day of the show,
although people would often ask him about other bodybuilding superstars like
Tom Platz and Albert Beckles because they would see all of them together in
the magazines. When the topic of drug testing was brought up, he said that
it was good for bodybuilding to remove drugs from the amateur ranks and that
younger bodybuilders should not be using them.
By the time in the seminar when Rich started discussing his training in more
depth, I was not at all surprised with the results - Rich trained very hard.
I would say another pro training as hard as him at the time (by his own
admission at least) would have been Mike Christian. I also think it's safe
to say that both possibly trained harder than Lee Haney, and in 1987, I
think you could argue that either Rich or Mike could have beaten Lee, and
Mike should definitely have beaten Lee Labrada in my opinion.
Rich talked about his social life and said that his girlfriend was his
social life. He said that reading a book by himself is something he would
include as part of his social life. This leads me to believe that in
addition to not being very social, Rich didn't do much at all other than
bodybuilding. This can be looked at as a good thing, since Rich had the same
drive as the top athletes in the world of any sport, but I do wonder if Rich
has any regrets about his dedication to bodybuilding over the years. One
thing is for sure - business is booming for Rich these days so hopefully he
is comfortable and has a good life. Rich said that he didn't like to be
called "the great white hope" because he didn't want bodybuilding to be
Next up, Rich guest posed. He looked incredible! Chris Dickerson said that
Rich didn't really taper - I think that is only due to how he hit his front
double biceps and when he hit it in a more traditional way his taper was
just fine. He was literally in what may have been his best ever condition
during this Australian guest posing and seminar tour - at least it seemed
that way. But I have to remind myself that Rich ALWAYS looked good between
1986-1989. Every day was close to contest shape or contest shape for him.
The crowd went wild! Rich's most muscular poses, particularly the standard
crab variation was out of sight!!
Rich started speaking about nutrition again and once again, his knowledge
was excellent. He said he takes iron supplements and free form amino acids
which he said were both very important. He also said he uses L-Carnitine
before he does any form of aerobic training and as he woke up. Rich spoke in
depth about amino acids which was very impressive to me. Rich was no dummy
as far as nutrition was concerned. He was even questioned about inosine and
knew plenty about it. Rich said that he does not think much about Gamma
Oryzanol or Cytochrome B because they may work, but they were never around
during Arnold's day and he did just fine without them.
After speaking about training, Rich pumped up by doing some pushups on stage
and then posed for the crowd. The crowd went wild once again. Rich hit some
poses and looked awesome. His skin was in great condition as well and his
muscles were popping right out of it. The crowd kept on clapping and
whistling. When he hit the most muscular pose from the side where you could
see the thickness of his back which was looking absolutely freaky.
Once the posing ended, Rich spoke more about training, and his techniques
were interesting, but one thing is for sure: training is an overrated factor
in pro bodybuilding success. The most important factors are sensible use of
steroids, good nutrition and also genetics (defined in terms of response to
hormones). Training is important, but if you are juiced to the gills on a
gram a day of hormones as well as growth hormone, insulin, and who the hell
knows what else, you WILL grow just by eating food. I'm not saying Rich was
on that much, but any given pro needs to use drugs to be competitive, both
today and in Rich's era. Rich also said that he would try to focus on his
weak points and bring up any points that were lagging in relation to the
rest of his physique, or in general. One of Rich's flaws that was listed
many times in magazines I had read and also that I noted myself was that
Rich looked to be a trifle "boxy". Despite his mass, he was somewhat narrow
in certain poses, but looking at him sitting down in the seminar, he looked
to be very wide. His arms were also considered a weak point, but they looked
gigantic in the seminar DVD. They were definitely close to 20", but looked
smaller because he had short arms and in particular short upper arms.
Rich spoke about specific techniques he used to improve from the 1986 Mr.
Olympia contest to the 1987 contest. Rich's reasoning was fairly general -
one additional year of nutrition and training and muscle maturity should
help him to improve that much more and come in at his all time best shape.
The topic of steroids came up, and Rich spoke more about it than Bertil Fox
did in his seminar DVD, but less about it than Tom Platz did in either of
his seminar DVDs. Tom was extremely open about his steroid use in his first
seminar DVD while Bertil completely dodged the topic and Rich also tried to
underplay the importance of steroids. Let me tell you, they are extremely
important for pro bodybuilding. These days, even the top amateur competitors
are juiced beyond belief. This may not apply to all of them across the
board, but in general this is an accurate statement. Rich said they were a
5% edge and that with every other pro bodybuilder having that 5% edge, he
himself needed to use steroids to give himself that edge to level the
playing field. The reality is that steroids are one heck of a lot more than
5%, although admittedly that particular type of calculation would be hard to
Some questions from the audience were taken about training and Rich
discussed his leg training in detail. As I mentioned above, training is
obviously an important and necessary factor for pro bodybuilding, but by no
means is it more important than the importance of proper nutrition. I also
think that Rich spent more time studying nutrition than he did training for
that exact reason. As a result, he was incredibly articulate and well spoken
when it came to discussing nutrition. Another question was taken from the
audience and Rich explained that he had a hard time digesting red meat which
he felt was due to the fat content. He said he was not against red meat
consumption for bodybuilding purposes but that it was personally not his
meat of choice. Some of the questions asked by the audience were not very
audible, but you could get an idea of what was being asked when Rich replied
to the question since his response would generally summarize the question
and follow it up with his response.
Rich kept discussing his bodybuilding ventures with the crowd and explained
that he worked as a bouncer as well as other jobs to support his
bodybuilding career. Next I noticed GMV's owner Wayne Gallasch in the
audience behind the camera (it was a 2 camera shoot) who asked Rich about
his training videos. Rich said he produced three new videos which he had
plans to sell. I had watched one of those videos - "Chest and Legs" which
was a very high quality video.
Finally Rich posed for the excited crowd. He looked incredible! I would put
him at 220 pounds and shredded and 5'8 and 1/2 and this was months before
the Mr. Olympia. How he maintained that peak until the time of the show was
incredible. Rich posed to "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner which was a hit at
the time of the seminar back in 1987. Rich's delts were insanely big at the
seminar and Rich definitely defeated his criticisms of having a narrow
structure with his delt and back mass creating an incredible taper. If
anything, Rich being medium height had some effect on the blocky look of his
physique - there is a certain degree of elegance which comes from having a
longer body with longer limbs. Bob Paris for example. Another point is that
if Bob was as incredibly muscular as Rich was, Bob too would not look as
elegant as he did. It's hard not to look somewhat blocky when you are THAT
muscular. Rich had more dense muscle packed per square inch than any other
bodybuilder of all time.
Rich Interviewed & Posing at FIBO 1989
During this interview, Rich was 26 years old and travelled to Germany for
the FIBO expo sporting an eighties style mullet. He looked very healthy in
the face at FIBO and not at all as he did during the main seminar of this
DVD while he looked very bloated and glossy in the face (check out the
pictures to see). This was due to a change in his nutrition of cycle in my
opinion. Rich was asked questions and this was translated for the German
Rich guest posed next and the quality of his physique surprised me and not
in a good way. Not that he wasn't one of the top in the world, but he had
regressed slightly. His arms appeared to have atrophied somewhat and in
general he had seemed to be smaller than he had been in terms of
muscularity, but not with a small waist and midsection to go along with it
as he had in 1988. Don't get me wrong, Rich looked incredible and was still
a world class bodybuilder, but he was not at his best. This was off-season
however being April.
Rich Interviewed at the 2001 Mr. Olympia
Rich said that he was promoting his supplement line at the Mr. Olympia -
Gaspari Nutrition. He said he was trying to get the name out in the United
States. He said he was not quite 40 yet but was considering the master's
platform since he still trained regularly.
Rich Interviewed at 2005 Ironman Pro FitExpo
Rich was interviewed at the Ironman Pro FitExpo by Kenny Kassel. Rich talked
a little about his career in bodybuilding when Kenny asked him about it and
also about his supplement line. He said that after six years it had become a
national company and was being carried at GNC. Rich said that his new career
in the supplement industry was his new Mr. Olympia. Rich also said he was
currently judging pro events in the IFBB. Kenny did an excellent job
interviewing Rich in this segment. To check out this interview, play the
video below, brought to you by GMV productions:
Of the six most recent DVDs I received in the mail for review courtesy of
GMV, I have to say that this DVD was my favourite. The production was good
which is what I've come to expect from GMV, so that goes without saying, but
the main thing I enjoyed about this DVD is that Rich Gaspari was the main
subject, and he is one of my favourite bodybuilders of all time. He
definitely impresses me more than anyone in terms of conditioning, other
than possibly Andreas Munzer. Even Munzer wasn't leaps and bounds ahead of
Gaspari though. Thanks to the tremendous conditioning Rich was in during the
filming of this seminar, the guest posing footage was top quality.
Now that the main review is complete, I would like to point out some of the
top calibre professional bodybuilders that Rich would routinely beat back in
his day, which goes to show just how amazing Rich was:
Mike Christian was in my opinion, the best competitor that Rich would beat on a regular basis - at the 1985-1989 Mr. Olympia contests, as well as the 1986 Pro Mr. World contest and others. Mike had everything: he had the ability to put on massive amounts of size, get in great condition and with amazing hardness, and in addition was tall and distributed the mass well on his 6'1 frame. Yet despite this, Rich was still just that tiny bit better - he was more muscular and better conditioned and as a result, would routinely beat Mike in contest.
Berry DeMey was one of the most popular bodybuilders in his era. He was tall, handsome, foreign, and fan friendly, and so was very popular with the crowd much like Gunter Schlierkamp is today and for a lot of the same reasons. He had a great genetic shape, but was so tall that packing on the mass was not easy, and he could not handle Rich for the reason that many others could not: muscularity and conditioning.
Bob Paris had one of the most elegant physiques to ever grace a bodybuilding stage. Many hailed him as the Steve Reeves of the 1980s. He was your genuine tall, dark, and handsome and was no slouch in the muscularity department either. At 6'0 and around 225, Bob had size, height, and always came into a show in good condition. That said, Rich's condition trumped Bob's, as did his size. While Rich may not have had Bob on stature or genetic structure, Rich's ability to get ripped and bone dry exceeded Bob's, as did Rich's ability to gain muscle mass. The end result was that Rich beat Bob time and time again.
Tom Platz said that out of all the competitors at the 1988 Mr. Olympia contest, Samir had the most genetic talent of all of them. That says a great deal because Samir was competing against plenty of other bodybuilders who had amazing genetics for other size, shape, conditioning, or both. I don't have a conclusively formed view on Tom's opinion, but I think it's safe to say that Samir had some trendendous genetics. That said, he declined somewhat after his incredible performance at the 1983 Mr. Olympia contest, but he still looked good (as seen in the picture above) and despite his good performances, Rich would beat Samir time and time again, even though Samir was eight years older than Rich.
Gary Strydom was one of the top pros of the 1980s and recently made a comeback in 2006 and plans to compete again in the future. What was impressive about Gary was that he was as tall as he was wide and had an enormous structure which made him a giant in every possible way. Still - Rich had him beat. First off, Rich beat him in muscularity, and secondly, he beat Gary in condition and hardness. Rich was also several years younger than Gary which made it all the more impressive.
Mike Quinn was around the same height as Rich, but in my opinion had a naturally wider structure and longer arms, and with that it would appear that Mike should or could have put on more muscle than Rich. In truth, this was not the case, and Mike's conditioning was not very close to Rich's condition at all. As a result of this, Rich beat Mike when they competed together. Standing alone, Mike looked great - but next to Rich, he looked soft and lacking muscularity.