I started working out in a friend’s basement and my family’s garage in 1956, when I was 14, and when it comes to bodybuilding and weight training, I was very fortunate to have been in the right places at the right times over the next 50-plus years. I say fortunate because my own interest—my obsession, as I acknowledge it—exposed me to a cast of characters who became icons, outsized personalities who changed the bodybuilding landscape. They were—and are—truly a Runyonesque crew.
I had the good luck to train at both the Division and Duncan Street YMCAs in Chicago when Bob Gajda and Sergio Oliva were numbers one and two in amateur bodybuilding. I trained at the Sayre Park Weightlifting Club, and because of that I got to know Bill Seno, one of the best powerlifter-bodybuilders of all time.
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