Have you ever heard about Casey Viator? At 19 years old, he became the youngest man to win the coveted Mr. America bodybuilding title. This was happening in 1971, which was decades ago. Back then, bodybuilders worked incredibly hard for their gains and had access to a limited number of products for muscle and repair. Casey was born in New Iberia and started training at the age of 15. He’s a great example of what’s possible with the right combination of training and genetics.
This young bodybuilder had an excellent genetic potential and worked hard for his physique. He has training under the guidance of Red Lerille, Art Jones, and Boyer Coe. Art Jones is the trainer who invented the Nautilus machine, which allowed athletes to train in less time with spectacular results. He claimed that Casey was one of the strongest men he has ever trained.
According to Jones, Casey was doing up to barbell curls with 225 pounds, press behind neck with 280 pounds, full squats with 505 pounds, deadlifts with 400 pounds (up to 30 reps!) and bench press with 460 pounds. There are many photos showing him using even greater weights in later years. The load he used for 20 or more reps was incredible.
Casey Viator was training three times a week. A typical workout lasted up to two and a half hours, targeting the whole body. Young Casey was using the Nautilus machine for training his lats and arms. He worked mainly with barbells and dumbbells for the rest of the body, with little or no rest between sets. This approach allowed him to train all muscle groups in such a short time. Later in life, he became a personal trainer and published author. Casey won three pro contests in 1980, and has competed only sporadically after that.
Casey’s three day a week routine consisted of four exercises per workout, without much rest. He was using heavy weights, performing up to 20 reps per set.