Listing the men who have truly attained bodybuilding immortality through their achievements as athletes of phenomenal physical development, strength training revolutionaries and as men of character, integrity and will, is a relatively easy task if you can count to five.
Reg Park is one such man who most people would agree deserves, along with John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Pearl, legendary status for his enduring contributions to bodybuilding. Like his iron counterparts, Reg Park has become a champion whose legacy will endure long after he is gone, such is the impact he had, and continues to have, on masses of bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
In a sport where there are and have been so many great competitors who have shone in certain areas, few men have shown the kind of all-round ability to connect with the general and the bodybuilding public, while building a reputation as being one of the nicest yet most fiercely competitive men ever to step onto a posing dais, that Reg Park has.
An often-debated point in sporting circles is, "What makes a champion a champion?" The anatomy of a bodybuilding champion is indeed a complex thing to determine, as it is multifaceted and includes both superficial and not so obvious qualities.
Clearly a great physique is one quality, but if tremendous physical development were the sole criteria for champion status, bodybuilding's evolution would be marked with hundreds of Reg Park and Arnold Schwarzenegger clones.
As we know, this definitely is not the case. No, along with physical development the enduring champion must have something else, further qualities that stick in one's memory and mark this competitor as being revolutionary, a trendsetter among trendsetters.
If you look closely at the achievements of the aforementioned men, it is clear they were able to capitalize on their physical success in a multitude of ways. Several became famous actors and entertainers, sporting record setters and noted authors and all became health and fitness experts and bodybuilding pioneers. All were also widely respected and, at one point in their careers, the epitome of bodybuilding greatness. In Reg Park's case, he became all of these things and more.
A champion's human, more attitudinal qualities are often their biggest asset. Charisma, charm, determination, character, humility, consistency, strength of mind and sincerity are words that are often used to describe the type of person Reg Park is. Many of bodybuilding's greats, including Arnold, have openly said that Reg, as a man of muscle and as a human being, helped inspire them to achieve at the highest level.
As a man of strength, Reg was noted as being without peer and many people feel he was the strongest bodybuilder of his time. His physique, a perfect combination of John Grimek's ruggedness and Steve Reeve's beautiful symmetry and proportion, demonstrated an ability to intelligently sculpt his body. Perfectly balanced, no body part was lacking on the Reg Park physique.
Reg Park began his illustrious bodybuilding career by winning the 1949 Mr. Britain, despite training in conditions that would dissuade the average gym-goer. Such was Reg's determination he often trained outside in his parent's garden in sub-zero temperatures with nothing but a pair of heavy dumbbells, a lot of heart, and layers of thermal clothing. Yet he made tremendous progress. No fancy gyms for Reg Park, just yet.
But bodybuilding was not Reg Park's first love. In fact, the physique world may have lost Reg to soccer had it not been for an injury that sidelined the young player. While rehabbing his injury, Reg discovered a copy of Strength and Health, a magazine he himself would appear in many times, and from then on soccer balls made way for barbells and bodybuilding has been all the more richer since.
Shortly after his first contest, Reg journeyed to the U.S where he spent six months pounding the iron, during which time he met with top trainer and magazine publisher, Joe Weider. So impressed with Reg was Joe that the Englishman was regularly featured in the "Master Blaster's" magazines and given the publicity necessary to make a major impact on the international bodybuilding scene.
This impact was first seen when, in 1950, Reg placed a very controversial second to the popular Steve Reeves at the NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe. However, the following year Reg won this title at the tender age of 23, after only three years of total bodybuilding training.
From that point on there would be little room for failure, as Reg would win both the 1958 and 1965 NABBA Pro Universe titles. In 1970 Reg competed against Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man who idolized him many years earlier, and was bested by the Austrian Oak in a closely fought battle.
At six foot one and between 220 and 250 pounds, Reg was one of the first "big" bodybuilders and his massive size, and acting talent, was not lost on action film producers who signed him to appear in several films from 1963 through 1965, four of these being the Hercules movies for which his powerful physique was perfectly suited.
Since the 1960s Reg has lived with his wife Marion in South African where he has continued to inspire bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts through his expert training guidance. Much of Reg Park's life has been spent traveling the world preforming strength feats and guest posing. On such occasions he would take his wife and his children, son Jon Jon and daughter Jeunesse, people who took precedence in his life.
A man of firsts, Reg, along wife his wife, an ex-ballerina, put together a new style of posing incorporating the kind of artistry her craft demanded. Back in the '60s bodybuilding posing routines were stolid and not overly entertaining, but Reg's new style, with fluid transitions and gracefulness of movement combined with classical poses, hit on. It is now commonplace. Reg was also the first man to combine massive strength with acting ability, good looks and charisma.
How many bodybuilders can you think of who have shared the bodybuilding stage at one time or another with Steve Reeves, Dave Draper and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Once again, Reg Park stands alone, this time as being the only bodybuilder ever to have competed against all three of these champions.
Given his wide-ranging contribution to bodybuilding's evolution, it is not surprising that many bodybuilders the world over have been positively influenced by Reg Park.
Those who trained with him knew Reg to be a warrior in the gym and learned directly from him, those who read about him in the magazines were inspired by his words and achievements and those he competed against knew they would have tremendous fight on their hands. A legion of younger competitors and bodybuilding fans have also been touched by Reg Park in so many ways, showing that what he has gifted bodybuilding lives of today.
In this article, fans and competitors alike share their thoughts on, and pay tribute to Reg and describe how he has influenced them as bodybuilders.
No doubt, Reg Park is one of the most important figures in bodybuilding and he is among the greatest Mass with Class champions (he had a Beautiful physique). I am personally glad to have known him on a personal level. I spent some time with him and his lovely wife on Bondi beach during the 1980 Mr. Olympia in Australia.
He is a great motivator and he had advised me several times when he visited World Gym in Los Angeles. I became a very close friend with his son Jon Jon who is a great swimming champion and perhaps the best personal trainer in all of Los Angeles. Jon Jon is a carbon copy of his father.
Reg in my opinion is one of the 10 greatest bodybuilders of all time and the equivalent of the great Steve Reeves.
I'm honored to have known him and I wish him the best of health,
Mr. Olympia 1983
Two magnificent photos of Reg Park hang on the wall in my study, one with a handwritten inscription that I treasure. Reg was way ahead of his time; he remains an inspiration to physical culturists everywhere.
Author of the Ripped book series and past-40 GB bodybuilding champion
Reg Park inspires us all, not only with his amazing physique but also his character. Reg is a man devoted to his family who also managed to be a great businessman with a chain of gyms, a bodybuilding magazine and a stint as a movie actor. Reg is, to sum it up, a well rounded, multi-talented Renaissance man.
I only was around Reg once. It was at an after-Olympia party in the late '70s. Reg had that movie star quality, a handsome guy with charisma. Even his speech was impeccable with a strong voice, speaking Standard English in a dignified manner. I suppose if I were asked to sum up my impression of Reg Park in a single word it would be CLASS!
Long live Reg Park!
Multi amateur bodybuilding title winner
Reg Park had already retired from competition when I got involved in bodybuilding in the late 1970s. But he has always been one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's heroes and over the course of working on three books with Arnold I got to hear a lot about Reg - his excellence not only as a bodybuilder but as a man as well.
Eventually, I not only got to know Reg and his whole family but spent considerable time interviewing him about his life and bodybuilding career for FLEX Magazine. Reg Park began training in the days when bodybuilders trained more like weightlifters - working the whole body three times a week - and had to improvise in an era of limited equipment. Not having any benches, for example, Reg would do barbell chest presses by lying back on a large sandbag.
Of course, his career continued on into the 1960s and he was one of those bodybuilders who got better with age. There are photos of Reg standing in a line-up next to Arnold and he appears to have been genuinely competitive against the new physique superstar. But as excellent as Reg Park was as a competitor, his real claim to fame is probably that he has always been such a fine gentleman, an excellent family man and a fantastic representative of the sport.
Young bodybuilders could do a lot worse than to model themselves on somebody like Reg, not only a champion athlete but an admirable human being as well.
Photographer to the bodybuilding stars
Reg Park was without a doubt one of the best bodybuilders that ever lived. His dedication and what he did with his body not only onstage but also in his acting career is what this sport is all about. Dreams can definitely come true! All you have to do is believe in yourself then the sky is the limit! Thank you Reg for being an inspiration to me, and the world.
International fitness model and natural bodybuilding champion
At a time in history when the world was just beginning to bloom again, when men were beginning to once again innovate and create great things, an Englishman standing 6'1" was sculpting his great physique in preparation to capture the 1949 Mr. Britain Bodybuilding Competition. Reg Park is one of greatest pioneers of the sport of Bodybuilding.
Mr. Park has not only inspired me throughout my years of training and competition, but also many great athletes both past and present in our fine sport. Reg Park's contributions as an athlete, film star, spokesperson and mentor, will undoubtedly always be viewed with admiration and awe. And we the Bodybuilders will always be grateful.
Thank You Reg Park.
National bodybuilding champion
Reg Park was known for his powerful physique. His development was years ahead of his time. Reg Park was one of Joe Weider's earliest iron heroes. He appeared several times in Joe's earliest publication, Muscle Builder. Reg was known as one of the strongest bodybuilders of his day. He is also given credit by bodybuilding icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as one of his inspirations and role models in the iron game.
National level bodybuilder
Master personal trainer
Who can ever forget Reg Park? I remember how inspired I was the first time I saw photos of Reg Park. He had a great physique and was very strong. I remember the great stories that Marvin Eder told of him training with Reg.
Many years later I had the opportunity to visit with Reg Park in South Africa. I was touring South Africa on a schedule that was put together by promoter Warren Langman. Reg invited me to his home and I had a wonderful time with Reg and his lovely wife.
Reg is a fantastic bodybuilder, but I will always admire him as a true gentleman with much class.
IFBB professional bodybuilding legend
Reg Park's body speaks for itself, but most people are unaware of his humane qualities and of his leadership abilities. Both of these assets have made him the husband and father he has been all these years to his wife Marion and to his son Jon Jon. These qualities worked to my own advantage while I was a guest in South Africa when he acted as host. Yes, Boyer Coe and I toured Reg's country before the "revolution" and before Nelson Mandela's influence was felt in order to bring racial integration there.
Well, let me tell you that Reg Park, quietly and in his dignified manner, made certain that all of Boyer's and my public appearances were done before mixed audiences and made certain that I, as an African-American, would not experience the embarrassment or discrimination.
Reg was always the man to scope the next scheduled venue on the tour and it inspired me to nickname him "Scout Master!" He took his new name in the right humorous spirit as it proved to lighten things up for all of our party. I, personally, have to add to his long list of bodybuilding Titles, the Title of Scout Master.
IFBB professional bodybuilding legend
Mr. Olympia 1982
Mauro Di Pasquale:
I caught the iron bug in my early teens mainly due to John Grimek, Steve Reeves, and Reg Park. Reeves represented the ultimate aesthetic bodybuilder, and Grimek the more massive bodybuilder and Olympic lifter. But Reg Park impressed me the most because he was not only a bodybuilding great, but in my mind he was also one of the early pre-power lifting greats as he handled massive poundage's (for that time) in both the squat and bench press.
And he impressed me even more when I finally met him, many years past his prime, but still with the strength and physique, drive and determination, and graciousness that have made him a role model and an inspiration to bodybuilders all over the world for more than half a century.
Mauro Di Pasquale
M.D specializing in nutrition and sports medicine
Bodybuilding and power-lifting training expert
Reg Park was and will be remembered as a great Champion and pioneer of bodybuilding.
He was a great inspiration to all, including my dad and myself and I truly admire his physique and his history. Anyone who could inspire Arnold is a legend!
Celebrity personal trainer
Reg Park is a TITAN from Mt. Olympus. Like Hercules who battled on, so do I pray our Hercules wins his battle.
I have been training under the bar most of my life. I got my first weight set at the age of eight years old.
I have followed the guidance of many great bodybuilders over the years. I have always made it a priority to learn from others who I feel are the best or the most innovative.
Reg Park's instruction and guidance has been a cornerstone of my training all my life by way of his articles or the instruction of others who have learned from him.
Reg's influence in bodybuilding along with the many great athletes he has influenced has helped shape my physique and that of the over eight thousand people I have trained.
Distinguished Dave DePew.
Natural bodybuilding champion
Master personal trainer
Among animals, there is a king. Among birds, there is a king. Among bodybuilders there is a king.
Mr. Reg Park is a bodybuilding legend that has served tremendously as a watchword for my bodybuilding career.
His bodybuilding legacy has helped me in achieving a positive response in my bodybuilding career.
He is a man who has influenced a lot of bodybuilding champions the world over. He is a bodybuilding mentor who always follows the bodybuilding motto (NO PAIN, NO GAIN).
His winning Mr. Britain and the amateur and pro Mr. Universe's has helped motivate me whenever I am training for competition.
He is a man of focus, activeness, and readiness, and also his determination of spirit not only worked for the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger alone, but also for me whenever I am discouraged by the situation around me. Also his humbleness and generosity remain undeletable in my memory.
Mr. Park, you remain a bodybuilding legend. Much love.
Nigerian Natural bodybuilding champion
I [will] tell you who was one of the strongest men I worked out with: Reg Park. Oh, he was great. He was one of the few guys who could keep up with me. Reg came on a visit to New York City and he came up to the gym. He was a beautifully built man and he weighed about 235 pounds. And he was using the weights that I was using and I would even say he was a stronger squatter than I was.
He was keeping up with virtually everything I did except maybe in certain categories. But generally he was tremendous. Reg is a very fine gentleman also. It was one of the high points of my training (training with Reg). We worked out for a couple of weeks together. He was just great to work out with.
Reg Park was a gentleman (when I met him). He was soft-spoken and he wasn't in any way stuck-up. He just was a regular fellow - a regular, okay guy. That's all I can say.
Bodybuilding and weightlifting legend and pound for pound world's strongest lifter in his era.
Reg Park got my attention; he is a real dimensional man - there are many facets to him.
He had a beautiful home in South Africa, big pool and all, and Arnold was impressed - wanted to be like him, to have what he had. Later Arnold said he 'psyched out' Mr. Park by chatting before a contest and when Reg noted "the contest," and that they should not chat so much before it. Arnold said, "What contest?" meaning it was a cinch for him. I felt Mr. Park was a gentleman while Arnold was not. I do believe in competition, but not in mowing people down. To me friendships are more important than trophies.
I recall Reg Park saying what a wonderful wife he has, an ex ballerina, and she makes delightful meals and always puts a fresh flower like a rose in the middle of the table. A man who notices such details and tells others about his lovely wife, this is a sensitive man, he is not the ordinary Joe Blow.
He was physically a super handsome man, so being a woman, of course, I noticed him.
The progenitor of women's bodybuilding
Although I did not know Reg Park on a personal level, I do remember a time in 1975 in South Africa when he extended an invitation for me to stay at his home. Reg took me out to dinner to a restaurant where normally a black man would not be able to go. I was very grateful for his hospitality and kindness that I received from him and his family during my stay in Johannesburg. I do wish him and his family the best. I will always remember him as being an inspiration to me in my bodybuilding career.
Reg Park: the name should be next to "bodybuilding" in the dictionary.
Doctor Bob Goldman:
Reg is one of the most remarkable individuals I have had the honor of calling my friend. He is an example of what we should all strive to be - driven and accomplished on a global level, yet modest and never too busy to help the young aspiring athlete. He truly earned the title of legend.
Doctor Bob Goldman
Authority on anabolic-androgenic steroids, bodybuilding writer and health sciences expert
When you meet Reg Park in person, you understand why Arnold Schwarzenegger chose him as his idol and the person he wanted to pattern his life after. Reg is a Bodybuilder's Bodybuilder.
He is a big man, even at 79 years old, and he carries himself in a regal manner. Not pompous or arrogant in any way, just as a man who respects himself and others. Bodybuilders of Reg's era, like Bill Pearl, John Grimek and Steve Reeves, exude class and grace. They are humble but proud and they treat others with the same dignity and respect they would expect in return.
Reg was a giant in the bodybuilding world when he was winning the Mr. Universe contest. He went on to parlay that success onstage to a film career where he played Hercules and a successful gym empire that he ran with his beautiful family. Reg Park is an inspiration to bodybuilders all over the world. He is a Man's Man and a Bodybuilder's Bodybuilder and I wish there were more like him in our present day society.
Natural Mr. Olympia
Every sport has its great pioneers and bodybuilding is no exception. When we reflect on the blessed individuals who truly drove the path on what bodybuilding is today we can list but a few names: Reeves, Pearl, Arnold, Draper, Zane and also a personal favorite, Mr. Reg Park.
When I began bodybuilding back in 1978, Arnold was the King and my primary driving force but I also admired many great athletes and Reg was at the top on my A-list. Many of his classic poses I did as a teen and also into my pro career.
When I became a pro back in the mid '80s, at the Arnold's World Pro and later Arnold Classic, I was honored and privileged to actually meet the man himself and talk for a minute with him and shake his hand. Mr. Park is still a larger than life superstar to me and to all the truehearted bodybuilders and fans who love the sport with a passion.
God Bless Reg and Thank you!
Reg Park was definitely an icon, motivator and overall legend. Guys like me along with millions of others are continually inspired by his hard work ethic and overall physique. He is what bodybuilding was and what bodybuilding is, power and beauty put together into an art form that we all seek and/or admire.
Phil "The Gift" Heath
Reg Park is one of the icons of bodybuilding. I had a chance to meet Reg when he was honored by Arnold Schwarzenegger with a lifetime achievement award. Albeit a short meeting, the privilege was all mine. He is a true "old school" bodybuilder who will never be forgotten in our industry's history. I encourage any one just becoming familiar with bodybuilding to check out his accomplishments. His legacy will live on forever.
Fitness marketing expert
Reg Park is a true bodybuilding legend and one of my all time favorite bodybuilders.
"Reg Park was my hero. He was Hercules. I used to look for his photos in the popular muscle magazines of the day. He was awesome. He was the best of the best, before the best became the worst, when drugs became more important than hard work.
Scott "Old Navy" Hults
FAME, NGA & IDFA Master Pro Bodybuilder
Reg Park has always been a great ambassador for the sport of bodybuilding. As an athlete I believe he was ahead of time standing six feet and onstage at nearly 250lbs with awesome symmetry. He was like an early version of Arnold in a way, being successful as a taller bodybuilder and also with his appearances in many movies. I believe he was a mentor for Arnold. Nonetheless Reg has been a role model for many athletes over the years.
Although I never met Mr. Park in person, there is no doubt that he influenced many young men to become bodybuilders, including me.
Not only did he look great but also looked like a man of power, in every sense of the word.
All my best to Mr. Park
IFBB and WBBG professional
Reg Park has been a friend of mine for over 35 years. Reg Park has a heart of Gold and is a down to earth, good person. Success and fame never went to his head.
When I started publishing Muscle Training Illustrated back in 1965, I wanted Reg Park to be on my premier cover. Today this cover issue of MTI brings in the highest dollars from e-bay sales.
In 1972 I invited Reg Park to guest pose at my WBBG Pro Mr. America Contests. Reg put on a great posing exhibition. He and his lovely wife Marion, a famed Ballet Dancer, flew in from Johannesburg, South Africa. I made arrangements for them to stay at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Reg Park said he would like to instead stay at a smaller Hotel, near Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York.
As a kid he always wanted to eat Nathan's Hot Dogs. So we all went together and we had a ball, eating hot dogs and fried shrimps. He would rather eat there than a fancy restaurant.
When I heard Reg had skin cancer, I called and spoke to him and his wife Marion. Reg is a true champion and will fight this dreadful illness.
I am proud to call Reg Park a "Mensch," which means in Jewish, a truly good person.
Dan Lurie WBBG founder and bodybuilding pioneer
As I remember the great Reg Park, I think of the time I saw him guest pose. I was just a lad at the time and had never seen anyone with such mass before and yet there was terrific balance and symmetry and with his Herculean posing routine I was left yelling and screaming for more.
Reg was truly an inspiration. They just don't build 'em like that anymore.
Obviously Reg was way before my time but historically speaking he contributed to bodybuilding by setting the bar and being a significant part of bodybuilding in terms of getting it started and being such a mentor for Arnold and a lot of other guys back in the day. He will always be looked upon as being a role model for bodybuilding generations to come in the sense that he contributed to bringing the sport to where it is today!
Champion wheelchair bodybuilder
People like Reg Park, Arnold, and Steve Reeves made me want to pick up weights and become who I became as pro bodybuilder. Reg Park is truly an Icon in the world of bodybuilding and without his input bodybuilding would have never become what it is now.
Reg Park set the standard at the time for size and symmetry. In fact his single biggest impact on bodybuilding may have been through Arnold Schwarzenegger to whom he was a mentor and a source of great inspiration to Arnold. It could be that bodybuilding today might have been quite different had it not been for Reg Park.
Natural bodybuilding champion
Reg was one of the true founding fathers of modern bodybuilding and, for that, he will forever be immortalized in bodybuilding history.
Editor-in-Chief, Muscular Development
This simple fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger looked up to Reg Park speaks volumes about the kind of physique Reg had. Arnold, the most prominent figure in bodybuilding history, may not have been who he became if it weren't for Reg Park's inspiration.
So for that, all of us who bodybuild and/or are fans, should be grateful to Reg for impacting the man who would help carry bodybuilding to new heights and new audiences, thus opening doors so we may to live our passion of bodybuilding.
Top GB bodybuilding competitor
What else can really be stated regarding the great Reg Park? His bodybuilding career, which spanned four decades and included three Mr. Universe titles, speaks volumes for itself. His amazing look landed him in the movies where he inspired many young bodybuilders including a future Governor of California. Driven by heavy workouts and often a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs daily, Reg's rugged, powerful, and proportioned physique was held for years as one of the sport's "ideals."
Truly a bodybuilding icon!
Author of Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors
Anyone that was an idol of Arnold is obviously someone very special. Reg was dominating the sport at a time when there wasn't any of the scientific knowledge that we have access to today. He made it to the top with sheer determination and only the very basics in training and nutrition knowledge, that makes him a real man, a real warrior!!! That's what I think of Reg Park.
David Rylah International male fitness model and champion bodybuilder
Dr. David Ryan:
Reg Park was a trendsetter. I know when I started in bodybuilding, it was an odd thing in the mid 1970's, and people would often make fun of me or say things that we degrading. I can't imagine guys like Reg Park and what they had to go through. Arnold inspired me and Reg inspired Arnold, it is that simple.
Today we have lots of things that make us bigger and stronger than Reg ever had. People look at guys like Reg and never stop and think about the kind of body he built using the simple things available at that time. He didn't have much of the help that we have today.
Stop for one minute and think about that, have some respect for those who paved the way. Guys like you and I are sheep following the flock, just imitating what guys like Reg and Arnold did. Can you imagine that there never would have been a Conan, Terminator, or the honorable Governor of California by Arnold if it weren't for Reg.
Stop and say a prayer for him and his family. I usually see Reg every year at the Arnold and it will be a sad day if we don't have him next year. He is a legend, He was a pioneer, He was a champion, He is Reg Park.
Co-Medical Director: Arnold fitness weekend.
Editorial advisor: Muscle and Fitness magazine.
You almost have to be a fan to even know the feeling of awe, gratitude and appreciation that comes from being able to write about your hero. Just to mention Reg's name takes me back to my beginning bodybuilding days and the many hours I spent lying on my bed while gazing up at the bodybuilders I had taped to my ceiling.
Reg stood out for his incredible thickness and impossible chest. The picture I had of Reg was a side chest pose holding an oar next to a swimming pool. He glowed with the essence of size, strength and filled my thumping little heart with faith. I never hoped to achieve even close to what Reg accomplished... but if I could just add some size... Reg's massive size assured me I could.
To have been privileged to journey to his home and meet Reg and his charming wife Marion and their children just added frosting to the cake.
Thank you Reg for all the inspiration I gained from you. I'm flattered that any thing I might say could be considered in paying tribute to you.
Two-time Mr. Olympia
First man to become Mr. Olympia
In the pantheon of bodybuilders, few will occupy as distinguished a place as Reg Park. As a young man from Leeds, England, Park had established himself as a fine athlete, a sprinter, so when he turned to bodybuilding he already had an athletic foundation. He then went on the build a rugged, massive, strong physique that went well with his tall, large frame.
So impressive was he that as a rising bodybuilder, he was able to challenge the great Steve Reeves in a Mr. Universe contest. Although Park did not win initially, it announced to the bodybuilding world the potential greatness he had. Eventually he won the Universe and became for a time, the top bodybuilder in the world.
Park's training style was to use heavy weights with low reps, to train for strength as well as mass, so at six feet tall and 220 pounds of carved muscle, he could bench press 500 pounds yet display a fine set of abs, with mass, cuts and shape everywhere.
Later on in his career, Park maintained that he had gone somewhat overboard on the strength training, that it wasn't as necessary to build a massive, proportionate physique, so he went more with moderate weights, sets and reps, and concentrated on both maintaining his strength while further honing and fine-tuning his physique. Whatever methods he used, however, worked.
Park's competitive career spanned into his forties, when he competed in the Universe one last time. Along with Bill Pearl at the time, Park represented the massive, strong, big yet proportionate bodybuilding tradition well. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger was so impressed by Park's physique, training and movie fame, as Park, like Reeves, had gone on to star in Hercules movies, that he patterned his own training after his idol, and tried to develop his physique in the same way.
Reg Park has been universally regarded as a gentleman and great representative of the sport of bodybuilding. After his initial success, he had married and moved with his wife to South Africa, where he also helped promote bodybuilding.
He continued to train and remain in marvelous shape well into his later years, and although he has been stricken recently with health problems, he continues to be a model of rugged mass for bodybuilders, and class and integrity as a person.
Park's effect on bodybuilding and bodybuilders everywhere is almost too great to measure. When this author was beginning bodybuilding, trying to learn the strange exercises from a book, he turned the pages to find a photo of Reg Park, which showed him posing with a note about his strength and how tall he was.
This gave me the idea that even starting out tall and thin, maybe the author could build substantial muscle and strength like Park. Similarly, thousands of young, aspiring bodybuilders everywhere received the same inspiration from Park's example.
Reg Park, one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.
Professional freelance writer
I first heard of Reg back in the late 1970s after reading Arnold's book: "The Education of a Bodybuilder." He was impressive, but not as much, until I saw other books and photos of him.
I always admired the Steve Reeves' physique, but feel that Reg was in better condition for the Mr. Universe face-off. Reeves won and that's history, but Reg was impressive, nonetheless. I began to read about him and study his courses and career.
The fact, that he claims to be 100% steroid free shocked me, as he obtained the type of development that I thought only a steroid user could possess.
He was equally as strong and again very impressive for a drug-free athlete. I've seen his movies and though Reeves was a classic in beauty and proportion, Reg was truly Herculean. The "Reg Park Journal" and his chain of gyms helped to spread the word of fitness to the masses.
Bodybuilding was considered an outcast activity back then and has now become somewhat of a norm in today's society. Bodybuilding is still an outcast sport, because of its extreme development.
I understand that he is not well and my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family for a speedy recovery and long life!
Classic Anatomy Gym owner and Hall of Fame founder
Natural bodybuilding champion
Arnold Schwarzenegger's hero, both on and off the bodybuilding platform, was Reg Park - do we need to say more? Reg is obviously one of the greatest bodybuilder's of all time--what long time followers of the sport didn't marvel at his physique? But what impressed the Governator as much as Park's muscles was the class he carried with him 24 hours a day - a wonderful physical specimen who cherished his family more than anything in the world.
I first met Reg in person when I began writing for John Balik and IRON MAN Magazine over 20 years ago; John called me and said Reg would be in town on the weekend, and asked if I would like to interview the living legend. That's tantamount to asking me if I'd like to find a cure for male pattern baldness!
The three of us met at an eatery on Main Street in Santa Monica; it was hard concentrating on the right questions to ask, being in such awe of my subject. He had it all--looks, body, personality, grace. It was easy to see why the Governator fell under the Park spell at an early age.
I sat at the same table with Reg and his lovely wife, Marion at the post contest banquet after the Arnold Classic this year; I didn't know Reg was ill at the time and now, after hearing of his failing health, feel fortunate that I got to be so close to such a great man in the course of his wonderful, inspiring life.
Respected writer and bodybuilding contest MC
Reg Park is a Physique legend. His massive, muscular Herculean physique with good looks was the first of his era. Also a first is when he starred in many Hercules movies. Also a first was the superhuman strength and unique workouts that he established.
I first met Reg when I was 17 years of age and he personally took time to encourage me, motivate me and even go through his posing routine. This bigger than life character was one of my heroes. He inspired me to follow in his footsteps.
He has had great success, as a family man, movie star and businessman. His legacy will continue to motivate multitudes. I consider it an honor to have known Reg personally and can call him and his family personal friends.
IFBB professional bodybuilding legend
Reg Park is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. I spent two weeks with him and his family at their home in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1978; there we did exhibitions and trained together. He is an extremely kind person and goes out of his way to do the right thing. His training advice helped me immensely during my competition years and I always look forward to seeing him and his wife Marion at the Arnold Classic each year.
Three-time Mr. Olympia
I met with Reg Park in 1987 during the Amateur World Bodybuilding Championships in Madrid. Then I saw him again in Johannesburg in 1991 during the Mr. South Africa, where the promoter of the competition, Mike Jacobs, invited me to Guest pose. At this contest Reg was the Master of ceremonies.
What I didn't know is that Reg influenced Mike to choose me out of all the Mr. Olympia contenders who competed in Chicago in 1990 to come to South Africa.
Because of those circumstances my life changed, in fact during my stay in Johannesburg I met Adele the woman who share my life today and with whom I live the best part of my life
Also I would like to thank Reg and wish him the best recovery.