Monday, November 7, 2022

Reg Park Speaks -- Denie Walter (1972)


Some years back I did a personal interview on Reg Park. Reg had many interesting things to say, which evoked criticism from some quarters. 

A particular remark dealing with the arm and shoulder development of Larry Scott stated that Reg felt they were out of proportion for his physique. Naturally all the Scott fans were up in arms. Even a certain New York gym owner remarked to me, "Why did you write that, do you want to start trouble between people?" 

Until recently, this remained forgotten, that is, till Scott made a statement of his own. He mentioned the early article and said, "Can you imagine Reg Park saying my arms and delts were out of proportion? Why, coming from Reg that was a great compliment, for I'd trained for years to build my arms and delts to these proportions." 

I personally had not engineered this, nor do I try to engineer anything that I write. My concept in writing is to relate the truth in an unbiased fashion, especially where Park is concerned. For to me Park is champion of champions and the idol of both my youth and maturity. He takes defeat as he takes victory, with honor and dignity. 

Lately though, I've been hearing the usual bodybuilding scuttlebutt and gossip after the big shows in London which left Reg in a questionable light. So I did another interview with him. Every word is his and I've permission to print it. Reg is a man of few words and strong opinions and good sportsmanship.

This is Reg Park now: 

Q: Reg, tell us what's happening on the bodybuilding scene in South Africa, your gyms, enterprises, and training methods in general. 

A: More and more gyms are opening up all over the country. In and around Johannesburg there are 30. I operate four plus a mail order and wholesale organization on health foods and equipment. 

Q: You'll always be number one champ and inspiration to me. Who was yours and why? 

A: Grimek and Reeves both served to inspire me. Grimek for his mass, athletic ability and integrity; Reeves for his obvious handsome physical shape.

Q: What were your feelings at that last two Universe contests in London when Arnold won and then Bill Pearl pushed by the following year? 

A: When Arnold won he deserved to win; he looked better than me and was in better shape. When Pearl won I thought he was too heavy, and particularly in the legs, and too light in the deltoids. I did not think Pearl was better. 

Q: Has your power increased since I spoke to you last about six years ago, I believe you said your best squat was around 605? 

A: I never do power training any more.

Q: Who is the greatest bodybuilder in the world today and why? 

A: I cannot immediately say who is the greatest today. By virtue of all his wins Arnold would rate. But I'm not knocked out by his physique. If Zane's frame were heavier he'd probably rate No. 1, but as it is, I think he is too light in the frame.

Q: You've been in a lot of motion pictures, could you give us some background and behind the scenes stories of some of your films? 

A: The thing I liked best about making films was the money! 

Q: Having known the greats like Reeves, Grimek, Ross, Schwarzenegger, for those of us who'll never meet them personally, how did they strike you in personal contacts? 

A: Reeves struck me as being a shy, self-conscious person. Grimek is a man. Ross was always very nice with me. When I knew Schwarzenegger he was younger and likeable. 

Q: How's your family and little John, if I remember correctly he's quite a swimmer? 

A: John recently came in 5th in the S.A. men's 200 meter butterfly final. 

Q: What are you taping these days? 

A: I don't know my measurements. I'm not interested in measurements, being more concerned with overall shape, size and proportion.

Q: What are your future plans, more movies, I hope? 

A: I'd like to enter the Mr. Universe again, pressure of commitments permitting. My real ambition would be to  win the Mr. U. at 50 years of age.

Q: How does the world bodybuilding scene look as a whole? 

A: When I read some of the American mags it looks sick, but I don't think this is indicative of bodybuilding as a whole.

Q: Have you any advice to impart to readers regarding steroids? 

A: Yes, leave them alone. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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