Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Hoffman Exposé, Part Two -- Barton Horvath (1956)

I thought it would be nice to start off with a good belly laugh.

Well, I took a browse around online for some Joe Weider stuff. Yep, an ego without a circumference, but plenty of room for wild exaggeration and infantile sycophantic slobs praising his wonders. Many lies too, for added measure! Golly, there sure is a lot of that in this game! 

Check this: 

From "The Joe Weider Story" at 

"Joe Weider is recognized as the man who changed the way the world understands the connection between exercise, nutrition and good health. 

Go Joe! 

"He created the famous fitness magazine empire that was the first (oh, really) to bring information about training, nutrition, and his beloved sport bodybuilding to men and women eager to improve their physical lives." 

Go Joe! 

Yikes! That's quite a statement, and combined with Joe's phony bust and that cornball statue of his up there, any sane person would at least laugh at a guy with a head that swollen. Between this fella and the Arnold, it's surprising there's any ego left to go around for people who don't have gaping holes in their being that seem to need constant filling. Much like a rare plant that can only survive if liberal applications of urine from brain-damaged mammals are sprayed on it frequently, well, you know what I mean. 

Not to say Bob Hoffman wasn't an egomaniac. Just not as absurdly huge an ego maniac as the Weider. 

It still makes me laugh near-uncontrollably when I see some bodybuilder-type put up a tribute to Mighty Joe Not Young. They invariably paste on a faux-reverential tone and insist on putting that foolish looking joke-of-a-statue along with it. I mean, who can't see it's B.S.? Early era hard-copy photoshop that's hilarious. But no, they keep doing it on bended knee like six year olds writing a letter to Santa. Kind of makes bodybuilding and bodybuilders in general look like an army of mentally deficient knuckleheads in search of a single working brain to share amongst themselves. No "kind of" there at all, really. 

Okay then . . . the article by Mr. Horvath continues on . . . and on . . . 
The understanding I had with Buck Cowling was that the ballots were due to be tabulated behind closed doors on Sunday morning and that the winner would be known only to the committee. The judges were to be informed of the outcome when they took their seats at the judging table and if a clean-cut winner resulted the judging on Sunday night was to establish place positions and the winner and place men in the short man's division, only. 

After the first night's ballots had been collected I had an opportunity to talk with Peary Rader, George Greenfield, Bill Colona and Doug Biller. I learned from their score cards, showed Ray Schaefer, Bob Hinds, Gene Bohaty, Harry Johnson and Steve Klisanin in contention, BUT -- NOT ONE of these judges had Klisanin out in front. In my own case my score card showed Schaefer first and Klisanin fifth. It was later revealed by the photostatic copies of the judges' balloting that I have in my possession that Dr. James as well DID NOT have Klisanin in first position. 

Bob Hoffman, however did, giving Klisanin 14.5 out of a possible 15 points, he tied Ray Schaefer and Gene Bohaty with 13 and gave Jack King, Chuck Vinci and Bob Hinds each 12.5 points! 

Yes, Bob Hoffman, who later had the audacity to tell reporters that he did not consider me a qualified AAU official was THE ONLY ONE to vote Klisanin first. And -- just consider this, he voted Chuck Vinci, the man he felt moved to apologize in front of an audience of 1,500 for his "skinny legs" EVEN with the sensational Bob Hinds and only a half point behind Ray Schaefer and Gene Bohaty and ABOVE Harry Johnson to whom he gave only 12 points! 

His score card is reproduced here. It will be presented as evidence to the AAU. The photographs used here showing the respective physiques of the men involved will also be presented to the AAU along with other pertinent evidence. No wonder I say there appears to be a strong case against Bob Hoffman. But, now for the real stench, the total black eye which the iron game will long have to try to outlive. 

Note: I am trying to imagine how many readers actually read this whole article when it came out on the stands. In my mind I keep hearing, "What the hell is this! Where's the biceps training articles, Joe . . . Ben . . . Anyone?"  

Hoffman badgered his way into the "closed meeting" when the first night's ballots were opened. Annoyed when he learned that Schaefer had won a clean victory by a comfortable margin of 2.5 points, he insisted, over the protest of Buck Cowling and the members of the committee, that the votes of the first night did not count. He said that this had merely been a "get acquainted" showing and that the second night judging would be final. 

While he won his point, Hoffman was guilty of overstepping his authority, for he was empowered with no official rights to alter any of the rules which had been previously established by the local sponsors of the Mr. Universe contest. 

Buck Cowling told me that Hoffman issued threats at that time, indicating that Hoffman would withdraw the sanction if his demands were not met. 

In this, he was guilty of attempted intimidation and actions unbecoming an AAU official. Since he DID NOT issue the sanction he had no authority to threaten to withdraw it and would not have legally been able to do so, even had he tried! 

Rather than cause a public disturbance, Buck Cowling and the committee permitted Hoffman to have his way. But -- at no time did Hoffman indicate he anticipated making any changes in the judges. Buck Cowling and the committee felt certain that the same essential results would occur on Sunday night, for they could see no reason why any of the judges should radically alter their votes. 

After leaving the opening of the sealed ballots, Hoffman seems to have spent a busy afternoon. In some way, Peary Rader was led to believe that my score card showed complete imcompetence. I have a statement to that affect from him. Later on, when Peary had the opportunity to review my voting, he said, "Your score card proved to be well balanced. I consider you a competent judge."

We now reach the meat of the case against Hoffman and why I believe that the AAU will agree that Hoffman rigged the event.

On Sunday night, when I appeared at the stadium to take my place at the judge's table, I found Paul Anderson sitting in my seat and in the place of Dr. James there was Ottley Coulter.

Hoffman informed me that I had arrived too late. This, despite the fact that I had been on the premises half an hour in advance and was seen by Peary Rader. In addition, nothing connected with the contest had as yet gotten underway.

When I protested, Johnny Terpak, Hoffman's right hand man told me, "You know you don't have an official's card, so you can't judge." 

May I inquire at this point from the various AAU registration committees if Ottley Coulter, Paul Anderson or if certain other 

Okay . . . that's enough of this one for me. 
I sure do like training articles and authors looking at all the aspects of actually lifting. This stuff holds little interest for me. Not enough to warrant this long an article. There's four more pages of it. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!   



  1. I agree with your decision to cut the article off. The horse is dead. No need to keep beating it. There's a lot of sordid history in bodybuilding. In fact, the whole "sport" is pretty much a joke, what with the fixed contests, the competitors dying on- or off-stage, the sheer ugliness. Stick with the training articles and let's put this ugliness back on the shelf where it belongs.

  2. This has always been a great site. The historical articles, that is. But whoever keeps writing negative, punkish, idiotic commentary…you’re ruining it!

  3. The commentary that I think you are referring to is by the owner of the site, who can write whatever he wants! Personally, I think he's funny. If you don't like the commentary, stop paying to view the site. Oh, wait a minute . . . Just joshing with you.

  4. You got that right! Oddly enough and surprising as it may seem to some, there's actually a live person behind what you read here . . . not a convenient robot typing away his battery-time remaining so you can get free articles AND whine about it. Crazy people, eh.

  5. I'm feeling cheated! Where are the graphics with BoHo's cartoon head atop a fire breathing dragon? Assuming BoHo did do as Horvath claims, and he might have, one wonders why Horvath eventually asked John Terpak about coming to work for York (and BoHo!)? Was Horvath employer at the time of this writing, even worse?

    1. I lost all energy to direct at this one, but may get back to it later. They jockeyed for position rapidly?

  6. Dammmned...tell me it ain't so! The ol' "Trainer of Champions/ Master Blaster" (well, mastur-something) got to have his head attached to TWO physiques, Robbie's, and also this one??

    Even "The Father of World Weightlifting", the creator of "York Advanced Methods of Weighttraining", who at various times (before the pesky, ego-deflating era of the internet and easy fact-checking) self-designated "World's Healthiest Man", "World's Busiest Man", even once, "World's Strongest Man" (and who inerrantly preached in his pre-1942 books that mastur-something causes dark circles under the eyes), only got a larger-than-Bob statue publickly displayed in PA!

    All I've ever wanted is a small statue, with my head attached to the neck of Sergo Oliva's 1972 Olympia physique, to put on a shelf, so my wife could complain, "what do you need that ugly thing for anyway; all it does is collect dust!"

    Life ain't fair!

    1. I want to put my aging body on a statue with Oliva's head.

    2. Mr. Santus, you did not go back far enough. Joe's "floating head" was also on Abe Goldberg's physique before that. That head got around!


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