In the 1960s, the premier bodybuilding gym in the United States was Vince's gym in Studio City, California. The proprietor of the gym, Vince Gironda, was an irascible former bodybuilding competitor in the 40s and 50s who had developed a wealth of both training and nutrition knowledge gleaned mainly by empirical observations and personal experiments. He devised many exercises that are common today and was a believer in aesthetics in bodybuilding. Vince was impressed by men with broad shoulders, coupled with small waists and hips. He would have recoiled had he lived to see the current physiques that dominate professional bodybuilding. Vince would likely have referred to them as "bloated slobs."Vince was never known to mince words. Although Vince's training ideas were way ahead of his time (he advocated partial or "crunch" sit-ups as a superior way to train the abdominal muscles about 35 years before that style of training became common), the most fascinating aspect of Vince's teachings were his perspectives on nutrition. Among other ideas, Vince advocated consuming milk and eggs because they contained the highest biological value protein. Indeed, Vince often suggested the medically heretical advice of consuming a dozen whole eggs a day or more as an "anabolic eating technique." Many medical researchers would nearly faint at such advice because of the massive cholesterol intake that would ensue from that great consumption of eggs. But according to Vince, if you trained and consumed a lower carbohydrate diet, the cholesterol in eggs was not significant. Vince also pointed out that cholesterol is the raw material from which testosterone is formed in the body. Later studies confirmed much of Vince's teachings, including studies of older people engaged in weight training who either ate whole eggs or avoided them. Those studies showed that the older folks who ate the whole eggs make greater gains in muscular size and strength compared to those who didn't eat eggs. This effect was attributed to the cholesterol content of the eggs. Just as Vince predicted!
Another seemingly revolutionary concept advocated by Vince was that "fat burned fat." On the surface, this makes little nutritional sense. After all, dietary fat contains the most concentrated source of calories at 9 1/2 per gram, compared to the 4 calories found in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. But as we will see, various types of fats are metabolized differently in the body, which affects whether they are stored as body fat or oxidized rapidly. Also, consider brown adipose tissue (BAT). BAT is considered a thermogenic tissue in that it converts fat calories into heat. As such, BAT is a type of fat that does indeed "burn" fat. In the past, it was thought that BAT was far more active in animals, such as rodents. The preponderance of evidence showed that BAT was significantly found only in human infants, where it served to help maintain body temperature. But . . .