Vince Gironda's views on eating eggs would have caused most cardiologists to go into cardiac arrest. Gironda was the premier bodybuilding trainer for over 50 years. His small gym located in Studio City, California attracted the elite bodybuilders of the 60s and 70s who sought the training and nutrition wisdom offered by Vince. Many of his ideas and theories about nutrition and exercise proved to be prescient, as medical research took years to catch up with many of Vince's training principles and nutrition suggestions. To say that his views about nutrition were iconoclastic would be putting it mildly, however. Among his many suggestions, Vince favored a low carbohydrate diet that centered around eating only meat and eggs. Vince used this stringent diet himself when he competed in bodybuilding contests in the 40s and 50s. His body fat levels were so low that judges couldn't quite figure out how to place him in contests. They weren't used to seeing a man with the vascularity and muscular definition that Vince displayed. Vince was particularly fond of eggs, but not just any eggs. The eggs had to be fertile eggs. Although it isn't clear why Vince insisted that only fertile eggs would produce maximum muscular growth, I suspect it had something to do with "growth factors" that Vince assumed were in the fertile eggs. Indeed, Vince's recommendation for building added muscle mass was to consume four fertile eggs every three hours. Vince noted that amino acids peak in the blood by the 2 1/2 to 3-hour mark, and once again he was ahead of the curve in this respect. Recent research that didn't exist in Vince's time has confirmed that amino acids peak in the blood 2 1/2 hours following a meal, and at that time, no further muscle protein synthesis occurs due to what's known as a Muscle full effect. Even the dose of eggs that Vince suggested again proved extraordinarily correct. Consuming four eggs would provide about 28 grams of protein, or the same dose known to maximize muscle protein synthesis. One bodybuilder who trained under Vince's supervision, Don Peters, took the egg consumption to extraordinary lengths. Don consumed up to four dozen eggs a day! I knew Don Peters, and even once worked with him as an extra in a 1975 movie called "Death Race 2000." I can testify that Peters had very little body fat, but a lot of muscle mass. One unknown actor in the movie kept staring at Don during the filming. The name of the envious actor was Sylvester Stallone.
Eggs have remained one of the more controversial foods over the years. When I began bodybuilding over 50 years ago, eggs were considered the best protein source by far. Indeed, all other protein foods . . .