Mr. America Magazine, Vol 2, No 4, Page 10, July 1959

Modest to a fault, retiring, self-effacing Joe Gold has been little known in the bodybuilding world. here is a true champion who can inspire the man of 35 as well as the teen-ager to build a physique of incomparable excellence. It is with the thought of revealing to you one of the best-built but least-known physiques starts that we ask you to meet


America's Undiscovered Physique Champion

by Joe Weider, Trainer of The Champions

One of the greatest of present-day bodybuilders is virtually unknown to the muscle world at large. In an era when the white spotlight of publicity is turned on far lesser champions Joe Gold remains unique. He avoids publicity, shuns physique contests . . . and you'll never find him spfeading his lats on Muscle Beach! It is because he is so modest and retiring that little is known of this stellar bodybuilder.

I first saw Joe Gold when he was appearing with the famous Mae West show in New York. I had gone one night to get some up-to-date stories of Dick Dubois, Armand Tanny and George Eiferman who were also members of her troupe. And as I sat in the audience enjoying the show I was stunned by the physique of a man whom I remembered vaguely from earlier pictures, but who would certainly be indelibly etched in my mind from that moment on.

Later I went backstage to greet my other friends who in turn introduced me to Joe.

"Great Scott, man . . . where have you been all this time?" I enthused.

"Oh, I've been around," was the shy and diffident answer.

"You certainly can't have been around very much or I would have heard of you before now." I exclaimed.

"Oh, I've never gone in for physique contests and muscle shows . . . as a matter of fact, this is the first time I've ever done show work like this. I guess that's why no one knows very much about me."

"But Joe, think what an inspiration you could be for the countless thousands of men who are thirty-five and over who think they're too old to train. At your age you are the proof positive that weight-training can keep any man's body in peak condition, perfectly-functioning, wonderfully flexible and muscularly coordinated far into later life.

"I feel that I personally mustn't let the opportunity pass to tell your story and to show the bodybuilding world how magnificently you are developed and how superbly you keep that development in tip-top shape."

Okay, if you think I'll be of help," Joe agreed. And so here is the story of America's undiscovered physique champion.

When Joe Gold started barbell training he stood five feet eight inches tall and weighted a miserable 135 pounds. Because of his under-par physical condition he was always shy, lacked self-confidence . . . was afraid of meeting people. he was the skinniest kid on the block.

Because he lived in a very rough neighborhood he was continually being drawn into fights and brawls by those who glorified in bullying the underdog. Too many beatings caused Joe to retreat into himself . . . to avoid others whenever he could and live in a little world of his own imagination.

But like so many other young lads . . . like so many of our Weider champions, Joe had the wisdom to realized that this state of affairs couldn't go on forever. He reasoned that he had the same God-given right to a happy, healthy life as anyone else . . . and he further reasoned that the only way he could achieve that happier life was to develop his body the best he could. how to go about it? That was the question.

About this time, as though in answer to a prayer, Joe Gold met famous Harold Zinkin - one of the most outstanding of West Coast bodybuilders - who inspired him to take up weight-training. At Harold's suggestion, Joe joined the East Los Angeles Barbell Club and began a bright new adventure in living the bodybuilder's way of life!

Under Harold Zinkin's expert guidance, Joe made rapid progress right from the start. To Joe it seemed as if his muscles had lain fallow for years just waiting to be stimulated. Every day saw amazing progress as his muscles just "soaked-up" exercise like sponges. His gains were so rapid, his muscles grew so full and shapely, that in just six months he had slapped 30 pounds of solid muscle on his young frame. Then he took up wrestling and boxing to better defend himself. Needless to say the neighborhood "bully beatings" soon stopped, once the hoodlums had a taste of the Gold strong right arm.

The taste of his first victories was sweet indeed to Joe Gold . . . but was nothing to compare with the new lease on life that barbell training had given him. And the lessons he learned in the care and development of his body have remained with Joe throughout the 35 years of his life. Today, he gives the same scrupulous attention to every detail of his workouts . . . the same complete concentration . . . the same directed purpose with which he began twenty years before.

Joe does not spare his muscles . . . he works 'em hard. He's no "keep fit-er", no "wand drill-er". He doesn't go in for light calisthenics and the "business men's" exercises that are recommended by some for the 35-plus individual.

Every workout is a tussle with the muscle! Today, the Gold physique racks up some impressive measurements . . . like these: Height, 5'10" . . . Weight, 190 . . . Chest (normal) 49" . . . Waist 32" . . . Thigh, 25" . . . Calves, 16" . . . Upper-arms, 17 1/2" and forearms, 13 1/2".

In exercising his body, Joe Gold uses many of the famous Weider Principles, particularly the Split Routine method, Muscle Flushing technique and Weider Super-Set Principle.

He especially favors the Split Routine method because he feels that he cannot adequately exercise his entire body in one workout. In splitting his routine, he is able to work each body part fully three times each week. he believes that too many bodybuilders mistakenly attempt a complete body workout each training day, that they tire too soon and therefore permit some muscle group to be unexercised or exercised too half-heartedly.

The exercise photographs show here simply do not do Joe justice. We had only one hour to shot them because he had to catch a plane for the next city where the Mae West show was to appear. But they do give you a general idea of his massiveness and shape.

Here is his routine:



1. Press Behind Neck. 5 sets, 5 reps - 165 pounds.
2. Compound Lateral Raises (raising dumbbells forward and upward overhead, returning them sideways and downward). 5 x 5 - 45-pound dumbbells.

Joe works out very fast, going very quickly from one exercise to another. Immediately after completing the last set of Compound Lateral Raises, he goes right into his arm exercises.


1. Two-dumbbells Curl. 5 sets, 5 reps - 75-pound dumbbells.
2. Dumbbell French Curl. 5 sets, 5 reps - 120-pound dumbbell.
3. Dumbbell Concentration Curl. 5 sets, 10 reps - 50-pound dumbbell.
4. Barbell Triceps Curl. 5 sets, 10 reps - 75-pound dumbbells

Quite an arm program isn't it . . . one of the most effective we've seen. Now, after a pause for recuperation, Joe attacks his back muscles.


1. Dumbbell Rowing Motion. 5 sets, 10 reps - 100-pound dumbbell.
2. Pulldown on Lat Machine. 5 sets, 10 reps - 170 pounds.
3. Back-of-neck Chins. 5 sets, 6 reps with 50 pounds attached to waist.


1. Leg Raises. 3 sets, 50 reps, sometimes on abdominal board, sometimes on chinning bar - depending on energy reserve.
2. Situps. 3 sets, 50 reps, on high incline abdominal board.



Joe's chest work is done in Super-Sets and comprises two exercises, with one exercise as an alternate. He either uses the Heavy Barbell Bench Press or the Heavy Incline Bench Press, Super-Setted with Heavy Bent Arm Lateral Raises.

1. Bench Press. 5 sets, 5 reps - 205 pounds.
2. Bent-Arm Lateral Raise. 5 sets, 5 reps - 90 pound dumbbells.

Joe performs 1 set of the Bench Press, going without pause into 1 set of the Bent-Arm Lateral Raise . . . continuing set-for-set in this manner until 5 sets of each exercise have been performed. He rests as little as possible between Super-Sets to keep the tremendous muscle pump this particular Super-Set effects.

On Tuesday he uses the Flat Bench Press in the Super-Set, on Thursday he substitutes the Incline Bench Press, and so on, alternating workout-for-workout to give the entire pectoral area a thorough workout.


1. Squats. 5 sets, 5 reps - 300 pounds.
2. Leg Curls. 5 sets, 9 reps - very heavy weight.
3. Heel Raise (Donkey). 6 sets, 20 reps.
4. Leg Press. 6 sets, 9 reps - heaviest possible weight.


The same abdominal program used on Monday, Wednesday and Friday is performed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Into all his exercises Joe Gold pours the most intense concentration. he rarely talks to anyone when training, and he watches himself closely in the mirror to see that the muscles under exercise are working in the exact manner they are intended to.

Such patience and zeal are frequently encountered among younger bodybuilders, but in a man who as reached the prime of life they are rare indeed.

"I believe it is my great zest for exercise, my determination to keep my body youthful, to avert the slouchiness and lack of muscular tone that older men invariable acquire, that make each of my workouts so progressively successful," says Joe.

"I believe that any man of thirty-five and upward can do the same if he will allot himself just a couple of hours each day or three days a week to scientific, modern exercise."

Certainly Joe Gold is living proof . . . and what he preaches should be heard and heeded by every man who is discovering that truly "time marches on".

MUSCLEMEMORY NOTE: the font used in the title of this article for Joe Gold's name, as well as in the exercise illustrations, is the familiar one used for the GOLD'S GYM logo. Since I believe that logo was first used in the 70s after Joe had sold the gym, its likely the design came from this article.

The inconsistancy with this article is that if Weider didn't "discover" Joe Gold until the time of this article, late 1958 or early 1959, then how did Joe Gold appear on the cover of Weider's Muscle Builder 4-5 years before ?

If you find these articles interesting and useful, please