Strength & Health, Page 24, November 1955

Mickey Hargitay, Mr. Universe 1955

by Jim Murray

The amateur Mr. Universe winner for 1955, Mickey Hargitay, is a man who has often been overlooked in U.S. physique contests, where posing often has as much influence on the judges and spectators as how the man actually looks under normal conditions. Abroad, however, the selection of winners is made prior to the posing exhibitions, and it is under normal conditions that Hargitay really looks his best.

For the past several years Mickey has done his final training for important contests at York, though he is a regular member of Higgins' Gym in Indianapolis, where he first tired weight training. Seeing him walking around the gym and exercising with heavy weights, regulars on the York staff always expected him to place higher in the Mr. America contest. his posing presentation was always overshadowed, however, so this year he was encouraged by John Grimek to make the trip to London where it was felt the judging system would be more to his advantage.

It was and he won the big title, placing ahead of a former Mr. America winner to boot!

Not all Hargitay's success was due to the scoring system, of course, for he had continued to train hard and improved in both shape and muscularity. Special emphasis on pressing and lateral raise movements brought out his deltoid development until he looked too broad to pass through an ordinary door.

Mickey was born in Budapest, Hungary, but came to America in 1947 and became a citizen of the United States. He is married to an Indianapolis girl and they are parents of a pretty daughter. Mickey is one of four children, two boys and two girls. He has always been athletic and while in Europe competed in ice skating. He won the Middle European championship at 500 and 1,500 meters in 1946, and placed second in the 5,000 meter race.

He began weight training under the supervision of Bob Higgins, former world featherweight lifting champion, after being inspired by pictures of John Grimek, Steve Stanko, and Steve Reeves in Strength and Health.

Hargitay is self-employed as a building contractor, but during the past year was signed up for the lead "muscleman" part in the touring Mae West show.

His exercise routine is nothing unusual. Mickey trains hard on a wide variety of exercises, and likes to use very heavy weights. An example is his two sets of 15 repetitions in the leg press with 600 pounds. He easily exercises with 400 pounds or more for full squats, and is a strong presser, having made a single barbell press with 280 pounds. He also has a strong pull, having cleaned over 300 pounds without moving his feet or squatting, but is unable to perform the competitive lifts because of an old knee injury incurred while skating.

Mickey Hargitay is a deserving winner of the Mr. Universe title and a man whose well-balanced personality will bring credit to the iron game through his dealings with the general public.


- Mickey Hargitay makes an imposing Mr. Universe winner, being one of the biggest men to hold the title. He stands 6'2" tall and weighs 220 pounds. (Photo by Arax, Paris.)

- Heavy dumbell pressing with one and two arms, and a variety of lateral and forward raising movements with dumbells were an important part of Mickey Hargitay's training for the Mr. Universe contest, resulting in improved shoulder development. The photos below show two of his favorite biceps exercises, curling dumbells with one and two arms.

- Mickey Hargitay demonstrates great leg and body power by performing full squats with 435 pounds, and shows unusual strength with a shoulder bridge press of 465.

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