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Thread: CASEY VIATOR: THE ULTIMATE PRODIGY

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    Mass Monster Peter McGough's Avatar
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    Default CASEY VIATOR: THE ULTIMATE PRODIGY

    CASEY VIATOR: THE ULTIMATE PRODIGY
    By Peter McGough

    The 2013 NOC National Championships (to select the best amateur in the country) takes place in Fort Lauderdale on November 22, 23. What are the odds of a 19-year-old kid walking out from nowhere to totally dominate, take the overall, and be installed as a future Mr. Olympia? About the same as Phil Heath and Kai Greene skipping into the sunset holding hands to open an Olde Worlde teashop in the Hamptons. But back to 19 year old wunderkinds. At the 1971 AAU Mr. America (which in those days was the premier amateur event) staged in York, Pennsylvania, 19-year-old Casey Viator from Lafayette, Louisiana stormed to victory and sent the bodybuilding world into a tailspin. No one of that age and that completeness and density had been seen before. In a time were 200 pounders were monsters Viator had the following statistics.
    Height: 5’8”; Bodyweight, 217 pounds; Arms, 19 3/8” (cold); Chest, 50”; Waist, 31 ”; Thighs, 28”; Calves, 18”.

    Born on September 4, 1951 Casey died on his 62nd birthday on September 4, 2013 on his 62nd birthday – symmetry indeed.

    A few months prior to his Mr. America win Casey had been contacted by Arthur Jones, celebrated inventor and founder of the Nautilus training system that advocated a high intensity and low volume approach to training. Jones persuaded Viator to cut back to three training sessions a week instead of the marathon six days a week onslaught he had been following and the fruit of his labor (or reduction of it) was the taking that 1971 Mr. America crown.

    At that contest Casey met another 19-year-old, Mike Mentzer. Although the latter finished only 10th Casey saw his potential and advised him to contact Jones. Thus it was that Mentzer under the tutelage of Jones fashioned his Heavy-Duty training principles that are still followed by many today. Truth be told Mentzer was much more of a scholar and analyst of bodybuilding than Casey who was just a good ole boy who loved to get his hands round a knurling bar.

    That Casey was somewhat unpredictable was proved early on when after his 1971 explosion he didn’t compete again until 1978, finishing second in the medium class at that year’s NABBA Universe in London.

    However, in May 1973 under Jones’ direction he took part in the now famous Colorado Experiment at Colorado State University. This involved Casey training only 30 minutes three times a week on Nautilus equipment over a 28-day period (May 1 to May 29) while being monitored by all sorts of high-tech gizmos by the scientific staff at the University.

    Prior to the experiment Casey had undertaken a diet in which he consumed about 800 calories per day and reduced his bodyweight to 168 pounds. For the 28 days of training (encompassing only 12 half-hour workouts) his daily calorie intake was increased to 5,000.

    The end result was:
    Bodyweight at start of program: 168 pounds
    Bodyweight at end of program: 213.28 pounds
    Bodyweight Increase: 45.28 pounds
    Body Fat Loss: 17.93 pounds
    Muscular Gain: 63.21 pounds

    Jones proclaimed the result as validation of his theories and Nautilus equipment. On the other hand, muscle memory anyone?

    In 1979 Casey began competing in IFBB circles and through 1982 competed 12 times recording three wins and six top five finishes. At the 1982 Mr. Olympia in London he finished third although for many he could have won. One who shared that opinion was Casey himself. He promptly retired saying being beaten by Chris Dickerson (1st) and Frank Zane (2nd) was a joke).

    In 1995 he returned to action with 14th at the 1995 Masters Olympia and was far from being the Casey of old.

    Casey enjoyed life, his friends and humor and since 1998 had lived in Clearwater, Florida with his devoted girlfriend. Rest in peace Casey: you will never be forgotten.

    Postscript:
    Just a short while ago I received the following email from bodybuilding legend Tom Platz: “Casey was a huge inspiration to me over the years! In fact as a young man I modeled my squat program after his! So many of our friends have passed away over the past few years. You know, it is like we are all in a very long line… and as you get older you start to see the front of the line.”

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    Freak of Nature Lorenzo Marinčić's Avatar
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    Excelent article thanks Peter

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    I trained with him back in the mid 1980's for my first show...awesome human being and super awesome physique. I used to freak out just looking at him, he was the hugest thing around!

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    Barbarian wildbill's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter,

    I've read most of Arthur Jones books. Super high intensity is a good one. I've used then training cycle Arthur used on Casey. The second version of that book took it a step further. Both of them are too hard on the joints long term.

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    Iron Addict yazid's Avatar
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    I'm so sad, he was one of my fav,he was such a huge inspiration!!
    @szabi.lovasz

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    Nice Peter!!
    MD Muscle News Weekly Ep. 29- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfFHUMbUHI8

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    Barbarian
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    Great article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yazid View Post
    I'm so sad, he was one of my fav,he was such a huge inspiration!!
    ..Unless they were around at the time to witness it; what the current bodybuilding culture does not realize, nor will they never understand is that Casey Viator was the best, most phenomenally built 19 year old bodybuilder that ever lived...

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    Quote Originally Posted by drmarkp View Post
    ..Unless they were around at the time to witness it; what the current bodybuilding culture does not realize, nor will they never understand is that Casey Viator was the best, most phenomenally built 19 year old bodybuilder that ever lived...
    Agreed.
    I don't think there has been anything like him since.

    Casey had a reputation as a serious powerhouse in the gym. I have always been an enormous fan of the man and love reading the old Iron Man and MuscleMag features on him. Many a bodybuilder would show off their strength and power in the gym only to be humbled by Casey. He was quiet, reserved and apparantly and extremely well liked man. I have never read a bad thing about him.
    His forearms were some of the greatest ever built. Easily in the top 3 with Lee Priest and Frank Mcgrath.
    I think by todays standards of judging Casey would have won the 1982 Mr. Olympia. He was cut, huge, thick, dense and simply owned the stage. The trend in the early 80's was still asthetics, symmetry etc with less emphasis on freaky size. Casey Viator was not a "mass monster" but he was the most muscular man on the stage.

    A few years ago I collected as many old Muscular Development and Iron Man magazines as I could. I bag them and place them up on the wall in my gym. I made a list of the 10 bodybuilders who influence me the most. Casey was in my top 5. I made a point of buying every cover feature I could find on him.

    very saddened by this news as he seems to have gone early.
    but left a lasting impact on me.
    I'm sure he's throwing the weight around with his friends Mike and ray mentzer right now.

    Much respect Casey.

    Casey_Viator_128-767386.jpg

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    I used to see and talk to Casey everyday in the gym I worked at back home. It was pretty awesome knowing him for those few years. He was a great guy, extremely nice, and humble as well. His wife was also one of he nicest people I've ever met. He will be missed.

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    "Born on September 4, 1951 Casey died on his 62nd birthday on September 4, 2003 on his 62nd birthday – symmetry indeed."

    Just to check the date - was it September 4, 2003 OR September 4, 2013. If it was 2003 we have waited an extremely long time to pay homage to one of the greats.

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    Spotter victordelcampo's Avatar
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    very nice article i really enjoyed reading that
    thanks and rip Casey Viator

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    Mass Monster Peter McGough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liftlikeumeanit View Post
    "Born on September 4, 1951 Casey died on his 62nd birthday on September 4, 2003 on his 62nd birthday – symmetry indeed."

    Just to check the date - was it September 4, 2003 OR September 4, 2013. If it was 2003 we have waited an extremely long time to pay homage to one of the greats.
    My apologies. It should read September 4, 2013

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    Little Guy Adina Zanolli's Avatar
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    Fixed!

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    I recently found out about this, there are tears in my eyes as I type this, RIP Casey Viator you were one of the greatest

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