The Rich Gaspari Seminar + Posing
a review by
The year was 1984, the month December. I had just turned fourteen, and for the first time got to go to the shopping mall by myself. I had been weight training in the basement with a cast-iron weight set my older brother used. Even though I was doing full-body workouts, I had never picked up a muscle magazine. In Waldenbooks I grabbed the latest issue of Muscle and Fitness. My life was never the same after that.
Inside the issue was coverage of the 1984 Mr. Olympia contest. Lee Haney had won his first Mr. O, and I was flabbergasted by the photos. Till then, the only pros I'd seen pix of were Arnold and Franco, and Platz. I bought the issue on the spot.
Thirty days later I had the next issue of M&F in hand. Mike Christian had gone pro by winning the NPC Nationals, and was preparing for his first pro show. A guy named Rich Gaspari had won the Nationals light-heavies, also going pro. Jeff Everson had nicknamed Richie the Dragonslayer -- after the 1981 Disney film -- but Gaspari didn't look like anything special to me.
Several months later, M&F had Sylvester Stallone on the cover, promoting the film Rocky IV. The issue also covered the 1985 IFBB Night of Champions. I opened it up to a big pic of Albert Beckles winning the show. But it also had a small pic of Rich Gaspari (who placed 2nd) hitting a side triceps pose. Rich had put on about 15 lbs. since his Nationals and Universe wins, looking thick and freaky. I was hooked; from that moment, I followed his career. In every show he entered, I anticipated his wins. More than once, I thought he should have won the Mr. O. He was a shining example of everything right about bodybuilding. [Mike's editorial aside: I still have videotape of an ESPN broadcast of Gaspari being interviewed during the IFBB LA Pro show in 1986, where he told the commentator, "I won this show." He did.]
Years have gone by -- about twenty-four, to be exact -- and not much is out there about Richie. His training videos are hard to get, and the mags dont print much about him. Now GMV has come in to renew Richie's rep. Back in 1987, Wayne Gallasch shot Gaspari doing a seminar in Wayne's hometown of Adelaide, Australia. Gaspari was also filmed guest-posing. GMV has just remastered this tape for DVD. The other nice thing GMV has done is to add footage from other times Wayne filmed Richie, including at the 1989 FIBO, and the 2001 and 2005 Mr. O (where he appeared at the expo in his company booth). Plus, the folks at GMV have added a neat photo gallery of Richie at his posing best.
This DVD is a must for fans of the '80s bodybuilding scene. Richies seminar is full of timeless info. His diet strategy could easily apply to anyone training today. He knew his stuff and wasnt afraid to discuss it. The audience asked some pretty in-depth questions -- Richie answered them all. I couldnt help thinking that I wish I had gotten this when it first came out. It would have helped me when I was competing in powerlifting and bodybuilding shows back in the day. Richie isn't afraid of divulging trade secrets: he discusses which supplements work, which ones dont. He comments on how ineffective grandulars are (remember those?). He is more interested in helping the audience than in hiding anything. It's great to have this info firsthand, and it's no surprise Richie extended his career with nutritional products. In fact, the info is so good that Im thinking about showing this DVD to kids I train and teach lifting to.
The guest-posing footage shows a very in-shape Gaspari looking awesome. Doing front double biceps shots, he pulls his stomach up into a vacuum. Name one pro who could that today! He's shredded and ripped -- his skin a roadmap of striations. The added interviews are fun, worth listening to over and over again.
I cant thank GMV enough for putting this tape out on DVD and adding the interviews and photos. It's great -- not only to relive Gaspari in his prime, but to remind me of sensible supplementation.
Serious about bodybuilding? Consider this DVD.