How to Train Like a Dragon

Rich Gaspari is a testament to the power of perseverance with the most ageless pipes you'll ever see.


“My friend’s father collected Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness magazines and that’s where I was first awestruck that it was possible to have muscle like those guys had,” he recalls. “I read about Arnold, Lou Ferrigno, Robbie Robinson, Frank Zane, and Mike Mentzer. I thought they all looked like superheroes, and I wanted to learn how they did it so I would spend hours in my friend’s basement reading the magazines. My friend was not happy since I would go there to just read the mags and not really play with him.”

The rebound back to health came quickly for the persistent teen. In his first year of training, he had added a lean 52 pounds of muscle. And with his catalog of superheroes to inspire him, his enthusiasm—and ambition—grew quickly. “I started training to compete at the age of 16 and improved every year and won my first show at the age of 18 at 190 pounds. I won the Teenage New Jersey Physique show and also won the men’s division, so I thought I had a future in pro bodybuilding.”


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