Training

Retro Athlete: Casey Viator

He won the 1971 Mr. America at 19 and was nearly crowned 1982 Mr. Olympia.

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Retro Athlete: Casey Viator
Courtesy of Weider Health & Fitness

A native of Southern Louisiana, Casey Viator was arguably the greatest teenage bodybuilder ever. The titles he collected before his 20th birthday include the 1971 Mr. America. In the 80-year history of that show and its successor, NPC Nationals, he remains, at 19, the youngest champ. The phenom disappeared from stages for the following seven years, but he won three pro contests in 1980 and finished third in the ’82 Mr. Olympia. At 5'8" and 230, he was among the thickest men of that not-so-big era. But shortly after almost claiming the Sandow at barely 31, the enigmatic Viator vanished again. (He made a third comeback at the 1995 Masters Olympia.) He died on his 62nd birthday in 2013. Viator toiled at what he called “hardhat jobs,” and, whether low- volume in the early ’70s or marathon in the early ’80s, he imbued his training with that same blue-collar work ethic. 

 FLEX FACT 

When only 18 at the 1970 Mr. America, Casey Viator was third out of 29 and won best arms, best chest, and best back. 

 VIATOR ON BICEPS TRAINING  

  • “I do one-arm curls before two-arm curls to focus on maximizing contractions in each arm first in my routine.” 
  • “Sometimes I’ll go very heavy and do barbell curls for only four to six reps.”
  • “Biceps are one of the muscles where you really need to get a strong mind-to-muscle connection. If you’re not feeling the muscle contract throughout each rep, go lighter and focus on the feeling.”

 VIATOR’S BICEPS ROUTINE 

  • Concentration Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
  • One-Arm Cable Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Barbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curl | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12

 FLEX  

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