This is my exclusive interview (30 questions) to Casey Viator.

 Now you can know latest Casey's projects, hobbies, his favorite movie and much more....




"In Conversation with Casey Viator" - By Brian D. Johnston - (source "")

Since the conception of high-intensity training, Casey Viator has been in the forefront of the exercise industry, being the youngest man to win the Mr. America contest, winning two IFBB Pro Championships, and placing in the top 5 during his Mr. Olympia years.

BDJ: How old were you when you first started training?
CV: I was 13 years old when I started training. I inherited a barbell set from my uncle and started training in my parent's garage. My progress was steady, but I felt limited. I joined an Olympic training center and started doing basic Olympic lifts. I feel this was the beginning of my learning how to handle heavy weights properly. I joined a Bodybuilding gym and went on to win Local and State BB shows.
BDJ: Did you continue Olympic lifting during your bodybuilding career and why or why not?

CV: I have always used olympic lifts to test my all around fast twitch responses. I continued using them because I believe in all around athletic ability and functional muscle.
BDJ: Your work with Jones began in the late 1960s, if I remember correctly. How did that come about, what are your views of being part of the Nautilus Golden Era, and when and why did you break ties with Jones?

CV: I met Arthur at a Senior Mr. America competition in Culver City, CA. I was 18 years old and placed 3rd overall. I was very pleased with my placing and looked forward to winning the overall show the following year. Arthur saw my potential and we talked about training in Florida for the next year's competition. 
It was great working with prototypes of future Nautilus machines and I had a say in what worked and what did not. We worked very hard in 1970 and 1971 to get the bugs worked out of these prototypes. I was more or less on 24-hour call to check out new ideas and to make sure the machines felt right. I do describe in detail many of these questions you are asking in my new book, Casey Viator's Total Fitness. People that are interested in a more indepth explanation can refer to my book.
I left Nautilus and Arthur Jones basically because I had a great need to compete again. This is in the latter part of 1978. Mr. Jones did not want me to compete anymore and I felt I had what it took to win Pro IFBB shows, which I did win 2 ­ the Pro Grand Prix in 1980 and also took third in the 1982 Mr. Olympia. So, I think I proved my point. There was also a problem with my wages, which we fought over repeatedly. So, I felt it was time to move on.
BDJ: Compare the progress you made prior to this time and while training with Jones. Did you find that Jones's method of HIT benefited you?

CV: I made great progress in 1970-71. Arthur did teach me a lot about pre-exhausting muscles and about the difference in direct and indirect movements. My book is based upon these pre-exhaustion theories and proper sequences of exercises. HIT was something I was doing before I met Arthur but he definitely put the finishing touches on my understanding about High Intensity Training.
BDJ: Describe a typical HIT workout you performed, including pre-workout motivation, exercises, etc., and relay any training stories you think our readers would find interesting.

CV: Most of my workouts consisted of whole body workouts. Starting with lower body and working outward to the smaller muscles such as arms and calves. These workouts were performed rapidly, and you had to get used to this type of intensity. Most people in the beginning would get sick. It was like getting a form of oxygen dept. Your heart and lungs are pulling all the oxygen in you need, but your circulatory system just cannot distribute the massive amounts of oxygen properly. What ends up happening is your blood gets too rich in oxygen and you get dizzy and sick to your stomach if you pushed too hard. So many trainers had to adjust their training for one month. A good indication is to monitor your pulse rate. If your pulse gets too high, you are getting close to your limit for that training session. Many buckets were put around our training area just in case someone lost it.
BDJ: Did you continue HIT style training after your time with Jones?

CV: Absolutely. This technique is what my physique was built upon.
BDJ: That's an interesting point considering many magazines had you performing twelve or more sets per muscle group, training 5-6 days a week. Apparently propaganda to enforce the volume style of training. Do you recommend HIT today, and explain your current method of training?

CV: I use HIT in every workout and also advise people on my website to train in this fashion as well. My training has not changed in years and usually I do a 2-day-on-one-day-off, 2-day-on- weekends-off.
For example: Monday (chest, biceps, calves); Tuesday (shoulders, full leg workout); Wednesday (off); Thursday (upper and lower back, triceps, calves); Friday (priority day, which is working body parts that are lagging behind to improve your symmetry).
My workouts last no more than 45 minutes to 1 hour, so I am moving fast to complete everything. Many of my clients follow the same routine, although the whole body workouts are still recommended for extra growth inroads.
BDJ: Besides being the youngest person in history to win the Mr. America, you're also well known for the Colorado Experiment.

CV: This is a very lengthy question and this must be cross-referenced in my book. The study was a lesson in muscle memory and the in-depth parts are described fully.
BDJ: Several years ago there appeared an article in Muscle & Fitness entitled "Casey Comes Clean." In this article, you discussed the Colorado experiment with Arthur Jones and how you gained over 60 pounds of muscle. In the article you downplayed HIT training, saying you needed more volume than 3 days per week, and that he was "sneaking" in extra workouts on your own time. I would be curious to know if that was a propaganda article, or if that reflected your honest opinion.

CV: This pretty much was a propaganda article. I might have written 30% of what was printed. There was not any sneaking around doing extra exercises or sets. We were working at such a high level of intensity no extra work was needed. We accomplished this study with great success and my 60 lbs. was done exactly the way we described it. We knew before the experiment started that I would gain that much weight and nothing has been duplicated close to it since.
BDJ: I would like your opinion on some people - what thoughts come into your heard when you hear the names Joe Weider, Arthur Jones, Dorian Yates, and Mike Mentzer?

CV: My opinions of people? Let's try it. Joe Weider: Joe really helped me in the line of posing and muscle control. He would stop important meetings to help me. He was very patient and had an eye for the right angles. His sessions usually left me in a pool of sweat and sore for 2 days, even if I was in top shape. Posing affects the muscles that training cannot touch. It also is great for definition. Arthur Jones: This man changed the way the average person looked at exercise, with machines and theories which were drastically needed in the 70's. The "get-in, get-out" training method turned millions onto exercise. He is still a close friend of mine. I still see or call him from time to time. He's definitely a great promotor and a perfect example of a self-educated man. Dorian Yates: I've known Dorian since the early 80's. He's a very personable champion and a great bodybuilder technician. Mike Mentzer: Although we have our differences in opinion about methods, Mike has helped a lot of people to understand the HIT theory. 
BDJ: Did you find the training for the Colorado Experiment or during your 'Nautilus' years optimum, or would you have done things differently if provided another chance?

CV: We had some of the first segment training machines ever. Hence my training was optimum for what I was doing. If I trained the same way for my Pro shows, I don't think I would have done as well. The intensity stayed but I employed a lot more nautilus and hit muscle at all angles during my Pro Competition days. I did overtain for these shows, but I feel that's the only way the muscle can look that refined.
BDJ: Arthur Jones made a similar comment about a person becoming lean, that in order to get 'cut', one has to overtrain (to paraphrase). What are your thoughts on the current direction taken with HIT, of a much reduced volume and frequency as suggested by Mike Mentzer (e.g., as few as 1-2 sets every 5-7 days)?

CV: I feel the theory is being over thought by several HIT advocates and it should stay simple. The beginner gets great gains from one set in a muscle group. When you compete professionally you have to refine the muscles with intensity and variation of exercise. The theory of a person so trained that he only has to do one set in 7 days is only a "pipe-dream" Arthur Jones and myself had 20 years ago. It's nice to talk about, but it won't happen.
BDJ: What is your stance on nutrition? For years we've heard about your intense training, but rarely on what you ate or what eating recommendations you consider appropriate.

CV: I'm a stickler to 60% protein, 30% carbohydrate and 10% fat and that's pretty much year round. I have 6000 clients world-wide that I adjust their diets and check their progress on exercise and diet every 3 months. I have special cases that don't apply but most people come to me to lose fat and gain muscle, generally improve as a whole. I'm very proud of the many results I accomplish through my students.
BDJ: Can you relay a few case examples for our readers, as to the progress they made? 

CV: Allow me to give you an example by providing a quote from my book. "I had a client that had been training for several years before he sought my guidance. He came to me at a bodyweight of 190 lbs, moderately hard muscle wise. He wanted desperately to get his bodyweight up to a hard 220 lbs. We trained very hard with emphasis on upper body mass. After 6 months of grueling workouts. I received a call from him saying that he had to stop training. I asked him why he would want to discontinue such great gains and he replied that when he went to visit his mother she didn't recognize him, which made her very upset. I laughed and said that this was what you wanted and had strived so hard to achieve. I made the mistake of not taking polaroids of him when we first started. However, when I Iooked at his old driver`s license, I too didn't recognize him. Keep in mind , very little of the bodyweight that was gained was fat. His entire facial structure had changed with the muscular gain, even his posture. I always take photos of my clients now, seeing them progress everyday you just do not see what a dramatic overall change 30 lbs. of muscular bodyweight does to to someone`s overall look. If you apply 30 years of training and diet knowledge, these shocking results can even suprise your mother!"
BDJ: It's apparent that you, as well as any top-caliber athlete or bodybuilder took anabolic steroids. How much do you feel they contributed to your progress?

CV: I don't encourage anyone to use steroids, however if people do, do it under a physician's guidance. I do feel it gives you an edge. Remember Ben Johnson, 100 meter sprinter expelled for his steroid use? He looked like a bodybuilder and he ran like he was shot out of a cannon. If steroids didn't help him, it damn sure didn't hurt him.
BDJ: Did you find that you became psychologically dependent on steroids during your competitive years and did you incur any long-term side effects?

CV: Steroids are used for a purpose. I know some people who take them just to attend a physique show, just to sit in the audience. Pro Ball players OK, Pro Bodybuilders OK, casual use for no reason definitely not.
BDJ: You have a new book on the market. Tell us about it and give us some insight as to its content.

CV: My book is geared for people of all walks of life from beginner to intermediate, through advanced. The topics I cover include proper sequence of exercises pre-exhaustion with direct and indirect movements, working around Injuries, HIT, and nutrition & supplementation. There is also a large question and answer area from my clients over 15 years, which applies to all, and Casey's Tasites (recipes I've created to lean toward a hi-protein, low-fat diet). I have additional chapters on sticking points, training accessories, joint problems and remedies, and my personal biography including my start in bodybuilding, competing and worldwide seminars. I include my relationship with Arnold and Sergio, who made a life changing impression on me, plus body fat and body type analyses. For more information, your readers can visit my website at
BDJ: What future plans do you have and what current projects occupy your time?

CV: I plan to write more publications on training and diet. Women's hips and symmetry seems to be my next project. This will be geared to balancing your physique with stereotyping your physique and adjusting diet with lots of priority training areas. I also plan to continue my internet personal training business, which is very successful
BDJ: Any last words of wisdom and encouragement for our readers?

CV: Try not to over think HIT. Remember there is no general routine for everyone. I try with my personal training business to individualize it in a simple way. Train intensely! Readers can send me comments to 1480 Terrell Mill Road, PMB 840, Marietta, GA 30067, or Email (Visit Casey's site at

Iompao 2001 - The Italian Tribute to Casey Viator