Reg Park | Bio, Net Worth, Movies, Stats, Diet and Training

Reg Park | Bio, Net Worth, Movies, Stats, Diet and Training

He was Mr. Universe, a movie star and mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s no exaggeration to say that Reg Park is one of the most influential bodybuilders of all time.

From humble beginnings in Yorkshire, through to international stardom, Reg Park is a true rags-to-riches story.

Despite his tragic death in 2007, his legacy and spirit live on through his two children.

Here’s the whole uncensored and inspirational story.

Reg Park Wiki

Age:                           79 (died 22nd November 2007).

Date of birth:            7th June 1928.

Height:                      6 feet one inch (185 cm).

Weight:                      220 pounds (99.7 kg).

Profession:              Bodybuilder, weightlifting trainer and actor.

Nationality:               British.


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Nickname:                Reg the Leg (as in legend).

Real name:               Roy Park.

About Reg Park

Reg Parks Net Worth

 

Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK, in 1928—the young Reg Park had little interest in bodybuilding. For him, sports meant one thing—soccer.1

Playing for Leeds United FC reserves in his early teens, Reg Park saw that success in this sport could take him away from the depressing industrial textile city. However, that dream was soon to change.

A chance meeting with the bodybuilder David Cohen at his friend’s house ignited his interest in weightlifting. Reg Park was impressed by Cohen’s immense and toned physique—and resolved this was to be his path too.

With no access to a gym, he purchased barbells, dumbbells and a chinning bar—and built a toned frame on these simple bodybuilding staples.

During his National Service years, the Reg Park bodybuilder worked as a physical training instructor. After he was discharged in 1948, he attended the inaugural NABBA Mr. Universe in London. Here he witnessed the iconic Steve Reeves being defeated by John Grimek.

Impressed, yet believing he could equal these greats, he increased his workout intensity. After just twelve months, the Reg Park bodybuilding program had made him into Mr. Britain.

 

But this wasn’t enough. He knew the hotbed of weightlifting was in the USA. So, at the age of 21, he headed across the pond to learn from the best. It wasn’t long before Reg Park’s commitment and focus were noticed by the bodybuilding publishing giant Joe Weider.

This led to massive exposure for Park, with Weider frequently featuring him in his magazines.

In 1950, Park was beaten to the Mr. Universe title by Steve Reeves. Unfazed, he became even more determined to become the best. And, in 1951, the young Englishman finally shattered the USA’s monopoly on bodybuilding competition by finally becoming Mr. Universe.

Throughout the 1950s, Reg Park dominated the competition scene. Yet, he wanted more. Seeing the success of Steve Reeves on the silver screen, he decided to do the same—making five Reg Park Hercules movies.

In later life, Reg Park became the mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger—featuring in the movie Pumping Iron (1977). Arnie says that it was seeing Reg Park’s physique that prompted him to begin training.

Reg Park married Mareon Isaacs in 1952—a relationship that lasted until his death in 2007 of skin cancer. Together they had two children—Jon Jon, who now runs a gym in Los Angeles, and Jeunesse, who founded the charity Food and Trees for Africa.

Reg Parks Net Worth

Adjusted for inflation, it’s estimated that Reg Park’s net worth equates to $6 million today.

Reg Park Bodybuilding Accomplishments

The dedication in Reg Park workouts led to incredible success in competition. Here are his major achievements:

1949               1st                               Mr. Britain

1950               1st                               IFBB Best Developed Athlete in America

1950               2nd                             NABBA Mr. Universe

1951               1st                               NABBA Mr. Universe

1951               Overall Winner         NABBA Mr. Universe

1958               1st                               NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1958               Overall Winner         NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1965               1st                               NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1965               Overall Winner         NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1970               2nd                             NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1971               3rd                              NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

1973               2nd                             NABBA Mr. Universe Pro

Reg Park was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999.2

Reg Park Workout Program

The Reg Park workout has become part of bodybuilding history.

He concentrated on what’s known as the Reg Park Golden Six—the essential exercises required to build a phenomenal physique. This method was adopted by Schwarzenegger in his early training days. It includes:

  • Barbell squat.
  • Barbell bench press (wide grip).
  • Chin-ups.
  • Neck press behind the neck.
  • Barbell curl.
  • Bent knee sit up.

However, it’s probably the Reg Park 5×5 routine that has become the most famous. He first published it in his manual Strength and Bulk Training for Weightlifters and Bodybuilders.

As the name suggests, it concentrates exercises with five sets of five reps—split into three phases lasting three months each.

Reg Park recommended that you should rest for two minutes between sets and three minutes between exercises. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of working out three times per week.

Here’s the whole 5×5 Reg Park routine:

Phase One—Three Months

  1. 45-degrees back extension                        3 sets              10 reps
  2. Back squat                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  3. Bench press                                                 5 sets              5 reps
  4. Deadlift                                                          5 sets              5 reps

Phase Two—Three Months

  1. 45-degree back extension                          4 sets              10 reps
  2. Front squat                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  3. Back squat                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  4. Bench press                                                 5 sets              5 reps
  5. Standing barbell shoulder press               5 sets              5 reps
  6. High pull                                                        5 sets              5 reps
  7. Deadlift                                                          5 sets              5 reps
  8. Standing barbell calf raise                         5 sets              5 reps

Phase Three—Three Months

  1. 45-degree back extension                          4 sets              10 reps
  2. Front squat                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  3. Back squat                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  4. Standing barbell shoulder press               5 sets              5 reps
  5. Bench press                                                 5 sets              5 reps
  6. Bent over barbell row                                  5 sets              5 reps
  7. Deadlift                                                          5 sets              5 reps
  8. Neck press behind the neck                      5 sets              5 reps
  9. Single arm dumbbell press                                    5 sets              5 reps
  10. Barbell curl                                                    5 sets              5 reps
  11. Lying triceps extension                               5 sets              8 reps
  12. Standing barbell calf raise                         5 sets              25 reps

Take a look at Reg Park discussing bodybuilding with Schwarzenegger:

Reg Park Diet

Reg Park Diet

In many ways, the Reg Park diet features aspects common to the modern bodybuilding food plans. It’s high in protein and includes a sensible amount of carbs through vegetables.

However, where it differs is the inclusion of alcohol. It’s known that Reg Park would use stout (his favorite was Guinness) as a bulking aid.

When looking back at his diet, Reg said:

“I liked to eat like a king…I ate prodigious amounts of food during the day, but adhered to a very balanced diet with everything in proper proportions. My favorite food is steak, which I sometimes eat twice a day. I also like salads, orange juice and wine.”

Here’s a typical meal plan for Reg Park:

Meal #1

  • A glass of fresh orange juice.
  • One banana.
  • One papaya.

Meal #2

  • One plateful of cooked oatmeal.
  • One pint of full-fat milk.
  • Fresh cream.
  • A plateful of bacon.
  • Four eggs.
  • Two tomatoes
  • Three rounds of toast.
  • Two cups of tea.

Meal #3

  • One large bowl of soup (including tomatoes and peas).
  • Two slices of rye bread.
  • Bowl of boiled vegetables.
  • Grilled beefsteak.
  • Two cups of tea.
  • Three pieces of chocolate.
  • Two glasses of wine or a pint of Guinness.

Meal #4

  • Eight ounces of tuna.
  • Green vegetables.
  • One large baked potato.

Meal #5

  • Grilled beefsteak.
  • Green salad.
  • Bowl of mixed vegetable soup.
  • A pint of full-fat milk.

Here’s Reg Park, together with other legends of bodybuilding, speaking about his training, diet and legacy:

Was Reg Park on Steroids?

Was Reg Park on Steroids

It’s possible—yet unlikely.

In the late 1950s, steroids were beginning to hit the bodybuilding world.

In 1958, the physician, John Ziegler, began using steroids on the US Olympic weightlifting team. It was an attempt to beat the USSR in competition—already known to be using testosterone on their athletes.

Ziegler developed the potent Dianabol, and in later life admitted using this synthetic on previous Mr. Universe, John Grimek.3

But, what about the Reg Park steroids question?

Firstly, his son, Jon Jon, has said that Reg Park never used synthetics—although he didn’t ostracize those who did. And secondly, Park’s contemporaries have never indicated that he took ‘roids.

Although he was ripped, he didn’t exhibit the tell-tale signs of steroids that we see today. However, neither did Schwarzenegger—and he has admitted injecting these drugs.

So, the evidence tends to point to being natural—although the possibility remains that he was juicing.

Reg Park Before and After

In 1948, Reg Park was still in the Army. He said,

“I was still 6 feet one-inch, but weighed 185 pounds… I suppose altogether, I had 20 workouts in two years.”

However, during his one-year of intense training, which led to the Mr. Britain title in 1949, Reg Park piled on 41 pounds:

“My decision to push myself to training with heavier poundages paid off when I won the 1949 Mr. Britain contest in, I think it was, September or October of that year when I weighed 226 pounds.”

Here’s an image of the lean physical instructor compared to the bodybuilding champion.

Reg Park Supplements

Reg Park Supplements

Generally, Reg Park tried to consume all the nutrients he needed for an immense physique from food.

However, in addition to his Guinness drinking (for both the iron and fat content), he also admits to using protein powder, multivitamins and mineral tablets.

Reg Park Quotes Motivation and Inspiration

Reg Park Quotes: Motivation and Inspiration

Reg Park has become an inspiration both through his achievements and his wise words. Here are a couple of examples:

“Too many bodybuilders spend too much time exercising the smaller muscle groups such as the biceps at the expense of the larger muscle groups such as the thighs. Then they wonder why it is that they never make gains in size and strength.”

“As your bodybuilding aims become higher, obviously you have to work harder, until, believe it or not, you are performing from 20-30 sets of both biceps and triceps three workouts per week.”

Reg Park Frequently Asked Questions

“When Did Reg Park Do Movies?”

Between 1961 and 1965, Reg Park made five Hercules movies.4

In later years, he often appeared as himself on the screen, including Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron (2002) and Reg Park: The Legend (2009).

“Reg Park How I Train?”

Reg Park published an eleven-page article called How I Trained for the 1958 Mr. Universe.

It detailed his diet, workouts and included photographs of his training and instructional images.

“How Tall Was Reg Park?”

Reg Park was six-foot one-inch tall.

“How Tall Is Reg Park?”

The Reg Park height is 185 cm.

“What Age Did Reg Park Die?”

Reg Park was 79 when he died on the 22nd of November 2007.

His demise happened after an eight-month fight against metastatic melanoma (a type of skin cancer).

“How Did Reg Park Workout?”

When training for competition, Reg Park would work out six days per week. His training program always contained what he called the Golden Six—squats, bench press, chin-ups, neck press, barbell curl and sit-ups.

“What Is Reg Park 5×5 Program?”

This is a nine-month progressive routine developed by Reg Park. It consists mainly of exercises that require five sets of five reps.

“What World Records Did Reg Park Hold?”

While Reg Park didn’t hold any world records, he became only the second person to bench press 500 pounds (after Doug Hepburn).

Reg Park Summary

Reg Park Summary

The words bodybuilding legend are often overused. But, in the case of Reg Park, they’re perfectly apt.

This Yorkshireman took on the best athletes the USA had to offer—and beat them. Even the mighty Steve Reeves finished second to the behemoth Park.

What’s more, if it wasn’t for Reg Park, there may not have been a Schwarzenegger. It was Park who inspired Arnold to take up lifting and mentored him throughout his incredible career:

“I was a 15-year-old farm kid growing up in Austria when I was first inspired by a bodybuilding magazine with a picture of him on the cover… my life was never the same…he gave me a glimpse of what my life could someday become if I dreamed big and worked hard.”

Today, his influence lives on—with many bodybuilders considering his 5×5 program to be a staple of training.

Reg Park is truly one of bodybuilding’s greats.

Sources

  1. https://regpark.net/biography/
  2. http://www.ifbbpro.com/reg-park/
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20080528195958/http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/JSH/JSH1993/JSH2001/jsh2001b.pdf
  4. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0661918/

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