Who Is Gary Strydom?
South African IFBB Pro bodybuilder Gary Strydom. Gary Strydom competed in Mr. Olympia and won competitions like the Night of Champions and the USA Championships during his brilliant 30-year career.
Early Life of Gary Strydom
Gary Strydom, however, had to make some significant sacrifices to succeed.
At the age of 20, Gary left his South African home and family in 1982 with just a one-way ticket to the United States, $1,000, and the ambition to become a renowned bodybuilder. This is Gary’s tale, and the rest is history.
Body Measurements of Gary Strydom
|Full Name:||Gary Strydom|
|WEIGHT:||295 – 310lbs (133.8kg – 140.6kg)|
|ERA:||1980, 1990, 2000|
- 1983 NPC Florida Championships, Junior – Heavyweight and Overall, 1st place
- 1984 NPC USA Championships, HeavyWeight, 1st place
- 1986 NPC Nationals, HeavyWeight and Overall, 1st place
- 1987 IFBB Night of Champions, 1st place
- 1988 Chicago Pro Invitational, 2nd place
- 1988 Mr. Olympia, 5th place
- 1989 Arnold Classic, 3rd place
- 1989 Grand Prix France, 1st place
- 1989 Grand Prix Germany, 2nd place
- 1989 Grand Prix Melbourne, 1st place
- 1989 Grand Prix Spain (2), 2nd place
- 1989 Grand Prix Spain, 2nd place
- 1989 Grand Prix Sweden, 1st place
- 1989 World Pro Championships, 2nd place
- 1990 Grand Prix England, 2nd place
- 1990 Grand Prix Finland, 3rd place
- 1990 Grand Prix France, 2nd place
- 1990 Grand Prix Germany, 4th place
- 1990 Grand Prix Italy, 3rd place
- 1990 Houston Pro Invitational, 2nd place
- 1990 Ironman Pro Invitational, 4th place
- 1991 Night of the Champions, N/A
- 1991 WBF Championships, 1st place
- 1992 WBF Championships, 1st place
- 1996 Night of Champions, 12th place
- 2006 Colorado Pro Championships, 7th place
“I liked to play down my figure, so I tended to wear loose-fitting clothing. Let’s face it, my 275-pound bulk would be difficult to conceal no matter how I dressed. I occasionally wore formal clothing, but these clothes were always tailored specifically for me.
Biography (Early Life)
The Life Of Gary In Cape Town
Gary Strydom was an athlete since he was a little child. He was born and reared in Cape Town, South Africa.
In sports like rugby, swimming, and track, he thrived due to his high level of desire and motivation to be the greatest.
Due to his intrinsic zeal, Gary rose fast through the ranks and eventually became the captain of the rugby team.
Gary eventually had to stop playing sports to complete the required 2-year military service.
Gary’s work ethic and discipline rapidly served as an example for other military personnel, much like in sports. He moved up the ranks fast, from Private to Sergeant.
Gary considered his time in the service to be priceless, so much so that he chose to serve another two years as an Army radar technician.
Although Gary loved the “grind,” life in the South African Army was far from simple. Even by his standards, it was really difficult. However, Gary was grateful for this time since it gave him a discipline lesson and helped him get ready for upcoming difficulties.
A Passion For Bodybuilding
Gary worked out to stay active while serving in the Army. Whenever he had time, he would perform pushups, crunches, and other workouts.
Working out swiftly turned become Gary’s addiction. At this moment, he started to take his interest in working out seriously.
He began reading magazines devoted to the sport, reading about his heroes like Arnold and other bodybuilders from the Golden Age.
Gary quickly saw the issue, though, which was that the majority of these athletes were American citizens. Gary decided that he would have to relocate to America as well if he wanted to meet them in person and develop into a bodybuilder himself.
One-Way Ticket To The United States
Gary’s mother responded sarcastically after learning that he had decided to relocate to the United States, “You’ll return home when you’re hungry son,” alluding to his voracious appetite.
Even though Gary found it difficult to leave his family, his goals were waiting for him. With just $1,000 in his pocket, 20-year-old Gary packed his luggage, purchased a one-way ticket to the United States, and boarded the aircraft.
Miami To New York
Gary was certain of his bodybuilding objectives but he wasn’t certain of where he would reside in America.
He decided to travel to Florida, a state with a mild climate similar to Cape Town, after speaking with other travelers on the plane.
He ended up staying in a dark, dilapidated motel on his first night in America. The following few days were exceedingly difficult; according to Gary, he even spent a few nights sleeping on park benches because all of the places he tried to stay at were full.
Gary finally found a place to stay after traveling to Key West, Florida, for an additional week.
Employment, Exercise, And A New Life In America
In the months that followed, Gary Strydom put a lot of effort into establishing a new life for himself.
He would spend the entire day at work before going to the gym to work out in the evening.
Even though he was driven by his bodybuilding dream during these “difficult days,” Gary claims that he missed the support of his distant family members.
First Bodybuilding Competition
With reliable employment and a membership to a nearby gym, Gary was able to gradually get used to his new life of training and working while building the groundwork for his upcoming competitive career.
Specifically, 1983. Junior Florida Bodybuilding Championships is the competition. Even though this was Gary’s first performance, he walked out in fantastic shape, and it was obvious right away that he was a star in the making.
Issues With American Citizenship
Gary once more astonished the audience at the USA Championships the following year, in 1984, and went on to win the competition.
Gary learned he couldn’t participate in the American Nationals that year just as he was rising through the rankings. He couldn’t enter the program unless he was a citizen of the United States.
Gary was perplexed because he had recently participated in the USA Championships without having citizenship, but for some reason, he wasn’t permitted to compete in the equally competitive event.
What is the difference between Americans and Nationals, he recalled asking the officials. yet he didn’t get the response he was hoping for. The show’s entrance doors remained shut.
Pro Card And Nationals
Gary wasn’t ready to give up on his chance to compete at the USA Nationals just yet, despite the gravity of the issue. He submitted his application for citizenship and awaited the outcome.
Gary, however, didn’t just sit around; he worked out more diligently than ever to build his greatest body yet.
Gary finally got his citizenship a week before the 1986 U.S. Nationals.
He completed his last-minute preparations before performing at the show one week later, knowing there was no time to waste. Gary’s perseverance paid off in the end, as he took home the show and the IFBB Pro Card along with it.
Gary’s career flourished after going pro. He started to feature in well-known bodybuilding publications, made international guest appearances, and participated in a picture shoot with Lee Haney for a publication.
Gary loved every minute of living out his bodybuilding goal.
He understood that it was just a matter of time until he entered the world’s largest bodybuilding competition, Mr. Olympia.
He started down the path to getting there by winning the 1987 Night of Champions, the first of many victories as a professional.
The Debut Of Mr. Olympia.
Gary Strydom attained his goal of appearing on the Mr. Olympia stage in 1988. He finished the competition in an astounding fifth place, having been “ripped to the bone” and possessing exceptional dimensions.
Gary, though, was confident that he could perform even better.
He later modified his diet and exercise regimen to get even better shape for the 1989 Arnold Classic, when he won the bronze medal. This was followed by three other IFBB Pro victories in Europe, including one in the 1989 Grand Prix France.
The World Bodybuilding Federation Membership
Not everyone missed Gary’s meteoric ascension in the Pro Circuit.
Soon, a well-known wrestling tycoon approached him and invited Gary to join the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF).
Tom Platz, one of the WBF’s directors, was one of Gary’s top bodybuilding role models.
Gary finally decided to take the opportunity and started a new phase of his bodybuilding career. I have no regrets; it was a business decision, he stated. What would you do if you were offered a job that paid 12 times as much while requiring tenths the amount of work? A three-year contract with guarantees was involved! G. Strydom
Timing Of Gary In WBF
Gary was the only individual to succeed in that bodybuilding format during his time in the WBF.
The success, though, was fleeting. Just two years after its founding, the World Bodybuilding Federation disintegrated as a result of specific problems.
Soon after the demise of the WBF, Gary decided to stop competing in bodybuilding. Instead, he shifted his attention to expanding his brand-new apparel company.
Many of Gary’s supporters thought that his finest years were still ahead of him, so when they heard the news, they were saddened.
Gary worked hard in the years that followed, even though he didn’t compete, to get ready for one last comeback.
Performing a rear lat spread position on the bodybuilding podium is Gary Strydom.
Moving forward to 2006, Gary unexpectedly made a comeback at the Colorado Pro, 12 years after he had retired.
He was possibly in the greatest shape of his life at the age of 46.
Many of the athletes he faced off against were 20 or more years his junior. Gary nevertheless managed to finish the show in a strong seventh place despite this.
Gary Strydom’s comeback sparked a passionate reaction from both sportsmen and bodybuilding fans.
Gary had to abandon his plans to continue competing because the publicity surrounding his comeback was so significant; instead, he went on to create events and fan meet-ups while touring the globe.
Gary’s fame has only increased since that time. He continues to be regarded as a renowned authority and a great role model for many aspirant bodybuilders all over the world.
“Bodybuilding is my life’s passion and my profession. I’ve continued to live that lifestyle and train in the years since I retired. For me, the comeback acted more like the start of a brand-new competitive career.
Simple Lifts And Heavy Weights
Gary alone acquired the necessary training skills. He made progress through learning from mistakes.
He discovered through time that his body responded best to simple routines that concentrate on large muscular groups. Squats, bench presses, and bent-over rows are a few of these.
When he was at his best, Gary worked out twice a day, in the morning and the evening, six days a week.
After warming up with light weights to begin the workout, he would proceed to work sets with fewer reps and heavier weights. He performed 15 to 20 sets for minor muscle groups and up to 30 sets for larger ones.
Gary’s Workout Routine #1
|Muscle Groups Trained|
|Quads (a.m.); Hamstrings (p.m.)|
|Biceps, Triceps (a.m.); Calves, Stationary Cycling (p.m.)|
|Deadlifts (a.m.); Upper Back (p.m.)|
|Chest (a.m.); Shoulders, Abdominals, Cardio (p.m.)|
Gary’s Workout Routine #2
- Monday: Legs
- Tuesday: Chest
- Wednesday: Back
- Thursday: Back and Legs
- Friday: Shoulders
- Saturday: Arms
- Sunday: Rest
Supersets were never Gary’s favorite exercise. He claims that performing many exercises simultaneously just “dilutes focus.”
On his lighter days, Gary preferred performing 25 rep sets to reach the same intensity as supersets while maintaining his attention.
Gary had a reputation for working out in the gym late at night. Even when the pump was gone, he loved to train despite the agony.
Gary claims that numerous individuals have frequently informed him that this is overtraining.
Gary would respond, “I think there is no such thing as over-training only under eating, under sleeping, or under juicing,” in all candor. G. Strydom
Nutrition (Diet Plan)
Gary preferred to maintain a straightforward diet, eating essentially the same things all year round. In other words, he did not adhere to the standard practices for bodybuilders’ “off-season” or “cutting.”
Here is Gary discussing his diet;
“I diet over a long period, maybe 6 to 8 months, to remove all of my intramuscular and subcutaneous fat, which makes it impossible for the water to hide.
Every day of the year, I consume the same meals. You will observe me eating the same things the day before a performance. I propose a highly efficient, intricate, and sophisticated methodology for manipulating water that is suitable for everyone.
Influences And Idols
Gary Strydom was shaped throughout his time in the military. Around this time, he started noticing famous bodies in bodybuilding magazines.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the first people Gary looked up to for motivation to take up bodybuilding. “I certainly admired him. I have always. I will always.”
Gary later developed a strong admiration for Tom Platz, who was renowned for possessing some of the best “wheels” in the game, as he learned more about the sport and its icons.
What Gary Strydom Can Teach Us?
One of the most motivational stories you’ll ever read is by Gary.
In 1982, Gary left his hometown with just $1000 and the hope of becoming a successful bodybuilder.
Gary had to endure a lot of ups and downs, but it was all worthwhile to him. It was a dream come true for him to become a professional bodybuilder, he said. It has been an incredible personal achievement of which I am extremely proud to be able to support myself through this sport that I am so passionate about.
Reading Gary’s tale can motivate you to make the leap of faith toward a better life if you have lofty aspirations like Gary. Nothing can stop you from achieving your greatness if you have Gary’s work ethic and drive.
Inspirational Tale Of Gary
Here is Gary’s success-driven tale for everyone motivated;
“I told my mum and friends that I wanted to be like the bodybuilders in the publications I had access to when I first started bodybuilding in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1982 when I left the country.
When you become hungry, my boy, you’ll return home, my mother assured me. She was making jokes about how I used to come home from the army on leave and eat everything out of the refrigerator.
I told my mother, “No, this is for sure—until I’m on the same beach as Arnold and the other guys, I’m not returning home.” Venice Shores. Well, it all came to pass. I was struck, but it took place.
If you dream, plan, and work hard enough, you can do anything in this world. While you will need a little luck, your work ethic will be more vital than any setbacks or difficulties you may face along the way. When I reflect on all that has occurred in my life, Going home, eating “my mother’s food,” and unwinding were the best things. G. Strydom