Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Title winning body builder is a raw food pioneer!

The body building posting by Melinda B. caught the attention of Randy Roach,
the author of an upcoming book giving the complete history of body building.
The following excerpt from "Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors" shows us that the
raw food diet is not new to body building.

Tanny’s” his name. RAW is his GAME.

A man who would have his milk only raw was Armand Tanny. Armand was one
of the original big guys from the early Muscle Beach years. In fact, it
was men like Armand who put the muscle in “Muscle Beach”. Although it
was his brother Vic who went on to create the popular gym chains,
Armand, originally a weightlifter, had a fantastic physique and a way of
eating that separated him from most. Along with his great look, Tanny
had strength to match and this landed him in the wrestling circuit.
Armand recalled visiting the Hawaiian Islands around 1947 and being so
impressed with the Samoans who were in the islands after the war. “They
ate everything raw. You name it, fish, meat, beetles – everything!
They were so strong and healthy”.

This left such an impression on Tanny that upon returning to the USA, he
started to further investigate the subject. Already armed with his
previous university education and one year of medical school, Tanny had
the research skills to hunt down and dig into the works of Weston A.
Price. It wasn’t long before Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical
Degeneration” became his Bible. In 1948 he shut off his stove and just
about everything from there on in was raw.

His diet turned to raw tuna, beef, liver, lobster, oysters, clams, nuts,
seeds, fruits and vegetables. Tanny would wade out into the surf along
the Santa Monica Pier using his feet to kick up Pismo clams. He would
smash the clams together to get at the pink and white flesh of the clams
that would be his next raw meal. Gaylord Hauser, a nutritional guru of
that time also had an influence on Tanny. Hauser recommended brewer’s
yeast, desiccated liver, yogurt, black strap molasses, and wheat germ
oil. Hauser also recommended fish liver oil, but Tanny felt he was
getting plenty from all the raw fish he was consuming at the time.

Armand didn’t follow a set meal plan, but ate simply when he felt it
necessary. There were no outrageous volumes of raw meat eaten at one
sitting because he didn’t feel it was warranted. He ate between ¾ (0.34
kg) to 1.5 lbs. (0.68 kg) of raw meat daily. Looking back, Tanny feels
that it was the creatine supplied in a very pure state in raw meat that
served him so well.

Armand wasn’t one to flaunt his diet in public. He shared a comical
situation that happened decades back when he was on a stop-over in St.
Louis on a trip from Los Angeles to New York:

"I was hungry and needed to get something to eat. I bought a raw steak
and thought I could hide it in a newspaper wrapping while I ate it on a
park bench. I sat there sneaking little bites when I was joined by a
woman who sat down beside me. On one of my bites, the steak pulled out
of the wrapper and I was sitting there with a big hunk of raw meat
hanging out of my mouth. It wasn’t long before I was sitting alone

Armand feels that his raw meat diet was instrumental in his walking away
with several bodybuilding titles in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In
1949, he won a show called, for lack of a better name the “Mr. 1949”
title. They actually used an applause meter to determine the winner.
Armand was big, tanned and very muscular. At five feet nine inches
(175.26 cm), Tanny weighed a very lean 200 lbs. (90.91 kg). John Grimek
had told him previously that he had the potential to do well in
bodybuilding and Tanny certainly capitalized on this advice.

At mid-20th century, it was rare to see a bodybuilder with good size
accompanied by such lean muscularity all wrapped in a finished bronze
package. Tanny took this look to victory in both the 1949 Pro Mr.
America and the 1950 Mr. USA titles. He was hot and on the cover of
many of the magazines. When asked why he retired from competition Tanny,
stated that the Mr. Universe had not reached its popularity as yet and
the Mr. USA was the big title to shoot for.

Another reason Armand dropped out of competitive bodybuilding was money.
Basically, there wasn’t any in the sport during that era or for a long
time afterward. He was busy and very successful managing the Vic Tanny
gym chain in the California region. In 1954, he took a break from the
gyms to tour for a couple of years with a host of other bodybuilders in
the Mae West show. Tanny would establish a lifelong professional
working relationship with Joe Weider writing for the Weider publications.


Jrad said...

Whew...I was so excited to see this place up, I didn't realize that it probably isn't written by aajonus himself. Tell us about yourself Charlie? How did you end up doing this blog? Err...perhaps I better go check your original posts huh. yeah, I'll go do that now, =) thanks!

ellingson_jim said...

I have been asked how I ended up doing this blog. It is quite simple.
I was given a rave review of We Want To Live by someone I had known for years. He said it was the first time he had not been in pain his whole life. (He is a big strong guy who exercises a lot and has several black belts; I would have never guessed, but he said that while doing work-outs the pain was less, so he kept working out. On the same day, my wife was given a rave review by someone she had met while they both went to the same hospital. This lady had experienced great relief by doing this diet after open heart surgery.
My wife and I went to a potluck. We met Aajonus and long story short we have benefited so much health wise (I will fit in details as we go along in the blog) that we asked him if he needed a website featuring him. In my opinion, he has SO much right and should be listened to more than any other nutritional author around.

Anonymous said...

I am "the wife". About 7 years ago I went on the Primal diet after consulting with Aajonus. I had such a big win in the first year (handled insomnia so I could heal) that I figured--OK I can eat regular now, and I went off the diet. Well (rolling forward) I got cancer (diagnosed a year ago), went back on the diet after sheepishly consulting with Aajonus once again, and my recovery has been utterly remarkable. Am I happy? You guessed it!

Anonymous said...

another primal raw body builder
wonder if I am the only female?!
I hope not....I am Kieba with a primal raw boot camp for body mind Spirit on the big island of Hi.
wt. training daily is part of the schedule I was a competetive body builder for many years and wond a few nice titles, but after yrs of a vegetarian then primarily raw and vegan diet, my health, strength, muscle size etc. all declined drastically
I was introduced to the Primal diet....the book we want to live just 10 months ago
I took baby steps in introducing raw animal products but immediatly noticed HUGE gains in energy and strength. the Raw Liver I think saved my life from horrible anemia
I am a believer and now have my campers on a modified raw primal diet program all custom to their wants and needs....I call it the "retro-raw" meaning return to the way we were ment to eat, and retro also being a hip term for the Now becoming most popular and of course the optimal healthy way to eat in our toxic world.
I am now 48 and have the energy and strength that I did 20 yrs ago....actually MORE energy
love life with a Passion and I share my energy, knowledge not to mention many experiences and wonders of this paradise here in Hawaii
check it out
also have a listen to the radio program I was on listed in this site !

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I went and googled Armand Tanny, and DAMN - that guy was HOT. He looked way better than most of the steroid pumped body builders today.