Mostly known for his role as the green angry monster in the hit series “The Incredible Hulk,” Lou Ferrigno is a top-notch bodybuilder with a long list of accolades in the field including an IFFB’s Mr. America title, as well as both Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe championships. Now in his 60’s, the bodybuilding icon continues to sport the tremendous physique that he boasted as the star of the movie “Hercules.”
Growing up, Ferrigno suffered a series of ear infections that caused him to lose some of his hearing and live in a somewhat secluded environment. He was an introvert who didn’t have much success fraternizing with other kids. He did, however, idolize Frank Scott who inspired the youngster to become a very successful bodybuilder.
His workout routine consists of an hour and 20 minutes a day for 6 days out of the week, with 40 minutes dedicated to cardio and the remaining 30 minutes for lifting. Three quarters of the exercises are done using machines; free weights are used a quarter of the time. Each training session totals 12 sets of 8 to 10 reps each. Over the years, he didn’t change much in his routine with the exception that he now uses lighter weights.
He is also keen on keeping to a healthy diet regardless of the circumstances. During his stint with Celebrity Apprentice, he shied away from the craft services buffet and continued to follow his own diet, which consists of 3 to 4 small meals a day comprised of protein-rich meat, such as fish, with fruits and vegetables.
He is an avid opponent of overtraining. He believes that overexerting muscles is counterproductive, and says that contrary to popular belief, more is not necessarily better. For over 30 years, he used 3 or 4 exercises with 2 to 4 sets each at 8 to 10 reps, which took him no longer than half an hour to complete, to build the massive arms that he featured throughout his career. He also subscribes to the pyramid method of working out to build muscle mass, and believes that the last couple of reps, when muscles are pushed to the limit, produce the most results.
His bicep workout consists of:
- Incline dumbbell curls: 4 sets of 10 reps each
- Standing barbell curls: 4 sets of 10 reps each
- Concentration curls: 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps each
- Preacher-bench: 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps each
- Barbell-curl 21’s: 2 sets of 21 reps
For triceps, Ferrigno detailed his workout exercises to Iron Man Magazine back in 2009. He starts with pushdowns where he ensures that his elbows are tight against his sides, so that the triceps benefit more from the exercise than the lats. Next, he does lying French presses. He holds his hands slightly closer than shoulder-width, and lifts the barbell above his shoulders keeping his arms still. He then moves on to doing standing French presses. He keeps his elbows pointing straight up the whole time and avoids straightening his arms to a locked position as this strains elbow joints.
Ferrigno is a very determined individual who has overcome long odds to create a successful career for himself. His commitment to living a healthy life style is simply unsurpassed.