Reg Park is a legendary British-born bodybuilder and successful actor and businessman. The peak of his sports career came in the “golden age” of bodybuilding – 1950-1970. Park is a multiple triumphant of one of the most prestigious bodybuilding contests of the middle of the last century, and even today – “Mr. Universe”. Fans and competitors alike have awarded him the “Reg the Leg” moniker.

Reg Park is the idol of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is on him that the “steel Austrian” is equal to most of his own life. The bodybuilder, with his achievements in sports and beyond, still inspires many aspiring athletes to this day.

Reg Park Biography

Reg Park was born on June 7, 1928. The future titled bodybuilder was born in Leeds (West Yorkshire, England). This is one of the largest British settlements: the number of inhabitants, according to various estimates, is from 700 thousand to 1 million people, the area is 551 square kilometers (taking into account the adjacent settlements of Wetherby and Wortley). As in the middle of the 20th century, today Leeds is one of the main business, cultural and sports centers in England.

Since childhood, Park was fond of playing sports, and became interested in training with iron only closer to puberty. Until the age of 16, he played football, which is the main sport for the British (moreover, the British are considered its founders). But then, at the suggestion of a longtime friend David Cohen, he took up bodybuilding on a serious level.

The novice Reg Park bodybuilder spent his first strength and pumping workouts in a local gym, built almost from improvised materials. Basically, it was a spacious room with a few hand-made machines as well as simple equipment such as barbells and dumbbells. At that time, athletes did not have publicly available information on proper training, nutrition and recovery, so Park developed training programs independently. In other words, Reg used trial and error to figure out what was best and what was worse for his body.

At 18, Reg Park was drafted into the army, delaying the start of a bodybuilding career. Despite the busy life of a soldier, during the service he rocked without stopping. Therefore, two years later, when he paid his debt to his homeland, he could boast of a physical form that surpassed that of most amateur bodybuilders.

Reg Park attended its first tournament in 1946. The athlete tried his hand at the “Mr Britain” competition held in England. And not to say that he failed: he took 4th place, beating many older rivals.

Reg Park’s first victory came at the same championship. In “Mr Britain 1949” Park took 1st place, which attracted attention to his own person. In addition, this win convinced the parents of the seriousness of their son’s intentions. As a gift, they paid for his 6-month train trip to the United States, where the newcomer was able to gain experience and make useful contacts.

In America, Reg managed to talk to Joe Weider, who later published several photos of the promising bodybuilder in his heavy sports magazine. Plus, he managed to compete with foreign “colleagues in the shop” in two amateur show jumping at once: at the “Best Developed Athlete in America 1950” (IFBB) he took 1st place in the “Tall” and “Mr Europe” categories.

Bodybuilder Reg Park began participating in pro tournaments in 1958 (mainly in the championships from NABBA). Prior to that, in 1951, he was noted for a rather loud victory at the “Mr Universe” among amateurs. Over the 15 years that his professional career lasted, he twice became the triumphant “Mr Universe” for professionals – in 1958 and 1965, and three more times got into the top three: in 1970 he was 2nd, in 1971 – 3rd, in 1973 – 2nd.

Unfortunately, “Reg Park” nicknamed “Reg the Leg” has not survived to this day. The renowned bodybuilder passed away on November 22, 2007 at his home in Johannesburg (South Africa). He died surrounded by relatives and doctors who were unsuccessfully trying to revive him. The cause of death is skin cancer (melanoma), with which the athlete fought for 8 months.

reg park biography

Bodybuilding Titles

In comparison with modern bodybuilders, the anthropometric data of Reg Park may not look impressive, but believe me, for the middle of the last century they were exactly that: with a height of no more than 185 centimeters, the athlete could boast of a competitive weight of about 100-105 kilograms (obviously, in the off-season its weight increased slightly – on average, up to 110-115 kilograms); Park’s bicep girth was 49 centimeters, and Reg squeezed 227 kilograms lying down.

With identical fitness, Reg Park has won numerous bodybuilding awards, first in the amateur and then professional championships. Among them:

  • 1949 – Mr Britain, 1st;
  • 1950 – Best Developed Athlete in America – IFBB, Tall, 1st;
  • 1950 – Best Developed Athlete in America – IFBB, Overall Winner Mr Europe;
  • 1951 – Mr Universe – NABBA, Tall, 1st;
  • 1951 – Mr Universe – NABBA, Overall Winner;
  • 1958 – Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 1st;
  • 1958 – Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Overall Winner;
  • 1965 – Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Tall, 1st;
  • 1965 – Mr Universe – Pro – NABBA, Overall Winner.

It is important to say that Reg Park is widely known not only as a bodybuilder, but also as a film actor. He was filmed not in Hollywood, but with Italian directors. In total, he has five feature films in the historical and fantasy genres: “Ercole Alla Conquista Di Atlantide” (1961), “Ercole Al Centro Della Terra” (1961), “Maciste Nelle Miniere Di Re Salomone” (1964), “Ursus, Il Terrore Dei Kirghisi “(1964) and” Sfida Dei Giganti “(1965). These films cannot be called classics of cinema, but they helped our hero to save money to open his own business.

In 1999, Reg Park’s first and last name as one of the best bodybuilders in history was inducted into the Hall of the Weak in Bodybuilding (IFBB).

After the death of “Reg the Leg” his close friend and big fan Bob Cicherillo held an online memorial service on the radio. Anyone who wished to express their words of sympathy to the relatives of the deceased could get through to the presenter or sign on.

Today, Reg’s legacy is carried on by his son and daughter. The guy’s name is Jon Jon Park. He is a personal trainer and former Olympic swimmer. Jon Jon also owns Legacy Gym in Los Angeles. The girl is Jeunesse. Unlike her brother, she did not follow in her father’s footsteps (she did not become an athlete, although she was fond of various sports in childhood). Jeunesse is doing charity work these days.

reg park workouts

Reg Park Workouts

Reg Park is one of the forefathers of classic bodybuilding, according to the methods of which many successful bodybuilders were engaged in the future (in the eighties, nineties and two thousand years). Therefore, it is not surprising that his training by today’s standards looks, to put it mildly, conservative.

It was Reg Park who popularized 5×5 training among pro-athletes, where he prepared not only for competitions in the early years of his sports career, but also subsequently for roles in films: “5×5” was his training program before filming in several films about “Hercules”, considered the best roles of “Reg the Leg” as an actor.

It should be understood that this Reg Park workout is basic, aimed at pumping the whole body, and not at developing any specific muscle groups. Therefore, it is ideal for beginner-level athletes taking their first steps in bodybuilding.

This Reg Park training program consists of two types of classes – “A” and “B”, however, the training takes place three days a week: 1st week – A, B, A; 2nd week – B, A, B; 3rd week – again A, B, A; 4th week – again B, A, B; etc.

Workout Type “A”:

  • Barbell Back Squat – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Wide Grip Pull-Ups – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Barbell Bench Press – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Preferred forearm/wrist exercise – 2 sets x 10 reps;
  • Preferred calf exercise – 2 sets x 15-20 reps.

Workout Type “B”:

  • Barbell Front Squat – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Barbell Overhead Press – 5 sets x 5 reps;
  • Deadlift – 3 sets x 5 reps;
  • Preferred forearm/wrist exercise – 2 sets x 10 reps;
  • Preferred calf exercise – 2 sets x 15-20 reps.


First, those exercises that are performed according to the “5×5” scheme include two warm-up sets: 1st set with 60 percent weights; 2nd set – 80% weighted; the rest of the sets are already 100% weighted.

Secondly, although the deadlift is performed according to the “3×5” scheme, it also includes two warm-up sets and only the third is used for the working weight (60%> 80%> 100%).

did reg park use steroids

Did Reg Park Use Steroids?

Reg Park got its start in bodybuilding at the dawn of its golden age. In those days, getting prohibited substances was problematic, and often completely impossible. Many active substances that are relevant today were not yet synthesized in the middle of the last century, or simply were not mass-produced in order to be available to everyone.

Nandrolone Decanoate and Phenylpropionate, Methandienone, Testosterone Cypionate and Enanthate, Stanozolol, Boldenone Undecylenate, Oxymetholone, Oral Turinabol, Trenbolone Acetate and Enanthate, Methenolone Enanthate, Drostanolone Propionate were on sale only at the end of the 60s. or later. And Somatropin (and other peptides in demand today) were not considered a working doping or did not exist until the beginning of the 21st century.

What are we trying to say? It’s that simple! According to most hardcore sports fans, “Reg the Leg” was the most natural bodybuilder ever.

For the sake of fairness, we note that disputes on this issue continue to this day. So, skeptics are sure that Reg Park still used steroids and other doping for the last 15 years of his sports career (already being a professional bodybuilder). More precisely, they believe that the athlete experimented with sports pharmacology. After all, the doses in which doping was used by classic bodybuilders are not complete these days. 5-10 mg of Methandienone per day – today such amounts seem to be too low even for beginners, however, “old people” with their help to achieve visible progress.

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