Ron's Story - page four:
But once again disaster struck on the way to his dream. Bronston Austin of Los Angeles beat Teufel in the light heavyweight division. “I was so shocked by the result,” he later said, “I could hardly talk. I could not communicate with anyone normally for ten days. I was so depressed. It seemed my whole life had been destroyed.” Teufel also pointed out that he had been wrong about two things. Where he earlier thought the AAU had put “certain people” aside, he would discover at the Mr. America event that this was not the case. For the very same man who Teufel blamed for his 1978 defeat had inexplicably been in the driver’s seat yet again, actually directing the Mr. America contenders. Said Teufel: “The man had been shelved by the AAU, that is what we all thought. So what was he doing at the contest calling on us to do this and that before the judging panel? Now I don’t believe the story that he has sold his gym to anyone. I suspect he is still running his gym and the AAU Mr. America, just as before.” Teufel firmly believed that he would be wasting his time if he continued to train for that Mr. America dream. "I’ll never win the title as long as some people have anything to do with the contest,” he said. So Ron set his sights on making his bodybuilding pay. As he put it: “I am not alone in this decision. A number of top bodybuilders would have preferred to turn professional only after winning the Mr. America title. But the way things are now with the AAU bodybuilding scene that makes no sense whatsoever.” He decided to go after the money in the professional events being staged by the IFBB. “At least there is money to be earned even when you place second,” said Teufel. “As things are now the pro bodybuilder does not have to peak three times in one year. He merely has to be good enough to win some money and save himself for the big one, whether that might be a Grand Prix title or the Mr. Olympia.” Teufel contended that the judges of the IFBB events inspired more confidence in the contender. “Their panels comprise former champions, gym owners, and other people with a good knowledge of bodybuilding. The AAU Mr. America people accept judges who have never had a workout themselves, let alone competed in a physique contest. When you are a contender for a title and you look at those people who sit in judgment at AAU events, hell, I can tell you it doesn’t do a guy’s confidence much good.” As it was Teufel hadn't done all that badly in AAU bodybuilding — not financially.
His enthusiasm for training bubbled like fine champagne. His love for his sport was nothing short of infectious. He stressed the importance of correctly performing each exercise. With regular squats he insisted on placing the feet in such a position as would best effect a particular area of the thigh. For those with poor development in the lower thigh, in the area immediately over the knee, Teufel recommended squats and leg presses with the feet held two to three inches apart. He said that squatting with the feet about shoulder width from each other has good effect on the inside area of the thigh. As far as Ron Teufel was concerned the regular squat was “one of the best basic exercises in the book,” stimulating as it does the cardiovascular and encouraging bodyweight increases. However, he warned that very heavy poundages should be avoided in favor of good style. At no time did he sink lower than parallel with the floor. By 1980 Teufel hardly ever used the regular squat exercise in his training. More often than not he did the hack squat on a special machine, performing reps up to 15 and 20, for 6 to 8 sets. His thighs were now sufficiently large and so he derived greater benefit from hacks and leg extensions. With the last exercise, however, he said the feet should be pointed throughout and raised as high as possible each repetition. He made a point of never doing the exercise when his thighs were pumped and bloated with blood following squats or hacks. He did his leg extensions first, because, “then I am better able to contract my thighs and the result is better definition throughout.” Calf training has never been the most popular aspect of bodybuilding. Very often it is endured at the end of a workout. And that, as Ron saw it, was a serious error. ‘I always train my calves first,” he said, “when working out my legs. In fact, especially with people who need larger calves, I think it is a good idea to do ten sets of calves at the beginning of each day’s training, whether or not it is leg training day.” He believed the position of the feet when doing heel raises dictates the area of the calf that will be most affected by the exercise. When the toes are pointed inwards, he said, the outer area of the calf received the greatest benefit. When the toes are pointed outwards, the inside of the calves are worked most effectively. Like many other champions, Ron recommended heavy weights when training the calves, and high repetitions. He made a point of raising the heels as high as possible, then flexing the muscle still harder with deliberate effort, before lowering. Many of the basic exercises were employed in Ron’s normal training routines: he used the press behind the neck (shoulder width grip), bench presses, regular barbell curl, and pullovers etcetera. And always paid strict attention to his training style. “Many people are convinced there is so much about bodybuilding that is secret. They believe the champions know things that nobody else knows,” said Teufel. “In fact, the one secret that the champions share is the will to succeed. They drive themselves harder and harder towards their ultimate goals and they persist even when the road seems too difficult for them.” Ron Teufel tried to train each body part three times a week. Amazingly, he did just one triceps workout a week normally, operating on the premise that these muscles get enough of a going over during other training sessions. He used only the regular straight bar for his arm exercises. Ordinarily he did about 24 sets per body part, the reps ranging from 12 to 15 each set. Weight gaining for Ron Teufel was simply a matter of increasing his food intake. His actual workout hardly differed, whether he was training for increased definition or more muscular mass. He said that was the case because “I am not a junk food eater. I am pretty strict when it comes to my nutrition.” Although he did not train for power, Ron squatted with over 600 pounds and was capable of bench presses in excess of 500 pounds. “But power lifting and bodybuilding are two completely different activities,” he warned. “Once a man has made up his mind to follow a bodybuilding career he should train accordingly. And the ability to handle heavy poundages is not a priority when it comes to winning bodybuilding titles. A bodybuilder must pay more attention to the effect a particular exercise is having on his muscles. A weight that is too heavy can stand in the way of effectively performing an exercise movement.” He added that very heavy weights prevent proper concentration on the muscle being exercised. “A weight can be so heavy that all you can think about is whether or not you’ll get it up again to arms length.” (more)