Interview With Bodybuilder Gregg Valentino Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - April 2009
CRITICAL BENCH: This is Ben Tatar from Critical Bench and I am here with Gregg Valentino. Hi Gregg, welcome to Critical Bench. How is life in your world today?
Life is beautiful, it is a good thing.. Any day you wake up and you're still alive it is a good thing.
CRITICAL BENCH: First off, you use to be known as the man who had the biggest/most muscular arms in the world being 27 inches. Your 27 inch arms aren't 27 inches anymore. Do you miss your former 27 inch arms?
I do not miss my 27 inch arms. Sometimes I miss being more jacked up. However, when you're almost 275lbs at 5'5 and a half, that is a lot of weight for a little guy.
CRITICAL BENCH: Greg back when you had your 27 inch arms, would you trade or give your 27 inch arm size up for anything?
For my family I would. People have a misconception of things. I could care less about those things. I'm not one of those dudes who is like "wow, dude I'm jacked I am big." there are a lot of things that are more important to me. I have children.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gregg, since you use to have 27 inch arms, did you arm wrestle a lot? Did you get challenged to arm wrestle a lot?
I use to do it. I don't anymore. I was very athletic when I was younger.
CRITICAL BENCH: Some people know you as your nick name "the most hated man in bodybuilding." Do you like being a hated man in bodybuilding?
I don't think that I was the most hated man. I think I was the most misunderstood man. That column was done by Chris Chudler. I was in my 7th year.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us exactly what it was like walking into a room with 27 inch arms? A lot of people get big and want attention, but never to the point of having 27 inch arms. Explain to us the experience!
I am like a chick with big tits that walks in a room. Some people are like whoa look at those tits, those are ridiculous... Other people like it. I am fine with it.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was the drawback of having 27 inch arms? Some people say you took synthol. How would you address such an issue?
I just don't like being accused of things that I don't do. I did not use synthol. Yes, I shot my arms local. People who know me, know that I was always big and natural from high school. If you choose 33cs eq and not synthol. I shot 2xxa into my biceps. Oil is oil. 33cs of oil are oil. So, I never shot synthol and I trained like a mad man! People who don't know me are the ones who talk about me.
CRITICAL BENCH: When did you start lifting?
I started lifting in 1972 and I started bodybuilding in 1973. I was competing before there was an MCC I use to run all the shows in New York. In 1979 I didn't even know what a steroid was! I have been around for a long time. I am 49 as we do this interview.
CRITICAL BENCH: When was your first experience using steroids?
Well, I went from being a gym owner with NPC to putting weights back in a gym so I needed an income. They said "You know these bodybuilders? You see who needs juice?" That is when I started using juice, I said screw this and I started taking the steroids. My friend started shooting d12 and I started doing the oil thing and taking shots.
CRITICAL BENCH: We have all seen you on TLC. Everyone from serious lifters, lifting fans and non lifters has seen you on TLC. We know that reporters get things wrong as the motto goes "what leads bleeds." Please, expel the TLC myth for us!
When you see me on YOUTUBE and TLC, it is a complete myth. You see me on there flexing that bicep and that huge fake balloon that had nothing to do with steroids, that had to do with my son hitting my in the arm with a baseball! You see, I had a BROKEN blood vessel, just like in the movie rocky, where he gets cut and drains his arm. You see, I drained my arm with blood, not puss. If it was puss, I wouldn't survive. Nobody would survive.
Also, I didn't almost die, not even close. I just drained it with blood. What did people think? I just shot one bicep and not the other? It was a soft blow, it was not puss it was an injury!
CRITICAL BENCH: TLC said that your arm looked flat.
The whole TLC thing was a farce. They said look at my arm that it was flat. It was two different things. They merged it and they said the balloon arm was from the infection and it was not. If you re-watch it, you will see blood coming down my bicep. I'm like it looks like a murder scene. The cup was pure blood and there weren't any puffs in there. It is pure dark dead blood, like a leaky pipe in your house.
CRITICAL BENCH: Today, how do people in general respond when they see you? Do they treat you well?
When people see me now, they are nice to me. I get mobbed! I'm almost embarrassed by the whole fame thing. All I hear is "Can I get my pic taken with you, can I have an autograph?" It is humbling, but I don't look at myself like that. I'm nothing like the guy people perceive me to be. I never drank coffee, I don't drink tea, I did take caffeine, and I never even tasted diet soda! It has nothing to do with bodybuilding. I have a reputation of being a party animal, but it is not the case.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gregg, tell us how you use to train your arms to get them so big!
I use to do 2-3 reps, but I would do 100 sets. I don't do any of that now, but I did that back then.
I also want to say that there is no overtraining, only under- recuperation. People just don't understand I use to do shoulders for hours/ 100 chest... Again it is not overtraining, just recovering that much harder.
CRITICAL BENCH: So far in your iron journey what has been your most powerful moment and worst moment?
Powerful-- getting arrested
Worst moment of my life? My girlfriend killing herself was really bad. My mother dying was really bad. My arrest was bad because they ranked me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Was jail tough? Were the guys in jail tough?
Being stuck in a cage was tough, but the guys weren't tough. The worst part of jail is you have no freedom.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was your funniest moment in bodybuilding?
I have a zillion of them. Probably when I was in Lake George at the Holiday Inn. Well, I had to go to the bathroom really bad and it was one of those situations where you either make the poop in a bag or a toilet and I went to take a poop and I splashed on an old man's feet! It was diarrhea right on his feet!! I missed the bowl and it went out on his feet and he punched the wall and went to the desk and through his shoes and ran in there! It was funny!!
CRITICAL BENCH: What was your craziest moment?
My craziest moment was from 1994. I was fighting Mark Goldberg and I was on the Howard Stern show for that and all these guards were kicking my butt. I had him in a choke hold and he could not get out of it! I got thrown out and they ripped all my clothes trying to get in...
He was wearing an Elmer Fudge hunting rabbits, flaps on the front and side, hunting hats.....
CRITICAL BENCH: What was your favorite moment?
The birth of my 2 children! They mean the world to me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you want your kids to be huge like you? Are they into bodybuilding?
They are nothing as big as me! My son Paul is the lead guitarist, tattoos and enjoys skate boarding. He goes to school to be a chef. He is total opposite from me.
My daughter is very athletic and very close to me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gregg, I heard you are suppose to be in a movie called Muscle Bound USA with WWE Champion HHH. What is that like and suppose to be about?
Jim Union, head of the security, a big bald guy that brings out the wrestlers like the rock brought me out... it is kind of like Bigger, Faster and Stronger. I'm one of the featured guys.
CRITICAL BENCH: You told me that when you were in the movie Bigger Faster Stronger that you were much more athletic in the batting cage than the movie portrayed you to be. Address this for us.
BY THE WAY I hit most of the balls in the Bigger, Faster and Stronger. I was hitting them in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd round and then I got tired. That really wore me out.
CRITICAL BENCH: I am having fun interviewing you. I'm going to name some groupies of people and tell us how they respond to your arm mass!
Beautiful babes: 50/50 half like it, half hate it! When I am in a club I have no trouble getting hot babes. Some fat slobs get chicks and guys who have muscles don't! They like guys who can make them laugh and stuff. Girls always say "OMG FEEL THAT.." or "that is tooo much, you over did it!"
Old people: 50/50 old people are more astounded by the whole thing.
Teenagers: teenagers think it is cool... "YO DUDE that is badass, that is diesel!!"
Other huge bodybuilders: they like it, but they are obnoxious. They are like "you're shooting something!" They think they KNOW everything and you can't tell them anything.
Fitness models and girls who workout seriously: they are good. Bodybuilders kiss my ass because they think I can get them into a magazine. I'm big Willie in that sense even if they think it is disgusting. When I go to the Arnold Classic and all these shows they want my number because they act like I'm a hottie and I'm a little aware of that horseshit! I'm very much aware, I'm from the streets......
CRITICAL BENCH: You have your Random Freak column in Muscular Development. Tell us some of the things you do in that and why girls go psycho over you because you also choose the babe of the month for the Magazine?
Yes. I have my Random Freak section in Muscular Development. I choose the babe of the Month. I always get emails like "Hi, I heard you're the guy from MD and I heard you are such a sweet heart." I pick 50 girls a month for that. They think they will get over that on me!
CRITICAL BENCH: Since you run a section in a magazine in regards to models, tell us what your turn ons and turn offs are when it comes to women in general. Do you like mixing girls with your bodybuilding?
I don't want a girl who says "don't eat that pizza, that is too many carbs," I like small cute girls and I don't like mixing girls with bodybuilding. I like girls and I like bodybuilding but not together. I don't like girls who are like "can we leave, how much longer." I like a feminine soft girl. Not an amazon girl. Don't get me wrong, I respect female bodybuilding but it isn't for me to date.
CRITICAL BENCH: What message do you want to give to your supporters? What about your haters?
To my supporters, I say thank you and I appreciate the support. Thank you for the support. To my haters, I say F-off. How do you hate somebody you never met because you don't like their arms?
CRITICAL BENCH: What makes Gregg happy?
What makes me happy is my family/ my children. I would jump in a pool of sharks and let that shark eat me alive
CRITICAL BENCH: What is next for you?
You shall see me on ESPN and lots of Big Media.
CRITICAL BENCH: If you could change one thing about yourself through a super power that isn't human what would you choose and why?
At times I wish I was invisible. If people want to shake my hand, I'm gonna give it to them if they feel that strongly to me. I can't say no to my fans.
My girlfriend says " If you don't blow anyone off, then don't complain." I make people feel like they are my best friend because I know how these people feel. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gregg, it has been a lot of fun talking to you today. Your overall character is just as catchy and unique as your massive arms were and you are a man who must be remembered for having arm mass beyond belief and also for your dynamite genuine personality. In closing who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank Steve Blecman who has given me the opportunity to be where I am and who I am. My column is the MOST read column in the magazine!
If people want to talk to me they have to come to MD.
Gregg Valentino Trailer for "Ramblin Freak" TV show
Gregg Valentino clip from the Movie "Bigger Stronger Faster"
Biggest Biceps In The World- Gregg Valentino (origional)