A Special Report By Russ McDermott
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RHEO H BLAIR:
The Genius of Bodybuilding Nutrition
Rheo Blair was born Irvin Johnson in Oct. 9, 1921 in NewJersey. Johnson moved to Chicago in the early 1940s to pursue his first love, music. He trained with the famed vocal coach Feuchtinger and his passion for singing would continue throughout his life. Johnson had worked out with weights previously because of ill health, but had made little progress. So in addition to his vocal studies, he began researching weight training and nutrition. In this field hefound his true calling. By the late 1940s, Johnson had transformed his own physique well enough to win a minor contest in Chicago and owned a very successful gym in that city, Johnson's Barbell Gymnasium at 22 E. Van Buren Street, where he turned out champion physique stars. Johnson's success came when he decided to concentrate on the nutritional aspects of bodybuilding. He sought out nutritionistsacross the U.S. and experimented on himself and other bodybuilders. Finally his efforts paid off and he became a sought-after figure in the bodybuilding world. Johnson developed his concentrated protein supplement, Hi-Protein, and began marketing it through leading physical culture magazines, particularly Iron Man, in 1950. The first product was soy based and Johnson was not completely satisfiedwith the product's results. In 1951 Johnson published "Irvin Johnson's Scientific Body Building and Nutrition Course." The slim volume outline his exercise and nutrition theories and brought him some measure of recognition among bodybuilders outside Chicago. Johnson had already determined that six feedings a day were preferable to the three most were using at the times. As an example of Johnson'snutritional thoughts at the time, this sample daily menu plan was included in the course: BREAKFAST: 2 or 3 eggs 2 oz. Ham or bacon, or other meat, or extra egg 1 glass Johnson's Hi-Protein Food 2-4 Johnson's Formula 6 capsules, 2 Johnson's Vitamin and Mineral tablets, 6 to 25 Johnson's Hepro tablets
MIDMORNING SNACK 1 Teaspoon of Proto 2 oz. Cheese or 1 glass Hi-Protein LUNCH: 1 to 3teaspoons of Proto 4 to 6 oz. Of meat, or all you want vegetable or fruit 1 glass Hi-Protein Butter 2 to 4 Johnson's Formula 6, 6 to 25 Hepro MIDAFTERNOON SNACK 1 teaspoon Proto 2 eggs beat up in orange juice or 1 glass Hi-Protein 2 to 4 Formula 6, 6 to 25 Hepro SUPPER 1 to 3 teaspoons of Proto Meat, large serving Fruit or vegetable Whole wheat bread and butter 1 glass Hi-Protein 2 to 4 Formula 6, 6 to 25Hepro MIDEVENING SNACK 1 to 3 teaspoons Proto Cottage cheese, large serving, or 2 oz. Yellow cheese or 1 glass Hi-Protein 2 to 4 Formula 6 The other Johnson supplements in us eat the time were Hepro tablets, which contained approximately 85% protein in easily digested form with all the essential amino acids; Johnson's Multiple Vitamin and Mineral Tablets, which were a daily supplement of 24vitamins and minerals, along with yeast and liver; Proto, a liquid amino acid; and Formula 6, the components of which I haven't been able to find. It may have been an essential fats supplement, but that is pure conjecture on my part. By the late 1950s, Johnson had closed his Chicago gym and moved to Hollywood where he decided to concentrate on the nutritional aspects of bodybuilding. Around this time,Johnson finally found what he was looking for when he developed his famous milk-and-egg protein supplement, Johnson's Protein Food. The results were amazing. Bodybuilders using Johnson's program found they packed on lean muscular bodyweight without bodyfat. Vince Gironda enthusiastically endorsed Johnson's product and sold it in his famous gym, Johnson's success with such famous bodybuilding...