“Life is for those who truly live it, and time alone does not make a full life”.
That’s the quote I selected to go with my picture in my high school yearbook. I have always believed that, and try my best to always live life to the fullest, to not miss anything.
Of course, as you become an adult some repetition is inevitable, but it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into your life if you really commit yourself to doing that.
My nephew, Tony, was that way. Student, son, film-maker, brother, boyfriend, snowboarder, friend, athlete, partier, traveler, adventurer-that guy stuffed more things into his life than most people could do in three lifetimes.
Being the youngest child of three brothers, he had a lot of “keeping up” to do. Tony, however, proved at a very young age that his brothers would have to keep up with him. Tony loved all sports, but especially extreme.
He started skateboarding at a very young age and even built a half pipe for the back yard. Injuries were no stranger to Tony. Broken bones were always in his life. Football, lacrosse, skateboarding, snowboarding, wake boarding, dirt bikes, and bmx kept him busy and out of trouble. As he grew older, a video camera became part of his hobbies. He loved to capture his friends practicing tricks. He discovered his dream; to work in the film industry with extreme sports.
His future was full of hopes and dreams with a goal to film the sports he loved, have a family and live a full life!
Unfortunately, fate would have it that Tony would die just a month short of graduating from Full Sail School in Florida.
Tony died 5 years ago today, at the young age of 24, from complications during a hospital procedure.
Tony’s passing gave me, and all of his family and friends, a horrible, sobering reminder of just how fragile life is. It can be taken away from any one of us in an instant. None of us have any way of knowing how much time we have left on this earth.
That being the case, it is incumbent upon all of us to make the most of our lives. Take charge of your life and your future. Set challenging goals for yourself, and design your life around them.
Train your mind as well as your body. Get and keep yourself in great physical condition, so that a lack of fitness never holds you back.
Make your life a daring adventure, full of thrills, achievement and happiness.
Work hard on developing yourself to be the best you can be. Cultivate and nurture your relationships with the people who mean a lot to you.
Don’t miss anything. Don’t leave anything on the table. LIVE!
And don’t let any opportunity that comes your way pass you by.
The HIT Resurgence Conference (February 28-March 1st) brings together the world’s top researchers, strength coaches, and practitioners from every walk of the exercise industry to discuss strength training research, implementation, and benefits ranging from chronic disease prevention, athletic performance, and improved physical function. In addition to presenting the current scientific research revolving around resistance training, the conference also ties in the incredibly rich heritage of Nautilus and HIT training principles and how this heritage impacts the entire fitness industry today.
This conference is perfect for strength coaches, personal trainers, and practitioners who want to be on the cutting edge of “evidence-based” practice as well as Nautilus devotees that remember and understand the rich history of Arthur Jones and the movement that he created over 40 years ago. The conference is a great opportunity to earn CEU’s through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). In addition to 8 presentations, the conference also features an early morning workout, breakout sessions covering a variety of “practical” topics, and an attendee social on Friday night. The conference takes place at the picturesque Marquette Hotel Conference Center positioned at the top floor of Minneapolis’s tallest building.
The sound of sirens and reflection of flashing lights interrupted the rainy night, as my wife and I were sitting quietly at home. To my surprise, the ambulances stopped three doors down, at Casey Viator’s house. We feared the worst.
My fears were confirmed the next day, when Casey’s next-door neighbor came to my door and informed me that Casey had suffered an apparent heart attack, and had passed away that night, September 4th, 2013–eerily, his 62nd birthday.
Casey was one of the greatest bodybuilders who ever lived. He was, and still is, the youngest ever Mr. America, winning the title in 1971 at age 19. He also won Teen Mr. America, Mr. USA, and Jr. Mr. America as an amateur. As a pro, Casey won the 1980 Louisiana Grand Prix, Pennsylvania Grand Prix, and Pittsburgh Pro Invitational, and in 1982 placed 3rd in the Mr. Olympia contest.
Prior to his historic Mr. America win, Casey trained under the tutelage of Arthur Jones, the father of High Intensity Training and the inventor of Nautilus equipment. As Arthur’s main training “guinea pig”, Casey was instrumental in much of the Nautilus research that helped shape the field of exercise science over the years. Casey remained in contact with Arthur, and frequently visited him, up until the time of Arthur’s passing in 2007.
In addition, during his amateur competitive years, Casey befriended fellow bodybuilder Mike Mentzer, and later introduced Mike to Arthur Jones. Mike went on to have his own legendary bodybuilding career, and became the most recognizable advocate of High Intensity Training in the world. Many people in the fitness field, myself included, would never have embraced High Intensity Training if it were not for Mike Mentzer; and without Casey Viator, there would have been no Mike Mentzer as we knew him.
I first met Casey many years ago when we were both working out at World Gym in Largo, Florida. Although we both changed gyms a few times, we kept bumping into each other periodically over the years. For a while Casey lived right around the corner from me in Clearwater, and then a few years ago he moved onto my street, 3 doors down from me.
Casey and I had plenty of cool discussions over the years about his training experiences, his relationships with other bodybuilders, and his take on the past and present bodybuilding scene. He had some great, hilariously funny Arthur Jones stories. Casey was one of those guys you hear about who brightens up a whole room as soon as he enters it. He almost always had a huge grin on his face, and was the most jovial, happy-go-lucky guy I ever met. As soon as he saw you, he acted like running in to you was the best thing that happened to him all day. He was really, really funny, and always seemed to find the humor in every situation. He was still very active, still lifting, doing lots of yard work, and walking his 2 pug dogs by my house every day.
I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his girlfriend Cheryl, his family and friends, and all those suffering from the loss of a great man. The High Intensity Nation will not be the same without him.
I’m going to really miss him.
Leave a comment below about your recollections/experiences with Casey
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a place you could go where you could meet a bunch of the High Intensity Training experts you’ve heard do interviews on this site? How about if you could not just meet them, but learn from them in a classroom setting, then follow them over to the weight room for some hands-on demonstrations?
And as if that wasn’t cool enough, what if you also got a chance to share a meal, and maybe even have a couple drinks, with these experts, and just talk training with them in a social setting to your heart’s content?
And what if you could, at the same time, in the same place, have an experienced High Intensity Trainer put through the toughest High Intensity workout you have ever done? And how about if there were a couple hundred other people there to hang out with, who loved High Intensity Training just as much as you do? Does that sound too good to be true or what?
Well, it’s not too good to be true. Such a place does exist; it’s called the HIT Resurgence Conference, and it’s happening March 15th and 16th in Minneapolis, Minnesota–and I want to meet you there.
The event is being hosted by my friend Luke Carlson, owner of Discover Strength personal training studios. In case you have never met Luke, he is a class act, one of the most knowledgeable HIT experts around, and this event is first class all the way. You will learn, network, make new friends, and create some great training memories. It is a fantastic experience you will not soon forget, so I really hope you will make the commitment right now to get there.
I will be there, along with my wife Patty, and 2 of the Fitness Coaches from our training studio-Shawn “Dag-Nasty” Deignan and Illy “The Shizzle” Stoilova-Rogers. When you get there, I want you to make it a point to find us and introduce yourself.
Here’s Luke and Brandon to tell us more about this year’s event:
I got a voicemail today that knocked me for a loop. It was a message from my friend Doug Holland, informing me that Greg Anderson–husband, trainer, gym owner, High Intensity Training expert, and an all-around great guy–had passed away.
Greg was the owner of Ideal Exercise in Seattle, Washington, one of the finest, and busiest, HIT training facilities anywhere. He was well known and well respected by everyone in the HIT community. He was a good friend of the late Mike Mentzer, and Doug McGuff, author of Body By Science, referred to him in a blog post as “The Greatest Trainer In The World”.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Greg in person, but was lucky enough to be able to interview him, and speak to him on the phone several times. He was always upbeat, with a happy-go-lucky demeanor, and was funny as hell. We talked about training, the training business, our experiences with Mike Mentzer, and some of the crazy people we’ve met through high intensity training. He was kind enough to send me a DVD of him training some of his clients, and once even called me out of the blue to warn me of potential legal action against me over intellectual property rights. In my experience, he was the personification of a stand-up guy.
I would like to express my sincerest condolences to his wife Ann-Marie, his family and friends, and all those suffering from the loss of a great man. The High Intensity Nation will not be the same without him.
For those of you who never had the pleasure of coming in contact with Greg, I have re-posted his interview below.
Rest in peace, Greg. You will be missed.
To hear the Greg Anderson interview, just click on the play arrow (the little triangle on the left) below:
Doug “The Sickness” Holland performs 5 chins with 100 pounds of chains strapped to himself. Strict. Dead hang. No kipping. Oh by the way Doug is over 50 years old. Gee Doug, I guess High Intensity Training doesn’t work….
Markus “MR High Intensity” Reinhardt pre-contest tribute to his mentor, the one and only Mike Mentzer. Go get ‘em Markus!
Denny “The Human Guinea Pig” Locascio gets tested on the old Med-X medical testing low back machine at Ken Keppler’s Abstract Fitness in Gainesville, Florida.
Your boy gives you a secret bicep training technique with dumbbells (at the end of the video)