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DVD review: ‘Addicted to Life – The Reg Park Story’ by Ailsa Windsor Reg Park was an icon upon who influenced many a youngster (‘50s onward)with his perfectly sculpted body. ‘Addicted to Life’ is an inspirational tale of a young boy who strived to hone his body to perfection merely by consuming the correct foods and following a fitness regime that would make many of us weak at the knees before even lifting a barbell. And all this sans the use of steroids … he is considered to be the last of the drug-free competitors in the bodybuilding world. He accomplished so much and influenced so many people yet he remained humble to the last – succumbing to cancer in 2007. The DVD takes the viewer through his life, with photographic memories and places which impacted on his life as well as people who were near and dear. As Mr Universe (1951, 1958 and 1965) – each title seven years apart and competing against much younger contestants, he inspired Arnold Schwarzenegger to embark upon the same path. Says Arnold: “I set my goal that I wanted to copy Reg Park. I wanted to be Reg Park. I wanted to follow his training method… his life philosophy… get into movies (Reg went to Rome to be filmed as Hercules)… take that money that I make in movies … start a gymnasium chain
(which Reg did)… and make millions of dollars (which he has).” Not only did Reg have the most magnificent body, but had in-depth knowledge of musculature so much so that he was often called in to assist with remedial treatment. His advice was also sought by sportsmen such as Gary Player and Bruce Fordyce. In fact, there is one section which shows Reg and Bruce side-by-side posing in a biology lecture presented by Dr Phillip Tobias at the University of Witwatersrand. This was a means of educating students, not only about musculature but the difference in diets for the different regimes – for instance Bruce had to be light on his feet and not bulk up. The documentary is molded in such a way that it entices its audience to want to know more and as a bonus there are actual training exercises (the Reg Park way) showing individual movements to strengthen calves, biceps etc. He revolutionised the way in which bodybuilders trained including the different poses when ‘on display’. To tell you more would be to reveal the entire story of a champion, husband, friend, teacher, healer and inspiration to many men. As mentioned above if you’re looking for a gift for the man in your life look no further. ‘Addicted to Life – the Reg Park story’ is available from all leading DVD stores.
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Even if you weren’t part of the generation who knew Reg Park when he was at his peak, ’Addicted to Life’ is a must for anyone who is interested in physical fitness – not necessarily striving to be Mr Universe, but remain toned or lose those few extra kilos. In fact, ‘Addicted to Life’ will make the perfect Father’s Day or birthday gift and here are the reasons why…