Most little boys dream of growing up to be firemen, ambulance drivers or police officers. Not Ron Teufel, even as a child he wanted to become a sports superstar. By the time he was fifteen he had started training with weights at school, earned a fine reputation as a wrestler and begun to dream of one day becoming Mr. America.
With the age of 25 he was a former Teenage Mr. Pennsylvania, Mr. America class winner, and Mr. U.S.A., with a long list of other titles. He had a full-time job as a salesman for Holiday Spas, he was also a professional bodybuilder.
Although he did not train for power, Ron squatted with over 600 pounds and was capable of bench presses in excess of 500 pounds!
The following routine Mr. Teufel used in training for the Teenage America and USA contests, have fun.
|Monday & Thursday||Sets||Reps||Comments|
|Back||The rows you can substitue with barbell/dumbbell or cable. Ron: "I think is does not matter".|
|Wide-grip rows||4||8-10||Ron Teufel: "The higher you bring the bar up on your chest the higher development of the back will show."|
|Close rows||4||8-10||Ron: "Cable rows are super for thickening your back. Pull the handle till it touches and then let it stretch all the way. Perform the exercise nice and slow. You don't want to rock, you want to stretch."|
|Chins||6||10-12||Chins to the front will give you a real good front appearance, such as when you hit a front double bicep pose. They're also good for thickening up your front lats. Behind the neck chins are going to build a lot of muscle, especially the little muscles across the upper back. The front version helps widen them.|
|Bench Press||5||6-8||Ron Teufel: "There are two different ways of bench pressing. There's a way to bench for power and there's a way to bench for development. When I'm going heavy, I'll bring the bar down to the bottom of my chest. When I want development I bring it closer to my neck, such as when I perform inclines."
Benchpress elbows position: "I would say get comfortable but don't go too wide."
|Incline Bench Press||5||8-10||On inclines you want to bring the bar down right below your chin. This is going to help develop your upper chest. If you have a weak upper chest do inclines before your flat benching. Another exercise excellent for upper chest work is incline dumbbell press.|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||4||10||When doing incline dumbbell press exaggerate the movement into a flye. You don't want to do a straight up down motion. Between every set of chest work I flex my chest to gorge my pecs with blood.|
|Dips||3||failure||Dips are similiar to flyes. They seperate your chest into strands of muscular marvel and work more of the inner chest than declines. Regular flyes give you the outer sweep of the whole chest with added width.|
Note: Ron Teufel worked back first and chest second. He did this because chest is easier for him to work than back. With chest you do a lot of lying down type exercises.
He liked also Bentover rows. It's a good overall back builder for thickening the back. Take about a shoulder width grip. Stand up on a flat bench for great stretch. Do four sets of eight to twelve reps. Do them in a strict and comfortable style. He used to bring the bar to the bottom of his chest.
|Tuesday and Friday||Sets||Reps||Comments|
|Seated Dumbbell Press||5||8-10||The reason for the dumbbell press is it works the frontal delts plus it also gives you a better stretch than the bar would. You're also working the muscle in a better degree. You can maneuver a dumbbell better than a barbell flexibility wise. Both exercises should be performed for five sets of eight to ten reps each.|
|Behind-neck press||5||12||Ron Teufel's favorite shoulder exercise is the press behind neck movement. It helps develop the whole deltoid. He would start with a warm up set of about ten reps using about a shoulder width grip. He usually just about locks out on all his sets. He tries not to rest at the top. Take a medium grip. With a wide grip you may feel it in the triceps. Ron Teufel: "If you doing behind neck press there is no need to do a front press! I would do behind the neck presses followed by the dumbbell press."|
|Dumbbell Shrug||5||12-15||With shoulder shrugs take about a medium width grip. This is going to hit your traps plus your front deltoids|
|Upright rows||4||12-15||With shrugs and upright rows strive for 10+ reps per set. All lateral movements get ten also. On pressing movements work heavier, using between six to eight reps. Work each exercise for four sets each.|
|Side Lateral raises||4||12||Standing lateral raises are excellent for the side deltoid. Unfortunately a lot of people slop these things up. The correct way to do them is in a slow and strict manner. Ron Teufel: "If you keep your palms facing down you're putting more pressure on the deltoid area."|
|Arms||-||-||He Super setted biceps and triceps. Ron Teufel: "I think it's good because what happens is there's a psychological edge. Working the tricep and bicep at the same time makes your arms look bigger. When your arms look bigger, naturally you want to work harder. Usually you see your tricep or your bicep pumped, now you're seeing them both pumped. My first tricep exercise, and it's a good one, is tricep pushdowns on the lat machine. Pushdowns are an excellent warm up exercise and really works the tricep fully. The closer your grip the more inside development you will receive. Another good movement that works the upper part of the tricep is the one-arm dumbbell extension. Keep your elbows high while performing the movement."|
|Preacher curls||5||8||Ron Teufel: "I start out with concentration curls to warm up the bicep and help shape the muscle a little better. You can do them sitting down or standing up. If you like you can do dumbbell curls or even dumbbell preacher curls over a bench instead. I turn my hand in when I come up with the dumbbell and usually do sets of ten heavy reps when I'm going for size. Hold the bar out wide. This will work the inner head of your bicep. Keep your arms back and bring the barbell all the way up. If you grab the bar in closer, it will help develop the outewr part of your arms back while doing the exercise."|
|Curls||5||8-10||Cheat curls? Ron Teufel: "I think you benefit more from an exercise if you do it right"|
|Dumbbell triceps extensions||4||12||-|
He does not always do the same thing
Ron Teufel: "I usually do a preacher, incline dumbbell curl, concentration curl and a dumbbell curl, concentration curl and a dumbbell or regular barbell movement. There's so many different exercises you can do. I don't always do the same thing each workout. I might do three of them and change one. Or I might do two and change two. I always change."
|Wednesday and Saturday||Sets||Reps||Comments|
|Squats||6||15||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.|
|Hack Squats||5||15-20||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.|
|Leg Press||4||20||He recommended leg presses with the feet held two to three inches apart|
|Leg extensions||5||15-20||"Leg extensions are a very good exercise for warming up the thigh. They're especially good for cutting the leg up and will help separate all the muscles in the thighs. They also help build and separate the teardrop muscle. Eight to twelve heavy reps is good for building size, twenty reps are excellent for cuts. Do five sets each."|
|Leg curls||4||15||The best way to perform leg curls is by keeping your hips down and in. If you keep your feet down straight you will feel the exercise higher up in your thigh bicep. When I point my feet, I feel it right around the knee area of the thigh bicep, all the way up and all the way down. Eight to twelve reps are good for building size and fifteen to twenty reps are excellent for cutting. Do four sets.|
|Toe raises||5||20||"I think Donkey calf raises are all right if you have your calves already built up or if yourr cutting them up. Especially if you super set them with seated calf raises"|
Note: ‘I always train my calves first,” Ron Teufel 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.
|Monday - Wednesday - Friday||Sets||Reps|
Sundays would be a day of rest for most, but for Ron it means an early morning run of four or five miles.
Ron Teufel: "I think running is excellent! I think running will break up the amount of fat around the hip area. It also burns up excess calories.Sprinting will make your legs more muscular but if you run long distances you're going to break your upper body fat down too."
In most of his exercise he uses weights heavy enough to tax the muscles within the set/reps indicated. However, a month before a contest, Ron trains two times a day, five days a week and once on Saturdays. He also works his abs six times a week. In addition, he goes on a strict diet which consists primarily of protein and little else with the exception of a green salad.
Mental Attitude and Diet
Ron Teufel: "You have to have a good attitude when you come into the gym. You have to say to yourself that you're the best and that nothing less will be accepted. When you train you have to concentrate on that one particular muscle area and nothing else. The better your level of concentration and belief in yourself is, the better your're going to be. Eat good, train hard, get plenty of rest and believe. These are the ingredients to success.
Somedays you may not be in the proper mood for weight training, and you will have to to force yourself. It is important to get over the 'pain barrier.' Your body will adjust to the pain of stretched muscles, and you will just have to get over the mental block. You will not see the gain if you don not feel the pain."
"Youngsters must be taught the correct way to lift weight," Ron said. "The exercises don't mean half as much of they are performed incorrectly. There always must be adult supervision with the younger bodybuilders, and they must be taught properly right from the start. Young peope must be taught not to cheat on their exercises, and to be consistent. When you do squats, do full squats. If you only do quarter squats or half squats, you will only get one-quarter or one-half the results. Learn to do the exercise right!"
Nutrition is very important, according to Teufel. "You will get better results with dieting. You should always keep your caloric intake lower then the calories you want to burn off."
Six weeks or so before a contest Ron trained on a diet that might appear Spartan to the non-bodybuilder. Then, his breakfast consisted of a milk and egg protein powder mixed with water, four eggs, a cup of iced tea, and vitamin pills. Following his morning workout he ate seven ounces of tuna with lettuce, took some more vitamins, all washed down with more iced tea. After his evening workout, which included stationary bike riding for one hour, he ate five or six pieces of chicken with another salad (no dressing) and a protein drink. Two weeks before the contest he ate a salad every other day with the meals earlier mentioned. He did his best to consume as little water as possible, and cut down on his dozen eggs a day, maybe to about five. He never drank milk. He was very careful not to become “waterlogged", a condition that serves the appearance of a sponge even when the physique contestant is muscularly defined.
Ron Teufel's Legacy
On December 22nd, 2002 Roland S. (Ron) Teufel died at the age of 45. A former Teenage Mr. America and Mr. USA titleholder, Ron was known for having one of the most massive and dense physiques of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Ron was survived in 2002 by his parents Alfred and Carol Teufel, brothers Bruce, James, and Thomas Teufel and sister Terri McGlynn as well as by his many nieces and nephews.
Dennis Carr: "I was Ron’s friend in High School. We were on the wrestling team together. I was 112 pounds then, Ron was 132. He was the school hero. Everybody loved him. He and I shared one thing in common, we loved to dance and listen to James Brown. He took me under his wing. I was the skinny kid that nobody knew but Ron took a liking to me, that was the kind of person he was. He cared about people, he was humble and he was actually shy with the girls. His great dream was to be the best in the world at something. He was a natural at nearly every sport he participated in; diving, wrestling, football, dancing, you name it, but bodybuilding was his ticket and his true passion. Ron worked incredibly hard at achieving his bodybuilding dreams. He dedicated no less than four hours a day to these pursuits. More often than not, he’d put in eight hours a day, posing, lifting and helping others. I remember being back stage with him at the 1976 Mr. America helping him prepare to go on stage.
He was young in age but advanced well past his years in his physical development. He could have been one of the greatest of all time. Ron could never understand the politics of the sport. He would say, “How can you be the very best, and still have them rob you of all your hard work and sacrifice"? He never got over these disappointments. He would say, “I will work twice as hard next year. Then there is no way that they can take it from me again”. He never did get the America crown. These frustrations turned him away from the sport that he loved so much. They stole from him the one title that he so rightly deserved. Ron passed away far too young but he will be remembered forever as a kind, caring, generous, and fun-loving person. He was gracious to nearly everyone that he met and a great friend to me. I was able to share a few words at his viewing; the church was filled to capacity. He inspired me in our youth and still inspires me now. He will be greatly missed."
Samir Bannout, Mr. Olympia:
"I got to know Ron Teufel for too short a time. I knew of him first from the magazines. I was very impressed by his great muscularity during the time period that he was going head to head in competition with Tom Platz and Tony Pearson, just to name a few. He really did impress me greatly. Nearly a year later, I competed against him for the Mr. Universe in Columbus, Ohio. He was in unbelievable condition. It was a very tight contest between the two of us and he came close to taking my trophy away from me. He certainly was more ripped than I was that year. I barley escaped with the title.
Later, in 1980, I met him during my seminar at George Snyder’s gym in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Ron challenged me to a pose-down during that seminar and we became friends immediately afterwards. Later that year Ron came out to Santa Monica for a short visit. We trained together at Gold’s Gym. I remember working out at that time with the musician and actor, Isaac Hayes. Ron showed up one day during our workout. Among the other people in the Gym that day were Mike and Ray Mentzer, Casey Viator, Joe Nazario, Tom Platz, Ken Waller, Pete Grymkowski, Andreas Cahling and Chris Dickerson.
I’ll always remember Ron as an incredibly nice person and a very competitive athlete. The more I got to know him, the more I liked him. It's very unfortunate to lose people like him. Ron was “for real”, up front and had a great sense of humor. The only reason that he and I did not spend more time together was that he lived most of the time in Pennsylvania and I was in California. Ron’s untimely death is a BIG loss for our sport."