This short interview was featured in the March 2007 issue of Classic Anatomy Magazine:
CAM is honored to feature.... the legendary Mario Strong!
Question: What have you been up to lately?
Mario Strong: Well, after more than 40 years of pumping iron, I have developed a unique web site dedicated to natural muscle building and the history of bodybuilding in America. My experiences and philosophies in the sport are reflected in some of the training and nutritional features on the site. My aim is to get the message out there that bodybuilding is a great way to achieve health, vitality, and longevity. I’m not happy with the current direction of our sport, so my goal for creating MarioStrong.com is to help those who will listen and learn about the dangers of drugs in our sport. Lots of guys take the easy way out only to pay the price for their short comings later on. The information and advice on my web site will show them the correct way to achieve theirs bodybuilding goals without risking their health.
Question: What got you started in bodybuilding?
Mario Strong: My father was a bodybuilder in his youth and had a set of weights he carried and used throughout his tour in Germany during the Korean War. As a child I would roll his dumbbells and weights around the house until my 10th birthday, it’s then I learned what the weights were really for as my father gave me my first bodybuilding routine and I first felt the pain of the iron. I never looked back since. I also have three younger brothers and two sisters who body build.
Question: What’s your training program?
Mario Strong: My diet consists of chicken, eggs, nuts, fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, and seeds. I drink only spring water from my upstate mountain well (no milk, tea, coffee, alcohol, sodas, etc.). Most foods are eaten raw, when I do cook I only boil or steam them. I haven’t used sugar, salt, flavorings, seasonings, etc. since 1969 (the year the Mets won their first World Series “you got to believe”). The same goes for candies, cakes, soft drinks, cookies, etc.; you get the idea, just plain natural single ingredient foods. Also, I don’t use supplements as I rely solely on proper nutrition for my health and recuperative powers. I’m now well into my 50s and my main goal is health and longevity (100 plus would be nice). The results I feel and see tell me I’m on the right course of action.
Question: What’s your best memory of bodybuilding?
Mario Strong: I have tons of great memories. I have been a gym owner, contest promoter, trainer, competitor, showman, author, etc. Most of my good times in the sport came in the 70s and 80s when bodybuilding was beginning to become mainstream in America. It was a time of hope for the sport and the motivation to train was high. My Staten Island Bodybuilding Club brings me my greatest memories of the sport. I made lots of friends and had some great times with those who shared the same passion as myself. I look forward to the future with the same enthusiasm of days past as I continue to improve my health and strength through bodybuilding.
Question: What advice would you give to the newcomer?
Mario Strong: DARE TO BE NATURAL! Stay away from drugs, whether they are for recreation or sports enhancement. All drugs take the body farther than nature ever intended it to go. Other than for medical reasons pharmaceuticals should be avoided like the black plague. Be patient with your muscle building. Train hard, eat well, get plenty of rest, and have a positive outlook on your training and life. Remember it takes time for a small seed to become a mighty Oak.