Fortitude Training – Day 3 Muscle Rounds – Danny Padilla the Most Screwed Over Bodybuilder of All Time?

muscle smoke mirros

I read Book 1 of Part 3 of Randy Roach’s excellent “Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors” series a few weeks ago, but have been going through it again to collect some notes for a future write up and review.

The book details the craziness, conspiracies and chicanery that transpired not only behind the scenes but also in plain view of the bodybuilding world from 1980 and 1981 starting with Arnold’s infamous comeback in Sydney and the judging travesty that crowned Franco Columbu, Mr Olympia the year after.

Being a subjective sport, bodybuilding is of course littered with the corpses of bad judging decisions, and many names will immediately spring to mind of those who’ve received the raw end of an obviously poor placing.

aaron baker

Aaron Baker – shafted

tom platz

Tom Platz – shafted

When it comes to being royally screwed over during an entire career however, it would be hard to go past the original Giant Killer, Danny Padilla.


Danny Padilla – Ripped and ripped off. Shredded and screwed.

You might remember Danny from his cameo-bit part in Pumping Iron — the young, impressionable kid sitting in the quiet auditorium watching the under 200 pounders hit their poses on stage, chuckling with Arnold about “Franco the Bat”.

Well, Danny was supposed to be ON stage with the rest of those “monsters” if only cruel fate hadn’t decreed 15 minutes before getting on the bus to the show that he’d be pulled from the competitive lineup.

Yep, the dude trained and dieted his ass off for months, flew to South Africa, shot heaps of footage with the Pumping Iron crew, only to be told last minute, “sorry kid – we’re only gonna have a 3 man team of Katz, Waller and Robinson and you’re out – but don’t worry, you’re young and have a BIG future in front of you Danny-boy-o”

Gotta wait in line to pay your dues in bodybuilding...

Gotta wait in line to pay your dues in bodybuilding…

Quick thinking Danny quickly rallied and playing his international heritage card, tried to join the Portuguese team who were delighted to have this rising-star phenom on their team. The Brits and Belgians however were having none of it and officially complained, landing Danny back to square one and shit out of luck.

danny padilla

An additional bummer was that Danny had shot a lot of footage with the Pumping Iron crew and to avoid embarrassing the Weiders, Butler and Gaines decided to unceremoniously cut Danny’s role down to the existing bit part we see today.

And that’s only a small part of where the fun begins in the “Screwing of Padilla”. More tomorrow.

franco leap

After an initial adjustment period, my weights shot up this week and strength was excellent across the board. I felt like I could really push it and was really pleased with the results even on such low calories.

Dumbbell Lunges – 40kg x 4 x 6 sets

Rack Pulls – 180kg x 4 x 6

Leg Extensions – 105kg x 4 x 6 + 2  on last set

Leg Curls – 55kg x 35 x 1

Hammer Strength Incline Press – 120kg x 4 x 6 + 2 on last set
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns – 97kg x 4 x4 (too heavy on 4th set so dropped weight

  • 87kg x 4 x 1
  • 77kg x 4 x 1

Dumbbell Pullovers – 25kg x 25 reps x 1

Smith Machine Shoulder Presses – 100kg x 4 x 5
– drop set – 60kg x 12 x 1

arnold drink


Meal 1
200g Chicken
Spinach Pancakes (500g spinach, 1 egg, ⅛ egg whites, ⅛ lite cheese, ¼ oatmeal)

Meal 2
Egg Whites
120g Avocado Chocolate Pudding Recipe
10g Almond Spread
4 Spinach Pancakes

1 Scoop of Vitargo and PeptoPro

Meal 3
200g Chicken
Brocoli Soup
4 Spinach Pancakes



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