Fortitude Training – Muscle Rounds – Upper Body Emphasis – Danny Padilla Part 3

arnold 1980 franco

After the 1980’s Olympia debacle that saw a totally out of shape and outclassed Schwarzenneger scooping near perfect scores and winning the title for that year, it was clear that there were behind the scenes forces steering and even mandating the outcomes of physique contests. 

Arnold’s victory so soured the competitive experience for many pro competitors that they simply refused to compete the following year believing that the fix was definitely in for Arnold’s sidekick Franco to win. Many of the athletes, none more surprising than Arnold himself even called it before-hand, stating publicly that Franco was to win the 81 Olympia. 

Padilla still naively maintained that the best way to defeat the conspirators was to present a physique so far above and beyond that the true winner couldn’t be denied.


Platz must have felt the same way for the body that he presented on stage that year in 1981 was 20 pounds heavier, and he’d clearly addressed his former upper body weak points to match the strength of those titanic quads. 


By these standards, Franco seemed well and truly out of contention. Not only was he clawing his way back from a career ending injury via an accident in a strongman competition, but he was nowhere close to his peak form – coupled with that his clear case of gynecomastia and smaller and misshapen smooth quads signalled the death knell for a physique that was all but a shadow of its former glory. 

Padilla, like Platz had made the necessary changes befitting this new era of physique competition. He was symmetrical, proportioned and shredded to the bone. 

padilla11  Padilla-1981gym

Another competitor, Roy Callendar, was also a frontrunner by virtue of the stunningly conditioned package he was bringing to the 81 Olympia stage. Add to the mix a very viable contender in Chris Dickerson, and Franco was to have has hands full fending off these more than credible threats.

Roy callendar 81

Roy Callendar 1981

Dickerson 1981

Dickerson 1981

It was clear from the outset however, that the fix was most definitely in. Tony Novak approached Padilla with the none too cryptic in retrospect statement that – “You do know what is going to happen here today don’t you?”

The details for the contest are fleshed out more in Roach’s book, but the public response to Franco’s victory was notable in that the audience “threw handfuls of coins at the stage” yelling and leaving the auditorium in protest at the outcome.

Padilla was once again, screwed – relegated to 5th place in a contest he could quite clearly have won. 

danny platz


How the fuck does this beat that?

How the fuck does THIS beat THAT?

Arnold strikes again

Arnold strikes again

Rather than throw the towel in disgust, Danny continued to remain active in future competitions competing in a variety of IFBB outings while always languishing in the bottom ranks as an also-ran.

padilla side chest 1990

From the 1970’s to the 1990’s – A consistently amazing physique

He managed to compete against some of the best in a career that spanned 2 decades while maintaining a physique that was consistently dense and appealing to the eye. The Giant Killer was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.


Padilla competed against the sport’s best.   


I decided to go back to doing a short feeder workout in the morning to see the effect on my energy levels and begin to focus once again on working on my weakpoints i.e. – calves and hamstrings. I also think the extra volume on the back is vital to keeping that body part a consistent strong point.

calf raises arnold

Chinups – Body Weight x 10 reps x 5 sets
Leg Curls – 65kg x 6 x 6
Seated Calf Raises – 20kg x 20 x 5 sets
Tibia Calf Raises – Body Weight x 30 x 5 sets


All sets performed as a cluster set, rest-pause style, with 10 seconds rest between each set.

I’m amazed at the strength increases I’ve had on this program the last few weeks despite the low calories. It’s very tough to get through a workout applying full intensity across the body-parts, but it’s a highly rewarding feeling once you get through it.

Hack Squats – 150kg x 4 x 6 sets
Leg Curls – 95kg x 4 x 3 sets, 75kg x 4 x 3 sets
Leg Extension – 115kg x 4 x 6 + 2 reps.

Hammer Incline Press – 120kg x 4 x 6 sets
Cable Rows 97kg x 4 x 6 sets + 2
Lateral Raises – 20kg x 15
14kg x 15
10kg x 20



Meal 1
200g chicken
small bowl of cauliflower, red capsicum and onion soup
7 spinach pancakes.

Meal 2
200g Avocado pudding recipe
3 egg whites
10g Almond Spread

Meal 3
Cauliflower, onion, red pepper soup
6 Egg whites

Carbs – 111g – 29%
Protein – 156g – 41%
Fat – 54g – 31%
Calories – 1575


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