Well, Charles Glass, of course. Starting as a collegiate Gymnast at the University of California where he graduated in engineering, Glass transitioned into Olympic lifting. According to Glass, Olympic lifts were too strenuous for his body so he opted for Powerlifting; I mean, I was always a believer in lifting through the pain, but that is quite impressive. His experience with powerlifting led him to a career in bodybuilding. Although placing 1st in the 1983 NPC contest, the remainder of Glass’ career was uneventful when compared to other big names: 16th at the 1984 Olympia, 13th at the 1985 Night of Champions, 10th at the 1989 Night of Champions, and 4th at the 1995 Master’s Olympia. However, there are handful of champions who seem to fade from the spotlight after they win titles; not Charles Glass.
Contribution to the Iron Game.
Although Charles Glass didn’t bring anything new to the iron game, his impact is absolutely worth looking into. Feeling that bodybuilding was taking a toll on his health, Glass decided to end his career and focus on helping others. In 1987 he began training professional and up-and-coming bodybuilders in Gold’s Gym Venice, where he was a member and trainee 10 years prior.
Glass trained Flex Wheeler, Dexter Jackson, Kai Greene, Chris Cormier, Victor Martinez, Shawn Rhoden, Paul Dillett…I’ll stop here but I could go on and on. Okay let me add a couple more for good measure, Dwayne Johnson, George Foreman, and Calvin Klein, yup, Calvin. Klein. So as you can see, Glass is part of the list due to his amazing reach as a personal trainer and his proved worth as a mentor!
Charles Glass’ training mentality and entire persona is a breath of fresh air. His methodology revolves around shocking the muscle, putting strain on the weakness by hitting it with different angles, various rep ranges, and varying tempos. He also has a gift to spot someone’s weakness and strengthen it. When asked about his thinking process, Glass explained that when he looks at a machine he tries to finds all of the possible ways that it can be used; he tries to make the machine better; he looks at how everyone else is doing it and tries to break the mold. It is safe to say that, for Glass, the instructions stuck on the side of the apparatus are mere suggestions.
An additional strength of Glass’ training mentality is his dedication to his clients, his dedication to his craft, and his ability to make the trainee conscious of their life and their decisions. According to Glass, “If you bring 100%, you’ll get 100% out of it. I can take you there, but it’s up to you to get it. I can’t get it for you.” I wish every gym had that quote plastered on a wall.
To end, and in a somewhat personal opinion, Charles Glass’ astounding humility engraves his place in the EII Iron Man section. While men like Joe Weider and Adrien Gagnon self-proclaimed themselves as “Trainer of Champions”, the exact title was given to Glass because, well look who he trained. Furthermore, as Weider was termed the Father of Bodybuilding, Glass is referred to as the Godfather of Bodybuilding. With regards to this Glass stated that “People call me the Godfather of Bodybuilding, but I just like to help people reach their goals in any sport.” Humility at its best.
So here’s to Charles Glass! We wish him happy continuation with his passion for the iron game and his grand contribution to the advancement of bodybuilding.