The Peter Lupus Shrine



by Reg Lewis

Mr. America magazine 1962

The text reads "Pete Lupus: Hollywood's Newest Bodybuilding Star" on the cover of this 1962 Mr. America magazine.

Physique stars over six feet tall are a rarity. Of all our great Mr. America winners only three have been six feet or slightly over--Stephan, Reeves amd Dubois. But if you think it unusual to find a champion of this height it's positively phenomenal in the case of Pete Lupus who tips the beam at an astronomical six-feet-five! This amazing bodybuilding star has a physique that would place high--perhaps even win the Mr. America or Mr. Universe title. Why is it so unusual for a very tall man to develop a great physique? Conversely, it's lack of height in the shorter bodybuilder that feeds his inferiority complex which in turn spurs him on to great physical achievements. In other words, the tall man already "has it made"...he has no feelings of inferiority--stature-wise---that would trigger his start in the bodybuilding world.

It's the little fellow who feels that he must do everything possible to compensate for his shorter stature so that he can compete on an equal basis in other ways with his taller colleague. Height in itself is a considerable achievement in this world. The good big man is already off to a better start than the good little man.

Peter hits in ironMany high-school youths find that extra height helps them in sports like basketball, football, volleyball and distance running. Although they may not have the degree of health the shorter man has, they are automatically superior because of their extra height. I'm sure that you have seen some of the basketball stars of your nearby schools and colleges. They appear to be suffering from some type of famine...sunken chest, long skinny arms and knock-knees. But still they are in the chosen circle of top athletes.

It may not be until many years later that muscular and energy supports needed for their long limbs will diminsh, but it will happen and sooner than it does to the shorter individual. The taller person becomes stooped and round-shouldered almost inevitably, but by then he is older--has lost the youthful fire of bodybuilding enthusiasm--and seeks to correct his condition rather than acquire a spectacular physique.

Another reason why you don't see many physique champions over six feet tall is that it's pretty hard to pack a lot of muscle on those long limbs. A shorter bodybuilder will always work faster toward proportion than the taller individual. But in the final analysis, if the tall bodybuilder sticks to his workouts there is no reason why he cannot reach the zenith of phyiscal perfection.

Pete Lupus was one of those tall rangy youths who excelled in high school and track found him the leader. And he was invariably chosen for a chief spot on the football squad. Although he was quite ordinary in his ability, his extra height gave him the advantage to make him a standout...that automatic superiority.

Later Pete's interests turned to drama. His natural good looks and height were of primary advantage. He tired of athletics in which he felt he had accomplished enough and turned toward the acquisition of more practical and more renumerative skills.

Pete's drama coach worked diligently with him and discovered much talent in his sensitive nature which adapted himself so well to the theater. Soon Pete was grabbing the leading parts from others in the class...he was the Beau Brummell of his high school.

Upon graduation from high school Pete attended Butler University where he continued his study of drama and allied subjects. During his spare time he worked at his father's supermarket in Indianapolis, Indiana.

One day while arranging the magazines in their proper places in the rack Pete happened to pick up a copy of Muscle Builder with Mickey Hargitay on the cover. He recalled seeing a photograph of Mickey in the local said that he was a Mr. America contender and trained right there in Indianapolis at Bob Higgins' Gym.

Pete studied the picture for awhile and felt pretty skinny in comparison. Mickey is a big man too, standing at 6'1" and weighing 235. He simply oozes vibrant handsomeness, something that girls just can't forget. This sex appeal was something Pete definitely wanted for himself.

That night he studied himself in his mirror. "No...that stooped posture is no good with my shoulders...why they look like a hat rat compared to Mickey's shoulders! Sure I'm tall, but it's going to take something more to make me a star against all those Hollywood ruggeds!"

That night Pete couldn't sleep...he just had to know more about the next day he drove into town and made a beeline for the Higgins Gym for an interview with Bob.

He walked through the front door trying to appear casual. The gym was buzzing with activity and people barely noticed him as he passed through. The he turned to see a small muscular fellow eyeing him. The little Hercules--Higgins himself--motioned lanky Peter over to his desk and that was it...Pete was hooked!

He learned how he could improve his shoulders, posture, and slap fifty pounds of muscle on his skinny frame, yet maintain a smaller waistline than he had even now! What more could a fellow ask for?

Then Pete asked about Mickey...when he trained...would he be in that day? Higgins pointed past Pete's shoulder, saying: "That's Mickey coming in just now."

Pete gulped at the unbelievable sight of this huge, blonde, broad-shouldered Adonis then passing into the dressing room. He gulped again when he saw Mickey strip for his workout. Pete began his training that day and from that moment tried to emulate his idol...and the great Mr. Universe-to-be Mickey Hargitay.

Later when Mickey left Indianapolis to tour with the Mae West show, Pete changed over to Ed Hoffmeister's Gym because it was closer to home, and because Ed taught the famous Weider super-speedy methods which he'd heard Mickey talk about so often. Now with advanced Weider techniques Pete added 3-1/2 inches to his chest and 11 pounds of muscular bodyweight to his frame in just one month.

In one year of training he gained from 190 to 218 and stripped his waist of two inches of excess tissue. During the summer he played principal roles in summer stock...Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter...A Streetcar Named Desire...Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

This led to Broadway where Pete attended the American Academy of Dramatic Art and appeared in several off-Broadway shows. With a considerable New York success behind him Pete headed for the goldfields of Hollywood where he is sure to be discovered by leading talent scouts. During the waiting period, however, he continues to train with Weider techniques and he rigidly adheres to such super-fast super-muscle-building techniques as Super-Sets and Tri-Sets and, like most modern bodybuilders, Pete favors the Weider Split-Routine plan of exercising upper body and lower body on alternate days.

Here is the exercise program Pete currently uses...I think you will find it most interesting and if you will try it for yourself I'm sure it will work just as rapidly and effectively for you...particularly if you, like Pete, are in the tall man's category.


Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
8 sets, 10 reps, 100-pound dumbbells


Barbell Pullover For the Lats-Serratus Tie-In
6 sets, 20 reps, 145 pounds


Dumbbell Incline Lateral Raises
6 sets, 12 reps, 35 pound dumbbells


Supine Triceps French Press
6 sets, 10 reps, 125 pounds


Supine Dumbbells Curls
6 sets, 10 reps, 35 pound dumbbells (Triceps and Biceps work Super-Setted)


The "Cruncher". Lying in position shown, bring elbows as close to touching knees as possible.
5 sets 50 reps


Hack Squat
5 sets, 8 reps, 140 pounds


Seated Heel Raise With Barbell
6 sets, 20 reps, 200 pounds


*Article from Mr. America magazine, March 1962

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