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Author Topic: Rheo Blair Protein/Supplement Evolution  (Read 27411 times)
pac-man
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« on: May 16, 2009, 07:36:34 AM »

Is was wondering if anyone on here had used Rheo Blair's protein supplement back in the day?  From what I read it seems to have a reputation of being pretty inovative for the industry at the time.

Also were there any supplements worth taking back in the 60s or 70s?  Just curious how supplements were percieved back then.
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 08:30:27 AM »

Pac,
I wasn’t around for it, but I’ve conversed with several people, including JPM, and have done some reading on my own.
Here’s some of what I know, and bear in mind, I’m going from memory here.

Rheo Blair, like Vince Gironda, was ahead of his time.
I believe his real name was Irvin Johnson – not sure why he changed it. He was born in 1921 and became a nutritionist some time in the 1940’s. Blair was also heavily involved in bodybuilding nutrition, which was quite unusual, as bb was a rather obscure activity in those days.

Sometimes called “The Original Dr. Adkins,” Blair was the first authority on the matter to advocate a high fat/low carb diet – even for his bodybuilders.

He produced a line of supplements, the most popular of which was his protein mix.
The powder consisted of a blend of egg and milk proteins. Blair recommended mixing it with heavy whipping cream or half & half. The addition of the cream supposedly created an amino acid profile and fat:protein ratio that closely resembled human breast milk, which Blair believed was a superior growth formula.
The powder was on the pricey side, but people who used it SWORE by its effectiveness.

Blair also made some kind of amino tablets or capsules, of which guys took PLENTY. Dessicated liver tablets were quite popular back then, and I believe Rheo also had his guys taking those as well.

Part of the effectiveness – I believe – of Blair’s instruction was nutrition timing, and literally being in a constant anabolic state. Between the shakes, meals, and pills, he had those guys consuming “something” throughout the day. The tablets made it easy to keep aminos in the blood without the need of eating a solid meal every hour.

If interested, many guys today who add protein powder to whole milk or cream report better gains. Beef liver tablets are, well, beef liver. You know the importance of red meat in building muscle, and liver tabs are still popular with many trainers today.
Amino acids? Look at Milos’ pre, intra, and post workout drinks – lots of aminos in those.
Blair was onto a lot of things that didn’t become popular for another 50 years, and you can see their presence today.

Definitely worth reading and learning more on your own.
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 08:39:22 AM »

FYI:

If you’re really interested in the whole “Mother’s Milk” concept, you ought to investigate to find the amino & fat composition of actual breast milk. Find as much specific info as you can, and then compare it to other brands, particularly Muscle Milk’s formula, as they like to tout their protein as being closest to boob juice.

Then report your findings to your good buddy Monty so he doesn't have to do the research.
 Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 08:45:45 AM »

Good info, thanks Montage.  Ya from what I've read some guys were downing literally one hundread aminos per day.  

It seems they had some great supplements but Weider had a better ability to market his own supplements through his magazine, endorsements and so on.  

Oh and I believe he changed his name for marketing purposes.  

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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 08:51:10 AM »

FYI:

If you’re really interested in the whole “Mother’s Milk” concept, you ought to investigate to find the amino & fat composition of actual breast milk. Find as much specific info as you can, and then compare it to other brands, particularly Muscle Milk’s formula, as they like to tout their protein as being closest to boob juice.

Then report your findings to your good buddy Monty so he doesn't have to do the research.
 Smiley



I have actually read up on the protein.  Many of todays' protein Muscle Milk, Syntha 6, ect..have formula's that are comparible to Blair's protein.  Slower digesting proteins such as casein are similar.

I run a small sports nutrition store.  I see how things are marketed today and was curious on how things were done 30 or 40 years ago. 
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 02:32:03 PM »

I've believed since the 70s that Gironda and that crowd were way ahead of their time. That includes training, nutrition and everything else within the BB spectrum. Gironda, Blair, Scott and others. Even by today's standards there's not a whole lot they didn't cover IMO.

They were using Blair's supplements, desicated liver pills, amino acids, etc. plus top notch training.

Ron Kosloff maintains all the info from this era, and can be contacted. Nice guy to.

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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 06:32:49 PM »

I've believed since the 70s that Gironda and that crowd were way ahead of their time. That includes training, nutrition and everything else within the BB spectrum. Gironda, Blair, Scott and others. Even by today's standards there's not a whole lot they didn't cover IMO.

They were using Blair's supplements, desicated liver pills, amino acids, etc. plus top notch training.

Ron Kosloff maintains all the info from this era, and can be contacted. Nice guy to.



Thanks for the tip pumpster.  I did google Ron Kosloff and read some of his writings on Vince Gironda.  It absolutely seems like Gironda was ahead of his time in his training and nutrition. 

Not to get to far off topic about Blair’s protein but I couldn’t help but comment on some of the things I read on Gironda.  What got me is that he seems to have died a broke man, and not accepted by much of the bodybuilding community at the time according to Kosloff.  Today he is thought of as “ahead of his time”. 

I can’t help but think it was partly his own fault though.  By most accounts he had a “my way or the highway” attitude.  You would read about how he would kick people out of his gym for doing crunches, and he was very much against squats and bench presses.  Whether he was correct or not, you are not going to win a lot of people over nor can you teach them if you are that abrasive. 

I guess we can say that Weider was able to market his products, supplements, culture, ect through his magazine as where Gironda did not have a media outlet of his own.  Either way if you do not have an interest in dealing with people that might object to something you say or not take your word as law than you’ll never reach the amount of people that Gironda might have had the potential to reach. 

It sounds like he was his own man, had his own ways, and was not going to listen too much else.   That is now part of his legend and mystique.  I just wonder what might have been if he had gone about his teachings in a different manner. 

Interesting time it was.  Wonder what Gironda would think if he were to walk into a mainstream gym filled with soccer moms and spinning classes in the year 2009.


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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 08:00:31 PM »

The thing is, in most businesses from BB to computers to anything else, there are the innovators/creators and the businessmen. They're usually quite different animals and don't have the same priorities.

Creative types tend to be more emotional/tempormental, so Gironda was far from alone; you'll see it in any industry. And part of their greatness is often a desire for creating the best with no compromise, whereas the business types will take existing types and have no hesitation with altering it in the name of profits.

As far as his perceived difficult persona, i don't think the guys who actually trained in his gym or benefitted from his advice had any problem with Vince. Guys with high standards who create new things like the preacher bench that's everywhere now don't appreciate mass-marketing, which they consider compromise and dilution of their ideas.

I don't think i'd have minded being around the guy, as the bottom line for him was a no-BS zone and results. For example i like what he said to put Schwarzenegger in his place when Schwarzenegger first arrived in Los Angles and was sent by Weider to Vince's Gym.

As far as what he'd think of today's gyms, he lived well in to the 1990s. His gym as well as many other independents suffered with the rise of large corporate gyms, plus apparently the health of his son had an effect on his desire to continue on.

It seems sad that he died with nothing but on the other hand he obviously didn't care about money-he must have been one of the very first personal trainers in the country, having started training actors and others interested in getting in shape in the late 1940s!! Thus i think it's clear he could've cashed in and benefitted in ways Weider did, if he'd cared about it.

Some of Vince's links are here, along with some for Arthur Jones. Those two guys have to have been the two biggest influences in BB history! Apparently at some point they met in person-that must've been quite the interesting conversation!

http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=112943.0
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 07:56:33 AM »

Is was wondering if anyone on here had used Rheo Blair's protein supplement back in the day?  From what I read it seems to have a reputation of being pretty inovative for the industry at the time.

Also were there any supplements worth taking back in the 60s or 70s?  Just curious how supplements were percieved back then.

it was fabulous tasting
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2009, 07:23:20 PM »

Rheo H Blairs Original Protein:

INGREDIENTS: Calcium and Sodium Caseinate (milk protein) low-heat nonfat dry milk, lactalbumin, dried whole eggs, iron phosphate, natural vanilla flavor
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING
Serving Size
28.35 grams (1/4 cup)
Percentage of U.S. RDAllowance
Calories
102

Protein
17.5 grams
Protein
40%
Fat
0.6
Calcium
30% (300 mg)

Cholesterol
15 mg
Riboflavin ( B2) 12%
Carbohydrate
7 g
Iron
15%
Blairs Protein is formulated for nutritional superiority with only the highest grade of nutrients. It is processed through an exclusive low temperature process that does not denature the amino acids.
Therefore insuring both maximum biological availability and unexcelled solubility. This superb blend with its excellent amino acid balance offers unexcelled solubility and taste. This product is excellent for repair and rebuilding of bodily tissue while helping to maintain high levels of stamina, vitality and efficiency. Blairs Protein contains the IGF1 and IGF2 (insulin growth factors) that produce increases in strength, energy levels and size. The results may vary from individual to individual. This special patented process is expensive but the result is what Blairs Protein has been about for over 40 years.
Vitamins, minerals/amino acids derived from milk and egg ingredients.
Sugar content derived naturally from milk.
Contains no added sugars, preservatives, artificial flavors or ingredients.
"Quality is the only true bargain"


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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 07:24:22 PM »

Rheo H Blairs Protein Recipes:

Blair's Creamy Delicious
1 cup cream (8 ounces)
1 cup lowfat milk
4 tablespoons Blair's Protein Powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs (drop in boiling water 30 seconds)

Blair's Light Creamy
1 cup half and half (8 ounces)
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons Blair's Powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Blair's Yogurt Delight
1/4 cup Blair's Protein Powder
3 ounces half and half
1 cup plain yogurt
12 ounces of 2% milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Blair's California Coconut Delight
1/3 cup Blair's Protein Powder
4 ounces of light cream (not heavy)
12 ounces of 2% lowfat milk
2 tablespoons coconut extract
1 egg boiled for 30 seconds

You can freeze these recipes in an ice cream freezer or divide into individual portions in cups and place in the freezer. Before eating thaw the ice cream slightly. You can also use different extracts like almond, black walnut and others. You can also try using fruit like strawberries, peaches, pineapple. For juices you may add some carrot juice.

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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2009, 02:39:03 PM »

good stuff ! there've been a couple guys purchase the formula and resell it over the years, but i dont think anyone is doing it now. Nothing special about the protein, theres better out there now, but for the day, it was head and shoulders above.

Heres Ron Kozloffs site. Hes oldschool and was buds with Vince back in the 70s.

http://www.nspresearchnutrition.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2009, 07:29:55 PM »

Prior to Blair’s formula, pretty much all that was out there in the way of powders was a soy mix that Weider sold.
I suppose that compared to soy anything would’ve been an improvement.

I think just as important as the powder’s ingredients was how Blair & Vince instructed their guys to take it.
Vince had his trainers mixing the powder with raw eggs and heavy cream – kind of hard NOT to grow on that combo.
Timing was also important.

The powder was just a part of a much larger formula.
Nonetheless, it was an important part that deserves mentioning and study to understand the effectiveness of the overall nutrition plan those guys followed with great success.

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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2009, 06:44:33 AM »

good stuff ! there've been a couple guys purchase the formula and resell it over the years, but i dont think anyone is doing it now. Nothing special about the protein, theres better out there now, but for the day, it was head and shoulders above.

Heres Ron Kozloffs site. Hes oldschool and was buds with Vince back in the 70s.

http://www.nspresearchnutrition.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Ya I do wonder if it could be marketed in a way where it would have an impact but I do agree there are many similar/better formulas on the market these days. 
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 10:29:48 PM »

Cool stories, keep them coming.
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 12:50:31 AM »


Wow this is a cool board. It took forever to get a getbig account.

I remember reading about blairs protein shakes and Gironda's stuff in some old musclemag issues.

Thanks for posting the info guys. interesting stuff
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 06:12:23 AM »

Wow this is a cool board. It took forever to get a getbig account.

I remember reading about blairs protein shakes and Gironda's stuff in some old musclemag issues.

Thanks for posting the info guys. interesting stuff


Welcome.
When you have some time (& if you haven't already), check out this thread - you'll probably like it:

http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=158432.0
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 07:05:46 AM »


Welcome.
When you have some time (& if you haven't already), check out this thread - you'll probably like it:

http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=158432.0

Thanks bro
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 05:03:10 PM »

I've always wondered how things might be different had bodybuilding been market differently. 

Ya know just being more upfront about the whole steroid thing instead of acting as if it didnt exist.  Being more realistic about how the average guy reading a magazine was going to relate to the routines by pros on juice.  Marketing supplements in a way that would appeal to all people rather than just make crazy claims and promises to naive teens.  Maybe roids could have been part of the game but put some kind of "limit" on things so it didn't get out of control. 

Things may have turned out better...only speculation though. 
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« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2010, 02:56:21 PM »

nice thread i remember the iron man mag ads back in the mid to late 60's featuring larry scott and don howorth. i think if you called up you could sometimes get don and he would take your order and give advices.


* blairs_protein.gif (84.17 KB, 396x368 - viewed 3075 times.)
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« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2010, 02:59:23 PM »

in a fairly recent mmi profile it was reported that irving johnson aka rheo h blair had mr america jim park on over 2000 protein pills a day, that's what jim said in the interview shortly before he died.


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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2010, 09:36:14 AM »

You guys are bringing back some pretty old memories.

I first heard about Blair's protein from Larry Scott in the early 60's and went looking for the product someplace in mid-Los Angeles.

This ocured in the early 60's (yea! I'm ancient) while I was stationed at Camp Pendleton and I do recall driving through a very wooded area of LA with some sort of lake or pond in the background and found his very small shop off the side of the road. I recall it looked somewhat like an old two car garage and I think the product cost about $12. And I think it was milk adn egg.

Bodybuilding was relatively small back them but Blair's protein took off like a bullet.

There was also one other reputable Protein company on Santa Monica Blvd right by the 405 freeway. Any of you guys recall that product?

And one other popular product was the all-liver, powdered product in the one pound can. As soon as that can was opened the entire room would smell like a thousand pair of 8 month old sweaty socks.

Hoffman and Weider sold some shit but it wasn't too popular if I remember correctly. Actually I think that Weider was selling watered-down Geritol.

And ... the first protein product that came on the market (as far as I can recall) was a roll of wafers that tasted like hay and was produced and marketed by Gypsy Boots.

Now I gotta go back and read the rest of this topic.
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« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2010, 05:53:39 PM »

And one other popular product was the all-liver, powdered product in the one pound can. As soon as that can was opened the entire room would smell like a thousand pair of 8 month old sweaty socks.


That couldn’t have tasted at all good, but I can easily believe in its effectiveness.
I occasionally chew my liver tabs to aid & speed digestion/absorption - one of those old-school tips from back in the day.

Cooked liver is one of the grossest things I’ve ever eaten, and the tablets are no better. Lips sealed
However, I have made noticeable gains on them.

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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2010, 08:17:57 AM »

hoffman's stuff was pretty gross, i heard the protein from the sea was beyond awful in taste and smell. i used to take the tablets when i was a kid gross pasty tasting stuff. but what i actually liked was the peanut butter protein bars just the right combo of peanut butter sawdust and dirt. it is said that hoffman himself used to stir the batter for these concoctions himself shirtless and with a oar some i imagine a good deal of bob's sweat in each batch he assisted on.


* Hoffman_First_Iso_Rack.jpg (140.39 KB, 650x1000 - viewed 2434 times.)
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2010, 08:38:56 AM »

Ya these are some cool stories.  Sounds like Blairs protein was top secret stuff given that it wasn't the easiest thing to find.  Either that or he didn't have the ability (or didn't want to) get it on more retail shelves.  Kind of a disgusting story on how Hoffman produced his bars though...

The first supplement I ever used was Weiders Dynamic Muscle Builder in highschool in the early 90s.  I remember that being pretty nasty too at least compared to todays Muscle Milk and Syntha 6. 
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