Casey Viator: The Giant Killer
Casey Viator showed potential early on. Born and raised in Louisiana, Viator was a star athlete and packed on muscle very quickly. With some encouragement from his uncle, Viator took up Olympic Weightlifting aged thirteen. Unhappy with the aesthetic results, Casey turned his attention to bodybuilding.
Casey Viator found success in bodybuilding at an early age. He was seventeen when he claimed the title of Mr. Louisiana in 1968. Over the next few years, Casey continued to compete with sporadic success.
In 1970 everything changed for Viator when he met Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus equipment. Jones saw massive potential in Viator and took him under his wing. The training became shorter and more intense.
Viator went on to win the Mr. America competition in 1971. Casey was the youngest ever Mr. America at age nineteen. This was the height of Viator’s fame. Casey was the big name in bodybuilding at the time.
Life took a turn for Viator in 1973 after an incident in the gym caused him to lose part of his pinky finger. After the incident, Viator suffered a serious reaction to the anti-tetanus injection. Casey spent most of that year fighting for his life and suffered extreme bouts of depression.
Arthus Jones helped Viator on his road to recovery. After losing over 33lbs of muscle, Jones had the idea for The Colorado Experiment.
After The Colorado Experiment Viator returned to the stage. Casey had some impressive performances but never reached the heights of his Mr. America win. The most notable was 2nd place in the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in 1978. Casey continued to step in and out of retirement until his final show in 1995.
After retiring from competition, Viator spent his time working as a personal trainer. Viator was also a regular contributor for Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines. Viator passed away on his 62nd birthday after suffering a heart attack.
Below is a list of Viator’s accomplishments on the stage:
1968 Mr. Louisiana, 1st
1969 AAU Teen Mr. America, 6th
1970 AAU Mr. America, Most Musular, 3rd
1970 AAU Teen Mr. America, Most Muscular, 1st
1970 AAU Mr. USA, Most Muscular, 1st
1971 AAU Mr. America, Most Muscular, 1st
1971 AAU Junior Mr. America, Most Muscular, 1st
1978 NABBA Mr. Universe, Medium, 2nd
1979 Canada Cup Pro, 5th
1980 Grand Prix California, 3rd
1980 Grand Prix Louisiana, 1st
1980 Grand Prix Miami, 2nd
1980 Grand Prix Pennsylvania, 1st
1980 Night of Champions, 5th
1980 Mr. Olympia, 14th
1980 Pittsburgh Pro Invitational, 1st
1981 Grand Prix California, NP
1982 Grand Prix Belgium, 4th
1982 Grand Prix Sweden, 3rd
1982 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
1995 Masters Olympia, 12th
Casey Viator trained in a similar way to Tom Platz. They both favored the high-rep, high-intensity approach. The goal is to achieve 14-20 reps with the heaviest weight possible. Push to absolute failure.
Under the guidance of Arthur Jones, Viator trained only 1 to 3 sets per exercise. Perform every rep slowly. Take three seconds on the concentric and eccentric parts of the lift. Hold at the top for muscle contraction.
Viator’s philosophy was to train heavy, lift slowly, and rest as little as possible. Leave everything on the gym floor. The workout plan consists of three days of weightlifting and three running sessions per week.
Viator was an advocate of cardio. Casey believed cardio improved the respiratory system and allowed him to push harder in the gym. Viator would run three times a week. Below is an example of one of his workouts.
Viator’s nutrition was nothing special. The way he ate was common for bodybuilders during the era. The goal for Viator was 250 grams of protein and between 4,000 and 5,000 calories a day.
Casey split his meals into six and ate every couple of hours. Below is a sample diet from one of Viator’s books.
Meal 1: Eggs and Milk
Meal 2: Lean Beef, Milk with Egg Protein Powder
Meal 3: Eggs and Milk
Meal 4: Lean Beef, Milk with Egg Protein Powder
Meal 5: Chicken and Milk
Meal 6: Chicken and Milk
Meal 7: Chicken and Milk
Meal 8: Chicken and Milk
Casey Viator is idolized in modern-day bodybuilding. Viator’s genetic potential was immense and perhaps never seen again. Had it not been for his accident Viator may have dominated the sport of bodybuilding for many years. Below are his physique measurements during his prime.
Height: 5’8″ (172.5cm)
Weight: 215-225lbs (93.0 – 102.1kg)
Arms: 19 inches
Chest: 50 inches
Waist: 31 inches
Thighs: 28 inches
Calves: 18 inches