Charles Glass is one of the most famous trainers in professional bodybuilding.
Charles Glass’ competitive life began with gymnastics which continued through his time at UC Berkeley. After that he transitioned to the sport that became his home, winning the Middleweight IFBB Championship before devoting himself to coaching full time.
Glass told NYT, his reasoning for the transition was simple: bodybuilding was destroying his health.
“At my heaviest, I was 262 pounds. I was taking health risks, and I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t walk without breathing like a madman. I thought, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ And that’s when I realized I was done.”
He has trained Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Flex Wheeler, Magic Johnson, Calvin Klein, and George Foreman among many many others.
In November, New York Times reporter Jacob Bernstein traveled to Gold’s Venice to receive private training from Glass at $225 per hour.
Most bodybuilders prioritize free weights, and most amateur bodybuilders prioritize high weights.
Glass believes strongly in high quality low weight repetitions and often uses machines – albeit not always in the exact ways they were designed to be used.
“Before we had a lot of machines, we all used free weights because that’s what we had. But now, you can’t get certain angles from free weights than you can get machines. They put a different kind of stress on the muscles. I try to work around what I have.”
Glass put the NYT reporter through a pec workout on the first day. The challenge was moving strain from the delts to the pecs. For this Glass put a block behind the reporter’s back on chest fly, forcing maximum opening through the chest.
The next day they worked legs. Glass put him through special variations of hamstring curls and single leg presses, that the reporter said made for an extremely difficult and revelatory workout.
Of course the reporter had to ask Glass about his stance on steroids. Of course glass refused to completely condemn their use:
“I’d be a hypocrite,” he said.