Robby Robinson details his fish out of water experience of moving to Gold’s Gym and joining the “golden era” of bodybuilders

    In this clip, Robby Robinson recounts his all-or-nothing gamble of moving to Venice, California and first training at Gold’s Gym. An inspiring moment where endless possibilities laid before Robby… but also a time of a “rude awakening.” Watch the clip above!

Like many pro bodybuilders, Robby Robinson’s path to competitive bodybuilding was not an obvious one. He overcame a wide variety of troubles and trauma in his youth. A true loner, bodybuilding and weightlifting became an outlet – something he can singularly focus on. A way to move past his traumas and towards a feeling of strength and accomplishment.

This eventually led him into a full blown love of the sport – and also a direct invitation by the Weider brothers for him to live and train at their blossoming empire in Venice, California. Robby had never left his hometown. He had never even been on a plane. So te culture shock of the California lifestyle was immense.

Robby Robinson and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Image via ‘Robby Robinson’s Blueprint’

Robby Robinson’s Rude Awakening In California

Overwhelmed and unsure what path laid before him, Robby Robinson laid everything on the line and moved to Venice, California. He was unsure what he would do for income and whether or not his invitation to by the Weider brothers would result in a bodybuilding career. But bodybuilding was his one passion – and one that he was willing to risk everything on.

Upon first entering Gold’s Gym, he was nearly laughed out of the facility. Not due to a failure in his physique – he clearly held the aesthetics of a rising bodybuilder. The laughter was more similar to a wide eyed actor trying to bust down the doors in Hollywood. Robby was an aspiring bodybuilder ready to take over the world of the Weiders – but to pull it off takes one in a million. Did the Weider’s “trick” another young bodybuilder would would eventually crash and burn? Or was Robby going to be one of the “special ones?” As Robby puts it himself,

“…you come from a place where nobody knows who the heck you are. And you’re showing this letter from Joe Weider and everybody was saying, ‘Joe gone fool another one!'”

Homeless And Training At Gold’s Gym

Robby Robinson explains that the first few weeks were “an adventure” – in his words. He was essentially homeless. With nowhere to stay, he literally snuck up and slept on the roof of Gold’s Gym. He only had a blanket and a pillow and the clothes on his back.

Notably, Robby looks back on this moment in his life with joy and amazement. Rather than a dangerous period of time without a home or money to his name – he was young and on an adventure to transform his life. He had the core things that mattered to him – he was alive and he was able to train every single day.

Becoming Part Of The Golden Era Of Bodybuilding

Despite early struggles, something amazing began to happen as Robby Robinson trained at Gold’s Gym. He discovered and met fellow bodybuilders that would go on to become icons themselves. He was introduced to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbo and a slew of other bodybuilders that would go on to make up the Golden Era of bodybuilding.

Robby Robinson explains what made that era so special. There was a casualness to Gold’s Gym them. A true bodybuilder’s gym before it became more corporate as it is today. But despite this casual nature – the passion for progressing in bodybuilding was shared among all of them. Bodybuilding was their lives.

Robby recalls the “collaboration” of training in Gold’s Gym. Rather than seeing each other as isolated competitors. They trained together, pushed each other to new heights, and would even joke around. They wanted to beat each other in terms of physique and strength – but they did so while maintaining a level of camaraderie often idolized today in the bodybuilding history books.

Bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn, who grew up idolizing the Golden Era of bodybuilders, explains it best in the film clip:

“We talk about the Golden Era… but in the 70s it wasn’t the golden era – it was just bodybuilding. But today I think we look at it as the greatest time in bodybuilding. I don’t think they realized they were creating something so epic.”

Robby Robinson Bodybuilder Flexing Bicep Back
Image via ‘Robby Robinson’s Blueprint’

Official Robby Robinson’s Blueprint Synopsis

Once hailed as a trailblazing bodybuilding icon, Robby Robinson vanished from the limelight, leaving behind a legacy overshadowed by time. But now, at 77, he’s staging a jaw-dropping return to the spotlight, defying age with a physique that defies logic.

Delve into Robby’s remarkable journey from a tumultuous past to his triumphant return, as he unveils the truth behind the muscle and the man. For the first time ever, the real Robby Robinson is ready to be shown to the world as he should have been known in his prime. His greatest impact not yet behind him but instead about to unfold by reshaping the very blueprint of the fitness industry.

How To Watch Robby Robinson’s Blueprint

Robby Robinson’s Blueprint is directed by Vlad Yudin (Generation Iron, The Hurt Business, Ronnie Coleman: The King) and produced by both Yudin and Edwin Mejia Jr. (Generation Iron, Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer, The Hurt Business, Ronnie Coleman: The King) alongside Tim Taylor.

Robby Robinson’s Blueprint will be on all major digital platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Vimeo On Demand on June 28, 2024. For more information about the film, including ways to watch and pre-order, visit the official documentary website right here or click the banner below.

Robby Robinson's Blueprint Available June 28

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.