Saturday, June 22, 2019

Revisit: U.S. Wrestling Club - Ricky Steamboat

MAY- JUNE 1981

In 1981, Jim Crockett promotions developed a club for their fans and called it the "United States Wrestling Club." For a membership fee of $5.00 for one year, fans got the bi-monthly club newsletter "Ringside," a discounted subscription offer on "Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine," discounts on tickets to local Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events, and discounts on concessions at those events. Despite being initially well received by fans, Jim Crockett Promotions folded the club after only one year.

The premier 4-page issue of the "Ringside" newsletter for the United States Wrestling Club arrived in the late spring of 1981. The first feature article was editor Steve Waid's interview with Ricky Steamboat about his interest in body-building. Steve photographed Ricky working out at the gym.

The issue also included "Club News" from Jim Crockett, Jr., an enrollment form, and letters to the editor.

Ricky Steamboat, Wrestler and Body Builder
by Steve Waid

One of the reasons professional wrestling superstar Ricky Steamboat has made it to the top of his sport is that he maintains a sleek, powerful physique.

Certainly Steamboat has one of the best-built bodies in wrestling, and the strength it generates has helped him win many matches he might otherwise have lost.

To become a professional wrestler takes hard work, but Steamboat had to work that much harder to perfect his body. Years of sweat and sacrifice are required to produce the kind of physique which ultimately helps make champions.

“I started body-building about seven years ago,” said Steamboat. “I do a lot of traveling in my job as a wrestler and I was fortunate enough to have a lot of friends who operate gyms in various cities. They let me slip in and have a few workouts.”

“But in my home, Charlotte, NC, I worked out regularly at a gym.”

Steamboat’s routine usually consists of steady workouts with weights and body-building machines six days a week. “I’m really involved in it when I’m getting ready for a body-building competition,” he added. “Right now, I’m competing in the regional level (Mid-Atlantic) and to prepare myself, I spend several hours each day working out.”

“But it’s a bit different in the off-season, when I have more time. I usually work out four days a week then.”

Body-building not only improves the look and tone of the physique, it also helps in the ring.

“Keeping your muscle tone and strength is like building a set of shock absorbers,” Steamboat said. “If your muscles are tight, you are less susceptible to injury. Getting slammed around in the ring and falling to the mat can seriously hurt you. But you will avoid most injuries if your muscles are tight.”

Steamboat added that ligaments and tendons are often twisted during a match, and injury can result if the wrestler’s muscle tone isn’t good.

“You have to remember that in my profession, a lot of the moves and holds applied goes against your joints,” Steamboat said. “You have to have the proper muscle tone to make sure you can absorb the pressure. I’m sure football players have to be the same way. They have developed the same basic reasoning.”

Steamboat’s workouts can be rigorous. Working with dumbbells, weights and Nautilus machines is a tedious process – and at times a painful one. When Steamboat undergoes several weightlifting repetitions, it’s not unusual to see him sweat, strain and groan.

He advises that no one who wants to become involved in body building undertake the exercise he does. It takes time to rise to his level of proficiency. And no one should attempt any sort of body building program without a doctor’s approval.

“To develop a good body takes a great deal of time,” Steamboat said. “You must first learn to be patient. Guys come up to me and ask if they lift weights for six months, will they look like me? There is no way.”

“I would recommend that a person start out very lightly. Don’t go and see how much you can lift right away – we calling that ‘maxing out’. Just lift what you can for 12 to 15 repetitions for six to eight weeks.”

“If you can increase your repetitions from 15 to 20, then add some more weight. Find your levels and work out at them. Then, maybe after six months, you can take a chance and see how much you can lift.”

Steamboat emphasized that the biggest thing for any body builder is to stay healthy.

“If you suffer an injury and can’t work out, you will quickly lose what you have gained,” he said. “Suppose you have added a half-inch to your arms. If you injure yourself, you’ll lose that in just two to three weeks, and it will have taken you six months to gain it.”

Diet plays an important role in body building and Steamboat pays careful attention to his. “When I am preparing for competition, I go on a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet,” he said.

“This means I reduce the intake of carbohydrates and fats and take in more protein. I don’t eat bread, pasta or any sweets. I eat a lot of fish and chicken. Steak is a good provider of protein, but it also has fats.”

“You need the protein to repair and rebuild your muscles’ tissues, which you tear down during body building.”

When he is not preparing for competition, Steamboat relaxes his diet only a little. He eats fruits (which he also eats in his more strenuous program), steak, baked potato and sometimes, even dessert.

“Usually, I take one day in the week and just let go,” he said. “I eat pretty much what I want. It helps break up the monotony.”


Club News
by Jim Crockett, Jr.

Judging from the mail and phone calls received, the response to the United States Wrestling Club has been tremendous.

Hundreds of wrestling fans across the country have responded to our USWC membership drive and it looks like the club is going to be a big success.

To become a member of the USWC, Just send a $15 membership fee to the United States Wrestling Club, P. O. Box 3854, Charlotte, NC 28203. Don’t forget to include your name, address and zip code.

Being a member entitles you to discount tickets on a regular basis to wresting matches in your area. You will also receive the Club Newsletter, “Ringside” every two months. This will feature in-depth stories on your favorite wrestlers, along with photos, club news and other items of interest to wrestling fans.

You will also received a colorful membership card, which will entitle you to special 10 percent discounts on wrestling posters, t-shirts, wrestling jackets and other items.

And there’s a big bonus. As a member, you receive at a discount, Wrestling Magazine, a publication which highlights wrestling on the local and national level. It also features profiles and interviews with the wrestlers, as well as some first class photos of your favorites.

As a USWC member, you get Wrestling Magazine for just $10 for six issues, and it’s a regular $18 value.

Don’t wait – join the United States Wrestling Club today and get in on all the action.

(Note: This material is presented for historical purposes. Reprinted from 1981 newsletter. The club is no longer active. DO NOT send money to the P.O. Box above!)

Editor: Sid Morris
Managing Editor: Sid Morris
Associate Editor: Anita Gersch
Art Director: Frank Nemis
Membership: Donna Taylor

Originally published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway December 15, 2016