About four months ago I had breakfast with the incredible “Hulk,” actor Lou Ferrigno. We hit it off so well that we kept in touch, and had a three hour dinner when he returned to my area. That was the other night. And I’m still so excited and inspired that I still can’t sleep.

Lou is an inspiration. He looks better now at 61 years old than he did earlier in his life, when he was a three hundred pound bodybuilding giant who won awards and inspired millions. Today he is fit, healthy, and as gentle and loving as a kitten.

Posing holding the Steve Reeves Mr. Universe trophy of 1948, the very trophy that has inspired Lou as a teenager

Posing holding the Steve Reeves Mr. Universe trophy of 1948, the very trophy that had inspired Lou as a teenager

But don’t let that warm smile fool you. He’s iron willed, focused, dedicated and moving forward like a Mack truck stuck in high gear. He’s a force of nature.

Still, he took great interest in my life and work. He wanted to know about my current projects. I told him about my two books coming out in early 2013, my four music albums with two more on the way, the Wealth Trigger Live seminar planned for February in Austin, and my idea to end homelessness.

In my gym with the rare Animal Trainer that Steve Reeves used to overcome a shoulder injury

In my gym with the rare Animal Trainer machine that Steve Reeves used to overcome a shoulder injury. (Lou's friend Brad Taylor standing behind machine.)

He loved it all, was impressed, and congratulated me.

Of course, he’s not sitting around. He’s been on 45 planes in three weeks. He’s traveling, speaking, meeting the fans, working on a new movie and possible television series, has his active website and fitness consulting going on, and plans a huge Ferrigno Fit movement he’ll be announcing in 2013.

Joe and Lou

In my private gym with the Steve Reeves Universal Machine to Lou's left and the Nexersys behind me

Lou met me due to our mutual admiration for legendary bodybuilder and first action movie figure, Steve Reeves. So he came to my home to see my private gym, my Reeves collection, and more. He loved it all, but I think he was most impressed with my office and all the books and guitars. He sat in my office chair and surveyed the area. He looked right at home.

Lou loved my office

Lou loved my office

Lou asked surprisingly in-depth questions, such as, “What is your greatest fear?’

I spent so much time thinking about my answer that he nudged me by saying, “You know what it is.”

After I told him about fear of failure, he confessed he doesn’t know how to swim. He fears going down in a plane over water.

Lou's autobiography signed to Steve Reeves, now part of my collection

Lou's autobiography signed to Steve Reeves, now part of my collection

He also asked, “What’s your biggest dream?”

I told him about Operation YES, my idea to end homelessness, and the book on it coming out in a few weeks. I thought he would ridicule it, but instead he said, “That’s beautiful!”

He was very supportive of my health and fitness dreams, and said I was doing the right things. He watched what I ate and drank and complimented me on my choices. His references to my living past 100 years old made me feel I could live that long, or longer. When I told him about the five fitness contests I had been in, and showed him the certificates I got for each, he was as proud as me. He knows all so well what it takes to discipline yourself to win.

He asked me about my collections (guitars, books, Reeves, and more) and said he buys two of everything he loves as he fears losing one of them. And when he buys something, he buys the best.

Lou hugging Nerissa

Lou hugging Nerissa

This amazing man still works out several days a week, an hour a pop, and prefers lifting iron to anything else. He loves fitness equipment, though, and collects it. He had never seen The Burn Machine before, an exercise tool I love so much I bought several for myself and more to give as gifts to friends. He wants to buy one — probably two — for himself.

Lou with "The Wall", the fitness routine Steve Reeves used when he was a teenager

Lou with "The Wall," the actual chalk board with the fitness routine Steve Reeves used when he was a teenager

I’ve been around a lot of celebrities and movie stars, but have rarely met one so at ease with himself. He said he likes me because I “don’t have an ego.” Well, everyone does, but some of us keep it in check. Lou does.

Nerissa was a bit star struck to be with him. She’s met several celebrities, too, but Lou is so present with people, that you can feel him paying attention to you. She asked him for exercise advice. He said to take it easy and do what you enjoy. He got up and walked across the room, moving fast, with a determined stride, to demonstrate what he meant.  She promised him to start walking more every day.

Lou with the 13 choildren of the Collie family, and parents Bruce and Holly, in Vitale Cigar Room, where we had a three hour dinner

Lou with the 13 children of the Collie family, and parents Bruce and Holly, in Vitale Cigar Room, where we had a three hour dinner

A truly emotional moment was when Bruce Collie – former NFL Super Bowl football star, father of 13 beautiful children, owner of Brewster’s Pizza and the Vitale Cigar Room where we met – met Lou and told him how the great actor had changed his life when he was young and troubled.

Holly and Bruce Collie with Lou

Holly and Bruce Collie with Lou

I can’t say enough great things about Lou Ferrigno. When you get a chance to meet him, you’ll know what I mean.

His website is right here.

Ao Akua,


PS — My breakfast with Lou Ferrigno was posted here on my blog on June 27th. You can read it at:  http://blog.mrfire.com/breakfast-with-lou-ferrigno/

Member BBB 2003 - 2013

Member BBB 2003 - 2013


    October 27, 2012 at 7:10 am


  2. October 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Joe – totally inspiring post… it wasn’t so much the words you used, but I could feel how you felt as you wrote these words… amazing! Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience… 🙂

  3. Mohammed-Reply
    October 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    This was an amazing post, I wish there was a video of your interactions

    I am curious as to know how Bruce Collie was helped by Mr. Ferrigno

    Thanks again

  4. October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Dr. Joe,
    I remember the last post you wrote about Lou. He seems like a genuine nice guy, and I don’t mean that in a “wimpy way,” because he is probably the last person you would want to make angry.

    Seeing how Lou is still going for it at 61, when most people have retirement on their mind, makes me respect him that much more and it also encourages my own growth.

    I like your office pic too. 🙂 It looks warm and comfortable.
    Take care.

  5. Mohammed-Reply
    October 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks Joe

  6. December 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Joe, I didn’t realize you had a blog, man – I wish you had told me about it earlier. Great story, love the pics!

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