12 Questions With Former 6-Time Mr.Scotland - Norman Rough!

Norman Rough holds many Bodybuilding titles, most notably winning Mr. Scotland a record 6 times in a row (1965-70). Here we ask him to shed some light on what sparked his enthusiasm for the sport and to describe some of the stepping stones it took to become a champion.

1. How did you get into bodybuilding?

As you may recall I was an athlete before catching 'the bug' and when I was training with the Scottish Sprint Coach my parents gave me a book for my 20th birthday. It was by Macdonald Bailley, a South African international sprinter, and was called 'Weight Training & Athletics' so I read it from cover to cover. I then took it along to my next sprint session and showed it to the Chief Scottish Sprint Coach and asked him what he thought about this 'new' method. Bear in mind this was in the late 50's early 60's, and as found out later, only the Russians and Americans were realising the potential of resistance training. He didn't even take the book and simply said 'Weight training and athletics don't mix' - I immediately thought that his was a closed minded approach to his chosen sport - considering he must have been unaware of what was happening as mentioned above. He should have taken the book, read it, and brought it back to the next session and then given me his opinion.

This only fired me up to finding a weight training gym - it was called Dunedin Weightlifting Club in Edinburgh and upon starting I began to develop rapidly by capitalising on my athletic abilities and naturally endowed attributes - I realised that creating something out of nothing was the ultimate sporting goal - and I already had a head start.

2. Who were your biggest inspirations when starting out?

When getting started in the club there would be some magazines lying around and although the main sport was weightlifting there were as many, if not more, guys doing bodybuilding and these magazines were the glossy eye-catching colourful American type. One cover picture in glorious sunny technicolour caught my eye - it was of a top American bodybuilder called Clarence Ross and I immediately thought 'this is my target'. Thereafter I was more driven than ever and followed all necessary information about Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Larry Scott, etc in order to improve.