1970s Muscle Building Advice

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The greatest problem that faces the young bodybuilding enthusiast is that of gaining weight. It’s usually this reason for taking up weight­ training in the first place. However, after the inevitable gain of a few pounds body-weight almost immediately the weight-training course has been embarked on, one finds further progress very slow. Each pound towards his ideal body weight is gained with an ever increasing span of time. Once I couldn’t gain more than two or per­haps three pounds a year — training three times a week. Eventually my bodyweight gains became stagnant and no amount of training would alter it.

So I sat down and thought it out. The following 3-way plan helped me gain six pounds in a week. Double what I could previously hope for in a year.

Here are the three factors to make up the muscular body-weight of an underweight individual. First, diet; second, rest and sleep; and thirdly the training schedule itself. One is no more important than the other, but if any one of the three steps is neglected then the chance of successful bodybuilding is greatly reduced.

Let us take each factor separately. It can be written as body-build­ing law to the novice bodybuilder. Assuming the individual is wiry and not at all inclined to be fat, then his food intake must be consid­erably increased. He should not miss having a breakfast consisting of cereal or porridge with eggs and bacon. He should drink three pints of milk a day. He should have an extra meal before going to bed at night.

This need not necessarily be cooked, but may be either two poached or boiled eggs and buttered toast, or four shredded wheats or Wheetabix with milk. Alternatively, two thick brown­ bread sandwiches would be enough or perhaps a welsh rarebit (but cheese doesn’t suit us all at night). For those who say they can’t afford to buy three pints of milk a day–there are thousands of young men and boys spending the cost of three pints of milk daily on cigarettes. You may be one of them. If you smoke, then stop now, not for a week or a year, but for the rest of your long life. This, then, is the first rule. If you are skinny, then eat much more than you have been doing in the past; and don’t smoke.

The second step of a successful body program is rest and sleep. Outside your chosen vocation and your training schedule you must learn to relax. Don’t indulge in any other physical activity for the time being. That can come later when this bulk gaining program is finished. You can’t expect to gain muscle if you play table tennis before your workout and go dancing afterwards. Leave all other energetic activities outside your normal working day, until after you have gained sufficient bodyweight. Then if you wish you may carry on with them. But if you notice your weight suffering then you must cut it down again. However, usually after a good bodyweight is attained the undertaking of another sport will do nothing but good if kept in moderation.

Ideal sports for the bodybuilder are diving, wrestling, surfing, hand-balancing, gymnastics, swimming and field athletics. But as pointed out, the skinny individual should leave all well alone for the time being. The second step then is to relax as much as possible during the day to conserve energy whenever at all convenient. It is imperative that the individual should average each week a period of not less than eight hours sleep each night.

The final step in making completely sure that all goes well in your bulk-gaining effort is that of the workout schedule itself. This should be a schedule composed of the selected exercises illustrated and completed three times weekly having a day’s rest from training between each session. Never train two days in a row.

Above all do be careful and use your common sense when performing exercises. Bodybuilding is less dangerous than say football, soc­cer; , etc., but even so accidents can happen. Don’t perform on rickety chairs , etc., and warm up your muscles before commencing your workout. For obvious reasons it must be stated here that no responsibility whatsoever can be taken for individuals who may in­jure themselves in any way.

Source: ‘Complete Muscle Building Course’, Tensile Contraction (Ontario, c. late 1970s).