Author: Conor Heffernan

Conor is currently researching Ireland's physical culture movement as a PhD student at University College Dublin. When not in the library or the gym, he likes to try his hand at writing....with mixed results.

Frank Zane’s Growth Program

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The following extract comes from Frank Zane’s excellent bodybuilding work: The Workouts -Personal Training Diaries, which is available from his website. Zane, a three time Mr. Olympia, is one of the few bodybuilders to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime and is possibly the most aesthetic man to win an Olympia. The polar opposite to the ungainly Bodybuilding’s current mass monsters, Zane’s training approach focuses on progressive overload and pumping the muscles with blood in order to sculpt a defined and proportional physique. What’s more Zane has used variations of this workout throughout his training life, making it one of the most effective programs for both novice and advanced lifters.

Check it out below.

Vegetarian Bodybuilding

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Vegetarian bodybuilding? Is such a thing even possible?

Oftentimes when vegetarians embark on the weightlifting adventure, they’re met with derision from those already on the path. How could you possibly get in enough protein? Won’t your diet be carb heavy? And how do you plan to avoid deficiencies?

Having previously discussed Vince Gironda’s vegetarian meal plan, today’s post examines the vegetarian diet of another bodybuilding legend, Bill Pearl. Whilst nowadays most lifters think meat is the only way to go, Iron legends have been more open to different means of attaining a solid physique. Given that Pearl was a five time Mr. Universe and one of the greatest bodybuilders not to win an Olympia, any diet he adhered to is good enough for me.

So what did Bill eat and what can aspiring vegetarian bodybuilders learn from him?

The History of the Foam Roller

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What could be simpler? Just hop on a piece of foam and roll up and down… anyone could do that right? Yes, anyone can but few do. Why? Mainly because it hurts. It’s effective but my god is it sore.

Yes today we are talking about the foam roller, the cost-effective means of massaging aching muscles and forcing you to embrace pain during your rest days. Who invented the foam roller? What was its purpose and how did it end up in gyms across the world?

By the end of the article you’ll have the answers to these questions and perhaps have a new found appreciation for the $20 torture device.

Peary Rader’s Abbreviated Mass Routine

 

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Previously on this site we have looked at the influence of Peary Rader on both bodybuilding and weightlifting. Editor of Ironman magazine for several decades, Rader was influential in the training of thousands of men during the course of his career and more importantly, his focus tended to be on ‘the common man’ as opposed to the bodybuilding giants of his era.

With this in mind, today’s post details several of Rader’s abbreviated routines from the mid 20th century. Abbreviated routines centred around compound exercises aimed at maximising as much muscle growth as possible for busy individuals.

So who would benefit from such programmes?

Steve Reeves definition diet

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Given now is the time of year when many people join gyms in the hope of attaining their goal physiques, it seems only right to discuss the dieting strategy of Steve Reeves, one of bodybuilding’s original stars. In his day Steve had one of the most respected physiques in the Iron Game, winning several bodybuilding championships and even making the crossover to Hollywood where he appeared in a number of Tarzan and Hercules flicks. Using this approach Reeves was crowned Mr. America in 1947. Needless to say, it works.

Who Created the Romanian Deadlift?

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Chances are at some point in your lifting career you’ve done a few sets of Romanian Deadlifts.  From athletes to bodybuilders, thousands of muscle fanatics have used the exercise to bring up their hamstrings and lower backs. Given the popularity of the movement, you may be surprised to learn that this exercise is a relatively recent addition to weight training. Indeed, it was only discovered by the US in 1990.

Having previously covered the history of the squat and the bench press, today we’ll turn our attention to the Romanian Deadlift.