Category: Training

Reg Park – How I Trained for the 1958 Mr. Universe

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An ideal for Arnie and countless others, Reg Park was one of the biggest bodybuilding names of the mid-century. Known for his powerful physique and raw strength, it’s no surprise that even though the great man has passed away, many still follow his old workout routines to a tee.

Today’s post was generously given by a reader of the blog who stumbled across an article written by Park following the 1958 Mr. Universe. It details his training, supplementation and general state of mind leading up to the competition. I’m sure you’ll find it as interesting and informative as I did.

Now in the interests of accuracy, and my own laziness, the article will appear below just as it did in 1958…Enjoy!

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Guest Post: 5 Things to Consider Before Joining the Gym

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Joining the gym is probably one of the best decisions you can make for your health. The workouts don’t have to be intense and the goals you set don’t have to be too ambitious, but any sort of physical activity will drastically improve your physical and mental health. This doesn’t mean that it’s something that should be decided on hastily and without proper planning. The facilities and equipment you choose should be well suited to your goals and the pace at which you are willing to work.

Forgotten Bodybuilding Exercises: The Gironda Motorcycle Row

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How do I train my back? A common concern for weightlifters, bodybuilders and the average Joe or Jane seeking to get the most from their training.

We all know the basics: chin ups, rowing movements, pulldowns and of course the deadlift. But what else can be done to throw some variation into our training systems. Well, as we so often do on this website, we decided to return to Vince Gironda’s bag of tricks for inspiration.

Aside from pulldown movements utilising a range of hand positions and his own unique style of chins ups, Gironda was greatly fond of the 45 degree row or the motorcycle row as it has been termed in later years. Seen by the Iron Man as one of the quintessential back builders, the Motorcycle row is undoubtedly a neat addition to your regular workout.

How to Row Gironda Style

A History of Pre-Workout Supplements

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Situated halfway between the gym and the nightclub, pre-workout supplements have taken on a remarkable popularity amongst gym goers in recent years. Labelled with ‘hardcore’ names such as ‘Anarchy’, ‘Mr. Hyde’ or ‘Rage’, the pre-workout supplement has become a staple amongst portions of the lifting community.

Indeed, one may be forgiven for thinking that bodybuilders, powerlifters, weight lifters and just about anyone else who has ever graced the gym floor have been using these supplements since the dawn of gym going. This however, is not the case. In fact, the first major pre workout supplements did not hit the markets since the 1980s.

So what came before the pre-workout supplement? What did bodybuilders do in the time of physical culture or the time of Arnold and co.? Furthermore when did pre-workouts hit the market? And why did they become so popular? An ambitious set of questions, which today’s article seeks to answer.

Beef It Up: Key Changes For Better Muscle Building

If you are looking to improve your muscular frame, then you might be surprised if you find that it is harder to do than you initially thought. Building muscle is something that often seems like it should be straightforward and easy to do, but actually turns out to take a lot more than you think. A common problem is that people build a lot of muscle quite fast, only to find that the effectiveness of their workout levels out quite quickly after that, and they stop noticing any real changes. If you want to combat this, there are a few things you will want to bear in mind.

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Get the Answers From the Champs – 1997 Muscle and Fitness Article

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Published in Muscle and Fitness in 1997 the following article relays Lee Labrada, Lee Haney and a host of other bodybuilder’s opinions on training and bodybuilding in general. A nice insight into the training mindsets of the time, the article goes well with our previous post on the Workouts and Diets of Bodybuilding Champions. A reminder that is the time before high speed internet, training advice came primarily from muscle mags and the big guy at the gym!

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Question: I just changed jobs and had to move to a new city. The only gym anywhere nearby has mostly machines – there just isn’t a great selection of free weights. My friend and I always thought that free weights were superior to machines, and now I’m worried that I’ll lose the mass I worked so hard to gain. My other option is to drive about 20 miles, and I’m not sure I’ll stick with my training if I have to drive that far.

Guest Post: Being Open-minded as an Iron Addict…Try Yoga!

Whether you’re an Olympic lifter, powerlifter, strongman, or crossfitter, there’s this cliquish attitude in the iron sports that what ‘we’ do is better than the other. Now it’s a lot less than it used to be, at least form what we can see on the internet. But it is still holding a lot of us back from reaching our goals. It could very well shorten training careers of some people too.

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If you look back at history, some of the greatest achievers were known to overcome this kind of close-mindedness. Take Alexander the Great. At 23 years old he conquered a good chunk of the known world back in the 300s BCE. He also utilized a level of open-mindedness unheard of during his time, forging a unity between east and west.

By overcoming the shortcomings of his peers, Alexander openly accepted the resources of Eastern culture to help reach his goals of conquering. He didn’t let differences in perspective blind him to the usefulness that other cultures brought to reaching his own goal. It’s with that open-mindedness that Alexander was able to reach as far as India.

Exercise: Religion or Science? Mike Mentzer’s 1995 Q & A

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Q) I’ve been bodybuilding and jogging regularly for about six years. I run three to five miles every morning and I lift heavy weights for an intense one-hour session three days a week. After reading your articles and columns, I suspect that you might think my regimen amounts to overstraining. I admit I’m no Mr. Universe, but my training keeps me happy and on an even emotional keel. So, why do you keep harping on “over-training”?

A) Your workout regimen does constitute overtraining. The definition of over-training is performing any more exercise than is precisely required to achieve the desired result. An-one committed to the idea that optimal physical progress is the desired result must bear in mind that this can be achieved only by understanding and applying theoretical principles. However, many people do not explicitly clarify their goals; as a result, the don’t know how to properly direct their training efforts.

Forgotten Exercises: The Hindu Squat

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Owing both to its effectiveness and its sheer longevity, the Hindu Squat is one of the most interesting exercises unknown to most lifters in the West. Targeting the quads and aerobic system to a remarkable degree, the exercise serves as a fantastic finisher to your workout or indeed a workout in its own right.

A core part of a wrestler’s training in both pre-modern and modern India, the move is sure to be of interest to those looking to switch up their training methods and try a truly gruelling exercise.

Guest Post: How to Know How Much You’ve Progressed in Training

Fitness tracking is an integral part of training but it’s frequently ignored. There are two things you should know in order to see results: where you are at right now (in terms of fitness goals) and what you have to do to get to where you wish to be.

Once you start training, your body will slowly start to change as you eat properly and exercise. The body keeps the muscles it already has and builds them further, while the fat gets burned away. However, with a lot of cardio and crash dieting, you risk shedding both muscle and fat, eventually looking slim, but weak. In that case, something hasn’t been done right.