Tag: nutrition

The Secret of Rheo H. Blair’s Protein Powder

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Having discussed Bob Hoffman’s (failed) attempts to create a protein powder that was both tasty and efficient, the time seems right to examine Rheo H. Blair’s famous protein powder from the mid-twentieth century.

Iron game historians will long be aware that Blair’s protein powder was the go to supplement for bodybuilders, average trainees and even Hollywood stars of the 1960s and 1970s. It was one of the first protein supplements and was highly regarded by others in the industry including Vince Gironda.

Heck, so highly regarded was Blair’s protein that it was credited with adding pounds upon pounds of muscle in a short space of time. Some bodybuilders spent months eating nothing but the protein powder alongside some vitamin capsules.

So what exactly was in Blair’s protein and what made it so special?

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Steve Reeves’ Competition Diet

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For many Steve Reeves was the epitome of bodybuilding. Alongside John Grimek, he helped to define a mid-century Iron Game obsessed with beauty, strength and uncompromising health. Though undoubtedly blessed with fantastic genetics, Reeves was known for his work ethic and attention to detail when it came to his diet. Coming from the Steve Reeves Cookbook, a book that’s currently distracting me from my own PhD work, today’s post looks at Reeves’ Competition diet which saw him through the Mr. World, Mr. Universe and Mr. America.

Safe to say then we may learn a thing or two from it!

Guest Post: The History of Marijuana Use in the Fitness Industry

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There’s no denying that professional athletes hailing from every sport have tried supplementing with everything and anythingover the years in order to get a head start and surpass their competitors. Being the star athlete of your generation and rising up the proverbial ladder to a prominent and profitable sports figure is definitely not an easy thing to achieve, so you can’t really blame your favorite athletes for doing everything to achieve the results they need.

John Balik, Total Muscularity: SuperStar Nutrition (Santa Monica, 1979)

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Describing himself as Arnold’s Seminar Nutritionist, Balik opened his short pamphlet on gaining muscle with the often forgotten law that ‘nothing beats persistence.’ Produced alongside a pamphlet on gaining muscle, which we’ll be discussing in a future post, Balik’s Total Muscularity represents a great insight into the training philosophy of 1970s Muscle Beach bodybuilding. Sparing myself the task of typing out his pamphlet word for word, which I suspect would infringe on some form of copyright law, I decided that a brief synopsis of the book would suffice. At the very least it would pander to our ever decreasing attention spans.

So in today’s post we’re going to look at Balik’s theories on individual body types, the type of diet he recommended and also what we can learn from it nearly forty years after its publication.

Mike Mentzer, ‘Balancing Your Muscle Building Diet’, Heavy Duty Nutrition (1993), 9-10.

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The majority of bodybuilders I meet at my numerous exhibitions and seminars all over the country still seem to think that protein is needed in tremendous quantities to build muscle. The fact that muscle is only 22 percent protein suggests that our protein requirements are not nearly that high. And just because muscle is more than 70% water doesn’t mean we should begin drinking gallons and gallons of water a day to hasten the muscle growth process either.

What would happen if we were to drink such large quantities of water? We would go to the bathroom a lot to eliminate the excess water. In the case of consuming excess protein, however, we aren’t so lucky, since protein contains calories which turn to fat when consumed in excess. The point I am trying to make here is that our bodies possess specific needs for all the various nutrients each and every day. We don’t force more utilization of nutrients by taking mega- doses. Nutrients consumed beyond need are excreted, in part, and the rest is turned to fat.

Bigger Faster Stronger: The Mr. Olympia

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Bodybuilders, like most other professional athletes in the last four decades, have undergone an unprecedented change. Whereas the first Mr. Olympia weighed in at just over 200 lbs, the modern champion is more likely to be sixty pounds heavier and leaner as well.

While the reasons for this, at least in bodybuilding, are clear, it is still interesting to reflect upon this change. Today’s short post discusses the average weight for the overall Mr. Olympia since it’s inception and shows how and when ‘the mass monsters’ gained a foothold in the sport.

Guest Post: Protein Supplementation – A Complete History

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Image provided by Zeyus Media

Whey protein is probably the most widely consumed fitness supplement in existence. It’s a simple product. It contains protein, which is a vital part of building muscle. Without enough protein, your body will not be able to repair itself as effectively, and your growth will slow.

The reason many people turn to Whey Protein as another source of protein, is because not only is it such a simple and easy source, but it’s relatively inexpensive. It’s also one of the best sources of protein you can get, even among whole foods, only beaten by the egg.

The History of Herbal Supplements

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Gone are the days when bodybuilders and athletes relied heavily on physical exercising to keep fit. According to records, Greeks were the first people to embrace physical fitness around 776 B.C. By then, it was taken to be a way of living. There were no machines, gyms or spas to enable proper fitness exercises. In addition, the dietary supplements for fitness were not there either. However, people in those days had better shapes than today.

Old School Supplements: Choline and Inositol

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The early forerunners of bodybuilding were adventurous in every sense of the word. From 20 rep squats to raw meat, these men and women stopped at nothing in the pursuit of pure, unadulterated muscle. For muscle anoraks like me, this pursuit resulted in a series of supplements being used, which of course, had varying levels of success.

Though we’ve previously covered old school supplements such as Bob Hoffman’s fish protein powder (excuse me while I gag…), it seemed about time to study a supplement that may actually benefit the current bodybuilding populace.

These ‘vitamins’, combined together, were thought to increase one’s energy and strength levels, lower their body fat and even protect one’s heart and liver. The last benefit being one of major importance at a time when steroids were beginning to hit the scene and few knew what side effects if any they may have.

We are of course, referring to choline and inositol, a power couple used by iron heads for decades with varying results.

Guest Post: 10 Weirdest Diets in History

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Diets have been around far longer than you can imagine. It’s safe to say that people from a long time ago were also pretty concerned about their weight, fitness, figure and health – concerned enough to try out different techniques on how to effectively carry out an diet. Eventually, these diets developed, became popular, and were named. Some of them are rational, some of them are just downright weird.