Tag: Old School Bodybuilding

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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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.

Roland Cziurlok, No Gimmicks Bodybuilding (1995)

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Better to train simple and smart. Judging by the reaction most people to my training philosophy, they must think that pro bodybuilders throw around superhuman weights, perform exhaustive triple drops and negatives, and spend endless hours training every day in the gym. That may describe someone else’s training routine, but I’ve developed a far simpler system that meets my needs.

I rarely vary my routine. It’s always three exercises down for four sets of 12 reps per body part. No forced reps, drop sets or other techniques. Whatever body part I’m training, that’s my routine. And I’m usually done with my workout in 45 minutes.

Is the Mr. America Contest an Athletic Event ?

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The following article, written in Peary Rader’s Ironman magazine in 1964, deals with a question most bodybuilding fans have to answer. Namely, whether or not the pursuit of muscle building can be viewed as a sport or athletic event in its own right.What differentiates Rader’s time from now is that back then, physique competitors were also expected to perform weightlifting feats as part of the competition. A stipulation one could hardly think possible in today’s Mr. Olympia competitions. Nevertheless the article raises and answers some interesting points from one of the industry’s most respected figures. Enjoy!

The controversy over phyisque contests has become one of the touchiest events you can discuss and perhaps for this reason we should keep quiet, and yet we have some convictions about this thing that we feel ought to be presented. It has been some years since we discussed the problems of phyisque contests in Iron Man and perhaps it is time to bring it up again since, instead of lessening, the difficulties seem to be increasing.

Bradley J. Steiner’s 1988 Hardgainer Program

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Interesting the term ‘hard gainer’ appears less and less in everyday gym use these days. Whereas previously whole bodybuilding industries were built on the term, the modern gym goer sees it as just one more phrase amongst several.

Nonetheless, the fascination that previous physical culturists had with ‘hard gainers’ provides us with a wealth of training programmes and worthwhile advice. This is especially the case regarding today’s programme from Bradley J. Steiner.

For the unaware, Steiner was one of the foremost training writers of the 1970s and 1980s in America. Detailing everything from bodybuilding to basic maintenance, Steiner was revered for his common sense, sage wisdom and general good demeanour. In a world dominated by ‘mass monsters‘, Steiner stressed overall development from his trainees. Both physical and mental.

The programme given below is dedicated towards the ‘worst-case’ hardgainer. The trainee for whom many routines have come and gone. As simple as it is effective, the routine will certainly be of interest to beginners and advanced trainees alike.

Steve Michalik’s Training Diary from 1968

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How bodybuilding champions train is an area of intense interest for muscle fanatics the world over. How many sets, how many reps and how intensely? What makes them great?

Seeking to satisfy demands, muscle magazines often publish polished workout routines written by the Champions. Yet nothing compares to the first article, making today’s post on Steve Michalik’s 1968 training diary just so fascinating. In it we see Steve’s hopes for the future regarding the stage and also his thoughts on training poundages an intensity. A gem of a find that I stumbled across on Dave Draper’s excellent bodybuilding website and forum.

You can check out the training diary below.