Tag: Oldschool Bodybuilding

Reg Park – Basic Principles for Gaining Definition (1951 Article)

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Whenever I hear some bodybuilders use the term “definition” I always feel like asking them just what they think it means. It is a loosely used word, with certain authorities in particular throwing it about without any deep thought of what the development of muscular definement entails, or if certain types of lifters actually CAN acquire it. In fact, it is common to hear many novices talk of definition development before they have even built the foundations of a good physique.
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Reg Park – Basic Principles for Gaining Definition (1951 Article)

reg-park
Whenever I hear some bodybuilders use the term “definition” I always feel like asking them just what they think it means. It is a loosely used word, with certain authorities in particular throwing it about without any deep thought of what the development of muscular definement entails, or if certain types of lifters actually CAN acquire it. In fact, it is common to hear many novices talk of definition development before they have even built the foundations of a good physique.

Peary Rader’s Magic Circle

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Loved and despised in equal measure, the squat has long been the iron game’s go to exercise for maximum leg development. A cornerstone of most trainee’s leg routines, there is certainly no doubting the exercise’s popularity.

Yet despite the fact that the back squat in particular has enjoyed a decades long dominance amongst gym rats, this does not mean that it’s position has not been challenged. Indeed for every man and woman who swear by the traditional squat, chances are you’ll find many more who curse it.

Owing to individual body mechanics, many individuals have found it difficult to perform the back squat with the form necessary to produce maximum development. This is not a new problem either as today’s post attests.

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.

Peary Rader’s Magic Circle

magiccircle.jpg

Loved and despised in equal measure, the squat has long been the iron game’s go to exercise for maximum leg development. A cornerstone of most trainee’s leg routines, there is certainly no doubting the exercise’s popularity.

Yet despite the fact that the back squat in particular has enjoyed a decades long dominance amongst gym rats, this does not mean that it’s position has not been challenged. Indeed for every man and woman who swear by the traditional squat, chances are you’ll find many more who curse it.

Owing to individual body mechanics, many individuals have found it difficult to perform the back squat with the form necessary to produce maximum development. This is not a new problem either as today’s post attests.

Abe Goldberg (1951) Article -Low Back Power

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Written in the 1950s but containing information relevant to the modern gym goer, the following article by Abe Goldberg will be sure to interest both those seeking to bring up their squat numbers and bend over without significant discomfort. A nice follow on from our article on the reverse hyperextension, Goldberg’s exercises will hit your posterior chain like nothing else.

Enjoy!

Bob Gajda’s Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training

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One point that always fascinates me about training is the sheer diversity one finds when it comes to training systems, exercises and training philosophies. What works for one trainee can prove pointless to another. No matter how good the programme, it often has to be tailored towards the individual, and indeed, we often find that the most successful trainees when it comes to bodybuilding have devised or used workouts advantageous to themselves.

Today’s post is a case in point. Titled ‘Peripheral Heart Action’ or PHA training, this form of exercise has come to be associated with Bob Gajda, the 1966 Mr. America Winner. Counting a host of proponents, including Charles Poliquin, PHA training is a rather interesting combination of circuit, strength and hypertrophy designed with bodybuilding in mind. That being the case, today’s post seeks to answer three simple questions. What is PHA Training and who invented it? Why did it come to be associated with Gajda and finally how can it be used for the modern trainee?

Thomas Inch’s Diet

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One of the strongest men of the early twentieth-century, Thomas Inch was known in both Great Britain and the United States for his feats of strength. Unlike others however, Inch was hardly strict with his diet. In fact Inch was recorded as saying

There is nothing so wearisome as having to be extremely particular about what one eats or drinks. I can never believe that the food faddist is happy, that it can be nice to go through life feeling that it is extremely difficult to get the peculiar meals which have been adopted on some nature-cure plan, that everything has to be exact in quantity with nuts and fruit predominating.

Searching the Pathé Archives

Those interested in weightlifting and physical culture more generally are in a rather privileged position. Numerous websites, ourselves included, detail the various intricacies of the Iron Game’s History. Numerous websites offer old magazines and books free of charge and forums exist to help interested parties find every possible thing they can imagine.

Rarely though is British Pathé brought into the fold. Running from 1910 to 1970, Pathé newsreels span an incredibly diverse and interesting range of topics. Included in this, as you may have guessed, are clips of bodybuilders, weightlifters and physical culturists strutting their collective stuff. So without further adieu, I’d like to run through some of my favourite clips from Youtube.

Running by John McCallum (1967)

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Known more for his incredible bulking routines than a love of aerobics, the following article comes from John McCallum, one of physical culture’s best known writers in the twentieth-century. Seeking to marry aerobic and anaerobic forms of exercise, the article (first published in 1967) is an interesting reminder that the idea of ‘cardio’ having a place in bodybuilding has a long rooted history.

Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. It’s nestled on the west coast about 25 miles north of the American border, with the blue Pacific on one side of it and snow capped mountains on the other. “Where else,” the natives say, “can you lie on the beach all morning and ski in the mountains half an hour later?”

The northern tip of the city consists of 1000 square acres of sylvan beauty. It’s called Stanley  Park, and it draws people like a magnet. On a Sunday afternoon you can see everything from a busload of nuns feeding the monkeys to 300 hippies holding a love-in.