The Golden Era of Bodybuilding (the 70s) brought on the high volume approach to training. Before this, many of these men trained 3 x week with a full body workout, which is STILL a GREAT program.
Men like Steve Reeves built amazing physiques that are still the highest standard for today.
Many bodybuilders followed Arnold's lead of 2 workouts a day with the entire body being split across 3 workouts. Arnold changed the scene of bodybuilding not just with his physique, but his charisma.
He made training FUN and so they all wanted to be together in Gold's Gym or on the beach, hanging out together, lifting together and of course, partying together.
Arnold and his training partners trained 6 days a week, twice a day.
I recall FINALLY coming into my own around age 20. I had been lifting since age 13 1/2 and was training on average 5 days a week.
I noticed that if I trained 2 or 3 days in a row, the second and third day was always slightly off, even if just by a few percent. My energy was slightly off and I had to warm up a bit more than normal.
I decided to experiment with more rest, especially after being influenced by Dorian Yates. As a natural lifter, I knew that rest / recovery and nutrition were going to be my biggest assets.
I stopped lifting 2 days in a row and after every leg workout, I took 2 days off.
The rest days not only gave me physical recovery but mentally, I was fired up for that next training session. I remember John Kemper saw me training and he walked by and said, "Holy sh-t, Zach! What are you doing!?"
I told him how I was now training every other day, 2 days off after leg day, no training to failure, no forced reps. He was impressed. He told me to eat more. John told me to have a protein shake immediately after my training session, then go home and have a spoon of peanut butter, a steak and some salad.
I remember John telling me I needed more healthy fats via steak and whole eggs, more vitamins and minerals by having 1 salad a day and to keep training the way I am!
The BIG takeaway from The Silver & Golden Era was how many of the bodybuilders also had a powerlifting background, some even had a weightlifting background, and when The World's Strongest Man started in the mid 70s (1977), many of the contestants were pro bodybuilders.
They lifted heavy, hence they were strong. No need to complicate the way to strength.
These guys got Strong from heavy barbell and dumbbell lifting along with calisthenics. Basics, Basics, BASICS.
They also ate big and got plenty of sleep. A daily nap was the norm. Anytime I am feeling run down, I KNOW I must catch up on sleep. This means in bed earlier and naps on the weekend.
For the young, single men out there, you can nap on a week day 🙂
Of course, eating eggs and steak in the 60s and 70s was much different than the meats of today. The soil wasn't as contaminated as it is today and the animals had less hormones being injected in them.
Drinking milk 50 years ago was different than the milk of today......
In the 60s and 70s, I assume the milk back then was like drinking raw milk and you felt the positive effects of it as well.
Since 1989, I have proven to myself and training thousands of others, you can't go wrong with 3 - 4 hard sessions a week, plenty of quality food and plenty of sleep.
The Golden Era training methods inspired me to organize my own training when I stopped going to commercial gyms and began training in my garage.
I created The Gladiator Project out of necessity, not because of a fad.
I don't try to complicate things for the sake of sounding smarter, either.
It takes what it takes.
Live The Code 365,