Golden Era bodybuilding is a far cry from many of the bodybuilding methods of today. Today we see circus tricks and pump up weights. The lack of strength focused work is why the bodybuilders of The Golden Era had that thick, dense, rugged physique.
The bodybuilders of today rely on chemical warfare rather than building a physique that stays with you for a lifetime.
The Golden & Silver Era bodybuilders focused on free weights, heavy lifting, hard work on the basics and no fads or gimmicks.
No fad diets or fad workouts. The bodybuilders from the 70s and prior never questioned if the basics of squats, deadlifts, rows and the like were good enough or not. They KNEW that these exercises were crucial.
Today, everyone wants the short cut, the new fad and the easy way.
Easy workouts produce weak minds and weak bodies.
When I need to push for added muscle I go back and review many of my older books and magazines from the 1970s and prior.
What can you expect when training with these Golden Era Methods?
- Heavy free weight workouts with some low reps, some moderate reps and even some high rep finishers.
- Training 3 or 4 x week
This method was great for me when I was bodybuilding and I implement this program design method when I work with athletes who are in need of some serious strength and size.
Here's how we would break down a training session:
- The first lift was heavy with low reps (2-4 reps). Think Squats, Deads, Cleans, Presses.
- Second lift moderately heavy with moderate reps (6-12 reps). Think dumbbell benching, rowing, shrugs, pull ups, dips, close grip benching.
- The third lift was lighter with reps in the 12 + range. Think dumbbell flys, curls, triceps extensions, side and rear delt flys.
I add in some short sprint workouts and sprint repeats as finishers. These are not just great for speeding your metabolism and keeping your stamina up, they also add lean muscle to your legs.
Pardon my insanity on the video below, I was excited to get back after to training after a bout with the flu. Those with passion will understand, those without passion will never understand.
One thing you will learn about me is I have passion in my training. Without passion and excitement for your workouts, you will simply NOT make the gains that are in your potential.
Bring the Thunder when you train!
Unfortunately, what I see in commercial gyms is a bit heartbreaking.
Everyone is on their phone and I do mean EVERYONE.
I've seen people sit on machines and bikes looking at their phone the entire time I trained and they did NOTHING that entire time. Can you REALLY live a life like that? Being a slave to your phone?
Why not get in the gym and just conquer everything? This is why I advise training in your garage. Build your own Iron Paradise and let no one steal your thunder.
You don't even need a squat rack. Just a barbell. Get some milk crates and you can get creative. The minimalist style of training will help you become a BEAST.
Question for You: Drop a comment if you use any old school power-bodybuilding methods either for yourself, or, if you're a Strength Coach, to train others. Drop some tips, I wanna see what everyone else is doing to get Stronger, Bigger & Tougher.
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Trevor Somerville says
Glad your back to health I’m loving the videos and the hair caught me off guard lol. I don’t know what you have setup that holds the bar down when your doing rows, but I wish I had it at my gym.
ha ha the wifey made me grow the hair back after 5 or 6 years of buzzing it, and, I buzzed it after….
I ain’t got time for hair! ha ha
Haven’t done bicep curls in ages. So I jumped in with a couple of my trainees and cranked some old fashion Oly Bar standing biceps curls. Did 3 sets of 20, strict form using a very slow negative motion. Used the drag curl technique from the 4HB book by Tim Ferris. 2 days later an my biceps are still busted up. Got to get back into bodybuilding type workouts again, pack on some quality dense muscle. Summer is only 16 weeks away!
John Cintron says
I bought mine yesterday. I will be testing this program hopefully in Febuary.I want to stay at 170 and still build muscle on this program it’s been a long time since I did bodybuilding style workouts.So I am sure looking to see how the change of workout style changes me.
Trevor, that is called the grappler, they have this at http://westside-barbell.com. I bought it YEARS ago from Louie Simmons as he and I always chatted on training my wrestlers.
I use it for all types of pressing, rowing, rotational lifts. You need to have it against a wall so it doesn’t move. Old school t bar rows, I love it!
Al, that is awesome, ha ha. I don’t do slow mo nowadays but when I was purely bodybuilding I did. I blend the strength, muscle building and performance together.
Slow Mo is great for muscle growth tho!
John I am psyched for you bro!! Make sure you keep up with some sprints, sled work, etc to stay lean and mean!
John Cintron says
Would you believe all I have is 310 lbs in weights they wont get me more at the gym because someone can get hurt.lol I am going to add in some burpees and and jumpropes. I may do the insane and buy some more weight plates and drag them up this steep hill so I can have more to do deadlifts with. two summers ago with hardly any deadlifting work I did 425 deadlift. I want a 500lb plus at 170.I am all pumped up for this program I am going to do a workout today when I get home. Oh and I usually workout at 4:00AM I work 12 hour days and when I get home its about the family.
The Muscl Hut says
I appreciate your video and your back to the old school way of training. I am glad you are feeling better and I will be checking back to your site.
thnx, Muscle Hut, health is # 1!
@John C, wow bro, make your own Dungeon!
4 AM workouts sounds like Bill Pearl to me!!
You will get that 500 lb DL!
John Cintron says
I have been looking for a place to rent out that would be close to where I live. They won’t let me put any weight in there or anything like that it really does suck and I am not crazy about the gym I have near me.
You don’t need no stinking “Grappler” !
Just stick the unloaded end in a wrapped up towel in the corner or just against the wall in your gym or workout area and go to it. That was the old school way, way back then and now. I’m 61 and still use the old t-bar rows, full-contact/Bueller’s Twist, Bunyan squat and press, etc. with the bar just stuck up against a wall.
And great stuff from you as well, Zach.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Joe Rogers says
I’ve been finishing my full body workouts with heavy cheat curls. 2-3 sets heavy reps negatives on the last set. It gives me a mental edge over my next workout finishing with a more weight than I would curl with strict form really brings out the beast.
Just started a cycle of the bodybuilding type workout – classic 8-12 reps stuff with fatigue and sore muscles the next day. Keep in mind I am new to this but seeing some good gains over the past year. One of the things that seems to be prevalent is that everyone should just be training for strength and the size will come. There seems to be some really good debate about that 0 what if someone is looking for more size than anything?
that’s what we need to get kickstarted in 2011. Need to get that hair cut tho bro!
Rhys Brindley says
Firstly I want to say thank you, after picking up your encyclopaedia then reading and training from the gladiator project, you’ve helped drag me from the depression I was bogging myself down with. Thanks to you and your system, I’m braver in my job, I have a better relationship with my girlfriend, and hugely important, I have stacked on 20lbs in 10 weeks, with out getting fat.
I’m now practicing Olympic lifting, strongman training, I had a week off then pulled my Max ever deadlift of 210kg, just for the morale boost.
The old school methods really resonate, so much so I’m reading Arthur Saxon and Eugene Sandow.
You’ve inspired me to this from a chance look at your profile directed from the Art of manliness. You’re awesome man, I cannot thank you enough
Zach Even - Esh says
Rhys my bro, this makes me VERY HAPPY!
Thank you for reaching out and keep attacking life, my bro,
you are an inspiration!!!
Rhys Brindley says
It’s truly improving my life, I cannot thank you enough.
I’m feeling awesome and the bad shit isn’t winning because You’re helping me turn into a beast
Zach Even - Esh says
BIG Dawg, hellz yea!
Keep attacking life, there is NO other option, my friend!