If you’ve ever spent an ounce of attention on the bodybuilding world, you know that the 1970s were the golden era.
It was during the 1970s that bodybuilding swept over the world and, although still a fringe sport, made every kid, man and woman drop their jaw over men who appeared to be demigods. If you keep reading, you and I will go over what the 70s bodybuilders did to build physiques similar to Hercules and Kratos.
And if you pay attention… you may be able to build a similar body yourself.
What Separates The Old School From Modern Bodybuilding?
Modern bodybuilders look at themselves as cattle. And they are their own breeders. All they care about is to pack on as much meat on their bodies as possible.
And in the process, they forget all about aesthethics, about balance and beauty.
Old school bodybuilders wanted to build a body that was rough and masculine, but at the same time harmonic. Resembling of an ancient Greek statue.
Their ultimate goal was perfect V-tapers — When your upper body has the shape of a “V”. Wide shoulders and lats, and a tight waist.
Today, bodybuilders are just walking meat factories. And just like the cows they resemble, they consume some of the drugs breeders use to grow cattle bigger.
Finaplix is a veterinary drug injected into cows. Finaplix contains a powerful steroid called Trenbolone which makes the cows grow gigantic.
Bodybuilders began taking these pellets of Finaplix and used them to cook oils they could inject into themselves.
And the result?
Today most bodybuilders look like big cows. It must’ve worked!
Yes, the old school bodybuilders also used steroids to build their bodies. But today, the reliance on steroids, peptides, growth hormones, and every other drug out there is too big.
You definitely need drugs to build a bodybuilder physique, but that doesn’t mean drugs are the only thing you need.
Use as mild PEDs you can. They’re meant to enhance you, they don’t do all the work.
Unless you’re already a professional bodybuilder, I recommend you to stay away from steroids. Read more about SARMs — they give you similar muscle growth but only bind to your muscle and bone, which gives you way less side effects.
Now that we got that out of the way… let’s move on to the workout routines and philosophies the old school bodybuilders had:
Old School Bodybuilding Routines
Let’s be clear:
Bodybuilding legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, Mike Mentzer, Serge Nubret didn’t work out exactly the same.
Serge Nubret would do situps for hours every day. Mike Mentzer was famous for high-intensity, heavy work.
But they all had one thing in common:
Their workout routines were much harder than the ones you see today. They lifted more weight more times to build their bodies. Modern bodybuilders dedicate Tuesdays to working the outer head of their biceps, and wait a week until they do so again.
They lifted heavy in general. They rested short periods inbetween sets. And they spent a majort part of their days inside the gym.
And although you’re about to discover the typical bodybuilding routine during the 1970s… I want you to know this:
Old school bodybuilders didn’t have much information around back then. There was no internet, no fitness trends or studies on exercise.
So they had to rely on their guts. What did they feel worked?
I recommend you to do the same. Take this classic bodybuilding routine and try it out. But it’s not set in stone. Get a feel for how you feel about it, and adjust the exercises, sets and reps accordingly.
Alright. Let’s take a look at the typical routine that produced herds of bodybuilding legends…
Monday: Chest and Back
Tuesday: Shoulders and Arms
Thursday: Chest and Back
Friday: Shoulders and Arms
This is the rough routine most bodybuilders followed.
And if they needed to grow a weak bodypart such as the calves, trapezius, or abs, they would sneak in a few sets at the start of an workout 3-5 times per week.
Then, they’d proceed to the heaviest exercise, for example deadlifts, and move down to lighter and ligher exercises. Dumbbell rows, then pullups etc.
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Sample Old School Routine
Chest and Back Workout
- Bench Press
- Weighted Dips
- Dumbbell Flyes
- Barbell Rows
Shoulders and Arms Workout
- Overhead Press
- Behind-The-Neck Press
- Scott Press
- Lateral Raises
- Barbell Curls
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Dumbbell Curls
- Cable Pushdowns
- Barbell Squats
- Hack Squats
- Leg Extensions
- Leg Curls
Rep Ranges & Training Volume
As I told you before, you should listen to your gut when it comes to training. But as a rule of thumb, you’re off to a good start by lifting in the range of 5-12 repetitions per set.
I like to start off with low repetitions, with a heavy weight, then taper up the repetitions and lower the weights.
Variety is good, so don’t stick to only 5 repetitions per set or something of that kind.
As for traning volume, it’s impossible to say an exact number. It depends on your genetics, how advanced you are, what supplements you take, drugs and so forth.
However, 5 sets per exercise is a good place to start. When you feel the need to challenge you body, you just perform more sets.
It’s very simple. It’s old school.
Until next time,
— Alexander Contrarian