Anyone Use Old School Full Body Routines?

Have any of you ever run any of those old school full body routines that look like they would take 2-3 hours to even complete?

Just curious how brutal they actually are (I’m sure you are gassed by the end of it).

When I was 12 or 13. No joke. That was like 1984-85, and I would get the muscle magazines and try to do some crazy asses routines with my sand filled weider weight set.

They were ridiculous, and actually did take several hours to complete. Then chase it with a mass gainer that tasted like chalk dust, nestles quick and aspirin.


At least you had that… I tried the old school method of using powdered milk.

Joe Weider Chart 6 came with my first olympic set. I ran it for over a year until I joined a gym.

6x6 3 times a week.

I keep going back to Reg Park 5x5 phase 3. If one uses complete rest (2 minutes), it’ll last 2 hours plus. I always superset when equipment is available so I’m finished in about 70 minutes. Still brutal, particularly the last few weeks when entering uncharted territory.


After the weeks worth of paper route money the mass gainer 9000 cost we just went back to the ole Rocky egg chugging.

Then my dad introduced us to nutmeg and milk. Viola! Egg nog!

I did Reeves actual routine that he did leading up to Mr universe for 3 months. Actually I dont know that for sure but it was on that Tight Tan Slacks website Back In The Day so it had to be legit. Basically hit each body part with 3 exercises for 3x8-12. Took 2 and a half hours with strict rest periods. I believe I got more conditioning than muscle gain out of it and I hated going to the gym. But you live you learn.


Look up Dezso Ban’s routine. Shit is literally the most insane program I’ve ever seen.


Here’s the “cliff notes” version of Deso Ban’s template:

A fifteen to twenty minute general warmup period always preceded his training schedule.

When competing and in top shape he would train 6 days-per-week on a schedule very similar to the following:

25 to 30 sets of various presses done each and every training day.
50 to 60 sets of various pulls done three days per week.
50 TO 60 sets of various squats done three days per week.

Repetitions would usually be no less than 3 and no more than 5, with no attempt whatsoever to force repetitions.

MANY progressive warmup sets were always used to make sure the muscles were sufficiently prepared so as to insure adequate readiness for heavy sets.

Rest between sets was only long enough to set weight for the next set or long enough to catch his breath.

Since he was now using these movements for conditioning as well as power, singles were used irregularly, whenever the mood hit him, so to speak. Mostly sets of 5 or 3 were done, with no attempt whatsoever to force repetitions.

If a set felt light he would add weight and do another set.


** power cleans*
** high pulls*
** shrug pulls*
** sometimes hyperextensions or stiff-legged deadlifts.*


** Dead Stop Bench*
** Dead Stop Inclines*


** back squats*
** front squats*
** lunges*

Dezzi’s presses ARE presses.

His squats are full and complete, thigh biceps resting on calves, back erect and bar placed high on the neck.

All deadlifts are done stiff-legged.

Dezzi feels the average lifter doesn’t train as hard as he should for proper gains

Uses either weights too light or he goes overboard and uses loads far too heavy to complete the repetitions correctly, so excessive cheating comes into play.

The Original York Courses also look pretty shitty if you did them as prescribed:

Hoffman suggested that lifters use four different schedules:

(1) Course no. 1, consisting of one set each of 10 standard barbell exercises, performed for one set of 10-15 reps.

(2) Course no.2, consisting of a similar course, but using different exercises. For example, press behind neck instead of standing press.

(3) Course No. 3, consisting of 10 repetition weightlifting movements, performed for one set of 5-10 reps each.

(4) Course no. 4, consisting of a heavy day where you worked up to your max on the Olympic lifts (including the clean and press and the one hand snatch), along with the bent press. This was a 5/4/3/2/1 day for many lifters, although the sets and reps were very much at the lifter’s discretion.

On Monday, you would take a medium day by doing course no. 1 or course no. 2, or both of them.

On Wednesday or Thursday you would do course no. 3, the repetition weightlifting course. This was the “medium” day.

On the other two days (Tuesday and either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when you did course no. 3), you would have a "tinkering’ day where you did light dumbbell moves, Iron Boot work, gut work, grip work, headstrap exercises, and cable (chest expander) work. (These were sort of what we now would call “active rest” days.)

You would do course no. 4 on Saturday. If you were really strong and energetic on that day, you’d follow course no. 4 with one of the other courses.

York Course No. 1
Warm-up…Light Power Snatch

  1. Two Arm Curl
  2. Two Arm Press
  3. Deep Knee Bend on toes
  4. Two Arm Pullover
  5. Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  6. Supine Press
  7. Side Bend with Barbell on Shoulders
  8. Straddle Lift (Jefferson Lift)
  9. Rise on Toes (Barbell on Shoulders)
    9a. Straddle Hop (Barbell on Shoulders)
  10. Shoulder Shrug

York Course No. 2
Warm-up…Light Power Snatch

  1. Reverse Curl
  2. Press Behind Neck
  3. Deep Knee Bend with Feet Flat
  4. Two Arm Press-in Wrestler’s Bridge Position
  5. Bent Legged Deadlift
  6. Sit –up
  7. Bent-Over Barbell Row
  8. Leg Press w/Barbell (Ed note: do Front Squats or Overhead Squats)
  9. German “Goose” Step with Barbell on Shoulders
  10. Supine Press

Straddle Hop – like jumping jacks with the bar on the shoulders as if doing a squat.
Wrestler’s Bridge – Start with bodyweight only.
German “Goose” Step – a “marching in place” exercise with bar on shoulders.
Straddle Lift (Jefferson Lift) – A squatting movement. Straddle the bar, squat down, grab it with one hand in front of the body and one
hand behind…keep back very straight (this is critical)…and do a squatting exercise.

York Course No. 3 (The Repetition Weightlifting Course)
Warm-up…Light Power Snatch

  1. One Arm Repetition Jerk with Barbell
  2. One Arm Snatch with Barbell
  3. Two Arm Press
  4. Deep Knee Bend (on flat feet)
  5. Holding Barbell Overhead with One Hand, Squat to Low Position (i.e., One hand Overhead Squats)
  6. High Pull (to belt height)
  7. Press Behind Neck
  8. Two Arm Dead-Hang Snatch
  9. Two Hand Jerk
  10. Two Hand Dead Hang Clean

Simplified System of Barbell Training (Better Athletes Through Weight Training version) (One set:10-15 reps on each exercise)
Warm-up…Light Power Snatch

  1. Barbell Curls
  2. Standing Behind Neck Barbell Presses
  3. Upright Rowing
  4. Standing Barbell Side Bend
  5. Barbell Clean and Press
  6. High Pulls (Clean or Snatch Grip)
  7. Deep Knee Bend and Press Behind Neck
  8. Power Snatches
  9. Standing Barbell Press
  10. Barbell Bent-Over Row
  11. Deadlift
  12. Squats

Notes: Whole program is done standing on your feet. Try to use the same weight for the first four exercises. Then add weight and use
the same weight for the second four exercises. The exercises are grouped together to reduce weight changes. Add weight to each of the
last four exercises.

Deep Knee Bend & Press Behind Neck – Position bar behind neck, go down to a full squat, when you start to rise press the weight
overhead (almost a behind the neck push press as you come out of the squat).

Ed. Note: You can do one of the Old York Courses, alternate two of them, or alternate three of them. Whatever works and interests you. When you do one of the courses, such as No. 3, do all of the exercises in one session, with one set per exercise. If you need a warm-up on one or two of the heavier movements, such as squats or deads, that’s fine. Course No. 3 done 3x per week is a ball-buster.

York Course No. 4 (The Weightlifting Course)

  1. Two Hand Barbell Clean & Military Press
  2. Two Hand Barbell Snatch
  3. Two Hand Barbell Clean & Jerk

OR **York Course No. 4 (The Weightlifting Course)

  1. One Hand Snatch
  2. One Hand Clean & Jerk
  3. Two Hand Barbell Clean & Military Press
  4. Two Hand Barbell Snatch
  5. Two Hand Barbell Clean & Jerk
  6. Bent Press (Side Press)


Course 1
dumbbell swing
alternate press
forward/lateral raise
one arm press
db fly
alternate curl to shoulder and press
dumbell OH toe touch

Course 2
side bend
front press(standing bench)
Zottman curls
punches–at least six each straight jab, hook, uppercut, cross
curl from crucifix
db pullover
complete shoulder ex–front raise,to crucifix, to overhead

Course 3
db swing
alternate press
touching toe
one arm press
alternate curl and press
complete shoulder ex

do one db exercise after a bb one(slide between exercises in the normal course) or combine 1 and 2 as a day to itself.

I’m half way through a version of super squats. I’m hating it.

However it’s getting results.
It takes me 60 - 75 mins to complete.

Never tried a 2-3 hour work-out…always assumed they’d only really be effective/necessary if one was on roids!