T Nation

My Old School thinking challenged

I have a couple questions for everyone. When I used to train in the 80’s and 90’s many people recommended:

–training 90 minutes
–6 times a week
–training the entire body 2 times a week

Now that I’ve gotten back into training I’ve witnessed training the entire body once a week like the EDT training.

I would like to know where to get reading on why there was a change.

On a personal note I’ve experienced greater results with EDT probably faster than I’ve experienced before. So this stuff works.

Any suggested reading or explaination would be helpful. Thanks,


The reason there was a change was because that kind of training for most people was overtraining for them. I believe that change started to take place around 1992 when Muscle Media came about, at least that is how I remember it. You only want to train for about 45 minutes after that it becomes counterproductive for most people.

I also forgot to say that those type of marathon workouts were geared more towards those who use, not that I’m saying anything bad about it I don’t want to get killed, there’s been alot of hostility lately on the off-topic forum. At least that’s how I recollect it!

Remember also that it depends on a number of variables like sets, reps, rest periods, load, recovery mechanisms, training to failure or not etc.

You can train each muscle group 4 times a week and make progress or once every 6 days and make progress. Chad Waterbury’s Quatro Dynamo program on this site uses 4 times a week and some of Poliquin’s old articles use once. Both smart coaches, both effective programs, vastly different variables.

And yes, the old bodybuilding mags used programs of the pros, meaning they were juiced to the gills and the programs were probably enbellished by Weider.

Thanks for the reply everyone. It’s interesting because I sent away for this booklet call “Serious Growth” by Leo Costa. Much of what he learned was from the Old Eastern Bloc countries like Bulgaria and Romania.

Anyhow, I read the book and he stated that they (the Europeans) discovered training past 45 minutes greatly depleted your testosterone levels. Much of what he said was true. However, he promised steriod like results without steriods. I think his over selling of his product hurt him. His book came out in 1991 I believe.

Have any of you ever heard of this guy, “Leo Costa” and “Serious Growth”? However, back when he wrote this was the time when you were recommended eating 6000-8000 calories a day!

Anyhow, I think it’s interesting how the industry changes.
Do you remember when Twinlab Amino Acids were $40 bucks a bottle?
. . . L-Carnitine was the rage?

That’s what I appreciate about T-Mag, yes they pump their products, which they should that’s what they are in business for. However, there products have been working for me. Which is something I can’t say for most of the crap I bought in the past.

Leo Costa is a joke. He pulled a Pavel, marketing wise.

I have that “serious growth” book. It should have been named “serious overtraining”.

IMHO, the 45 minute training session time limit has many variables that are not addressed. Literature seems to be missing regarding the topic as well.

I have had great success sticking to the 45 minute principle. In fact, it has worked better for me to hit it twice per day 45 min each time, rather than one 90 minute session. Not that I do it every day.

I got the serious growth program back in the day as well. It looked good on paper but had a few flaws:

  1. Training ever set to failure and training each muscle group 3-6 times a week. I think that you can work up to trianing an exercise 6 times a week, but you have to avoid failure and regulate volume.

  2. Too many workouts throughout the week in which you did 12-15 reps. Great way to burnout.

They came out with an updated version around 1994 which had a program in which you hit each muscle group 2 times a week and workout 4 times a week. You would gradually go through phases in which you hit the same muscle group more frequently and then cycle back to 2 times a week again. I made some modifications with this workout regimen that worked well for me. Instead of doing 12-15 reps on a few day, I never did more than 8.

One one day I would do sets of 8, and use the same weight on all three sets. On the last set, I would shoot for 10. If I got 10, I increased the weight at the next workout. Another day, I would do sets of 5 and then another day do sets of 1-3. I cut out isolation exercises as well such as tricep and bicep work.

My bench and deadlift went up fast and I went through phases in which I got much stronger at each workout for lenghty periods of time.

Like any training regimen, you have to personalize it to your goals and your recovery abilities. I like the micro-cycle concept in Serious Growth and there were a few other good ideas as well. Steroid like growth? I don’t think so. However, it did work well for me, when I changed a few things around.


It’s funny to hear how some of us tried that Serious Growth thing. I’d be interested to hear how many tried Cybergenics back in the day!

I never had the money for the full fledged cybergenics program so I did phase 1 with a Marine friend of mine in college. If we hadn’t been young and in great shape, the overtraining from this program would have killed us.

I did manage to gain great strength and size during this period but it was from training so darn hard and eating a ton.

So any other people out there do the cybergenics thing?


Never tried cybergeneics, but I was one of the suckers to try Smilax and a whole bunch of other lame supplements.


I did the Cybergenics program when I was a teenager, along with many of my friends. I don’t know what was in them pills, probably just vitamins and such but the program believe it or not was very succesfull for myself and my friends. I think the short burst of overtraining along with the ideal hormonal state of youth worked for the time that we used it.
What about Hot Stuff? Remember that concoction? The early batches had actual testosterone in there according to many including Charles Poliquin.

OH yes smilax that takes me back to high school. What about Dibencoside? I can’t even remember how to spell it.

Grapefruit 45 pills?

Man I should have kept the bottles and labels of all that stuff. It would have been quite a collection. Maybe in future years it would have fetched the same price as the original Star Wars memoribilia or the first issue of Spiderman. LOL!

Pulled a Pavel? I’d love to know what the hell that means.

Im on cybergenics right now! :slight_smile: LOL That crap was a joke…But marketing pays I guess…

Pulling a Pavel. You don’t know what this means? Look it up, it should be in the dictionary, lol. Nah, I just use this when someone uses “Bulgarian”, or “Soviet secrets” or “Russian” as a marketing tool. Pavel Tsatsouline is famous for this. Everything he does has “Russian” or “Soviet” before it, knowing that many people fall for that marketing technique. I did not mean this to be an insult to Pavel’s training and knowledge. He’s a very bright person in my opinion, but the marketing he uses can get quite old very quickly. I mean, kettlebells were used by Americans decades ago and Pavel makes it seem like it’s some secret Soviet tool that allowed the former USSR to dominate sport. Come on!

I remember cybergentics. The workout was radically different from the training ideaology of the time.

It was a 2 day split. Back, biceps, shoulders on day one followed by chest triceps and legs on day two. Day one and two repeated twice each week.

It was a weird split. A two-day split was unheard of at the time, especially legs and chest on the same day.

Back then, we believed in working each body part once per week using a 3 or 4 day split.

Since reading T-Mag I have adopted a 2 day split of upper body/lower body twice a week so maybe cybergenics was ahead of its time.

I still have the Cybergenics book!

Loop, that is true, but remember, and take it from someone in the business, knowledge of training doesn’t always work with the public. Which is why guys like Tony Little and Susan Power (or powder whateverthefuck) are more popular with the mainstream than Poliquin, CT, or Davies. It’s a shame, but people love gimmicks. Pavel does use the Ruski gimmick, but at least he has solid training info under it all.