T Nation

References to Golden Era Misleading


I’m not an expert on golden age bodybuilding, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but their style of training seemed very different than the routines of some present day personal trainers advocating 3 full body sessions per week.

The reason why I bring this up is because these personal trainers will often point to physiques like Reeves’ or Park’s as proof that you can develop a very respectable body on only 3 days per week.

What they seem to ignore is that while these men may have only trained 3 days per week they certainly did not only train 45 minutes per session or avoid isolation exercises. Compare the modern day full body routine (usually consisting of 1 pull / 1 push / 1 leg exercise per session) to the routine allegedly performed by Reeves 3 times per week (see attached image).

From what I’ve seen Reg Park’s routine was even longer.

I’m not bringing this up to dis modern day full body training (I’m sure it’s great for athletes, CEOs, and people who want to keep fit/strong), but it just seems misleading that these men are always brought up as evidence that you can build a bodybuilder’s physique on such minimalistic present day full body workouts.

you realize that both Reeves and Park were making use of androgens. It’s not completely unheard of, even today, to train a bodypart more frequently, albeit with less volume each session.

S

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

What works for one person may not work as well for someone else.

Find what works for you.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
you realize that both Reeves and Park were making use of androgens. It’s not completely unheard of, even today, to train a bodypart more frequently, albeit with less volume each session.

S
[/quote]

I do realize this. But you did know that they were already famous for their physiques before they used them?

Maybe you’re making the argument that Steve’s used this routine at the end of his career? It’s quite possible.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
you realize that both Reeves and Park were making use of androgens. It’s not completely unheard of, even today, to train a bodypart more frequently, albeit with less volume each session.

S
[/quote]

It is funny how that only becomes a point of issue when someone states they did not use “full body training” the way it is described today. Otherwise, people are using these guys to justify that type of training.

Odd.

Definitely this wasn’t a 45minutes 3 times a week, halfassed. Sorry to say the last word, but some actual coaches and training programs seem to build up the fashion of building good bodies easily and with minimum effort, which people seem to like. Finally and IMO, the first step for building a superb physique is accepting that it isn’t an easy task, it’ll be painful, a sacrifice.

Video from Alfonso Torres after his father, so a contemporary of Steeve Reeves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVRQDXiTVkY

[quote]Protoculture wrote:
I’m not an expert on golden age bodybuilding, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but their style of training seemed very different than the routines of some present day personal trainers advocating 3 full body sessions per week.[/quote]

It is different, sure. By combining compound and isolation exercises (and some redundant exercises, but that’s another question of opinion), full body routines like you posted above are much longer and drawn out than the majority of trainers today would be comfortable recommending.

There’s nothing at all “wrong” with including isolation exercises - they’re (obviously) essential when training for hypertrophy - but it’s tough to include them in a full body program because they take up precious training space with relatively-limited return. This is why splits can be more effective when training for size.

Reeves and Park did build great physiques using full body workouts done three times each week. The huge difference is that they were training for maximum hypertrophy and it used to be acceptable to train for 2+ hours.

But just saying “See… full body workouts!” doesn’t really mean much. It’s comes down to the content of the workout itself. “Clean and press 10x4” is also a full body workout, but how does that relate to Steve Reeves or todays trainers?!? The label “full body workout” is just too vague and non-descript.

The basic outline of a full body routine (working all of the major muscles in each training session) is still the effective foundation for “present day full body workouts.”

The old school guys, who were looking to build absolute maximum muscle size, took that base principle and added isolation exercises that don’t need to be prioritized as much for someone just looking to build some muscle.

Modern trainers generally use the basic principle and peel away some of the “extras” (isolation lifts, multiple exercise per part per session) to maximize the results produced compared to the time spent in the gym.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Protoculture wrote:
I’m not an expert on golden age bodybuilding, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but their style of training seemed very different than the routines of some present day personal trainers advocating 3 full body sessions per week.

It is different, sure. By combining compound and isolation exercises (and some redundant exercises, but that’s another question of opinion), full body routines like you posted above are much longer and drawn out than the majority of trainers today would be comfortable recommending.

There’s nothing at all “wrong” with including isolation exercises - they’re (obviously) essential when training for hypertrophy - but it’s tough to include them in a full body program because they take up precious training space with relatively-limited return. This is why splits can be more effective when training for size.

The reason why I bring this up is because these personal trainers will often point to physiques like Reeves’ or Park’s as proof that you can develop a very respectable body on only 3 days per week.

Reeves and Park did build great physiques using full body workouts done three times each week. The huge difference is that they were training for maximum hypertrophy and it used to be acceptable to train for 2+ hours.

But just saying “See… full body workouts!” doesn’t really mean much. It’s comes down to the content of the workout itself. “Clean and press 10x4” is also a full body workout, but how does that relate to Steve Reeves or todays trainers?!? The label “full body workout” is just too vague and non-descript.

it just seems misleading that these men are always brought up as evidence that you can build a bodybuilder’s physique on such minimalistic present day full body workouts.

The basic outline of a full body routine (working all of the major muscles in each training session) is still the effective foundation for “present day full body workouts.”

The old school guys, who were looking to build absolute maximum muscle size, took that base principle and added isolation exercises that don’t need to be prioritized as much for someone just looking to build some muscle.

Modern trainers generally use the basic principle and peel away some of the “extras” (isolation lifts, multiple exercise per part per session) to maximize the results produced compared to the time spent in the gym.[/quote]

I am confused as to how “build some muscle” is now being completely separated from the BODYBUILDING aspect that has been the defining form of what “some muscle” looks like for decades.

Why would someone looking to “build some muscle” avoid isolation exercises? They will have weak points developing in the very areas they are ignoring.

no offense, but I don’t think you’ll convince many people of that one.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
no offense, but I don’t think you’ll convince many people of that one.

S[/quote]

What are you referring to?

The fact that Reeves only made us of AAS “after he was already famous for his physique”

S

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I am confused as to how “build some muscle” is now being completely separated from the BODYBUILDING aspect that has been the defining form of what “some muscle” looks like for decades.[/quote]

By “build some muscle,” I’m referring to the Average Joes who aren’t trying to get as large as humanly possible. For someone who’s “okay” not looking like a competitive bodybuiler but who wants to look better than 51% of the other schlubs on the street, they can progress fine with a basic, compound-focused full body routine, with occasional isolation exercises.

Correct,and I agree. And when I said “[quote]peel away some of the “extras” (isolation lifts, multiple exercise per part per session) to maximize the results produced compared to the time spent in the gym.[/quote]” I meant as compared to the original routine in the first post, and I did say “some of the ‘extras’”

That Average Joe wouldn’t have to do flat bench and incline, shoulder press and laterals, leg press and squats, two triceps exercises, all three times each week.

They could do fine with a bare-bones, full body workout three times a week, and maybe a specific arm day once a week or targeted isolation lifts at the end of the training session. That’s along the lines of what I was getting at, but it’s tricky to have a conversation about hypothetical clients.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Professor X wrote:
I am confused as to how “build some muscle” is now being completely separated from the BODYBUILDING aspect that has been the defining form of what “some muscle” looks like for decades.

By “build some muscle,” I’m referring to the Average Joes who aren’t trying to get as large as humanly possible. For someone who’s “okay” not looking like a competitive bodybuiler but who wants to look better than 51% of the other schlubs on the street, they can progress fine with a basic, compound-focused full body routine, with occasional isolation exercises.

Why would someone looking to “build some muscle” avoid isolation exercises? They will have weak points developing in the very areas they are ignoring.

Correct,and I agree. And when I said “peel away some of the “extras” (isolation lifts, multiple exercise per part per session) to maximize the results produced compared to the time spent in the gym.” I meant as compared to the original routine in the first post, and I did say “some of the ‘extras’”

That Average Joe wouldn’t have to do flat bench and incline, shoulder press and laterals, leg press and squats, two triceps exercises, all three times each week.

They could do fine with a bare-bones, full body workout three times a week, and maybe a specific arm day once a week or targeted isolation lifts at the end of the training session. That’s along the lines of what I was getting at, but it’s tricky to have a conversation about hypothetical clients.[/quote]

Oh…so it is effectively the “half asser’s guide to building some muscle”.

Got it.

Thanks for clearing that up.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Oh…so it is effectively the “half asser’s guide to building some muscle”.

Got it.

Thanks for clearing that up.[/quote]

Instead of training the whole body for 2 hours, 3 times a week to end up decently lean at… 200 lbs at average height… People can now train for 45 minutes, 3 times a week to end up at… 170-180lbs and sort of skinny at average height.

It’ll probably take the same amount of time to accomplish, too.

Hurray! I choose neither!

(sorry Chris, the terrorists made me do it :smiley: )

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Oh…so it is effectively the “half asser’s guide to building some muscle”.

Got it.

Thanks for clearing that up.[/quote]

I hope no one tries to defend such a thing either, as is commonly the case. “Oh, you don’t need isolation!”

Adding 10 pounds of lean mass to an ordinarily weekend warrior’s frame is NOT the same as making said weekend warrior stand out in a crowd with every muscle group well developed in some sort of overall proportion.

The former could be MORE easily achieved with some TBT and healthy eating, and said WW won;t go much farther than adding 10 pounds of muscle and dropping a few pounds of fat.

Will said WW look much different? nope not at all…the mass added to the erectors, glutes, hams and upper back will barely be visible in everyday clothes and even if said WW strips down on a daily basis, he won;t look too different.

Bodybuilders whow ant to stand out in a crowd with and./or without clothes realize that it will take a few YEARS to build enopugh muscle mass overall while all the time training toa void any physique imbalances, and even then said BBer must spend a while bringing up weak points so after 10-15 years of training, not-short BBer could have added 80-100 pounds of muscle on (hopefully) a proper frame, but more importantly every muscle group will be heavily developed in comparison to the WW.

if your goal is to add just SOME muscle and drop SOME fat and you don;t care where said muscle goes to or whetehr or not you stand out in a crowd - you don;t have to train like a BBer. Heck playing BBall will add 5 pounds of muscle to most teenager’s frames in weeks.

Also your frame and genetics aren;t to be taken lightly and many BB hopefuls are misguided about the improvements they can make even on an extended period. if you belong to that crowd, be careful what you choose to do.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
Adding 10 pounds of lean mass to an ordinarily weekend warrior’s frame is NOT the same as making said weekend warrior stand out in a crowd with every muscle group well developed in some sort of overall proportion.

The former could be MORE easily achieved with some TBT and healthy eating, and said WW won;t go much farther than adding 10 pounds of muscle and dropping a few pounds of fat.

Will said WW look much different? nope not at all…the mass added to the erectors, glutes, hams and upper back will barely be visible in everyday clothes and even if said WW strips down on a daily basis, he won;t look too different.

Bodybuilders whow ant to stand out in a crowd with and./or without clothes realize that it will take a few YEARS to build enopugh muscle mass overall while all the time training toa void any physique imbalances, and even then said BBer must spend a while bringing up weak points so after 10-15 years of training, not-short BBer could have added 80-100 pounds of muscle on (hopefully) a proper frame, but more importantly every muscle group will be heavily developed in comparison to the WW.

if your goal is to add just SOME muscle and drop SOME fat and you don;t care where said muscle goes to or whetehr or not you stand out in a crowd - you don;t have to train like a BBer. Heck playing BBall will add 5 pounds of muscle to most teenager’s frames in weeks.

Also your frame and genetics aren;t to be taken lightly and many BB hopefuls are misguided about the improvements they can make even on an extended period. if you belong to that crowd, be careful what you choose to do.[/quote]

Your posts keep getting better.

Fool Body Workout.

:wink:

OMG. Now we can facebook each other.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
tribunaldude wrote:
Adding 10 pounds of lean mass to an ordinarily weekend warrior’s frame is NOT the same as making said weekend warrior stand out in a crowd with every muscle group well developed in some sort of overall proportion.

The former could be MORE easily achieved with some TBT and healthy eating, and said WW won;t go much farther than adding 10 pounds of muscle and dropping a few pounds of fat.

Will said WW look much different? nope not at all…the mass added to the erectors, glutes, hams and upper back will barely be visible in everyday clothes and even if said WW strips down on a daily basis, he won;t look too different.

Bodybuilders whow ant to stand out in a crowd with and./or without clothes realize that it will take a few YEARS to build enopugh muscle mass overall while all the time training toa void any physique imbalances, and even then said BBer must spend a while bringing up weak points so after 10-15 years of training, not-short BBer could have added 80-100 pounds of muscle on (hopefully) a proper frame, but more importantly every muscle group will be heavily developed in comparison to the WW.

if your goal is to add just SOME muscle and drop SOME fat and you don;t care where said muscle goes to or whetehr or not you stand out in a crowd - you don;t have to train like a BBer. Heck playing BBall will add 5 pounds of muscle to most teenager’s frames in weeks.

Also your frame and genetics aren;t to be taken lightly and many BB hopefuls are misguided about the improvements they can make even on an extended period. if you belong to that crowd, be careful what you choose to do.

Your posts keep getting better.[/quote]

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
you realize that both Reeves and Park were making use of androgens. It’s not completely unheard of, even today, to train a bodypart more frequently, albeit with less volume each session.

S
[/quote]

horseshit.

DBol (the first steroid) wasn’t even available until the early 60s. That means that at least half of reg parks titles and ALL of steve reeves were earned clean.