Men of today look vastly different than bodybuilders of the past. Why?


Men of today look vastly different than bodybuilders of the past for a number of different reasons. Training, nutrition, recovery, technology.

This post focuses on just one of those reasons: Training.

The way men train now a days is completely different than how men of the past trained.

How people train today is vastly different and that produces a body that does not measure up at all. The routine, how and what exercises are performed and selected and strategically emphasizing certain muscles over others is what creates a classic old school physique.

Steve Reeves

Steve Reeves Training
Image: Steve Reeves Cable Training

“I trained my whole body every workout. I’d work as hard as I could for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Whatever it took. The split system of training came later, but I don’t believe in that approach anyway. I think if you really train hard, you use up everything- your nervous energy and all the rest of your energies. So you need to recuperate the next day. Recuperation is just as important as Training. I’d train three days a week and rest four.. I’d train the entire body almost to failure, then take the next day off.” Steve Reeves

Reg Park

Reg Park Training
Image: Reg Park Training

“In regards to whether full body routines 3 times a week work is dependant on the time available and individual enthusiasm. For instance at one stage I worked out 3 hours in the evening Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I trained my entire body. So doing 3 full body workouts 3 times a week can and does build strength, power and bulk.” Reg Park

John C. Grimek

John C Grimek Posing
Image: John C. Grimek

“I trained everything in every workout-I didn’t do what they call split workouts and train legs and arms one day, back and other stuff the next day. No, the only way I ever isolated a group of muscles was when I was finished with my routine for the day and I still thought I needed more for my back or chest or legs or whatever. Then I threw in an additional two to three exercises and much heavier-you know, trying to maximize the thing. And that was it. What is called split training wasn’t used then, although I had read somewhere that Hackenschmidt was using a method where he would isolate certain groups on certain days or else put more emphasis on a specific part while training the entire body on a given day. But I never had a yen for that.

I was making progress all over, so there was no need for a concentration on a certain area. And I never found that training the whole body in each workout was too tiring. In fact, when I got through, I was feeling a helluva lot better and more ambitious and energetic than I did when I started.” John Grimek

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