Monday, August 27, 2007

The "Golden Age" of Classic Physique Building!

What was the Golden Age of Bodybuilding? Well...that depends on who is defining it. For some, it was the era of "Muscle Beach." For others, it was the 1960s and 1970s - a time when bodybuilding came more into the public consciousness. For many, it is simply refers to the generation of bodybuilders that inspired them.

However, we maintain that there was truly a Golden Age of Classic Physique Building. It began in 1940 with the publication of Joe Weider's Your Physique Magazine - the first magazine dedicated solely to bodybuilding. It ended with the passing of 1959. Why? In 1960, steroids were introduced into bodybuilding. From that point in time, they gradually permeated the field. The Golden Age had passed and physiques became increasingly unnatural in size, proportion, and muscularity.

So to find our inspiration, we look to that time between 1940-1959 - when physiques were built by proper training, proper nutrition, proper rest, determination, and persistance. This was a time when supplements consisted of protein powder, vitamins, minerals, brewer's yeast, and gelatin. Yet, even without today's sophistication in costly supplements, bodybuilders were still able to build healthy, classic, symmetrical physiques. Seeing the pictures of the bodybuilders of this Golden Age says volumes about what can be achieved naturally!

Here is a shot of John Grimek, Mr America (1940, 1941), Mr Universe (1948), and Mr USA 1949 - who inspired many including Steve Reeves and Joe Weider!


Anonymous said...

The measurements do make a lot of sense except how do you know for example in the chest measurement, how much to work the upper back, and how much to work the actual traps?

- CPB - said...

In building a classic physique, unless you are very thin, you don't need to directly work the traps with heavy weights for size (e.g., no need to do heavy shoulder shrugs). The traps will get worked indirectly with other exercises for the lats and shoulders.

Of course, you need to work the lats (and teres major) for thickness and width (for that V-taper) and the chest for appropriate size, shape, and balance. Also, if you are still growing, you can expand the rib cage. All this will increase the chest circumference measurment. In this chest measurement, the traps don't play a large role in any case.

All the best - CPB