Monday, August 18, 2008

Classic Physique Building vs Bodybuilding

Photos above: Flex (mainstream bodybuilding mag) and Muscle Power (classic physique building mag from the Golden Age)

If you visit the mainstream bodybuilding sites, blogs, and forums, you certainly find many people who value the classic physique ideal and long to see a return to it in the world of mainstream bodybuilding. However, sad to say, that will most probably never happen!

Since the advent of steroids, mainstream bodybuilding has evolved into what is now an EXTREME SPORT. It has succumbed completely to the spectre of GIGANTISM that was warned against by the magazine writers of the Golden Age. The main value of modern bodybuilding has become "SIZE AT ALL COSTS." Thus, mainstream bodybuilding can no longer be considered a healthy activity. How can it be healthy to carry so much body mass and to ingest/inject steroids, HGH, insulin, etc, in order to do it? Yet all of the mainstream bodybuilding mags hold up and promote this value! Apparently the SHOCK and ENTERTAINMENT value of GIGANTISM over-rides all other considerations.

Certainly, the mainstream bodybuilding mags may occasionally give lip service to the classic physique ideal. But even those who try to engage in "natural bodybuilding" are marginalized. The "juicing affecionados" in the mainstream forums will easily tell anyone "this is not the 1940s or 50s anymore" - as if the mainstream, drug-ridden world of bodybuilding is so much of an improvement! Perhaps in their eyes, it is. each his own. If this is what the mainstream bodybuilding world has become and will continue to be, then so be it. We do not have to follow. We should perhaps grant them the term "bodybuilding" because this term has now become so closely associated with "steroids and drugs" - so much so that "bodybuilding" is now perceived by the public as an unhealthy activity.

Instead, we will use the term CLASSIC PHYSIQUE BUILDING to describe our activity. For us, it is still effectively the 1940s and 50s (the Golden Age) - because we today (as in those times) endeavor to build our bodies naturally to achieve a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing, classic physique. The human body has not changed since the Golden Age, so the methods they perfected then to build classic physiques can be used just as well today!

Some of the tools (e.g. "weights") and principles (e.g., progressive resistance/overload) of "classic physique builders" may be similar to those of the mainstream "bodybuilders," but our training and ultimate goals are very, very different. We have our own classic physique goals, role models, training methods and tools. They have theirs. We lay claim to the Golden Age when bodybuilding was truly "classic physique building." They have all but forgotten their own history and see little value in it.

So let there be no confusion. We are interested in CLASSIC PHYSIQUE BUILDING not mainstream bodybuilding! The mainstream bodybuilding world has little to offer us. Let them go their own way! Together, we followers of the classic ideal must create our own sane and healthy world. We offer Classic Physique Builder as a first step toward this goal! - CPB


Anonymous said...

Good post and I agree with your distillation. I too am interested in building a classic physique ( flat waist, wide shoulders, chest/back adding to create a classic v taper, visible 6 pack abs etc).

However what I must disagree with you is your prostelyzing anti-steroid attitude. There is a difference between intelligent, rational use and abuse.

I agree modern bodybuilder's exemplify abuse. But many of the Golden Age builders used and produced beautiful physiques and lived and still are living long healthy lives.

- CPB - said...

Welcome to CPB! We are glad of your interest to build a classic physique!

We will have to respectively disagree however on your point about the "intelligent, rational use" of steroids.

There are plenty of magazines, blogs, websites, etc, that hold to that view. And to each his own! However, our interest is in the type of physique you can build without steroids period - one that exemplifies the epitome of natural health and vitality!

We think that there are a lot of people out there who share this ideal and who also have no interest in popping pills or injecting themselves for the sake of a physique. And, our positive message is that "you don't have to do that to achieve a healthy, Golden Age, Classic Physique."

Now, for us, our "Golden Age" is not the "Golden Age of Bodybuilding" (which is defined differently by various people). It is the "Golden Age of Classic Physique Building" which WE define as being BEFORE THE ADVENT OF STEROIDS.

Consquently, we don't consider the physiques of Scott, Howorth, Ortiz, Oliva, Arnold, or even Zane, as being "classic". They were "close" to classic perhaps, but still steroid-enhanced (whether in size or definition). And that is not our interest - even though we may find these physiques more attractive than those of Coleman, Ruhl, Yates, Cutler, etc.

But we will do another post on this soon to help clarify our position.

We may disagree on that one point, but at least we share the value of attaining a classic physique! Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to tell you that cbp's answer exactly reflects my views. I couldn't have say it better.

Keep up the good and VERY inspiring work!

- CPB - said...

Hi Anonymous,

We at CPB feel that our view probably reflects the vast majority of guys. We strongly believe that most of us have no interest in drugs and hormones or the kind of physique they produce.

Instead, most of us just want to build a fantastic, healthy, classic physique by working out, eating right, and resting properly. This is exactly what the champs did in the Golden Age.

So we believe in "Golden Age Methods for Building a Golden Age Body!" Since we have access to the info of the Golden Age, we will do our best to make it available so that everyone can benefit and we (classic physique builders) won't have to feel captive to the mainstream "bodybuilding" mags.

All the best,


Anonymous said...

i agree with you completely great post

- CPB - said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks! Feel free to share your views anytime. We welcome discussion generated by our posts.

All the best,