(Above photo: Cover of a Joe Weider "Course/Catalog" circa 1958)
How different was the Golden Age of Classic Physique Building (the 1940s and 50s) from today's mainstream bodybuilding world! Some of the differences are captured above on the cover of Joe Weider's 1958 "Course/Catalog" - Eating for Super-Muscles, Super-Vitality. Look closely at the images on this cover. What do you see? How was Joe able to market the classic physique of the Golden Age?
First, we see Joe Weider himself depicted with a classic physique holding a trophy - the image of a champion. You can even see a light glow about him - almost a "halo" type of effect indicating "greatness." Below him are images of a discus thrower, a weightlifter, two football players, and a boxer - in other words, various representatives of athletics. At the bottom right is a well-built man (with a classic physique) holding an adoring female in his arms at the beach.
So what is the message here? The message is directed to "everyman" or "every teenager" that if you build a classic physique, you will not only follow in the footsteps of the champions, you might even become one yourself AND your classic physique will make you better at athletics AND give you "sex appeal."
When you look at the classic physiques of the 40s and 50s (like those of Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross, Armand Tanny, George Eiferman, Alan Stephan, etc), this message is totally believable! First, it was not a major stretch of imagination to believe that with a few years of working out, you too could have a physique like the champions. Second, a person with a classic physique certainly did look like he could excel at practically any sport. Third, it was completely believable that a guy with a classic physique could more easily attract members of the opposite sex.
So Joe's message/marketing was right on target. How many guys in those days sent away for muscle building courses because they wanted to look like the classic physique champions, be better at sports, and be more attractive to women? Quite a lot! Of course, in the Golden Age (before steroids), there were many muscle building courses available through the muscle mags.
For those interested in building a classic physique today, those messages and motivations still hold true. With a few years of proper training, proper nutrition, and proper rest, a person today can still build a classic physique like the Golden Age champs! Such a physique will certainly make a person better in sports. Women today do find such a physique attractive! And the best thing is that building a classic physique will make you healthier, more confident, and happier!
So stay tuned to CPB! If there is enough interest, CPB will collect and organize the info from the Golden Age into courses and make them available soon next year (please see and take our poll on the sidebar). In doing so, we can side-step the "muddy pool" of the chemically-spoiled mainstream bodybuilding world and drink directly from the "pure fountain" of the Golden Age! It is still there for the taking! - CPB