Friday, May 30, 2008

Reg Park - Classic Physique Mass

Do you think that you cannot build mass naturally, without steroids? Take a look at Reg Park above. Reg built his mass naturally, before the use of steroids, and before the use of all the modern nutritional supplements we have today. Reg was 6'2" at 225lbs. He won the following titles: Mr Britain 1949, Mr Europe 1950, Mr Universe 1958, 1965. He went on to star as Hercules in 5 movies in the early 1960s. He competed up until the early 1970s and placed well against steroid-using bodybuilders half his age (e.g., placed 2nd in the Tall Class of the Mr. Universe NABBA 1973 Contest). He had plenty of mass, and yet still retained a classic physique! He should serve as an inspiration to us all! - Classic Physique Builder

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So What is a Zeller Curl?

In our last post, we gave you Marvin Eder's favorite arm routine for breaking through "ruts." One of the exercises he recommends is the "Zeller Curl." These days, most bodybuilders probably don't know what a "Zeller Curl" is. So here is some background. This curl is named after Art Zeller - the famous physique photographer - who in his early years, was a classic physique builder (i.e., a bodybuilder before the advent of steroids) who popularized this curl.

The curl is basically a "cheat & negative rep" curl with dumbbells. Here is Marvin's description of it (as told to Barton Horvath) from Joe Weider's Your Physique Magazine (Dec. 1951 issue):

"Zeller Curl. This curl is named after Artie Zeller who popularized it some years back, and is now widely used by New York City bodybuilders. Take a heavy dumbbell, heavier than you can curl to the shoulder in good form, and swing this weight to the shoulder. Hold the elbow against the side, on the hip if possible. Now, lower the weight, leaning back while doing so, fighting the downward movement of the weight every inch of the way. When it is down all the way, swing it up to the shoulder again and repeat... It may take a little practice to master this movement, but since Marvin feels that it is one of the very best, it will be worth a little special attention."

So there you have it - the "Zeller Curl" - another gold nugget from the Golden Era of Classic Physique Builders! - Classic Physique Builder

(Above photo: Art Zeller on the cover of Joe Weider's Muscle Builder Magazine, Jan 1955 issue)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Favorite Arm Routine of Marvin Eder

Marvin Eder (Mr New York City 1949, Mr Eastern America 1950) was a young, rising star in the early 1950s world of pre-steroid bodybuilding. He was known for his 18 1/2" arms (an impressive accomplishment back then) and great strength. At the age of 19 (at 5' 8" and 203 lbs), he benched 430 lbs, did standing presses with 285 lbs, and did curls with 100 lb dumbbells. This clearly demonstrates that one can attain a classic physique that is both aesthetic, yet powerful.

In the December 1951 issue of Joe Weider's Your Physique Magazine, he was interviewed about his favorite arm routine for breaking through ruts and making further gains. Keep in mind that this is/was a routine for advanced, natural bodybuilders (lets say with more than 2 years of training) who hit a rut in making gains in their arm development or perhaps needed to undertake some arm specialization in order to bring them up in proportion to the rest of the body. This arm routine hits the biceps and triceps from 3 different angles. Here it is in a nutshell:


1. Standing Barbell Curls - 3 sets, 10 reps (5 strict, 5 cheating)
2. Zeller Curls - 3 sets, 10 reps
3. Bent-Over Concentration Curls - 3 sets, 10 reps


1. Lying Barbell Triceps Curls - 3 sets, 10 reps
2. Seated Triceps Curls - 3 sets, 10 reps
3. Rear Triceps Extensions - 3 sets, 10 reps

That's a total of 9 sets for biceps, 9 for triceps. Remember, this was for the advanced bodybuilder.

What if you are in a rut, but you are an intermediate bodybuilder? If so, then this routine can be modified with good effects as follows:

If you have more than 1 year, but less than 2 years of consistent training - perform 2 sets of each of the above exercises. If you have more than 6 months, but less than 1 year of training - perform 1 set of each exercise. Total beginners with less than 6 months of training should not try this rountine. - Classic Physique Builder
Check out this interview with Marvin Eder at