In December of 1955, Joe Weider came out with the first issue of his new Junior Mr. America magazine. This magazine was targetted towards teens and young men from 12 - 21 years in age. On the cover of the first issue is Clement Desjardins, Jr. Mr. Canada 1955 (at 18 years of age). You can see by the photo above that his physique is outstanding for someone his age. The idea of the magazine was to present cases/stories of young men who, in a short time, had transformed their physiques through weight training (of course, using Weider methods).
Two years before (at age 16), Clement was 5 ft 5 in. in height and weighed just 125 lbs. After 2 years of weight training, he gained 45 lbs of muscles, increased his arm size by 5 inches, chest size by 12 inches, and grew an additional 1.5 inches in height. So at 18 years, 5 ft 6.5 inches in height, and at 170 lbs, he captured the Junior Mr. Canada title in 1955!
The great thing about this magazine is that it featured real physiques and real success stories. A person reading it could actually believe that he too could gain a physique like Clement's by taking up weight training, eating right, resting properly, and leading a healthy life - of course, with a little persistance and hard work! The magazine didn't discourage guys by presenting Hulk-like physiques that are out of reach to everyone except the drug and hormone users.
As part of that first issue (Dec 1955), Joe wrote an article that kicked off a "Giant Weight Gaining Contest." He challenged young men to use the same mass building workout routine (given below), to eat plenty of nourishing foods (including a protein supplement), sleep at least 8 hrs a night, to see how much mass they could gain in one month.
Here is the mass building routine as Joe gave it:
1. Squats (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
2. Bench Press (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
3. Bent Arm Laterals/Flyes (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
4. Upright Rowing (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
5. Bent Over Rowing (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
6. Barbell Curls (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
7. Lying Triceps Curls (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
8. Sit Ups (3 sets of 8-10 reps)
This routine is to be followed 3 days a week (e.g., M, W, F or T, Th, Sa). Rest as much as you can when you are not working out. Do not follow any other sports or athletic activity while you are on this routine. Of course, no smoking or eating junk either.
We (CPB) would recommend substituting standing calf raises, seated calf raises, or calf raises on a leg press machine (for 3 sets of 20 reps) for the sit-ups (just pick one of these exercises). Sit ups aren't going to raise your muscle mass and you don't want large abdominal muscles anyway. So it is better, we think, to have a mass-building calf exercise to help build/maintain your symmetry.
For this routine, use all the weight you can handle (without straining or injuring yourself). Start with 8 reps for all sets (except calves) and work up to 10. Once you can complete 10 reps for the 3rd set, then increase the weight! Don't change the rep scheme or subtract or add any exercises to this routine!
We feel that this routine is for intemediate classic physique builders (CPBers). It is not for a beginner. An intermediate CPBer is someone who has trained systematically (following some course of instruction) for at least 3 months. If you have been working out for 3 months but have been following no particular course and/or haven't had any formal instruction, then you are still considered a beginner.
So for you intermediates, you can take Joe's 1955 challenge and give this routine a try and see how much mass you can gain in one month (you see - for us, the Golden Age still lives!)! Take your measurements before you start. Keep a workout journal of your weights and reps. Don't forget to keep your protein intake high (about 0.8 - 1.0 grams of protein per lb of body weight). Then take your measurements after 1 month on this routine and see how much you've gained! If you try this, don't forget to report your results to CPB Blog! We would definitely be interested in seeing how you did!
Joe described this routine as "ideal for building bulk"! He cited the average weight gain for one month as being 10 lbs. Of course, that will vary by individual, but you can put it to the test if you like and see what it can do for you! Even if you don't gain 10 lbs, you might be very happy with the increase in your other measurements!