Welcome to the world of Classic Physique Builder! Find information and inspiration from the steroid-free, Golden Age of Classic Physique Building to help you build a muscular, powerful, symmetrical, healthy, and attractive physique.
(Photo Above: Monty Wolford - Mr. Southwest 1949, Mr. Los Angeles 1951, Mr. Venice Beach 1951)
Perhaps the most destructive aspect of roid-based, mainstream bodybuilding today is its glorification of extreme, unnatural size! When some unfortunate person begins to accept the propaganda of the mainstream, roid-based magazines that Hulk-like physiques are something to admire and attain, then sooner or later this necessitates an acceptance of the associated, unhealthy, "drug/pharmaceutical culture" that makes such extremism possible.
Fortunately, in pre-roid Golden Age Classic Physique Building (of the 1940s and 50s), there was no glorification of extreme size! Instead, the goal was to attain an aesthetically-pleasing size and symmetry that was reminiscent of the beauty of the statues of the Ancient Greek and Roman gods! This necessitated an acceptance of a "culture of health and vitality" - which is why Reeves and the other champs of the pre-roid Golden Age (of the 1940s and 50s) were proud of their health and strength as well as their physiques! (Reeves would often say that his goal was to be the healthiest person alive!) What a difference in goals and cultures!
For classic physique builders of the Golden Age and today, this freedom from being obsessed with extreme size is liberating! Why? Because our size goals are realistic and attainable while pursuing health and vitality at the same time! Take a look at the photo above of the great Monty Wolford. This photo appeared in Fall 2009 issue of Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine). Who would not want a physique like his? It is healthy, full of vitality, with classic muscular size and symmetry! Is this kind of physique attainable and realistic? Let's look at his measurements:
Monty did not need 18 inch arms like Reeves to look great. Why? Reeves was 6'1", Monty was 5 inches shorter. So to achieve a classic physique like Reeves, Monty's measurements needed to be smaller to match his height (and bone structure).
Neither Reeves or Wolford obssessed about extreme size. What for anyway? Do you want to look like a cartoon (i.e., "The Hulk") or would you rather look like a Greek god?! For modern classic physique builders (CPB'ers), the choice is not a hard one. Reeves and Wolford pursued classic size & symmetry, health and vitality! So do we!
So to achieve your classic physique, you need to follow a "culture of health and vitality" along with following pre-roid Golden Age methods of proper training, proper nutrition, proper rest, and persistence. Such a "culture of health and vitality" is not only good for the body, but it is good for your spirit and character and will set you apart and enable you to be a good example for others. In this way, classic physique building not only benefits you, but also will have a positive effect on those around you. What more could you ask for?
P.S. For a free, 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder zine (CPBzine) - a pdf zine (do-it-yourself magazine) patterned after the muscle mags of the pre-roid Golden Age of Bodybuilding (of the 1940s and 50s), just email your name, the name of your city (not your actual address), state/province, and country to firstname.lastname@example.org. That's it! Any info you send us is strictly confidential. We don't share info with anyone. So you won't get on any unwanted lists or receive unwanted, unsolicited, automated email - even from us!
(Photo Above: Joe Weider with CPB Champs Armand Tanny, Alan Stephan, Clancy Ross, and Floyd Page at the 1949 Mr. North America Contest)
In our last post, we discussed the introduction of split routines in the latter half (the 1950s) of the pre-roid Golden Age of Classic Physique Building (the 1940s and 50s). In his 1954 muscle building course (The Muscle Building Courses of the Champions), Joe Weider advocated a split routine for intermediate trainers - after they had completed a minimum of 3 months training with his full body 3 day/week routine. This is a classic upper body/lower body split that works each region twice a week for a total of 4 workouts per week.
The routine is presented here for historical purposes (so no exercise descriptions will be given). You will also note that this routine uses supersets, cheating, and peak contraction methods!
Monday - Upper Body
1. Wrestler's Bridge - 2 sets/10 reps 2. The Cheat Curl - superset with following for 2 supersets/9 reps 3. Lying Triceps Curl 4. Peak Contraction Knee Dumbbell Curl - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 5. Seated Dumbbell Triceps Curl 6. Wide Grip Bench Press - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 7. Dumbbell Side and Forward Lateral Raise, Combination 8. Bent Arm Laterals - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 9. Upright Rowing 10. Bent Over Rowing - 2 sets/9 reps 11. Deadlift - 2 sets/9 reps
Tuesday - Lower Body
1. Side Bend - superset with following for 2 sets/10 reps 2. Sit Up 3. Side Bend - superset with following for 2 sets/10 reps 4. Leg Raise 5. Bent Legged Sit Up - 2 sets/10 reps 6. Flat Footed Squat - superset with following for 2 sets/10 reps 7. Toe Raise 8. Iron Boot Thigh Extension - superset with following for 2 sets/10 reps 9. Thigh Curl 10. Straddle Exercise - 2 sets/10 reps 11. Goose Step - 2 sets until tired
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Upper Body
1. Headstrap Exercises 2. Seated Dumbbell Curl, Allternate Style - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 3. Triceps Rear Raise with Dumbbell 4. Zottman Curl - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 5. Standing Triceps Curl 6. Bench Press with a Wide Grip - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 7. Back and Foward Barbell Press (use 10 reps instead of 9) 8. Bent Arm Pullover - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 9. Shrug 10. Rowing Motion to the Waist - 2 sets/9 reps 11. Good Morning Exercise - 2 sets/9 reps
Friday - Lower Body
1. Side Bend - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 2. Twist Sit Up - (use 7 reps to each side instead of 9) 3. Bench Side Raise - superset with following for 2 sets/9 reps 4. Leg Raise 5. Half Sit Up, Body Twist - 2 sets/7 reps to each side 6. Parallel Squat - 2 sets/9 reps 7. Legs Split Toe Raise - 2 sets/15 reps 8. Shoulder Squat - 2 sets/9 reps 9. Combination Toe Raise - 1 set (toes straight), 1 set (toes out), 1 set (toes in) 10. Iron Boot Side Thigh Raise - 2 sets/15 reps 11. Palms Up Forearm Curl - 2 sets/15 reps 12. Palms Down Forearm Curl - 2 sets/15 reps
Saturday & Sunday - Rest
Well....that's it! Again, Joe Weider advocated this kind of routine in the early 1950s for intermediate trainers. But not everyone was on board for split training. There were still plenty of people who followed the full body 2 or 3 day a week training routines. In any case, split routines like this should be included in your "toolbox" and may be useful from time to time.
There is a lot to discuss and learn from Joe's routine here - so feel free to comment!
P.S. For a free, 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine) - a pdf "zine" (do-it-yourself magazine) that is patterned after the muscle mags of the pre-roid Golden Age of Bodybuilding (of the 1940s and 50s), just email your name, the name of your city (not your actual address), state/province, and country to email@example.com. That's it! Any info you send us is strictly confidential. We don't share info with anyone. So you won't get on any unwanted lists or receive any unwanted, automated email - even from us!
The mission of Classic Physique Builder (CPB Blog and CPBzine) is to: (1) promote the ideal of developing a classic physique, (2) demonstrate what kind of body can be developed naturally,(3) preserve & learn from the history of the pre-roid Golden Age of Classic Physique Building, (4) serve as a source of education & inspiration to all; and (5) help initiate a Renaissance of Classic Physique Building in the 21st Century!
For a free 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine) - a pdf zine patterned after the muscle mags of the pre-roid, Golden Age of Bodybuilding (the 1940s and 50s) - just send your name, the name of your city (not your address), state/province, & country to firstname.lastname@example.org. That's it! CPBzine is published quarterly (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter issues).
CPBzine - Winter 2010 Issue
Vol 2 No 1: Cover - Clancy Ross (Current Issue)
CPBzine - Fall 2009 Issue
Vol 1 No 3 - Cover: John Grimek (see Back Issue info below)
CPBzine - Summer 2009 Issue
Vol 1 No 2 - Cover: George Eiferman (see Back Issue info below)
CPBzine - Spring 2009 (Premier) Issue
Vol 1 No 1 - Cover: Steve Reeves (see Back Issue info below)
CPBzine Back Issues - Now Available!
Back issues of Classic Physique Builder Zine (CPBzine) are available to all CPB Donors as a "thank you gift" for supporting our mission. For a $5 donation (USD), we will send you the back issue of your choice. For a $10 donation (USD), we will send you up to 3 back issues of your choosing. Simply click on the "donation" button below and then follow the paypal instructions. Once you have made your donation, then send an email to us at email@example.com and let us know which back issue(s) you would like. You will then receive your back issue(s) in pdf format via email. It's that easy!
Support The CPB Mission Through Your Donations!
About Us & Our Mission
Hi and Welcome to CPB!
I'm Anthony Miller - a PhD in anatomy & cell biology, researcher, scientist, academician, pre-roid Golden Age aficionado, and aspiring classic physique builder. I founded CPB because I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it!
For those of us who have no intention of using drugs to build our physiques, it is nearly impossible to get good, muscle-building info that works for non-drug users or inspiring images of classic physique champs from the extreme, steroid-oriented muscle mags of today. Fortunately, there is a vast wealth of pre-roid, Golden Age information from the 1940s and 50s that we can use to build Golden Age physiques that are drug-free, healthy, muscular, powerful, symmetrical, and attractive!
It is the mission of Classic Physique Builder (CPBBlog and CPBzine) to make pre-roid, Golden Age bodybuilding information available again to all, so that we are no longer held captive to the extremism of the modern muscle mags and so that a new, 21st Century Renaissance of Classic Physique Building can arise!
If our mission appeals to you, then please join us in spreading the CPB Movement wherever you are and in whatever way you can. Help us get the word out to people that Golden Age Classic Physique Building (true, pre-roid bodybuilding) is a better and brighter alternative than what the current, mainstream, drug-based bodybuilding world provides!
Please consider supporting the CPB mission through your donations (see donation button above). This will allow us to continue to offer CPBzine free for those (especially young people) who truly cannot afford it. - Thank you!
Steve Reeves - 1948 Mr. World Clip (2nd Clip from Top)
Steve Reeves - "The White Warrior" Clips
Steve Reeves - "Hercules Unchained" Clips
Reg Park - "Maciste in King Soloman's Mines" Clips
John Grimek Interview Clip
Harold Poole Clips
Reg Park Clips
George Eiferman Clips
Mainstream Bodybuilding Ideal - Cartoon Characters: He-man, X-men, The Thing! (2nd clip from top)