(Photo Above: Classic Physique Building Champ - Reg Park)
The key to building a classic physique is that you must know what a classic physique is in the first place! How many people train with weights and yet could not describe the characteristics of a classic physique? Such knowledge was fairly common in the pre-roid, Golden Age (the 1940s and 50s), but gradually was forgotten as bodybuilding entered into its dark ages (from the 1960s until today).
Without knowledge of what a classic physique is, a weight trainer goes to the gym, does some exercises, builds some muscle, and perhaps ruins what could have been a perfectly fine physique! Just yesterday at the gym, there was one fellow with nicely developed delts and arms. But his shoulder width was naturally narrow. So what was he doing? - Sets of shoulder shrugs with heavy weights on a Smith machine! He apparently didn't realize that if he developed the mass of his traps, his already narrow shoulders would look even more narrow! Clearly, he did not have a clue as to what to do and what not to do to build a classic physique.
Then there is the guy with the very well developed upper body, that I see from time to time, who walks around the gym proudly doing set after set of arm exercises. His arms must be 17-18 inches! But his thighs are thin and calves couldn't be more than 13 inches! He is walking around on "toothpick" legs! I never see him working his thighs or calves. His body is way out of proportion. yet he doesn't seem to have any sense that his physique is flawed! How many of you have seen similar things in your gym? (And I don't mean to fault these people. Where are they supposed to go to get info about classic physique building? They certainly can't get it from the modern, roid-based muscle mags!)
So, the take-home lesson is this: Don't go to the gym and do exercises without a clear idea of what kind of physique you want to develop and how to get it. Learn what a classic physique is (reading Classic Physique Builder Zine and CPB Blog will help). Have a clear understanding of what classic proportion/symmetry is! Could you quickly summarize the characteristics of a classic physique if someone asked you at the gym?
P.S. For a free 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder Zine (CPBzine) - a pdf "zine" (do-it-yourself magazine) that is patterned after the muscle mags of the pre-roid Golden Age of Bodybuilding (the 1940s and 50s) - just email your name (first and last), 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 lists or receive any unwanted, automated email (even from us)!