Thursday, March 11, 2010

Modern Bodybuilding, Natural Bodybuilding, or Classic Physique Building: Which Would You Choose?

(Top Photo: Natural Bodybuilder Dave Goodin; Middle Photo: Roid-based Bodybuilder Kai Greene; Bottom Photo: CPB Champ Steve Reeves)

Here is a letter from a CPB Subscriber who describes a recent conversation he had with his friends. How many of you have had similar encounters and experiences? If so, let us know!

"Hello...I had a conversation with a couple of friends that I felt you may find interesting.

A bodybuilding buddy of mine brought over a bunch of photos from the Arnold Classic to my house yesterday. He loves modern day bodybuilding and loves to defend it whenever I bring up issues like gh gut, no proportions, etc... Anyways, my girlfriend had some friends over so I showed them pictures of Kai Greene, a random natural BB'er, and Steve Reeves. I asked them which physique they found the most attractive (not necessarily from a sexual perspective!). They all went with Reeves. They all agreed that Kai looked absolutely disgusting (and for gags, I played his posing routine. We had a great laugh!). They also said that the natural guy looked way too shredded - "it looks awkward." They kinda melted at the Reeves photo saying that he had the perfect combination of mass and definition. This started a bit of a debate between my friend and I.

My friend refuses to believe that the classic physique will ever make its way back to mainstream bodybuilding. The idea does not seem far fetched at all to me. In fact, I think the more "freak show" modern bodybuilding becomes, the more essential a return to proportions and aesthetics will become. It's like how female bodybuilding got so out of hand that they developed the figure division to bring back proportions and an overall feminine physique. I think the same will happen in men's bb'ing. They will have to develop a "fitness" division to try and attract new followers. I can only hope that they use the Classic Ideals as their judging criteria!

Just a thought I would share." - Mark, from Canada

Well.....What do you think? Have you had encounters/conversations like this with your friends? If so, then share your experience with us! I somehow think that this kind of reaction (to modern bodybuilding and even natural bodybuilding) is not uncommon and when faced with the clear choice of Reeves versus a roid-based modern bodybuilder, regular people will choose a classic physique like Reeves every time! And if this is the case, then who really reflects the MAINSTREAM OF THE PUBLIC, a Reeves or a Green, Cutler, or Coleman? Perhaps we (CPB'ers) should not concede the term "mainstream bodybuilding" to the roid-users!


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 (the 1940s and 50s) - just email your name, the name of your city (not your actual address), state/province, and country to That's it! Any info you send us is strictly confidential. We don't share info/data with anyone. So you won't get on any unwanted lists or receive any unwanted, automated email or spam (even from us!).


Anonymous said...

Personally one of my main motivators for working on a classic physique is the satisfaction from focusing on good health.

Sure vanity and ego and play a big part but knowing that I am investing in my quality of life means a lot to me.

I was spending time at the site when I came across this cover that says it all to me, one that is pushed to the side in the steroid ape mags or ignored all together.;6;2;yp;Your+Physique
"Health, your best defense against disease."

The general public are attracted to and admire someone of good vibrant health and strength. Not todays freakish mutations.

Johnny G said...

Your friend is absolutely right - Classic Physiques will never make it in todays climate of todays bodybuilding extreme - that is the reality - Classic Physique has to find another niche - it is like comparing apples with oranges - people are not going to watch the Reeves or the Grimeks of the past - once you watched slam dunks in basketball tough to watch a simple lay up ----Please all do not be upset, remember as Tao said, it is for the long haul what we do and not for the quick satisfaction that is short term like they do - but demonizing drug users is still unfair - they have been conditioned to believe that this is the ideal - just better communication will do more - I liked the physiques of the champs presteroid era, but they were not more noble then these guys today, they just did not have a choice to use steroids because it wasn't around - To be noble is to be given a choice to use or not to use.. I just wander if they would do - Parks, Pearl,Grimek. Eiferman and others did choice to use steroids in some small manner - so before we get off on that better then thou mind set understand that some of the guys we raised to a higher level did play around with the stuff not as much as they do today, but they did use it - Even Vince's students like Larry Scott was doing it and I never seen the Iron Guru come out and denounce Larry Scott on steroid use even the Iron Guru looked the other way and played the game - Education, Education,Education is the key on bring todays weight trainers to the Classic Physique Philosophy - the person who should be given the biggest credit for the Classic Physique movement is you Anthony not any of the former champs have done so much in recent times to push this agenda - Thanks and I mean this

Jeffrey said...

I agree. I applaud Anthony and the others from CPB. I wish I could get my hands on the pre-roid magazines and study them. CPB will be the closest I will get!

I come here for renewed inspiration. I also love to skim through to get ideas on proportion. I also see a classic physique as something I can attain!

I wondered it CPB ever considered designing a shirt. Even a type of thing would work! I think it would be great to wear one at the gym to promote this site and two to show my respect for the true natural bodybuilder.

It's difficult to say if some of the early BBr's would have turned to roids if given the chance, perhaps some or many. But from what I've read in interviews they detested them. Personally so do I for one simple reason. It's FAKE muscle.
And the guys using synthol take the cake.

Pete 22 said...

Johnny G

demonizing drug users is still unfair Why?. they are all cheats

I liked the physiques of the champs presteroid era, but they were not more noble then these guys today. say they are they did it with hard work & good eating todays guys just stick a syringe in their backside

Anonymous said...

Classic bodybuilders against natural bodybuilders of today looks bigger, stronger.
When you see reg park, he looks like he can lif 500 lbs bench press, when you see these naturals of today, they look weak, and small!!!

Johnny G said...

Pete 22, the reason I said not to demoralize them that being the drug users is to be understanding and bring them over to a healthier way of life(a Classic Life) - Pete know this is that you get more bees with honey - If we ridicule them because they are truly misinformed then we are no better then those who try to profit off of them ( I also know they are dedicated as I to developing a physique, but by a different way)- I wrote earlier in this segment that even some of the Classic Physique greats tried steroids, but I was unfair to them to some degree- they knew not the harm that drugs brings on too some one with continuing usage - I don't want to be some I know it all pain in the ass (yes I'm a pain in the ass), but I workout with a lot of guys who decided to go on a steroid program (IT IS NOT FOR ME PLAIN & SIMPLE), -- You know Pete I feel some of you are not grasping what I meant about being noble - to be given option A or option B - I really don't know what Reeves or some of the other bodybuilders would do with all the INFO if given to them as we have today - would they use the drugs or wouldn't they ( I would hope they would not- but the question isn't posed to what they would do that is in the pass for them now Pete, but what are you going to do _ I myself pledge to CPB to be clean from anything extreme that goes for a ton of useless supplements as well - So ending another long pain in the ass blog - keep it Clean & Classical - plus all of you start adding more comments and give your perspective -- There is enough of us to get fired up in some level to make a difference

Ibrahim said...


i think you´re not a "pain in the ass" at all. Your comments are of very big value. You have lots of experience and met people like Grimek. I wish that Anthony would do a interview with Marvin Eder. That would be great. He´s still living in New York.

Anyway, i was on the wrong path, too. Thank God i did not take steroids or such but i bought a lot of these mags with advocated Mr. Olympia type training. And thank God that i did not had any success with them. I have to admit that i tried 3 years ago or so, a testosterone salve. Which i got from the drugstore or pharmacy. I don´t know which word is used in the US.
But again thank God i did not have any progress or success with it.

You know i can understand these people who admire IFBB Pro´s. Because i was on the same track.
I tell you what it is. It´s a complex. Why? Before i would never thought that i write about me taking testosterone once but i have to get it off my chest.
I had a complex, too. But someway somehow, after noticing that this kind of training don´t was not working for me, i started my search again.

It started with me searching for hack squats in the net. Then old time wrestler George Hackenschmidt and reading his feats of strength in a time when there was no supplements at all (late 1890´s).

To some degree i can understand Johnny also, with questioning if the classic bodybuilders would take steroids if they would have confronted with it like in the 70´s till 90´s and presence.
But they were normal human beings like us so i think we all can do mistakes. But the important is to look forward. learn from it and to stay on the right track.

Ibrahim said...

See, since i was 7 or 8 years old very skinny and also not so strong, fast etc. like others.
And in 2004 i wanted a change. After several years of basketball, where i had the same problem, i got a gym membership and trained with split systems which worked for a few weeks. But again there were no constant gains. I had no knowledge about nutrition and how important it is. Ohh, man just looking back i smile a bit and i think every now and then "If i knew what i know now..."

A lot of people think that bigger muscles is everything gives a better appearance respect etc. (to a certain degree)
But very few think in years or see it as a life style. Therefore i don´t get it when someone wants a sixpack for the summer or bigger muscles to get respect.

Todays natural bodybuilding is not natural at all i think. Sure they have great results and work hard, too but 2 % body fat is not natural to me. Getting dehydrated is the most disgusting thing to me in nowadays bodybuilding. It´s not a lifestyle it´s a momentary gain.

For the Olympia type physique.
Let me start with this. It is funny because i admired them also once. But you know if someone like Robby Robinson from the Schwarzenegger era says about to days bodybuilders that there is no physique ideal or a good look at all you can understand it better. He says that todays bodybuilders have the steroids in their back, calves, legs, traps etc.
Of course they are working hard, too but which prise do they pay.
It shocked me when i read in a Flex mag one time about Mike Matarazzo telling insights of the Bodybuilding life style. And saying that he lost 20 years of his life due to ... His kidneys working 40% and he says that "you eat 6-7 pounds of meat every day. And very little vegetables and fruit. They have big muscles but that´s it. They don´t take it with them after there competetive life.

Now for a golden age (for me 1890-1956) physiques.
The thing which fascinates me a lot and inspires me a lot is that they had unique abilities. Some where very flexible. Some broke feats strength endurance or maximal strength. They were "natural". They looked bigger or different then average but not like they came from another planet. Or that they ate something wrong :) It looks achievable even to people who are not participating in bodybuilding style training or do any sport.

This comment were far to long. But i just tried to be hones an it came from the heard. Because i love to train it´s not a addiction to me. It´s a way of life and a passion of mine.

Thanks to Anthony and the readers to keep the site active Peace!

Johnny G said...

you know Ibrahim is that bodybuilding has always been a subculture - we dig talking about it because maybe we are a tad strange which is cool, but most people or better yet the majority of people do not know and of the current or past Mr. Olympias except of course Arnold - But Arnold wasn't even known to the general public till he did Terminator & Conan (Reeves wasn't known till he did Hercules 8 years after his last contest -- My point being is this (what the hell is the point of taking drugs and maybe shorting or ending your life for fame & fortune when there really isn't either in this subculture sport - No one knows ya or cares either - and you'll never really make a living from it either - I was talking to a buddy of mine (Tony Donchek) who owns a gym it Catawissa, Pa and told me that some of his members went out to the west coast little over 10 years ago and they were talking to some of the pro bodybuilders at the time and it cost them then over $5000 to $10,000 a month for all the drugs and supplement to compete (not much pow for the $ buck I say for the returns you get)- So the returns are poor health, poverty and a weird physique and maybe prison term as well I forgot to mention - So keep it clean, eat healthy and continue writng in here at CPN - Oh by the way my workouts have been totally awesome - been awhile since I was in super shape. but it is really coming around for sure - No regrets joining the Golds Gym up here in Harrisburg, Pa - Can not peg my workouts because it varies from week to week = LOVING IT !!!

Johnny G said...

Oh one last thing - Dave Goodin I doubt is natural - He got his pro card with the IFBB - He said it took him 27 years to get that - what do you all think, Is he really natural - enough said

Anonymous said...

Did Eiferman really juice? -Makena

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Makena,

When Eiferman won the Mr. America contest in 1948, there was no juice - it didn't exist (e.g., dianabol, etc)! Methyl testosterone existed, but there is no evidence that it was used in bodybuilding circles (in fact, there is evidence that indicates it was not used). In fact, in 1948, even protein powder supplements did not exist!

George was very devoted to health and after his win, he travelled the country (USA) and gave lectures to high school students about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. I don't think there is any reliable, historical evidence that George used any steroids whatsoever - even after they spread into the bodybuilding world around 1960.

Anyone can claim anything about the CPB champs - but I say, let them produce the hard evidence!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Jeffrey,

I think your idea of a CPB T-shirt is a great idea! We will look into it and see what we can come up with!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Anonymous said...

Anthony, thank you very much for your answer. I try to keep track of some of the names that I consider worth emulating like Leo Roberts, Eiferman, and of course Reeves and Park, who are reliably judged to be natural athletes. It's useful as it allows me to set a theoretically achievable standard. Eiferman in particular is one who I always admired, and am currently working on one of his routines, so I was curious about the suggestion that he may have juiced.



Johnny G said...

Anthony, I should have clarified about George Eiferman in 1962 when he won the IFBB Mr. Universe - if anyone fells bodybuilding was clean at the point(early 60's I fell they are little naive

Jeffrey said...

Great, looking forward to it! I would be proud to show it off!

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Johnny (and Everyone),

In general, Johnny is correct that the "bodybuilding world" began to be infiltrated by steroids in the early 1960s (particularly after the 1960 Olympics in Rome). But, it did take some time before they completely took over. So in the early 1960s, there was a growing number of competitors who were on steroids, but still some who were not.

This is why I call this period (the early 1960s) the "Twilight of the Golden Age" (because the "sun" of natural physique building was setting, but there still remained some "light" (natural trainers) before the darkness (of steroids) completely descended.

But George already had a world class body (since the 1940s) and certainly didn't need any short cuts to develop a physique or to compete with the 1962 physiques (who still had not surpassed those of the pre-roid Golden Age) of those who might have been on steroids.

I hope this helps,

CPB (Anthony)

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Everyone,

Regarding the question about whether we should "demonize" roid users, I take the middle ground.

Johnny is certainly correct that we won't win over any roid users if we demonize them. So I say that whenever we meet someone in the gym who is "on the juice," then be respectful. But if the conversation turns to roids, then don't give up your views. You can still put forward your views in a mature and respectful way (if the occassion arises).

However, I don't think we will win over any roid stars like Cutler, Coleman, etc. I don't think we need to "give them a pass." These are people who live in the Information Age. They know the history of roids and their health destroying effects. They had a real choice - they could have taken a healthy path, but instead they chose an unhealthy one. To make it worse, they succeeded and are making money while they set a bad example and influence countless young people to embark on such a dark path.

The roid stars of today know full well what they are doing. This isn't the early 1960s when roids first came on the scene and people didn't really understand them (many thought they were just another supplement). I often think, "How many young people have turned to roids because of these 'heroes' like Cutler, Coleman, etc?" So, while I don't think we need to "demonize" them, I do think we need a lot of "straight talk" about roids.

And let's throw this into consideration - since the 1960s, we have been bombarded by images of roid users, not to mention propagandized (these days) into accepting it, by the modern muscle mags (just take a look at any issue of MD)! So the tables have been turned against us for a very long time!

So let's not be shy or timid about our "straight talk!" No need for immaturity in our language, but let's not be afraid to stand up for what we believe in!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

P.S. Thanks to everyone for the kind words regarding CPB. It is really all of you that make it possible!

Johnny G said...

Proof is always they key word when calling someone out - The facts is that Steroids was huge in the early 60's - Proof is this - Go on the internet and pop up San Diego Chargers of 1963 - In 1962 the Chargers were the worst team in the old AFL - in 1963 they went on a heavy steroid program and later in the year won the AFL Championship - Sports Illustrated did a HUGE article on the Chargers and steroids - it would be remit to think that a sub-culture like bodybuilding would not have the inside track on steroids years before anyone else- for us to act like bodybuilders are the johnny come lately crowd when it comes to info on building muscle then we are all crazy - they are the forefront in this field not the last ones to know - When the Chargers went on this steroid program it was the true ending of sports as we know it I feel - Anthony you are right that I have no positive proof on George Eiferman, but if I was a betting man I say we had not a world champion bodybuilder since the mid 50's - Anthony you can read to me what these guys in the past said, that doesn't mean they are telling the truth - I know that most of this site (which I am fond of) is a testominal to Steve Reeves more then not - But because Reeves friend was Eiferman doesn't exclude him from using the juice - Most of what I read from you and from Casey Butts has been that since the mid 50's and after that bodybuilding has had a major down turn - And when it comes to todays bodybuilders they are not cheaters because the use drugs because everyone know they are on them - They are just fools plain & simple - just my thought on all these topics

Johnny G said...

my last blog on steroids on this site was the previous - I blame myself getting caught up on this subject - Anthony you are right unless there is proof then I and others should shut up - To all who call them cheaters today there is no rules really preventing them from not using them - All my comments from this day forth will only be about natural Classic Physique training and nothing else - Steroids are here to stay I am sorry to say, but I shall never use them unless I am in a accident or a burned victim which they were meant for - only for medical use will I ever resort to drugs - that is my pledge - and my other is to push the Natural Classic Physique & its training - good luck all

Jim said...

I have really enjoyed this blog, very thought provoking. I like the classic healthy look of reeves over the other 2. Johnny G sure seems to know what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see this blog develop a forum. There's a lot of value here. -Makena

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best conversations the blog has had. I'm solidly in the CPB camp of how I want to build my body. However, it is foolish not to be educated on the topic of steroids. "Know your enemy." is the key here.

You cannot fully engage in a conversation on the subject to defend your position, if you can't speak with an educated mind about it.

I don't believe in demonizing those who choose a chemical answer to achieving their goals. We all must make our own choices in this life. It's not the path I choose though.

Dave Goodin, the texas shredder, as he is known. The man has spent a lifetime as a natural lifter. Natural as it applies to modern bodybuilding. He has developed his physique to it's natural limits through many years of proper training. He is clearly not a classic physique in contest shape. Modern natural shows emphasize extreme lean BF%. With a bit more BF% Dave would fit right in as CPB.

Dave still fits within Casey Butts natural limits work. Furthermore, he has been dong this for a long time. Over twenty years to achieve his current conition. Dave, and Doug miller are two modern Bodybuilders who I actually quite like for what they have done.

Great job here Anthony, keep up the hard work.

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Johnny (and Everyone),

I think we are in substantial agreement about steroids in the 1960s! I put the date of the opening of the "floodgates" in 1960 after the Rome Olympics (based on historical sources). Steroids did flood into bodybuilding pretty quickly after that. So the 1963 situation with the Chargers fits right in.

It's interesting to note that it wasn't bodybuilders who stumbled across steroids first (one would think that given the bodybuilders today). It was actually the Soviet Olympic Weightlifters - competitive athletes. From there it spread to American Weightlifters (and their doctors) and then into bodybuilding.

Because 1960 marks the opening of the floodgates, as I said, I generally don't trust any physique in muscle mags from 1960 on - unless I have good reason to believe otherwise.

When I said that there were still natural trainers in the early 1960s - as steroids were beginning to spread - it needs to be taken into context. With respect to the 1960's major title winners or competitors, I can probably count on one hand, the number of natural trainers among them. There were probably more natural trainers who didn't fare so well in the 1960s contests and soon all left the field altogether.

When you think of most of the 1960s bodybuilding stars - Larry Scott, Dave Draper, Sergio Oliva, Don Howorth, Freddie Ortiz, Don Peters, Bill Pearl (post 1958), Frank Zane, Arnold and Franco - they were all 1st generation roid users (which they all admitted themselves).

However, there were some like Chet Yorton (considered the Father of Modern Natural Bodybuilding) who were still natural trainers. But, as I said, they left the field quickly in the 1960s because they could no longer compete against the roid users.

In any case, thanks to everyone for a great discussion! I hope that everyone feels free to participate in our discussions. We don't have to agree, but there is no reason why we can't put forward our views in a good-natured way!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Johnny G said...

Anthony, I do get defensive at times, but I have a huge question mark with anyone being involved with the Weider Foundation after the late 50's early 60's - Just that George Eiferman did not compete for 14 years prior to winning the IFBB Mr. Universe 1962 - I'll concede this one to you that we really don't know for sure if George did use steroids - But as I stated before when steroids became vogue people like Vince (Iron Guru) Gironda and the Parks, Reeves and other associated themselves with the steroid crowd and you never really heard the true out cry from the old pros(but maybe not enough info was out there to make a educated statement - I hear a greater out cry from this site about really bring back what an ideal physique should really look like - And again the Classic Physique crowd has to find our nitch and understand and define our goals - It can not or should I say will not stand next to the drug users of these days - You Really made a good comparison a year ago or so about the difference between Natural Bodybuilding & Classic Physique Trainers - Todays Natural Bodybuilders want to look like drug users (WHY)is the question we should be asking (Why do you want to look like a freak) - Is there a self image problem which might be the case - Lively crowd we have here today, great to see people getting fired up - just carry that to our training

Anonymous said...

Johnny G.,

You bring up a good point about modern naturals, and the emphasis on getting so lean. These modern naturals, give up a lot of lean mass by reaching so deep into the BF% area. If they would aim for about 6-8% they would be bigger, and more closely resemble a classic physique. Unfortunately, judging criteria places lean conditioning above muscle mass. Frankly, the levels they achieve are quite unhealthy, and very hard on the body.

There is room at the table for this niche of bodybuilding, but the word about this site is not spreading as fast as it could. Most people whom I introduce to classic Bodybuilding really like it, and want to know more. At my main forum, I'm not alone in my pursuit of classic BB. A few members there are posters here as well.

A lot of people express a little bit of shock at how I train. They see it as something they could never do. They could, and that is the opportunity to educate them about wholebody, and A/B split type training. This method of training has allowed me to achieve a great level of conditioning, and overall health. I feel pretty darn good, for being in my late 40's.

Except for my deadlift. I'm as strong as, or stronger in all my lifts than I have ever been.

I recently worked out my 1 rep max numbers. This was about 3-4 weeks ago. at that time my basic lifts were as follows.
Squat, 300
Bench, 280
Press, 160
Deads, 300+
BB row,200+

I'm fighting my way back, and plan to get into the best shape of my life. I have the goal of stepping on stage at least once in my life, just for the experience of it. I plan to go onto that stage, looking like a classic BB, and to heck with where I place.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Dave Goodin, and whether he is natural or not. I have a friend who's main job is as a writer for several sites, and magazines. He has interviewed Dave Goodin, this is a quote from that interview.

Dave Goodin: Initially it was the side effects that I read about in the magazines that influenced me to not use any bodybuilding drugs. I started competing the first year that I was training seriously and I saw that I could be very successful without using steroids. However, there was a time about 5 years into it that I considered taking some steroids because it appeared that it was going to take that to be successful on the national level. I had a good friend who pointed out to me how well I had done drug-free and said "just don't do it! You don't need it!" I agreed with him and the rest is history. I'm so glad I had that little nudge in the right direction at that pivotal time in my career. It has been very rewarding to tell people that I've never used any bodybuilding drugs when they ask me the question, "have you ever used steroids?"

Obviously, to compete in todays relm, requires that he achieve a condition of leanness that was not achieved in the classic era.

I feel that he is a far better example of what modern BB should aspire to as compared to the drug freaks. I'd love to see a contest with a limit as to how low a BF% contestants are allowed to goto, but thats unralistic, and would be extremely hard to implement.

Steve Shaw said...

I am the writer mentioned above. I have interviewed Dave Goodin and studied his body weight in comparison to Casey Butt's natural potential. I believe him to be natural and truthful. The fact that Dave admitted his consideration speaks volumes to me about his character.

There are some "claimed" naturals that I consider suspect, but Dave Goodin is not one of them.

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Steve - and Everyone,

I have no reason to doubt that Dave Goodin is completely natural. Actually, compared to the pre-roid Golden Age champs of the 1940s and 50s, Dave strikes me as carrying much less mass in general.

Of course, he is more "shredded" - so in contest shape, his physique doesn't look that healthy. And the lower % body fat (compared to Golden Agers) keeps his mass down. But the anatomy cadaver-like look (which Vince Gironda first achieved and was penalized for in the Golden Age), doesn't, by itself, give me reason to doubt that he is and has been completely natural in the modern sense.

I agree with Steve that there are some "naturals" I would suspect, but Dave is not one of them.

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Johnny G said...

I guess there is enough legal over the counter stuff out there that can make someone acheive a steroid physique - just because he might not be taking illegal steroids doesn't mean he is natural in the natural sense - my shortest post so far

Johnny G said...

It amazes me Anthony that yoursite is open to all, which is a good thing - but before you ordain certain people as credible writers check out their backgrounds first - I was on Steve Shaw's website and it is no different then going on Weider's - Bulk, Bulk, Bulk - get massive website - sounds like a financial incentive on Steve's part when it comes to Dave Goodin being clean - Damn right I question people when I pullup their sites and it looks no different then one of the modern day bodybuilding magazines advertisment section- Listen all, I have followed this game of bodybuilding for 45 years and I know bs when I see it - Anthony you laid down on this one, you ordained these guys without looking further into their backgrounds - Casey & Steve are not much diffent then the other peddlers of modern day bodybuilding - to all of you just check out their sites and come to your own conclusion - I still firmly believe in really natural bodybuilding is the way to go, and NOT TAKING a TON of supplements as Steve Shaw and others are peddling on their websites - I know I am not making friends with these guys, but I could careless - If all of you decide to take a pile of supplemnets then quit wasting your time and just go on the juice - it would be cheaper and safer - me I'll eat clean and train hard and stay true to my convictions -Classic is the only way

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Johnny (and Everyone),

My view of Dave Goodin is based on my assessment of his physique. He is cut (like Vince was able to achieve), but he is not big at all. He looks much smaller than the champs of the pre-roid Golden Age. It doesn't take roids to build a physique like his (unlike some other 'naturals'). This was my view long before Steve weighed in.

With the supplement companies, it is hard to draw a complete line in the sand. I have been debating with myself on this for a long time. On the one hand, what they do when they use roid users to sell their products and their general sponsorship of roid-based bodybuilding is really not right. And a lot of their "designer" supplements (the newer ones that manipulate hormone and water levels, etc) are not necessary and in some cases can be dangerous. On the other hand, they also provide basic protein powders and multivitamins that are very convenient to classic physique builders!

So, while I condemn the clear "wrongs" of the supplement companies, I also say that there are a couple of things that they are doing right. I haven't yet come to the point where I say "Don't buy protein powder from this supplement company because they use roid-users in their ads."

The ads on blogs are different from ads in the muscle mags. The companies advertising in the print muscle mags must pay a lot of money to the mags for that ad space. For blogs, the blog owner can sign up for Adsense (which searches your site for key words in order to automatically run ads that seem related) - but they have little control over the ads and they only get a very small sum when someone actually clicks on the ad. So the blog owner, unlike the print mag, has much less control over the ads and they are not paid directly by the advertisers.

Since the editorial content of a blog is not necessarily closely tied to the "advertisers" (through Adsense), then it is possible to find a middle ground perhaps. For example, I could chose to run health-related ads through Adsense (so they would appear on CPB Blog) and then rail against whatever particular products or companies I don't like (that pop up in some of those ads) without fear since I'm not being paid directly by the advertiser.

My point is that we should not be quick to paint with a broad brush. Casey is as natural as they come. He has done a lot for natural trainers through his writings over the years and has steered many away from roid-based bodybuilding. Steve is a writer (who covers many topics) and may not have complete control over everything associated with the sites that he is involved with. Neither of them has ever condoned roid-based bodybuilding as far as I know.

Even so, between CPBer's and modern natural bodybuilders, there is quite a spectrum of views regarding supplements (CPBer's would tend to use much less to none - natural bodybuilders would tend to use more).

I might argue with modern natural bodybuilders that they don't need a lot of the modern supplements that they are taking IF they wanted to build A CLASSIC PHYSIQUE. I might think that they are silly for waisting their money on those supplements. I might try to persuade them that CPBing is a better way. But I won't condemn them. In my mind, there is still a great divide between roid-users and modern natural bodybuilders.

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Steve Shaw said...


My site is a personal space and is completely different from the natural sites I write for. I give 100% of my money I receive from the site back to athletes via promotion. End of story. I do not allow hucksters on my site, though I do allow steroid talk and supplement talk.

I could easily sell my soul like the other bodybuilding sites, but do not. I may not do everything just as you like it, but I stand against all the lies and phoniness of this industry.

I have not made one penny from my personal space. It all goes back to sponsoring natural lifters. Ask any of the men on my forum.

Enough with the personal attacks. Just because a few of you have a belief doesn't make it true and everyone else automatically evil.

I am clean and big. Check out a video below. Last year I was training for the world powerlifting championships - natural and raw. I was bulking during the time and added about 40 pounds. My weight is up right now, but am cutting for my first bodybuilding competition.

I take multivitamins, BCAAs, and fish oil.

My base LBM is 178 to 180 pounds (Right at Casey Butt's predictions). This means that I could compete around 190 pounds if luck was on my side.

I could show you more pictures if you'd like?

During the years I gained most of my mass I didn't even use protein supplements. I used zero supplements for over 10 years, and then only added joint health tablets, a multivitamin, fish oil and some BCAAs. I tried creatine a couple times but it gives me back pain.

I use BCAAs now because I am 42 and they help my old bones recover.

And BTW, should I shred up I will make Dave Goodin look small. Then will you point the finger at me?

Anthony is correct...Casey is as natural as they come.

As for me...sure, I've considered steroids. I think every athlete has thought about them. And I have friends who take steroids. Even Jesus didn't draw the curtains and hide from the unclean. I love steroid users as friends. I walk among them so that young naturals can have a clean role model.

Please don't hate me because I choose to shake the hand of a man who uses steroids. The world truly doesn't need any more unbridled hatred.

Every one of your role models, from Reeves to Park to Eder...all of whom I respect...would have taken creatine at some point. Maybe BCAAs. Maybe glutamine. Surely protein powder. These men are not gods or idols. They are men. Flesh and blood, who make tough decisions.

I've spent my entire life faced with the tough decision of staying natural.

I understand your natural skepticism. I have those feelings too. But for the love all of things right and just, these are men we are talking about, and they deserve respect.

If you choose to demonize someone...because they take BCAAs...or simply because you have a feeling they might be using...well, I know this to be true - you would demonize me in a heartbeat.

I am strong. I am big. I am natural. And I am proud.

Johnny G said...

Anthony the last thing I want to do is piss you off - I like you and I like this website - Things you are saying about Casey & Steve is true to a point - I question is the use of supplements - I question the damage it might do to people if not used properly - Kidney & Liver damage is a main concern with the use of a tremendous amount of protein - It is good you come to the defense of both of them as you have done for me as well in the past - but these guys have PHD's after their names and the majority of us don't - so when it comes to the excessive amount of supplements is in question - what if someone is allergic or they are meds - alot goes into this when considering using supplements - I say if you want to use them get blood work done - get a physical, but at all cost don't go out and spend a couple of hundred dollars on stuff you do not need - I am sorry I get passionate, but I don't feel Natural is Natural - I feel Classical Physique is the only true Natural way to train and the other is just a stepping stone to the big time - Again sorry if I came across as some one who is demonizing Casey & Steve, but they do have a fascination with the bulk craze and that is where lies the problem of the stepping stone -Long as you don't do illegal drugs all is good, and I would say to them all is not good when it comes with the supplement craze - if all else fails use common sense - take care brother - Peace - Johnny G

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Steve, Johnny, and Everyone,

Thanks for jumping in there Steve. I thought and hoped you would so that people would have a correct view of you and what you do!

I know that Casey is certainly not "bulk crazy" because his research and books promote precisely the opposite message. His main message to weight trainers is to look at the research (based on pre-roid Golden Age champs and natural trainers) and his body calculators (based on that research) to get a REALISTIC estimate of what body mass you can achieve naturally! Casey does this to steer people (especially young people) away from becoming BULK CRAZY by idolizing steroid users! But I think Casey can make this point better than I can.

Johnny...I know you mean well in your heart and you are very passionate! I always welcome your participation because you sure know how to get a discussion going! I also know that you feel that someone can harm themselves by taking too many natural (non-steroid) supplements and that you prefer (as do I) to take no more than protein powder and vitamins (and even that might be too much for you :)). And you are right, there have been plenty of news stories where modern (non-steroid) supplements have been recalled or even taken off the shelves due to the potential harm it could cause (the problem with hydroxycut recently is a case in point).

Actually, I think we are all pretty much on the same page here. Steve, like Johnny, would rather befriend (or at least treat respectfully) steroid users with the hope that "honey" or setting a better example will win some over. Neither Casey, Steve, or Johnny seem to be excessive supplement users. All are natural trainers and judging by their body weights (Steve and Casey - and I would bet Johnny) - none are BULK CRAZY! I value and respect the views and good efforts of each one.

So, let's recognize the common interests that we truly share and, if need be, share constructive criticism with each other in a good-natured way. Because it does seem that although our particular personal approaches (e.g., whether we allow supplement ads on our site) might differ, we do share the same overall goals (none of us want to see young people get involved with steroids)! And I think all of us have given plenty of evidence in that regard in terms of our actual efforts.

Thanks to everyone for a great (if sometimes passionate) conversation! I hope all can see that despite the difference in communication styles, all have good intentions in their heart!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Everyone,

Just a historical note here. Commercially available protein powder wasn't available to bodybuilders until the early 1950s - after Steve Reeves ended his competitive days. Creatine and isolated glutamine supplements came along much later this this (well after 1959 - the end of the pre-roid Golden Age).

Steve Reeves did make his own homemade protein powder though by mixing powdered eggs, powdered soy, and powdered milk (all of which were available after World War II). He also used a bit of Knox Gelatin (a food which you can still buy in grocery stores today). He might have taken vitamins. But that's about it! Park, Eder, and all the other Golden Agers, prior to about 1951 were all in the same boat as well!

Just trying to set the history straight here to be helpful! :)

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Ibrahim said...

The discussion was pretty intense but i respect everybodies point of view. I don´t know if it´s true but Marvin Eder says in an interview (David Robson that he never took any kind of supplements. And that he could not train always in a gym and though build an incredible physique and that he´s proud of that.
I think all the bodybuilders of the 40´s did not take supplements during and before that time.

I really want to know a diet of someone like Vince Gironda when he just stepped into competitive bodybuilding. That would be funny compared to his crazy supplement diet.

Recently, i read that CPB Leo Robert take´s some oil capsules, too. And like Steve mentioned above he benefited from it a lot.
Many of the old golden age bodybuilders changed their diet in terms of supplements, however. Reg Park recommended protein powder a lot after his competitive days. Jack LaLanne changed his mind completely, and is a vegetarian now and takes lots of supplements.

Now Johnny and Steve don´t get me wrong. When some takes supplements it´s fine and if they don´t it´s fine to me either. But i think it´s always important to tell people that they can get the needed nutrients without it.
I know that fish Omega 3 is the best but there are much more ways to get it. Walnuts, free range eggs, flax seeds etc.

When it comes to protein there are even more sources. I´m not a veggie but i try to take protein from different foods. I found beans like kidney, garbanzo and navy beans very useful in combination with some animal protein like cheese or eggs.
I think the best is a balanced diet even when you have to eat more because of weight gain goal.

I also met people who took steroids and tried to convince me to take steroids. But if someone with common sense thinks about it, it aint worth it. Also if you won´t have any bad health side effects. When competitive athletes (pros) are using it i can understand it to some degree but it really distracts the certain sport where it happens. But when young people with no interest or who are not competing at the highest level several times a week are taking it for the mere way to get attention i´m totally against it.
Without being disrespectful to anybody, when you take supplements creatine, liver tablets, protein powder and it´s a main part of your diet (like Gironda diet) it´s everything but natural.
But like in Steve´s situation i can understand taking Fish oil capsules and multivitamins because it´s easier to get the nutrients when you´re on a competitive level. I don´t know anything about BCAA´s so i can´t give my opinion about it.

Ibrahim said...

I think if the food or product is to artificial i would not take it.

Regarding rest, recuperation and recovery there are much natural ways to make it more effective.

I don´t have a lot of experience (i´m 24 training since 2004 but since 2007 in a CPB way) but there is some stuff which i found useful.

The old time strongmen used this also to recover after hard training. And Anthony wrote already some stuff about cardio.
What i do to get the blood circulating if i´m sore is to do a hot and cold shower. OK he´s nuts you think but it really works and can´t hurt you if you do it right. 1. You gotta splash cold water over the legs, front and back upper body. I found a sponge here helpful.
2. Wait until the body warms it

Ibrahim said...

2. Then take cold (just cold not with any warm water) short or quick shower. Again legs upperbody just be careful and don´t shower your head.
3. Wait until the body warms itself.
(5-10 seconds)That sounds odd but you will feel how your body gets heated. There comes the blood circulation which is good fore sore muscles.
4. Then you do tepid shower. It must be longer than the cold shower. That is really important.

I benefited from this kind of shower a lot because i did not catch colds like i used to. And it really helped with my recovery.
At first it will be hard and you have to get used to it but you will have many benefits from it.

The famous strongman Eugen Sandow did this, too.

Johnny G said...

Ibrahim you are very sensible - You take from here and take from there which I feel is a smart approach - Little about myself - I'll be 57years old this August - I followed the iron game since I was 12 years old - Been workouting here & there - In 1988 I feel I was in my best shape even with a poor diet at the time - I was 6'1" 215lbs with a 32 inch waste and was able to bench press 225lbs for 35 reps - I know I was in the single digits with bodyfat, but I was training hard like a fool - Well as time goes on I slowly got out of training yet still belonging to one gym and another, but wasn't training but once a week - Found after I had hip replacement my bodyweight to skyrocket to 345lbs that is right 345 and most people could not believe it - Since this past year I got back into training Hard and a lot of this is because of this site - Down at 295lbs and hoping to be at 230lbs or less my mid fall (Goal is 220lbs)- My training has been excellent- after really a 22 years layoff my strength is souring - Stamina is not there yet - Even at my age when I send in picture I hope I'll be impressive - Because of the hip replacement those days of running and jumping are over well as squats, but I can leg press and I just started doing them but with light weight and very high reps - I am going send in picture of myself, but I pledged to myself not to embarrass ones self - So I am kicking ass and taking names - I am on Reeves program, not easy but thru strong concentation I am getting thru them (staying controlled) - The reason I like the program is because it isn't easy - It stimulates the whole body without over tearing down a body part - the next day i feel more refreshed and not burned out - I have been very pleased with my progress - Shooting to be a bad ass old man again - wish me luck

Ibrahim said...

Again regarding supplements here is a good historical link about them.
And the article has many behind the scene stories as well:

UK Steve said...


As a suggestion wouldn't it be better to just stick to promoting the CPB lifestyle on this site rather than criticising other lifestyles?

To my mind if someone wants to do modern natural bb'ing then fine, if someone wants to do yoga then fine, if they want to do crossfit then fine. I am not 'okay' with people purchasing banned substances from criminal organisations - but I think its sufficient to state that a CPB lifestyle does not allow steroid use and leave it at that.

Rather than criticising the alternatives, the best argument for a CPB lifestyle is a picture of Steve Reeves at muscle beach, or Reg Park as Hercules, or Alan Stephan, along with articles demonstrating how these athletes achieved these physiques in a way that was healthy, allowed them to live normal family lives, and spurred them on to success in other areas of life. If we promote this why would anyone choose the alternatives?

Thanks for the shower tip Ibrahim - I will try this out - if it doesn't work at least I will have saved on my hot water bill!!

Kind Regards

Ibrahim said...

Steve, yeah you will save on your hot water bill, for sure Haha. That what i thought also when i heard of it.

The shower works. Of course you have to follow a well diet and have to rest good. But if you´re like me and want to build muscle (i have to put 25-30 pounds on) then it´s a great addition. Because it does not rob your of energy and if you are sore you can easily do something to get the blood flow in that area.

For me that´s one of this is the easiest way to get rid of soreness.

Johnny G said...

to UK Steve - you are right on!!!!!

Ibrahim said...

Johnny G,

your progress is very impressive.
I don´t think there would be anything embarrassing when you would send or show the photo of you with 295 lbs. A lot of people look at this term like its impossible or they go to extremes for the "summer" etc.

You really motivated me and therefore thanks.

I think you just have to take that whats useful and distract what is not.
I´m a little bit in conflict with my training. Right now i´m doing low rep stuff. Because high rep training (over 10 reps) drained me when i was on it.
I would be happy when my body would get accustomed to 5x5 system or Vern Weaver 6x6 system.

I train at home with intense (in my situation) gymnastic exercises and will start to use expanders, too. I got a little bit distracted from the gyms here. But there much more ways to get stronger and build muscles.

Now anybody don´t get me wrong, i still train with weights, mostly for the legs but i do some wrist roller stuff also then and now.

I want to be able to do gymnastic exercises on roman rings they are very intense and the leverage gives the muscle some serious work.

Johnny i think you are determined and "positively" motivated and therefore i think you will reach your goal. I would not be surprised if you hit the 230 lbs before fall.

Right now i´m getting enough nutrients in my diet to build muscle mass which i wanted for so long.(2004-now)

All the best to you all in reaching or working up to your goals.

Jeff said...


Like yourself, I have also utilized gymnastic strength training. Are you familier with Chris Sommers website?

The gymnastic training is great for strength, and conditioning towards working the fullbody concept.

Overall body conditioning is what sets fullbody programs apart from complex splits. It is the main stumbling block that I find people run into when attempting to do a fullbody routine.

They don't think about the fact that they are not trained for, and don't have the endurance built for this particular training. They run headlong into it, and burn out fast.

Then, through their lack of knowledge and understanding of how complex fullbody actually is, they dismiss it prematurely.

Johnny G said...

Ibrahim, I always say this - Eat like a Spartan - Train Like a Spartan - Look Like Spartan - Doing calisthenics I feel really developes a core strength - a overall look as well - there is really something with the P90X program and that is called intensity - For me my program has a foundation with a overall workout 3 X times a week - but I am also being instinctive training as well - Anything goes I say to a good workout - I am not going to be stuck doing just the same old same old program - but I agree if I can reach 230lbs by fall I'll be really happy - that is why I am making short range goals (10 pound increments - 290's shoot for 280's and so forth) - I'll reach my goal I am really sure of that, now that I posted it here - Last night at the gym I was really surprised on how many guys were lifting really heavy and how nothing to show for it - It would have been easy to go over and say to any one of them how to lift correctly, but I say is that proof is in the pudding - If I am looking good after awhile maybe they'll gravitate over and ask question and that is when I'll spring on them Classic Physique Training - That old saying do as I say don't do as I do does not work - People want to see results - I am really pleased that quite a few people have come over to me recently and say that they a real difference in my physique, but I'll wait a bit longer to spring on the CPB - to catch fish you got to make sure the hook is secured then whammooo you got them - Later Ibrahim

Ibrahim said...

Johnny, that´s a smart plan you have and a way to brig the people to right way. What´s the P90X program ?
Johnny, google the name "Bobby Pandour" his photos will astonish you. And he was a gymnast who did not train with weights. But his proportions are very impressive.
I guess the folks at your gym would be shocked when they asking: Which program did you use? From the 40´s or 50´s; Which supplement do you use? None; Do you have any secret?
Hard work and the basics.
Haha i think it will be very frustrating first but at the same time a wake up call for them.


yeah i´m familiar with the site. I bought the book recently.
A lot of progressive ways to get stronger. It´s weird, but i don´t found how long or how much sets the isometric holds like front lever etc. gotta be. I waited so long for this book so i jumped right into to the exercises and made a plan.
Like Anthony and Johnny said before, splits has a place in training but full body releases much more natural testosterone.
That´s why you see so much breathing squats in a beginners workout, combined with upperbody exercises.

Jeff you are into some serious bodyweight training, you have to get the "The Master Method of Strength and Bodybuilding" written by David P. Willoughby! sells it.
There are a lot of interesting training ideas. You will say oh i knew that in some places but you also will see great and ideas which you will read for the first time.
And if you train at home like me it fit perfect. It´s for "Home Gym" trainers.

Johnny G said...

( this will give ya the measurements of the past Mr.Americas - They were not that big, but they were impressive thou

Ibrahim said...

Thanks, Johnny !

What do you think about the physique of Bobby Pandour?

Johnny G said...

I was really taken impressed with Bobby Pandour - shows ya that lifting incredible amount of weights all the time are not the only way to develope a great physique - As one of the biggest guys in the gym(just in bodyweight at this time), I bet my bottom dollar I lift the lightest amount of weights compared to the others - I find it more cool to handle less and get more from my workouts - As so many people testified about Reeves as well (Reeves was strong when he had to be he could careless about the weight amount on what it produced) - He was in it to shape a body - but with me I know deep down if I wanted to in just a month or so I could be out lifting these guys but what would I prove - I am in this for ME first - But Ibrahim you & others have to honest with your workouts - I am sure that a Casey Butts, Steve Shaw or Anthony would tell ya that just lifting light will not produce the results any of you want!!! - When I see that one picture of Reeves handling 110lbs dumbells for incline benchs I am impressed - For me I still handle a fair amount of weights to stimulate - On free weights Incline Bench I still do between 225lbs to 315lbs for 4 to 20 reps with 20 reps being with 225lbs ( I rarely do 315lbs anymore just once a month to see where I am at- the most I ever did on Bench Press was 405lbs for 2 reps with pauses nothing to write home about - I did @ 230lb bodyweight 45 reps bench press, and 35 reps @ 215lb bodyweight - When I was hitting it hard I do 10 to 15 reps with 315lb bentover Barbell Rows -So saying what I am saying is that you have to be relatively strong for you before you start - I find to many people I know alot people who just lift light from the get go and never develope any kind of Physique - Reeves and others in that Golden era busted their butts lifting heavy to build a foundation first - So it becomes a matter if you or others want to be just be spectators or want to be participants - - I am 4 to 5 months out to being where I want to be - I am shooting for Awesome, I know deep down I'll get there - I have NO DOUBT - NO DOUBT

Anonymous said...


A very interesting and upbeat post, as usual.
Offtopic, I´d like to share with the community of CPBs a very interesting and not very well known fact: Sean Connery was a bodybuilder in his youth and represented Scotland in Mr. Universe (1.953 or 54), placing third. Actually, this classification led him to a contract with a drama company that eventually steered him to his acting career. If you google this, you may find more info. Actually, in the pics displayed on the net, you can see a fairly well developed body, and a very athletic frame (above all, considering his height, roughly 188 cms or 6´2´´), in line with the classic physique figures of the epoque (also, he was a model and used to pose for artists).

Kind regards from Spain!!

//Juan Pablo

Ron Campbell said...

I have found the Classic Physique Builder site excellant but was not able to post a comment in the past because of lack of computer knowledge.I had actually posted my comments on my blog Classic Bodybuilding Memories by mistake. I have been a bodybuilder and a collector of bodybuilding magazines and memorabilia for 50 years and hope to post comments on this site in the future