Monday, May 31, 2010

Workout Frequency for Building a Classic Physique: Challenging Conventional Wisdom!

(Photo Above: CPB Champ Armand Tanny, Mr. Pro America 1949, Mr. USA 1950)

With all of the misinformation in the modern, roid-based, muscle mags of today, we have quite a challenge in sorting through all the "conventional wisdom" that just doesn't work for us non-roid users - who just want to build a great looking, classic physique! In our last post, we touched on the subject of all the modern hype regarding supplements. In this post, let's touch on the subject of workout frequency.

Remember, with all the modern "advice" - much of which is hype - you must always ask yourself "Who is this advice really good for - me or the supplement companies or fitness centers?" If you ask this question frequently, you might begin to see through all the hype.

With that said, it is pretty much the "conventional wisdom" these days that beginners should be put on a 4-5 day (even 6 day) splits - exercising each part of the body one day a week. You see this advice in the modern, roid-based muscle mags. You hear it from the "personal/certified trainers" at the modern gyms/fitness centers. In fact, if you are a classic physique builder and tell the personal trainers at the fitness center that you are doing 3 full body workouts each week, they would probably think you are crazy! If you get this reaction from them, then this is a sure sign that they don't know anything about the pre-roid Golden Age! They probably have no idea who Steve Reeves is or any of the other CPB Champs! is the truth about workout frequency in the pre-roid Golden Age: the standard that all beginners and almost everyone else followed was to do 3 full body workouts per week! Yes...that is right! Each muscle was being exercised 3 times per week - not just once! And people were in the gym 3 days a week, not 4-6 days. If you don't believe this, then just look at practically any issue of the muscle mags of the pre-roid Golden Age (the 1940s and 50s) like Your Physique, Muscle Power, Muscle Builder, Iron Man, Strenth & Health, etc.

Let's put it this way....the practice of doing 4-6 day splits, working each muscle once a week, was largely UNKOWN during the pre-roid Golden Age - certainly for beginners! None of the classic physiques of the CPB Champs were produced by following this kind of advice. Yes...there was some (repeat "some") split training done for very specialized reasons by advanced trainers (e.g., a couple of weeks right before a contest). But split training was not the norm. Yet, clearly, with their 3 full body workouts per week approach, those of the Golden Age were able to produce classic physiques just fine! So don't let anyone tell you that your muscles can only take being stimulated once a week! And don't let anyone tell you that you need to be in the gym 4-6 days a week either!

In fact, it was pretty standard in the Golden Age that a person could build a classic physique, usually, within two years. So Golden Age methods work and they work really well! How many classic physiques have been built today on the modern advice of doing 4-6 day splits and working each muscle once a week?!

Now, there is a lot to say on this subject, but let's come back to our earlier questions. Who benefits the most from the prevailing "conventional wisdom" - you or the supplement companies & gyms?

Let's take the gyms first. It is no suprise that their "trainers" will tell you that you should be in the gym 4-6 days a week. Why? Because if you are in the gym that often, then you will be far less likely to drop your gym membership. Also, a lot of the gyms sell other products that you are more likely to buy if you are there - such as supplements, workout clothes & accessories, workout drinks, etc. The gyms/fitness centers have a monetary "bottom line." They are a business. They must maintain a certain number of paying memberships to cover all their "overhead" (expenses) and make a profit. Nothing wrong with that - except when they start tailoring their workout advice for their benefit and not yours!!! So who is really benefitting from a 4-6 day split - the beginner or the gym/fitness center?

What about the supplement companies? They also love the 4-6 day split training each muscle only once a week approach! Why? Because if you are working out practically every day, you are more likely to think you need more supplements! Take a look at all those pre- and post workout drinks that they push. If you work out only 3 times a week (or even twice) then you are talking about 4 - 6 drinks. If you are working out 4-6 times per week (and buying pre- and post workout drinks) then we are talking about 8-12 drinks! They can sell you twice as many drinks and double their profit! That's not to mention all the other supplements you will be tempted to buy since you are working out so much! AND since working each muscle once a week will lead to slow progress, you will be all the more tempted to buy supplements to "speed up your results!"

So the "conventional wisdom" of 4-6 day splits and working muscles once a week is great for the gyms/fitness centers and the supplement companies! But what about you?

Don't you think it is funny that men were able to build classic physiques in the 1940s and 50s on 3 (or even 2) full body workouts per week with no problem (and no supplements) and yet now the modern muscle mags seem to have forgotten this? In fact, they seem to have "conveniently" forgotten all about the pre-roid Golden Age haven't they? Doesn't it seem as though their sense of history begins with Arnold (and other 1st generation roid users)??? Well...I guess the truth of history would hurt their "bottom line," wouldn't it?


P.S. If you would like 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, 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 with anyone. So you won't get on any unwanted lists or receive any unwanted automated spam (even from us)!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nutritional Supplements for Classic Physique Building: The Truth!

(Photo Above: Pre-Roid Golden Age Magazines - Strength & Health August 1950 (top), Your Physique April 1950 (bottom))

In the modern, roid-based bodybuilding world of today, we are surrounded and bombarded with HYPE! If you pick up any modern muscle or fitness mag, almost 1/3 to 1/2 of the pages will be devoted to supplement ads! From the sheer quantity of all those ads (not to mention their sales pitches), one would think that the major activity of anyone interested in building muscle is learning about, buying, and taking the right supplements! In fact, one is bombarded so much by so many ads that psychologically one might begin to think that making any kind of significant gains is impossible without all those high-tech, cutting edge supplements!

Well...we've said it before and we will say it again - that is pure HYPE!

The history of the pre-roid Golden Age of Classic Physique Building (the 1940s and 50s) tells us the plain, simple truth - and here it is for all to see for yourselves! Take a look at the photos above. The top photo is the cover of Bob Hoffman's Strength & Health magazine August, 1950 issue. The bottom photo is the cover of Joe Weider's Your Physique magazine April 1950 issue. Just look at those physiques on the covers! Did they have cutting edge NO boosters? Did they have high-tech, thermogenic fat-burners? Did they have the latest "legal steroid" supplements that are so widely advertised in today's muscle mags? Did they even have decent protein powders? The plain and simple truth is NO!!!!!

That's right! In those two issues, which were typical for 1950 (right in the middle of the pre-roid Golden Age), there wasn't a single ad for anything that would pass for a modern, nutritional supplement!!! In the Strength & Health issue, there was ZERO nutritional supplement ads! In the Your Physique issue, there was one quaint ad for "Doc Tilney's VI-BE-ON" which was a B vitamin supplement "for the whole family" and an ad for "Doc Tilney's Peppermint Tea." That's it!

With this information, now the truth should become obvious to you. All those classic physiques on the covers of those two mags - those of Clancy Ross (Mr. America 1945), Alan Stephan (Mr. America 1946), Steve Reeves (Mr. America 1947), and George Eiferman (Mr. America 1948) - were ALL BUILT WITHOUT A SINGLE MODERN NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT!

And they weren't the only ones who built classic physiques in the pre-roid Golden Age without supplements! Just pick up any muscle mag from 1940-1950 and you will see plenty more who built fantastic physiques as well!

So, they weren't spending serious money on supplements were they? Well then, what were they doing? They were eating a high protein diet of real food with meats, dairy, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains on 3 meals a day in most cases (and perhaps a snack)!

Just remember that next time you are at the magazine counter and are flipping through the latest issues of MuscleMag, Flex, MD, Reps, IronMan, Planet Muscle, Muscle & Fitness, or any of the other junk that passes for "muscle mags" these days! These mags are loaded with HYPE (not to mention that most of the nutritional supplement ads actually feature steroid users) and you are paying for it and supporting it with your hard earned cash if you buy them!

The truth hits these modern, roid-based mags right in the pocket book (i.e., threatens their income from supplement company advertisements - which is how they make most of their money). This is why ALL of those mags stay as far away from the pre-roid Golden Age as possible and effectively pretend that none of this history exists!


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, state/province, and country to us at That's it! Any info you send us is confidential. We don't share info with anyone. So you won't get on any unwanted lists or receive any spam (not even from us)!