Old School Bodybuilders in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s had tremendous physiques along with the strength to go with it. They learnt through trial and error what worked and what didn’t.
The most common thing between them is that they ate a diet based around a lot of RED MEAT, EGGS AND DAIRY, along with some fish, vegetables and fruits. In fact, they ate very little carbohydrates unlike modern bodybuilders who live on chicken and rice (and have no energy). This diet high in saturated fats and quality protein kept them strong, healthy and vital, along with allowing them to develop incredible muscularity.
Examples of old school bodybuilders include John Grimek, Vince Gironda, Reg Park and Steve Reeves.
The common training schedule back in the day was FULL BODY WORKOUTS 3 DAYS PER WEEK, WITH REST IN BETWEEN. The emphasis then was to train hard, progressively increasing the weights/volume, along with plenty of rest, recovery and good foods. The reason for this style of training, in comparison to modern day bodybuilding splits, is due to a much lower usage and availability of steroids and other bodybuilding drugs. It is the high amounts of drugs used today in which allow bodybuilders to train each muscle one day per week and do hundreds of sets.
Protein synthesis lasts 48 hours after training. What this means for a natural is that training each muscle one day per week is highly ineffective compared to hitting the full body as a unit 3 days a week with 1 day rest in between each of them.
GAINING WEIGHT- THE OLD SCHOOL WAY
A typical method of gaining weight back in the day was to drink heavy cream mixed with protein powder and raw eggs. In fact, Vince Gironda had many of his athletes drinking a shake consisting of 12 raw eggs, heavy cream and protein powder 2/3 time per day in order to bulk up.
Nowadays bodybuilders tell you that you must eat chicken and rice every 2-3 hours of the day in order to keep insulin spiked and protein levels high. The problem with this is that these foods are low in fat, which is necessary for hormone production. Also, when you don’t eat for a while growth hormone increases. Therefore it is best to eat 2-3 big meals a day instead of 6+ small meals.
The truth is, gaining weight is very simple and easy. Eat 3 big meals consisting of Meats, Eggs, Fish, Cheese, and some vegetables/avocados. And then supplement this with heavy cream and protein shakes in between meals. You can also add in extra high-fat snacks such as almond butter and macadamia nuts, 100 grams of these contain over 600/700 calories.
Here is my old school mass gain diet- 5000+ Calories:
Steak or Beef Mince
6 Scrambled Eggs cooked in Butter
Salmon or Mackerel
ANY MEAT- Pork Ribs, Duck, Liver, Pork Belly, Lamb, Beef
100 Grams Almond Butter
100 Grams Macadamia Nuts
SHAKE- Drink 1-2x per day
200ml Heavy Cream
1 Scoop Grass Fed Vanilla Protein
1 teaspoon Cacao Powder (Optional)
Raw Eggs (Optional)
Cod Liver Oil
RED BEAST and RED PCT2.0 to keep testosterone high and estrogen low
Once you have got your diet set up, it is important to develop good sleeping habits making sure to get 8+ hours per night.
And of course, you must be following a solid training routine in order to break down your muscles and develop strength.
Here are some links to some classic full body routines that WORK:
Choose a routine you like and STICK WITH IT. Get a training diary and track every set, rep and weight you do. Make sure that you progress as much as possible, by aiming to add more weight, get more reps, or decrease rest intervals in between sets.
Developing a physique is simple. But it does require hard work, dedication and discipline. And most importantly you must BE CONSISTENT over a period of many years. Rome was not built in one day and so won’t your body. It takes time and patience to develop great muscle and strength.
So Lift Weights, Eat a lot and Sleep a lot. Make sure your hormones are in check, keeping your testosterone levels high and estrogen levels low. The 3 aspects of bodybuilding are Diet, Training and Hormones. Anyone of those isn’t right and you won’t make the gains you want.