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This is the bodybuilding Guru Vince Gironda's famous honest workout routine.

Monday/Thursdays

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In an article in Your Physique magazine (Sept 1950 issue), Alan talks about the general rules for a beginner to follow in putting together a muscle building program. He said:

"All you need to do is follow the right exercises, eat plenty of nourishing food and get as much rest and relaxation on your non training days as you possibly can." 

"Let's deal with the right exercises first. If you build a schedule around either the deep knee bend (squats) or the dead lift and take it from there, you are on the right track." 

"The fundamental movements such as the supine press (bench press) or any of its variants - bench presses of incline presses - , curls, rowing motions, squats, or dead lifts or leg presses combined with sets of bent arm pullovers, are the best." 

For the beginner - do 1 set of each exercise for the 1st month, 2 sets the second month, 3 sets the third month. Workout twice a week (e.g., Tue and Sat, or Mon and Fri). For the 1st workout, use light weights just to get used to the exercises. For the second workout, try to determine for each exercise the amount of weight you can handle to complete 8 reps (with good form) and no more. Then, at each successive workout, try to increase your reps by 1 or 2, until you reach the top of the rep range. At that point, add a little weight to the bar. Continue in this fashion for the course. Keep your focus on this process of increasing reps, then increasing poundage. This is how you use the principle of "progressive resistance." It is this process of gradually increasing your strength and poundage that will result in larger muscles!

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Mon-Thurs-Sat

Lats and Arms:

- Wide grip chins 5x6-8 reps

- Long pulley lat exercise 5x10 reps

- Straight arm Pullover 5x10reps

- Lat Pulley Pull-ins 5x10 reps

- Incline Dumbbell Curls 5x10 reps

- Preacher curl 4x10 reps

- Gironda Bicep bench curl 4x10 reps

- Concentration Curl 4x10 reps

- One arm Seated triceps press 6x10 reps

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Chest Workout

Bertil Fox and Lee Haney

Bertil Fox and Lee Haney

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Denny and Robby Training Chest

Click on image to view PDF

 

 

Sources:

Muscle Builder Training Partner Series Part 3 with Deny Gable and Robby Robinson

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Arnold's Level 1 Exercise Program from his book Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.

Monday and Thursday

Chest

Bench Press: 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Incline Press: 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Pullovers: 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Back

Chin-Ups: (do as many repetitions at a time as you can until you reach a total of 50 reps)

Bent-Over Rows: 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps

Power Training

Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10, 6, 4 reps to failure

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Chet Yorton experimented for a while with diferent weight lifting routines until he settle with the one he used for the rest of his career. He used a push-pull routine. Mondays he trained chest, shoulders and triceps. Tuesdays he trained back, biceps and legs. Then next day he would take it off and then repeat the routine. All exercises are 4 exercises per body part for 5 sets and 8-10 reps except chest. For chest he would use 300lbs for 100 reps total. So he would do sets until he reached 100 reps and then do 1 rep with 405.  Full workout below:

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Ken McCord trained 4 days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The week days were split workouts so in the morning at 5:30am he trained upper body then at night he would do lower body, this would be done on all 3 days.

Sundays were a basic all round light workout which would have been great for recovery. He was also a brown belt in Karate and ran 1 to 2 miles most days. Bodybuilders in those day tended to be a little more interested in being athletic.

The lifts mostly used were the basic bodybuilding movements of the day, with a variety of exercises used per body part to hit them from all angles. He also changed his routines every 4 to 6 weeks to keep shocking his muscles. 

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What has happened to the sport of bodybuilding? I recently started working out again after about a 10 year break and I've made an effort to catch up on the bodybuilding scene. What I'm seeing from this new era of bodybuilding is discouraging. It seems like to achieve those physiques large amounts of combined drugs are needed. I was almost turned off from continuing my training. Luckily I still had the movie Pumping Iron lying around. Well needless to say it motivated the hell out of me.

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During most of the year Danny "the Giant Killer" trains 4 to 6 days a week He always follows the same split. Day 1 Chest and Back. Day 2 Shoulders and Arms. Day 3 legs. Repeat. If he misses a workout, (which he often does, he doesn’t worry about it, he just does that workout when he returns to the gym. During this time he does 2 to 3 exercises per body-part for 5 sets of 12 reps. Danny uses the same weight in each set. When he can get 12 reps on all 5 sets, he’ll add weight during the next workout. His rest between sets is short. No longer than a minute. Even though the volume is high Danny completes these workouts in just over an hour… This is another way of keeping the intensity high which was taught by Vince Gironda, Bill Pearl and other great trainers of “the golden era” of bodybuilding. 

 

Chest and Back 

Bench Press 2-3 warm-up sets then 5 X 12

Incline 5 X 12

Flys 5 X 12

Dumbbell Pullovers 5 X 12

Chins 5 X 12

Bent Barbell Rows 5 X 12

Cable Pull-ins 5 X 12

Once a week he does Deadlifts 5 X 12

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The workout below is to be done 3 times a week:

The Workout

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George Eiferman's Advanced Routine consists of 11 exercises that are done, in general, for 3 sets of 7-10 reps. George’s routine emphasizes mass and power building.

 

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Charles Atlas

 

Charles Atlas daily exercise routine he maintained until about age 77:

  • 50 knee bends
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 300 push-ups
  • Daily run on the beach

The last 2 years of his life he spent reading the bible and running on the beach.

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Finding information regarding Mr. T's workout routines online is quite a task. So for fans interested in how the star of Rocky III built his menacing frame I've included his training routine he used when he was a bodyguard. Read more below:

This was taken from an early excerpt from Mr. T on his bodyguard workout done each day. At one point this workout was doubled on the reps, Heavy bag and running increased to 2 miles.

 

Daily