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Below is the first workout routine Steve Reeves followed 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). He trained in his garage with a 200 pound weight set he purchased with money saved from a paper route job he had.

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WWE CEO Vince McMahon usually trains four days a week (depending on his work schedule) and trains each body part once a week. He alternates between “Heavy” and “Not-So-Heavy” days for each body part. He trains calves every third day and abs twice a week.

Vince posing by bench press

Day 1 - Chest and Triceps

Heavy Day

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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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Below is rare video of the late great Sergio Oliva training his biceps:

Sergio Oliva double bicep pose

Bulky Sergio Oliva posing

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The Steve Reeves Workout: Monday/Wednesday/Friday rest Saturday and Sunday.

 

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Swings 3 15-20
Upright Rows 3 8-12
Bench Press 3 8-12
One Arm Row 3 8-12
Dumbbell Laterals 3 8-12
Incline Press 3 8-12
Tricep Pressdown 3 8-12
Barbell Curls 3 8-12
Seated DB Curls 3 8-12
Squats supersetted with... 3 8-12
Pullovers 3 8-12
Breathing Squats 3 8-12
Dumbbell Laterals 1 20
Deadlifts 2 8-12
Good Mornings 2 8-12
 

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Below is the 1st of three courses from his book: Building Bulk And Power. The book is more detailed and a recomended buy for any fan of Bill Pearl. He sells it on his website

 

Sergio Oliva and Bill Pearl 1971 Mr. Universe contest

 

Course Number One

 

Follow this course of exercises for a six weeks period:

 

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  • He trained in the morning usually 6-9am. Each workout would last 2½ - 3 hours.
  • A typical pre-workout meal would be a cup of coffee maybe a can of tuna and a protein shake that tasted like dirt - yummy.
  • He would change his workouts every 4-6 weeks.

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The wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino was born on October 6, 1935 in Italy. He came to United States of America in 1950. Due to the hardships he endured in Italy because of German occupation when he came to the USA he was very thin and spoke very little English. Due to this he was bullied in school which drove him to weightlifting to build his body up. He took up power lifting and Olympic lifts as his workouts to build himself up. His story resonates with many of us who dealt with or deal with being skinny, thin or out of shape and have to deal with being bullied.

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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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Ronald Walker: December 22nd, 1907 - October 25th, 1948. Yorkshire born Ron Walker was an Olympic Weightlifter who, in his lifetime, held 26 British Heavyweight records. From 1938 he ran a postal Physical Development Course in London. After years of deteriorating health starting in 1940 he finally succumbed to cancer of the stomach and died in 1948. He is still held in very high regard in the world of weightlifting.

Lesson 1

Click on image to view full size

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Sergio Oliva is the only bodybuilder to ever defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger at a Mr. Olympia contest. He was also the second bodybuilder to win the Mr. Olympia, the first being Larry Scott. He was also the first black bodybuilder to win Mr. America, Mr. World, Mr. International, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia. When he first started lifting weights it was for power lifting which many believe contributed to his muscle density and mass. Later on his training would evolve to what ended up working best for him.

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The following two images contain the routine that Mike Mentzer used prior to his Heavy Duty training and how his physique was built. You will note this routine is nothing like what Mike advocated later in his career. It is not one set to failure. The program is reported to be one Mike actually followed to a "T".

Mike Mentzer's Routine Page 1

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This was Steve Reeves diet during his competing days.

8:00 a.m. : Breakfast:

Steve Reeves Power Drink (prepared in blender)

* 14 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice

* 1 tablespoon of Knox gelatin

* 1 tablespoon of honey

* 1 banana

* 2-4 raw eggs (today, pasteurized eggs might be safer)

* 2 tablespoons of High-Protein Powder (he makes his own)

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Workout

(On either Monday, Wednesday, or Friday)

Noon - Lunch