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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the greatest bodybuilder ever, Sergio Oliva. He died on November 12, 2012. He may be gone but he will live on forever as an inspiration to aspiring bodybuilders all over the world. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday mentioned Oliva in a Twitter message: “Oliva was one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time & a true friend,” Schwarzenegger said. “A fierce competitor w/ a big personality - one of a kind.”

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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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In the golden era of bodybuilding before steroids entered the scene workouts consisted of full body workouts 3 times a week. This type of workout gave enough time to recover between workouts. If you're natural you need this time for your muscles and nervous system to recover properly. So why did training frequency change in the mid 50's and onward? Anabolic steroid use began which allowed for quicker recovery between workouts and greater gains.

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Aleksandr Karelin was the best and most feared Olympic wrestler ever. He was feared because of his power which enabled him to lift his opponents off the ground and suplex them to the mat much to their horror. He was heavily drug tested and never failed a single test. He was very dedicated in his training and it showed. This was written on his website sometime in 2006:

About my trainings

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Leroy Colbert was the first bodybuilder to build 21 inch biceps 100% drug free. Below are the youtube videos where he goes into detail on how to build large muscular arms.

 

Leory would have 6 favorite bicep workouts and of those 6 he chooses 2 for his workouts. Leroy would train 3 times a week fullbody. Leroy would do 8 to 10 sets of 6 to 10 reps.

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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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Jack Lalanne was a pioneer in advocating the need to exercise and be fit. He led by example and was known as "the godfather of fitness". He lived to be 96, which is something I fear many current bodybuilders won't reach. His workout and healthy eating lifestyle is a classic example of what true classic physique training can accomplish for health and vitality.

1) Exercise and Nutrition. " …Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom!" 

 

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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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Arm Routine

Monday and Thursday

1. Pressdowns

2. Dips 1 cycle

3. Extensions – 2 sets

4. Regular curls

5. Chins 1 cycle

6. Preacher curls – 2 sets

 

The first two exercises should be done together with no rest between. The third exercise, extensions, can follow after a minimal rest. Do one cycle of the first two exercises and two sets maximum for the third. That will give you a total of four sets for the triceps.

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* (H.E.S.) Stands for Heavier Each Set.

On Monday's and Friday's: (Back, Biceps, and Legs)

1. Warmup Sit-ups: 3 sets of  25 to 50 reps

2. Squats: 6 sets of15--10--8--6--6--4  (H.E.S.) 

3. Calf Machine: 6 sets of 10 reps

4. Leg Curls: 4 sets of 12--10--8--6 reps (H.E.S.)

5. Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 8--7--6--6 reps (H.E.S.)

6. Deadlifts: 5sets of 8--7--6--5--5 reps (H.E.S.)

7. Leg Curls: 4sets of 12--10--8--6 reps (H.E.S.)

8. Dips: 4 sets of 12 reps

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Larry Scott was the first Mr. Olympia in 1965 and then won it again in 1966. He was also famous for devolping his biceps on Vince Gironda's preacher curl machine which is also sometimes called a scott curl after him. Larry Scott was one of the first bodybuilders to have 20 inch upper arms. Below is one of his bicep and tricep workouts.

Larry’s Arm Workout

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Joe Weider died of heart failure on March 23, 2013 at his home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 92. He is survived by his wife Betty. Joe Weider helped make bodybuilding what it today. His magazines, contests and other health and fitness endeavors catapulted the sport's popularity along with the unique characters his magazine introduced us to was none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leroy Colbert, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane, Mike Katz, Sergio Oliva, Larry Scott, Robby Robinson and many more. He's probably in Heaven arranging the first Mr.

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"Iron Mike" Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion and youngest man to ever win the WBC, WBA, and IBF world heavyweight titles at just a 20 year old kid. His raw power and ability to knockout even the toughest of guys made his opponents look like they all had glass jaws. "Kid Dynamite" won his first 19 professional bouts by knockout, 12 in the first round, and is often considered to be one of the greatest. Below is a sample of his workout he did in his prime which was performed 7 days a week:

 

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Denny and Robby train back

Click on image to view PDF

 

 

Sources:

Muscle Builder Training Partner Series Part 4 with Deny Gable and Robby Robinson

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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

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