Resurrecting Old – School Training and diet Methods part # 1


For todays blog segment I would like to go over and discuss old school training and dieting methods. As stated before, the trend on going back to old school methods of training has gained popularity. The reason for this popularity is because many old school training methods just simply work and work big time. I plan to write a series of old school training methods and programs in the sport of bodybuilding and probably some boxing and wrestling as well.

Back in the golden era of bodybuilding, the training routines and programs many of the champs used was incredibly simple and easy to understand. If you notice by reading many of the muscle mags of the 1970’s, many of the bodybuilding champs followed a similar training routine quite similar to the ones Arnold used. This is basically why we do not see to many other champs of that era discussing their training methods and routines because if you read Arnolds programs, with some slight exceptions, you are reading their training program as well. Guys like Ken Waller, Ed Corney, Franco Columbu, Rick Drasin and Arnold Schwarzenegger all followed a similar training and diet regimin.

The physiques that were developed during that time were the most impressive male physiques the world has ever seen. Many of the champs had that perfect V-taper. A V-taper is when the male upper body has a V shape. Starting with wide shoulders, wide lats, and moving down in size to a tight waist like a V.Also one of the most unique things was that each bodybuilder had a very unique look and personality, unlike many of the champs today, which basically all look the same and have close to zero personallity.

For this article we will review the typical bodybuilding program many of the bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, Boyer Coe, Bill Grant, and other bodybuilders from the golden era of bodybuilding were doing.

The workout routine they used was a high-volume type of training approach. In simple terms high volume means they did a whole lot of work to achieve their physiques and spent many hours working their bodies paying their dues; both in the gym and in the kitchen.

Todays top bodybuilders follow a routine of working out one bodypart per week for about one hour per session. For example, they may work Chest on Monday, Back on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday, Legs on Thursday, Shoulders and Arms on Friday, and rest on Saturday and Sunday. I tried this type of program and it does have its merrit but I find that the muscles do not get much work. At least that has been my expirence.

The 70s era bodybuilders were in the gym 6 days per week doing lots of heavy work, resting very little, and spending a long time in the gym to achieve that perfect look.

Everyone in the sport of bodybuilding must see what works for them. Every person is different in what their bodies can take and adapt to. The routine we are going to see here is not written in stone. You can customize it to fit your needs. You can follow this program by preforming 2 set per exercise of do the whole 5 sets per body part exercises.

Bodypart split of the 1970s era bodybuilders:

Monday: Chest and Back

Tuesday: Shoulders and Arms

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Chest and Back

Friday: Shoulders and Arms

Saturday: Legs

Sunday: Rest

A Four day a week training regimin would look like this:

Monday: Chest Shoulders and Back

Tuesday: Legs and Arms

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Chest, Shoulders and Back

Friday: Legs and Arms

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Also Based of Frank Zane’s book “Personal Training Diaries” the push pull method was used as well and it is as follows:

Monday: Chest-Shoulders and Triceps

Tuesday: Back and Biceps

Wednesday: Legs and calves

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Chest-Shoulders and Triceps

Saturday: Back and Biceps

Sunday: Legs and Calves

Abdominals, Calves, Neck and Trapezius work was done 4-6 times per week or as needed.The seventies bodybuilders would typically start their routine with abdominal or calf work (if needed).

After the abs and calves they would start with their hardest and heaviest exercise. The exercises they used were the most basic, multi-joint movements that build the most muscle. They would start with the hardest and heaviest and work towards the lightest exercises. For example: On Chest and back day, they would start off with the bench press or incline bench press if upper pecs were a weak point. This would usually be followed by an isolation exercise like dumbell flys or cable flys.

Monday and Thursday:

Leon Brown Spotting Franco Columbu

Chest Exercises:

Flat Barbell Bench Press / Incline Barbell Bench Press / Dips / Chest Flyes / Dumbbell Pullovers

Back Exercises:

Pullups / Chinups / Bent Rows / T-Bar Rows / Deadlifts

Tuesday and Friday

Shoulder Exercises:

Military Press / Behind the Neck Press / Dumbbell Overhead Press or Arnold pressesĀ / Front Dumbbell Raises / Side Dumbbell Raises

Biceps Exercises:

Barbell Curls / Dumbbell Curls / Incline Dumbbell Curls / Concentration Curls

Triceps Exercises:

Standing French Press / Skullcrushers / Close Grip Bench Press / Cable Pulldowns / Cable Pushdowns

Wednesday and Saturday

Leg Exercises:

Squats / Hack Squats / Leg Press / Leg Extensions / Leg Curls

Daily or as Needed

Abdominal Exercises:

Situps / Rope Crunches

Calf Exercises:

Standing Calf Raises / Donkey Calf Raises / Seated Calf Raises

Forearm Exercises:

Seated Barbell Wrist Curls/ Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls / Behind the Back Barbell Wrist Curls / Hammer Curls / Reverse Barbell Curls

Neck exercises:

Wrestlers Bridges / Neck Curls / Neck Harness Curls

The Routine was and is usually executed like this:

Monday – Thursday:


Bench press 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps, Dumbbell Flys 5 sets of 8 to 12 reps, Incline Presses 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps and so forth.

(NOTE: go to “The Old School Bodybuilding Routine” to get more details.)

Here are a two phase bodybuilding training program Arnold used in his day to develop his fantastic physique. You can download these and print them out for your use. I am currently following this program myself.



Diet and Nutrition

The typical diets many of the champs used consisted of a high protein moderate fat low carb type of diet. They ate a lot of protein and saturated fat. Whole raw eggs were consumed by many as a staple protein/fat source. Steak, Beef, Chicken, and Tuna were staple protein sources as well along with Milk and Egg protein powders. Carbohydrates were eaten during mass building or bulking (putting on weight) phases and were gradually reduced during cutting (losing weight) phases. Many of them made their own protein shakes consisting of raw eggs, milk powder and whatever else they could think to add. In the book “Vince Gironda Secret Locker” by Karl Coyne on pages 61 and 62 we read about a diet that Vince would recommend to get “maximum definition,” which is increadibly similar to what many bodybuilders do today. Down Load and read the two articles here: Vince Gironda pgs 61 – 62

Note: If you wish to purchase the book by Karl Coyne go here—->>>>>>Vince Gironda Book 001

Vinces Secret Locker

This book will give you many old school insights to diet training supplements that still work today and can be applied today. I will have much much more to come on this topic. Enjoy the informative videos from these legends of muscle building.


2 thoughts on “Resurrecting Old – School Training and diet Methods part # 1”

  1. You and I are following this program. I want to try out Arnolds program whare he training twice a day and worked each muscle group three times a week. But only for two week though.

  2. Yes I plan to do the program with you as training partners. Two week as well then the leveling off. I also plan to hire JD Bodybuilding to further help.

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