Natural Bodybuilding: 3 Awesome Old School Principles to Live By

Train like an old school, natural bodybuilder.

When it comes to natural bodybuilding, the old school players new exactly how to train for the best results. They held to principles that were far more simplistic in order to get the most gains. Before steroids were introduced as an option for bodybuilders, athletes had to train differently. While there are tons of supplements and even gear to be utilized in the modern age, for a natural athlete looking to keep themselves completely clean, old school bodybuilding theory and practice is definitely the avenue to travel down.


Here are some great principles to live be as a natural bodybuilder looking to make solid, quality gains.

Full Body Workouts

Training splits were handled far differently back in the old days. The major difference was that a bodybuilder aimed to train the entire body in one workout rather than focusing on individual muscle groups on a given day. There was no chest day or back day or leg day. Instead the focus was on training the entire body as a unit.

For the most part bodybuilders trained three times a week with a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday approach to their split. On those days they would target everything from the chest, shoulders, back, legs, and arms, training every muscle group with classic staples like the bench press, squats, barbell rows, and far more.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of this approach is that it could be time consuming meaning a lifter would stay in the gym for extended periods of time. This can be modified these days by either choosing to add an extra day to the process and reducing volume or by simply mixing and matching body parts. Whatever body part is lacking can be doubled up on or trained on every day of the split, while stronger body parts can be trained once or twice a week.

Volume

Speaking of volume, reps and sets in old school bodybuilding were also treated differently. Usually reps and sets were 10×10 (10 reps, 10 sets) on each particular exercise. That kind of volume for each body part meant the muscles were getting absolutely thrashed during every training session. That kind of volume meant the muscles would be taking a great deal of damage in order to adapt and grow.

This immense volume would also increase muscle strength, hormone production, and even bone density. Training in this manner can be punishing which is why you’ll need proper rest in order to prevent your body from breaking down.

Recovery

Which leads us to another ideology, recovery. For those using steroids and other forms of gear, recovery is as simple as one, two, three. For those of us wishing to keep their bodies clean and free of foreign agents, being sure to have a solid recovery day in mind is absolutely paramount.

There’s a reason that the old school bodybuilders trained every other day. If you’re putting yourself through a full body workout then it’s necessary to take those off days and use them to recovery from the thrashing you put your body through the day before. Steroid users have the benefit of recovering fast due to the extra help. As a natty, the only alternative is resting your body, which means having more down time, but ultimately if your goal is to avoid anabolic substances then this is going to be your best and only option. Exercising patience is ultimately the key to success as a natty.

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Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his InstagramTwitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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