Old School Exercises You Should Be Doing

Old School Bodybuilding Exercises Generation Iron
circa 1895: German strong-man Eugene Sandow (1867 - 1925) lifting weights and dumbbells. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)

Bring back these classic old school workouts

Bodybuilding is an endeavor that’s all about finding the perfect training routine that will give you the gains you seek. When it comes to sculpting muscle you’ll have to go through a series of trial and error in order to discover what exercises work best with your body type. Choosing to transform your body is truly a daunting task. There can be no half measures, no quick fixes. It’s all about making the necessary improvements through hard work and dedication.

To many younger bodybuilders, as well as individuals new to lifting, the notion that innovation is the key to growth is a bit misconstrued. Sure, new exercises and machines may be great in the way of accessibility and could prove to be very effective for muscle building, but that doesn’t change the fact that the classic exercises still provide some of the best results for building a strong and aesthetic physique.

All that being said, it would seem that many bodybuilders are forgetting about some of the classic exercises that provided some of the best gains ever since they were created. We’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest classic exercises that many present day bodybuilders may be neglecting, but should never forget.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Arnold Press

A dumbbell press named after Arnold, this shoulder exercise was a great innovation during its heyday. The rotation of the dumbbells on the way up add a greater range of motion, which means attacking multiple muscle in the shoulders. This means activating more muscle fibers and growth.

deadliftSteve Reeves: Pinch-grip Deadlift

We’ve all seen the normal deadlift before, a great exercise for building up the back, but this variation can help your gains in a number of ways. This Steve Reeves derivative means grasping hold of the outward facing weighted plates, a lifting it up, barbell and all for an exercise that will work your forearms, legs, lower back, and improve your grip strength.

Dave Draper: Curl and Press

It’s hard to believe that you don’t see this move being performed in every gym across the globe. Dave Draper’s inspired exercise is basically a two in one affair. The movement is both a shoulder press and a curl all wrapped into one exercise. You get two exercises for the price of one and would work perfectly on any biceps, triceps, or shoulder days.

Eugen Sandow: Screw Press (a.k.a. Bent Press)

This one is more of a strongman lift, but nevertheless, it’s definitely an exercise you should consider adding to your routine. Why? Because functional strength is just as important to build up as much as your biceps. If you want to lift heavy then you’ll have to consider building up your overall strength. This classic made famous by Eugene Sandow himself is definitely a routine that should always be in style.

So what’s your favorite old school exercise? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jacob Ladon is a staff writer and former amateur bodybuilder. He has been passionate about bodybuilding since he was 15 years old and discovered the joys of training in the gym. He reports and comments on all bodybuilding related matters.