Old School to New School: Timeless tips from Bodybuilding Legends

The truth is, there are times that no matter how hard you train, it does not always workout (pun intended) the way you want it. Some people find it easier to sculpt their physique while others have to do lots of bulking and then cutting to come close to their goals. It’s simple, it’s because of genetics. However, old school bodybuilders have found many ways around this. In this article we look at some old school techniques from bodybuilding legends that will enable you to make the most out of what you have so you can also get the body of your dreams.

Some of the greats! Image Credit: T-Nation

Knowing Your Body Type

There are 3 basic body types: ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs. You should always customize your diet and workout routine according to your body type to meet the best results.

Ectomorphs – Their bodies are thin and tend to have small bones. They may eat a lot but do not seem to gain weight. These natural “hard gainers” need to eat more calories and the best is to focus on healthy fats because of their higher calorie density. Plenty of post workout carbs can help fuel growth as well. Ectomorphs are people who can have a really hard time gaining muscle mass so don’t forget the protein either, 100-150 g per day should be good for most.Mesomorphs – These people have an athletic build without much effort. Their bone structure is medium-sized, often with good lean mass composition already from the start. Diet can generally be mixed, with almost an equal breakdown in the amount of macronutrients.Endomorphs – These people have large bone structures. They naturally have a higher body fat profile and overall body mass. They have a higher tendency to store food as fat, so their diet should include less carbs and more proteins and fats. Focusing on a high protein intake with moderate/high fat and zero carbs, will help Endomorphs lean out and improve body composition.

It can be very rewarding to be a mesomorph, requiring minimal efforts with diet and exercise and still achieving a lean, athletic body. Sadly, we do not get to choose our body type. It’s in our genes and we can’t exactly select what genes we get. What we can do is to try to beat our genetics and get the body we want using the right methods.

3 Male body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
3 Male body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

Eating the right things

No matter what our body type is, we can still get lean and sculpt our bodies. It will take hard work but there are plenty of useful things you can carry out in your routine along the way. Next we list some of our favorite Old School training tips.

The Hormone Precursor Shake

Vince Gironda

If you have ever heard of Vince Gironda, you may well have heard about this unique shake concoction. Gironda aka “The Iron Guru”, was the trainer of bodybuilding legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and his techniques helped him get ripped. Even when Gironda was in his 40’s and 50’s, he still looked amazingly sculpted.

Those bodies were a result of the right diet, with a little boost from the right exercises. Gironda believed that 85% of bodybuilding is diet, with a little 15% help from your workouts. What you eat has a great impact on how your body looks.

“Drink raw eggs and get ripped fast!”

Ever saw a Rocky movie where he cracked some eggs in a glass and drank it all in one gulp? That’s similar to the Hormone Precursor Shake. Aside from raw eggs (12 pieces), you also add 12 ounces of half-and-half and 1/3 cup of milk-and-egg protein powder. If you are not on a carb-restrictive diet, you can also add 1 medium-sized banana for a taste boost.

Image Credit: Bodybuilding Mauritius

Ectomorphs or hard gainers benefit the most from this recipe and Gironda would prescribe it 1-3 times per day in-between meals (that’s 36 eggs per day!). It gives them a large amount of the required nutrients for mass gains in a simple liquid, fast to consume form. Then you do not have to eat several plateful at each meal just to get all the calories in for the day. One to three drinks per day would be enough to supply a hard-gainers body with more than the nutrients they need for growth.

Why raw eggs?

Sure, raw eggs alone aren’t the most appetizing drink in the world. However, they are the best and cheapest food for building mass. Eggs are among the most anabolic foods that nature can offer, safer than any artificial steroids or supplements available.

Eggs are an excellent precursor to anabolic hormones such as testosterone. They are rich in nutrients that support building lean muscle, such as readily absorbed proteins, along with plenty of healthy cholesterol. They are also an excellent natural source of CLA, another muscle-building nutrient that can increase your testosterone levels.

Why fats?

Eggs are rich in fats, especially in CLA and cholesterol, which are important if you want to build and support your muscle gains. They fuel the body’s building processes and are essential for building new muscle cells, since they are part of the cellular membranes.

Like mentioned before, fats are also important in hormone production, specifically for the production of steroid hormones such as testosterone.

And of course, we know what steroid hormones do, boost your ability to build muscle. It would also be helpful to that cause to add even more foods that boost testosterone production.


Supplementing the right way

Gironda was a major advocate of building muscle the natural way. He didn’t like taking anything artificial, even supplements, and was very against the use of steroids. The supplement he did take however, was liver tablets. These are simply ground up beef liver usually placed in capsules.

These tablets are very rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fats. Like with every food when it comes to bodybuilding nutrition, you want as much nutrients as you can get. Liver tablets happen to be the most nutrient dense food on the planet! Beating all fruits and vegetables in every aspect except vitamin C!

Semen retention

“Find a lion that hasn’t had some food for a while, and you’ve got yourself one dangerous cat. I don’t ejaculate for six weeks before the fight. No sex, no masturbation, no nothing. It releases too much tension. It releases a lot of minerals and nutrients that your body needs, and it releases them cheaply. Releasing weakens the knees and your legs. Even in my sleep — if there are girls all over me in my dream, I say to them, I’ve got a fight next week, I can’t do anything. I can’t do it. That’s control. I’ve been doing that since I was fifteen and its part and parcel of my preparation now. That’s why I am who I am today — it’s down to all those little sacrifices. Find me another boxer who makes that sacrifice, and you’ll find yourself another champion.”

This is a quote from David Haye.

This top boxer was a testament to the benefits of retaining semen. Ejaculation is a waste of energy. It releases loads of energy that can otherwise be used to fuel other processes, such as muscle-building. Minimizing masturbation to only one time per week can also boost testosterone.

By practicing periodic semen retention, you keep a higher supply of energy and testosterone.

Image Credit: Rock Body Fitness


Natural old school techniques are effective in helping you beat your genetics and make the most ripped body you can possibly have. Gironda’s methods may not use the same principles as other popular lean gains methods but they work. He was living proof of it and many bodybuilders and Hollywood actors in his day benefited from him. Why not give it a try today and see for yourself?

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