Going retro to guarantee your gains

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Muscle growth cannot be sprayed on. To pack on mass we have to learn from the musclemen from the past.

Bodybuilders such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger relied on strength training to get the job done.

Basic lifts like squats, deadlifts and barbell bench presses were used to increase muscle mass. This philosophy still applies today. Check out the detail below on how to incorporate old school movements in your gym routine and you’ll walk around with a bigger body this time next year. Perform heavy sets with low repetitions (4-6).

Body Part & Corresponding Movement:

Arms – Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, close-grip bench presses, lying barbell extensions.
Thighs – Squats, leg presses.
Chest – Barbell bench presses, dips.
Back – Deadlifts, barbell rows, power cleans.
Shoulders – Barbell military presses.

Also try these retro classics pounded out by our iron-pumping forefathers to gain serious muscle size in a record time:
1.) Dips

These are great to pack on size and definitely one of the exercises modern bodybuilders neglect. If you lean into the stretch you put more focus on the chest. By remaining upright you focus more on your triceps.

2.) Chins

Some people find these hard to do and use the pulldown machine as an alternative which is a mistake. Chins are unique and cannot be fully duplicated by any other back exercise. Include this classic mass builder in your routine and you will soon see a difference in your upper body development. Shoot for at least 8 reps with your own bodyweight.

3.) Standing military presses

This classic compound lift can add serious beef to your shoulders to give you that wide look you are after. Watch out for using too much momentum to get the barbell up – this can limit the effect on your shoulders.

4.) Clean and press

This is also an old school favourite if you want that Herculean look. You have to squat down, grab the barbell and then by using your legs drive the weight up to the starting position of a military press. Then you use your shoulders and arms to press the weight overhead. Bring the weight down to your shoulders, reverse the cleaning motion by bending your knees and setting the barbell back onto the floor.

Take a page from the bible that made the blasters of the past pack on muscle they were known for by using powerlifting movements with your bodybuilding training.