5 Old School Tips For Getting Ripped

The following article is sponsored by ClassicBodyNow.com

Check out the following photos.

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On the left is a picture of an old time strong man from way back in 1898. On the right? A modern-day bodybuilder.

Now – how would you rather look?

Nearly every single guy I survey reports they would MUCH rather look like the old-time strongman.

And yet – without even knowing it – most guys eat and train more like a modern-day bodybuilder than an old-time strong man. So in this article, I’ll show you five ways to get a body like an old time strongman.

1. Back Away From The Bench!

While modern-day bodybuilders love the bench press, the strong men of yesteryear preferred a different upper body exercise.

Old school strong man Herman Goerner demonstrating the overhead press.  Good exercise form, terrible fashion choice.

Old school strong man Herman Goerner demonstrating the overhead press. Good exercise form, terrible fashion choice.

The Standing Overhead Press.

The old-timers considered the standing overhead press the ultimate test of strength. This exercise will strengthen your shoulders, your triceps and even your core – without over-developing your pecs like the bench press sometimes can.

Shoot for barbell overhead pressing your own bodyweight and you’ll be on your way to true old school strength. So if you weigh 185 pounds, your goal is to press 185 pounds over your head for a single rep – without any knee bend.

When you can do that – you’ll be stronger than 99% of all gym rats.

2. Cut Out The Cardio

Here’s a picture of an old-school gym from the early 1900’s.

A gym from the turn of the century. No treadmills and thankfully – no Katie Perry music either.

A gym from the turn of the century. No treadmills and, thankfully, no Katy Perry music either.

See any treadmills, elliptical machines or exercise bikes?

Yeah, me either. That’s because the old-time strong men got lean and muscular by grunting, straining and lifting heavy objects – not by traipsing along on a treadmill at 3.2 miles per hour while watching daytime television.

Lift hard, lift heavy… and let your diet take care of the fat loss. And speaking of diet…

3. Skip The Shakes

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The single best advice I can give anyone looking to build muscle, burn fat and achieve optimal health is also the simplest: Eat real food.

Cut out the cakes, cookies and chips. And – shocking as it may seem – you might want to cut out the sugar-laden protein shakes too.

Instead, eat like a man. Steak, eggs and veggies. You’ve got teeth for a reason – use ’em.

When you eat real food – no straw required – you might be surprised how fast your body changes. Here’s an easy rule of thumb: If the food you’re about to eat didn’t exist when your grandfather was a kid… don’t eat it.

4. Lift Heavy Stuff

Arnold deadlifting 710 pounds

Arnold deadlifting 710 pounds

It seems almost everybody in the gym lifts in the 8-10 rep range. And while that’s fine for beginners, you’re missing out on a lot of potential muscle if you never challenge yourself and lift heavy.

The old-timers lifted heavy – usually sticking with 5 reps per exercise. That’s because 5 reps seems to provide a near perfect combination of strength and size gains. Sometimes, the old-timers would lift even heavier – often using weights they could only lift once or twice. This not only builds muscle, but also strengthens the joints, tendons and ligaments.

Recommendations: Every once in a while – after properly warming up and with proper spotters, of course – go all out and see how much you can lift on a given exercise for a true one-rep max. Not only will you strengthen your joints and ligaments, but when you return to your regular training weights they’ll feel lighter and you’ll find you can perform more reps.

5. Power Down To Power Up

This guy gets it

This dude gets it

I’m fairly certain the old-time trainers didn’t burn the midnight oil chatting away on Facebook or mindlessly melting into the couch while Jimmy Fallon laughs at his own jokes for the 90th show in a row.

Legendary strongman Doug Hepburn – arguably the strongest man in the world at his peak – slept 10 hours a night.

And we now know just how important sleep is for anyone interested in optimal health and fitness. While you sleep, your body produces human growth hormone, secretes testosterone and repairs muscle tissues. Believe it or not, you can actually gain muscle mass and melt away body fat just by getting upwards of 9 hours of sleep per night.

Let Tivo take care of the “must-see” TV and get yourself 9+ hours of sleep for just one week – you’ll be absolutely amazed at how fast your body changes. You might think you’re too busy to ever manage 9+ hours of sleep a night for a week.

But consider this: A leading strength coach tried this experiment and reported that his cravings for sweets vanished and he dropped an incredible 22 pounds in a week. Yes, 22 pounds in ONE week. So if you want to get into shape FAST, carve out some extra time for sleep.

Follow these five tips and you too can get a body like an old-time strongman. Whether you choose to compliment your new physique with a stunning handlebar mustache is completely up to you.

For more information on how to get a body like an old-time strongman, visit ClassicBodyNow.com

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146 thoughts on “5 Old School Tips For Getting Ripped”

  1. Good advice, however, whey (& casein) protein is “real” food, just don’t make that your ONLY source of protein

    1. This. Take normal/straight whey over sugar shakes, that’s a given and always eat real food. But don’t dismiss whey, the recovery, the stamina and the bulk is indispensable. Whey (& casein) and other inputs (creatine, etc) have made me reach levels I generally wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise due to horrible recovery and health deficiencies. Men didn’t need protein shakes before, but those men also didn’t live in a world with massive amounts of soy in everything, lower quality nutrients from fruits and veggies, and a number of other things. Comparing what men required 150 years ago, or 10 thousands years ago for muscle is ludicrous, as the nature of their world was completely different. Otherwise I generally agree with the article, men should go for a more natural response.

      1. Creatine and whey are not comparable. There is no soy in my meat, veg and fruit and I get fresh natural farm produce.
        Interesting your complaint about nutrients and yet you consume processed food (Whey). What makes you think there are quality nutrients in whey?

        1. One reply for you since you have a complete lack of basic comprehension for simple phrasing and everything else.
          Wasn’t comparing whey and creatine, I mentioned them both with no direct comparison yet with some positive similarities. They are both improve different positive aspects. And yes, those positives are involved in muscle recovery and growth.
          Soy was one example of a list of possible detriments in modern foods, and is there to mostly reveal the difference between modern food and historical patterns, nothing more. Perhaps it does apply specifically to you, maybe it doesn’t, do I care? No.
          I complain about processed foods, and consume them, there is no contradiction there. In battle I cannot complain about swords, instead I just use a sharper sword. Dah. The man with the sharper sword is going to win, in this case, not promoting good shakes is idiotic.
          Whey has quality nutrients, most of which are more focused, yes. Fruit juice also has quality nutrients, but you wouldn’t want to drink massive amounts of it, or drink it at all. You can claim anything has positive or negative nutrients, what’s your point? The aim with whey is to focus on specific nutrients. Like it or not, man has been trying this through natural and unnatural means since forever. Since life is all about getting the best for cheap, is not bread, yogurt, milk and wine the same? All about manipulation to achieve greater results. My complaint about other processed foods is that they are not made for this end, but rather to sell and to manipulate certain patterns in weaker willed persons.

        2. Decent of you to apologize, I take back the harsh words.
          I would definitely (and have) spend my money on some quality creatine. It is amazing. Whey I have serious problems with. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the history of whey protein but it is shady and I think it is a scam. Most whey is highly processed, chemical laden, and deceptively sold pixie dust of dubious benefit. I have gotten hold of the proper stuff but to make it palatable they had to add sugar. And it was expensive. It seems to me rather pointless to spend good money on protein powder, when it is easily and cheaply obtainable in a higher quality form (meat) and when you can spend that money on supplements that will have an immediate and dramatic effect (creatine).
          I don’t consume anything that has both good and bad nutrients. So I don’t drink fruit juice for example, I eat a piece of organic fruit. I don’t eat bread or wine and try to consume quality, pasteurized dairy. I don’t think there is any need to consume any processed food.

        3. I recently used Progenadrex (from a trusted source). It is expensive but it has other stuff that ramps up the effect of the creatine. The effect over four weeks was astonishing. I grew muscles in my legs that I simply couldn’t see before.

      2. I was under the impression that a shake with some sugar in it was actually good if consumed immediately after lifting.

      1. This is an exception to the “no-processed food” rule, in this case, it’s still good, but hey, if you don’t want to drink it, don’t.

        1. I don’t think there are any exceptions to “no-processed food”. Likewise, eat what you want. But I have looked very deeply into whey powder and my conclusion is that at best it is a waste of money and at worst harmful to you.
          The whey protein powder industry (as is the sports supplement industry as a whole) is notorious for the scams they pull on people. I caution you to stay far away.

        2. creatine around working times, whey in the morning & around workout time, & casein @ night(I’ve also read around workout time too surprisingly) is a barebones supplement plan, there are tons more someone can add if they have the $$$

  2. There was probably no steroids back then. If you are natural, you’ll never become as big a pro bodybuilder, so you should not worry about it.

    1. Steroids have been around and have been used by athletes since the late 1930s, but they really took off in the 50s.
      The key difference between now and then is they were used by athletes back then, whereas now they are also used by schmucks to look good for women. I know guys who jumped on gear for a couple months before a holiday so they’d look good on a beach.

      1. Steroids took off in which sports exactly in the 50s? I read they popped up in baseball in the early 70s, which makes Mays and Aarons final HR tally suspect…Sometimes I hate the web, thought the 70s were the final innocent decade…

        1. “Legendary strongman Doug Hepburn – arguably the strongest man in the world at his peak – slept 10 hours a night”
          8 hours plus an extra two to wake up….. heaven on a mattress….

        2. Ideal feminists. Their images probably being minted into children’s dolls as we speak.
          Saw a documentary on the East German doping of their Olympians once. Apparently it was surreptitious and the athletes were unaware it was being done. A female shot putter was so effected by the artificial hormones that she experienced male pattern baldness and facial hair and at that point had a sex change before marrying another woman who had been a teammate on the East German Olympic squad. Her name is now “Andreas Krieger.” She looks legitimately male in all respects.

        3. Mays hit number 600 in 1969 and he was 41 in 1972. I doubt he even ever had a protein shake. I know he did a lot of bodyweight stuff.

        4. greenies were around by then. shit makes you able to see every stitch on a 90 mph curveball lol

  3. 1 and 3 are completely irrelevant and even silly. Doing 2 and 4 together, in most cases (depending on your body fat), will help you burn more calories than doing one alone. 5 is just as important regardless of whether you’re cutting, gaining weight, or maintaining.
    Actually number 3 is just stupid, if you’re going to cut and stay in a caloric deficit, you’ll need even more protein to retain as much muscle as possible. Protein shakes are an easy, quick, and low calorie dose of protein to top yourself up.

    1. Dropping 22Lbs in a week just by sleeping an extra hour seems impossible. I can’t find a credible source for that. Not denying sleep is not important though because it is vital! But the 22 Lbs sounds like a major myth to me.

    2. Once you introduce “calories” into your argument, your argument is going away with the fairies.
      Calories mean nothing.
      Number 3 is sensible and what I do. The author said nothing about not eating sufficient protein just that you don’t need to let supplement companies scam you with protein shakes.
      Number 1 is of crucial significance. The author explains why very well.

      1. Calories irrelevant? Okay, eat 1000 calories above maintenance for 3 months and see what happens. You’ll get fat as fuck.
        Why bodybuilders and physique competitors track their calories fanatically to lose body fat in preparation for a competition? Calories in and calories out determines 99% of your results when trying to lose fat. The whole point of a cut is to keep your caloric intake below caloric maintenance (the estimated amount of daily calorie consumption to maintain your current bodyweight), that’s how you’ll lose fat. You do that by either eating less or exercising more, or both.
        How are they scamming you? You give them money and you get a product that you wanted in return.
        When you’re cutting, you need to stay below maintenance. With most other protein sources, comes fat or carbohydrates. Fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient (1 gram of fat = 7 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, and 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories).
        Whey protein on the other hand, depending on the brand you have, has negligible amount of fat and carbs, and high protein, therefore overall lower calorie density. Making it ideal when on a cut, especially when 500 calories below maintenance.
        The article is about getting ripped. Getting ripped is 99% related to diet, what difference will doing an overhead press instead of a bench press make to that? It’d make a negligible difference, if any. And you can bench and press in the same work out.

        1. I eat about 1000 calories above this fantastical notion of “maintenance” all the time and I am about 10% body fat and still going down.
          Bodybuilders are a poor example. Notwithstanding the other things they take, they are not scientists, a bodybuilding competion is not a controlled study and these guys are genetic freaks. It doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to the extreme example. Last, even bodybuilders struggle with fat gain as they age – evidence that they have got something wrong.
          Supplement manufacturers essentially exist to scam you. See the latest scandal of protein powder manufacturers where the actual protein per serving is significantly below what is advertised. You don’t get the product you want. You pay over your money and get a tub of pixie dust in return.
          Your body needs fat and lots of it. I eat a high fat diet. Another reason why calories will lead you up the garden path and why protein powders are a con job. Its not how much you eat its what you eat. Hence calories are meaningless.
          A military press will develop more strength and muscle than a bench press. You only have to think about it to know why.
          If you think getting ripped is 99% diet, then don’t bother lifting. You should get at least 99% ripped without lifting.

        2. ‘’I eat about 1000 calories above this fantastical notion of
          “maintenance” all the time and I am about 10% body fat and still
          going down.’’
          If you’re losing fat still, that means you’re in a caloric
          deficit, either by not eating enough or burning calories through exercise, or
          both. Sounds like you need to up your calories, bro.
          Or you’re lying through your fucking teeth on the internet and
          have no idea how much you’re eating.
          ”Bodybuilders are a
          poor example. Notwithstanding the other things they take, they are not
          scientists, a bodybuilding competion is not a controlled study and these guys
          are genetic freaks. It doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to the extreme
          example. Last, even bodybuilders struggle with fat gain as they age – evidence
          that they have got something wrong.”
          Poor example of
          what? The same principle can be applied to anyone and is applied by millions in
          the fitness community.
          ‘’Supplement
          manufacturers essentially exist to scam you. See the latest scandal of protein
          powder manufacturers where the actual protein per serving is significantly
          below what is advertised. You don’t get the product you want. You pay over your
          money and get a tub of pixie dust in return.’’
          So avoid the shit
          companies and buy from the legit companies. There’s nothing evil or bad about
          Whey protein. Some investment companies scam their clients, does that mean you
          shouldn’t invest?
          ‘’Your body needs
          fat and lots of it. I eat a high fat diet. Another reason why calories will
          lead you up the garden path and why protein powders are a con job. Its not how
          much you eat its what you eat. Hence calories are meaningless.’’
          Yes, the body needs
          fat, where did I say it doesn’t? And where did I say that you shouldn’t eat any
          fat? Or where did I say that you should eat a low fat diet? Cutting body fat
          and eating fat is completely separate issue. A calorie is simply a measurement
          of food energy.
          ‘’A military press
          will develop more strength and muscle than a bench press. You only have to
          think about it to know why.’’
          They’re entirely different
          movements and involve different muscle groups, though there’s some overlap. Try
          building a big and strong chest without involving the chest. Your
          statement that it’ll build more muscle and make you stronger than the bench
          press is stupid. Yes, it’d make you stronger with the muscles involved in the
          press, but it won’t strengthen the muscles involved in the bench press. You’re comparing
          apples with oranges.
          ‘’If you think
          getting ripped is 99% diet, then don’t bother lifting. You should get at least
          99% ripped without lifting.’’
          Losing body fat and
          gaining muscle at the same time is biologically impossible unless 1) you’re a beginner
          and have quite a lot of body fat 2) you’re on a cocktail of drugs.
          Obviously you need
          to lift first. That should be implicit and not need mentioning. You build a strong base and then you cut the fat, if that’s what
          you want to do.

        3. I am not in a calorific deficit.
          The same principle cannot be applied to everyone. Everybody’s body reacts differently to the same stimulus. Calorie people like to reduce everyone’s body to a calculator. Unfortunately, reality is much more complicated.
          Most whey is junk. You tell me the “good” ones.
          It was strongly implicated in your comment that fat was undesirable. Go back and look.
          You use your arms in both exercises yes? Explain how these two “presses” are “entirely different movements.”
          Losing fat and gaining muscle simultaneously is a perfectly normal biological process. If you believe the calorie myth you might not think so but if you know a little something about how the body metabolizes nutrients you will understand how this is possible. I’ve done it myself.

        4. You are talking about body composition, aren’t you? What’s your experience with a fatty diet? How much do eat a day? What does your regular training look like?

      1. My avatar is a snatch, not an overhead press, there’s no pressing involved in the snatch. I never said it’s a silly exercise for getting stronger and building big shoulders. If you’re trying to get stronger, the press is a great exercise.
        This article is about getting ripped, by which I assume the author means reaching low body fat levels. In that context, changing the bench to an overhead press is silly as it’d make a negligible difference, if any, to reaching low level of body fat. Reaching low level of body fat is 99% depends on diet and a caloric deficit.

        1. Ha ha. I know about the oly lifts but thanks. I think you made the wrong connotative read of ‘ripped’. To me, he pretty clearly just means strong and fit in general. He’s not talking about bringing out some vascular detailing on his ass cheeks or whatever guys are looking to do with their girlish pre-occupation with going from 8% to 4% body fat.

        2. Being ”ripped” generally means having visible abs, which is about 11% bodyfat for most people. I’m not talking about extreme bodybuilding either.

        3. The guy wrote a solid article about being ripped. Everyone knows what that means. CONNOTATION. Then he gave very solid, practical advice that a young guy could follow for the next 70 years and you nitpicked.

        4. I’m not nit picking, I’m telling you the article is near enough complete bollocks. The whole thing reads like fucking bro science by someone who’s never been in the gym and knows fuck all about training. It starts off comparing Markus Ruhl and Eugene Sandow and then states that the differences of their physiques is due to different training styles. Though that may play some role, the main factor is that Markus Ruhl is on a shit ton of different steroids, insulin, and human growth hormone, while Eugene Sandow is not.

        5. The article was dead fundamental. Perfect information for people. Quit trying to showcase the fact that you know some stuff. You’re just trying to one-up this guy who wrote a solid piece. Write you own piece instead of trying so hard to take a dump on this dude’s unassailable advice.
          “Complete Bollocks” you say in response to a guy who says;
          -Press
          -Stay away from way overpriced, pre-digested powder
          -Rest well
          -Avoid excess cardio
          -Lift heavy, low rep.
          “Complete Bollocks”????
          You were in such a frenzy to show off your own knowledge that you can’t even think straight.

      1. Yeah, I saw that and this is fine. Get money and all of that, but don’t spread misinformation in the process.

        1. True, but I don’t think Facebook gives fitness advice…do they? I got rid of my account years ago, so I have no idea.

  4. Back in my day, bodybuilders still had their strong foundations in powerlifting.
    It was not until the late 1980s that Joe Weider brought the “building for size only” concept.
    And that is indeed possible. Up to that time, it was only thought possible. But bodybuilders who had their correct foundation in heavy lifting only departed from pyramids for a competition.
    So at 16 I was 190 lbs lean though looked like I weight 160, could bench press 300 lbs, and could even do 240 lbs t-bar rows on my 12,10,8,6,4 pyramid.
    And no steroids.
    I had a friend who was twice my size, on those “new” workouts. No strength, no endurance. Lots of muscle though.
    He weighed the same as me.
    And that my friends is the difference between the old time muscleman and the “guy on the right”.

    1. Can you describe a pyramid workout? I guess you did 240 at 4 reps? 5 sets was your entire back workout?

      1. It was not the workout, it was the sets. 5 sets with the rep count 12,10,8,6,4 getting heavier each new set.
        It did not make sense to do that for say rear deltoids so the pyramid was mainly for the large and basic moves.

      1. i’d like to know the answer to this one too. I usually think of it the other way. Think Brad Pitt from fight club who was 150 of very lean mass and looked like 190.
        As a side note, I don’t think he was in great shape in that movie….just a good example of how very low body fat can make a person look bigger, not smaller.

        1. yes 190 never looks like 160 unless you are 6ft 4, but if you 6ft 4″, you don’t look like you weigh 160lbs unless you are a concentration camp victim, people would be calling the doctor for you.

        2. Yeah it was close. Stalone claims he was 155 in Rocky (the original) and he is 5’10. Pitt was 150 in FC at 6 feet. Pitt’s BF% was 5-6. Don’t know about Stallone.
          Look over BP workout for that movie, it is terrible. He literally didn’t do legs at all. Legs don’t show in the movie, didn’t need em. If you matched his muscle density from his shoulders to his legs he prob would have been 20 pounds heavier with no corresponding raise in BF %. Add another lead 5 pounds to give him some pecs that stood out further than his abs (smh) and he might have been in decent shape.

        3. There are three kinds of muscle cells affected by 3 kinds of weight training.
          I would recommend a book called “Bodybuilding: the scientific approach” by Fred Hatfield.
          In a nutshell: you can inflate your muscles like balloons and look big or you can train the more dense cells and gain weight but not size but be strong as fuck.
          The former is the cause of that old saw: “as soon as you stop all that muscle turns to fat”. This was never true. Muscle does not become fat. But get some “inflated” fellow with some fat percentage to stop and that kind of muscle atrophies fast and leaves the fat behind, creating the effect.
          For me, and the training I did, I have always been strong and always had good metabolism even though I have not touched a weight in years. I still exercise daily. Sometimes I would get a gym membership and I could be back up to speed in a few months. I wear the same sized clothes in my 40s as I did when I was 17.
          Sure you don’t get the instant gratification of working for size only, but laying a strong foundation with heavy weights and basic moves early on pays off in later life. None of that “oh he looked great in high school but look at him now” crap for me. But I was not the sort of fellow who was flexing his muscles in the mirror after every set either.
          Back in the 80s I was warning people about these “new” workouts. Nobody listened.

        4. You know I just looked at the pictures of BP in Fight Club. He actually doesn’t look that big to me. I am 81kgs at 5’10 and I am definitely bigger than he was. My shoulders, arms and abs are bigger. His forearms are actually quite pathetic. He has a relatively bigger chest and he is definitely significantly leaner but it is interesting that people preceived him as “big”. To me he looks muscular and very lean, but relatively small.
          He has what I call a (homo suspicion warning!) “beautiful” body. By this, I mean the kind of body that women love. Not hyper muscular but lean and strong looking. Divers usually have bodies like this. If he had legs to match he would be really in great shape.
          Btw, I am a fighter so I am fairly good judge of weight (since I judge weight all the time).

        5. I agree with you 100% here bob. His forearms, legs and chest are all under developed. I am 6 foot and 180 with roughly 10-12% bf and I am huge compared to him. He doesn’t look big…he does look big for only weighing 150 though. My point in mentioning him in particular is that a super low body fat percentage (5%) can create the illusion of size and strength. I can deadlift three of him…but if i gutted 50% of my remaining body fat i would have to sacrifice a huge amount of strength….even though i would look far more fearsome.

      2. Muscle density.
        There was once a time when it mattered. Back then some guys were getting into tubs and measuring how much water they displaced. Then there was some mathematic involved with that measurement and total weight.
        I always had high muscle density. That was the difference between myself and my friend who was twice my size but weighed the same. He made 190 lbs look huge. I did not.

        1. I understand. Still 160lbs would look tiny, even on me.
          Part of it could also be that you hold a lot of weight on your legs (which I do) and back, rather than chest, shoulders and arm. People look at me and think I am not that big but then they look at my legs.
          You can always tell a strong guy by his legs.

        2. True about legs. There is just a weight threshold that i can’t break because my thighs are thick and solid muscle. It comes from doing massive amounts of compound lifts like Back/Front Squats and Deadlifts.
          My normal deadlift set is from the Arnold program. Rep count goes 20,15,10,8,5,3,1,1,1RM
          I do this twice a week (my week is split into 2 3-day splits so I hit legs twice a week) along with 5 sets of barbell squats, goblet squats, calf press, superset of leg extension and leg curls. I carry so much weight on my legs that just by the numbers (if you don’t look at BF %) I am “overweight” for my size and I wouldn’t trade my lower body strength for weight loss…..ever

        3. Strong legs make jeans look good and women salivate over that.
          Damn thats a lot of leg work you do!!!
          I had to stop weights due to three prolapsed discs so now its strict body-weight training. My leg work is primarly free standing bridging (hamstrings) and single leg squats. Also, intense jump rope drills, plyometric exercise and constant kicking (for Muay Thai) does great things for your legs.
          Gives your legs a different shape than weights but like you, the nurse told me to lose weight because my BMI said I was overweight. LOL! She weighed two of me!

        4. Ha. That is great about the nurse. Yes I am carrying more weight than the average man. No, I am not the average man.
          Yeah, knock on wood I have had no serious issues.
          Jeans are hilarious because I always have to buy bigger and have the tailor fix them.

        5. A tip I learned recently on jeans. Unwashed Japanese jeans tend to have a slighter wider leg and they stretch on you. You can get the right waist and break them in. Also, unlike on some skinny leg dude, instead of looking formless and baggy, they emphasize your well developed legs.

        6. Edwin is a relatively cheap brand. My legs fit into the standard straight leg at my normal waist which is unheard of with most commercial brands (RE Diesel). I have heard that Levi now produces athletic fit jeans with a wider leg now though.

    2. I have to agree with you here Mr. Jeep. Back in my younger days I could stack bales of hay 7 bales high from the ground, I could lift them higher than my head, and stack them as far as my arms could reach, I ran out of reach before I ran out of muscle.
      I could do all of this, and keep it up 8 hours a day, it was my job.
      I do not remember what I weighed back them but I had no problems with shortness of breath etc, my job was great weight training and cardio, and I got paid to do it !
      I was strong as an ox, I never looked “big”, but I could pick up an engine block and throw it into the back of a pickup.
      I have a friend from school back then who worked in his dad’s welding shop as a kid, moving steel and welding tanks around all day. He is now in his fifties, and out of shape, but you can still see the muscle he built up when he was young, the same applies to me.
      I did not come to brag about myself, just to agree with all of you that moving heavy objects repeatedly will give a great foundation to work from.
      I would bet that the old tyme strongman was a manual laborer before he became a performer.
      I would have to agree that the old school workouts are the best, eat right and work, and the fat will take care of itself.
      It just proves that work is good for you, in more ways than one.
      Thanks for all of the interesting comments guys make here.
      Hear from all of you who have higher education than I do has been a big help in my self improvement.

      1. A doctor of mine recommended protein shakes. He says it doesn’t create muscle like the box says it does, but what it does is add calories, protein calories, to your diet without any fat. He told me to drink it at night instead of a meal (dinner). I am 41 and can see my abs because of this and 100 sit-ups per day. TO make it taste better I add a teaspoon of French Vanilla creamer.

        1. Well, often people’s food choices are based on cultural patterns. Eating fat before sleep is not a bad thing. In fact, eating protein and fat before sleep is what I do. I save my main caloric intake for lunch and part of breakfast. I consume the more easily fired fuels during my day and introduce slower burning materials for the night time as 7-9 hours is a longer period that I have to be without food.

        2. Hamburgers: a piece of meat between two slabs of highly refined carbohydrates.
          Wings: pieces of meat often covered in some kind of sugary barbecue sauce.
          All of this often washed down with a pint of sugary soda.
          See the connection?

        3. “A doctor of mine . . .”
          Was he a doctor of physiology?
          Nutrition is not medicine. Physiology is not medicine. Sports are not medicine.
          Taking sports nutrition advice from a medical doctor is like taking particle physics advice from a software engineer.
          Dirty Little Secret:
          Medical doctors are obligated by their guild code to advise you to avoid fat, even though many of them, perhaps even most these days, know that it is bad advice.

        4. You’re doing cardio, not strength training. You’re doing your cardio with some of your smallest muscles, i.e. you’re not using much in the way of energy, so you’re not only not building muscle, you aren’t reducing fat either.
          And in any case, the saying that “abs are built in the kitchen” is essentially correct. If you want ab definition, get lean.

        5. good advice 50 yrs ago, not so much today. The ocean is a giant toilet, I rarely eat fish anymore sadly..

        6. You look 14 in your avatar… ;-P
          Don’t be afraid of fat young man… I eat tonnes of the stuff and add it (double cream) to my scrambled eggs. Its sugar you need to stay away from (probably in that creamer?).
          Btw, sit-ups are the fast route to a disc prolapse (I speak from unfortunate experience). Try hanging leg raises instead. Much better and you’ll look cool in the gym.

        7. At least in the US, quite a bit of fish is farm raised instead of caught wild, depending on what variety of fish you buy, so I imagine you wouldn’t run into pollution problems so much with farmed fish. It will often say on the package, or you can ask the butcher at your grocery store.
          I don’t eat any fish at all because I’m allergic to shellfish/squid/octopus, and I don’t trust the people in the grocery stores who handle the stuff to maintain 100% isolation from normal fish, even using different plastic gloves when they touch it. I get most of my protein from eggs, which works for me.

      1. Then go make some cheese.
        Basic fresh cheese is pretty simple. Heat up a couple gallons of whole milk in a pot until it foams, let it cool for a few minutes, add about 1/3 cup clear salad vinegar per gallon which will curdle it, add a little more if necessary until it does, give it a stir, let it sit for a couple hours to fully separate, then strain it, and use your muscles to compress the cheese into a ball. Taste it, and if it tastes vinegary knead it under cold running water to rinse out the vinegar. Boil down the whey to reduce the volume.
        To get the vinegar taste out of the whey, add baking soda a small pinch at time until it stops foaming. You won’t taste the soda. Cook with the whey, drink it, whatever.
        The plus side of this is that you get some really tasty cheese that freezes really well. Add a little salt, plus nuts/herbs/pepper whatever for flavor.

    1. Functional cardio is the best. Fighting, parkour, climbing, hill sprints, moutain/road biking, etc. If you’re a jogger, distance runner, blah, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Know the sperm cell destruction risks with biking though. Treadmills, stair climbers and ellipticals only belong in physical therapy offices.

        1. Dude fuck yeah. Get your cardio from life. Skateboarding, military training, iron man, lacrosse, skiing. In fact, use your gym time to craft your body for what will work best for what you want. Why else are you working out? Have a mission.

    2. I disagree. If you are doing barbell workouts that focus on a lot of squatting then you can’t be fagging around on the elliptical or hopping down the sidewalk like some bunny rabbit in your Nikes on the day that your legs are recovering from squatting.

  5. In terms of skipping the bench press I wouldn’t be removing chest training all together (the overhead press isn’t going to do much to help you there…)
    I do agree in terms of size and development you’re much better hitting an incline dumbbell press.
    In regards to skipping the shakes yes, whole food is always better BUT our bodies do not care what sources our macronutrient are derived from.. 30 grams of protein from a shake will be seen and processed the same way as 30 grams of protein from a lean cut of steak…
    my 2 cents.

    1. Actually the overhead press uses a lot of chest muscle, in a functional way too. I think most guys start off extremely weak at the overhead press, no matter how puffed up they are from all their isolation work. Bill Starr used to do 350 lbs overhead or some mind-blowing amount. I think he benched too though. But if a guy gets up to repping 200 in the ohp then he’s not going to have some bird chest.

    1. That’s when you become stronger, the exercise tears the muscle fibers and the sleep repairs the fibers, when you wake up with the fibers repaired you are slightly stronger than before. After a workout day getting a good nights rest is probably going to help a person’s strength gains more than anything else.

    1. ” . . .protein without the animal fat . . .”
      . . . causes Rabbit Death (aka Rabbit Starvation). It’s a nasty way to die.
      Animal fat is called Energy, ya know, that stuff you need an excess of to build muscle. You also need it, along with cholesterol, to build the hormones that do the job.

      1. Caribou is as lean and causes “Rabbit Starvation” as well. Additionally, loads of minerals and vitamins from plant matter are fat soluble.

    2. It’s pre-digested though. Straight to the bloodstream en masse, more or less sandblasting your kidneys and liver with an unnaturally intense load of protein.

  6. I agree on the cardio except I think it is actually important more what KIND of cardio you should do. First of all, certain of the heavy weight lifting really gets your heart rate up because you involve so many muscles all at once. Olympic power cleans, dead lifts, and leg presses — it’s intense high intensity bursts that get your heart rate up VERY HIGH for a short amount of time, stimulates your body to produce all sorts of chemicals that last a long time and help your mood, etc.
    However, it’s also important to listen to your body. There are some times when slow boring cardio may be better than nothing, like in between days when you’ve done short intense bursts of cardio. However, I do have to say one thing. I find the best way to do cardio is to do outdoor exercise like mountain climbing, kayaking, etc. More importantly, I think there is something about the outdoors and outdoor exercise that’s good for the mind — which is important because being mentally sharp is part of what goes into being able to push yourself right when you exercise.
    I noticed one thing. After spending two weeks mountain climbing (intensely — there was snow so it was really strenuous) I go back to the gym and find I have way more stamina and am able to push myself much harder in the same exercises I did before. But I know one could not replicate that same kind of thing at the gym. The boring quality of the gym — like a sensory deprivation chamber compared to outdoor mountain climbing — dampens down your brain and makes it tough to push yourself hard athletically. Whereas, go mountain climbing, and you are all preoccupied with getting to the top, to the point where you forget how tired you are.
    Furthermore, studies have shown that outdoor exercise is very beneficial to those suffering from depression while indoor exercise isn’t. I personally have noticed that outdoor exercise is very beneficial towards getting over the affects of PTSD and related hang-ups, far more than indoor exercise is. I personally think that the difference is how all your senses keep getting bombarded with different sights, sounds and smells outdoors – even while the exercise causes your body to produce hormones that may act on the brain somewhat.
    One thing you learn if you read old books is how much they all valued outdoor exercise and country living for one’s mental health.

      1. Natural light is a huge consideration. I’m finding that out living in a windowless room and often working in windowless cubicles. So essential. Look at tropical cultures. Happy as fuck in the middle of their trainwrecks. Crazy.

    1. Jump rope done correctly is excellent cardio. Frankly, I find it hard to imagine that slow steady state cardio is any good whatsoever. And in terms of listening to my body, my body screams at me every time I do it.

      1. Bob,
        Did you mean “I find it ‘hard’ to imagine”? I think it’s a typo, yeah? I agree with you. Steady state actually has led me to depression in the past. It took forever to make the connection. It just batters your T post 30.

    2. Fantastic comment, I’ve been saying the same thing to my friends, a good walk outside is much more beneficial than a 12 min cardio routine.
      ‘I personally think that the difference is how all your senses keep
      getting bombarded with different sights, sounds and smells outdoors –
      even while the exercise causes your body to produce hormones that may
      act on the brain somewhat.’
      A gem of a comment.

    3. Great info. A long hike involving rock climbing, trees, strange steps, grabbing trees for leverage etc. It’s all so primal. I never thought of it spiking your hormones etc but I think you’re right. I come off the mountain in a nearly drugged state sometimes. The stogie I smoke out there might help but there is nothing like a mountain climb to set you right. I’m not a real climber with the ropes and pinions just casual mountain hiking. I do barbell stuff throughout the week and go on long hikes in the woods on Sunday. I feel fine. I might try to add in a few brief sessions of wind sprints. It’s starting to bother me that I never call on my body to sprint anymore. I mean about eight 60 yarders. Nothing that would yank too many calories from my system.

      1. If you have the chance to walk with a dog, it’s a great opportunity for some quick sprints outdoors in the sun/rain with fresh air and natural light.

    4. Awesome reply.
      Anyone who thinks that “cardio” is treadmill or elliptical work needs to do a giant set of Dumbbell Flyes, Incline Bench Delt Flyes and Dumbbell pullovers. 4 giant sets at 12,10,8,6
      Do that as hard and heavy as you can and then tell me that you aren’t doing cardio.
      I really want to try mountain climbing. I am trying to plan a trip to Zambia to swim in the devils swimming pool at Victoria Falls…maybe while there I will give it a shot.
      Also, I love that you categorize PTSD as a “hang-up” You could’t possibly be more correct either with diagnosis or prescription.

  7. Cardio is necessary for good heart strength and conditioning. Katy Perry or 3.2 mph doesn’t have to accompany it.

    1. Push ups and squats are “cardio.”
      Because of the influence of Dr. Cooper, running became the measure of “fitness.” This was a mistake. Someone who does their endurance exercise with calisthenics or circuit training can’t run, not because they aren’t fit, but simply because they don’t run. It’s a matter of neuromuscular patterning, which is specific to any given movement.
      A lifter may have just as much heart strength and conditioning as a runner, yet get out of breath when trying to run, because he runs inefficiently. He simply hasn’t learned how to run.
      Disclaimer of Bias: I am an endurance cyclist. The above is not defending my turf.

    2. Actually it depends. Excessive cardio often leads to thinned out walls in the heart. The heart will shed weight, as it were, to accommodate the workload it’s being placed under. Ask Alberto Salazar.

    1. Pull ups are pure gold. That is the most functional, practical and age-old exercise. I bet cavemen did it. I used to dip all the time. Now at 44, my shoulders can’t take it. I kept trying to push myself to do them and kept having discomfort and not the normal, muscle discomfort either. It was nervy and weird. I finally read that the traditional dip has been proven or, say, ‘determined’ (by some) to be a damaging exercise. So keep that in mind if you ever have issues.

  8. Benching isn’t actually very good for chest development, at all really. It’s good for building strength, but the best exercises for each muscle group can be found on t-nation.com in their “inside the muscle” article series. Neck Presses actually rank highest, and I can attest to their effectiveness having implemented them into my training two months ago.

  9. This article is totally spot on, thank you! The caveat of course is that many of these exercises carry a higher risk of injury without flawless technique and an expert spotter. Each person must decide what they’re willing to risk to get the body they want and WHY they are wanting it. There are much easier ways to score loose pussy, so if that’s your only goal, be a bartender, drug dealer or a local club promoter

  10. The pro bodybuilding scene is full of mental cases. The guys performing are fucked-up in the head. The ‘fans’ are even worse. What kind of fucking degenerate stares at another man’s body oiled up on a stage and ogles his various parts. The worst part is these guys can’t even come to terms with their homosexuality. You’re a hetero man staring at a guy’s ass and back.

    1. Ha ha. I dislike that whole industry because it is all falsely marketed. It’s supposed to be about health and yet you have guys frying the crap out of their organs with excessive protein intake, all to grow some little curves and bumps to look at.

  11. If that’s a real photo of a bodybuilder and not some photoshop, internet ad-style photo then I’m just about to be sick. He looks like he would have trouble breathing with all that shittiness all over himself. Ridiculous.

  12. I love this article. So much great stuff in it. I disagree with avoiding whey shakes (as a supplement NOT/NEVER as a replacement) to your diet. It is late Feb and I just finished my bulking project and I am moving into my cutting for the summer project and I am going to need that protein but want to avoid the calories/fat that would come along with it if i ate all that protein in the form of cow.
    Still, super stuff here. Well done.

  13. ROK says you can get six pack abs by drinking congealed bacon grease for breakfast and taking naps. This site is becoming parody.

  14. To my eye, it looks like the pic of the ripped dude from the late 1800s is photoshopped. Lots of telltale signs, plus his facial expression doesn’t match his flexing / posing.

    1. That’s Eugen Sandow. Search for him on Google Images, you’ll find other copies of the same photo, and different ones as well.
      Definitely not photoshopped.

  15. Good tips. I’ve been saying away from the shakes and bars my whole life. I just think they are pure marketing and a waste of money. Sure, I may not be approaching the g/lb of protein that tons of people recommend, but I’m not doing this to fill a bank account. I lift to be more athletic. I want to be faster and stronger… not just stronger.

  16. Great advice. Keep the cardio in HIIT form. The heart is the most important muscle. Eat high quality food and stay off creatine. That stuff is garbage.

  17. “See any treadmills, elliptical machines or exercise bikes?
    Yeah, me either. That’s because the old-time strong men got lean and muscular by grunting, straining and lifting heavy objects – not by traipsing along on a treadmill at 3.2 miles per hour while watching daytime television.”
    Honestly Im spoiled by modern day gyms. (Anytime Fitness,Snap Fitness etc) and I like to stare at all the cute girls asses.
    The only thing I dont like about modern day gyms are those ridiculous air fresheners. I have allergies. Air fresheners should be banned from gyms. Gym music too come to think of it.

  18. I’ll have a glas of raw eggs once in a while , organic and humane certified of course . It saves time . But I still don’t know if there is more benefit as opposed to cooked ?

  19. “If the food you’re about to eat didn’t exist when your grandfather was a kid… don’t eat it.”
    So expired food would make me a ripped champion?
    Next week on ROK a new article:
    “How become more alpha by eating rotten food.”

  20. You do know sugars are carbs? If you aren’t getting as much carbs as protein you can kiss your gains goodbye.
    And I’d rather look like the guy on the right, I already looked like the guy on the left when I was 14 years old

  21. Please dont use propaganda to make the other body type look inferior thats what feminism does.
    Find a confident looking guy with body type i prefer to have then show it side by side of pic of body type i dont want who looks sad and tired thats what you just did

  22. The desire to be a mass monster sideshow freak is something I still can’t fathom. Eugene Sandow had the kind of physique that is obtainable with good genetics and no drugs and is far more aesthetic and appealing to women than the guys competing in pro body-building.

  23. Chicks should be banned from gyms. I can’t stand when they`re texting and I’m in the middle of a heavy set. I can’t stand the fucking screams when they lift their barbie weights, the distraction kills me. The feminization of gyms is ruining fitness, those idiotic running shoes with bright colours, guys shaving their chest, what the f… man ? Spinning classes ? gimme a break mate !

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