Silver Inspiration, Modern Application
Today, bodybuilding is a sport where we see individuals obsess over every single detail in their life to reach their maximum potential. Optimality is the name of the game it seems for recreational lifters and competitors alike. The sad thing is, most individuals sacrifice relationships and opportunities to reach their physique's maximum potential. That isn't the healthiest approach in my mind.
The solution? Insert the Silver Era of Bodybuilding during the 1940s and 1950s.
Most people who train want the same things: Strength, Aesthetics, and Health. In the Silver Era, you witnessed each of these pillars in daily practice.
Legends like Reg Park, Steve Reeves, and John Grimek displayed brute strength due to their primitive yet effective training styles. While they didn't obsess over aesthetics, their physiques were arguably better looking than the freakish, grainy ones we see today. Some still consider Steve Reeves to be the greatest physique of all time!
Finally, and most importantly, Silver Era bodybuilders were healthy. Not just healthy looking, but I feel their relationships in life were healthier due to their almost nonchalant approach. Bodybuilding was actually a sideshow to strength contests before the Silver Era, so the competitors weren't obsessive like we see today. They trained just 3 days a week for most of the year, leaving plenty of time for physical and mental recovery from the iron. Their diets were rich in whole foods and could be best described as practical.
At the end of the day, I realize the Silver Era methods aren’t the most optimal for building muscle and burning fat. However, more times than not, I feel that the Silver methods are more optimal for life as a whole. Most of us aren’t making a full-time living from working out. As a result, your approach should reflect that. As a coach, I prescribe routines for my athletes that first and foremost fit into their life and priorities. While that may not always resemble an old school routine, the inspiration is always present.