Old School Strength
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I watched movies like Commando, Terminator, Predator, or Conan the Barbarian growing up.
You had explosions, guns, sword fights, time travel, and a litany of other factors – cheesy dialogue, aliens, epic handshakes, and did I mention explosions? – which could easily hold the attention of any 13 year old kid for two hours.
The common denominator in all those film, of course, was the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ask any guy my age what “inspired” him to start working out in the first place and you’re bound to hear something along the lines of “Arnold’s biceps.” You could argue that no one person in the history of the world inspired a generation of pimply faced, rail thin, “girly men” to pick up a barbell more so than Arnold.
But lets not forget the other golden era bodybuilders like Franco Columbo, Dave Draper, Lou Ferrigno, Frank Zane, and Sergio Olivia (to name a few), who were equally as responsible.
These guys are referenced endlessly in the realm of bodybuilding for their unparalleled aesthetics, especially with regards to the balance they were able to establish between muscularity AND symmetry.
Books have been written, DVDs have been made, and countless websites have been created to highlight their training and how they were able to build those Adonis-like physiques.
One aspect or detail that’s often glossed over is the notion that these guys – for all intents and purposes – were strong as oxen (<— look at me using proper grammar!!).
For as much as we dissect their training – What was their ideal training split?, How often did they do drop sets?, Did they like to train to failure consistently? Which was better: training biceps with back or on shoulder day? Favorite color? – we forget that almost all of them went out of their way to build a foundation of STRENGTH before they ever thought about competing in bodybuilding, let along step foot on stage.
As I note in my latest article on BodyBuilding.com, many of these guys had a history of competing in powerlifting, Olympic lifting (or both!), before they ever became well-known in their respective body-building careers.
Furthermore, where I feel many newbie and intermediate lifters miss the mark is not recognizing how important strength is when it comes to building an impressive physique. What’s the point in having an “arms day” if you can’t even perform a chin-up?
For more insight on the topic and more of my thoughts, you can go HERE.
Click on the link. Do it. DO IT!!! I’ll be your BFF.
NOTE: Of interest is the comments section in the article. Not surprisingly the “steroid police” took over completely missing the point of the entire article. Sigh……..
NOTE #2: I realize that one of my comments in the article regarding chin-ups should be clarified. Obviously this is an exercise that favors the lighter guys, and it’s going to be challenging for anyone who weighs over 200+ lbs to crank out ten straight reps.
That said, the main point is this: if you’re a newbie, and performing 17 different variations of bicep curls in one training session to work on your “peak,” you need to stop. Now.