It’s unfortunate that many lifters today might, at best, vaguely recognize names like Saxon, Hackenschmidt, or Hoffman. Sandow, however, is one old school name that should ring a bell with even the most casual bodybuilder, even if it’s just as “that Olympia statue dude.”
These were all guys who built crazy-strong, impressively muscled physiques at a time when plate-loaded barbells were cutting-edge technology and a perfect post-workout meal was a big plate of mutton stew with a hearty lager.
It’s a shame that these innovators go unnoticed when you consider that even today’s top coaches who deliver cutting-edge training advice have stood on the shoulders of these legends of the lifting game.
Believe it or not, many of the theories and practices circulating today are actually modern interpretations of classic training methods. They may be backed up with new research or tweaked for greater efficiency but, on the whole, it’s downright surprising how many parallels there are between “new” ideas and old school concepts.
Let’s take a look at five of the biggest training practices that’ve been used for years – some of them for over a century – and see if we can’t figure out why these ideas still haven’t sunk into the minds of each new generation of lifters.
A quick heads-up, though: Reading some of this old-timey grammar might give you flashbacks of trudging through Ethan Frome in Junior High. Just deal with it and try to get the main idea. There won’t be an essay afterwards.