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1970s Bodybuilding Routine



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1970s Bodybuilding Workout


The 1970's heralded a massive change in bodybuilding as big names like Arnold, Zane and Sergio Oliva changed from doing the normal full body workout to high volume split routines. If there is anything that these massively muscled men had in common regarding their training it was volume.

If we compare the great bodybuilders from the 1970's to the top professional bodybuilders of today we can see a big difference. The overly muscled bodybuilders of today look like pregnant cows with low body-fat compared to the Herculean look of broad shoulders, narrow waist and aesthetically pleasing look of the 70's.

The 1970's workouts were brutal often trained on a double split routine training twice a day, it is vitally important to ensure adequate recuperation and nutrition. Although any good bodybuilder knows that no routine is set in stone as the body adapts and routines need to be changed to accommodate, in the 70's they did not train one body-part once a week like today.

Working on a split routine they would train hard for an hour doing high volume with a lot of weight working only one body-part and then come back later in the day to do another workout on another body-part. Here is a typical split done by 1970 bodybuilders.

Chest and back on Monday, Shoulders and arms on Tuesdays, legs on Wednesday then chest and back again on Thursday, shoulders and arms on Friday, legs again on Saturday and rest on Sunday. It was all about intensity, pushing the body to the full extent for a grueling hour.

Typically they would do 3 or 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps each doing a lot of volume by doing many movements like bench-press, incline bench-press, dips, D/B flys and D/B pullovers. Back would be similar sets and reps using pull-ups and chins, bent-over rowing, T-bar rowing and deadlifts.


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