Old School Bodybuilding Exercises

Crack open any bodybuilding magazine these days and the sight which usually greets you will be guys of mind boggling size, working out (well, posing) in some kind of machine.

Rarely do you see many lifters performing free weight exercises. Maybe it’s not glamorous enough.

To someone with little knowledge of bodybuilding, seeing such images can only make them believe that machines and equipment evolution can be the only reason why today’s bodybuilders are so much bigger than they were in the past, and that machines are the way forward.

Of course, educated bodybuilders know this is wrong.

There’s no doubt about the fact that as time goes by, through advancements in science and technology we gain more knowledge about the human body, training, and nutrition. But, there is no doubt that the biggest advancements, and the main reason for the size difference between today’s bodybuilders and those of the past is superior steroids and other bodybuilding drugs.

But, this article isn’t about drugs. It’s about old school bodybuilding exercises. The exercises which were used back then successfully, and are still the most effective mass building exercises now: free weight exercises.

Any exercise which uses dumbbells or barbells, be they isolation or compound.

Forget machines and fancy routines. Here is a list of the real old school exercises you need to be doing to build mass:

  • Barbell squats
  • Barbell hack squats
  • Dead lifts
  • Bench press
  • Bent over rows
  • Military presses
  • Upright rows
  • Barbell curls
  • Dumbbell flies
  • Triceps extensions
  • Lateral raises
  • Donkey calf raises
  • Weighted crunches
  • Lunges

Yes, there are more. Yes, there are some rare ones – but these are the ones which have stood the test of time. These are the ones which couldn’t be forgotten for the simple reason that they work too well. These are the true old school bodybuilding exercises.

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