Taking Fitness Lessons From the Past

In today’s fitness world we are being bombarded by advertisements for the next miracle pill to help us get the body we want. New diets, new training programs and the never-ending new supply of supplements. Not that advances in nutrition and training are bad but we need to remember the basics.

Let’s look back in time to an age of nutrition and training that seems to have been forgotten. The age of names like Steve Reeves, Reg Park, Paul Grimick, just to name a few. This is before anyone new the name Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is before supplement companies had a product for everything. In this era, men and women built real physiques without the current advancements in training and nutrition. How is this possible you might ask? They did it though hard work and discipline. You can do it too. Now, before we get going on a rant about the importance of supplements and eating 6-8 meals per day, let’s stop and just take a look at how things were done in the past and try to learn from history.

I am going to use Steve Reeves as an example. Reeves is a fitness icon. He had Steve Reevesarguably the most aesthetic physique of all time. Reeves believed in being healthy above all else. He didn’t sacrifice his health for gains in size and strength. Reeves’ diet has been well documented in books that he has published. A day in the “Reeves diet” would be three meals consisting of 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fats. Reeves believed in eating whole foods from every food group.

I realize the benefits from eating small meals more frequent, but the old adage of eating three square meals a day could still hold its own. As for training, Reeves believed in training with proper form and performing slow repetitions with emphasis on the negative portion. Reeves said that you should only train the entire body three times per week to allow for adequate rest.

Reeves was able to build a world-class physique without the use of anabolic steroids, or using heavy supplementation. I believe that supplements do have their place but they can never replace quality food. By relying too heavily on supplements we are possibly hindering our progress.

What can we take away from this old school approach to fitness? One fact is that we should be working out and following proper nutrition to be as healthy as possible so that we can live long happy lives. Nothing can replace hard work and consistency. No matter what your fitness goals are, what diet you follow or how you train, one thing that will always remain the same is that there are no short cuts, no magic pills and no perfect workout routine. Take a lesson from the past and try out a basic approach to nutrition and training.


The NFPT Team is your #FitFam of trainer professionals who make various contributions to the NFPT Blog according to timed news and events, or interests in writing to current topics respective to individual skillset, talent and/or professional recommendations.
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