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Bodybuilding in the 70s: Training, Nutrition, and Iconic Athletes

Bodybuilding in the 70s: Training, Nutrition, and Iconic Athletes

The 1970s is often referred to as the heyday of bodybuilding a time when the sport experienced a surge, in popularity and witnessed the rise of athletes who left an impact. During this era, bodybuilders focused on sculpting their physiques with proportions and their training and nutrition methods set the groundwork for bodybuilding practices. In this blog post, we discuss Bodybuilding in the 70s, specifically, we explore how bodybuilders approached their diet and workout routines in the 70s delve into who was crowned as the bodybuilder in 1970, and examine whether cardio played a role in their regimens.

How Did Bodybuilders Nourish Themselves in the 70s?

In the 1970s bodybuilders adhered to principles that emphasized eating, high protein diets, and an emphasis on whole foods. Although specific meal plans varied among athletes they shared core principles;

  • Emphasis on High Protein Intake: Protein formed the bedrock of every bodybuilders diet during this period. Athletes consumed amounts of protein sources such as chicken, fish, eggs, and lean cuts of beef.
  • Balanced Carbohydrate Consumption: Carbohydrates also played a role in their diet by providing energy, for intense workouts and aiding muscle recovery. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and fruits were favored carbohydrate sources.
  • Healthy Fats: To support health and hormone production bodybuilders, in the 70s included fats from sources like nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
  • Regular Meals: In order to maintain a flow of nutrients and prevent hunger bodybuilders in the 70s typically ate multiple smaller meals throughout the day.
  • Minimized Processed Foods: of relying on processed foods, sugary snacks, or excessive junk food bodybuilders in the 70s nutrient dense whole foods.

Frank Zane

How Did Bodybuilders Train in the 70s?

Training in the 70s focused on developing strength, symmetry, and proportionate muscle growth. Bodybuilders emphasized exercises. Used progressive overload techniques to stimulate muscle growth. Here are some key aspects of their training;

  • Compound Movements: The foundation of their workout routines consisted of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and rows. These exercises engaged muscle groups. Promoted overall strength and size gains.
  • Volume and Frequency: Bodybuilders in the 70s often trained with volume and frequency by targeting each muscle group multiple times a week. Split training routines were popular as they focused on muscle groups on days.
  • Full Body Workouts: Some bodybuilders, in the 1970s, followed workout routines that targeted all muscle groups during a session. This approach allowed for recovery time between workouts promoting optimal muscle growth.
  • Progressive Overload: A fundamental principle of training in the 70s was overload, which involved increasing resistance or intensity. Bodybuilders consistently challenge their muscles to adapt and grow by adding weight or reps to their exercises.
  • Focus on Form: Proper form was of importance in 1970s bodybuilding. Athletes prioritized techniques to minimize the risk of injury and maximize muscle activation for workouts.

Who Was Considered the Top Bodybuilder in the 1970s?

During the 1970s Arnold Schwarzenegger emerged as a figure in bodybuilding establishing himself as one of history’s renowned bodybuilders. He clinched his Mr. Olympia title in 1970. Went on to secure a remarkable total of seven Mr. Olympia titles setting a record that endured for many years.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charisma, insane muscles, and hardcore dedication helped make bodybuilding huge in the ’70s. Beyond his success as a bodybuilder, he also broke into acting and later became a politician – leaving a mark on fitness and society.

But did bodybuilders actually do cardio back then? Not really – cardio wasn’t nearly as big in ’70s bodybuilding compared to now. The focus was mainly on lifting and resistance training to build muscle and look jacked. Some athletes might’ve done light walking or cycling for heart health and recovery.

It’s important to note our understanding of exercise science has grown a lot since the ’70s. Nowadays, bodybuilders know cardio offers benefits and include it in their routines.

Bodybuilding in the 70s really shaped the industry into what it is today. Athletes at the time emphasized eating well, taking in tons of protein, and doing compound lifts to build balanced physiques. Icons like Arnold inspired generations of fitness fans with their example.

The training and nutrition practices from the ’70s established a solid foundation for the sport by showing the importance of diet, progressive overload, and keeping good form for gains. While cardio wasn’t huge then, bodybuilders today realize the advantages for health and performance.

The legacy of bodybuilding in the 70s, bodybuilding continues to influence the fitness world now. The sheer dedication and passion of athletes back then served as inspiration for aspiring bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts striving to better themselves. That drive to be your best continues to motivate people today.

Bodybuilding in the 70s