TIP#3.14 - Nutrition: Old School vs New School

There is a huge difference in approach to Nutrition today in bodybuilding and fitness compared to the 60s, 70s and 80s 'Classic' or 'Golden' Era. There could be many reasons for this, one invariably being the more detailed discovery of what role nutrients play in our body. One might say that it is this fact alone that over complicates the modern diet and leads to a potentially negative impact on results, others might argue that we now benefit even more from the knowledge, structuring better and more effective diets for ourselves. Either way it seems people had more impressive physiques 'back in the day' then they do now. There are obviously more factors involved here than nutrition, but lets compare some oldschool principles to modern principles any way.

It must be first said that Training alone creates the stimulus for change rather than over emphasis on nutrition. Muscles will not grow unless trained appropriately.

1. Protein

Old School:

The number one nutrient on the planet, it is required in huge amounts to grow muscles. Without enough Protein you will never grow. As much as 2-3g per pound of body weight is required.

New School:

Protein is really important, but you actually don't need very much in order to grow. 1g per pound of body weight is enough.

2. Fat

Old School:

Fat is your fuel source, needed for extended bouts of intense training. If you eat a lot of fat you can train for hours. You can keep them high all year round, animal fat is the best.

New School:

Essential fatty acids are required for optimal health and vitality, but they are also not good in large amounts with links to cancer and heart disease. Keep them at medium level, sourcing them from healthy foods like nuts, olive oil and fish instead of fatty red meat.

3. Carbohydrates

Old School:

Carbohydrates will make you fat, if you want to be lean then keep them very low. They offer very little to the world of bodybuilding. Eat them every now and then if you really want them, but otherwise you can pretty much ignore Carbs.

New School:

Carbs are really important for energy, your body really needs them to be healthy. If you are training hard in the gym then you definitely need a lot of them to fuel your workouts and your recovery! Make sure they make up at least 50% of your calorie intake.

If you've been following my blog for any length of time you will know which 'school' I belong to. I believe the old school approach to bodybuilding has so much to offer modern food science, and it always seems to go ignored. Hopefully soon the rest of the world will realise that actually the sport of bodybuilding proved over 50 years ago what optimal nutrition actually is. Vince Gironda (pictured) is understood to be the real driver of old school nutrition principles, and every one of your favourite classical icons in the USA was under his supervision. His principles were very simple; Eat 4 times per day, as much meat and eggs you can eat in one sitting, that's it. There was no macro nutrient counting, no calorie measurements or weighing of food, just simply eat till you're really full then move on.

Vince Gironda's approach was a game changer for the American bodybuilders of the time, they were looking bigger and leaner then most other foreign competitors. Essentially the diet called for an overload of animal protein and fat in every meal, and it doesn't necessarily have to come from red meat, but poultry and fish too. We now know for certain that dietary Carbohydrate is non-essential for health, a fact that goes ignored continuously in the fitness industry today. Everyone has a level of carbohydrate they can tolerate before getting fat, but we notice that everyone needs plenty of Protein and Fatty acids in their diet. You just can't argue with results.

Old School Diets

Brian Buchanan: 4 whole chickens per day with a slice of white bread.

Serge Nubret: 4-8lbs of Horse meat per day with vegetables.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Ground Beef with Eggs - as much as you can fit down in 4 sittings.

For more Info on Optimal Nutrition and programming please click here.

Thanks so much for Reading!

Matt The Trainer

Personal Trainer London

NOTE: It should be acknowledged that professional bodybuilders of both the modern and classical world partake in the use of anabolic steroids. However, nutrition is vitally important regardless of steroid use.



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