When I first began training the sources of information about how to organize a workout, what were the best exercises to build muscle mass, and how to eat to promote added muscle mass and strength were minimal. The Internet wasn't even a concept back then, so there were no YouTube videos available to explain the nuances of nutrition and exercise. Indeed, while there are a plethora of such videos available today on YouTube, with regard to most of them, their value is equal to the cost of watching them--nothing. When I started training, there were a few books available written by college physical education professors about "The Science of Progressive Exercise." What these books touted was based mainly on the DeLorme exercise system, which was fully discussed in a previous issue of Applied Metabolics. This style of training, developed by an orthopedic surgeon named Thomas De Lorme, suggested basic exercises, such as bench press, bent-over barbell rows, barbell curls, and squats as the foundation of a routine designed to add muscular size and strength. You did these exercises for 3 sets, increasing the weight on each consecutive set. Although Dr.DeLorme originally designed the system for rehabilitation purposes, he soon realized that it would work for anyone interested in acquiring added muscular strength and size. The system, developed in 1948, caught on and became the dominant training style of the late 40s and 50s. Elite bodybuilding champions of that era, such as 1947 Mr.America, Steve Reeves, and 1945 Mr.America, Clarence Ross, trained in this style, preferring to do whole-body workouts, 3 days a week.
Besides the books by medical professionals such as DeLorme, the only other source of information available to me were the bodybuilding magazines. Back then, the magazines were a gold mine of useful information, unlike the absurd sales catalogs that are available today. As the years went by, and the Internet became the dominant source of information about training and nutrition, the amount of information on these subjects burgeoned. That development, however, produced both good and bad effects. The good effect was there was now a free, readily available source of information about how to train and how to eat to gain muscle mass. The bad part was that most of it is inaccurate, misleading, and contradictory. Self-styled YouTube experts will often suggest training programs that would make Dr.DeLorme spin around in his grave. Others tout nutrition principles that appeared to be made up on the spot, with no scientific proof whatsoever to back up the often wild claims and ideas. So rather than educate those who are interested in adding muscle mass and strength, the abundance of questionable information available on the Internet in numerous blogs, websites, and videos just serves to confuse and lead many astray, convinced that they "don't have the genetics to get big." It's true that . . .