Everyone knows the old saying “abs are made in the kitchen,” but no one ever asks whose abs were better…
The bodybuilding industry has grown astronomically since the age of the legends; Frank Zane, Dave Draper, Bill Grant, Arnold Schwarzenegger (of course,) the list goes on. Through this growth, there’s also been a drastic emergence of diet plans and eating patterns. We’ve learned that nutrition is essential to anyone who is looking to make some physical progress, whether they are looking to gain muscle mass or lose fat. The question is, however, whose diet plan was better as a generation?
Well, to be completely honest, with all the different diet plans and supplements that are available to us today, it’s hard to select one general plan to compare with the golden era’s, which seemed to be nearly identical across the world. Instead, we’re going to take a good in-depth look as to what the Golden Era diet consisted of, and how it relates to modern-day overall concepts and beliefs.
The Golden Era Diet
The first of many factors we need to address about the golden era’s diet right off the bat is that supplements were slim-to-none involving overall consumption for these bodybuilders. There were supplements like some proteins and multivitamins, but it wasn’t like today where brands are growing exponentially as time goes on. Still, bodybuilders back then seemed to not have had too many problems without it, and we found it interesting how they were able to do so.
Like today, many bodybuilders during the golden era set the standards as to what the greatest bodies could look like at their time. With that said, most bodybuilders back in the day got the majority of their nutrients from real food (hard to believe, we know.) According to world-famous bodybuilder Ric Drasin, who rose to prominence during the golden era of bodybuilding, meals were based on a combination of meats, eggs, and cheese. As plain as that sounds…what reason would we have not to believe him?
He goes on to say that bodybuilder’s back then heavily relied on lean red meat, as it added not only size, but strength as well, and that chicken was number two on their priority list. Breakfast often consisted of hamburger patties, whole eggs, and cottage cheese. Interestingly enough, he adds that they liked to use the entire egg in their meals due to the concept of the fat within the yolk being used for energy and not stored as fat, while the cottage cheese was a great source of both protein and calcium.
Drasin also notes that he enjoyed using the Presto Burger to cook his meals (which has since nearly completely disappeared,) and that the George Foreman grill is way too bulky to be cooking from on a daily basis. For those of you who like your seafood, fish is also a great substitute for meat and chicken, but Ric states that it’s not as filling and may still leave you hungry. He mentions that he tried a 6-month trial of strictly fish as his source of protein (with some days eating chicken) where he got extremely shredded and was still able to maintain his body weight.
Lastly, he mentioned that they ate like this from Monday through Saturday, with Sunday being everybody’s junk day. Whether it be eating full pies of pizza or entire sleeves of cookies, everyone had their fetish and everyone was allowed to eat it come Sunday (or whatever cheat day they had scheduled for themselves.) The day after, everyone would feel bloated and overweight and head back to the gym, then be able to get back on track and back to their regular weight by Tuesday.
As we mentioned, there are so many different diet plans and supplements available to us now as compared to the golden age. As far as today is concerned, we’ve certainly become way more advanced in regards to how we are able to study different workout programs, diet plans, and supplements, but that doesn’t mean that the modern day is better/worse than the days of the Golden Age. It’s surely a different time, but like all other subjects and topics, we can certainly learn a thing or two from looking back to the past.