Gain Mass

Eating for the Bodybuilding Physique of the 70s

Here's how you can benefit from some old-school eating habits.


They say we are what we eat. Never a truer word has been spoken and you can look around and pretty much tell who eats right and who doesn’t. I look at today’s society and see obesity all around me starting with the kids right on up to the adults. TV reality shows are all popping up now with those like The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michael’s Losing It and specials on obesity and diabetes.

I don’t remember seeing this much coverage on weight in the 70s as it wasn’t as big a problem then or at least it wasn’t in the media. Today more people are on the run and want to eat quick so they pick those items that are full of sugars and fats and don’t stop to analyze what’s in it and what it will do to them. Some gain 100 lbs in no time and don’t even realize it until it’s there. Then they’re on to their 2nd 100 lbs.

When I was in school, we had cafeterias that took pride in their meals and were cooked by little old ladies in the back. Each meal was balanced and came with a lot of flavor as well. Today’s schools package meals and stick them in vending machines for the kids. It’s a no thought process.

I started my 70s diet in the 60s so you might say I was ahead of my time. But, I got most my information out of reading muscle magazines, which the average person would never read and even laugh at me for doing it. These articles began my structure to eat right and get results in my body.

The main diet for bodybuilding in the 70s was high protein and low carb. It was Protein to build the muscle and less carb to reduce body fat. It made perfect sense to me and the others that trained. However when you would try to explain this to someone on the street, it would be an argument about how they liked to eat all the other foods. This wasn’t a case of like or dislike, but we would eat for results even if we didn’t like the food.

This diet started way back maybe even beyond the 50s but I do remember in 1967 many of the bodybuilders on the beach drinking quart containers of extra rich milk or even cream. Some would go to restaurants and drink the cream right out of the containers on the tables. This was pretty extreme but they did it. The reason for this was of course the extra protein and the fat content for energy, which I’ll get into later in this article.

Supplements were just breaking ground around then and the main things to take were liver pills that were extreme in building stomach gases and Soy protein, which really didn’t work that well. Some of us would add powdered milk to our regular milk just to get more protein. I would also see protein cans on the shelves in stores but the spelling was PROTEEN. I was never sure what was in that so I didn’t try it. But, I did use dehydrated fish powder as it was considered pure protein. I wasn’t easily digested and tasted like vomit but it did have its value.

We depended most on ‘real’ foods such as the diet below and this was very basic.

Breakfast - Beef patty and 3 eggs, cottage cheese and vitamins.

Lunch - Chicken or Fish, or Beef patty, small salad, option eggs and cottage cheese. Or Tuna.

Mid afternoon snack – Can of Tuna or chicken breasts or protein drink.

Dinner -Steak, or Chicken with small salad, cottage cheese and sugar free jello and vegetables.

Bedtime – Cheese omelet

This was considered high protein, low carbohydrate and the fats came from eggs and cheese and for some of the other people, extra rich milk or cream. In fact we were supposed to mix our protein with cream which was the Rheo H. Blair theory.

For access to exclusive fitness advice, interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!