This is a trip to the top of the mountain, to sit in awe at the feet of some of the greatest Mr Olympias who have ruled that firmament, and to feed off their wisdom. It’s a privilege not to be taken lightly.
Since 1965, the best of the best in bodybuilding have gathered at the base of Mount Olympia each year. Their goal: to reach the peak and plant their personal flag atop.
Over the past 50 years, 13 men have achieved this feat; each of them using differing training methods to carry them to the same zenith. In hopes of distilling the common secret of their success, we present here sample workouts of 10 Mr Olympias, so you can compare their styles.
You may ask why the workouts of these Olympia champs aren’t more similar. The answer is that it’s human nature to always look for an edge. Training philosophies are not so much an evolution as they are a search: the 1960s and 1970s were characterised by high volume, low reps and supersets; the 1980s, low volume and high intensity; and the 1990s ushered in the age of fixed-vector, hightech recuperative training. The men in each of those decades assumed they had landed upon the secret, but we now know that the training philosophies they found were only tools to be used for further digging.
Your obligation is to search deeper, to read between their reps for those ineffable clues that made these Mr Olympias not merely superior, but singular. It may seem that their workouts do not differ noticeably from yours; but some other transcendent quality (spirit? Will?) does. Study their expressions, share their concentration, feel their effort, burn with their intensity, rejoice with their conviction and maybe you’ll find it.
LARRY SCOTT - 1ST MR OLYMPIA (1965-66)
|Seated dumbbell presses||5 – 6||6|
|Dumbbell lateral raises||4 – 5||6 – 8|
|Bent-over lateral raises||4 – 5||6 – 8|
|Front alternate dumbbell raises||5||8|
JAY CUTLER - 11TH MR OLYMPIA (2006)
|Seated dumbbell lateral raises||4||10|
|Seated dumbbell presses||3||8 -10|
|One-arm behind-the-back cable lateral raises||3||10|
|Barbell front raises||3||10|
|Reverse pec-deck flyes||3||10|
|High-pulley reverse crossovers||3||10|