Charles Glass Diet and Workout Plan

Charles Glass Diet

The Charles Glass diet is an old school bodybuilding meal plan. During the 1970s and 1980s there weren’t hundreds of different whey protein flavors. Charles and other bodybuilders ate meat for their protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Charles was able to build an incredible physique with this classic approach to nutrition. Keep reading for a more detailed look into his favorite foods and workout routine.

Who is Charles Glass?

Charles class is a former gymnast, professional bodybuilder, and personal trainer. His vast knowledge of weightlifting has earned him the nickname the Godfather of bodybuilding. Charles currently trains and works with some of the best bodybuilders in the sport. He is considered a regular at Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California.


  • Height: 5’6″ (168 cm)
  • Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
  • Year of birth: 1950

Charles Glass Diet

Old school bodybuilders didn’t rely on synthetic protein to build muscle. Charles ate real foods to get his protein sources such as, chicken, fish, and steak. He also didn’t dramatically fluctuate his weight like modern day bodybuilders. Charles wouldn’t gain a crazy amount of weight in the off-season and stayed relatively lean throughout the year.

  • 1st meal: Whole eggs, ground beef and toast
  • 2nd meal: Chicken, brown rice, and vegetables
  • 3rd meal: Fish, sweet potato, and vegetables
  • 4th meal: Lean steak, brown rice, and a salad
  • 5th meal: Cheese omelette and cottage cheese

Whole Foods

Protein shakes were hard to come by in the 1970s and 1980s. This meant Charles and other bodybuilders during his era had to eat more whole foods. When you’re training for 2-3 hours a day you’re burning a lot of calories. It was typical for these guys to eat a massive meal after their workout. This would be a combination of high protein and complex carbohydrates.

Chest Workout

For this chest workout, Charles utilizes the GOB pad. This device helps better target the muscles, by changing the body position on each machine. Charles likes to find that balance between giving 100 percent effort and fatiguing the muscles. The last rep in each set should be very challenging. When you push yourself past this point your form goes out the window.

  • 1st exercise: Incline smith machine bench press 4 x 8-12
  • 2nd exercise: Flat bench press 5 x 8-15
  • 3rd exercise: Hammer Strength chest press 4 x 8-12
  • 4th exercise: Seated chest press machine 4 x 8-12
  • 5th exercise: Incline chest press machine 4 x 10-15

Back Workout

To build up the back muscles, Charles says it’s important to focus on contraction during each rep. When doing the wide grip pulldown for example, you need to be squeezing the upper back as the weight is coming down. Beginners often focus on moving the weight at all costs. This isn’t an effective approach and can lead to injury.

  • 1st exercise: Wide grip cable pulldown 4 x 10-15
  • 2nd exercise: Bent over cable pulldown (with rope) 4 x 10-15
  • 3rd exercise: Close grip seated cable row (with rope) 4 x 10-12
  • 4th exercise: Hammer Strength machine row 4 x 10-15
  • 5th exercise: Wide grip pull-up 4 x to failure
  • 6th exercise: Dumbbell row 4 x 10-12

Shoulder Workout

When it comes to building shoulder muscles, Charles says it’s very important that you hit every shoulder head. You can accomplish this by changing up the angle of your body and hand positioning. A hanging lateral raise increases the range of motion, so you can target more of the shoulder muscle. This same concept applies when you change hand positions.

  • 1st exercise: Hanging dumbbell lateral raise 4 x 8-12
  • 2nd exercise: Standing dumbbell front raise 4 x 8-12
  • 3rd exercise: Standing straight bar front raise 4 x 8-12
  • 4th exercise: Bent over cable rear delt raise 4 x 10-15
  • 5th exercise: Standing cable rear delt raise 4 x 10-15
  • 6th exercise: Seated dumbbell shoulder press 5 x 8-15

Leg Workout

Charles talks about how foot positioning can completely change what leg muscles you are working. You have the ability to target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes just by making slight adjustments with your feet. Low feet positioning will work the quads and high feet positioning will work the hamstrings. Having your feet in the middle will target both muscles groups.

  • 1st exercise: Seated leg extension 3 x 10 superset with walking lunges 3 x 10
  • 2nd exercise: Leg press 4 x 6-12
  • 3rd exercise: Hack squat 4 x 8-12
  • 4th exercise: Single leg leg press 3 x 10-15
  • 5th exercise: Seated hamstring curl 4 x 8-12
  • 6th exercise: Single leg hamstring curl 3 x 10-15
  • 7th exercise: Standing calf raise 3 x 15-20
  • 8th exercise: Seated calf raise 3 x 15-20

Arm Workout

The focus of this workout is two arm movements. You will notice that Charles first trains biceps, before moving on to the triceps. When the biceps are completely fatigued, the triceps will work on their own. This is just one way to train the arm muscles and you can also alternate between biceps and triceps exercises during the course of the workout.

  • 1st exercise: Machine preacher curl 3 x 8-12
  • 2nd exercise: Standing EZ-bar curl 3 x 10-15
  • 3rd exercise: Incline bench barbell curl 3 x 10-15
  • 4th exercise: Cable triceps pushdown (straight bar) 3 x 8-12
  • 5th exercise: Machine triceps extension 3 x 8-12
  • 6th exercise: Machine triceps pushdown 3 x 10-15
  • 7th exercise: Cable triceps extension (with rope) 3 x 8-12

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