The Reg Park classic bodybuilding diet shows us how much nutrition has changed over the years. During this era of bodybuilding, nothing was off limits. Reg ate pounds of steak and eggs, but also included cake and beer into his diet. He only cared about eating a lot of food each day that was high in protein.
Who was Reg Park?
Reg Park was a professional English bodybuilder, actor, and businessman. He won Mr Britain in 1946, then went on to win the Mr Universe in 1951, 1958, and 1965. Reg also acted in movies, where he played muscular characters, like Hercules. He inspired many bodybuilders who came after him, like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Height: 6′ 1″ (160 cm)
- Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
- Born: June 7, 1928
- Died: November 22, 2007
Reg Park Diet
In the early years of bodybuilding, nutrition was approached in a much different way. Bodybuilders didn’t calculate their macros, weigh their food, or count calories. Instead, they focused on eating a ton of food, that was high in protein. During this time it was popular to eat whole eggs and steak for protein sources.
- 1st meal: 6 whole eggs, large bowl of corn flakes mixed with protein powder, and a large glass of orange juice
- 2nd meal: 12 ounces of steak, 2 baked potatoes, and a salad
- 3rd meal: Large glass of milk and 2 scoops of protein powder
- 4th meal: 12 ounces of chicken, bowl of pasta, and broccoli
These are just some of the foods Reg Park ate throughout his bodybuilding career. He wasn’t very strict with his diet, in fact, nothing was off limits. Reg Park was known to eat cake and drink pints of Guinness, while he built his notable physique. Arnold Schwarzenegger even talked about how Reg liked to sprinkle protein powder on his corn flakes.
This Reg Park chest workout is from a 1950 edition of Muscle Builder magazine. It even helped Reg gain 2 inches in his chest. We can see how this change impacted his bodybuilding career, as he went on to win Mr Universe one year later. Reg also focused on breathing exercises, for ultimate chest expansion.
- 1st exercise: Dumbbell pullover 4 x 10
- 2nd exercise: Incline dumbbell press 5 x 5
- 3rd exercise: Bodyweight dip 4 x 10
- 4th exercise: Bench press 5 x 5
- 5th exercise: Barbell pullover
During this classic bodybuilding era, it was all about the v-taper. A wide upper body and thin waist is what most people wanted. Today, it’s all about getting as big as you can. Developing the back is what really enhances this desired v-taper. Reg was known for his thick lats he attributed to simple exercises, like pull-ups and rows.
- 1st exercise: Wide grip barbell row 5 x 5
- 2nd exercise: Dumbbell row 4 x 10
- 3rd exercise: Lat machine pulldown 4 x 10
- 4th exercise: Side-to-side chin up 5 x 5
- 5th exercise: Wide grip pull up 5 x 5
Well developed shoulders are just as important as the back, for developing a v-taper. When Reg Park was a teenager he was tall, thin, and had narrow shoulders with little muscle. He took up weight training so he could improve his physical appearance and gain more confidence. Try his workout on your next shoulder day.
- 1st exercise: Overhead barbell press 5 x 5
- 2nd exercise: Seated dumbbell press 4 x 10
- 3rd exercise: Dumbbell front raise 4 x 10
- 4th exercise: Dumbbell lateral raise 4 x 15
- 5th exercise: Rear dumbbell fly 4 x 15
We can see how Reg Park also favored breathing exercises with his leg routine. Each morning he would do 20 reps of breathing squats. This would get some blood flowing in his legs, and helped him develop a strong core with the breathing. Some of his favorite leg exercises were elevated squats on a block and jumping squats.
- 1st exercise: Barbell breathing squat x 20
- 2nd exercise: Squat on elevated block 3 x 15
- 3rd exercise: Leg press with feet out 3 x 15
- 4th exercise: Jumping squat 3 x 10-15
- 5th exercise: Standing calf raise 3 x 20
When Reg first arrived to the United States, he was exposed to new exercise equipment. Tools like the lat pulldown and incline bench helped him target the muscles in new ways and grow his arms. Apparently his arms grew from 18 to 19 inches with just a few months of training. This shows how it’s easy to plateau when you don’t switch up your routine.
- 1st exercise: Alternating incline dumbbell curl
- 2nd exercise: Seated triceps cable pushdown 3 x 10-12
- 3rd exercise: Seated dumbbell curl 3 x 10-12
- 4th exercise: Alternate dumbbell press 3 x 10-12
- 5th exercise: Barbell concentration curl 3 x 10-12
- 6th exercise: Dumbbell French press 3 x 10-12
When examining this era of classic bodybuilding, we can see how much things have changed. Bodybuilders weren’t as concerned with things like how many grams of carbs they were eating, or how many sets to do. People like Reg Park kept things simple. They ate a lot of food, lifted heavy weight, and were still able to build impressive physiques.
- Reg Park diet
- Reg park workout plan