Do Weightlifting Moves From The 1940s Still Work? These Bodybuilders Tested Some Out

Buff Dudes 1940s workout

YouTube / Buff Dudes

The staples of weightlifting exercises stand the test of time. Fifty years ago, guys were bench-pressing and squatting and they’ll likely be doing the same exercises 50 years from now.

Hundreds of exercises come and go, usually when studies are done to prove the movements are pointless or downright dangerous.

Does anyone remember that neck contraption that was in every high school weight room that involved strapping your head in and lifting weight plates with your neck?  Thankfully those torture devices have been phased out of gyms.

But is there anything to be learned from exercises of the past?

Fitness YouTubers the Buff Dudes decided to take their training back to the 1940’s after picking up a bodybuilding magazine from the era and doing a full workout with 10 moves found inside.

“I’m a little nervous, I have to be honest,” explains Brandon White, one of the Buff Dudes along with his brother Hudson. “Some of these exercises look a little scary, and maybe compromising.”

Here’s a breakdown of the 10 exercises Brandon and Hudson tried:

  • Alternating Curls
  • Deep Knee Bend
  • German Goose Step (YIKES!)
  • Punching Movement
  • Barbell Swings
  • Wrestler’s Bridge with Press
  • Rope Jumping Movement
  • Body Bending & Twisting Movement
  • Press While Turning
  • Stationary Running With Dumbbells

The Buff Dudes agree that alternating curls, deep knee bends, goose step, and, well, let’s just say all of them are pretty pointless and dangerous.

Besides the not-so-great fitness advice, the magazine also offers odd dieting tips that probably seemed smart at the time.

Buff Dudes 1940s Bad Advice

YouTube / Buff Dudes

The only exercise the Dudes really recommend is the punching movement, an exercise still popular in gyms today. The Buff Dudes also admit the exercise doesn’t really do much, but it at least won’t injure a person.

[via Buff Dudes]


Chris Illuminati is a 5-time published author and recovering a**hole who writes about running, parenting, and professional wrestling. Reach out to him on Instagram & Twitter.