Thursday, September 10, 2015

Classic Bodybuilding: The Mass Building Methods of Steve Davis

     In the late '70s-early '80s,  Steve Davis became a well-known figure in the bodybuilding world.  He graced the cover of quite a few bodybuilding magazines due to his "classical" physique—he was by no means "massive" in the sense that we think of it today, but he had clean lines, and a well-proportioned physique.  But it wasn't necessarily his build that made him so popular, but, rather, the transformation that occurred in his body.
     You can see Steve's rather impressive transformation on the cover of his popular book "Total Muscularity."

     In addition to the above book, he also wrote a few others, but "Total Muscularity" remained the favorite among his readers.
     When I took up serious bodybuilding training in the early '90s, Davis wrote a monthly column for MuscleMag International that, I'm afraid, was overlooked by many of its readers—I just never felt as if Steve got his just due for (not just) his physique, but his knowledge of muscle-building and his expert dietary advice.
     Steve had some great advice for building mass—advice that can still be used today to great success.  One of the intriguing things that he used was something called a "set series"—the program below is built on the "set series" premise.
Steve shows off his classical lines in competition

Steve's 12 Keys for Building Quality Mass
     Here are the "12 keys" that Steve believed in, and recommended, for building muscle:
  1. Train each bodypart 2x per week.
  2. Use 8 reps for arms, chest, shoulders, and back exercises.
  3. Use 15 reps for calves, lower back, quadriceps, and hamstring development.
  4. Do not do ab work on a mass-building regimen.
  5. Wear a watch and time your rest between sets.  Keep it at 30-45 seconds, the shorter the better.
  6. Perform 2 exercises per bodypart (see sample routine).
  7. For each exercise, do a light warm-up set and then 6 sets using the same weight, reps, and rest between sets.  Steve called this a "set series."
  8. Keep a chart, and increase your weight each week.    Even tiny increases are good.
  9. Rest 3 minutes after each set series.
  10. Think heavy weights.  Lift heavy weights.
  11. Take in one gram of high-quality protein for each pound of bodyweight.  
  12. Follow the "Master Diets" found in any of Steve's books.
On the cover of the defunct Muscle World magazine

The Steve Davis Mass Blast
     Using the following routine, you would train six days on, one day off, your only day of the week off being Sunday:
Monday and Thursday
Chest, Back, and Lower Back
  1. Bench Presses 2x8
  2. Dumbbell Incline Presses 2x8
  3. Dumbbell Pullovers 2x8
  4. Bent-Over Rows 2x8
  5. Behind-the-Neck Pulldowns 2x8
  6. Hyperextentions 2x8
Tuesday and Friday
Shoulders, Arms, and Forearms
  1. Behind-the-Neck Presses 2x8
  2. Dumbbell Lateral Raises 2x8
  3. Barbell Curls 2x8
  4. Incline Dumbbell Curls 2x8
  5. Close-Grip 2/3 Bench Presses 2x8
  6. Non-Locking Pushdowns 2x8
  7. Reverse Curls 2x8
Wednesday and Saturday
Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, and Lower Back
  1. Front Squats 2x15
  2. Hack Squats 2x15
  3. Leg Curls 2x15
  4. Donkey Calf Raises 2x15
  5. Standing Calf Raises 2x15
  6. Hyperextensions 2x8


  1. Sloan-
    Always liked this guys physique. ....on a training note. Competed last Sunday in a push/pull meet and came to a few conclusions. My bench press is officially a disaster. ...I went 1/3, granted I didn't prep for this meet (decided to enter 2 weeks prior, and had been doing a squat specialization program). Here's what I learned: I went 3/3 for my deads and smoked my previous PR even though I didnt do alot of deads or even deadlift assistance work. What I did do was squat 6x/week. I think you can get a big squat and dead from just squatting and DL'ing. However for the bench just benching has got my bench #'s going down. The suprising thing is bench has always been my BEST lift. In january I hit 320 in a last 2 meets I went 1/3 and could only hit my opener (292) going to go back and do what I was doing previously: bench heavy AND do lots of heavy assistance work (DB flat bench, heavy shoulder press and lots of skull crushers and dips) in other train my squat and dead like a powerlifter and train my bench like a "powerbuilder"/bodybuilder.

    I settled on following up my meet by using your "Ultimate Split Training Program"....) love you the pump days 8x10 and am following your advice for the power days and cycling thru 7's/5's and 3's. My power moves are trap-bar deadlift and floor press and my pump moves are close-stance Olympic squats and DB flat bench. Love how simple and challenging this program is....thanks for any and all insights!


  2. Jason,

    I think what you discovered is not that uncommon. When I was dominating powerlifting meets - by primarily just doing the 3 competitive lifts very frequently - my squat and deadlift were "sky-high" but my bench press never really went up that much. I didn't really worry about it that much, however, since my squat and dead were well more than triple my bodyweight.

    Anyway, during years when I would only compete once (maybe twice) a year, I would spend a lot of the time doing more "bodybuilding" or "powerbuilding" chest workouts in the off-season and - lo and behold - my bench would always increase a lot.

    The weird thing, however, is what you experience doesn't TYPICALLY happen for guys who are good bench pressers. I always chalked my paltry bench press #s up to the fact that I have long gorilla-esque arms, but it just goes to show that you really do have to find what works best for you.

    And good idea to follow my Ultimate Split Training. It's one of those basically "fool-proof" programs that will always produce - at the very least - respectable gains.

    Keep me updated.

  3. This is also very competitive so it will be hard work for you to establish yourself from the crowd to get noticed by those who pay for models. JayJenkins

  4. I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.

  5. Muscle Nit XT contemplate some natural testosterone booster pill supplements too. I provided to Ultra muscle Testo supplement to determine if she were actually bitten along with a monkey and still not a cat and got a positive response. She started eating again and became her usual bossy self she will be the only female with five neutered male cats. Now if its your goal to get ripped then youll want to hit the heavier

  6. Edge Nutra Testo XY Do just perform cardio combine cardio and coaching to have an overall lean look. Coaching will add or keep the muscle you have while cardio should be employed to just get more calories burned during day time.

  7. TryVexin Male Enhancement This will all enhance your riding attributes. There are many Ultra muscle Testo supplement to in and many stretches to consider. Learning movement patterns and repeating them will work at improving your riding.

  8. ERX Pro We all confirm that top of record for most bodybuilders is a huge impressive set of biceps. They are the most visible and striking muscles that win you the lot of plaudits with your peers. So why do then that so very few people though they remain dedicated.

  9. MRx Male Enhancement This will help maintain up your energy level while having your work information about. Increase you protein intake to to . Lean proteins are easily added with a diet with chicken breast turkey and eggs. Other sources are whole grain breads and edamame. The soy protein of edamame has been found useful in preventing extra fat.

  10. Alpha Testo Maxxx Train Better. Employ heavy intense training sessions. Stop them under minutes for train days every days. Use forced reps training to failure and negatives to force your muscles to conform to an increasing workload. Only use a spotter when engaging in heavier training regimens. Also identify to start using some creatine and glutamine.

  11. T5RX Taking Natural Muscle Building Supplement can raise your testosterone levels. It is important to get the advice of ones doctor a person incorporate supplements in your daily diet. For days when you dont have much energy to exercise it is the ideal move consume food give Preworkout Energy. Foods like nuts and fruits can situations energy your body needs.

  12. StamiMax Metabolism Increasers. When distinct performs physical activities, his or her make-up increases. However, while at rest, composition is easily affordable. It is at now where metabolism increasers for you to come while. They aim to improve metabolic rate of particular even while at rest so as not to help your body to store more associated with.

  13. Magnumax I experienced this personally. Its very not very attractive. It is now possible to spike your testosterone and hormones to phenomenal levels leaving us with unbelievable muscle growth. Precisely how can that be caused I will tell you at this moment. its

  14. Magnumax Learn concerning how to develop your individual web site search engines crawlers PPO SEO Male Enhancement Supplement How you can have ones own newsletter the steps to make money no matter if customers say no to your programs. Are you experiencing problems to react to everybody all day No I have mine on auto pilot and let an autoresponder take.

  15. Chantel st claire So in case you need to use these merchandise then Herbalife pores and skin Care experts will first make you check the type of pores and skin which you have make you specify your problems after which propose the products with the intention to match your skin the fine even as eliminating all your pores and skin related problems.

  16. Lutrevia Youth Cream Dig in the details of reputable brands like Hydroxatone which are well-known to create a phenomenon construction business. If you want your skin to exude beauty in the later stages of your life you'll need to get having luxurious brands that causes it to become happen. Most Skin Care Anti-Aging Solution companies do not own million dollar budgets like those observe on Tv.

  17. Eshaisha Do not compromise on quality. as regards to the budgeting tip, if you are shopping for some thing for your home, invest accurately. You dont realize whilst and how can you be capable of update it, so buy fine merchandise. If you may justify over spending then you ought to pick carefully.

  18. Mohagni Treating her differently than you will some other woman is a mistake often made by way of men whilst courting a disabled girl. manifestly, if she is in a wheelchair you wouldnt need to ask her to do something that required mountain climbing a long flight of stairs, however dont assume that she wishes or desires to be handled otherwise than all people else.

  19. RCG So what can you do? Is significance to remember that, even as many times its unpreventable. RCG There are steps that you may take to decrease the effect of hair loss. Its a very good idea to look a health practitioner. if they sense that its vital they are able to refer you to a expert. remember that there may be aspect effects to any remedy alternatives.

  20. Sana-safinaz Earlier than a lady even receives a infant in her tummy, she needs to be ovulating. There are honestly calendars on hand at the internet that could help a girl determine out whilst she can be ovulating. most girls go through the precise equal cycles each and each month.

  21. Elan if you are lots greater homey putting for your own pair of footwear, that s good enough, however there may be a large opportunity that skating can wear them out.The remaining decision as to whether you want skate shoes and if subsequently what variety is all affair of your personal orientations. You want some thing this is going to be low value yet long wearing .

  22. MagnuMax One example is, three ounces (eighty five grams) of 70% lean ground beef includes 228 energy in addition to a whopping fifteen grams of fat ( 19 ). If it had been up to me, I'd begin a Lean Mass Movement.” We must always place additional interest on Way of life, exercising and nourishment selections that help lean human body mass.

  23. Really nice article. It's nice to see how the iconic person trained back then :)

  24. Zara shahjahan The Musee dOrsay, a former railway station houses a incredible collection of French Impressionist and publish Impressionist works making it a have to see for any art lover. It shows Frances countrywide collection of paintings, sculptures, objects produced among 1848 and 1914.

  25. Crimson whilst you save diet dietary supplements it's also critical to test that they have got no longer been saved longer than the expiration date. The vitamin content of dietary supplements cannot be guaranteed if you shop diet tablets beyond their use through date.

  26. Lawn collection 2018 All of the malls provide a web website online, all of the web hosting, and merchandise already in area. All you need to do is sign up with every one and get the linking codes so that you can begin advertising your new mall. i found the perfect ways to start advertising is to order commercial enterprise cards with the mall hyperlinks and outline of what you need to offer.

  27. Dynasty Their use declined with the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, although participants of the Imperial family continued to wear them on formal events until departing the Forbidden metropolis in 1924.


Feel free to leave us some feedback on the article or any topics you would like us to cover in the future! Much Appreciated!