In order to find out how much muscle mass can be built naturally a lot of people have started digging into the past when steroids were not widely available. The times of Eugen Sandow, Bobby Pandour and other old time strongmen attract the interest of muscle worshipers who are tired of liars, and don’t know who to believe anymore. After all, somebody born in th 19th century is more likely to be natural than the 90s “tren” kids.
What are you going to inject when there’s nothing to inject?
Bobby Pandour (Wladyslaw Kurcharczyk) was born in 1876 and died in 1920. He was known for his aesthetic physique resembling a Greek God.
According to the official information steroids were not used for recreational purposes before the 1930s. Regardless of that, the black and white photos of Bobby Pandour reveal that he had amazing physical development and low body fat at the same time -bodybuilder’s dream.
The logical conclusion is that since steroids were not available during Pandour’s reign, his physique was steroid free.
Question is, if there were no steroids, how did Pandour build his massive musculature?
Give me fairy tales, baby! Please!
The most controversial fact about Bobby Pandour is his training. It’s believed that he trained with light 10 lbs dumbbells and avoided heavy lifting. To make the issue even more bizarre, his quadriceps development is attributed to climbing stairs while carrying his brother.
The lack of steroids during Pandour’s era and his training methods seem to be of great interest to those who aspire to become physically aesthetic without using anabolic drugs. People really want to know whether one can build bigger muscles by lifting cheap dumbbells at home and going up and down the stairs while carrying kids.
Unfortunately or not, it’s seems highly unlikely that Bobby Pandour’s physique was achieved thanks to similar training strategy.
Many tend to ignore the fact that Pandour was also a gymnast. We all know that gymnasts have really muscular upper bodies and most don’t even train with weights. Therefore, it makes more sense to explain Pandour’s muscle size with advanced bodyweight training rather than some kind of a secret dumbbell routine.
Related article: How Do Male Gymnasts Get So Muscular?
At the same time climbing stairs while holding a heavy object is actually a pretty good overall lower body exercise. The movement can even be modified to target different portions of the leg.
If you walk one step at a time without skipping stairs, most of the work will be done by the quads. If you skip a fews stairs, you are essentially performing a lunge with emphasis on the posterior chain.
The legs of Bobby Pandour do no look extraordinarily big, and therefore this approach may have actually been the core of his leg training. However, how can one know for sure?
History is the lie commonly agreed upon.– Voltaire
A lot of the information that the public receives is heavily altered. 20-30 years from now the big events that happen today will be in history books, and you will know very well that about half of it or maybe even more is manipulated and false. That’s why when looking at older source materials, it’s recommended to exercise critical thinking and skepticism.
Good things don’t come easily. Logically, a solid physique cannot be achieved through lifting 10 lbs dumbbells. Most grown men will be able to do biceps curls for sets of 10-12 reps with similar weight without even going to the gym. Besides, there are also thousands of people who play with light weight only to get nothing in return.
According to the information available online Bobby Pandour was 5′ 6″ and had a bodyweight of 160 lbs. How much was his body fat? The photos show no more than 8%. In our guide for natural bodybuilder we have listed the maximum natural potential of a man who is 5′ 6″ tall at 142 lbs. However, this number is for someone with really good genetics and also accounts for 5% body fat and water depleted state.
Since the images of Bobby Pandour were not exactly taken with a high definition camera, it’s really hard to accurately judge whether he is at 5% body fat or 8%, and whether he is water depleted a.k.a. “dry“.
However, he is still 18 lbs or so above the limit we have presented. This number could be reduced even further, if we knew Bobby Pandour’s accurate body fat level and whether he was water depleted in the photos or no.
Also, the retro photos make it really hard to judge the quality of his mass. It’s hard to make a definitive statement whether Pandour had the modern Photoshop look that most guys on steroids today have. Most likely he didn’t.
Related article: Bodybuilding Secrets: Quality Muscle Mass Vs. Size?
Related article: Fake Natural Bodybuilders Have The “Photoshop” Look
The numbers we get are not always accurate. People love to brag today and they did so in the past. It’s hard to really know for certain whether Pandour was really 5″ 6″ @ 160 lbs with 17 inches arms to boot. It’s not like bodybuilders and their promoters are real “truthers”.
Back in the day when men were men
Sadly, we have bad news for your unborn children and grandchildren. Studies have shown that with each generation the average amount of testosterone in the male body is going down. A long term study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed the following:
The most important thing for muscular growth is not training nor nutrition – it’s testosterone. You can eat perfectly and train like superman but unless you have high testosterone you will not see big muscles in the mirror.
It’s been reported that today’s males have a lot less testosterone than their great-grandfathers. Some sources reveal that modern men have 1/3 the testosterone of previous generations.
This may sound depressing, but at least explains why a natural bodybuilder from previous centuries can actually be bigger than a modern one despite all the fancy machinery, supplements and “training science” that we have today.
Once more – a natural bodybuilder born 100 years ago has more testosterone than someone born during the era of Justin Bieber.
Sadly, today we have men in their 30s with testosterone levels equivalent to those of a 60 year old man in the past – bodybuilder’s nightmare at it’s finest.
If we apply the same idea to Bobby Pandour who lived up until 1920, it’s safe to say that most modern men won’t be able to naturally build his size, even thought it appears that he was 100% steroid free.