Leroy Colbert Was the First Bodybuilder to Develop Massive 21″ Inch Drug-Free Arms

Leroy Colbert (May 9th, 1933 – November 20th, 2015) is among those unheard names among the bodybuilding community known as the first Golden Era bodybuilder credited to build 100% natural 21-inch arms.

If Leroy Colbert Had Not Gone Through Motorcycle Accident, He Could’ve Been a Future Mr. Olympia Without Taking Anabolic Steroids

leroy colbert workout routine

Leroy’s bodybuilding career was short-lived due to a fatal motorcycle accident that damaged his ankle. Still, today’s date, he’s considered as one of the best legends ever lived. Compared to other bodybuilders, Leroy Colbert had a very similar physique to Frank Zane, as both had identical muscle mass proportions.

Leroy Colbert’s Workout Routine – 1978

Leroy Colbert’s Chest Workout

Barbell Bench Press – Wide Grip6 – 810 – 12
DB Flys88 – 12
DB Pullovers610 – 12

Leroy Colbert’s Back Workout

Chin-Ups – Wide Grip6Till Failure
1 – Arm DB Rowing810

Leroy Colbert’s Biceps Workout

Alternate DB Curls612
DB Concentration Curls810
Barbell Concentration Curls – Lying812

Leroy Colbert’s Triceps Workout


Tri – Set:

Triceps Press downs

DB French Press

Weighted Triceps Dips









Leroy Colbert’s Legs Workout

Leg Press610 – 15
Leg Extensions520
Leg Curls512

Leroy Colbert’s Calves Workout

Calf Raises – Standing812 – 20

Leroy Colbert’s Shoulders Workout

Seated Press – Behind The Neck610
Side Lateral Raises512
1 – Arm DB Press512

Leroy Colbert’s Waist Workout





Knee Raises






Go For Burns

Go For Burns

Go For Burns

Here’s How Leroy Splits His Workout Routine

Monday & Thursday

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Triceps

Tuesday & Friday

  • Thighs
  • Calves
  • Shoulders

The waist is done at the end of every workout.

For Leroy, Every New Program Was Like a New Challenge

Leroy Colbert’s Diet & Nutrition

Though Leroy always had access to many different types of bodybuilding supplements, from whey protein to any other like used in today’s 21st-century bodybuilding. But, he was a believer in eating whole foods from natural sources. And, one such diet plan he followed to build his physique is:

  • Steak with Onions & Potatoes – 2Lbs
  • Eggs – 6
  • Cottage Cheese – 1 Lb
  • Chicken – 2.5 Lbs
    Tuna – 1 Can
    Milk – 2 Cartons
  • Pineapple – ½
  • Water – 1 Gallon

Physical Statistics of Leroy Colbert

  • Arms – 21.25 Inch
  • Chest – 52 Inch
  • Waist – 32 Inch
  • Thighs – 28 Inch
  • Weight – 205 lbs (92.99 Kg)

Accomplishments of Leroy Colbert

  • 1951 – Placed 6th (Mr. Eastern America)
  • 1952 – Placed 1st (Mr. New York City)
  • 1952 – Placed 17th (Mr. America – AAU)
  • 1950 – Placed 5th (Mr. New York State – AAU)
  • 1953 – Placed 1st (Mr. Eastern America)

Leroy Colbert’s Thoughts on Training

According to Leroy:

  • Training heavier weights wasn’t that effective.
  • Believed in training with weights that didn’t interfere with his proper techniques and form.
  • He was the firm believer that moving weight in a controlled and steady manner is the key.
  • After two or three months, he uses to change his workout routine. If he didn’t and stick to the same workout plan, then it’ll become the habit that’ll become stale.
  • Sometimes, Leroy changed his exercise order. For instance, in first back training, he may go with Chin-Ups, Lat Pulldowns, and Rowing. In the second back session, Leroy may start with rowing and finish it with chin-ups. Likewise, Leroy interchange between dumbbells and barbells, close grip or wide grip Chin Ups.
  • For the workout as mentioned above, you may be able to handle big weights. According to Leroy, he used 2/3rd poundage of heaviest he could go for the given set. He would then work up in 8 reps until he hits his 8th set.

“All We Knew Was That if You Wanted to Gain Weight and Size, You Trained Like the Devil and Ate Everything in Sight. When You Cut Down, You Trained Like the Devil and Ate Less” – Leroy Colbert

Leroy’s Tips for Beginners

  • Avoid training more than three times a week.
  • Should begin with 1 set of 10 reps in all exercises and gradually increase to 3 sets with 8 to 10 reps per exercise.
  • Be careful and avoid overdoing things. Since it’s easier for bodybuilding enthusiasts, that can hinder progress.
  • Beginners should stick with a basic workout routine for six months. It should include 12 different exercises like standing press, shrugs, squats, rowing, laterals, bench press, cheat curls, forearm exercises, calf exercises, and sit-ups.
  • For an average gain, stick to 10 reps and the utmost three sets per exercise. For bulking, go for six reps and three sets per exercise.
  • For better muscle definitions, hit about 15 reps, three sets per exercise.
  • After six months, the lifter should incorporate other advanced methods like supersets.

Wrapping Up

Unfortunately, Leroy’s bodybuilding career ended prematurely, and he was among those unheard names of the bodybuilding community who couldn’t reach his optimal potential. However, if he hadn’t gone through this tragic accident, he could’ve been in rivalry against some of the most significant golden-era bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Satinder Chowdhry Avatar

Satinder Chowdhry