Old School Bodybuilder: Richard Baldwin

classic bodybuilder richard baldwinRichard Baldwin, Professor of Humanities at Gulf Coast State College is a former 1970’s champion bodybuilder. He was dubbed the ‘Modern Apollo’ of his time by the bodybuilding magazine ‘Iron Man’.

Born July 18, 1947, as a youngster, Baldwin was dedicated more to academics than the gym. He earned a Bachelor’s degree and eventually became the Professor of Humanities at Gulf Coast State College. He’s still active in fitness and runs the Legendary Fitness web site along with Diane Fields.

Aside from his studying, one of his goals as a youngster was to become one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He started going to gym at the age of 17, in 1965, where he quickly added muscle. His first pro debut was in 1970 and he went on to win many titles and wide recognition, including Mr. USA, Mr. America, 1st runner-up Mr. Universe,  and was the first personal trainer to Laura Combes, the first Ms. America.

Richard Baldwin, aka The Modern Apollo:

  • 1971 –  Mr. Southern States
  • 1972 – Mr. Texas
  • 1973 – Mr. All South
  • 1974 – Mr. Florida Coast
  • 1975 – Mr. USA (colleagiate)
  • 1975 – Mr. Southeast USA
  • 1975 – Mr. Region IV
  • 1975 – Mr. Sunhine State
  • 1976 – Greater Mr. Florida
  • 1977 – Mr. Northern Hemisphere
  • 1978 – Mr. Florida
  • 1978 – Greater Mr. Florida
  • 1979 – NPC Bodybuilder Champion (MW)
  • 1979 – 1st Runner-up IFBB Mr. Universe
  • 1980 – NPC Bodybuilding Champion (MW)
  • 1980 – 1st Runner-up IFBB Mr. Universe
  • 1984 – Nationals – NPC (MW)
  • 1985 – USA Championships – NPC (MW)
  • 1988 – Southern States – NPC (MW)
  • 1996 – Maters Nationals – NPC (LHW)

His aesthetic physique and good looks rapidly earned him notice from modeling magazines and agencies. Baldwin rose quickly in whatever industry he entered, whether it be bodybuilding, academics, modeling or marketing.

He’s been on the cover numerous times on a many different health and fitness magazines:

Magazine covers:

  • 1974 April – Volume 42, Number 4, Strength and Health (cover)
  • 1975 July – Volume 12, Number 4, Muscular Development (cover)
  • 1977 January – Volume 36, Number 2, IronMan (cover)
  • 1979 January – Volume 38, Number 2, IronMan (cover)
  • 1980 June – Volume 4, Number 3, Muscle Digest (cover)
  • 1981 May – Volume 2, Number 5, Muscle World (cover)
  • 1981 July – Volume 49, Number 4, Strength and Health (cover)
  • 1983 June – Volume 20, Number 3, Muscular Development (cover)

After all his accomplishments in the world of bodybuilding, Dr. Baldwin wanted to teach new generations of bodybuilders about living a fit life. He teamed-up with Iron-Maiden Diane Fields to make a program to help redefine the aging process. They changed the bodybuilding and fitness game with their studies and their specific daily training routine, especially for middle-aged fitness aspirants.

Baldwin and Fields provided cutting-edge guidance on exercise, nutrition and motivational techniques. Baldwin’s program has helped many first-timers craft outstanding physiques, and he has also helped older individuals retain their youthfulness and vigor.

With a primary focus on middle-age and older, Baldwin and Fields have helped thousands of people in their 40s, 50s and beyond back to youthful and fit bodies.

Aside from the lifestyle program that the Modern Apollo made alongside Diane Fields, he’s written about the art of bodybuilding and continues to inspire people all around the world. His goal remains on educating the masses that bodybuilding is about more than just having a muscle-clad physique. In his books, he offers tips on nutrition and exercise that can help you lose fat and gain muscle to develop the body you’ve always wanted, and continue living a healthy lifestyle that will have a positive impact in your later years.

Dr. Baldwin is also the author of a great variety of bodybuilding magazine articles. His image can be seen on magazine covers as well as in the movie ‘Stay Hungry’.

Now in his 60s, his current projects include authoring a book on Larry Scott and writing for various fitness magazines.

Let’s take a look at one of his most iconic workout routines written for the Ironman Magazine back in 2004:

The Richard Baldwin workout

Monday and Thursday – Legs

  • Upper
    • squats or leg presses
    • barbell lunges
    • leg extensions
    • lying leg curls
    • standing leg curls
  • Lower
    • leg press calf raises
    • standing one legged calf raises

Tuesday and Friday – Shoulders, Chest and Back

  • Shoulders
    • military presses
    • bent over lateral raises
    • dumbbell front raises
  • Chest
    • flat bench presses
    • incline bench presses
    • Dumbbell flies
  • Back
    • deadlifts
    • pullups
    • bent over rows

Wednesday and Saturday – Arms

  • Triceps
    • close grip bench presses
    • lying French presses
    • one arm dumbbell French presses
  • Biceps
    • Scott bench dumbbell curls
    • standing one arm cable curls
    • concentration curls
  • Forearms
    • barbell wrist curls
    • barbell reverse wrist curls
    • barbell reverse curls

Although in his prime, Baldwin was an advocate of heavy weight and lower reps on his major compound exercises, as he aged he has moderated his stance, now firmly believing you can can achieve whatever level of muscularity you want using more moderate loads, they key being to work up to almost the point of failure, especially in the last set.

He preferred to keep resistance the same for working sets, after warm-up, perform 3 sets in the 10 -15 rep range, with the last set being an AMRAP (as many reps as possible).

The only exception to this was for dead lifts, where he preferred to pull in the 5-8 reps range, always making sure to leave a few reps in the tank as to avoid injury.

Baldwin’s work has motivated people of all ages to sculpt a fitter, healthier, more muscular body.


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