Is Athlean-X ‘Old School Iron’ a Load of Nonsense?


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If you are shopping around for workout programs, you’ve likely at least heard of the Old School Iron Workout program by Jeff Cavaliere of Athlean-X. 

I have been training for years and have known about Jeff’s workout programs for some time, but I never took the leap to actually get my wallet out and try one for myself. Just recently I decided to take the leap and give this one a go.

When I read about this workout program I was intrigued, I do admire some of the workout knowledge of famous bodybuilders like Arnold and Joe Weider, things like subtle changes and considerations you can make in your workouts that give you a big effect. 

Back in the day, workout routines involved large dumbbells, full body workouts, and insane reps. This Old School Iron Workout promises to offer the same. However, the question is does it deliver on its promises? 

I will attempt to share everything I can about my experience with this workout program, I also to share my current progress in this video, to give you a balanced review that is not full of hype. 

I will also say, I am not affiliated with Athlean-X in any way, I bought this program with my own money.

Table of Contents

What Is the Old School Iron Workout Program All About?


If I had to describe Old School Iron Workout, I would say it is a power building program that is designed to help you get big gains, but there will be a price to pay. 

That being said, if you are looking for something to help you gain strength or get toned without bulk, this is not the workout for you. If you are here for big gains, this is a program that will undoubtedly give you what you seek. 

Before I dive too deeply into the waters, you need to know what this workout program includes. First, you get a complete workout plan that is tried and true and based on the iron giants, such as Tom Platz, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other greats. 

Old School Iron Workout combines Old School Lifting + Old School Techniques + New School Scientific Approaches = BIG GAINS. 

The Four Phases to the Old School Iron Workout:

  • The Gold Six works to expand your strength. This phase of the program focuses on helping you gain muscle mass all over, to increase your strength. 
  • Muscle Beach involves those classic splits that have helped the greats get massive. 
  • ‘MASS’TER CLASS adds more intensity and techniques to help you gain even more muscle mass. 
  • Legends Remastered combines the very best of the best workouts in history, including Arnold’s chest, Yates’ back, Platz’ legs, and more. 

With this program, you also get full access to a diet guide some recipes also suggested from other people on the Athlean-X program. The meal plan offers the following:

  • Calorie information (even though the Old School Iron program doesnt tell you to count calories, you can if you want)
  • Can be adapted to fit your tastes
  • Simple to follow
  • Day-by-day meal planning guide
  • Supplement guide

The cost of this workout program is $97.99, but is it worth it?

I am one that cannot stand reading a glowing review about a product and then finding out it does not stand up to the glow. 

The thing is, you need to know the good and the bad of any workout. I’m currently on this program and so far it’s going well. 

As mentioned, I knew about Jeff’s programs for some time, I mean he mentions it after every one of his YouTube videos but I’ve never bought one.

I bought this program mainly due to the fact for the last few years my workouts have been a mess, the gyms closing and opening during the pandemic really messed up my routine and it has taken a longer time than I assumed to get back to the pre-pandemic levels of focus and strength that I had.

As I mention in my video on YouTube (be sure to subscribe by the way!), i’ve also never looked at why some of my strength goals have plateaued and in Jeff’s explanation he details that it could be due to overlooking some of the other muscle groups such as the glutes or some of the smaller upper back muscles in your training, that contribute to strength in a big way.

What Is Good About Old School Iron Workout?

Screenshot of the Athlean-X app

Before we get into the not-so-good of Old School Iron Workout, let’s discuss the best aspects. One of the reasons many people like this workout program is because it takes us back to the basics-back to solid gym equipment-back to the grind. 

  • You don’t need anything other than a gym membership to start this workout. Of course, if you have a fully stocked home gym, you are good to go. You can expect to work out 5 days a week. For some, this might be a drawback-depending on how much you like to work out and your schedule. 
  • The meal plan – You do not have to count calories when following this meal plan. If you are a diehard counter that believes in calories in, calories out that’s fine as well but I have seen massive changes and I’ve pretty much kept my diet normal and only ate when I’m hungry. I’m finding it simple to follow. 
  • You will find this workout plan is solid and straightforward. There are no complicated gym moves. You get the basics and more advanced, but they all work to get you stronger in a simple way, which is what I want right now.
  • Best of all, you will get results if you follow the plan properly, but like I said, you are going to work for it every moment in your workouts and thats what we want.  

The Not-So-Good of Old School Iron Workout

No workout program is perfect. If you are expecting perfection, you will keep looking forever. This program does have its drawbacks, depending on your expectations and needs are. 

  • One thing that might scare you is that Athlean-X does not offer refunds for any reason. So you really have to be 100% sure that you are committed and ready. Do your research, read reviews before you start because if you don’t like it, too bad!
  • This workout is not one of those fun workout plans. You are going to put in a lot of blood, sweat, and even tears. That’s what old school is all about. 
  • If you are a beginner, you may find it difficult to follow the meal plan successfully because of the lack of calorie counting and tracking macros. 

Bottom Line-My Rating

I give the Old School Iron Workout a solid 8 out of 10. I am following the workout program well and am seeing results in a short amount of time. 

I will admit the heavy workouts are killer, and they are going to leave you feeling sore. But that’s what training is about. As long as I am not injuring myself.

I am seeing gains and I love it, long may it continue!

Old School Iron Workout is only going to be what you make of it. If you put in the work and commit, it is going to help you get gains. 


Avatar of Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick
Stuart Patrick is a health and fitness lifestyle journalist who writes for ListedFit.com.

“I've spent a lot of time trying to get in shape and change my body and I realised there are so many untruths in the health and fitness industry that can slow down or stop your progress, so I share my knowledge and experience to help others to cut through the BS.”

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