Presently, bodybuilding is in disarray. The idea of bodybuilding has shifted from the amazing bodybuilders of the 60s and 70s into the nightmarish, toxic and disgusting looking human beings we see step on stage at every pro event.
In today's sick and twisted world of bodybuilding, guys are stepping on stage at 5'6 240-250lbs.! Is that insane or what? Sit back and imagine that this individual is probably walking close to 300lbs. offseason and you begin to realize the problem. The toxic, chemical walking power-plants we call bodybuilder of today are nothing more than failed scientific experiments. How can we sit back and think this is the right course of action for our industry? Young teens and men everywhere are looking at these monsters and thinking this is what they have to be, but how can you get there without injecting steroids until they come out of your nose (literally!).
Let's go through a timeline of how bodybuilding changed for the worst over the years.
Sergio Oliva (3 time Mr. Olympia) – the god of modern bodybuilding. Mr. Oliva embodied true bodybuilding spirit mixed with amazing genetics. The man had an unimaginably tiny waist and broad shoulders. He laid the ground work for guys to come into professional bodybuilding in shape, lean and shredded – like Greek statues. Of course, he was cheated by Joe Weider and IFBB, but that's for another day and another article.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (7 time Mr. Olympia) – the most famous bodybuilder of our time (period!). Arnold was the father of modern bodybuilding and the most celebrated bodybuilder of our time. In his time, steroid cycles were kept simple: Deca Durabolin, Dianabol, Primobolan. It was said by close associates of Arnold that he never really abused steroids, he generally stuck to simple Deca Durabolin and Dbol cycles during his bulking and primbolan with light dbol for his cutting phase. The Arnold Schwarzenegger steroid cycle was not complicated at all; in fact, ironic as it may be, regular gym guys are now using 10 times more steroids and look 1000 times worse than Arnold, pathetic isn't it?
Frank Zane - "The Chemist" (3 time Mr. Olympia) – the most admired physique after Arnold is none other than Frank Zane, the man looked like a statue. He was one of the first in modern professional bodybuilding to utilize low-carb diets, a form of Bodyopus and Evolutionary Diet. The reason he was called the chemist is because he had a Bachelor of Science degree and he was ahead of his time in supplements and dieting. He was one of the first to utilize high-amino acid loading along with Bodyopus/Evolutionary style diet to become a 3 time Mr. Olympia. It is, therefore, ironic that Frank Zane could NOT win US Nationals much less place top 10 at any IFBB Pro show today. It's pathetic to think that because Frank Zane is not abusing steroids, he would be punished for it in today's bodybuilding world! Frank Zane was known to be very light with his cycles - Frank Zane steroid cycle was similar to this: Primoblan and Anavar, light dbol added during bulking.
Dorian Yates (6 time Mr. Olympia) – Dorian was a monster, and is widely considered by many, including me, to be the father of the steroid abusing trend in the bodybuilding world today. At barely 5'10, Dorian was 290lbs. (almost 300lbs. at times) offseason and came into competition at 260lbs.+, the man was a monster. The idea of HGH, insulin and steroid use in high levels started with the age of Dorian. While Dorian had some amazing training ideas – his version of HIT training is one of the best in the world, he had some 'great' steroid abusing ideas too. It is said that the Dorian Yates steroid cycle was insane: Sustanon, anadrol, dianabol, trenbolone, primobolan, Deca Durabolin, Equipoise, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), Insulin and whatever else he got his hands on. The man was a real chemical tank, he was unbelievably huge but unbelievably abusive. The best way to put it is: Dorian Yates was a game changer in bodybuilding. When Ronnie Coleman came into the bodybuilding world after Dorian, he only came in because Mr. Yates set the stage for unreal mass monsters to become Mr. Olympia.
Ronnie Coleman (8 time Mr. Olympia) – Ronnie Coleman is the closest thing to a cartoonish muscle character you'll ever see! The man is just unreal, at 5'11 he regularly stepped on stage at 297lbs. (almost 300lbs.) and walked around at over 330lbs. offseason! He was a freakish cartoon monster, period. The man is a legend in his own time, but for a bad reason. He is the reason bodybuilding is now worse than ever. The Ronnie Coleman steroid cycle was madness: HGH, IGF-1, Insulin, peptides, testosterone, sustanon, equipoise, trenbolone, anadrol, dianabol, anavar, winstrol, DNP, Deca durabolin, NPP, diuretics and a long long list of other compounds. The man was just out of this world in terms of abusing everything from steroids to growth hormone – and he is not alone, IFBB PROs are abusing drugs left and right these days.
In conclusion, we have seen the history of bodybuilding and the progression of steroid and drug abuse, but are the bodybuilders really the ones to blame? Of course not! The truth of the matter is the IFBB judges are the ones to blame, they are the ones that score the biggest, nastiest and freakiest bodybuilders with the highest scores. Until the day IFBB changes and starts giving more points to symmetry, beauty, low-bodyfat levels, small waists (not HGH guts) and natural looks, we are stuck with the disgusting state of bodybuilding today. Mark my words, if this trend in professional bodybuilding continues, the sport will slowly, but surely, die a slow death. The death of bodybuilding will be the bodybuilders themselves.
P.S. I am well aware I kept Lee Haney out of the article, but I felt he didn't father the age of modern steroid abuse; rather, he was one of the best in the game – only one of the few on the level of Sergio Oliva.
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Good piece. The first three examples you give, Oliva Schwarzenegger and Zane, their physiques are beautiful (no homo), incredibly muscular but still sleek and human-looking. The second two, Yates and Coleman, are these tiny heads without necks on top of some kind of mutant-looking humanoid masses.
“The truth of the matter is the IFBB judges are the ones to blame, they are the ones that score the biggest, nastiest and freakiest bodybuilders with the highest scores.”
So how does someone become an IFBB judge? And who were the judges who looked at Yates and thought “Terrific! Wonderful!” instead of “Oh no no, too big, he has no neck and too thick a stomach, everything is way over the line” like the rest of us?
Good article and I do agree.
I saw a picture of Kai Green in an issue of All Natural Muscular Development July 1997 magazine and he looked so much better back then than how he looks now. IMO, he didn’t win the Olympia because he was all mass and not enough definition and symmetry.