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Thread: Evolution of Bodybuilding (picture intensive)

  1. #1

    Default Evolution of Bodybuilding (picture intensive)

    Check this:

    Eugene Sandow, this guy from northern Germany, is known as the father of modern bodybuilding. He started it all. He believed in the Grecian Ideal, basically meaning he developed his physique to the exact dimensions of Greek sculptures. He was active during the late 1800's.
    This is what he looked like:

    Then there was Georg Hackenschmidt, an Estonian strongman notable of his kick ass nickname ("The Russian Lion"). He was active around 1890-1910.

    Then comes Angelo Siciliano. This guy is so badass he legally changed his name to 'Atlas' in 1922, then started a successful business in 1929 selling exercise equipment to people at a time when the average shmuck in America couldn't even afford food. He brought body building to the masses by way of a huge ad campaign in the backs of comic books in the 40's and 50's. Every ad featured the exact same scenario: Skinny geek gets humiliated by a bully in front of his girlfriend, goes home, kicks a chair, and orders Atlas' program, giving hope to frustrated nerds everywhere.

    I forgot to mention he was also named "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man™".

    Next is Hercules - I mean Steve Reeves. One of the earliest Mr. Universe winners (1950).

    Next step is the 1970's, when professional bodybuilding got lot's of publicity from the 1977 film Pumping Iron. These were Arnie's glory days. (Everyone knows who I'm talking about when I say Arnie, right? Okay, good.) This is the era when steroids started coming into the game.
    This is Arnie in 1977:

    ... And this is Arnie today:

    And that, kids, is why we don't do steroids (unless you want boobies).

    Today, because of the unrelagation of steroids in major competition and a general attitude of 'not-giving-a-fuck', we have monsters like:
    Lee Haney (Mr. Olympia 8 straight years, 1984 - 1991)

    Dorian Yates (Mr. Olympia 6 straight years, 1992 - 1997)

    Ronnie Coleman (Mr. Olympia 8 straight years, 1998 - 2005)

    Greg Valentino (Subject of the documentary 'The Man Who's Arms Exploded', which makes it sound a lot more interesting than it really is.)
    Here's a picture of him being arrested for steroid possession:

    And, of course, Carrot Top, who at the beginning of his career in 1990 looked like a 100 pound woman, and at the end of his career still looked like a 100 pound woman (roughly one year later). Today, though, he looks like a 100 pound woman with massive biceps. Behold:

    Still, steroids don't explain how seriously messed up he looks compared to 20 years ago:

    The only explanation is that the real Carrot Top was killed long ago, and someone made a synthetic version to ensure humanity would be forever entertained with really bad prop jokes.

    Oh yeah, and this guy too:

    Thanks for reading. And a very special thanks if you're on dial-up.

  2. #2


    I agree with you. None of today's roided up grease boys can compare to the classics. There's something amiss with today's bodybuilders that feel they have to have muscles on muscles to participate (and the governing bodies, like you said, aren't helping any). If I was body building I couldn't be on that stuff because I would be constantly second guessing myself.

  3. #3


    It all depends on what competition one enters. There are those that test heavily and try to find the most natural body, others do not care at all. I saw the pictures from one the 2008 INBF Southern Natural Bodybuilding & Figure Championships and they are surprisingly ripped. The advent of the artificial synthesizing of natural compounds like creatine,beta-alanine, l-glutamine, alpha lipoic acid, and others has allowed for the building of muscle to be more effective and go beyond simple weightlifting. While one does still have to weights at an elevated level, the effects with simple supplementation can be the difference of night and day, and not just in size, but in recovery rates, strength, duration of workouts, and endurance after a workout.

  4. #4


    People can do what they want with their bodies...

    From my personal aesthetic standpoint, the pre-steroid body-builders look better. Clearly strong, but not oddly disproportionate. My idea of an ideal body is based on Grecian standards as well. Maybe I've spent too much time looking at old art.

  5. #5


    I agree that the classic look is far superior. I considered competing in figure until I found out that it wasn't just about strength, size, and symmetry; it's also about dropping your body fat down to something crazy. From what I've read, to be a serious competitor in figure, you have to have your body fat at <10%, and that's not even the "bodybuilding" category! Given the symbiotic relationship between body fat and estrogen, that is not something I want to do to my body, ever. Not to mention the terribly overdeveloped lats, traps, and abs that I see on people... it's simply unrealistic, and in my opinion, unattractive. I think that any bodybuilding that isn't "natural" is terribly unhealthy due to the crazy crash-dieting and use of diuretics that's basically mandatory if you're going to compete. I'm also fairly convinced that the enormous size that people build from the standard workout techniques is largely due to the development of scar tissue, not usable strength.

    Don't get me wrong, some supplements can be good as long as you do your research first, take a reasonable dosage for your body, and do all the other things you need to do in order to stay healthy (diet, sleep, hydration). I take a few supplements myself: they've done a lot to get me past my health issues so that I can be in good shape. But bodybuilding used to be more about health and beauty... nowadays, it seems to be about doing the most extreme thing possible. It's a real shame.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by satinprincess View Post
    From what I've read, to be a serious competitor in figure, you have to have your body fat at <10%, and that's not even the "bodybuilding" category! Given the symbiotic relationship between body fat and estrogen, that is not something I want to do to my body, ever.
    I don't know what it's like for women, but male professional bodybuilders these days usually have less than 5% body fat. And even 10% isn't all too radical: when I was a kid I was always less than 10%, and now I'm at a healthy 10%-15%.

  7. #7


    Yes, but you're a man. It's not a problem for men to go down to super-low body fat percentages, and their hormones allow/facilitate it. "Essential fat" percentages for men are in the neighborhood of 2-4%; the standard "athlete" percentage is 6-13%. (source: Understanding Your Body Fat Percentage)

    For women, it's a different story. 10-12% is considered essential; 14-20% is "athlete" level. Estrogen acts as a vehicle for body fat, so there's a symbiotic relationship, and if a woman takes her body fat percentage down that low, it can cause some really weird hormonal issues. A woman's body will basically fight her as she tries to drop fat, because the estrogen causes her body to want to hold onto much more fat than with a man's body. If and when she finally drops her body fat to the "bodybuilder standard", the amount of estrogen that's available to her is much decreased; this can contribute to several of the issues that women face after menopause, like cessation of menstruation and osteoporosis. Moreover, it begins to beg the question of gender at all... what does it mean to be classed as a "woman" if you're dropping your body fat to the point where you can't see a gender difference between you and a man?

  8. #8

  9. #9





    Now that that was said. (Did I just use two that's in a row? Can you do that in English?)

    I vote that we make a new species, as that simple does not look human.

    And also....


  10. #10


    I can't understand how a person can drop below 10-15% body fat. Does one starve and workout or just workout all day?

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