T Nation

Keeping the Waist Tight?


Reading the prisoner interview this morning made me realize the difference between the waist of today and back in the "golden" era.

How did all those guys Arnold, Zane, Nubret, etc. keep so tapered while the midsections of today are for the most part bulging and unaesthetic?

Is it a certain diet/exercise selection or is it purely genetics and hgh gut?


Less hgh and more use of the "vacuum pose"


MOST (almost all) of the top Pros today have small, tight waists with very good tapers. You obviously don't follow bodybuilding. I hope you have sunblock.


Nah dude, it's all that shitty whey protein getting stuck in your intestines. Hemp protein is where it's at.


Name 5 guys currently placing high in pro bodybuilding contests.


I got what you talking bout. THE PROTEIN SCANDAL hehehehe. Most ridiculous thing ever, although Im sure many clueless guys threw away their whey to ship in some hemp protein.


The era of the distended abdomen is pretty much out the door. Ronnie Coleman was really the last top pro that had it. You look at Phil Heath, Dennis Wolf, Dexter Jackson, Melvin Anthony and all those fellas, no distension.


The last couple of O's Ronnie won, his waist,Jay's, Ruhl, Gustavo's, they were all out of control, but its much less of an issue now.

I mean, even then you had guys with tight mid sections, Haider,Charles,Priest,Jackson,Craig Richardson.

If my memory serves me, in 2004, when I was in the height of my bodybuilding magazine reading, every freaking month i read every one of them, I think the top 4 at the O was Ronnie,Jay,Gustavo and Ruhl.

All giant waists, thats when people really started losing their minds about it, and when I believe the tide started to turn some.


You know how much hGH they used 35 years ago compared to today? Enlighten us. There are ton of factors that are responsible for the look guys had in the 90's, not just hGH.


Hulk Hogan?


I was being somewhat sarcastic...i dont know for sure how much hgh each competitor was using 35 years ago...but i do think it is evident that today and in the 90's the pro's are stacking many more drugs then arnie's day and it is clear with all of the bloated midsections that hgh is an issue....dude, 3 years ago when ronnie was still on top everyone was complaining about his gh belly and how bodybuilding is all about the mass monsters. I guess i should have given a drawn out answer rather than a semi-sarcastic one...I also think that back in the golden era they used the vacuum pose in every pose they hit. I think today most people dont know what a vacuum pose is and thats dissapointing


what would you say if I told you HGH isn't the culprit of the 'guts' and that it is more an abuse of insulin and over eating that causes distention. I know we eat big to get big, but putting on 35+lbs of off season weight isn't a great idea imo. Some people can do it and succeed but I think staying withing 20lbs of your competition weight should be ideal. Either way just make sure your growing.

You are correct about the vaccum pose, but I do see some people doing it still today.

The 'golden era' physiques were a LOT smaller than those of today. The bigger you get the thicker your abdominal muscles get imo. I know the bigger I get my abs seem to change in shape slightly.

Bigger lifts and bigger muscles lead to a bigger physique and structure. Even the big natty guys have thicker midsections than the smaller guys. You had some 6' 210lb bodybuilders in the golden era and they had tighter midsections because they are smaller. The only people competing at that weight today are probably 5'5" or around there. See what I mean?



hemp protein? really?..like that's actually out there?...and ppl buy it?...i'm so curious


With my limited knowledge of professional drug use I'd say the biggest difference between competitors today and those of 30 years ago is the drugs they used to get lean. Aromatase inhibitors and diuretics are much more advanced today than they used to be. Steroids haven't changed much over the years.

Gerdy is absolutely right about the overall size of the people playing the biggest role in what the waist size is. Comparing Arnold to Ronnie is laughable.

The judging criteria they both adhered too was completely different from one another. The whole waist line issue has more to do with what the judges deemed acceptable than what drugs were being used.

Hey Gerdy Nice golden era physique you tiny little punk ahahahah comedic goldd right there loll :smiley:


I think the judging comment is probably the most important. Bodybuilders do what they have to do to win, and what wins is in the hands of the judges. Ronnie didn't give a shit about his gut any more than Arnold thought he needed Platz-like legs. All they cared about was giving the judges what they wanted.




Oh shit this is one of the best posts I've ever read.


Thats interesting...i thought HGH made everything in teh body bigger (organs and bones) along with muscle, but i can believe that it also has to do with other drug abuse and eating a huge amount day in and day out..and i have to agree with you that staying "lean" (i use the term loosely, within 20 lbs of competition like you said) all year around is better rather then bulking just to drop the weight anyway. Personally, I believe that you can add muscle with staying as lean as possible. (and im probly going to get flamed for saying that)


Yup. You try getting to Ronnie Coleman's size and not having your waist expand. Obviously there are ways to limit the size of your waist, but there is a point when you put on that much mass that it will be impossible to maintain the waist of someone 60+lbs lighter


Good post. Try lifting the weights he does without having a core as strong as he does... Big weights require a big strong core.