T Nation

Pro Bodybuilding: Your Opinion

Hey guys,

As some of you already know (the others just have to check my old posts) I am a die-hard pro-bodybuilding fan and I will always take its defense. I always get into arguments with my non-bodybuilding friends and even with my bodybuilding friends about the state of the pro bodybuilding scene. I do believe that recently the judging has shifted from rewarding the freaks to rewarding a more appealling body.

Good examples of this is the 2004 NOC and the 2004 GNC Show of Strenght(even though I thought Victor Martinez should not have won that contest). I’d like to know what you guys think. I’m gonna post pics of my favorite bodybuilders, starting with my all-time fav Darrem Charles.


Here’s the pic.


Troy Alves


Mark Dugdale

[quote]TheFrenchMenace wrote:
Hey guys,

As some of you already know (the others just have to check my old posts) I am a die-hard pro-bodybuilding fan and I will always take its defense. I always get into arguments with my non-bodybuilding friends and even with my bodybuilding friends about the state of the pro bodybuilding scene. I do believe that recently the judging has shifted from rewarding the freaks to rewarding a more appealling body.

Good examples of this is the 2004 NOC and the 2004 GNC Show of Strenght(even though I thought Victor Martinez should not have won that contest). I’d like to know what you guys think. I’m gonna post pics of my favorite bodybuilders, starting with my all-time fav Darrem Charles.[/quote]

You picked some of the same guys I look up to, but overall, bodybuilding has fallen out of any sense of logic and it will take more than a few awards to Darrem Charles to cure that. The moment GH guts were allowed in a contest, it plummeted downhill. I truly don’t pay much attention to it like I did growing up. In the late 80’s and early 90’s when I was first buying a FLEX magazine, the physiques looked more “attainable”. Now, the focus has shifted so much towards drugs that you have teenagers who haven’t even lifted a weight for more than a couple of weeks believing that anabolics are more important than training for years or making eating a major priority.

I was looking up to people like Mike Ashley. You have some of these fools who might even call him “small” now. I heard Frank Zane once referred to as having a “swimmer’s body”. Needless to say, it isn’t just the pro’s or the judges that have lost their minds but many of the “fans” as well. The more it is seen as a freak show, the less respect it can ever truly have. That is exactly what it is right now. Worse than that, that negative perception gets transferred throughout all areas of society from CSI episodes to little kids asking, “Are you big because of steroids or do you lift weights?”

It will take more effort than a few first place wins of more esthetic bodybuilders in relatively minor contests. You start with the Mr. Olympia and move from there. Beyond that, I just don’t feel as motivated looking at a bloated Markus Rhul as I did when I saw Lee Labrada or Lee Haney. Those guys made me want to head to the gym immediately and get to work. Many of the guys today just make me want to avoid ever getting on a stage in a thong just so I can show of oiled up shredded ass muscles.

I remain a fan of the sport because of the dedication it takes to excel in it. When you play most sports, you have your training, your practices and your games and then the rest of your life. But when you’re a bodybuilder, there is no “rest of your life.” You work your butt off. Every meal, every nap, every minute is about bodybuilding.

I’d rather look like Frank Zane. But if I thought that his physique was the best a person could attain with great genetics, drugs and 24/7 effort, I’d be discouraged. I am inspired by the freaks.

That is true. I failed to mention it in my post. The use of GH has got to go, as well as synthol and other crap. I always get pissed off when I see guys like Victor Martinez or Gustavo Baddell place higher than the guys I mentioned earlier.

The sad part is that there are still a lot of people outthere who love the “freak physique” and these people reflect like 1% of the whole bodybuilding/fitness/health segment but they are the ones showing up at shows and screaming for Markus Ruhl and Ronnie.

I sure hope that someone that looks pregnant will get a poor ranking in the years to come. Chris Cormier once said that the goal of bodybuilding should always be to strive for the X taper, meaning your waist should be as small as possible, and never compromise that with size. I’m sure it will change and I hope it will. New York Pro show: My money is on Darrem! Of course.

[quote]Rocket Lax wrote:
I am inspired by the freaks.[/quote]

It depends on which freak. I have Ronnie Coleman’s training video and, needless to say, I am amazed. I have never seen a human being lift that much for reps. I am also surprised that at over 300lbs, he carries himself very well instead of lumbering around like Kovacs. That can be inspirational, however, some have simply taken it too far and only win based on sheer size alone. There is no reason Atwood should ever win a contest.

Ahmad Haidar

I’m 28 & would rather compare my efforts and build to the guys from the 60’s & 50’s than todays science projects! It’s too much & not healthy!

And most females don’t like that look anyways!

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Rocket Lax wrote:
I am inspired by the freaks.

It depends on which freak. I have Ronnie Coleman’s training video and, needless to say, I am amazed. I have never seen a human being lift that much for reps. I am also surprised that at over 300lbs, he carries himself very well instead of lumbering around like Kovacs. That can be inspirational, however, some have simply taken it too far and only win based on sheer size alone. There is no reason Atwood should ever win a contest.[/quote]

Funny you say that! Everytime I see Art Atwood I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. He is too big and looks horrible. Ronnie is definitely the weird exception. I don’t care how much drug you take, you will never lift as much as he does! They should correct the problem at the amateur level. Stop giving pro cards to goddamn walking pharmacies. Two new pro debut this May: Chris Cook and Capriese Murray…not sure about Cook but Murray is just awful.

This will probably hork some people off, but when I think of the ultimate physique, I envision someone like Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan (in his prime), Ho Sung Pak, or Bruce Lee.

This is likely due to the fact that I lift to supplement martial arts, and not just to get achieve some # on a lift or scale. One physique seems to indicate true fitness and mastery of one’s body, while another seems so fixated on appearance to the exclusion of real world applicability.

Let me preface this by saying that I work aggressively in the gym and supplement my beastly workouts with a well-tuned, growth oriented diet, but my goals simply lie elsewhere. To me, the ultimate physical specimens lie far outside the realm of pro bodybuilding. While many may argue that the individuals I mentioned are “skinny,” it’s impossible to deny their uncanny athleticism.

[quote]BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
I’m 28 & would rather compare my efforts and build to the guys from the 60’s & 50’s than todays science projects! It’s too much & not healthy!

And most females don’t like that look anyways![/quote]

Have you talked to most females? Last time I checked different strokes for different people (or something like that). Like most of the people here, I workout for myself and that’s it. I don’t care what the girls, my parents, and friends think. Bodybuilding is personal like pretty much anything else.

Also, not that it matters but a lot of pro-bodybuilders have some super hot girlfriends (Cutler, Kamali, Titus, etc). The girl argument in my opinion is and has always been pretty weak.

Glad to hear people speaking well of Frank Zane. I thought he looked awesome and saw a pic of him recently and he seems to be in great shape.

A while ago someone on this site started a thread on how Frank was an illusion and I thought he was way off. Not that Frank was best ever but an illusion?

At any rate does anyone know for sure what the deal is with GH gut? Is it really the growth hormone and if so are the organs growing or is it fluid retention, to me it is the most notable difference, other then sheer size, between the lifters of Arnold and Zanes day and now.

[quote]zdrax wrote:
This will probably hork some people off, but when I think of the ultimate physique, I envision someone like Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan (in his prime), Ho Sung Pak, or Bruce Lee.

This is likely due to the fact that I lift to supplement martial arts, and not just to get achieve some # on a lift or scale. One physique seems to indicate true fitness and mastery of one’s body, while another seems so fixated on appearance to the exclusion of real world applicability.

Let me preface this by saying that I work aggressively in the gym and supplement my beastly workouts with a well-tuned, growth oriented diet, but my goals simply lie elsewhere. To me, the ultimate physical specimens lie far outside the realm of pro bodybuilding. While many may argue that the individuals I mentioned are “skinny,” it’s impossible to deny their uncanny athleticism.[/quote]

This is a thread about BODYBUILDING. You know, in case you didn’t realize.

apayne:

Yes I do, but couldn’t one purport the argument that those individuals engage in a modified sort of bodybuilding? Their end goal may not be the same, but body composition and alteration certainly is.

I would have to say somewhere between Frank Zane and Arnold would be considered ideal in my mind. Arnold’s size with Frank’s lines would be amazing. They are the two I still look at and am blown away by. Out of the newer guys Kevin Levrone is still amazing to me. Ronnie is a freak, but his video is amazing. Talk about motivational.

WTF? Go look up the definition of bodybuilding, then look at the title of this thread, then go look at the first post.

Then go slap yourself in the face you silly git.

My favorite: Forget the name, grabbed it off Powerful Images. This, IMO, is probably attainable naturally with lots of hard work (although i’m no expert)

Oh, Vroom. Telling someone to slap themselves is my job. Man, now I have to find a new hook.

I look at the pro-bodyduilding like I look at any extreme pro sport. A little envious, but not willing to go for it. I would like to be that huge and powerfull, but any time I have tried to go over the top in any sport- B.M.X.,Snowboarding,Mountain Biking, I end up at the bottom in a heap of bones and pain.