T Nation

Pro Bodybuilding's Tipping Point?


Without completely hijacking the MR O preview thread anymore than a grape fruit already has I figured to make a seperate thread.

When or more importantly, who, was the tipping point to go from the 'golden era' asthetics to the modern day look and size? Was it a gradual evolution or did someone come in and change the game causing others to play catch up? Even if it was a slow evolution, someone still had to be the first to cause the trending?

I was just a little kid when I started following the sport at the time of Dorian's exist and Ronnie's rise so most of what I know from the times prior are just from second hand or pictures really.

EDIT- posted in wrong sub forum. Hopefully a Moderator can move this to the Bodybuilding forum. Thanks


I think Yates is where the shift started. Everyone was in awe of his mass so that became what people chased at all costs and judging adapted to it. But I don't really know just seems to be the case to me looking at the way things have went retrospectively.


Yeah, that's my thinking as well. Not that he was using anything specifically that wasn't already around and available to everyone else, but it seems he just was willing to push things further.
(I'm sure someone with better knowledge of PEDs will have interesting input on the matter though)



I'm sure he was using the same stuff as everyone else. His training was much higher intensity than everyone else in his time, from what I gather from videos and documentaries.


Was gonna say Yates as well. Dorian in a way said as much himself in an in depth interview I remember watching.


I think Haney was the first huge competitor in comparison to the "Golden Era" guys. I think this started a trend of chasing mass, and then Dorian shows up out of nowhere and starts dominating and changing the sport forever.


Haney still maintained some type of a waste though. Maybe as his reign as Mr. O wound down and but he never really looked like he had a bulging belly. And this is me going off pictures because I was a young'n back then.


Right, definitely not the gut. But he definitely carried a lot more size than others he was competing against and he was the biggest guy the sport has seen at that point(unless I am missing a lesser known guy without the conditioning of Haney).


To bring a little different perspective on this, here's a guy who prompted a trend "behind the scene", without really having that change translate to what was necessarily rewarded onstage.

Pete Grymkowski (Front of the line with the 'stache. In 1978, weighing 250) was one of the first guys to push the envelope on his anabolic intake, in the early-to-mid '70s, taking 3 to 10 grams of total anabolics per day at some points. I don't know much about steroids, but I've been told this is more than some guys now take in a week.

As a result, he was one of the first guys to be on-stage in contest condition in the 245-250 range, at 5'10". On the flip side, he won his weight class in the Mr. America (lost the overall) and won the Mr. World, but never placed higher than 3rd in the few other pro contests he entered. Funny/interestingly enough, he doesn't seem to have ever competed in the Olympia but I haven't read a reason why.

With that in mind and without getting too psychological, maybe he was like Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile. Other guys saw Grymko push the anabolics and contest weight, so something clicked like, "Ahh, I guess we could do some more", and that started the snowball that rolled into the '80s.


As an amateur in the early '70s (this pic is circa '72, weighing around 240), he didn't always win 1st place, but he always won the "most muscular" bonus award. That's supposedly when he was just getting into anabolic use, likely introduced by the powerlifters he used to train with.


IIRC, Yates was the first to use insulin for bodybuilding purposes


Tim Belknap was winning shows in the early and mid '80s. As an insulin-dependent diabetic, he "made the best" of his situation, so to speak. As far as non-diabetic bodybuilders using insulin, I'm not sure.


Yates says he didn't use insulin (which I believe) and has spoken out against it. He was probably one of the first to push the boat on GH.

I think the emergence of synthol, in the early 90s, was a jump the shark moment


Yates was certainly using insulin and was the first to really crank the dose of it and GH.


In a recent MD issue, Dorian said he used insulin in one offseason and that he believes it doesn't lend to muscle gain, only water and glycogen.


I highly doubt he said that... complete nonsense


I believe he said it but not that it happened


I think Yates downplays what he took alot even though he has mentioned what he took.

I remember it was posted on here before were he did a interview with 2 guys and he would be open and blabla about the usage, but he was still pretty dam vague. Which is fine but I would take whatever these pros say with a grain of salt, when they talk about how much they were taking.


It's the Bodybuilder's Guide to Revisionist History.

The longer you've been away from your past glory, the less anabolics you supposedly used.

I've had retired pro's tell me they only used for 4-6 weeks at a time, and that they "hated every minute of it."

My personal favorite was (if I remember correctly) Paul Dillet, recounting how when he lived with Shawn Ray, they used to keep a syringe of Winstrol on the kitchen table. Each day they'd walk by it and complain that "I just don't want to take it today" and so the syringe sat there unused for days.

I really hope it was a ghost written anecdote but I'm not sure.

At least the late Steve Michalik was honest about the subject.


Is anyone really surprised that heavy drug users downplay the amount of drugs they are actually using?
Wasn't ther a famous (somewhat) quote by Nasser (???) where he said something to the effect of:
"If you all the empty syringes that I have used were to be placed in this room it would cover the floor and be 4 feet high" or something like that?
He was in a restaurant IIRC?
I'm sure someone else can clarify.