T Nation

Sandow: 'Man with the Perfect Body'

This is a new article i came across today, did Sandow really have 19.5" arms?!

[quote]shorty_blitz wrote:
This is a new article i came across today, did Sandow really have 19.5" arms?!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19977415[/quote]

Not by the looks of it. You do have to remember that they had different aesthetic goals in those times.

[quote]shorty_blitz wrote:
did Sandow really have 19.5" arms?![/quote]
Absolutely not. The authors are smoking dope.

Those measurements were mostly self-reported by Sandow, who was often accused of “questionable techniques” like using burnt cork to “highlight” muscles before having photos taken.


Video from 1894.

Circa 1893/near the peak of his career, his measurements were recorded by a doctor as being:
Height: 67.7 inches (5’7 1/2")
Weight: 180 pounds
Right wrist: 7.3
Left wrist: 7.1
Right forearm: 13.4
Left forearm: 13.0
Right biceps: 16.9
Left biceps: 16.1
Neck: 15.5
Shoulders: 20.3
Chest, normal: 44.1
Chest, expanded: 46.9
Waist: 32.7
Hips: 38.0
Right thigh: 23.2
Left thigh: 22.8
Right calf: 15.4
Left calf: 15.6

Those seem to be much more realistic and believable, compared to what’s listed in the article.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]shorty_blitz wrote:
did Sandow really have 19.5" arms?![/quote]
Absolutely not. The authors are smoking dope.

Those measurements were mostly self-reported by Sandow, who was often accused of “questionable techniques” like using burnt cork to “highlight” muscles before having photos taken.


Video from 1894.

Circa 1893/near the peak of his career, his measurements were recorded by a doctor as being:
Height: 67.7 inches (5’7 1/2")
Weight: 180 pounds
Right wrist: 7.3
Left wrist: 7.1
Right forearm: 13.4
Left forearm: 13.0
Right biceps: 16.9
Left biceps: 16.1
Neck: 15.5
Shoulders: 20.3
Chest, normal: 44.1
Chest, expanded: 46.9
Waist: 32.7
Hips: 38.0
Right thigh: 23.2
Left thigh: 22.8
Right calf: 15.4
Left calf: 15.6

Those seem to be much more realistic and believable, compared to what’s listed in the article.[/quote]

No kiddin, this was pre-Anaconda :smiley:

Amazing how much things have changed. My measurements are pretty comparable to Sandow’s across the board… I’m a little taller, but the rest of the numbers are similar. And I consider myself to be a little guy.

Wow, just read that article. 48" chest, 62" when flexed. Must have been hard to find a suit jacket. LOOOOOOOOOOOL

Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold. [/quote]

I believe that symbols have more gravitas if they are timeless.

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold. [/quote]

I believe that symbols have more gravitas if they are timeless. [/quote]

Sandow is timeless?

If you read through the lines of any of the really early bodybuilding writings, back then, even Sandow was considered “too muscly” and “muscle-bound”. Makes me wonder what was considered an average “healthy” person back then.

I’m certain if he posted his pictures and videos on TNation, he’d get the “good job man, good start, but you really need to be eating more and get on a proven program.”

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold. [/quote]

I believe that symbols have more gravitas if they are timeless. [/quote]

Of course they do.

<—Iconoclast

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold. [/quote]

I believe that symbols have more gravitas if they are timeless. [/quote]

Sandow is timeless?[/quote]

The idea of Sandow is.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold. [/quote]

I believe that symbols have more gravitas if they are timeless. [/quote]

Of course they do.

<—Iconoclast
[/quote]

Heathen!

Blasphemer!

Heretic!

Jacobin!

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
No kiddin, this was pre-Anaconda :D[/quote]
You joke, but in the 1900’s Sandow was writing about Plasmon, an egg white or whey powder. And he developed and sold “Sandow’s Health and Strength Cocoa” which I believe was also a whey product (I could be off on that).

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold.[/quote]
Blame Boyer Coe.

Supposedly, he made the suggestion to Arnold, who then passed it up the chain to IFBB officials in the late '70s to start presenting a statue instead of a simple gold or silver cup to contest winners. I believe it’s modeled after a statue that Steve Reeves won at his last Mr. Universe.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.[/quote]
Hates Sandow… posts in Sandow thread. Hates cats… posts in Cat Lovers thread. Hates Branch Warren… posts in every relevant thread. Guess I know which dwarf you really are, Grumpy. :wink:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
No kiddin, this was pre-Anaconda :D[/quote]
You joke, but in the 1900’s Sandow was writing about Plasmon, an egg white or whey powder. And he developed and sold “Sandow’s Health and Strength Cocoa” which I believe was also a whey product (I could be off on that).

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold.[/quote]
Blame Boyer Coe.

Supposedly, he made the suggestion to Arnold, who then passed it up the chain to IFBB officials in the late '70s to start presenting a statue instead of a simple gold or silver cup to contest winners. I believe it’s modeled after a statue that Steve Reeves won at his last Mr. Universe.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.[/quote]
Hates Sandow… posts in Sandow thread. Hates cats… posts in Cat Lovers thread. Hates Branch Warren… posts in every relevant thread. Guess I know which dwarf you really are, Grumpy. ;)[/quote]

Boyer Coe sucks.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
No kiddin, this was pre-Anaconda :D[/quote]
You joke, but in the 1900’s Sandow was writing about Plasmon, an egg white or whey powder. And he developed and sold “Sandow’s Health and Strength Cocoa” which I believe was also a whey product (I could be off on that).

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
I wish the Mr Olympia trophy design was more up to date. Maybe use a BBer as a model who has had a greater inspirational impact in modern times… someone like Arnold.[/quote]
Blame Boyer Coe.

Supposedly, he made the suggestion to Arnold, who then passed it up the chain to IFBB officials in the late '70s to start presenting a statue instead of a simple gold or silver cup to contest winners. I believe it’s modeled after a statue that Steve Reeves won at his last Mr. Universe.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Sandow sucks.[/quote]
Hates Sandow… posts in Sandow thread. Hates cats… posts in Cat Lovers thread. Hates Branch Warren… posts in every relevant thread. Guess I know which dwarf you really are, Grumpy. ;)[/quote]

Boyer Coe sucks.
[/quote]

you should start a thread about it.


A solid 180lbs at 5’7.5" is nothing to scoff at. I think most would be pretty proud to replicate that - it’s not like he was 20% bodyfat. From the pictures I’ve seen was at least 10%.

Sandow deserves a good deal of respect. His phsyique should be easier to achieve today but I don’t see a bunch of Sandow look-a-likes even here on T-Nation, anyway.

How many guys on here would pose like this with confidence they would look similar or better?

Maybe Zraw, Stu, Maiden and others… but not even half of T-Nation I’d bet.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
A solid 180lbs at 5’7.5" is nothing to scoff at. I think most would be pretty proud to replicate that - it’s not like he was 20% bodyfat. From the pictures I’ve seen was at least 10%.

Sandow deserves a good deal of respect. His phsyique should be easier to achieve today but I don’t see a bunch of Sandow look-a-likes even here on T-Nation, anyway.

How many guys on here would pose like this with confidence they would look similar or better?

Maybe Zraw, Stu, Maiden and others… but not even half of T-Nation I’d bet.[/quote]

I don’t think it’s anything to scoff at. But I think the fact that you just named 3 guys from this site off the top of your head who compare favorably to Sandow highlights how relatively easy it is today to achieve this sort of physique (or better). Nobody’s saying his physique is easily achievable, or that everyone off the street has achieved more. But in Sandow’s day, he was one of a kind. Today, I would bet most big box gyms have at least a few guys that are built like Sandow or better.


When he was younger. This was one of the pictures that impressed me when I first heard of him.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
A solid 180lbs at 5’7.5" is nothing to scoff at. I think most would be pretty proud to replicate that - it’s not like he was 20% bodyfat. From the pictures I’ve seen was at least 10%.

Sandow deserves a good deal of respect. His phsyique should be easier to achieve today but I don’t see a bunch of Sandow look-a-likes even here on T-Nation, anyway.

How many guys on here would pose like this with confidence they would look similar or better?

Maybe Zraw, Stu, Maiden and others… but not even half of T-Nation I’d bet.[/quote]

I’d do it, but I would need a raffia palm leaf to adequately cover my nether region.