T Nation

The Nineties: When the Gene Pool Was at Its Finest

I don’t know about you guys, but I think the physiques of the 90’s were out of this world and that the current crop doesn’t match up! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hardcore bodybuilding fan and will have attended five shows since last Spring come this Saturday, one of them being the NYC Pro, the third most important show. I love the whole thing and was glued to the computer monitor for the O last Saturday. However, with that said, I just think the guys from the 90’s just looked so much crisper and tighter–better lines, V tapers, X structures, waspy waists, the whole nine. No bloating, few GH guts, few moon faces, and little Palumboism. Not to mention, the physiques from then were just more blessed by Mother Nature.

I actually enjoyed the 212 Olympia more than the main event because all the competitors were so damn tight and shredded.

What do you guys say? Who are your favorites from the 90’s? The genetic crop was just outrageous–guys like Dennis Newman, Shawn Ray, Flex, Fux, Dorian, Nasser, et. al.

I don’t think it was necessarily a matter of genetics, but rather a whole different ballgame in terms of drug usage. I do tend to agree though, the physiques of the 90’s were rather aesthetic.

Chris Duffy aka Bull Stanton, another one of my favorites.

More of the gene pool: Vince Taylor, Chris Duffy, and Shawn Ray.

Love the leotards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJKfy7hROpE&feature=relmfu

The 90’s were a combination of several factors that made the competitors really stand out for me.

-An amazing crop load of genetically gifted BBers. Sure everyone at the top level of the sport if gifted, but you look at the typical top 6 of the larger pro shows of the era, and you’ll see the same names, albeit with a degree of shuffling.

-The guys were humongous, but the guts hadn’t quite reached the point they eventually would before everyone started reassessing what they were looking like.

-Conditioning was on point. Yes, a lot of reliance on diuretics, BUT I think there was also some understanding of the importance of other variables as well, unlike today, where conditioning is almost 100% based on various agents.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
The 90’s were a combination of several factors that made the competitors really stand out for me.

-An amazing crop load of genetically gifted BBers. Sure everyone at the top level of the sport if gifted, but you look at the typical top 6 of the larger pro shows of the era, and you’ll see the same names, albeit with a degree of shuffling.

[/quote]

I think the talent pool was greater in the 90’s because of the entertainment industry.

Think about when these guys were growing up. Who the action stars were and compare to action movies/stars today. I think because the entertainment industry embraced arnold/stallone/etc more kids were influenced to get into the gym.

Flex Wheeler vs Shawn Ray…classic!

Just imagine if those guys in the 90s had access to all the amazing supplements these days :wink:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
What do you guys say? Who are your favorites from the 90’s? The genetic crop was just outrageous–guys like Dennis Newman, Shawn Ray, Flex, Fux, Dorian, Nasser, et. al. [/quote]
Killer thread topic, man. I have to agree, probably because I got into training in the '90s, worked at GNC (the one in the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. Ha.) so I was reading the three or four most popular magazines every single month. I actually went to the '98 Olympia when Ronnie won. That was pretty cool.

I’ve always thought Chris Cormier was under-rated, with sharp lines and a small waist like Flex or Shawn but with a bit more size, and seemed crazy strong in the gym. But a while ago, I found this pic of Levrone I’d never seen before. I stopped what I was doing and just said “Damn.”

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:
What do you guys say? Who are your favorites from the 90’s? The genetic crop was just outrageous–guys like Dennis Newman, Shawn Ray, Flex, Fux, Dorian, Nasser, et. al. [/quote]
Killer thread topic, man. I have to agree, probably because I got into training in the '90s, worked at GNC (the one in the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. Ha.) so I was reading the three or four most popular magazines every single month. I actually went to the '98 Olympia when Ronnie won. That was pretty cool.

I’ve always thought Chris Cormier was under-rated, with sharp lines and a small waist like Flex or Shawn but with a bit more size, and seemed crazy strong in the gym. But a while ago, I found this pic of Levrone I’d never seen before. I stopped what I was doing and just said “Damn.”[/quote]

Chris, that pic is awesome!

Not to take anything away from KevLev, but something about black and white photography seems to add another dimension. I imagine that pic would not be as epic if in bold color.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Not to take anything away from KevLev, but something about black and white photography seems to add another dimension. I imagine that pic would not be as epic if in bold color.[/quote]
Could be the case. I’m pretty sure this is from right around the same time, if not shortly after the same contest.

Still great in color, but I think black and white offers the visual information at base level… and seems to make the body look like granite or marble.

Sidenote: How KevLev never took home a Sandow is beyond me.
Flawless.

Every time I see a vid of Flex Wheeler, it makes me want to juice, lol.

Me at 19 years old meeting Shawn Ray outside the 1998 Night of champions. Christ my chest took time to fill out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h539gsm9j2c&feature=related Check this damn lineup out: Labrada, Matarazzo, Dillet, Vince Taylor, Flex! I forgot the name of the sixth guy. Anybody?

Damn you look just like jake gyllenhal(sp).

pretty cool pic. I think shawn ray passed the “look big in a tshirt” test. You, not quite there yet lol. I wasnt a bb fan in the 90 s, but looking at all the vis and pics they definitely brought the conditioning. I think correa came closest to that in the 212.

levrone and flex are probably the most underrated bodybuilders of all time.

[quote]Maiden3.16 wrote:
Damn you look just like jake gyllenhal(sp).

pretty cool pic. I think shawn ray passed the “look big in a tshirt” test. You, not quite there yet lol. I wasnt a bb fan in the 90 s, but looking at all the vis and pics they definitely brought the conditioning. I think correa came closest to that in the 212.[/quote]

I’m glad you like it!

Yeah, I was still pretty thin there. I never went full force in my college years–found it damn near impossible.

Yeah, people think I resember Jake Gyllenhaal.