T Nation

Top Three Bodybuilders of All-Time

Samir Bannout
Ronnie Coleman
Reg Park
Larry Scott
Chris Dickerson
Lee Haney
Shawn Ray

Its such a subjective question you ask mate.

Number 1) Yates
(because he was not a genetic monster and really had to think about what matters when one want’s to get huge despite absolutely average genetics… Aspiring bb’ers should look up to this guy for his achievements and training philosophy instead of following random gurus or the mags. No matter if you dislike his physique or not, it’s the fact that he got training and diet right as opposed to most others which counts.

Not like Wheeler or Dillet who literally got 21-22 inch arms off curling a 65 pound EZ bar for a few half-hearted reps)

Number 2) Levrone
(because he trained heavy and progression-oriented despite having freaky genetics. I.e. he didn’t rely on his gift like Wheeler or Dillet. Also: He had one of the best physiques ever.)

Number 3) Sergio Oliva
(Same as Levrone, and some of the best arms as well… And what a freaky waist, only person I’ve ever seen pull the victory pose off perfectly… Impressed me the most as far as the old-school cast goes)

Honorable mention 1) Rühl, because despite being totally unbalanced and all that he has a great personality and could represent the sport extremely well… If only his English were better.

Honorable mention 2) Larry Scott, despite his super-narrow shoulders. Like someone above said, he had extremely good arms (though imo his lateral triceps lose to Levrone’s) and he was also a very good representative of BBing.

And some others: Ronnie (obviously), Dexter(so near-perfect that he almost looks boring again lol), Aaron Baker (looked absolutely sick in that one show… Can’t remember, but someone else won who really shouldn’t have… Was it one of the NOC’s ? Gee, my memory…)

Ok that’s it for now.

Yates was my inspiration when I started lifting. Sure he had a totally sick physique, but something about his work ethic. The guy just pushed himself beyond what was considered typical boundaries for BBers of the day.

Other early inspiations were: Levrone, Mentzer (not the crazy old dude he became, but the guy who got a perfect score at the Universe), Ronnie (you just gotta love Ronnie), Franco (was cool because of his stature, but if you read his autobiograohy you realize what a conceited prick is is), and Ken Waller (just just always looked like I wanted to)

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Yates was my inspiration when I started lifting. Sure he had a totally sick physique, but something about his work ethic. The guy just pushed himself beyond what was considered typical boundaries for BBers of the day.

Other early inspiations were: Levrone, Mentzer (not the crazy old dude he became, but the guy who got a perfect score at the Universe), Ronnie (you just gotta love Ronnie), Franco (was cool because of his stature, but if you read his autobiograohy you realize what a conceited prick is is), and Ken Waller (just just always looked like I wanted to)

S[/quote]

Lol you always kind of “remind” me of Waller :wink:

I’m not familiar with Franco’s bio though… Mind talking about that a little? (hey, we need more BB content on here anyway)

Flex Wheeler-just look at his pics. lol

Dennis Wolf-I believe I have a similar structure to him and he’s tall so he’s somebody I can aspire to.

toss up (levrone, ray, the gift, victor, lol)

DG

My current favorites
Victor Martinez, Shawn Ray and Richard Jones

From the old school
Arnold, Serge Nubret and Frank Zane

[quote]Qaash wrote:
My current favorites
Victor Martinez, Shawn Ray and Richard Jones

From the old school
Arnold, Serge Nubret and Frank Zane[/quote]

I can’t wait to see Richard Jones comeback in the 202 class

Actually I’m very excited about ALL of the talent that should make for an exciting year next year.

DG

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:
Qaash wrote:
My current favorites
Victor Martinez, Shawn Ray and Richard Jones

From the old school
Arnold, Serge Nubret and Frank Zane

I can’t wait to see Richard Jones comeback in the 202 class

Actually I’m very excited about ALL of the talent that should make for an exciting year next year.

DG[/quote]

Glad I’m not the only Jones fan here. I think the 202 will be the best of most contest, save the Arnold and Olympia.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
…and Ken Waller (just just always looked like I wanted to)

S[/quote]

Interesting, Stu. Because when I first saw pics of you I thought to myself, “He’s from the Ken Waller mold”.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
The Mighty Stu wrote:
…and Ken Waller (just just always looked like I wanted to)

S

Interesting, Stu. Because when I first saw pics of you I thought to myself, “He’s from the Ken Waller mold”.

[/quote]

Lol, well thanks for the Waller-esque comparisons guys. I remember an old article in a magazine where they profiled him (mid 90’s or so) and he talked about how all the flat pressing movement never seemed to stress his chest much, so he had to rely on lots of flyes and different angles to get anything.

As I had a similar problem, I approached it in the same fashion, and now, although I don’t have one of those huge-balance-a-beer-on-it chests, it does seem to be pretty well developed overall (top to bottom, inner to outter), so I guess I have Ken to thank :slight_smile:

S

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

I’m not familiar with Franco’s bio though… Mind talking about that a little? (hey, we need more BB content on here anyway)[/quote]

You can probably find it on any of the used-bookstores online (I usually pick up old and out of print books that way, usually pretty cheap too). He outlines growing up in Sardinia, how he was a natural at boxing (toots his own horn… a lot), and how he sort of progressed into bodybuilding once he met Arnold. The interesting part (I don’t know if you’d qualify it as arrogant, or kind of sad) is that whenever he reflects back on his accompishments in bodybuilding, he has to include Arnold in every sentence - he constantly refers to how the two of them were “the two best ever” -lol.

S

Narrowing it down to 3 is tough but here goes:

  1. Arnold
  2. Mike Mentzer
  3. Robby Robinson

Bodybuilding has never been as fascinating for me as it was when I started training in the mid '70s. These guys, along with Franco and Zane of course, were at the top at that time and looked much better than today’s champs. I’d love to see any of the current Olympia contestants try to pull off a vaccum shot like Mentzer or Zane.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

I’m not familiar with Franco’s bio though… Mind talking about that a little? (hey, we need more BB content on here anyway)

You can probably find it on any of the used-bookstores online (I usually pick up old and out of print books that way, usually pretty cheap too). He outlines growing up in Sardinia, how he was a natural at boxing (toots his own horn… a lot), and how he sort of progressed into bodybuilding once he met Arnold. The interesting part (I don’t know if you’d qualify it as arrogant, or kind of sad) is that whenever he reflects back on his accompishments in bodybuilding, he has to include Arnold in every sentence - he constantly refers to how the two of them were “the two best ever” -lol.

S
[/quote]

Hard to find. Amazon doesn’t even have it. Maybe AbeBooks.com has it.

I still have my copy from '78.

Sergio Olivia, Serge Nubret, Ronnie Coleman

im in shock that only one person so far has mentioned Dexter Jackson, shit.

im not a fountain of knowledge when it comes to pro-BBing but from who ive seen these are my picks

Dexter Jackson
Mike Mentzer
Will Harris

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
The Mighty Stu wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

I’m not familiar with Franco’s bio though… Mind talking about that a little? (hey, we need more BB content on here anyway)

You can probably find it on any of the used-bookstores online (I usually pick up old and out of print books that way, usually pretty cheap too). He outlines growing up in Sardinia, how he was a natural at boxing (toots his own horn… a lot), and how he sort of progressed into bodybuilding once he met Arnold. The interesting part (I don’t know if you’d qualify it as arrogant, or kind of sad) is that whenever he reflects back on his accompishments in bodybuilding, he has to include Arnold in every sentence - he constantly refers to how the two of them were “the two best ever” -lol.

S

Hard to find. Amazon doesn’t even have it. Maybe AbeBooks.com has it.

I still have my copy from '78.

[/quote]

Hail grandpa ;D

[quote]TornadoTommy wrote:
3. Robby Robinson
[/quote]

Hmmm… only one guy mentioned Robby so far? Maybe that’ll change in a few weeks. :wink:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
TornadoTommy wrote:
3. Robby Robinson

Hmmm… only one guy mentioned Robby so far? Maybe that’ll change in a few weeks. ;)[/quote]

He’s a cool guy and all but I just can’t fit him into my top 3 or even top 5 list :confused:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:
TornadoTommy wrote:
3. Robby Robinson

Hmmm… only one guy mentioned Robby so far? Maybe that’ll change in a few weeks. :wink:

He’s a cool guy and all but I just can’t fit him into my top 3 or even top 5 list :/[/quote]

That’s cool, I won’t mention it to him.

But really man, with Ruhl on your list, I’m surprised there’s room for four other guys.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Chris Colucci wrote:
TornadoTommy wrote:
3. Robby Robinson

Hmmm… only one guy mentioned Robby so far? Maybe that’ll change in a few weeks. :wink:

He’s a cool guy and all but I just can’t fit him into my top 3 or even top 5 list :confused:

That’s cool, I won’t mention it to him.

But really man, with Ruhl on your list, I’m surprised there’s room for four other guys.[/quote]

Haha, hey, he only got an honorable mention… I don’t find his physique to be all that great or anything, but he really is a very charismatic guy (though you probably wouldn’t realize due to his limited command of the English language) and is quite well-liked whenever he gives a seminar over here. That matters because most bodybuilders are hated and frowned-upon by default here… Yet he can make people like him quite easily.

I also must say that I don’t know enough about Robby. I think Trevor Smith prepared him for his one comeback or something? That and that he has about 20 heads between his bis and tris is all I really know ;D