T Nation

What Do You Think of Eugene Sandow?


This guy is obviously not hyooge by modern standards but if someone with a similar physique posted his pic on T-Nation today, would you give him shit for being too lean?

No because he has large musculature, balanced and strong looking.

Note the strong midsection, shoulders and upper legs yet modest chest development (compared to anyone post 1940’s), bench pressing wasn’t around much then, the focus was more on overhead lifting.

I’ve read a couple of articles from the period i found online, one including an encounter with him later in his life in which the writer expounded on just how solid he was to touch (!)

Not many men, even after a good period of training, look like this.

One of the modern myths I hear now and then is how just about ‘everyone’ down the gym looks like the elite BBers of the pre- 1960’s era etc, or at least how common this is.

No they don’t!

You can find more heavily muscled people around a serious gym these days, but the majority don’t look like Sandow, Clancy Ross, Park. They may look like the seemingly cheerful guy 3 places to the left of the winner in those very early black and white contest photos though!

Having said that - a lot more people have been achieving the BB look in the last couple of decades.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
This guy is obviously not hyooge by modern standards but if someone with a similar physique posted his pic on T-Nation today, would you give him shit for being too lean?[/quote]

give him shit for the fig leaf not the muscle or lack of…

Solid

Sandow was a pioneer and a visionary who stood at the very top of this game in it’s infancy. He deserves the veneration of all who follow him under the iron. Also nobody ever got any shit just for being too lean. They got shit for trying to be leaner when they were built like starving pygmies.

His physique reminds me of some of the olympic lifters of today. This is clearly a powerful man with a statue-like physique. People who reach that size may be more common today, but people who possess that strength/aesthetic look at that size aren’t that common.

homeboy has a great physique, one I would aspire to…however,

he needs to stuff a roll of quarters under that fig leaf.

he actually looks pretty solid aside from really small pecs and traps. not someone id aspire to be but given the lack of knowledge on bodybuilding and lack of equipment of his time he did pretty good for himself id say.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
This guy is obviously not hyooge by modern standards but if someone with a similar physique posted his pic on T-Nation today, would you give him shit for being too lean?[/quote]

I have to believe that, if he posted his pics in the Rate My Physique forum (including that one in the original post. Good work. I don’t remember seeing that one before), he’d unfortunately be told to eat more, by several people.

I’ve always admired the 19th/early 20th century physiques. Sandow was killer, but I’ve always thought Bobby Pandour was more muscular, and Saxon had Sandow beat in the strength department.


Bobby Pandour

If he were to post his pic in RMP, would he be holding a shoe?

[quote]jstines wrote:
If he were to post his pic in RMP, would he be holding a shoe? [/quote]

Actually, in “The Development of Physical Power”, Arthur Saxon wrote about “a popular strongman” of the times who would apply burnt cork to highlight and enhance his physique prior to being photographed. I’m just sayin’. :wink:

Photoshop retouching, 1890’s-style.

we used to train together. he was a good guy

[quote]1morerep wrote:
we used to train together. he was a good guy[/quote]

^You’re looking well for your age…what is the secret of your eternal youth? :slight_smile:

There was another thread on here a while back talking about the physiques of the Sandow period and how they differ from now. Like was mentioned above, there was alot more emphasis on things like the bent press etc and not alot of benching like we have today, hence the flatter looking chests.

It’s hard to do a direct comparison to todays RMP because today we look for a different type of physique and people would mark him lower for not having much pec development.

If however he was rated as compared to his contemporaries then he would do well and he’s clearly put the time in to build his physique. I’ve said before that there’s alot of posters on T-Nation who would love to have his amount of muscle.

He was def ahead of his time, not just in terms of nutrition & training knowledge, but also in terms of marketing himself so he was one of a few men who actually earnt a good living from his physique… there’s a reason the Olympia trophy is a statue of him.

For those interested, there’s lots of interesting info on him and other great lifters from that era on these sites:

www.sandowmuseum.com

www.sandowplus.co.uk


According to William Bankier (“Apollo”), Sandow wasn’t that strong and would deny anyone the chance to challenge him to any strength feats. Also, his physique wasn’t as great as most think because his sloping (rather than square)shoulders and sucky calves

I agree with him.


Apollo.

Also, Appollon too said Sandow used burnt corks.

Apollo sounds like a jealous ass dude that someone else had the spotlight.

Also, using burnt corks sounds a lot like pro BB today using tanning lotion to highlight their physiques. I see no problem with that.