Which Was The Best/Worst Year Of Bodybuilding? Best/Worst Year In Terms Of HIT?

Questions I have been pondering…

Was 1979 the best year of bodybuilding? With a preference of classic physique and looking at the range of top competitors - I would say so.

In terms of HIT, I am not certain. Does it coincide with the most successful year of Nautilus? When was that?

Adding the opposite (“worst year” - to open up the subject/discussion. @fitafter40 @RT_Nomad @Ellington_Darden

Was paradoxically the worst year of bodybuilding sometime in the early 90-ties, when they tested the competitors for PEDs and the quality sank through the floor?

Re HIT, I don’t know - but it seems HIT is a rather small duck pond lately…

Or the year Viator won the Mr. America as the youngest to do so?

It was definitely my best year in bodybuilding.

My thought is that they were all the best years in bodybuilding starting in the 1950’s.

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Viator won the AAU Mr. America in 1971 so 1971 was a good year. But I would say the best HIT years were from 1978-1982.


In 1971 very few of the public were aware of the esoteric sport of bodybuilding. I started competing the previous year. I saw Casey Viator guest pose in November 1970 (my first contest) and I was extremely impressed.

If you must choose a best year, IMO, it should be a time when most of the population was aware of the sport of bodybuilding. Arnold’s movies are most responsible for brining bodybuilding to the public.

My opinion is controversial. IMO, the introduction of women’s bodybuilding initiated a pull to masculinizing women. I know that I am addressing more my taste in what makes a sexually desirable woman than anything else. I never liked the use of AAS by women, and never will.

Another controversial point. IMO competitive bodybuilding should be primarily a participation sport and not an observed sport. The audience of a contest should be composed of mostly family and friends of the competitors. This was the case up through the 1980’s, IMO. Plus the heart and soul of competitive bodybuilding should be its amateur athletes.