T Nation

Would Arnold Win a Modern Mr. O?


Hi everyone. I was just wondering how a body like the old-school bodybuilders like Arnold, Franco or Zane would do against the modern behemoths that currently rule the Mr. Olympia? Would a body like that stand a fighting chance and why?


Arnold? Nope. His arms and chest might compare favorably, but everything else would be sub-par.

Franco? Nope. As solid as he appeared in his time, his biceps lagged (genetics, nothing he could have done), and his quads and conditioning can't compare with today's pros, even the 202's.

Zane? Not a chance in hell. Maybe he could win a natural show, but only if no one else has any leg size either.

For the record, I'm a fan of all three bodybuilders you mentioned, but time marches on.



No love for his back?! /debating not arguing


Stu basically KO'ed this thread in one shot. lol

It seems in the last few years aesthetic qualities are starting to get favored a little more than years before that, but it's still a mass monster game, no questions asked.


No, but if they lived today, they'd look more like todays guys.


Not only would they not win an O. They wouldnt qualify lol


^Very good point!




Those bodies were "the look" that was favored in competition back then. A different look is winning now and those guys would be striving for that look if they were competing now.


I totally agree about Arnie. He wouldnt stand a chance.

And Zane couldnt meet the standard of todays world class natural bodybuilders (nevermind drug assisted). It would be embarissing if he were to be on stage with the likes of Jim Cordova.

But Franco? His back surpased anyone in history of 202 in my opinion. He also has one of the thickest upper chests bodybuilding has ever seen. Plus he had room to improve. He weighted near 20lbs under the 202 division. I believe if he had been in todays bodybuilding scene he could have stepped up (cometh the hour, cometh the man) the required amount (in the small areas he lacked), and beaten anyone in the 202 division .

Does anyone else feel that Arnie was a step down from Sergio Oliva?


Exacly. Obviously if you take Arnold's physique how it was in the 70's he wouldn't compare to today's bbers. But if Arnold wer born in 1982 and had the access to the same drugs, diet coaches, and whatever else today's bbers have, combined with his drive to be the best, I think he would win some shows.


It was all politics and Weider trying to sell more magazines. Also, Oliva was notoriously difficult to deal with. He was the greatest bodybuilder at the time, and he knew it!



I wonder what Mr O. competitors will look like in 30 years! The idea of dwarfing the likes of Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman seems crazy!


Yeah, Arnold DOES look skinny when compared to Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler.

Hehehe oh well, guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I gotta become a large behemoth to compete today :stuck_out_tongue:


That would be fucking insane!! I can't even bring myself to imagine such a thing... Guess we'll just have to wait and see.


you could say the same about pretty much all athletes... NOW better than THEN, for many reasons


that is a damn shame. I have a lot of respect for what bbers of any era have accomplished, but today's bbers remind me of those dogs (bull whippets?) that lack some gene or another and get ridiculously huge. today's bbers barely appear human compared to classic bbers. Oliva might have been ridiculously huge but he appeared superhuman somehow and statuesque, and not just a conglomeration of slabs of muscle walking around...



Sergio was THE image of what was to come in bodybuilding... although way into the future. He had that x-frame that everyone talks about today. Arnold was big and had a dramatic sweep and lines to his physique, and his conditioning was beautiful, but he wasn't the full package that Sergio was.

Arnold was my idol for many years, FTR.


There's not many pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger hitting a rear lat spread pose.


I know it wasn't his best contest showing, but I have the double DVD that's available of the 1980 Olympia, and his back is just awful. Double bi and lat spreads both look out of place next to guys like Mentzer, Dickerson and Calandar.