The sport of body-building has been around in a number of guises for close on a hundred years. From the early days of Eugene Sandow, through the age of physical culture, the often refered to golden age of body-building of the 1950`s to 1970`s to today`s current crop of gargantuan bronzed, oiled walking behemoths.
Recently there has been an upsurge of internet forum posts with regards to the state of today`s body-builders and whether they are brining anything new to the scene. With a lot of individuals noting that today`s physicals lack any form of individualism when compared to physiques of little over a decade ago.
With information now more readily available via the internet and other mediums than it was 20 years ago, you would be have expected it to have changed for the better. Whilst allowing more and more people to achieve a decent competition standard on a more regular basis.
Let us playing devils advocate for a while with the blame thrown in the direction of once 6 time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates.
Dorian brought a whole new package to the stage. Just look at Lee Haney`s last outing, he knew Dorian was breathing down his neck. Haney upped the ante, won with an amazing amount of new muscle tissue for someone who had been at the top of their game for so long. And then he got the hell out of there because, I would guess, he knew Dorian would beat him the following year.
Dorian had a calculated mindset that very few people ever achieve. Such a meticulous individual that continuous gains would always happen. Those famous black & white pictures proved that and showed exactly which direction he was going.
As for the rest, well if they were to get anywhere close to Dorian on stage they had one of two options.
1) Get as meticulous and dedicated as Dorian
2) Up the doses and overall arsenal of chemical compounds used.
History has shown which route they took and each subsequent year these doses have been increased along with the various items that are used.
For me personally as an ex competitor and body-building enthusiast the late eighties to mid/late nineties were the pinnacle of sheer size and conditioning whilst still showing individualism in the competitors physiques. Today they are just humongous lumps of muscle tissue lacking any aesthetics and all looking same same.
Browse most body-building orientated internet forums and the most heavily used section will be the drug/chemical one. Follow the logs/journals of those frequenting those forums and the routine questions of gaining weight and making progress will be just the same as 20-50 years ago. Yet the answers they will receive are more akin to that of a chemist giving advice to a sick patient.
In the next part of this discussion I will be covering what I feel should be the advice given and advice we freely give in our forum and showing how much the sport of body-building has forgotten from its initial conception and ideals.
Steven. A. Barlow© 2011