29 explanations – No.9

The best physiques were built in the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Vince Gironda was probably the first modern day personal trainer with his own private facility. Vince shunned science but got results anyway. Incidentally, I believe this is because science leaves out one basic but ultra important element when it comes to research. That element is HARD WORK. 

Now Vince was as odd as they come probably coined the phrase The Iron Guru but his results were undeniable. Vince was all about physique creation but rest assured his number one tool was hard work. Vince was on a quest to create, aesthetically pleasing physiques and built a hell of a body himself. He couldn't care less how much you lifted, it was all about angles and feel for Vince.

Vince didn't give a flying fuck what you thought either and since he trained everyone from Larry Scott (The first MR. OLYMPIA) to Carl 'Apollo Creed' Weathers and Clint Eastwood to Eric Estrada (Chips) AND had the audacity to call Arnold FAT then you know he really didn't.


Now a statement like mine is obviously very subjective. I like the physiques of these decades the most as a whole. As bodybuilding grew into a a 'more size is better' spectacle, so the physiques lost much of that athletic and classic look that were still around in the 70's.

In the 80's Lee Labrada, Francis Benfatto, Bob Paris and Thierry Pastel carried on in the tradition of muscular but well proportioned physiques but they were a dying breed.


In the 70's Arnold, although huge for the time, still had a lean, tight waist. The legs of 70's bodybuilders were also not overly developed and thus their look was powerful but not blocky.

In the 80's things started to change and as we go into the 90's few bodybuilders maintained slimmer waists. I still love those huge bodybuilders and Dorian Yates for me still has one of the gnarliest physiques in history but I prefer those pre-1980.

I also believe those physiques are somewhat 'doable' for many people. Put TEN years of work in, keep your bodyfat in check and make sure you work every muscle evenly and you should have a decent physique worthy of the 50's, 60's or 70's. Always remember though that even then, genetics played a part.

Take a look back into those early years of the sport of bodybuilding and make your own mind up.



Frank Zane, 3 Time Mr. Olympia


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