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Old 03-14-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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Default 70s Big on Modern Bodybuilding

Posting this for discussion. Interesting topic.

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The culture of today’s bodybuilding is where the disconnect is. When I look at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, it just seems different than today’s bodybuilding. Yes, guys were still training to improve their physique, but the drugs resulted in a more streamlined look.

They had good shape, and even the bigger guys weren’t uncomfortably bulky; the size seemed to fit each man’s frame. But the issue isn’t that the physiques are significantly different (as a result of the drug improvements), but instead the difference is the culture surrounding it.

Remember the scene in Pumping Iron when Arnold visited a prison and did a posing routine? The thugs and gang bangers had an honest appreciation for the beauty of the human body. It seemed like the world was more impressed with bodybuilding and strength sports back then.

There were powerlifting broadcasts hosted by Bryant Gumbel in the ’70s and routine public appearances by bodybuilders. It seems like it was all so new to society that there was still that “go see the strongman at the circus” aura behind it. It’s only natural since the preceding century saw the Civil War, World War I, and World War II; society didn’t have the luxury to bodybuild and it was fascinating because it was different.

Yet, today’s culture has gone through a metamorphosis that makes it…weird.

The majority of attendees at the Arnold Classic finals were wearing designer clothes, plucked their eyebrows, and applied fake tanning solution — and I’m not even talking about the girls. This crowd also trains to only improve their physique, but there’s also that “we’re going clubbing” feel to it.

It seems that if you integrate yourself into today’s bodybuilding culture by working out or competing, you inherently implement the “peacock” mentality of spreading your wings. “Look and be flashy” is not only standard ops, but what it’s all about.

And it doesn’t matter why this is the case, because it doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is a culture that not only prides itself on how good it looks, but on how flashy and shiny they can appear to others in the same group.

Ultimately, that’s just weird to me. Sure, I want to be attractive, masculine, and muscular, but to me these traits (at least the latter two) are dependent on ability, performance, and health.

Be strong and look strong.

I’m not saying that the inherent level of narcissism in today’s bodybuilding is wrong, I’m just saying that it’s different and not my kind of thing.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Good read. Somewhere, maybe here or it could have been on one of the other few sites I read, I saw mention of how bodybuilding seemed to be a race to who could hit 300+ pounds and still have good definition. I'll be honest, steroids helped make some incredible physiques, but I liked the steroid only physiques better than the cocktail ones of today. An extra 15 pounds of muscle over natural potential looks god-like. An extra 100 begins to border on grotesque.

The natural body builders have my respect as well. Local shows are filled with guys who look pretty good without a shirt on, but the ones that make it to a pro card have some amazing physiques. They look strong, not just big or cut. Its an honor to know the BBers here at MAB, and it really helps remind me that great things are possible without drugs.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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An extra 15 pounds of muscle over natural potential looks god-like.
Yes it does. Some of the physiques we all keep bringing up over and over again, from Franco to Zane to Platz to even Sergio Oliva were around this level. In some cases a hair more - maybe 20-25 pounds.

I enjoy bodybuilding from pretty much the Lee Haney era back. Physiques were unique, and the men in the bodybuilding books looked like they were warriors doing battle in chalk-filled dens of brutality.

Modern bodybuilding is different to me. It feels different. Perhaps more distant describes it more accurately. Though there are 1000s of pictures of Jay Cutler, not a single one of them feel as authentic as pictures like this:



^ I connect with this on a deep level. It feels like me. It feels like my life.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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Robbie Robinson on bodybuilding:

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I think, starting around 1980, bodybuilding shifted from guys taking less to taking more. The physiques got bigger and bigger, until you get up to Ronnie. I thought Ronnie had taken it overboard the last couple of years.

I think my physique was more for the natural people, people who wanted to see that kind of physique, and from the '80s on, people started to slide away from bodybuilding. I talk to a lot of people and they all say it started pretty much in the '80s.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:52 PM   #5
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Definitely a different feel to it today.I can't really verbalize it but I am quite certain the vibe is just completely different.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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It used to be culturally acceptable, but now it's a fringe freak show.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
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It’s strange now to watch modern videos of bodybuilders training for all the reasons stated above. It stands out in my mind that there seemed to be much more pulling on cables and such "feeling the squeeze" and "burn" as opposed to raw, powerful, "only 15 more reps" with a bar on your back kind-of-training.

Not to mention, the nice cars and plush amenities that are welcomed by most of these same trainers in their training facilities and on the way to them. Not to say one shouldn't enjoy the fruits of your labor, however that feeling discussed in the above posts seems to be all but absent in light of these displays.

It’s kind of like knocking the gym walls down to find out they were a movie set as opposed to the gritty, hard dungeons of yesteryear.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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I respect what today's bodybuilders do and how hard they work to get where they are, I just think they took it too far. I believe that the old school bodybuilders were appreciated more because we all believed we could actually attain the same level of strength and muscle if we just tried hard enough and trained smart enough. Nowadays we know that we'd have to do things far more illegal and dangerous to get where the current champs are. It's kind of like having that friend that smokes 'a little' pot versus a friend that's addicted to meth; One you're willing to overlook, but the other is just unacceptable.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Yes it does. Some of the physiques we all keep bringing up over and over again, from Franco to Zane to Platz to even Sergio Oliva were around this level. In some cases a hair more - maybe 20-25 pounds.

I enjoy bodybuilding from pretty much the Lee Haney era back. Physiques were unique, and the men in the bodybuilding books looked like they were warriors doing battle in chalk-filled dens of brutality.

Modern bodybuilding is different to me. It feels different. Perhaps more distant describes it more accurately. Though there are 1000s of pictures of Jay Cutler, not a single one of them feel as authentic as pictures like this:



^ I connect with this on a deep level. It feels like me. It feels like my life.
Pics like this are motivational to me. These guys look good. I would never want to look like Cutler.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post

^ I connect with this on a deep level. It feels like me. It feels like my life.
Pic isn't showing up for me. Who is it?
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