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1990's bodybuilding nostalgia . Great era or myth ?

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  • 1990's bodybuilding nostalgia . Great era or myth ?

    Earlier today, I was looking at youtube videos of great contests from the 90's.
    For example, the Ironman pro events were incredible and Flex Wheeler looked amazing, etc.

    The national level npc events of that era were incredible line ups at the Jr nats and pro qualifier levels.

    We've had some damn good pros during the past 20 years.
    Jay, Dexter, Kai, prime Heath are all quite impressive in their own right.

    Is the appeal of the 90's more myth and selective memory then reality?
    I dunno, but I lived thru it and was more impressed with bodybuilding in the 90's.

    Thoughts?
    I saw a star, reached for it...and MISSED

  • #2
    I began following the sport in April 1990, buying mags, vids etc.

    It was an incredible era to follow. Took my entire life in a whole new, exciting direction that has taken me all over the World, given me countless incredible experiences and wonderful friendships.

    But this era too I love. I consider myself unbelievably fortunate to be right in the heart of this industry.
    MD Global Muscle Radio ep.40-https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-MIKWx8sAcw&t=5319s

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    • #3
      Mind blowing era look at all the great bodybuilders we had some amazing battles at all the comps

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      • #4
        Late 80s early 90s was the pinnacle for me as far as the sport in general. Mid 90s to early 2000s was pinnacle for physique development but the sport was already changing to something less appealing

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        • #5
          If you asked the guys from the 70s, they would say the 90s sucks.

          It is still a minority sport where there is no money and that makes it special, but now there are too many amateur contests and too many new pros, which have reduced the value of the Arnold and Olympia brand, and the quality of the pro status.

          But at the end of the day, the best of the best comes to the top and there are always great battles throughout the year.

          The classic fails to satisfy what the nostalgic would like to see.
          Last edited by Beti ona; September 3, 2021, 12:01 PM.
          http://betionastore.es/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Beti ona View Post
            If you asked the guys from the 70s, they would say the 90s sucks.

            It is still a minority sport where there is no money and that makes it special, but now there are too many amateur contests and too many new pros, which have reduced the value of the Arnold and Olympia brand, and the quality of the pro status.

            But at the end of the day, the best of the best comes to the top and there are always great battles throughout the year.

            The classic fails to satisfy what the nostalgic would like to see.
            By the 90's the prize $$ had increased in every pro event, especially the Olympia and Arnold.
            I started bodybuilding in the 70's and enjoyed it then and now.

            But for most fans the shows were better during the 90's
            I saw a star, reached for it...and MISSED

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Howard View Post

              By the 90's the prize $$ had increased in every pro event, especially the Olympia and Arnold.
              I started bodybuilding in the 70's and enjoyed it then and now.

              But for most fans the shows were better during the 90's
              In the 90's, a series of conditions were met that made it special and unique.

              The tragic part of the human experience is that greatness, once gone, cannot be recovered.
              http://betionastore.es/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Beti ona View Post

                In the 90's, a series of conditions were met that made it special and unique.

                The tragic part of the human experience is that greatness, once gone, cannot be recovered.
                Sad, but true
                I saw a star, reached for it...and MISSED

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Beti ona View Post

                  In the 90's, a series of conditions were met that made it special and unique.

                  The tragic part of the human experience is that greatness, once gone, cannot be recovered.
                  In time things come around!

                  I hope we see this again in bodybuilding...

                  though bbing has a number of factors working against it like the proliferation of other divisions, inherent difficulty and dedication required to gain huge amounts of mass and a lazy want everything now generation!

                  but still it just takes a couple of great bbers to rise up... like a Ronnie jay situation, this could certainly happen! Whereas a crazy talent stacked situation like the 90’s is much less likely...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bestia View Post
                    Late 80s early 90s was the pinnacle for me as far as the sport in general. Mid 90s to early 2000s was pinnacle for physique development but the sport was already changing to something less appealing
                    Agreed I feel we are at a peak now in terms of unappealing physiques, there have been a few exceptions but less now than ever...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by harmankardon View Post

                      Agreed I feel we are at a peak now in terms of unappealing physiques, there have been a few exceptions but less now than ever...
                      Honestly I think it is a convergence of conditions - prep pics with wild lighting that leaves fans underwhelmed by the stage physiques they see. Maxing out every chemical cocktail to replace old school metal free weight training. A plethora of categories that spread the genetic prodigies across 4 divisions as opposed to just open bodybuilding. And believe it or not, the loss of limited release print magazines - where fans clamored to get glimpses of still footage and contest story lines.

                      some of that may change as you mentioned, others will not. I have wondered a lot recently what the sport will be in 15 years - better...worse? Different for sure but in what way?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by harmankardon View Post

                        In time things come around!

                        I hope we see this again in bodybuilding...

                        though bbing has a number of factors working against it like the proliferation of other divisions, inherent difficulty and dedication required to gain huge amounts of mass and a lazy want everything now generation!

                        but still it just takes a couple of great bbers to rise up... like a Ronnie jay situation, this could certainly happen! Whereas a crazy talent stacked situation like the 90’s is much less likely...
                        In the 90's SEO and formebolone were abused, but for some reason, now they seem more synthetic and less real muscle.

                        But Its not a problem of lack of quality of athletes per se, there are so many factors that make the scene not so special. In the 90's we had a lot of people trying to be a bodybuilder and there was only one division and the options were limited.

                        We don't had pretty boys and girls except in some magazine ads.

                        There were also no gurus and information was limited for those who really needed it. Also the gear.
                        http://betionastore.es/

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                        • #13
                          Maybe the downward change is due to the "other divisions" being the biggest number of entrants?

                          For example, during the 80's and 90's , I'd attend the npc nationals and it was 100% men's and women's BODYBUILDING.
                          Making the top 5 to pose at the night finals was a real honor and marked you as a true national level bodybuilder.
                          With only bodybuilders in the contest, the atmosphere was totally skewed to bodybuilders.
                          As a lifetime meathead, these events were like going "home".

                          I last attended the NPC nationals in 2008. By then the bikini class was the biggest for aprox 500 entrants.
                          Combined with figure these "fitness models" comprised the vast majority of the contest entrants at the nationals.

                          I remember seeing 100's of fit girls walking around wearing mini-kimono bath robes and pulling little suit cases.
                          Nothing against these fit bikini and figure girls, but the show atmosphere was very different.
                          Instead of a bodybuilding contest, I felt like I was at some " Victoria Secret convention " LOL

                          In theory, we should be able to have a wide variety of divisions and physique types.
                          I understand how the promoters love having a lot more paid entrants in the contest.
                          BUT when bodybuilding is no longer the majority group, the culture and atmosphere changes.


                          I saw a star, reached for it...and MISSED

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by harmankardon View Post

                            In time things come around!

                            I hope we see this again in bodybuilding...

                            though bbing has a number of factors working against it like the proliferation of other divisions, inherent difficulty and dedication required to gain huge amounts of mass and a lazy want everything now generation!

                            but still it just takes a couple of great bbers to rise up... like a Ronnie jay situation, this could certainly happen! Whereas a crazy talent stacked situation like the 90’s is much less likely...
                            Great post.

                            With contest PPV's or post show videos, we don't need to attend contests to see the top pros now.
                            I go to big contests for the atmosphere and to be around fellow meathedz.
                            Went to this year's (2021) Chicago pro in ATL and the NPC jr Nats and their were great physiques on stage.
                            Not sure why but the contest atmosphere was rather subdued and oddly quiet during both contests.
                            I saw a star, reached for it...and MISSED

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