Bodybuilding today owes everything to the great stars on the industry of the past decades. If you thought everything started with Arnold, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s time to have a look at the pioneers, the enormous sources of inspiration and knowledge who were the legendary bodybuilders that passed away. Not only that they made precious discoveries, but they also embodied the values cherished by bodybuilders everywhere.
Sergio Oliva “The Myth”
Sergio Oliva (1941 – 2012) got Arnold Schwarzenegger feeling humble and defeated during a contest in 1969. His physique was like that of a giant: 30-inch thighs and 22-inch arms. He was the number one ‘mass monster’ and had the most incredible lat spread. The huge muscles on his back were due to the Olympic lifting. However, he got into serious trouble because of excessive weightlifting. His joints became unstable and would even bend the other way. He had to switch to partial reps, which became his trademark. To spare the connective tissue, he would focus the tension on the targeted muscles.
Mentzer Brothers, Mike & Ray
Both Mike and Ray displayed huge and very dense musculature. They were known to go against the grain with their bodybuilding advice and whichever article they published was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the fans of the sport. Through the intense training they promoted, one could gain significant mass in a short time. They were the ones to set standards that are still the norm today. It was not only their knowledge, but also their integrity, vast culture and intelligence that inspired many. They both died when in their late forties, only two days apart.
Joe Weider, Modern Bodybuilding Pioneer
Known as the “Master Blaster”, fitness icon Joe Wieder was born in 1919 and died in 2013. He was one to start telling people about the importance of nutrition when committed to fitness. His influence on the industry was impressive. We owe him many of the terms we use and the magazines, the contests. He was the only teacher for many generations. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger paid a tribute to him, calling him the ‘godfather of fitness’.
Larry Scott “The Legend”
Larry Scott passed away recently, in 2014. His legacy lies on perfecting and spreading the ‘Preacher Curl’ exercise, which was invented by Gironda. Later, the exercise got to be named the ‘Scott curl”. His arm development got him popular, along with his very long, unusually well developed biceps. A model in the 1960’s, Scott had a body that was seen as ‘art’. In the same decade, he was the indisputable superstar of bodybuilding. No one had a chance while he was around. All of these sound even more impressive when knowing he retired at the young age of 28.
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