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To The Extreme: Building The Ultimate Bodybuilder

We might not be able to choose the best bodybuilder of all time, but we can take the best body parts from the world's greatest bodybuilders to create the perfect, stage-ready specimen.

In 47 years, only 13 men have been crowned Mr. Olympia. By winning this title, these men were given the honor of having built the perfect physique. However, whenever somebody raises the contentious subject of whose physique merits recognition as the best of all time, consensus is impossible to reach.

All champions possess weaknesses. Dorian Yates made his name with unparalleled muscle size and density. Others, like Frank Zane, carry proportions, symmetry, and definition to such a high degree they are considered art in human form. Despite these ideal physiques, there has yet to be a champion who everyone considers "perfect."

So how do we decide the best bodybuilder of all time? We build our own. To form the world's greatest competitor, we've put together an assemblage of some of the best body parts ever to walk the stage. From front to back, top to bottom, this athlete is perfectly balanced and complete with the muscle groups from some of history's greatest bodybuilding heroes. Read on to discover whose muscles we've used to stitch together the perfect bodybuilding contender.

Biceps /// Phil Heath

As the winner of the past two Mr. Olympias, Phil Heath has shown that he is much more than the owner of a massive set of arms. Despite his incredible overall presentation, his biceps really are in a class of their own. Perfectly peaked, full from origin to the insertion, shredded beyond imagination, Heath's cartoon-like cannons combine all the desired attributes needed for freakish biceps development. They might be the best we'll ever see.

Triceps /// Kevin Levrone

To many bodybuilding fans, Kevin Levrone is an uncrowned Mr. Olympia winner. Although he was a complete bodybuilder, he was known especially for his titanic, fully-etched triceps. In the 90s, the term "horseshoe" became a catchphrase for complete triceps shape and size in which all three heads of this muscle group are clearly visible and inhumanly large. Levrone was a major catalyst for this term's popularity. His triceps are regarded as the best ever.

Chest /// Arnold Schwarzenegger

When determining superior chest development, it is hard to go past seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Austrian Oak's 58-inch chest helped establish him as the standard for bodybuilder excellence. He had the quintessential classic physique coupled with mass way ahead of his time. Arnold was noted for his awe-inspiring upper body mass and shape: his chest was simply flawless. Even by today's standards, few have been able to match his complete, full, and powerful pecs for size and shape.

Back /// Dorian Yates

With his titanic size and muscular density, the massive Brit Dorian Yates ushered in the era of mass, and he owns six Sandow trophies. He's famous for his giant size and freaky conditioning, but he also boasts perhaps the thickest, most complete back in all of bodybuilding history. His back has become the new gold standard.

Traps /// Ronnie Coleman

Though technically part of the back complex of muscles, traps are unique for their visual impact. When Coleman squeezed his patented "most muscular" pose, his otherworldly traps truly set him apart. Though Big Ronnie ticked all the big back boxes—hanging lats, deeply-etched Christmas tree development, phenomenal detail from top to bottom—his remarkable traps stole the show and deserve to be credited as the biggest and best of all time.

Shoulders /// Flex Wheeler

Wheeler is arguably the greatest bodybuilder without an Olympia title. He's best known for his impressive silhouette. Even in a relaxed pose, his small waist, flaring V-taper, and round, thick deltoids were a sight to behold. His proportionally-perfect deltoids were cannon balls, yet clearly demonstrated delineation between the front, medial, and rear proportions. Flex's shoulders are probably the most perfect ever seen on a pro bodybuilding stage; they helped establish him as a firm fan favorite and a legend among champions.

Forearms /// Mike Mentzer

In the 1970s, mass monster Mentzer crafted a physique of steel-cord muscle thickness. Although his "heavy duty" training regimen helped him gain size in all areas, he was the proud owner of perhaps the best forearms of all time. Mentzer possessed vascular and immensely shredded lower arms which displayed the kind of size that can only be achieved through the right combination genetics and mind-numbing training intensity.

Abs /// Thierry Pastel

Frenchman Thierry Pastel won a slew of pro shows and many consider him to be one of the most underrated bodybuilders ever. Aside from some impressive arm development, a Pastel physique highlight was undoubtedly his eight-pack abdominals, aptly accentuated via a tiny wasp-waist. When shredded, Pastel displayed world-class serratus, oblique, and rectus abdominis size and shape.

Quads & Hamstrings /// Tom Platz

As a top competitor of the 70s and 80s, Tom was the owner of the best complete set of legs ever to grace the pro bodybuilding arena. His 30-inch-diameter legs lorded over competition with deep quad/ham separation and razor definition that clearly highlighted his thickly-developed vastus lateralis, medialis, and intermedius muscles. Platz's legs were built on a steady diet of high-rep squats (He once completed 23 super-strict reps with 500 pounds). When relaxed, his hamstrings jutted out as much as a flexed biceps. His quadriceps cuts were so deep they appeared to have been slashed into shape with a freshly sharpened samurai sword. His phenomenal development may actually have prevented his winning the Olympia because he was never able to create an upper body that could match his mythical legs.

Calves /// Mike Matarazzo

Bursting onto the pro bodybuilding scene with a heavyweight win at the 1991 NPC USA Championships, "The Boston Mass" Mike Matarazzo was credited for having some of the best lower legs in the business. Resembling full-sized footballs and stretching the tape to more than 21 inches, Matarazzo's calves were in a class of their own. Blessed with good genetics, Mike inherited his father's large legs. But as he started training his calves for bodybuilding, he witnessed an explosion of growth. Mike's calves are the obvious choice for our ultimate bodybuilder to stand on.




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About The Author

As an active martial artist, bodybuilder and accredited personal trainer, David employs the latest cutting edge research to enhance his own progress.

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EgorG

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EgorG

In some positions I will agree with this list, but not in all. As for me the most perfect abs has Dexter Jackson, what about back, I think the most huge and the perfect back has Ronnie Coleman. Triceps? I think the greatest triceps has Lee Priest. But in other positions I am fully agree with this list.

Oct 26, 2012 6:57pm | report
 
Doc_Schmidt

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Doc_Schmidt

I still prefer Dorian Yate's back to Ronnie's.

Oct 28, 2012 1:45am | report
JeremyKoehnlein

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JeremyKoehnlein

For back I could argue Kai Greene, Franco columbu, or Samir Bannout. Biceps I probly prefer Larry Scott's. Otherwise, very good list. Also, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Oct 26, 2012 9:50pm | report
 
JAHlift

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JAHlift

frank magrath foearms

Oct 27, 2012 1:25am | report
 
tboughton

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tboughton

Thought it'd be Wrath as well!

Oct 29, 2012 7:37am | report
nicduus

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nicduus

I hope this is about finding the biggest and not the best looking. These all look crazy juiced. Correct me, if I'm wrong..!

Oct 27, 2012 8:16am | report
 
Achezallover

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Achezallover

You're not wrong, Einstein...

Oct 28, 2012 2:55pm | report
nicduus

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nicduus

Thank you, Hawking!

Oct 28, 2012 5:57pm | report
philly2483

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philly2483

David Henry for back Arnold for chest and biceps even David Henry for abs but good article

Oct 27, 2012 10:46am | report
 
MrMuscles22

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MrMuscles22

Robbie Robinson for best biceps. Dorian has better traps than Ronnie. Frank McGrath for forearms. Erik Fankhouser for calves.

Oct 27, 2012 5:27pm | report
 
veltonpigs

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veltonpigs

sergio oliva was the king of forearms, period

Oct 27, 2012 6:09pm | report
 
Blashy

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Blashy

It would be nice to get an article like this based on natural athletes. Although I guess we can't because we could only consider men of the 50s and prior. Maybe a few in the 60s but we can't know for sure.

I know they are more naturals than ever but unfortunately not on the stage at the pro level :-( .

Oct 28, 2012 11:39am | report
 
Achezallover

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Achezallover

"More naturals than ever"??? More liars than ever is more likely... not that it's anything to be ashamed of.

Oct 28, 2012 2:57pm | report
lucasbasciano

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lucasbasciano

INBF/WNBF

Oct 29, 2012 2:58pm | report
Brutte32

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Brutte32

frank mc grath and lee priest for forarms.kevin for delts jonnie jackson can also be contende for back but my ideal bodybuilder for this era is dennis wolf

Oct 28, 2012 11:28pm | report
 
transformerchad

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transformerchad

great list ... serge nubret triceps. IMO

Oct 29, 2012 12:34am | report
 
The Crush

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The Crush

Add Lee Priest for Triceps! Just sayin'.

Oct 29, 2012 12:16pm | report
 
mrjiggyfly21

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mrjiggyfly21

Now, somebody photoshop all those individual parts together into one body. Annnnnnddddd....

GO!

Oct 29, 2012 2:39pm | report
 
J33VS

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J33VS

Same thing I was thinking...

Nov 4, 2012 9:11pm | report
SashaTheGreat

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SashaTheGreat

I would say Casey Viator for forearms personally, but Mike Mentzer is not the worst choice either.

Oct 29, 2012 3:26pm | report
 
mrlongisland1

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mrlongisland1

Serge Nubret- Abs Big Ron Back Sergio Olivia Forearms Larry Scott Bis

Oct 29, 2012 4:28pm | report
 
Holly444

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Holly444

Dang...I was hoping at the end of the article there would be a picture of this "perfect" bodybuilder lol....I'm no good with photoshop, but someone could do it!

Oct 29, 2012 5:23pm | report
 
Asgardian

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Asgardian

I agree on everything except for the abs... In my opinion I would say that Frank Zane had the best abs of all time!

Nov 1, 2012 8:28am | report
 
aashikrajs

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aashikrajs

Tom platz has bigger and better legs than the HULK!!!!!

Nov 4, 2012 1:50am | report
 
gabblissa

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gabblissa

WOW!! these photos really motivates me.. cant wait to go to the gym later hit on shoulder :)

Nov 5, 2012 7:05pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 28 Comments

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