Which Bodybuilder Do You Admire The Most?

Throughout history there have been some very inspirational bodybuilders. Who do you admire the most?

TOPIC: Which Bodybuilder Do You Admire The Most?

The Question:

Throughout history there have been some very inspirational bodybuilders. They have set examples for many of today's bodybuilders. They have motivated us, pushed us past the point that we did not think was possible and most importantly, got us into bodybuilding.

Who do you admire the most? Why?

How have they inspired you?

Which of their achievements are most impressive?

BONUS QUESTION: Who is your LEAST favorite bodybuilder? Without being too harsh, why do you not like them?

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Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

      1. Blap Blaow

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      2. Kill_yourself

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      3. ho_124

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      3. ~jAmeZ~ (Tie)

View ProfilePrizes:

        1st place - 75 in store credit.

        2nd place - 50 in store credit.

      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

1st Place Blap Blaow
The Shadow

Some historians theorize that the ancient Olympic games were originally set up as part of a peace treaty including an ancient tribe known as the Dorians.

Fierce competition replaced actual armed conflicts as sport became the battlefield. Their love of sporting competition was only matched by their emphasis on physical perfection. The ancient Greeks famously competed nude; the struggle for physical flawlessness was almost an obsession.

Over two and a half thousand years later in a little known English village Dorian Yates was born; a child almost destined to channel the strength of the tribe that gave him his name to become the ultimate in human physical accomplishment; Mr. Olympia.

As such, Dorian Yates took the reigns of Mr. Olympia from the legendary and record setting Lee Haney, to triumphantly raise the Sandow for 6 consecutive years.

Through injury and controversy Dorian Yates is the only champion ever to have won the Mr. Olympia title without residing in the US. This may not sound impressive but put into perspective with all the 'politicking' as well as hard work and dedication that is required to take home a Sandow, Dorian Yates was truly a great.

The Shadow, or Dorian Yates as he was born, is by far and away my most inspirational character in bodybuilding history.

However, that's only part of the story. It is Dorian Yates' scientific and reasoned approach to bodybuilding as well as his shear honesty about the sport which sets him apart from every other bodybuilder in my eyes.

Dorian Yates was born in the rural setting of Hurley, Staffordshire in England and such was limited in his training resources. The flame for bodybuilding was ignited after being incarcerated at 'her Majesties pleasure' in a youth correctional facility at the age of 19.

Dorian's natural strength helped him hold his own whilst under lock and key and once out Dorian Yates had found a new direction in life. From his first serious workout in 1983, it was only 8 years before Dorian was ready for Mr. Olympia, where he came in second to Lee Haney. The next year he was to take the Sandow home and start a reign which was to last until another mass monster, Ronnie Coleman, was to step up to take his place.

Click To Enlarge.
The Shadow Dorian Yates.

Back To The Drawing Board

Dorian Yates' training was careful, considered and unique. One of the things I find most inspirational about Dorian Yates is that from early in his career he was both brave and intelligent enough to dissect traditional bodybuilding methodology in order to find a way of working which suited him.

Influenced by, but not copying, Mike Mentzer and Arthur Jones, Dorian Yates devised his own style of hybrid high intensity training. Brief, extremely intense workouts were to become the hallmarks of Dorian's training ideology and, as some argue, his downfall.

Dorian's logical approach included keeping a training log; an idea which today many advanced bodybuilders find below them. However the strict logic by which Dorian Yates conducted a workout mean that nothing was left to chance.

It is this methodical, considered approach to bodybuilding which I find both interesting and inspiring. Rather than throwing himself into standard routines Dorian Yates worked extremely hard at developing a strong routine before he even tried it out.

He took the training secrets of the greats before him and examined them from every angle in order to develop one of the most formidable physiques in the history of bodybuilding.

Although his workouts required nothing less than total commitment and unbelievable concentration, he found a formula which worked for him.

Mass Versus Tradition

'The Shadow' was a nickname bestowed upon Dorian Yates by Peter McGough (formerly of a British publication but moved on to become editor of FLEX magazine).

The name came about as Dorian tended to appear at show and win, only to disappear again back in to the shadows until next time. However the name could have just as easily come about due to the Shear size of the man and his ability to eclipse everyone else on stage.

Dorian Yates tore apart traditional ideas of bodybuilding aesthetics to present shear mass combined with symmetry and proportion to present a physique the like of which had never been seen before.

Although only a half inch separated them in terms of height, Dorian Yates would come in to competition between 10-20 lbs heavier than Lee Haney ever did, and it showed.

The classical proportions that distinguished a world class bodybuilder, from Larry Scott in 1965 to Haney's retirement in 1991, were to be eclipsed.

With this it was not Dorian Yates' physique which was the most impressive thing about him. Don't get me wrong, his physique was awesome but this was only dwarfed by his attitude. Dorian Yates had the strength and determination to take on the long established traditions of the IFBB bodybuilders and win.

One of Dorian Yates' lasting legacies was emphasizing the back as a body part which could make or break a champion. Many before him had neglected their backs somewhat but Dorian, with his highly logical approach to bodybuilding, took back development to its limits. Today no champion is complete without fully developed lats.

A Mentor

Dorian Yates is renowned being an inspiration bodybuilder for taking a more thoughtful approach to the sport than most. Having authored Blood & Guts and A Warriors Story and having his articles published regularly in FLEX magazine Dorian Yates is a great teacher of bodybuilding.

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Frank Zane (1984) Versus Markus Ruhl:
The Dorian Yates legacy; the ultimate in athletic physique toe to toe with the ultimate in shear mass.

His techniques, which were considered unconventional at the time, allowed him to develop simply the most impressive physique in the world for 6 years in a row and regularly run seminars and gives talks in order to give others an insight into his training ideology.

Although his hybrid high intensity training is not for everyone, everyone can learn something from the ideas behind it.

Honesty & Integrity

In my opinion Dorian Yates is one of the most honest men in bodybuilding; a trait I consider extremely important in any person.

Dorian Yates openly admits to being a part of a 'skinhead gang' in his youth, although he categorically states that this was out of a teenage desire for recognition rather than any kind of racist statement.

The 1994 Olympia was one of the most controversial in recent history, with Dorian being placed first over an aesthetically superior Shawn Ray. Dorian's torn bicep had prevented serious upper body workouts for several weeks prior to the Olympia and he came in looking distinctly bloated.

For many Shawn's victory was in the bag but it was Dorian that took the Sandow. Even after Shawn Ray's serious disappointment and subsequent months of depression in the immediate aftermath of the loss, they became close friends after Dorian's retirement after the '97 Olympia, and have remained so since; further testament to the kind of man Dorian Yates is.

"I realized that he [Dorian Yates] was not a punk rocker but an intelligent and caring person. Dorian is a better person than he is a bodybuilder - and with six Sandow statuettes to his credit, that tells you how much I value his friendship"

Shawn Ray
FLEX - Jan 2003

In The Face Of Controversy

There is one controversy that remains constant throughout the sport of professional bodybuilding, regardless of the competitor; steroids. Steroid use and abuse is an inevitable fact of professional bodybuilding.

Although past champions have come out in the past to admit to its use Dorian Yates is one of the few to admit it with such candor. When asked, Dorian Yates will reveal pretty much his entire history of steroid use, barring dosages.

This is out of a conscious effort to prevent others without the intimate knowledge of controlled substances from abusing them and possibly hurting themselves in an attempt to mimic Yates. Dorian Yates is a class act from all perspectives and for this he has a great deal of my respect.

Overcoming The Odds

The one phrase best describes how Dorian Yates has inspired me is 'triumph over adversity'. As a child Dorian's father died and later he was sent to juvenile detention for his involvement in a riot.

He overcame these odds to set a new course in life. Faced with tried and tested training methods Dorian went back to the drawing board in order to devise a new way of training which suited him.

Lee Haney and the champions before him had set a precedent of the athletic physique; a tradition which Dorian challenged and destroyed with his massive build.

Dorian Yates' intense training style led to injury upon injury, culminating in a torn tricep only weeks before Olympia 1997. He came through to win, albeit controversially, and retire as 6 time champion. Ultimately Dorian Yates does things his way and, more often than not, it works.

In His Temple

Although Dorian Yates retired from professional bodybuilding in 1997, he is still an active member of the bodybuilding community. In 1987 Dorian Yates took over management of the Temple Gym; the place where he performed his first ever workout, and has been in charge ever since.

Not only is Dorian's advice and experience on hand, but so is a huge variety of equipment to suit all needs (including a custom made 1000 lb calf raise machine!). Popular amongst serious athletes, the Temple Gym is renowned for being one of the most hardcore places to train in the UK.

"I don't have an idol in bodybuilding�'¢â‚¬Â¦ I have an idol in business, and that's Dorian Yates. He keeps his name going after his [competitive] career, and he's making a lot of money now even after he retired from the stage."

Markus Ruhl
FLEX - July 2004

As stated earlier, Dorian Yates also travels the world to give talks, seminars and exhibit at expos in order to give some insight into his bodybuilding philosophies.

Dorian Yates Approved


      • 1990 IFBB Night Of The Champions, New York - 2nd place
      • 1991 IFBB Night Of The Champions, New York - 1st place
      • 1991 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Orlando, Florida - 2nd place
      • 1991 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham - 1st place
      • 1992 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Helsinki, Finland - 1st place
      • 1992 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham - 1st place
      • 1993 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia - 1st place
      • 1994 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia - 1st place
      • 1994 IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid - 1st place
      • 1994 IFBB German Grand Prix, Duisburg - 1st place
      • 1994 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham - 1st place
      • 1995 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia - 1st place
      • 1996 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Chicago, Illinois - 1st place
      • 1996 IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid - 1st place
      • 1996 IFBB German Grand Prix, Darmstadt - 1st place
      • 1996 IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham - 1st place
      • 1997 IFBB Mr. Olympia, Long Beach, California - 1st place

>From this huge range there is no-one achievement that stands out form the rest, except maybe his first Olympia win in 1992. This achievement stands of most for me because Dorian Yates was taking on a notoriously closed system whereby competitors were of a similar mould.

Dorian Yates' extreme physique was revolutionary and he broke a long line of well proportioned athletic physiques with his shear mass; a legacy which continues to today. And he did all this without residing in the US.

Dorian Yates is truly a bodybuilding great. His personality, morals, commitment, logical and scientific approach to the sport and awesome physical development make him a giant of the sport long after his last appearance on stage.

Acknowledged amongst former and current competitors, industry professionals and the public alike, the sport is bodybuilding is a much better place for having the Shadow, Dorian Yates, involved in it.

"The ultimate warrior. A straight-up no-bullsh*t bodybuilder. He backed up everything with his physique. He silenced his critics with action. He bowed out at the end of his career with grace and style. He may go down in history as the greatest bodybuilder of all time"

Mike Matarazzo
On Dorian Yates
FLEX - Oct 2003

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The Mass Monsters Of Their Time:
Arnold Schwarzenegger 240lbs (1974), Casey Viator 225 lbs (1980), Dorian Yates 269 lbs (1993).

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Backs: Dorian Yates (1995), Ronnie Coleman (2001), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1974):
With competition getting closer and closer, developing an impressive back was to become a hallmark of Mr. Olympia- and Dorian Yates was to be renowned for having one of the best backs the world has ever seen.

Who Is Your LEAST Favorite Bodybuilder?

The ramblin' freak Gregg Valentino. Gregg Valentino was a great bodybuilder. Pictures from his past reveal a physique which much more experienced athletes strive for. But something went wrong.

Gregg Valentino has a variety of nicknames in the industry, from the Ramblin' Freak, the man with the biggest arms in the world to the most hated man in bodybuilding. It is not Gregg's physique I dislike, or even his attitude- in fact every article and interview I've ever read of his put him over as a happy and pretty funny guy - no problem there.

Although his personal life has been extremely controversial in the past, I don't begrudge a man that wants to live his life a little differently. What I dislike about Gregg Valentino is the same thing which gives me so much respect for Dorian Yates; honesty and integrity.

Early pictures of Gregg Valentino reveal he was a great bodybuilder. However, between then and now his physique has developed beyond belief. Gregg Valentino admits to regularly cycling steroids and that, combined with his genetics, are the reason for his freakish body.

Gregg Valentino At 23 Years Old.

Personally, I don't believe him. He has become somewhat of an outcast in the bodybuilding community and continues to deny ever having enhanced his physique with anything more than steroids, workouts and an extreme nutritional plan- claims which others in the industry find ludicrous. I don't think it's my place to suggest what it is that has given Gregg the physique he has today, although a quick Google search will tell you what most people think.

Ultimately I think that Gregg Valentino is an extremely poor role model for anyone looking into the sport. He optimizes the 'easy way out' and his physique presents nothing but the wrong idea to those looking into developing their bodies. Everything that Dorian Yates is, Gregg Valentino certainly isn't.

The Ramblin' Freak As He Is Now.

Source Of Pictures:

  • Color pictures from the www.bodybuilding.com main website
  • Black and white Virtual Pose down pictures produced with the kind permission of www.ironage.us

2nd Place Kill_yourself
Which Bodybuilder Do You Admire The Most?

Throughout bodybuilding history, there have been a numerous number of inspirational bodybuilders that we all know. Just to quote a few are, Ronnie Coleman, Lee Priest, Flex Wheeler, Dexter Jackson, Arnold, Lee Haney, etc. The list can go on and on. I respect everyone single IFBB pro to ever step on the stage. It takes years of dedication and commitment to do what these guys do. Hours and hours spent dieting and training just to hit that pose on stage takes guts that many of us can only dream to have.

My Most Admirable Bodybuilder

His name would have to be Shawn Irvin Ray. He is without a doubt the most talked about personality in the world of bodybuilding. He has his fans and his haters because of his unique personality.

He has done a lot of things for this sport. Holding seminars, muscle camps, constant promotion of the sport and he was even the athlete's representative for the IFBB pros.

The traits I like about him is his enormous amount of courage to say what he really feels, unlike some of the other pros that keep things to themselves in fear of placing lower in competitions due to politics.

He is someone that is truly sincere about making a difference in the sport of bodybuilding. He has always tried to put pressure on promoters that do not play the winners of their contests or shows that change the prize money that was stated in the advertisement.

For this, he is also highly respected by many of the IFBB pros that know him. He is also very admirable because he has competed in 12 Mr. Olympia's, being the only one in history to last that long.

Usually someone that placed within top 5 in all major events would have retired by then, from too much steroids abuse or something else but not Shawn. His body is one of a kind. He unlike the rest of the pros that play the "size" game to impress the judges.

He knows what looks best and he will continue to do so even if he is not placed 1st for looking that way. And may I say, he has the most beautiful body I have seen.

His proportion and size is just perfect. Unlike one of the bigger guys like Markus Ruhl that aim to create the "freak" factor just to impress the judges.

His Opinions

      Shawn Ray is especially known for his strong opinions on judge's rotation in the Mr. Olympia. He has proven time and time again that the same set of competitors would have been judge differently if there were a switch in the judges.

He has also stressed many times that it is not his intention to question the judge's abilities, but to allow the competitors to be judged from a different point of view.

And that point is very true too. Here is a simple example,

Olympia 2004

During the 2004 Mr. Olympia, Kris Dim placed 12th and Markus Ruhl placed 5th. And one week later, Kris Dim managed to beat Markus twice in Europe and the only difference is the difference in judges in comparison to the Mr. Olympia. So that proves that the different judges can actually change the standings of the competitors.

IFBB Athlete's Representative

Because of his reputation for being an outspoken character he was elected IFBB Athlete's Reps position in 2003 by the other IFBB Pros. But sadly, he bit off more than he could swallow; it wasn't going to be easy at all.

Just to become the Athlete's Representative, he had to fly all over the world to get signatures from the IFBB pros to show that they approve Shawn Ray to be the Athlete's Rep and that he would represent them during the 3 annual meetings with the IFBB every year. And those expenses were personally, but it still got done.

That didn't go well with the IFBB. So what the IFBB did was to push forward the time of one meeting without informing Shawn. That meeting was especially important because it was a time where Shawn could bring up all the monetary issues concerning the other pros.

This would involve late payment by promoters, no payments, changed payments etc. It was a deliberate move by the IFBB to prevent Shawn from raising important issues like these during the meetings which could potential mean the rise in expenses for the promoters and sponsors.

And the most frustrating point is that Shawn took pains to gather all the contact details on all the Pros including himself in case they needed to be reached, and Shawn didn't even get a telephone call about the change in time.

To make matters worst, Shawn never got the minutes from the meeting which he was promised. He only got an e-mail stating the issues that were addressed and none of it were the ones he brought up. Along with many other issues, he finally withdrew as Athlete's Representative.

The reason for stating this is to show how much Shawn fought for the athletes of the IFBB. Since elected in 2003 and only quit at the start of 2005. Shawn decided to call it quits since every sweat he put into the project was faced with deaf ears and almost no actions made. Now Since Bob C is the new representative, I truly doubt he can do it as good as Shawn Ray tried to.

How He Inspired Me

Shawn's actions have taught me many things; not only things about bodybuilding, but also things that help me through times in my life.


Being the only person to have remained so competitive for 15 years in the IFBB, he has led to me to one conclusion. There is no short cut to success, hard work pays.

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and have to gulp down my protein shake, I really feel like saying "screw this", but just thinking about all the things that Shawn ray had to go through all those years, with politics and still competing, I feel so pumped because I know whatever that I endure, it is not even comparable with the things he goes through.

And also having to endure so much "nonsense" given to him by the IFBB, I was surprised it took a full year before he quit. The IFBB obviously only saw him as Shawn Ray and didn't not respect him as the athlete's Representative.

Shawn proved through his actions that he was fully prepared to take on the position, but I guess the IFBB only saw him as a cause for more expenses for them.

One example of his efforts to help fellow bodybuilders:

"In 2003, for the Olympia, when I raised $10,000 for the Best Poser Award, Wayne DeMilia wouldn't allow me to give it away on stage.

"I said, you know what, instead of giving way $10,000 to one person, why don't we give away $2,000 to the 5 guys who don't get anything, the ones who finish out of the top ten.

"There were 15 guys in that show that year. He would not allow that, so instead I gave the $10,000 to Melvin Anthony a day after the Mr. Olympia. Wayne DeMilia, on the 11th hour, at the press conference, accepted Kerry Kayes offer of $1,000 from Dorian Yates Approved Nutrition, to the guys who finished out of the top 10, and Wayne said he would match it with another $1,000 for each athlete.

"This is two days out before the 2003 Mr. Olympia. I had been talking to Wayne months before the show? Wayne could of easily been able to give every guy who placed out of the top ten that year $4,000. So as far as I am concerned, he deprived five people out of $2,000 so that one could get $10,000."

The above information was taken from an interview with Shawn Ray in 2005.


During the Ironman Pro show in 2004, Shawn Ray offered to present a prize of $3500 to the Competitor with the best Presentation with his own money. Although he was the Athlete's Representative, he did not have to do this.

He did it only because he wanted to award the person that has worked hard for it, that's all. But in the end the promoter not only reduced the prize money but also change the name of the award, discrediting Shawn ray.

Shawn Ray has held many charity events to help raise money for Children's hospitals. One of the most recent ones would be the Shawn Ray's Charity Golf Event. It rose over $25,000 for the children's hospital. The event gathered over 100 IFBB athlete's and Shawn ray's sponsors Vyo-tech nutrition also pitched in to help.

So if not for Shawn Ray and his generosity in donating money and organizing events like this to help the committee, I highly doubt there will be much donations made back to society in the name of bodybuilding and fitness.

Great Contributions To Bodybuilding

      Although Shawn is not the Mr. Olympia, he has not let that stopped him from playing an active role in making bodybuilding more mainstream. Shawn Ray constantly holds Muscle camps All over the world to allow people to know what bodybuilding is all about and be interested in it.

Basically Muscle Camp is an event to allow gym enthusiasts from around the world to have a chance to workout with the IFBB pros. The participants would have a chance to get training and dieting tips too along with spending quality time with their bodybuilding idols.

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2004 South Africa Muscle Camp.

The main idea is to let people get into the sport and to make it more mainstream. I had a friend that joined one of his camps and he told me that the experience was not only incredibly informative, the pros were also very helpful and patient, in contrary to what people think of people that use steroids.

Greatest Accomplishment

In my personal opinion, Shawn's greatest accomplishment would have to be the time frame between 1991-1994 at the Mr. Olympia. In 1991, Shawn placed 5th. But with hard work and consistency by 1994, he was the 1st runner up for the title and till this date, it is highly debated if he should have won that show.

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The Great Shawn Ray.

During the 1994 show, Dorian had a torn bicep and his gut was sticking out. He looked absolutely horrendous compared to the previous years. But Dorian still won the show.

Some say it is politics that Shawn didn't get what he deserved. So in my opinion, his gradual improvement in physical conditioning would have to be his greatest accomplishments.

Who Is Your LEAST Favorite Bodybuilder?

This question is an extremely easy one to answer. It would go to Gregg Valentino. This guy is a disgrace to the sport of bodybuilding. For those of you that do not know who this man is, he is the record holder for having the biggest arms in the world, at 27 inches. Don't start thinking that I am jealous of his hard work. He is a classic example of a hardcore Synthol abuser.

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Gregg Valentino Before Using Synthol & After...

While others work long and hard in the gym, incorporating giant sets, drop sets, super sets etc, he is in the gym TOILET injecting himself with his new shipment of Synthol.

Since he is associated with bodybuilding, every time someone sees his photo they automatically think that we bodybuilders are just a bunch of steroids/ Synthol abusers that like to have a damaged liver.

He brings a bad name to the sport, period. Till this date I am extremely careful not to associate myself with drugs for fear of being put in the same class as Gregg.

I shall just leave it as such and not be too harsh on this him since I believe every man has a right to choose how they want to live their lives. But if you fellow bodybuilders see his picture, you are going to agree with me too.

For those who do not know what synthol is, check out this recommended article:


  • www.shawnray.net [ online ]
  • www.bodybuilding.com
  • www.bodybuilding.com [ online ]
  • www.findarticles.com [ online ]
  • www.getbig.com [ online ]
  • www.greggvalentino.net [ online ]

3rd Place ho_124
The Bodybuilder I Admire The Most


Ever since the first concept of weight training to achieve a certain physique or to accomplish remarkable feats of strength, there have been extraordinary individuals who have stood out and become legends because of their amazing accomplishments.

There are many bodybuilders who have built outstanding physiques and have gone on to win many titles and competitions. But for me, the person I would look up to isn't necessarily the one sporting the largest and most ripped body. So yeah, from that you can probably guess that Ronnie Coleman isn't on my idol list.

The one bodybuilder I truly admire is Bill Pearl. Pearl was an old time bodybuilder who started lifting when he was eleven and even continued into his late fifties.

His figure in his prime was excellent and Pearl also won many titles and competitions. Although he isn't that well known in today's generation of people who admire massive athletes like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman, Pearl was still in my opinion the most admirable person in the game.

Why I Admire Bill Pearl

      Bill Pearl started off like I did. There isn't just one reason why I admire Bill Pearl so much but quite a few significant reasons.

First, I'll start off with Bill Pearl's early years. When he was eight, a strongman in a town show inspired him to be a bodybuilder and ever since that Pearl never let go of that dream.

And in that time of the 40's, there weren't any gyms available where he lived, so at age 11 he started by using corn and bean cans and a sack of potatoes for different exercises, and I can also imagine he didn't really know what he was doing.

Click To Enlarge.
Bill Pearl.

Bill also got a job digging ditches and other grunt work in hopes that he would get stronger and more muscular. And one day his friend who knew about his dreams of becoming a bodybuilder, (Long story short) showed Bill an issue of strength and health magazine telling him the secret to strength training was using dumbbells and barbells, which was shown in the magazine.

Click To Enlarge.
Bill Pearl On The Cover Of The August 1978 Issue Of Muscle Magazine.

Both of them got together with another friend and decided to buy a 110-pound weight set, and all three worked hard all summer to save up for the set and finally purchased it. He set up the weight set with apple boxes and a plank for a bench along with other common items to build the first home gym in town.

Even though the weight set came with instructions and he had a clearer idea of how to weight train, he still didn't know exactly what he was doing (For example it would take him 10 tries to do a clean and snatch once correctly dropping it several times in the process).

To give you a quick summary of what Bill did next, he enlisted in the navy and was transferred to a station in San Diego where he met Leo Stern who was a weight lifting pro and ran a gym and taught Bill Pearl how to lift weights. So basically Leo corrected Bill's way of lifting weights and showed him exactly how to weight train.

With the help of Leo, Bill went into his first competition winning third. With that as a milestone, he went on to win many other titles becoming one the greatest bodybuilders in his prime.

Similar Experience

I also went through a similar thing when I was about the same age. When I was about twelve or thirteen, I remember wanting to get stronger and bigger after I found out that my max bench was laughable when a bunch of friends were trying to see who was stronger in our school gym.

I wasn't really born that strong or big and I didn't really have the genetics to be extremely big or strong (Maybe because I'm Chinese and Chinese people aren't exactly known for being the largest and strongest guys out there). But I decided I would start lifting weights to improve my strength and how big I was.

Just like how Bill started out curling bean cans and not really knowing much about weight training, I started out with an old pair of fifteen pound dumbbells I could barely curl 6-8 times without cheating a little and doing push-ups.

I also did bench press on the floor because I had no bench, and shoulder press with dumbbells which I didn't even know what muscle it worked and what it was called, because I just copied it off a guy I saw working out at some gym.

I also had no clue what I was doing, which I'm sure happened to almost everyone when they started working out unless they had some personal trainer or something.

While doing my total junk workout at home using practically nothing, I found out I was finally old enough to use this gym at a sports club. Just how Bill Pearl used his welfare bean cans and potato sack for working out, and finally got a home gym, I also started working out in a gym.

But looking back now I have to admit the gym wasn't at all good. It had one universal machine, a rack for barbells, a bench and a set of incomplete ghetto dumbbells (The set consisted of 3x 5 lbs. 2x 8 lbs. 2x 10 lbs. 4x 12 lbs. 1x 15 lbs. 2x 20 lbs. 2x 25 lbs. 2x 30 lbs. And finally a big leap to 2x 50 lbs.) And that was it.

Bill Pearl had to improvise in his home gym and so did I, sometimes I used a shaky metal water pipe attached to the wall for chin-ups or I did it on the lat pull-down machine.

I also had to use a 5 and 10 lb dumbbell to make a 15 lb one. Even though I was using this gym I still was unsure of how many sets, reps and what exercises to do and sometimes how to do a particular exercise.

It was exactly what Pearl went through in his home gym trying to figure out how to do certain exercises and still unsure of certain elements of weight training.

For me learning how to lift properly took a while. I had been working out at the hole in the wall gym for about a year now, not really making huge gains because I didn't really know what I was doing. The turning point came when some people at the sports club told me that the gym was no good and I should join another gym if I really wanted to get into lifting weights.

I also decided that I should also learn how to workout properly, so I started reading a book written by Bill Pearl called "Getting Stronger".

Although the book was old school, it still gave me a good base on how to weight train (By the way this is an awesome book for beginners). I also looked on the internet for articles about weight training.

That's how I found Bodybuilding.com where I read tons of articles about how to put together a good training program, exercises to use, training splits and everything else I needed to know. I decided to join a way better gym that had everything I needed.

As I worked out there more I kept learning a lot from my mistakes, from other people and by reading more articles. And after doing this for quite a while I knew exactly what to do each time I worked out.

So basically I went through the same thing Bill Pearl went through when he left behind his ghetto home gym to Leo's gym who taught him everything about weight training. I too went from a crapper gym to a good gym where I learned almost everything about pushing iron.

So yea the only difference is basically that Bill Pearl went on to win bodybuilding tournaments and become one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time which I know I won't do because I don't want to be a bodybuilder for a living. Other than that how we started strength training and how Bill Pearl and I progressed was relatively the same.

His Roid Use Was Justified & He Quit & Still Won

Even though he openly admitted using roids in his book, he used it when it wasn't illegal and when it was something new that no one really considered cheating (Remember this is in like the 50's and 60's). To him, it was a miracle drug that was tested successfully on cattle and as far as everyone knew was safe.

Nobody thought of it as cheating or immoral and among bodybuilders of that time it was like using whey protein or creatine. Bill's weight shot up as well as his strength levels. But there was a problem, he didn't feel normal, and he also felt awkward, heavy and very stiff and not as flexible as he used to be.

So he quit steroids but then went on it again remembering the fast progress he made earlier. He won the 1961 Mr. Universe title but felt unhappy with having to use steroids to win so he stopped using them, this time it was final. He then trained exceptionally hard to win the Mr. Universe 1967 and 1971 contests without the use of steroids while most of the bodybuilders he was competing against were hardcore roid users. That to me is amazing. That he found it in himself to say that winning a competition while juiced wasn't as good as being natural.

Then he won just on hard work while others were using roids. Bill Pearl was also very lucky in coming off steroids without having major health problems. For example a lot of the bodybuilders Bill was going up against suffered major health problems. Bill recalled that his friend who was also a bodybuilder, had to have his mammary gland removed because of roids.

There was also a bodybuilder who had won several titles who died of cancer at age 38 because of juice and many others who had liver and kidney damage. He is a living example of how someone can still compete in bodybuilding and win without roids.

That right there is a true bodybuilder, one who realizes roid use is not the way to go and goes all natural and still beats others who use it. Nowadays it's hard or even impossible to find a bodybuilder who is actually true and doesn't use juice.

Plus when he did use roids he didn't know better and it wasn't even illegal. And I'll say again that at that time it wasn't considered cheating.

He's got a nice physique, got a good track record and still lifting in his late fifties and making gains As I mentioned before, Bill Pearl didn't use roids (Well used them for a little while then quit) and he still built an awesome physique.

Even today if you saw a guy like him in person you would say wow this guy is pretty huge. He might not have been totally ripped with bulging muscles like today's bodybuilders but he is still considered quite built.

And that was in the 50's and 60's before the time of advanced supplements like creatine, whey protein and multivitamins. So I would say for his time he did an amazing job. His track record is also very good. He has won quite a few titles and competitions. This is a summary of the titles and competitions he's won in his lifetime:

      • 1953 Mr. Southern California
      • 1953 Mr. California
      • 1953 AAU Mr. America
      • 1953 NABBA Mr. Universe, Amateur
      • 1956 Mr. USA, Professional
      • 1961 NABBA Mr. Universe, Professional
      • 1967 NABBA Mr. Universe, Professional
      • 1971 NABBA Mr. Universe, Professional
      • 1971 WBBG World's Best Built Man
      • 1978 WBBG Hall Of Fame
      • 1988 Pioneers of Fitness Hall Of Fame
      • 1992 Gold's Gym Hall Of Fame
      • 1994 Guest of Honor of the Association of Old-Time Barbell & Strongmen 12th Annual Reunion
      • 1994 The Joe Weider Hall Of Fame
      • 1995 Heidenstam Foundation Hall Of Fame
      • 1995 AAU Lifetime Achievement
      • 1996 American Powerlifters Federation Hall of Fame
      • 1997 International Chiropractors Association Sports & Fitness Man of the Year
      • 2000 Spirit of Muscle Beach Award
      • 2001 World Gym Lifetime Achievement Award
      • 2001 Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists Lifetime Achievement Award

So yea, that's 21 titles and contests won. Compared to some bodybuilders it might not be as much, but it's still pretty amazing if someone can win all those.

And he didn't stop pumping the iron after he stopped competing. He lifted even into his late fifties (He's in his late seventies now so I doubt he can still keep lifting) and still had a crazy physique for a fifty-year-old.

All the fifty-year-olds in my gym are all fat, sluggish and have no clue what they're doing. Plus they're desperately trying to gain muscle they wished they could gain when they were young.

To me Pearl demonstrated that nothing is impossible while still making gains in his fifties. Even in his fifties he worked out six days a week for more than 2 hours a day. Most people that age trying to workout like that would either be dead, dying or starting to die.

How He Inspired Me

Bill pearl first inspired me when I read his "Getting stronger" book which is the first time I had ever heard of him. At that time the gym I was using was a total dump and I didn't really know what I was doing (For example I would do random exercises I saw other guys do).

I did make some gains and get a little bigger. But when some people told me to join a different gym if I was serious about lifting and wanted to make good gains, at that point I knew I wasn't making the gains I could be making and I felt clueless about how to lift weights properly.

That's when I decided to join a better gym and I read Bill Pearl's book on weight training. I read almost every page that had to do with weight training and learned a ton of things. And I read a lot of articles on the net.

Also when I looked at all the pro bodybuilders of today, I knew that it was impossible to get that big without roids. But Bill Pearl's story made me believe that it is still possible to be big, strong and even be a champ even without drugs.

Also at this point I felt discouraged about lifting since I wasn't really going anywhere (Because I didn't know how to lift properly). But with the information I got from his book and other articles, I joined a new gym with a way better idea of how to pump iron.

I also made way better gains because I would have set goals and wouldn't just do a random workout. Also the fact that Bill was fifty and still making gains made me feel that it's never impossible to make awesome gains.

His story of how he had to spend all those years curling bean cans, working out in his welfare hole in the wall home gym and finally being able to train properly in Leo's gym gave me bits of inspiration.

I felt discouraged because I had basically spent a year and a bit lifting weights without a clear idea of what to do without much increase in muscle or strength. But when I heard that story of how Pearl slowly learned how to lift and kept lifting even when he wasn't seeing amazing results, it gave me the inspiration I needed to keep on lifting no matter what.

Bill Pearl On The Cover Of The December 1982 Issue Of Natural Bodybuilding Magazine.

His Greatest Achievements

Although Bill Pearl had many amazing achievements there are a few that stand out. This might sound repetitive, but in my opinion was never giving up on lifting weights and his dreams of becoming a bodybuilder.

When he was eleven he started with lifting corn and bean cans along with a potato sack and he also got grunt work jobs to get stronger. And he did that for three years until he got his first weight set at age 14.

Just imagine though, from age 11 to age 14 trying to get stronger by lifting cans and potato sacks, that's an amazing determination plus he never got discouraged and gave up.

He also says in his book that when he got his first weight set, he wasn't seeing fast results he hoped for but he still kept working out and never missed a workout. He only began to get real instruction from a professional when he joined the navy at about age 18, who told him how to lift properly.

So think about it 9 years of lifting without real proper instructions (Remember he couldn't have just gone on the internet because there was none back then). That's amazing how someone can stick to training for nine years without any kind of help from anyone or anything.

However in his professional career, I think his greatest achievements were winning the Mr. Universe 1967 and 1971 without the use of juice.

Even though almost every single competitor was using it, he won the competition without it. It is amazing in going to prove that it still is possible to win contests without using drugs even though you are at a disadvantage.

His greatest titles he has won in my opinion are 1974 WBBG World's best built man award and in 1978 entering into the WBBG hall of fame. His title as the worlds best built man shows all those people who think Bill Pearl was just some alright bodybuilder that he was the top in the world even in his late forties.

Bill Pearl In His Fifties Still Looking Sharp.

Who Is Your LEAST Favorite Bodybuilder?

>From the intro, you might guess that my least favorite bodybuilder is probably Ronnie Coleman. I do admit though he does have good physique and he is amazingly huge, but I'm not just saying that he's my least favorite just to be different. There are a couple of reasons why I don't really like him as much as a lot of other bodybuilders.

First of all and the most obvious reason (Sorry if I seem repetitive) is that he is obviously on steroids. Although I have no doubt he works hard, his body doesn't resemble truly what his body should be. And basically the only reason why he is that huge is because of a drug.

Secondly he starts advertising for BSN which claims Ronnie Coleman credits BSN supplements for how big he is and his mass gains. He probably hasn't even used the product and if he's going to advertise for something then he should advertise for roids because that's what got him that big.

I hope I wasn't too harsh there and I know that other bodybuilders have advertised for supplements but Ronnie's endorsement was the largest ever so that's why I picked him. And lastly if you've ever seen his gluts (Ass muscle) they look absolutely inhuman and unnatural I don't want to say it but they look horribly disgusting even they are mammoth huge. So that's basically why I don't like Ronnie Coleman that much.


  • www.schwarzenegger.it [ online ]
  • Getting Stronger by Bill pearl and Gary T. Morgan, Ph.D.

3rd Place (tie) ~jAmeZ~
George Eiferman: More Than Just A Bodybuilder

George Who?

      I doubt that many of you will have heard of George Eiferman. His name might not be as well-known as that of Schwarzenegger, Yates or Coleman. But George was just as big of a star in his day.

George was a genuine old-school bodybuilder, an iron pioneer, who won Mr. America 1948 and Mr. Universe 1962. He was also, in my opinion, the most inspirational and selfless ambassador that bodybuilding has ever had.

Sadly, George passed away in 2002. He was aged 76. He is remembered today as one the great early physique stars, who went to great lengths to promote a healthy bodybuilding lifestyle to the general public.

George's legacy and achievements have encouraged me to develop not only my physique, but my personal character as well.

An Inspiration For Hard Work

      George Eiferman was, first and foremost, a bodybuilder. So it was only natural that the first thing that drew George to my attention was his physique.

I remember the first photo I saw of him: it was a grainy black-and-white picture, posted on an old-school bodybuilding website. George was standing on a beach, looking relaxed and casual. He was hardly flexing, but the huge lats and chest gave notice that here was a man who had realized his full natural potential.

The more I learned about George, the more I realized I had to stop making excuses about my own training. George built his physique old-school style, during a time when good bodybuilding knowledge barely existed. Even something as simple as protein supplements were in short supply, and even then the main ingredient was usually soy flour (yum!).

As a man of the future, I had many training advantages that George did not. And yet, from over half a century ago, this vintage lifter was still bigger than most modern trainees. The missing ingredient, as I learned from George's experiences, was hard work. Real hard work.

So I tossed out my old routine and started thinking big. I started lifting hard, I started lifting heavy.

      • Squats
      • Deadlifts
      • Bent-over rows
      • Bench presses
      • Military presses

I didn't do a bicep curl or lateral raise for months. And I grew like never before.

Every time I felt like I couldn't lift a heavier weight, I reminded myself of a story I had heard about George benching over 400 lbs cold, in his street clothes, because someone in the gym had challenged him to do it. Man, I just wasn't working hard enough!

An Inspiration For Even Harder Work

      I think that having a realistic perspective is very important to me as a bodybuilder. Some days, a workout can feel like the toughest thing on earth to do. At least, it used to be that way for me. But then I realized I was just a whiny little baby compared to George Eiferman.

I found out that George was a hardcore natural bodybuilder. By that, I mean his entire physique was built on beef, chicken and bucket loads of milk. He was completely convinced that any kind of supplement was artificial and not worth taking.

George's conviction on this point was incredibly strong: he even refused to take blood pressure tablets when he was diagnosed with heart trouble.

And here I was with my ultra-reinforced multi-vitamins and pre-digested olygopeptalicious whey protein. Me, who had modern supplement science to help me recover faster and work out harder than any old-timer did. I realized that it was my mind making all the excuses. My body could not be as tired as I used to tell myself it was.

So I learned to blow that mental barrier away. If I'm working out now and start to tell myself I'm getting tired, I just think of old George saying,

"Pffft. You think you've got it tough? let's see how well your body performs on nothing but full-cream milk. And next time you want some Vitamin C, try eating a whole crate of oranges, you pill-popping wiener."

So, nine times out of ten, I'll dig deeper and crank that weight to the ceiling. No excuses.

A True Ambassador Against The Odds

      George's greatest achievement stemmed directly from his genuine love of bodybuilding. He used his passion to encourage others to lead a better lifestyle during a time when working out was unfashionable.

Most people thought bodybuilders were insecure girly-men, and even medical opinion of the day warned against becoming "muscle-bound". But George did not let his lack of money or people's negative perceptions stop him from promoting bodybuilding as a healthy way of life.

There was no such thing as a professional bodybuilder in George's time. It was hard to make much money at all from the sport. Yet George scraped together what little money he had and started promoting bodybuilding across America.

He traveled to every US state except Hawaii, stopping at high schools and colleges along the way to give health and fitness presentations to young people. George lived modestly during this time and drove beat-up old cars. Dave Draper, who once joined George for a tour, remembers thinking:

"I'm wondering why a Mr. Universe title holder is driving around in a beat-up ole clunker, but don't say anything because I think it means he's poor."

Through his promotional efforts, George became one of the first bodybuilders to earn respect and acceptance among mainstream society. He helped bring credibility to bodybuilding, and encouraged thousands to take up lifting long before the fitness boom of the 70s and 80s made it fashionable.

A Lifter For Life

      George truly believed that lifting weights and good eating were two of the most important things a person could do for their health. And he lived by his beliefs, following them with complete dedication for most of his life.

George first discovered weightlifting onboard a navy battleship at age 17. He had signed up to serve his country during World War II. Legend has it that when he was finally sent home, he had bulked up so much that his own mother did not recognize him.

To cut the rest of the story short, George continued lifting weights well into his 70s, until poor health forced him to quit. He was a man who was always in shape. No-one ever saw George with an off-season bloat. There is a picture below of George that was taken a few years before he died. Make sure you check it out: he is in phenomenal condition for a "grandpa".

Click To Enlarge.
George Eiferman.

I would be happy to be half the man that George was, both inside and out. And I do try. George Eiferman was a big man, a great bodybuilder and, from all accounts, an incredible human being.

Some Of George's Achievements:

    • Mr. Philadelphia 1947
    • Mr. California 1948
    • Mr. America 1948
    • Mr. Universe 1962.
    • Member of the IFBB Bodybuilding Hall of Fame
    • Toured with popular entertainer Mae West and starred in numerous TV shows and movies.
    • Founded a chain of successful Las Vegas gyms
    • Peak condition: 5'7", 205lbs

Who Is Your LEAST Favorite Bodybuilder?

Gregg Valentino. No doubt about it, in my opinion. Nobody has done more to destroy the image of bodybuilding than this man. Anyone who believes bodybuilding is a freak quasi-sport full of insecure, image-obsessed drug abusers will use Gregg Valentino as Exhibit A.

If you are one of the few bodybuilders on the planet who hasn't heard of Valentino, he's the bald midget with the humungous arms and shoulders. Valentino, aka. Mr. Synthol, regularly injects the intramuscular oil and takes truckloads of steroids to overcome a self-confessed "short man complex".

Valentino has appeared in the mainstream news media for steroid trafficking and, more recently, for dating transsexual porn stars. It was reported that Valentino prefers former men because of "their height, silicon breasts and inability to get pregnant".

Do I really need to continue telling you why this man is bad for bodybuilding?


  • www.thecarguy.com [ online ]