Written and Media by: Taylor Ratcliffe
Names like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Louis Ferrigno stick out to most people for their acting careers and subsequent fame. Schwarzenegger is famous for The Terminator and Ferrigno is famous for being the Incredible Hulk. What most people do not know is they both competed against each other in bodybuilding back in the 1975 Mr. Olympia. Their journey, and the journey of other big names such as Franco Columbu and Mike Katz, were documented in the 1977 film Pumping Iron. These men and more revolutionized a sport that would continue to develop for years to come.
As years progressed, the sport of bodybuilding started to take on a new form. Bodybuilders were way bigger than they were in the 70’s. Competitions have become broader in both men and women with different categories to compete in. Men’s and women’s bodybuilding is nothing like the old bodybuilding. Rather, the physique classes for men and women today would be the high ends of the bodybuilder classes in the 70’s. Proportion sizes are not as big of a deal in today’s day and age. Now bodybuilders are concerned with how big they can get, not necessarily how good they can look. In 2013, a movie called Generation Iron came out following the stories of today’s bodybuilders such as Kai Greene and Phil Heath, two of the biggest names in bodybuilding.
As seen in both movies, bodybuilders are questioned about whether or not they use steroids. Not only do viewers notice a huge size difference in bodybuilders but a difference in response as well. The competitors in the 70’s would say no, but competitors today say that they have to do whatever they can to keep up. Although former competitors said no then, they all would fess up and say they most definitely did. The difference between the use of steroids back in the 70’s and now is the overuse of them. Competitors in the 70’s used them occasionally to help get a little extra edge over their competitors. Today, the highest names competing for Mr. Olympia tend to overuse them. The look of the turtle shell bellies shows viewers this is the case. Although steroids tend to play a factor in bodybuilding, hard work and dedication also play a huge role.
Coming out later this year, The Muscle PhD will be producing Generation Iron 2. The Muscle PhD is run by Dr. Jacob Wilson, a researcher at The Applied Science and Performance Institute (ASPI). He and his team frequently discuss better techniques on how to train and eating habits that will help bodybuilders and other athletes achieve peak performance. They are constantly doing studies to see what techniques work best and how they affect these athletes. Because he is producing Generation Iron 2, he will be discussing most of the factors he and his team have discovered that will improve athletes in the gym. From videos seen on Instagram, he will be using IFBB pro bodybuilders, both male and female, to show viewers the effects of different techniques and how it will affect their muscle growth.
Bodybuilding is a very controversial sport when it comes to how the athletes attain their size. However, with Generation Iron 2, viewers and critics will get a better look at the world of bodybuilding. It will become apparent that size doesn’t just come from popping pills or shooting up, rather it comes with a lot of hard work and the knowledge of correct technique in muscle engagement.