Did Bodybuilders In The 90s Train Harder?

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    Question Did Bodybuilders In The 90s Train Harder?

    Did Bodybuilders In The 90s Train Harder?

    In the ongoing debate about today’s bodybuilders vs the 90s, Dennis James shares his thought on the training ethic of past athletes.

    There has been an ongoing debate that has perhaps reached its zenith in 2020. Are today’s bodybuilder physiques worse than past eras, specifically the 90s? Many critics claim that today’s top bodybuilders are less streamlined with worse conditioning. But the question is why? Is it because everyone is chasing mass monster size? Is it the evolution of drugs in the sport? Or, as some have argued, do today’s athletes simply train less hard than those in the 90s? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Dennis James answers whether or not he thinks 90s bodybuilders trained harder than competitors today.

    In 2019, Dennis James stated in a social media video that he thought 90s bodybuilders simply trained and dieted harder than athletes today. In our extended video interview with James, we wanted to follow up on that statement and see if he could expand on those thoughts. Does he still believe this to be true a year later?

    Dennis James admits at first that he doesn’t remember saying those words but agrees that at the very least the dieting was much better back in the 90s. He goes on to say that by definition, a harder diet would lead to a stronger challenge during training as well. Does this mean that today’s athletes are simply more lazy? No, James doesn’t want anyone to think he’s criticizing the work ethic of today’s bodybuilders. He thinks that in chasing bigger mass monster size, the expectation on how dieting and training works has changed.

    The harder training and dieting was a direct result of judges rewarding conditioning stronger than they do now. Perhaps if those same athletes existed in today’s world of judging and bodybuilding – they would have trained just as “less” as the top athletes of today.

    “But now everybody’s going for size because you have to chase the bigger guys. It started with Dorian actually but it went even higher with Ronnie,” Dennis James states in our interview. “That was my mistake. That’s why I blew out of proportion.”

    Dennis James places himself in the leagues of athletes that chased size at the sacrifice of conditioning. He calls it a mistake for his own bodybuilding career. Is it a mistake for today’s top athletes? Or if every athlete is chasing the size game and sporting less definited conditioning – does it even matter?

    Every sport’s athletes gets compared to past eras. There will always be Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant. Just like we today compared Phil Heath to Ronnie Coleman. It’s a fun but impossible comparison fueled only by personal subjectivity at the end of the day. Perhaps decades from now no one will remember the criticism of this era’s athletes. Only time will tell.


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    I worked harder then but I was also way younger, healthier, motivated and had no kids LOL

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