'70s & '80s Vs '90s & 2000s
THEN: VINYL ALBUMS NOW: DIGITAL DOWNLOADS.
THEN: MAINFRAME COMPUTERS NOW: IPADS.
THEN: A BARBELL SET AT THE YMCA, MAYBE NOW: UBIQUITOUS GYM FRANCHISES.
A lot has changed in the past four decades, and that includes bodybuilding standards, as 2011’s best legs and backs far outpace those of 1971. But during that same period, chests have remained the great constant. Their standards have fluctuated through the years but never eclipsed the ’70s. To find out why that is, what has changed and what has stayed the same, we look back at the best pecs of the last four decades, ranking a top five for each era, and we examine how they were built, then and now.
'70s THE GOLDEN ERA
If you weren’t wearing a tank top, your shirt was buttoned low, if at all. And thus, from the hirsute Burt Reynolds to the mountainous Dolly Parton, if one bodypart defined the ’70s, it was the chest. In conjunction with Pumping Iron and its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the disco decade was also the golden era of bodybuilding, shepherding weights from dusky dungeons to mainstream spas. And, again, chests dominated. How great were pecs then? You could argue that our top four pec men from the ’70s are the top four of all-time. Here’s how they did it: