Posedown: Haney vs. McMillan

If Haney at his peak could pose down with McMillan today, who would win?

Ever since Cedric McMillan won the 2009 NPC Nationals, he’s been compared to Lee Haney, the legend who won the same title 27 years prior. There are obvious career differences. Haney made his pro debut at 23 and retired at 32 with a record eight Mr. Olympia titles. McMillan didn’t debut until the weekend he turned 33, and, though he has three pro titles to his name, he’s yet to even crack the Olympia top 10. Still, both are South Carolina natives with similar mass-with-class physique types—tall, broad, and proportionate. Like Haney during his eight years of dominance from 1984–91, McMillan today has enough size to dwarf challengers, but it’s wrapped in a pleasing structure and shape that makes observers quip, “That’s what bodybuilding should be about.”

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If Haney at his peak could pose down with McMillan today, it would be readily apparent how stupendous Haney’s torso was. Haney’s chest and back of three decades ago could still win him comparisons in this year’s Olympia. His front lat spread and front double biceps were dominating poses then because of his chest depth, lat width, and waspish hips. And they’d still be dominating poses against top pros today. Those also happen to be McMillan’s best poses. His back just isn’t quite as broad as  Haney’s, and his hips aren’t quite as slim.

Lower body-size standards have changed dramatically over the 23 years since Haney last posed. His quads had pleasing shapes and enough size to fend of top challengers. But, on average, today’s best bodybuilders carry a lot more mass in their lower bodies than yesterday’s. This is especially true of hamstrings. McMillan would have a definite lower-body edge.

And he would have a similar size advantage with arms. Still, what Haney lacked in gun dimensions, he made up for with biceps and triceps symmetry, shape, and separation. He might lose the side shots to McMillan because of his undersize arms, but the lines in those same limbs highlight the legend’s key advantage over his fellow Southerner. During his pro career, “Totalee Awesome” was never off. He always delivered the cuts (by the standards of his era), and until Big Mac proves he can do likewise, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which he beats an eight-time Mr. Olympia. - FLEX

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