THE 90’S: BODYBUILDING’S REAL GOLDEN ERA?

Generation Iron Dorian Yates Golden Era

Between the classic and modern age, were bodybuilders with extraordinary talent.

Dorian Yates. Flex Wheeler. Shawn Ray. All names that any bodybuilding fan should know and appreciate. These men were all talented bodybuilders with the potential to be Olympia champions. With so much potential for greatness, competitors that could’ve become champion at any given event, you have to wonder: were the early 90’s the real Golden Age of bodybuilding?

Dorian Yates’ size compared to his fellow competitors seemed to be the attribute that carried him to six Olympia titles. Flex Wheeler, massive yet symmetrical, just seemed unable to conquer Yates on the posing stage. Shawn Ray had a shredded physique to rival both men as well as having great conditioning, yet he also fell short time and again to the former Olympia champ. Despite that fact, each of these athletes had physiques that fell between the classic age of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the modern age with mass monsters like current Olympia champ Phil Heath. The argument can be made that the era of Yates, Wheeler, and Ray held competitors with the most complete body types out of all the other eras.

In this clip from the 1993 Mr. Olympia show, we can clearly see how shredded and proportioned each man was.

Imagine having to judge which of these men deserved first place. No doubt it was a daunting task and further evidence that this era of bodybuilding produced competitors that were all equally worthy of being champion. But the 90’s era wasn’t the only period with multiple title worthy competitors. Arnold Schwarzenegger versus Lou Ferrigno, Ronnie Coleman versus Jay Cutler, Phil Heath versus Kai Greene; each era held athletes with such potential that all of them deserved to lay claim to at least one bronze Sandow.

Do you think the 90’s were the golden era of bodybuilding? Let us know what you think in the comments below and be sure to check in on Facebook and Twitter.

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Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.