Generation Iron Samir Bannout

“If you are a doctor once, you don’t need to be a doctor twice.”

To celebrate the digital release of the Generation Iron Extended Director’s Cut, we will be covering special stories inspired by the new version of the film. To start off we will feature the man, the legend, the Olympia champion – Samir Bannout.

In the film, Samir meets up with Hidetada to share some insider tips on how to improve posing up on the stage. As he put it in his own words – it’s the man from the middle-east and the man from the Far East – a kickass superstar team if there ever was one.

Let’s take a look back at what makes Samir Bannout a name to remember:

The Lion of Lebanon

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Samir took to America in 1974 and settled in Detroit. Four years later he became the king of Detroit – in the bodybuilding world at least. He was crowned Mr. Michigan in 1978 and only one year later earned his IFBB pro card – starting his journey towards Olympia stardom.

Generation Iron Samir BannoutPhoto courtesy of Awesome Body.

By this time he had relocated to California and became part of the muscle beach community. He was in the hotbed of bodybuilding and ready to take the world by storm. It wasn’t too long before people started to take notice. By 1980 he was already competing in Mr. Olympia – he only placed 15th, but that would soon change.

By 1982, Samir had risen up to rank 4th place at the Olympia competition. He was hungry for the Sandow and grabbing fourth place was the tipping point he needed. The very next year he took first place and won his first Olympia gold. In the end, this would be his one and only Sandow victory. But having only one trophy under his belt does nothing to extinguish his iconic place in bodybuilding history.

Samir’s lower back region was so impressive – so incredibly sculpted that he helped coin the term “Christmas Tree” when talking about the shape made visible during back posing on the stage. His back was so defined and symmetrical that his muscles took a shape so obvious and stunning – that the world all saw it. A Christmas tree; right there sculpted by his back.

Generation Iron Christmas Tree SamirPhoto courtesy of Photobucket.


You can catch the legendary Lion of Lebanon exclusively in a new scene on the Generation Iron Director’s Cut – available now on iTunes. If you’d rather have your very own copy to hold in your hands – you can purchase the Blu-ray or DVD at our official store. If you want to gush over Samir like we do – sound off in the comments section below and be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter! Stay pumped as our Director’s Cut Breakdown continues next week!

GI Team
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