Chris Cormier explains just how close the competition was between the best bodybuilders of the 90s.


As we move further and further towards the future, the 90s era of bodybuilding has become filled with stronger nostalgia and luster. And perhaps it’s well deserved. It’s been called the second golden era of bodybuilding. This is not only due to some truly amazing legends competing in that era, but also because of the intense competitiveness between those athletes. In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Chris Cormier goes into detail on how insanely close each competition was between the 90s top athletes.

If there’s one complaint you can make about bodybuilding over the years, is that you can mostly predict who is going to win the second a competition started. That’s not due to any issue with the judging or the system in place. It’s more because of the leap in quality between competitors.

It’s no surprise then that many Olympia winners have gone on to remain champions for six, seven, and even eight times in a row. That being said, there is one era that often gets picked for the most intensely competitive – the 90s.

Now you may be thinking that this era also had its long run of repeat champions. Both Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman ran the Olympia during most of that decade. This is certainly true, but for these years it was strangely less obvious that this would be the case.

Chris Cormier is a bodybuilder who competed through that era. He spoke of the high level of competition in the 90s during our sit down interview while filming Ronnie Coleman: The King. As usual, his full response didn’t make it into the final film. That’s why we are bringing it out from the GI Vault to give deeper insight to that famous era of bodybuilding.

Chris Cormier had this to say about the competitive class of athletes during the 90s:

“Whatever day it was in the year. One of us probably looked better than anyone else in the world that day.”

– Chris Cormier

That’s how close it was. Each day the public opinion could swap from one athlete to another. Sometimes it was Shawn Ray, sometimes it was Chris Cormier, sometimes it was Kevin Levrone. These athletes were so hungry and so ready to win that anything was possible.

There were no blow outs. Even with repeat winners at the Olympia, the competition seemed close. It felt as if something different could happen. Perhaps it’s disappointing that it was never more varied in champions at the end of the day. But to live through that era and see those close calls was most likely a sight to behold.

You can watch Chris Cormier go into detail about the competitiveness of 90s bodybuilding in our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview above. You can also watch Ronnie Coleman: The King on digital today! Click here or the banner below to stream or download.

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Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.