Dennis James isn’t a man who shies away from sharing his opinions on bodybuilding. In some ways, he’s like an unofficial analyst for the sport. He often gives us his immediate opinions on athlete physiques right after big shows. He also shares predictions on placings and his overall take on the goings on in bodybuilding.
That’s why we sat down for a long form interview to discuss in-depth all things bodybuilding. This interview was conducted before the Mr. Olympia 2020 and Big Ramy’s win. So it’s interested to see his predictions in comparison to what actually occurred.
Listen to the full Dennis James interview here:
Dennis On How To Fix Pro Bodybuilding’s Conditioning Problem
Dennis James agrees that physiques have declined over the years. He also thinks there’s a clear cut solution to fix it. The judges need to start changing the way they award bodybuilders. James admits that the judges aren’t entirely at fault. They can only score the kind of physiques that are presented in front of them. But even if they aren’t originally at fault, they can help push for change more easily than simply waiting for the right athlete to turn the tide.
Dennis James believes that if the judges put together an official statement claiming that they would be rewarding conditioning over size – it would kick start athletes to change the way they prepare. Then the judges actually have to follow through and award someone like, let’s say, Dexter Jackson over a bigger sized mass monster. The combination of an official statement and a change in the nuances of judging competitions could lead to major shifts in the kinds of physiques we see on stage.
Dennis James also touches on a few more topics when it comes to the evolution of medicine science and how it effects bodybuilding. He debates with Vlad Yudin about the recent string of young deaths in the sport. James claims that while these deaths are tragic, it’s not due to some underlying drug abuse problem in bodybuilding. People sadly die young all across the world, statistically young bodybuilders would be affected by this for any wide number of reasons. Not just because of steroids or other PEDs.
Check out our full GI Exclusive interview with Dennis James above!
Dennis Answers: Does Phil Heath Deserve To Be Considered Greatest Of All Time?
Phil Heath is a 7x Mr. Olympia champion. That puts him in the top pantheon of bodybuilders. It ties him with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It places him one behind on Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney (who hold the world record for most Olympia wins). It even puts him above the six Olympia wins of Dorian Yates – a true mass monster legend in the sport. But when discussing the best athletes of all time in bodybuilding, you might find it hard for Phil Heath to be first on the list. Why is this?
Perhaps it’s simply because his victories are too recent. It’s easier to mythologize legends of the past and make them seem larger than life. Or perhaps it’s because Phil Heath was often criticized for his personality and demeanor as a champion. But those things shouldn’t really matter. What matters is his physique and his record.
That’s why when we talked with bodybuilder and guru Dennis James, we were happy to see him quickly place Phil Heath in his list of top five bodybuilders of all time. For James, it’s no question. Not only because of his Olympia wins, but also because of the look of his physique. To James, it’s undeniable that Heath holds a physique hardly any other competitor could match.
And yet, perhaps more than any other athlete, Phil Heath’s Olympia wins are often contested by fans. People often vocalized the many times that they believed Kai Greene should have won. And in Phil Heath’s later years, his stomach was criticized so much that people thought he should have lost way sooner than his seven Olympia wins allowed.
As we mentioned at the top, Dennis James is always blunt, honest, and in-depth with his opinions on all things bodybuilding. So there are far many more topics than discussed in this article. That’s why you should watch the full GI Exclusive interview above!