Kevin Levrone believes that the quality has lowered for both bodybuilding physiques and presentation.
In a sense, we are in a transitionary period for professional bodybuilding. The reign of Phil Heath ended in 2018 and since then we have had two different Olympia champions in the form of Shawn Rhoden and Brandon Curry. A new division, Classic Physique, was added in 2016. Most importantly – fans, athletes, and experts alike have been more and more vocal about the quality of competitors being worse than decades previous. It’s a debate that ignited in full force when Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman both criticized Brandon Curry as the new Olympia champion. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, we ask another legendary bodybuilder, Kevin Levrone, what he the thinks of the modern era of bodybuilding.
Kevin Levrone is usually calm and collected during his interview answers and this moment was no different. When asked about the quality of today’s bodybuilders, Levrone thought for only a moment before stating, “I think the quality went down.”
But why does Kevin Levrone think today’s bodybuilders lack compared to eras past? When asked to expand on his answer, Levrone went on to explain that sports always shift and change. Each sport always has certain eras that are considered the glory days. No sport has an exponential rise in quality decade after decade. Instead, it’s like a roller coaster with ups and downs.
In a sentiment we had heard before in our previous interviews with bodybuilders, Kevin Levrone details that all competitors will rise up to challenge the best in the room. During the eras of Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates – they rose the bar so high that every single competitor was forced into trying to match them. This lead to a collection of incredible physiques. Today there is no Dorian or Ronnie demanding the pack to rise up.
Without that show stopping leader driving all competitors in the pro league, Kevin Levrone thinks that the athletes aren’t working as hard as previous generations. He believes there are less “skull faces” back stage on nights of competitions. He thinks that competitors today don’t diet for three months before a show like Levrone did during his prime. Without a larger than life challenge to defeat – there’s less incentive to push past those limits.
“I can’t think of any bodybuilder that actually get hurt in the gym anymore because most of them use machines. So I think the whole approach is kind of, sort of different,” Kevin Levrone states in our interview. He goes on to describe how his era handled dieting and conditioning versus today:
“And to get that conditioning you have to go through some pain and suffering. And I just don’t think that the athletes are going through that kind of pain and suffering… it’s just a different time. I don’t know what they’re doing.”
While Kevin Levrone certainly thinks all pro athletes work hard, he doesn’t think they go that extraordinary mile without a breakaway star leading the pack. In a sense this is out of anyone’s control. It’s the ebb and flow of time. Very rarely do things always consistently improve without fluctuation. There will always be ups and there will always be downs.
Perhaps defining these more debated eras in a negative light isn’t the right way to look at it. Instead, it should make rising athletes even more hungry to change the game and do something great. Everyone on the pro stage deserves to be there. Everyone works their asses off. Comparing to the past does nothing but cause arguments and debates. Perhaps it’s time to look towards the future.
You can check out Kevin Levrone’s full statements in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.