King Kamali explains when and how bodybuilding started favoring size over conditioning.

King Kamali is one of a growing selection of old school bodybuilders who believe that today’s competitors don’t hold up to past eras. Kamali believes it’s due to lack of conditioning and athletes favoriting building size first and foremost. But when exactly did this shift start happening? And is it being over-exaggerated through the eyes of nostalgia? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, King Kamali shares his take on when things started taking a turn away from conditioning and more towards size.

There is a constant ongoing debate about whether or not today’s bodybuilders look better or worse than eras past. While in many ways this is mostly subjective – there is an attempt to try and use bodybuilding history to gain a universal objective viewpoint. This happens in any sport. There are favored decades and eras versus others. But right now we are in the middle of this current generation of athletes. It’ shard to see the forest from the trees. Only with hindsight will we know for sure how this era stacks up to others (and even those in the future).

That being said, there are many who have made up their minds and hold their personal opinions. King Kamali is one such athlete who believes today’s era has declined compared to generations past. This is mostly due to a focus on size over conditioning. But why did this happen? Kamali has his own theories and it ties directly to the rise of Kuwait athletes.

In the past ten years or so, Kuwait has become known as a new sort of mecca for bodybuilders. This is due to the athletes being able to leave their entire lives behind and focus solely on training. There’s no partying, no family, no friends, no drinking or going out for fancy meals. Bodybuilders wake up, train, eat their strict diet, and go to sleep.

This has pushed a new generation of athletes that showcase massive size. Think Big Ramy and Brandon Curry. Both athletes who trained in Kuwait for sometime. This influences the younger aspiring athletes. It gives them a barometer of what to aim for as they develop their training habits. Add onto this that the judges are rewarding this sort of look – and you have an entire new generation of athletes growing up wanting to look like a big full mass monster.

Unfortunately, this has come at the cost of conditioning. While this isn’t universal, it seems to become more and more the norm. The big question is to decide whether or not it’s inherently better or worse. Some people honestly enjoy massive size at the cost of some conditioning. Others find it to be a loss of true impressive physique quality. Perhaps as the generations continue to change, so too will the perception of what is the “ideal” physique.

But for now, you can watch King Kamali’s breakdown of exactly when and how conditioning started to fall off the map in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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Derek Dufour
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.