Lee Haney Criticizes Present-Day Physiques, Talks Derek Lunsford & Nick Walker: “It’s Not Pleasing To The Eye”

Photos via Instagram

Lee Haney has been critical of physiques in bodybuilding and believes mass has taken over too much.

Lee Haney is one of the top bodybuilders of all-time. He is known for his insane conditioning and symmetry on stage, which led to eight Olympia titles. During a recent interview, Haney spoke about the lack of symmetry in today’s era of bodybuilding. The bodybuilding legend joined Ron Harris Muscle to discuss what is the different between eras and what has changed.

Haney has previously spoken about today’s bodybuilders lacking symmetry and conditioning because the main focus is on mass.

“When you take a guy that’s 5’7, 5’8, and you put 300 pounds on him. Particularly a rushed 300 pounds, without thought, without proper bodybuilding engineering, you get this colossal of a physique that doesn’t look right.”

Haney is tied with Ronnie Coleman for the most Olympia wins ever. From 1984-91, Haney was unbeatable in Men’s Open. He was able to defeat other all-time greats such as Frank ZaneSergio Oliva, and Lee Labrada. Haney believes that the old-school physique was more pleasing to the eye and made others be interested in bodybuilding, including himself and how he got started.

RELATED: Lee Haney Believes Men’s Open Competitors Are “60 Pounds Overweight”

“It’s not pleasing to the eye and I say eye, I mean the general public. The thing that made bodybuilding attractive. It made everybody from the office guy to the attorneys, everybody wanted to look like a bodybuilder. That’s how I fell in love with it. I saw Arnold, I saw Larry Scott, Frank Zane. That was a thing of beauty.”

Lee Haney

Lee Haney Talks Today’s Top Men’s Open Competitors

Lee Haney is tied with Ronnie Coleman for the most Olympia victories of all-time. While Coleman had a great deal of mass on stage, Haney discusses why it is different than bodybuilders of today.

“This is where bodybuilding has gone. It’s saying mass, mass, mass. It’s not saying symmetry, balance, and muscle maturity. I’m seeing more massive guys, which if you look at Ronnie, Ronnie was massive but guess what? Ronnie had a symmetry and well-thought development to his mass.”


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A post shared by Lee Haney (@lee_haney_official)

Haney continued to dive into some of the top competitors in the division, including Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford.

Walker returned to the stage during the 2024 New York Pro and his physique created plenty of discussion. Many opinions believe that Walker needs to make major improvements if he wants to compete for a title. Lunsford has impressed in the offseason as he looks to defend his Olympia title. Haney references the amount of weight that Lunsford had to put on to make the jump from 212 to Men’s Open.

“Like say Nick Walker for instance, his height and that amount of mass is nothing appealing.

Derek, his balance is good. The one thing that I look at is the face that he went from the 212 division all the way up to heavyweight. I mean, that’s a lot of weight to put on in one year but again.”


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A post shared by Derek Lunsford (@dereklunsford_)

Overall, Lee Haney believes that physiques during his career were built differently and this is what made them special. He believes that competitors now are vying for the same type of look rather than what works best for them.

“A lot of them look the same. Derek, Hadi, with that height, Nick. It’s the same type of physiques. My day, the classic day of bodybuilding, they wouldn’t, it just wouldn’t have happened. It wouldn’t have happened because bodybuilding was saying something different.”

The 2024 Olympia is just three months away and competitors continue to look for qualification while others are midway through prep. It will be interesting to see how it plays out on the biggest stage.

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.