Nick Walker reacts to the criticism against bodybuilding today vs bodybuilding in the 90s.

One of the biggest trends over the past year was the criticism of today’s bodybuilding physiques. While the criticism of bubble guts have been steadily rising over the past decade – it seems to have come to a head in 2019 into 2020. Beyond even bubble guts, many fans have decreed this new era of bodybuilders less impressive than the 90s and early 2000s. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, rising star Nick Walker explains how he thinks criticizing modern bodybuilding vs the 90s is unwarranted.

In the final few years before Phil Heath lost, fans criticized his lack of control of his midsection. Then after he lost to Shawn Rhoden and took a year off, fans and athletes criticized the conditioning of nearly the entire Olympia 2019 Men’s Open lineup. A narrative has been forming that today’s modern bodybuilders are not living up to the eras of the past. Particularly the 90s and early 2000s. We’ve been asking a variety of bodybuilders, coaches, and experts whether or not they agree in our GI Exclusive interviews.

Which brings us to our recent conversation with Nick Walker. A up and comer bodybuilder that rose to fame quickly due to his impressive physique and progress this year, Nick Walker is as modern as you can get in the sport. He’s a young athlete with incredible promise. So what does he think about the criticism of modern bodybuilding compared to the 90s?

Nick Walker finds this criticism overblown and unwarranted. But he has a reason for exactly why so many fans feel that there has been a decline in bodybuilding physiques. He finds it less to do with the athletes and more to do with how technology has changed the sport as a whole.

Specifically, he’s referring to social media, digital technology, and the internet in general. Back in the 90s, most fans only saw professional photographs of the athletes on stage. Perhaps they saw a broadcast on TV. There were rarely any behind the scenes photos. There was certainly no candid offseason gym photos. Most fans only saw athletes at their very best on the stage.

Today with social media, bodybuilders are able to give updates daily. Fans are able to snap photos on the fly and plaster them all over the internet. Even the leagues themselves can provide more up to date coverage and behind the scene looks at the athletes.

For the most part, this is fantastic, it provides more content for fans who are passionate about the sport. It allows bodybuilding as a whole to grow even bigger. But there is a downside.

That downside is a subconscious belief that bodybuilding has gotten worse – because they are seeing more angles of athletes on stage and because they see more behind the scenes shots that might appear unflattering.

Nick Walker goes on to discuss how many of the 90s bodybuilders had huge guts and looked soft and massive off season. They also might have showed more of those relaxed guts if the cameras took different side angles like the livestreams of Olympia today do.

You can watch Nick Walker talk about it in more detail by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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.