Lee Haney and Victor Martinez Clash on Modern Bodybuilding: ‘A New Frankenstein Era?

In the latest episode of The Generation Iron Podcast, hosts Victor Martinez, Ehsan Farahi, Edwin Mejia Jr., and Vlad Yudin, addressed a variety of topics including how to fix lagging hamstrings, Lee Haney’s controversial comment on todays bodybuilders, and Bradley Martyn’s “To Catch A Predator” moment. Here’s a detailed recap of the episode.

Victor Martinez is a pro bodybuilder who has no problem candidly sharing his opinions on not only the current state of bodybuilding but also the current state of the world. That’s why this week’s episode should be quite entertaining with topics ranging from functional insights for building up hamstrings through to a clash of bodybuilding generations deciding if today’s physiques are up to snuff. Let’s dive in!


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Fan Question: Best Exercises for Lagging Hamstrings

A fan aspiring to compete in the Wellness division asked for recommendations on exercises to improve hamstring development. Victor Martinez provided an expert response, outlining a focused and effective hamstring workout routine:

  1. Lying Hamstring Curls: Start with lying hamstring curls to target the lower part of the hamstrings. This exercise helps in isolating the muscle and is great for building initial strength.
  2. Seated Hamstring Curls: Follow up with seated hamstring curls to work on the overall length and thickness of the hamstrings. This variation ensures a balanced development.
  3. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: Finish with stiff-legged deadlifts to engage the entire posterior chain. This compound movement not only strengthens the hamstrings but also the glutes and lower back.

Victor emphasized the importance of not overloading with too many exercises. Instead, he suggested increasing the number of sets, recommending 6-8 sets per exercise.

Additionally, he introduced the concept of drop sets – reducing the weight after completing the full exercise and performing partial reps. This technique, combined with focusing on the negatives (eccentric phase of the lift), can significantly enhance hamstring development, breaking barriers and bringing out their full potential.

Lee Haney’s Critique of Modern Bodybuilding: Are We In A Frankenstein Era?

The hosts then discussed a provocative quote from 8x Mr. Olympia champion Lee Haney. Haney criticized the current state of bodybuilding, stating,

“Is it just me or does 90% of the current group of bodybuilders have the same squatty shape? Wide waist, big arms, overly developed quads, small calves, and weird shoulders. It looks as though somebody closed their eyes and drew muscle at a dart board without giving it a thought. A new Frankenstein era.”

Victor Martinez acknowledged Haney’s point but highlighted that bodybuilding has evolved. Today’s bodybuilders are significantly larger, which is what fans and judges seem to prefer. He explained that the larger muscle mass alters the aesthetic, resulting in the “squatty” appearance that Haney described. During Haney’s era, bodybuilders were smaller with more streamlined waists.

This is less an issue of one era being better than the other – and more of a subjective difference of opinion. In any sport (and quite frankly, in most of life), past generations will prefer the culture of their moment to newer movements.

Classic Physique Division’s Answer To Bigger Mass Monsters

Ehsan Farahi pointed out that the Classic Physique division caters to those who prefer the aesthetic prevalent during Lee Haney’s time. While Classic Physique competitors are not as massive as Haney, the division aims to balance muscularity with classical proportions, thus addressing Haney’s concerns. This division has gained popularity, ensuring that different aesthetic preferences within bodybuilding are met.

Victor added that if he had grown up in the current era, he might have pursued Classic Physique instead of Men’s Open. He reminisced about weighing 280 pounds during the off-season, which was not enjoyable. Competing in Classic Physique would have allowed him to maintain a more comfortable weight while still achieving a desirable look.

Are Men’s Open Bodybuilders Getting Too Big Too Fast?

Edwin Mejia Jr. suggested that Lee Haney might be lamenting the rapid increase in muscle mass among today’s bodybuilders. That perhaps the issue is less about the achievement in size – and more about how quickly they aim to gain that kind of muscle mass.

Victor concurred, likening the current trend to the era of Ronnie Coleman, where champions’ massive size set a standard that others strived to match. This pursuit sometimes results in blocky physiques, which might be the source of Haney’s frustration.

While there are an elite few who rise up with a truly phenomenal next-level mass monster physique – such as Derek Lunsford or Nick Walker – there are many others chasing that goal in the wrong way. But this is also always the case for each bodybuilding generation. There are the elite athletes and the rest who aim, but ultimately do not reach, those incredible heights.

Bradley Martyn’s Confrontation with a Hollywood Producer

The episode also delved into a recent controversy involving fitness influencer Bradley Martyn. Martyn confronted a Space Jam producer who was allegedly on a date with a 15-year-old girl. This segment raised serious questions about pedophilia in Hollywood.

Victor Martinez expressed a strong opinion, stating that he believes Hollywood is rife with pedophiles or those who protect them. He referenced recent documentaries, such as the one on Nickelodeon called Quiet On Set, that expose predatory behavior among producers. Victor’s stance is that these incidents are too frequent to ignore.

Edwin Mejia Jr. noted that Martyn didn’t initially realize the man was a powerful Hollywood producer. Once he did, Martyn removed the video and ceased discussing it, likely to avoid jeopardizing his career. This sparked a conversation on whether Martyn’s actions constituted entrapment.

RELATED: Watch Bradley Martyn’s Life Story In The Feature Documentary Bradley Martyn: The Influencer

Was Bradley Martyn Committing Entrapment?

The hosts briefly debated whether Martyn’s confrontation was a form of entrapment. They compared it to the tactics used in the show “To Catch a Predator,” where similar methods ultimately led to legal challenges that allegedly is the reason for ending the show. Victor drew parallels to drug sting operations, questioning why those aren’t considered entrapment.

Despite such discussion the concept of entrapment should be clarified: it only applies if authorities trick someone into committing a crime they wouldn’t typically engage in. If an individual willingly participates in illegal activity without coercion, it is not entrapment. Even if the sting was a setup.

Wrap Up

The Generation Iron Podcast continues to offer engaging discussions on fitness, bodybuilding, and contemporary issues affecting the sport. This episode provided valuable workout advice, insightful commentary on bodybuilding’s evolution, and a candid take on a serious Hollywood controversy. As always, the hosts’ diverse perspectives and candid discussions make for a compelling listen.

You can watch the full episode above. And don’t forget to check back every week either on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

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.