Originally Posted by Hangdog
I think some of you are totally off your mark when you clamor about the lack of athleticism in bodybuilders. 275lb. modern roid monsters are one thing, but Marvin Eder, Steve Reeves and Reg Park were nothing if not VERY athletic. Mavin Eder could hold an iron cross.
Erm. Those people were bodybuilders, yes. But they considered themselves first and foremost, strength athletes. Of course their fitness/strength levels are far removed from roids monstrosities of today's.
I was mainly referring to the current slate of professional bodybuilders in my previous post.
Modern day bodybuilding is too much about sheer size. It's missing the aesthetic appeal of ideal proportions, and the hundreds of pounds of muscles the competitors packed on are oddly inefficient.
W. A. Pullum didn't look big, but he did overhead lifts of >200% BW numerous times and various events. He is, AFAIK, the only person who has done that. He could also hold an iron cross @ 200% BW. Yes, holding a crucifix position with a load equivalent to his bodyweight. He wasn't big (~120-125 lbs), and he won't win today's BB competitions in his weight class, but damn was he strong.
Or consider Jasper Benincasa. Almost never trained in a gym. Doesn't lift weights. Did mostly bodyweight exercises, eg. chin-ups. Again, a lean mofo at 130 lbs. Lacked muscle definition in today's BB context. If you thought one can't gain much strength training with just a bar, Benincasa did this:
He held that position for 3-4 seconds. I'd wager no gymnast today can do that. Nor his >300% BW chins, nor his 20 consecutive one-arm chins with either arm.