Being in great physical condition is admired by most people. It’s a sign of strength and serious dedication, hours spent in the gym, pumping iron, lifting back breaking weights, and then there’s the nutritional side… being meticulous with calorie counting, eating copious amounts of meat, fish and vegetables!
It’s not for the faint hearted, and few people have the discipline to live such an extreme lifestyle. Those who do look incredible, BUT there are some physiques which simply stand out from the crowd, these guys have become legends of the fitness industry.
In this post I’m going to share 6 of The Greatest Physiques Of All Time. The physiques vary in shape, and size, but they are all extremely remarkable in their own unique way…
Little introduction is needed for the legend that goes by the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only did Arnold dominate bodybuilding, winning the Mr Olympia 7x, but he’s also had an extremely illustrious career in acting (Terminator films, Conan the Barbarian, Predator), and politics – he used to be the Governor of California!
Arnold played a pivotal role in bringing bodybuilding, and weight training into the mainstream media. Bodybuilding used to be a sport for a select few, it was unknown, and seen to be slightly freakish. However, when Arnold came onto the scene, and thanks to doing films such as Pumping Iron (1977) he influenced more people to start lifting weights, and it became much more popular and social acceptable. Look at films in the 1970s, like Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) – who had an incredible physique, it was becoming more and more popular for action hero’s to have strong, athletic and muscular physiques.
Arnold Schwarzenegger not only had size, but symmetry too. His chest was enormous, and he had biceps with peaks like mountain tops!
One of my favourite physiques of all time, and which is still considered to be the ‘perfect physique’ – by many in bodybuilding today. Frank Zane is a 3x Mr Olympia Winner (1977-1979) for the under 200lbs category.
Standing at just 5ft 9 inches tall, Frank was a small bodybuilder in height, but had some serious muscle mass. In his prime, he had one of the most aesthetically pleasing physiques of all time.
If you look at his physique in the picture above, you can see perfect symmetry between the right and left side of his body. He’s got amazing proportion between muscles groups (the chest and arms, upper body and legs), he’s also got a wide back, and super small waist, making him look even more athletic.
Greg Plitt, who unfortunately died in 2015, will forever be a legend within the fitness industry. He had a great looking body, although completely different from the two previous physiques we’ve just looked at – Greg was a fitness model, not a bodybuilder.
Greg is one of the most famous fitness models ever, featuring on over 250 covers for famous magazines, such as Muscle & Fitness, Iron Man, Muscle Body, and Mens Health. His body was incredible, lean, athletic and perfectly sculpted.
For me personally, I idolised him for years. He really inspired me to push my body to the limits, both mentally and physically. I remember when I was at Sheffield Hallam University, and I signed up to his website. I would spend hours watching his motivational videos, and following his workouts to the tee. He taught me so much, and whilst I never met him in person, he was a role model to me – absolutely no doubt about that.
Apart from his physique, what I loved about Greg was his ‘winners mindset’ and creativity with workouts. He would do all sorts of training, from weights, to sledge hammers, sandbags, you name it!
‘Holy Moly’ this is one crazy physique, for many people looking at Dorian’s physique they would say things like “omg!”… “that’s freakish!”… “ that’s way too BIG!”. BUT for those who aspire to be professional bodybuilders, most will place Dorian in their top 3 physiques of all time. He won the Mr Olympia 7x (like Arnold Schwarzenegger) and is a legend in the bodybuilding world.
Dorian was nicknamed ‘The Shadow’ – because he used to keep quiet throughout out the year, wearing hoodies, and keeping a low profile, BUT then when it came to show time… he would step on stage, like a caged beast, showing off his ridiculous physique!
What made Dorians’ Physique impressive?… well, in a nutshell… everything! His back was gigantic, wide, and thick, his legs were like tree trunks, he had symmetrical looking abs, and shoulders the size of boulders… oh and I forgot to mention… look at his arms! lol! Just one crazy physique!
Steve Cook kind of reminds me of Greg Plitt, and that’s one of the reasons I really like him. That said, Steve is a little softer spoken, and is a really nice guy, not that Greg Plitt wasn’t (lol!) BUT he was pretty alpha (swearing all the time, and talking about women! lol!).
Steve, like Greg, has an amazing physique. Unlike the freakish looking bodybuilding physique, Steve has a more athletic body, as he comes from an American football/athletic background.
What makes Steves Physique impressive, is that he’s muscular (but not too muscular), ripped (but not too ripped!) – whilst he doesn’t claim to be a natural athlete, he does have a pretty naturally looking physique, and it can be an obtainable look for lots of people, unlike some of the bodybuilders I’ve mentioned in this article – who took copies amounts of steroids! lol!
Just a beautiful physique… athletic, symmetrical (one of the most symmetrical of all time!) and an old school bodybuilding physique – with strength, and size, BUT without the gargantuan, veiny muscles!
Steve was famous in the 1950s, as both a bodybuilder, and actor – playing Hercules and Goliath. Whilst he passed away in May 2000, he will go down in history as a legend of bodybuilding.
If somebody said to me… “Nick, you can have any physique you like at the wave of a magic wand, who would you choose?”…
Then I’d say Steve Reeves, simply because he had a very natural looking physique, he had a softer look, compared to todays overly sculpted fitness models and bodybuilders.
Who’s got your favourite physique of all time?
Thanks for reading,