Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu posing at Gold’s Gym

Arnold and Franco Columbu at Golds Gym in Venice California
Arnold and Franco Columbu at Golds Gym in Venice California

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu at Golds Gym

The debate over the effectiveness of posing and isometrics in muscle building has been a topic of interest among bodybuilding enthusiasts for years. The example of Tom Platz, a prominent figure in the 1980s, sheds light on the potential impact of intense posing and static contractions on muscle detail and development.

Before Platz entered the bodybuilding scene, people were accustomed to seeing extreme muscle striations primarily in areas such as the pectorals, deltoids, lower back, and occasionally the triceps. However, when Platz showcased his disproportionately developed quadriceps, etched with striations, the bodybuilding world was astounded. Platz achieved this remarkable leg development not only through heavy squats and leg extensions but also by incorporating intense posing and stretching into his training regimen.

The effect of intense posing and static contractions on Platz’s legs brought out unprecedented detail that had not been witnessed before. This breakthrough soon inspired other bodybuilders to strive for striated quads. Some argue that the increase in quad detail may also be attributed to lower body fat percentages in modern-day bodybuilding competitions. While this is a valid point, the presence of striated quads on heavily muscled bodybuilders, even when they are bulking and weigh over 300 pounds, suggests that there’s more to the story.

For instance, legendary bodybuilder Nasser El Sonbaty, weighing 330 pounds, still displayed striated quads despite a much higher body fat percentage compared to the less defined thigh musculature of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. This phenomenon underscores the significance of intense posing and locked-out contractions as factors in enhancing muscle detail.

The influence of Tom Platz on bodybuilding is further exemplified when considering the development of striated glutes. In the 1970s, bodybuilders did not emphasize flexing their gluteal muscles to the extent seen today. However, post-Richard Gaspari’s era, striated glutes became a coveted attribute. Again, while body fat percentage plays a crucial role in revealing muscle detail, intense posing and locked-out contractions are equally important contributors.

The notion that intense posing can bring out muscle detail is not a new one. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, an iconic figure in the world of bodybuilding, has acknowledged the significance of posing in enhancing muscle definition. It’s important to remember that modern bodybuilders have various tools and techniques at their disposal, including advancements in training methods and, as mentioned, potentially different drugs. Still, the legacy of Tom Platz and others like him continues to underscore the importance of intense posing and static contractions in achieving remarkable muscle detail and development.

Tom Platz’s revolutionary striated quadriceps below.

Tom Platz, “The Golden Eagle”

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