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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Obese Bodybuilders
The intriguing photo in question captures Arnold Schwarzenegger during what appears to be the pre-Mr. Olympia contest era, likely dating back to 1973 or 1974. What sets this image apart is not only the impeccable physique that Schwarzenegger proudly displays but also the unique perspective it offers on the bodybuilding world of that era and how it contrasts with contemporary standards.
One noticeable aspect of this photo is the absence of any shots of Schwarzenegger when he was out of shape. This may be attributed to two possibilities. First, it’s quite likely that Schwarzenegger was always dedicated to maintaining his physique at a certain level, which showcased his commitment to the sport. Second, it could be a reflection of the bodybuilding norms of that time, where competitors maintained a higher degree of leanness year-round compared to some modern bodybuilders.
In recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift in bodybuilding, with some athletes pushing their bodies to extreme levels of mass and weight. This phenomenon is illustrated by images of contemporary bodybuilders weighing over 300 pounds who appear excessively muscular and, at times, even obese when seen in regular clothing. The contrast between the bodybuilding standards of the past and those of today emphasizes how the sport has evolved, with modern bodybuilders often focusing on an extreme “bulking up” process to achieve a distinct size and mass.
One key element of this transformation is the effect of performance-enhancing substances that have become more prevalent in modern bodybuilding. These substances have been associated with obscuring facial definition, which can lead to bodybuilders appearing as though they have excess facial fat, even when their body fat percentage is below 10%. In contrast, Arnold Schwarzenegger maintained chiseled, lean facial features throughout his career, which was not only a testament to his dedication to his physique but also a factor that contributed to his success in the movie industry.
Arnold’s iconic appearance, characterized by his well-defined facial features, helped him transition seamlessly from the world of bodybuilding to Hollywood. His ability to maintain this level of facial definition even in the competitive bodybuilding world of the ’70s further highlights his unique position as an athlete and entertainer. In essence, the photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger offers a glimpse into the past era of bodybuilding, where different norms and practices prevailed, resulting in a distinct and enduring legacy for the man himself.