Paul Dillett and Arnold Schwarzenegger were roughly the same height, both had a sloped shoulder appearance, and both had a mixture of aesthetic and mass monster features. Steve Reeves had set a twentieth century standard in keeping with classical Greek notions of aesthetics, but what started the groundwork for supplanting Reeves as the archetypal bodybuilder were mass monsters in the mid 1960s onward like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sergio Oliva, who broke from the classic mold while still maintaining aesthetic qualities. Paul Dillett is in that Arnold and Sergio category of mass monster bodybuilders who maintained aesthetic qualities. Dillett’s gargantuan mass actually had an aesthetic flow. What associated a more monstrous quality to Dillett were the thick swirly, varicose-like veins in his arms and chest, and his non-matinee idol appearance. Schwarzenegger had relatively clear vascularity, and although a different type of facial appearance, different from Reeves or other lead actors at the time, it was enough, along with his outstanding other qualities, for him to break into Hollywood and reach the highest levels of movie stardom.
Dillett had the Reeves-like quality of looking outstanding while standing in a relaxed position. Many bodybuilders are dependent on sticking out their arms to appear wide but it was to Reeves and Dillett’s advantage to not stand in an artificial position, because their bone structures spoke volumes. The totally unrelaxed relaxed pose reeks of covering up structural weaknesses through unnatural body positioning. Arnold mostly displayed a relaxed, relaxed pose, as was more of the trend in the late 1960s to middle 70s. He didn’t have that Reeves/Dillett level shoulder dominant frame but appeared wide and obviously dominated competitions.
Dillett’s overall frame has certain elements reminiscent of a taller, wider Serge Nubret. Nubret had moderately long biceps insertions and, despite his calves not being of Arnold’s or Dillett’s proportions, were of relatively long muscle belly length. Dillet had longer biceps and calf insertions than Arnold but didn’t have the “jump scare” effect, so to speak, that Arnold did when he flexed his extremely peaked biceps and super-detailed calves. Although Dillet had larger upper legs, Arnold’s knee to hip bone quad length and detail had a similar wow factor as his biceps. Both Arnold and Dillett had incredible calf size.
Overall, Dillett was more massive, and this is at the very least partially attributeable to the newer supplements available in Dillett’s time frame. At the same time, you could say the same thing about Arnold versus Reeves. Reeves would have been more massive if what was available in the 1970s were available in the 1940s to early 1950s. And take that a step further, if 1990s supplements were available in the 40s, early 1950s. There is no understating the role that supplements played in physique changes between eras. In fact, they created the eras. 1940s to mid 50s muscle size was capped by what was available then. It wasn’t new training principles that ended that era and brought forth Larry Scott, Sergio and Arnold.
Stay tuned for part two where we’ll go over back, chest, deltoids, ribcage, and more.
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