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Robert Nailon was an Australian Bodybuilder who trained with the likes of Frank Zane, Larry Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The guy could paint, too. He painted the cover of a Frank Zane training booklet called “Secrets of Advanced Bodybuilding”. Come to think of it, he did paintings of Larry Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger as well. One of his Arnold illustrations was on the cover of a Schwarzenegger mail order training course.
Nailon was familiar enough about bodybuilding to know where to exaggerate. I particularly like his Zane painting. If Zane had that much mass, he would have dominated the entire 1970s. Zane’s joints and waist are small enough that the extra mass would have looked insane. There may be bodybuilders today that look bigger than Nailon’s exaggerated version of Zane but I don’t know of any, at least today, that have that structure. Zane’s actual shoulder structure appears wider than current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath’s. I’m not saying Zane had more muscle, I’m talking about clavicle length and whatever other skeletal components constitute a wide shoulder structure. Plus, Zane had small knee joints. Small knees make the calves appear all the more pronounced when they’re developed.
Sometimes art inspires us to workout as much as photos of real people does. For me, this is the case with this Robert Nailon painting. Unfortunately, bodybuilders today who do actually get that big also have 40 inch waists and carry most of their mass in the thighs and very little in the calves. Robert Nailon’s painting reminds some of us where we thought bodybuilding was going to go.