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Bodybuilding's Best Posers of All Time:

The Masters of Kinetic Physique Art

     Whenever the sun has gone down, humans throughout time have marveled at the beauty of the stars shining in the firmament.  So it is with bodybuilding.  When the house lights go down and the bodybuilder who is a master posing artist steps on the dais, those who have an eye for aesthetics will  understand bodybuilding as an art as well as a sport.  They will marvel at the stars of the body beautiful as they flow from one display of physical perfection to another.  It is not enough to spend years molding the perfect physique.  Only those who have mastered the art of displaying their physiques will bedazzle the audience with the full impact of the grace and beauty of the human form. 

Though this art form is still little appreciated, those with open minds and an eye for the aesthetic will experience an new pleasure bestowed by the muses as they witness the best of the following masters of kinetic physique art. 

Eugen sandow

Flo Ziegfield took Eugen Sandow (born Friedrich Wilhelm Mueller April 25,1867) under his wing after seeing how much attention he received at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1894, where Sandow posed inside a black velvet-lined booth with white powder covering his body to appear like a Greek statue.  Indeed, he was seen by men and women as the most perfect physical specimen of manhood, so that by 1896 he was an international celebrity, having played in almost every theater that then existed.  He made millions posing, opening a chain of health studios, developing and selling fitness equipment, and engaging in a mail order business.  Though he died in 1925, he still casts a shadow as the first professional bodybuilder.

We share this rare footage of Sandow posing that appears on the interesting and informative Web site http://www.sandowmuseum.com

 

To see a video clip of Sandow's routine click here.

JOhn Grimek

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John Grimek remains the only undefeated bodybuilder ever.  Those who saw him pose in person still make us envious as they describe Grimek as one of the most aesthetic and athletic posers in the history of the sport.  One reason could be that John spent years as a model for artists, yet that would not explain the unique qualities of his routines nor the impressive athleticism that amazed all who witnessed the great JCG.

Click here to see JCG pose.

 

 

Larry Scott

Larry Scott has to be included in this list of greatest posers of all time for two major reasons:  1) he drove crowds wild when he mounted the posing platform, 2) he was the master of minimizing his narrow shoulders and wide waist by making every pose an arms and shoulder pose!

Click here to see Larry winning the 1965 Olympia.

 

 

bill pearl

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Bill Pearl, now 74, is considered by many aficionados of the sport of bodybuilding to be the greatest bodybuilder ever, winning the NABBA Mr. Universe four times, the last in 1971, when he was 41.  Bill Pearl was not only one of the most symmetrical bodybuilders I have ever seen in person; he knew how to display his massive physique in an artistic and dramatic fashion that left one gasping for superlatives.  The consummate showman, Bill left no stone unturned:  even his hair and grooming, posing truck selection, and tan were perfection personified.  I never saw Bill do a bad pose, and his perfection of poise, drama, grace, and awesome power have never been matched.

 

 

Frank Zane

Unless you have seen Zane pose at a contest in person, you will never understand how a man with this little size (particularly by today's standard) could have won three Mr. Olympias in a row.  Probably the greatest master of illusion, Frank was able to hide his weak points and magnify his strong points like no other man before or since.  The result was that he stood out from his fellow competitors like an apple in an orange barrel! One element that helped Frank besides his posing ability was the extreme condition that made the others look positively overweight, even fat! Frank Zane also exuded drama and excitement that moved crowds to chant ZANE!  ZANE! ZANE!

 

Chris Dickerson

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Dickerson was one of the most intelligent bodybuilders I've ever talked to.  Articulate and refined in his mind, these same qualities were displayed in the presentation of his physique.  Chris may have been influenced by his mentor Bill Pearl, but in sheer artistic display of the body, I think he went one better than even Pearl.  Though I still see Pearl as the master of the total package and probably one of the top three or four bodybuilders of all time, Dickerson taught us all what beauty of form and motion is all about.

 

 

 

Watch dickerson pose:

Lee Labrada

Considered by many bodybuilders to be one of the greats of all time, Labrada's finesse on the posing platform accounts for a great deal of his success.  Unfortunately for Lee, he appeared in the era of Haney mass, so he never won bodybuilding's highest honor, the Mr. Olympia title.  Yet he is truly of Olympia status when alone on the bodybuilding stage.  The routine of Lee's I most admire shows echoes of Chris Dickerson, yet Lee had less flaws in his physique than Dickerson (though Dickerson's massive back and calves gave him the right to be Mr. Olympia).  To sum up, Lee Labrada posed his flawless physique effortlessly and beautifully in such a manner as to declare to the world that bodybuilding is indeed an art form!

 

see labrada at his best:

 

 

 

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