|The 1988 Mr. Olympia DVD - Review
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|1988 Mr. Olympia (Historic DVD) Haney wins with a perfect score in what was the largest-grossing show to date in the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. This beautifully staged contest remains a classic and all-time favorite featuring great bodybuilding stars. BUY IT NOW
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1988 Mr. Olympia DVD Review
The DVD started off with "Destiny" by Michael Gaspari playing and the weights of the competing bodybuilders was shown:
Lee Labrada - 176
Ron Love - 223
Bob Paris - 226
Robby Robinson - 217
Albert Beckles - 200
Gary Strydom - 229
Peter Hensel - 241
Ralf Moeller - 288
Shawn Ray - 201
Michael Ashley - 190
Brian Buchanan - 210
Eduardo Kawak - 215
Lee Haney - 243
Mike Quinn - 204
Samir Bannout - 205
Phil Hill - 223
Rich Gaspari - 209
Berry DeMay - 227
Luiz Freitas - 220
Rich Gaspari, Lee Haney, and Berry Demay were up first and went through the mandatory poses. Lee totally dominated the back poses and all three bodybuilders were in excellent condition. Rich Gaspari was up to his usual shredded standard. His triceps were as hard as a rock.
Berry Demay, Lee Haney, and Gary Strydom were up next. Strydom looked incredible from the front and was in excellent condition. I think he would have been top three if only his back was bigger - in fact he may have been even better than top three if his back was better. It was a well known weak point of Gary's unfortunately and when he hit the rear lat poses with Lee this weakness became incredibly clear. Gary did have a big back on an absolute scale, but not in relation to his height and frame size and not in relation to his competition. His delts were knockout though as was his hardness and conditioning.
Berry DeMey, Lee Labrada, and Gary Strydom were up. Lee may have had an aesthetically pleasing physique but for size he was a slouch compared to the other two giants in this lineup. Both in terms of height and muscularity. His conditioning and hardness was also nothing special when matched up with the two big men.
Brian Buchanan, Rich Gaspari, and Lee Labrada. Brian Buchanan had no waist. It was so small it looked almost out of place because I've never seen a bodybuilder with a waist this small before.
Lee Labrada, Rich Gaspari, and Gary Strydom were in this lineup. Gary was huge because he had both size and height and was matching up with the 5'6 Labrada and 5'8 (or so) Gaspari. Gary was said to be 6'1.
Rich Gaspari, Berry Demey, and Lee Labrada were in this lineup. Rich Gaspari was probably the most densely muscled of the three, but Berry was the biggest as he was a tall man. Both had their fair share of cover shots back in the day. Berry was pretty hard at this show but he wasn't quite up to Richie's level. But then again, who ever was?
Ralf was a tall man! 6'7 and 288 pounds. At that height he would probably need to be 350 pounds to be competitive, but could you imagine how imposing this guy would be in person? He would be so big it would be plain silly. He didn't place too well at the show, but that was just because of his height disadvantage. It would have taken him a lifetime to put on enough muscle mass to beat the shorter guys.
Michael looked good, but claimed to be drug free which was obviously a crock. I couldn't make out the lyrics of the music he was posing to, but he looked good.
Albert posed to "Hands To Heaven" by Christian Bautista. He looked awesome. He was either 50 or 58 at the time of this contest (his birth year has been highly debated on message boards). He looked awesome for any age and even explained that age is just a number and it's when you start thinking that you're old that you look old.
Brian's waist was so small it was just silly. Talk about a crazy V taper. He was 5'9 or 5'10 and 210 pounds with a waist of around 27 inches. He said he hadn't taped himself or weighed himself for six years. He said he considered it to be sort of a taboo to hear his body weight and measurements. It's been said that Brian would have placed higher if he had bigger thighs and maybe this is true. But with a waist that small I would think he would break apart doing squats heavy enough to build them! Yep, his waist was just that small! Unreal.
Berry posed to the "Back to the Future" theme music. He was big and hard and definitely deserved a top spot at this show. He had striations all over and all the trademarks of being in great condition. Berry's posing music then changed to "In the Name of Love" by U2. The crowd loved Berry and was excited to hear this song. My guess is that it was produced in 1988. They also cheered when he showed his lower back conditioning.
Rich had the same Gestalt posing routine he used at the 1986 Pro World competition. He posed to "Stereotomy" by Alan Parsons Project with lead vocals by John Miles. Rich was hard as usual and brought his body weight down to present a more streamlined physique.
Robby was 42 years old at the time of this contest and looked excellent. He had some incredible longevity in bodybuilding and competed up until the 2001 Masters Olympia.
CLICK HERE TO READ A REVIEW OF THE 2001 MASTERS OLYMPIA DVD
Mo would have been only 23 years old at the time of this contest. He looked much older (possibly due to the mustache) but was in excellent shape.
Overrated. I couldn't care less how pleasing his shape is, and yes it was very proportioned and balanced. I just disagree with him being placed ahead of greats like Mike Christian who had excellent shape but also had other things which Labrada did not: namely height, conditioning, and muscle mass. All of these things are (and should be) judged in professional bodybuilding. Labrada had a pretty physique but there was no wow factor. If he was 5'8 I would probably want to look like him but at 5'6 he was too short for my personal preference. He was an excellent bodybuilder by any standard, just not in the same league as Mike Christian. I was as surprised as Mike was wehn Mike was announced fourth behind Lee in 1987.
Peter posed to the song "Purple Rain" by Prince. He was around 5'10 and was in excellent shape. He had good size as well. For some reason he seemed shorter than he was and I'm not sure why (possibly short limbs). At 5'10, he was fairly tall for a bodybuilder. His posing music changed "We will Rock You" by Queen.
Ron had some amazing delts and a very thick back from top to bottom. He was 37 at the time of this contest and looked awesome.
Eduardo was a very mesomorphic or endo-mesomorphic bodybuilder (not sure which one). He was so thick it was scary. He had a ridiculous amount of muscle mass packed on his frame and was said to eat tons back in his day. Tom Platz noted that as some asked Tom why he didn't eat as much as Eduardo.
Bob posed to the song "Baby Can I Hold You" by Boyzone. Bob said in a brief interview that he felt he had both the size factor and the symmetrical factor. At 6'0 and 226 pounds with great lines I would tend to agree with this. He was huge and in shape. Not his best conditioning ever, but definitely a respectable showing.
Samir was looking very well for this show, but he was nothing compared to what he was at the 1983 Mr. Olympia when he won the whole show. He was on the decline at this point in his career even though he was only 33 years old at the time. He was known to talk a lot of smack back in the day and at only 50 going on 51 this year I think he should make a return to the stage with the other old timers making a comeback.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE 1983 MR. OLYMPIA CONTEST MAIN PAGE
Shawn looked good. The only difference between Shawn of 1988 and the later versions of Shawn which consistently made the top five at the Olympias would have been his conditioning. In terms of size, he definitely had some mass going on at the young age of 23.
Phil was a freak. His arms and legs were huge and he was in amazing conditioning. His biceps were incredible especially given the era he competed in. They would be more suitable on a pro stage today. Phil posed to the "Music of the Night" which was played in the Phantom of the Opera. Phil said a few words about posing music during an interview and he said he uses music to elicit an emotional response from the crowd. This I found very interesting.
Gary posed to the same posing music Lee Haney used later that night at the same show. He was hard and full and was big everywhere except for his back. He was tall and blonde and good looking much like Berry DeMey was and this resulted in many magazine covers for Gary. The crowd also loved him as a result of this. Gary's thighs were also looking thick and shredded - they were striated and had incredible separation. His waist was tiny. He looked amazing and had a well deserved top five finish. If only his back was bigger he could have taken the whole show.
Mike started off my posing to "Mighty Quinn" by Manfred Mann, lol. This was Mike's nickname in fact "Mighty Mike Quinn". He was another very mesomorphic bodybuilder who had a build for power. He had spent a lot of time in 1988 working on presenting a more streamlined package for the judges and that is exactly what he did. He looked bigger than Rich Gaspari although they were both the same height and Rich outweighed Mike by five pounds. Mike's physique screamed power.
CLICK HERE TO READ A REVIEW OF THIS DVD
Lee had huge upper body mass and a tiny waist. He was not as hard as Rich Gaspari or some of the other top five competitors, but I guess it was very hard for the judges to say no to the reigning champion with a shape such as Haney's. His genetic structure was incredible. He posed to the same music Gary Strydom had that night and the crowd enjoyed his routine. Lee's most muscular pose was out of sight.
Luiz had an excellent physique and was said by Mike Christian to be a very intense trainer. That having been said he just didn't have the size or conditioning (possibly due to lack of experience) to place highly at this show. He did look good, but the competition was deep.
The top 10 were announced to compete in the final round and then the top 7-10 were announced and were given their medals after the medals were given to those placing out of the top 10. The crowd didn't seem too unhappy with the placings and were not booing as much as I've heard them do at some other shows and past Olympia before this one.
The top six then did the mandatory poses before posing down for the crowd. They posed down to the song "Rough Boys" by Pete Townshend. The top six were then announced:
6th - Mike Quinn
5th - Gary Strydom
4th - Lee Labrada
3rd - Berry DeMey
2nd - Rich Gaspari
1st - Lee Haney
I don't feel that Lee Labrada had any right whatsoever to be placed ahead of Gary Strydom. That decision was just silly. Lee Haney was crowned champion and the crowd seemed happy with that decision. Lee's wife and son came up on stage and some Mr. Olympia music was played live.
This is a great production for those interested in old school bodybuilders. The ones today take too much of everything and are simply too big. They would do well to cut back slightly on the steroids. I like the physiques in this DVD because they seem attainable (regardless of how unlikely that may be), and also are builds that I would aspire towards. The quality of this DVD production in terms of both video and audio was excellent. The commentary was in German, so it may be of interest to those who know the language.
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