|1988 Battle for the Gold Video Review
BodybuildingPro.com Bodybuilding Video & DVD Reviews Video 4 Bodybuilding Productions - Video Reviews 1988 Battle for the Gold Video Review
Victor Martinez "In the Trenches" (DVD) by MHP
|The Golden Age Of Muscle 1982/83 Mr Olympia (DVD) Mr Olympia 1982 The unforgettable Mr Olympia in the UK - including Chris Dickerson, Frank Zane, Tom Platz and Brutal Bertil Fox!
Mr Olympia 1983 Watch the amazing Samir Bannout take 1st place, beating Lee Haney, Frank Zane and many more.
Battle For Gold Includes a workout with Lee Haney, appearances, interviews and training with Lee Haney, Gary Strydom, Rich Gaspari, Samir Bannout, Vic Richards, Bob Paris, Tom Platz and more. BUY IT NOW
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The video was hosted by Tom Platz and produced by Video Four. Tom hosted it somewhat along the lines of a "lifestyles" type of production where he would detail the lives of the various bodybuilders presented on the video and take a peek into their lives and history.
First up was Rich Gaspari, who was performing flyes on the flat bench. His chest was thick and he was as hard as a rock from head to toe. He had one of the densest physiques in the history of bodybuilding and few even to this day have managed to compete with what he had achieved in this eighties hayday. He was as hard as a railroad spike, but was structurally narrow and had short stubby arms which made him appear a trifle blocky in certain poses. His height also worked against him in this regard since he was only just under 5'9 in height. Some say Rich had poor genetics for bodybuilding, but this can be looked at in a few ways: first of all, his genetics only really paled in comparison to Lee Haney and some of the other top guys of his day. Furthermore, this was only in terms of shape and ability to gain muscle size. In terms of condition and overall muscle density / hardness, and anything related to muscle quality, Rich may very well have been the single BEST bodybuilder in the history of bodybuilding. Even guys like Andreas Munzer were not too far ahead of Rich, and Andreas by every account took a pharmacy of drugs which ended up directly leading to his death. Rich on the other hand, claimed to not use diuretics, and today is going on 43 years old and in perfect health - so I would tend to believe that he wasn't a drug abuser.
Rich explained that he loved reading about nutrition and everything related to nutrition. His nutritional knowledge, coupled with his hard and heavy training, was what resulted in his hugely hard and muscular physique which pushed Lee Haney to the max in the 1980s.
Berry Demay and Samir Bannout were featured next, and Tom said that he felt Samir was the most genetically gifted of all the bodybuilders competed. Samir said that he allowed Lee Haney to take his title in 1984, but I would have to say that is a load of crap. Bodybuilders have always been making excuses for their lackluster performances throughout bodybuilding history, and Samir may have been the pioneer of that. Samir had said just prior to the 1984 Mr. Olympia Contest that he was 7-9 pounds more muscular and in his best condition ever. So unless something went drastically wrong in the days leading up to the show, Samir DID feel prepared and extremely confident. He did forecast a win. This does not sound like something a person would do who "allowed" another bodybuilder to win. Samir explained that Mike Christian was not on his mind and he didn't consider him a threat. Personally I would say that Mike Christian would definitely have been a threat to Samir during that era as they were both top tier pros at the time, so this was more of Samir talking out of his ass. I had read on the message boards that Samir was one of the first of the cocky pros who would always make predictions about their success which didn't come true.
Check out Brian Buchanan at the 1988 Mr. Olympia and his ridiculously tiny waist! This is a 27 inches in contest shape with a 54 inch chest! Think about that ratio for a second. I'm surprised the guy didn't break in half when doing 700 pound squats.
Click Here for More Photos of Brian Buchanan
The bodybuilders continued to get weighed on the scale and Tom Platz talked about each of them briefly. Gary Strydom hit the scale at 229 which is huge for a guy that shredded and during that era.
Gary looked fantastic and his chest was incredible. Gary was then shown in the gym and he took off his shirt. He was thick as hell and hard as a rock. His condition wasn't as good as Gaspari's, but that isn't saying much, since Gaspari was in a league of his own. Strydom was still ultra shredded and huge. His waist was also small given his huge size. He spoke about his training and nutrition and bodybuilding in general. Gary explained hte importance of creating and illussion in bodybuilding. You could tell he loved his physique the way he was posing it, and if I looked like Gary I would feel the exact same way. This guy looked incredible. He was also a taller dude - definitely somewhere in the ballpark of six feet tall. There was always a lot of talk about Bob Paris being a good looking guy with a pleasing physique from that era, but Gary looked just as good in my book. His chest was striated and his shoulders were full and cut. He also had mass market appeal with his blonde hair and good looks.
Check out Lee Haney and Gary Strydom sharing lat spreads at the 1988 Mr. Olympia Contest:
Corey Everson's sister showed up and explained that she enjoyed bodybuilding but wanted to preserve her femininity and still look like a woman as her body developed. I have to say that the massive female bodybuilders of today are a big turn off for me and a lot of people. Then again, it's not as though male bodybuilders of today are attractive to the opposite sex either. But to me, men look better as freaks, even if only for sideshow entertainment purposes.
Bob Paris who was 6'0 and weighed 226 pounds explained that he didn't want to have a physique which offended people in the general public. He said he wanted to attain the perfect physique. He also said that his goal was to build the perfect physique, and if that so happened to attract the attention of the judges, so be it. He said he made it his goal to win the Mr. Olympia Contest. Bob came across as a genuinely good person and seemed to be someone who would repsent bodybuilding very well. He was extremely professional and sounded like a winner all the way. These are the kinds of spokemen bodybuilding needs. Unfortunately, homosexuality is a black eye for bodybuilding to the conservative public, and Bob Paris was homosexual, although he was in the closet for a great deal of time during the 1980s. Hopefully as society matures, factors like sexual orientation will not matter when it comes to reprsenting something.
Next up, Victor Richards was shown working out in the gym. He looked fantastic and certainly appeared to be the size of many pros competing today and was well ahead of his time. My guess is if he nailed his condition and entered the Mr. Olympia contest at the time, he would have made the top five. He never did that though, and is 41 now and not likely to compete ever again. I saw a picture of him in the Spring and he was considerably down in size and likely retired from bodybuilding and steroids. Amazingly, he is the same age as Ronnie Coleman, who is still dominating professional bodybuilding.
Next up, steroids were discussed in the video. Nowadays, you would NEVER see steroids discussed in pro bodybuilding videos. Mainly because they are a huge factor in bodybuilding today. Don't believe anything you hear a pro say about steroids - they are the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR when it comes to gains in strength and size. I repeat - DO NOT BELIEVE what any pro says about steroids not being important in bodybuilding today. Bodybuilders today would not even be CLOSE to where they are without them. However, back then, steroids were not out of proportion. Today, the guys may train hard and eat big, but they also juice as heavy as anything. Back then, steroids were used more recreationally.
Rich Gaspari talked about steroids being something getting greater and greater in bodybuilding today. Samir Bannout said that the champ would still be the champ with or without steroids - this is a complete load of crap. He is completely ignoring personal response to steroids. Some respond exceptionally well to steroids but would not do as well as naturals. Likewise, the best naturals could juice themselves until they are blue in the face and not make great gains - it is HIGHLY individual.
Jean Paul Gilleaume was featured on the video and it was explained that he had passed a drug test and was natural. Jean Paul said that bodybuilding is supposed to be about health - bodybuildingbuilding and not body destruction.
It was explained that the medical community lied to the public and said steroids don't make a difference (LOL!!). Athletes realized the medical community was lying. Then the medical community changed their approach and explained that steroids DO work, but they are unhealthy.
The medical community and the media lied once - why should anyone believe them again? Maybe the medical community should read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" before they decide what statements they wish to make public.
Mike Christian was shown in the gym next. He was one of the top pros in his area and looked absolutely fantastic. He was tall (6'1) and huge. That is what it takes to project real mass - size AND height, and not just one or the other. He was training legs which he said some had pointed out as a weak point.
Samir Bannout was brought up and it was asked if he was not competing in the Olympia because Samir Bannout was competing. He laughed and said he never heard that before. He said that Samir was 5'8 and he was 6'1 - enough said. I would tend to agree that height can make a huge difference.
Lee was shown training chest and he looked excellent. He finished his set and got up and even his arms looked huge, which were a notable weak point for Haney. Both Lee and Rich (the top two) had relatively weak arms - compared to the rest of their body parts and compared to some other pros. Of course, arms are just one muscle, and it's the sum of everything and how it all looks that matters.
A lot of the bodybuilders were asked after the fact what they thought of the show (the 1988 Mr. Olympia Contest) and the remarks were generally positive and optimistic towards the future. Ralf Moeller came last place and he spoke briefly about the contest - he looked huge at 6'7 and 288 pounds, although he was in clothes, you could still get an idea of his size.
The video ended showing Lee Haney training chest. While he was strong, he was definitely not close to Ronnie in this department. I only bring this up because they get compared a lot, although generally in terms of the physique. Ronnie has him beat in terms of strength, but also for muscle size and hardness, overall condition, and arms for sure - even Ronnie's back is superior to Lee's, which was a very big strength of Lee's. Lee's chest was better however, and Lee was overall a better speaker for the sport. He had charisma and spunk that Ronnie doesn't have. Ronnie always strikes me as a guy who is shy deep down and doesn't care much for the spotlight. Lee almost appeared to be born to be in front of the camera, much like Arnold was. I think Lee would have also done tremendously well in the acting community, possibly as an action star, much like Arnold. Ronnie is a friendly guy as well, but I always enjoyed Lee speaking on video more than Ronnie. Lee is only four and a half years older than Ronnie and it's amazing to think about that because you would have to think about what damage Ronnie could have done if he got into bodybuilding earlier and peaked during Lee's era. Lee did develop very early and Ronnie was a work in progress for years - a lot of that may be genetic and unavoidable. Maybe Ronnie couldn't have been at Lee's level at his age whether he wanted to be or not.
Lee had very good things to say about Rich Gaspari - he said he did as much with his genetic potential as possible. He said he had the heart like no other. That's amazing coming from Lee, since Lee had a lot of heart as well. He said Rich had a lot more desire than pros with better genetics. Lee said that Rich was too intense and that Lee was more balanced. Lee said that sometimes Mike Christian was a killer and other times he was a pussycat - and that he would be a pussycat when he beats him in Italy at the Grand Prix event (ha).
Lee Haney said some motivatinal words and Tom Platz wrapped up the program. Tom did not have the chipmunk cheeks he had in some competition pictures. He was probably one to hold more water in the face when he was bulked up, but he looked very different in the video.
This was a very interesting and informative piece of bodybuilding history. I enjoyed it a lot more than I enjoy a lot of the newer stuff, in part due to it's rarity. I hadn't seen anything like this before. I had acquired the old tapes from Dennis Weiss of Musclemag International and thought they were great gems for my collection - I've searched for these online and can't find them anywhere. I would offer them for sale here if I knew where they were being sold, but unfortunately I do not.
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