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Dexter Jackson Shredded
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Dexter Jackson has been getting a lot of good press in the bodybuilding world for the past few years, and I'm here to try to objectively analyze his physique in a manner which puts things into perspective when comparing him to some of the other giant killers of bodybuilding's history.
It seems that all too often in the world of bodybuilding, "small" is automatically equated to mean "symmetrical." So naturally you have bodybuilders. The problem is that some bodybuilders who are smaller than the norm are not automatically the holders of better overall shapes than some of the larger dudes walking around on stage. Can you honestly tell me, for example, that Darrem Charles has a superior structure when compared to Chris Cormier? I would honestly say they are not even all that close. What Darrem has over Chris is the same as what Dexter has over Chris - conditioning, and the ability to consistently peak for contests. But what can be said about Dexter's structure? We know that like Darrem, he knows a thing or two (or three or four) about coming into contests in condition, but what about his structure? Let's look at a few points:
Dexter looks good, but is lacking in structure in a few notable manners. The argument that I find many ironagers (bodybuilding purists) to use to describe Arnold to be better than the current crop of pros is that he looks better in certain specific poses, e.g., the front double biceps pose. It seems that this is the pose which really speaks volumes of your shape, since any flaws will come out in it. So how does Dexter hold up? Well - I wouldn't say all that poorly, but he also isn't a knockout (compared to some of the other guys). Dexter has high and sudden lats - like a lot of pros, so this is not a big deal really. But it should keep his shape and symmetry from being mentioned in the same breath as people like Shawn Ray and Flex Wheeler. He also has somewhat of an "A" taper going on. You might notice his lats are more narrow what where they start jutting out than at the waist...this is kind of weird. Dexter also has no vacuum in this pose. Stomach distention most certainly is not limited to the mass monsters, and while Dexter does not have much distention (yet?), he has more than Jay Cutler has ever shown, despite Jay outweighing him by a good 40+ pounds. Dexter's stomach is not a vacuum in this shot as Shawn Ray's used to be, and it is flat at best. His calves are small, but like having high lats, this really isn't unusual in the pro ranks. BUT, to be known as the best of the best in the history of bodybuilding as some seem to suggest Dexter's shape is, you simply cannot have such a lagging body part. You shouldn't have weak or strong points, and this is definitely a weak one for Dexter. Likewise, his arms somewhat dwarf his chest and shoulders. Can it be possible to have a muscle which is "too big"?
You're damn right it's possible.
Like I said, excellent shape and symmetry is based on no particular strengths and weaknesses. That's just how it goes.
Now you're probably going to call me a Dexter hater - but I'm not. I definitely consider him to be top five in the world right now, and might even put him top three. It just somewhat peeves me when his shape is spoken of in such a way where it's compared to the likes of Shawn Ray and some others - this simply is not an accurate comparison. Dexter's shape is out of the top five for pros currently competing, let alone in all of history. His shape is good - but just NOT the best, not right now, or in the history of bodybuilding.
CLICK HERE TO SEE RONNIE COLEMAN AND DEXTER JACKSON COMPARE POSE FOR POSE AT THE 2003 MR. OLYMPIA CONTEST
After checking out that thread, tell me where Dexter beats Ronnie? Maybe he does, but certainly not in every pose. I'd say he only has him in the front relaxed pose, and Ronnie is far, FAR bigger. Nobody goes on about Ronnie's shape being all that great, so why do they do so for Dexter even though Ronnie can beat him basically pose for pose with a couple of exceptions?
Because he's smaller.
And that's a ridiculous reason. Small does not mean symmetrical. It might for some bodybuilders, and any given individual pro will probably look better at a lighter weight (with the exception of some guys with huge frames like Markus Ruhl, Jay Cutler, and Art Atwood), but generally a lot do look better. But this is only a personal best. Dexter's personal best symmetry might be at 230 pounds, but this doesn't mean it's automatically better than Ronnie's symmetry at 255. Therein lies the fallacy.
Photograph © MuscleTime.com. Reproduced with permission.
Dexter's condition is sick. Need I say more. See for yourself. Dexter's condition is probably among the top five in the history of bodybuilding, and there have been very few bodybuilders who have ever been able to peak the way he has for shows - THIS is why Dexter is so good. THIS is why he is top five or top three in the world. It's his unbelievable conditioning coupled with good shape (but not the best ever or current best), and his other qualities of course.
Of course, I'm willing to acknowledege that I might be wrong about this. I'm not saying there is a "correct" opinion about bodybuilding or anything. I'm just saying that Dexter, as great as he is, still has flaws which some people seem to ignore simply because he is smaller than some of the mass monsters out there today. In any case, he is a great bodybuilder and will be doing a lot of damage in the years to come.
Small also doesn't mean conditioned, but Dexter certainly is. That is why he's such a champ and world class.
Photograph © MuscleTime.com. Reproduced with permission.
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