Camiseta Selección de fútbol de Corea del Sur by Anders JP Eskilsson

The time is quarter past 9 p.m. and it’s dark and rainy outside. I’m sitting on the gym bench in front of the mirror listening to Metallica’s welcome home (Sanitarium). I have been away from the gym for a long time and I’m now trying to get motivated and back into my training again.

After a while a young person walks by me. He is wearing a black tank top, and he has a pretty good upper body. However, I notice something peculiar; it looks like he is wearing a tightened corset, the ones women wore during the romantic movement in Europe in the 17-1800’s… Dude, what the f*ck? He walks around, enjoying every step he takes in the mirror and then walks up to the squat rack. He picks up his phone and starts taking pictures of himself, he has not even touched the bar in the squat rack yet.

I turn my head to the mirror and sigh, then get hold of the 90 lbs. dumbbells and think to myself, “what Camiseta Selección de fútbol de Estados Unidos happened to the old gym days?” and I realize that I belong to the old school people now, something I realize that I am pleased of when I think about where the culture of bodybuilding is heading. Afterwards, I switch my mind to the music of Metallica and begin my intense chest workout.

As we know – or at least those of us who began training before the new millennium – the progress of bodybuilding during this period is very questionable. The evolution of the sport is undergoing a dark period of time, one where the older generation of bodybuilders and its classical perception of the culture is diminishing day by day.

Our heroes, those “rebels against normality,” the “physical anarchists,” the ones who pushed their physiques and strength beyond the extreme, the ones who caught our attention in the Camiseta River Plate magazines, gyms, and motion pictures – the people who gave it all to become the most muscular and bad ass ripped human being walking this earth – those people are disappearing one by one.

To be sincere this saddens me, because this culture runs deep for lots of of us. Legends of the golden age of bodybuilding like Arnold and Haney and other pros helped build and reproduce this certain gym culture globally. In addition, lots of of these legends actually shaped our personalities and into the competitors we are today!

Many of us got into bodybuilding because of the icons that emerged from the 50s to the end of the 90s. Additionally, some of us didn’t have fathers growing up and they became the ideals or daddy figures to us. Bodybuilding became an escape from the darker or empty sides of life, and a doorway to a fulfilling life, and supplied a strengthening passion to hold on to and get developed from.

Bodybuilders used to become pro’s, the very top of the sport, because they gave it 100 percent effort; it was a “Rocky Balboa story” for lots of of them… and they gave it all. As a consequence of this new direction the gym culture is heading, I don’t really see any individual now – or in the future – taking the place of the legends.

The pro’s from the golden age of our culture were the formula 1 motorists of pro bodybuilding, they were the direct answer to David Schumacher, Ayrton Senna or Mario Andretti driving Ferraris, McLarens and Lotuses – winning grand prix races, breaking records, and pushing it to the absolute limit. This was what made the sport so exciting for the fans as well.

What we are seeing today is a new culture rising up and taking priority over “Real Bodybuilding.” The board short role models or the Instagram physiques who compete as so-called elites but remind me a lot more of go-karts competitors, driving half as fast on the same tracks as the real pros, but who are still generally driving on the same fuel on the F1 tracks and without breaking any records.

Under these degrading scenarios of bodybuilding we are just lucky to have people like Ramy and Justin Compton on the rise. There is, as I mentioned, a new landscape of physical ideals unfolding, a clash between the old standards and the new ones. In addition to the new standards, supporters of Men’s physique talk about the a lot more attainable physiques which attract a lot more of the so called “ordinary people” or mainstream. I say, f*ck the a lot more pleasing physiques… lots of of us got involved in bodybuilding because bodybuilders were rebels against normality. Bodybuilders were – and partially still are – the revolution against the mainstream and a boring cookie cutter society.

Retrospectively, we who experienced or lived at the same time as some of bodybuilding’s stronger decades must be pleased that we saw the stronger historical chapters of the sport, because we can reproduce what we saw and felt and maintain the culture. However, it is crucial to stay focused on real bodybuilding to make it alive.

In addition, we who live and breathe the sport of bodybuilding have to stay strong, whether it’s in a service sense, at the gym, through friendships, networking through social media, or staying connected on forums. We who are passionate about bodybuilding need to maintain and stand up for the thing that shaped us both physically and spiritually. We need to keep our inner circle strong and crucial to o turn this apocalyptic stage of bodybuilding into future gold once again.