In bodybuilding the 60s was a decade of great progress. On every front the physqiue stanard was pushed higher than anyone dared predict would be possible.
Muscular Development on a general level became fantastic and even the second line men surpassed the development of the best in the previous decade. The 60' saw the perfection of training technique for maximum development and it was, of course the decade of dianabol. There is no question that the use of this tissue builder was a factor in raising physqiue standards so high.
As we all know, the controversies and strong feelings surrounding its use have been many and heated but its presence has been profoundly felt everywhere.
In estimating the stars of the 60s, let's begin by saying what I have considered to the criteria for choosing "super stars."
A super star is a man who has not only brought his body to a peak of muscular development, perfection of form and maximum size, but he has worked assiduously over a considerable period of time, sticking to his purpose even against odds. He has also contributed a definite factor in pushing the standard beyong limits recognized before him. He is a forceful personality and a man of solid character who has put his physique to the best use out of competition. Most of all, he is a definite "star" with that special quality that makes him an ideal for countless others and an inspiration to his fellow athletes. In the scores of fine physique men now active, not many qualify on all these points.
The first super physique star of the 60s was Reg Park. In the career of this one man British bodybuilding found its greatest impetus and enabled it to enter across a new frontier. No one could rival Reg in the early 60s.
He developed muscle size not seen before him, with sharp definition and muscularity. With the Park physique I believe we entered a new era, away from bulk alone to a realization of what a refined development the muscles swelled in their fullbodied form but were clearly defined thorughout that form. He established training instructional courses and became a leading figure in British and bodybuilding world before he became a film star. Then his influence was extended even further. A shrewd business man, Reg used his earnings to firmly establish himself in South Africa with a chain of gyms that have had a profound effect in producing some superlative physqiues in that part of the world. Now secure, Reg has continued to maintain his body to a significant degree, still a star. In posing Reg is always electrifying with a dazzling projection of physical power and personality that can grip thousands in a moment. It is not saying too much to acknowledge that Reg brought physical development to a new high by his work.
Soon after Reg, Bill Pearl entered the limelight and registered the same impact on American bodybuilding that Reg had in Britain. Bill had the foundational work of John Grimek, Jack Dellinger and others to build on, which represented a higher standard than had prevailed anywhere else in the world. Bill began there and carried that standard further in larger muscles and more perfected form. He introduced a rugged element in development with a new density and depth of muscle. Not until his peak had we ween such thickness of muscles form, solidly hard and clearly defined. By his attention to overall proportion Bill set a new goal for bodybuilders to shoot at - massive chest volume with small, sharply muscled waist and narrow hips, and fully rounded thighs and calves. Bills arms reached a size and perfection of form not realized before, with a completely harmonious relation ship between fully muscled forearms, clear-cut biceps size and triceps fullness.
The 60s have seen many areas of incredible size and muscularity since Bill's accomplishments, but I would say that the areas that have seen the most in development are the pectorals and midsection. Bill's pecs were fuller and more defined than had been common before him, and since then we have seen greater concentration and progress here.
Before the 60s, except for George Eiferman, pectorals were seldom more than gentle risings on the chest (look up some old photos). With the increase in pectoral development came a corolary heavier development of the entire chest and shoulder area, which we find common today. Bill also pushed the element of strength to the fore, being a proficient performer in feats of strength with iron bars and spikes and made us realize what the real strength athlete should be like. His performances are always models of inspiring strength and development and his personality grips an audience wholly.
Bill has extended his knowledge in the management of a series of successful gym and as a physical education consultant to industry.
Warm and outgoing, Bill has been one of the strongest influences in American bodybuilding.
Chuck Sipes has been training for over 20 years and he was active during the 50s. It was not until this decade, however, that Chuck broke his old mold of high quality and crashed into the super class these past few years. He completely reformed his body, already superlative and natively very strong and muscular. In the past few years Chuck has developed a physqiue which I think can be said to set a still higher standard. He has incredible muscle size, but the kind of definition with it that could not have been conceived of a few years ago. He has built massive arms, shoulders, chest and legs while holding a very small waist with abs that are unequalled anywhere. I know of no other man who can show such deeply defined and thick erectus muscles and obliques, with such a heavily muscles total physique. His forearms cannot be matched. In all the world there are none who can surpass him in sheer strength in any feat.
Chuck, too, has managed gyms and done much to help others, but he is now using his abilities and experience in rehabilitating delinquent youth. He is deeply religious and has the finest character of any man in the iron game; modest, generous, homeloving.
As a performer, no one can equal Chuck in spectacular physique display and as a strongman. Today no other athlete commands the respect of all to the degree Chuck does, and he has never misused his great influence. With his career Chuck has carried strength, performance and development many steps higher than they were before.
These three men are the pioneers of the 60s, having been active throughout the deacde and beginning it at a peak begun to be reached at the close of the 50s. Now let's look at the men who actually began and developed in the 60s as super stars.
A thrilling new impact was provided in the career of Larry Scott. His physique was a triumph of maximum muscular development combined with sheer beauty of form. Nothing like him had been seen before and I wonder if we will ever see his like again. At his best he had everything required of an overwhelming star in physique presentation. In addition to his marvelous body he had a personal glamor that made his body fairly glow under the lights, projecting a radiance rarely seen. Not a very big man, he was transformed on the platform into y young god, his muscles flexing with a dazzling ripple and expanding to a deep fullness that made them seem to seperate from his central frame. The quality of his muscle was resilient and vital, with great elegance of structure. He was able to exploit the development of massive and muscular arms without neglecting any other area of his body. Judging by his performances in competition and exhibition, Larry was the glamor boy of the decade. He is sorely missed. He was a peformer pure and simple and I think his lasting contribution to the advancement of the game lies solely in his personal appearance. He was certainly a man to remember for all who saw him.
Harol Poole began as a teenage marvel in the early 60s and his potential was evident from the beginning. So many youngsters show equal promise in the early stages, without having the stamina to keep with the grind of training. Harold had it. He went on from year to year, growing greater in each contest. Finally he reached the epitome of development and muscularity, to the point where it was difficult to imagine further improvement. All of these men have demonstrated that a star physique isn't developed in a year or two and that nothing can take the place of time and continuous work. Harold's physique is notable for its depth of muscle and at his best he comes close to Scott in dramatic impact on the posing platform. Few men can show his massive muscle density in trapezius, deltoids, arms and chest. Harold has a very pleasant but somewhat uncertain personality and I have felt that he has never realized the complete success that should be his. In any case, he must be recognized as one of the most muscular men of our time, a master poseur and a powerful athlete.
Rivaling Scott, too, in the hypnotic spell he is able to cast over an audience is Dave Draper. Dave is one of the very greatest of this period. His body also glows with that mysterious magic that sets the star apart from all others. Dave's arms are among the most spectacular of all time. but he has been careful to keep the rest of his body up to their high quality. The overall harmony of his arm development is breathtaking, but the full size and shape of each muscle in the arm has been realized perfectly. It seems to me that no other man has been able to achieve the high biceps peak and split along with the mammoth size Dave has, possibly excepting Boyer Coe. In recent years Dave has been able to hone down to very sharp definition and maintain his huge size, the result of the most dedicated work and intelligent training methods. His fine personality has stood him in good stead and he has proven his high general intelligence and sensitivity in a very creditable performance in films. This is a man who is certainly one of the all-time greats and a vivid personality as well.
On the basis of physical spectacle purely, one must acknowledge that Sergio Oliva is a superstar. Possibly his physique may be considered by many as the most spectacular of all, in the swelling muscle size, dramatic contrasts in the body volumes (big chest, tiny waist, swelling thighs) that no man has yet equalled. The definition is there too and the showmanship that makes a great performer. Except for pecs and legs, however, the density and hardness of muscle does not match that of Poole, Sipes or Draper.
One doesn't feel the presence of cabled steel in the ligaments, and muscle depth all the way to the bone as is true of those three men. But Oliva is a phenomenon and his appearances thrilling in the way only a great star can be.
Of the younger men, there are, to my mind, two who are already super stars, Boyer Coe and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Coe is certainly one of the most remarkable men to be developed in this country. I think the only circumstance that prevents me from thinking of him as perhaps the greatest of them all is a strange lack of development of his midsection. I cannot believe that with a body like his some method of training cannot be found to bring out the erectus, intercostals and obliques. Certainly he has exploited the differential between tiny waist and immense volume of chest and upper back, and perhaps he has chosento do this rather than add the extra muscle form of large obliques and abs. This is a very great athlete, with a body that is hard to believe even when you are looking at it, and a marvelous performer on the platform. He is a star all the way thorugh and it will be interesting to see what he does from this point.
Schwarzenegger is another physical phenomenon who has carried through on his youthful potential. He has the advantage of colossal size, always a prime factor for a physique star, but also the ability to improve on apparent perfection. He reconstructed a massively muscled body into an intensely defined one, bringing up the form in midsection and legs dramatically. He has the poise and assurance of the true star and could possibly become the most impressive men we have ever seen. As it stands, he is in a class by himself - which I suppose we must say about every super star.
It is customary in estimations of this kind to have "10 Bet". I have only nine. There are some strong contenders for a super star list, but these are the men who seem to me to most nearly fulfill the requirements. It is hard to overlook the accomplishments of athletes like Don Howorth, Chet Yorton, Frank zane, Bab Gajda and others.
Perhaps they would appear on someone else's list for reasons that I have not held in mind. In good conscience, however, I can come up with only nine super men.
To sum up, If I had to name my choice for THE star of the 60s. I would say Chuck Sipes. His total physique is ideally perfect in form and proportion, with the ruggedest muscularity of any athlete. His muscle size is stagering and his definition just beyond belief. He is the all-round strength athlete, one of the strongest men of all time and able to demonstrate his strength in every possible way. His appearance and manner make him a standout anywhere. This man is the greatest inspiration to anybody who has any feeling about physical development and high masculine character. No one can match him for complete development of the body and spectacular use of it.