There is an old saying in BodyBuilding It’s still relevant today: the show was won from behind.
barrel chest and tour arms Cool, but the best bodybuilders in the sport are known for them Back biceps pose that stand out ostentatious V-taper And the back line seems to be getting wider as the competition progresses.
There are countless athletes with astonishing back development, but the thirteen competitors below – listed in alphabetical order – stand out from the rest.
three times Classic Physique Olympia a hero Chris Baumstead He became a major star, with a physique that lived up to her billing. ‘CBum’ has great size, shape, symmetry and detail in its back from top to bottom, and it is wide from side to side. That’s why he’s at the top of his department and why so many people want to emulate him.
Bumstead isn’t afraid to be heavy and tough with him Ironbut machines let him Focus on the smallest details. many of his exercise The videos contain exercises such as machine rows while seated and various forms of longitude drop downShowcasing his tried-and-true approach to back exercises.
Ronnie Coleman He is always credited with his massive arms and legs, but his back He was arguably his most surprising asset on stage. It helped him achieve 26 professional wins, including eight Mr Olympia titles and 2001 Arnold Classic championship.
Coleman was best known for focusing on heavy lifts with free weights throughout his training. and his videos Rowing with an iron 500 pounds and the death Fans are still watching 800 pounds for a double decades after they were filmed.
Delay Franco Colombo He has the distinction of being a winner of Mr. Olympia and an inaugural co-host World’s Strongest Man Competition in 1977. Although he competed under 200 lbs., his density more than made up for his weight.
Colombo defended the wide fist pull ups During his back training, he was credited with lifting weights of around 750 pounds at his peak. In the 1977 movie iron pumpshowed his back (and back chain) Power to the masses when he picked up the car’s rear bumper and moved it out of the parking lot.
If you ever wanted to see an athlete designed just for him Fitness competitionsLook no further than Shanique Grant. The two-time women’s Olympia champion Physique had an unparalleled physique that she showcased through her ripped conditioning. She rode her unparalleled personality to two Olympia titles before she turned 26.
When Grant faced the curtain, her back was tapered, wide, and incredibly detailed—and her lower body matched his, making game over for anyone hoping to beat her. Haven’t competed since 2020But fans are still hoping for a comeback.
Kay Green He achieved major bodybuilding success after winning the 2009 Arnold Classic, sparking fond memories of Ronnie Coleman hitting his arsenal of back poses. Green was eight times shorter than Mr. O, but both had “wow” factors.
Greene won three Arnold Classic titles and participated in one of the The most prominent competitions In the history of bodybuilding with Mr. O seven times Phil Heath. Greene’s back development is still respected today, nearly six years after his last competition. And although his competitive future remains a mystery, he still maintains a physique that can be considered stage-worthy.
When Samir Bannout 1983 Mr. Olympia, won his wide upper back And the signature “Christmas tree” down his back were two of his notable features. But by the following year, Lee Hany With a more impressive package. He was taller, bigger and wider than Bennett – and while he was large from every angle, his back was the most prominent.
Haney won eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles from 1984 to 1991. Although his overall physique has improved throughout that time, his back is still his greatest weapon. His training philosophy was “Stimulate, Do Not Kill”, meaning that he Trainers in large quantities While using moderately heavy weights. This helped him with moves like the opposite iron shakeWho built those thick traps.
Phil Heath must have been the best bodybuilder of the 2000s. The “Gift” was also known as “Mr. Saturday Night” because he would show up for the Mr. Olympia Finals with plump muscles, ripped skin, and back slamming the door on any opponent hoping to secure the Sandow Cup from his grasp.
Heath worked with the coach Hani RambodAnd he was an advocate Rambod FST-7 the system. Doing seven sets with short rest periods at the end of his workouts helped him add a lot of volume quickly. The results spoke for themselves, with his seven titles tied for Mr. Olympia’s second-ever finish. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
[Related: The Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Muscle Gain, Weight Loss, and More]
James “Flex” Lewis He was a teenage prodigy before he became even greater 212 bodybuilders in history. Even early in his career, he would hit his back admirably which only became more impressive as the years progressed.
His coach, Neil Hill, switched up his training methods often, so Lewis’ routine never got old. He did heavy sets of six to eight reps in one week and super combinations of 20 reps the next day. Muscular confusion may or may not be real, but the Welsh Dragon’s results definitely were. Lewis retires from competition in 2022But its effect will continue for decades to come.
In the early days of Mrs. OlympiaSize wasn’t the name of the game. then, Linda Murray It came along. After six-time champion Corey Iverson retired, the more muscular Murray was considered a drastic change, and fans loved her.
Murray gracefully dominated the stage and hit her poses hard. As she turned around to get the back shots, you could see that her months of training — including endless pull-ups and chin-lifts — had paid off. She won eight titles at Olympia before calling it a career in 2004.
When Andrea Shaw Stepping up on stage at Olympia 2020, fans knew women’s bodybuilding was back. When she faced the back of the stage, clenched her fists, and led her elbows to bend her upper back, fans knew the contest was over. The following year yielded the same results, as Shaw improved on her back even more.
what lower back On another level, it’s clearly something you spend countless hours mastering in training. It’s hard to say how many Ms Olympia titles she can rack up before calling it a career, but she already has one of the sport’s best defenders in any department.
This might be the only name that leaves fans confused, but Joel Stubbs is on the list for good reason. Stubbs competed as a professional from 2005 to 2010, and while he never won a show, he had one of the biggest appearances in the sport at the time. And remember, this was when bodybuilders were dominated by the likes of Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, Marcus Ruhl, and others. group monsters.
Stubbs – who also worked as a pilot while competing on stage – measured 6’3″ and is said to have weighed about 300 pounds in the off-season. Unfortunately, he had two underdeveloped legs that prevented him from seeing victory. His most famous competition was the 2009 Mr. Olympia competition Stubbs’ career in sports is not over, though he is currently the president of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF).
Sarah Villegas She is the woman who defeated Shanique Grant for the Olympia women’s fitness title in 2020. (And she successfully defended the title the following year.) Aside from her ability to get skinnier, her muscles are a strong part of her physique. Even when she hits the front, you can see her width, which makes her waist look smaller.
Once Villegas turns around and displays the undulating details on her upper and lower back, it’s hard to follow. Expect her to maintain her reputation for having one of the best defenders in the sport as she continues to dominate the First Division.
Dorian Yates was systematic training approach. Use specific exercises, built on an overall work set to complete failure, and move on to the next stage. His “Blood & Guts” version of high-intensity workouts, along with moves like the Nautilus jacket machine and Yates rows, helped him create a back that was ahead of his time in the ’90s.
Yates’ only loss at Mr. Olympia was to Haney in 1991. From 1992 until his retirement after his sixth win in 1997, he was untouched. Frequently, he shut the door in opponents when he turned around to show off his thick, grainy back he had carved at Temple Gym in Birmingham, UK. To date, he is the only men’s Olympic Open champion in the UK.
More bodybuilding content
Check out these other bodybuilding stories from barband:
Featured image: @philheath on Instagram