Golden Era vs Modern Bodybuilding Showcases the Sport’s Evolution Throughout the Years- Here’s How

The Golden era of bodybuilding is considered to have started in the 60s and lasted till the 80s. This period is marked by some of the greatest physiques to ever grace the stage. However, modern bodybuilding is an entirely different ball game from nutrition to governance of bodybuilding itself. Let's find out.

More competition

In 1968 Mr. Olympia, Sergio Oliva won unopposed as the only contender. The only way to qualify then was through Mr. Universe, unlike the present day where there are various means. 29 people were on stage for Mr. Olympia 2022. 

No competition to IFBB

During the golden era, there were multiple competing organizations in bodybuilding like NABAA, AAU, and IFBB. Presently there is a monopoly of IFBB.

Drug usage and nutrition

Most bodybuilders in the golden era would take only anabolic steroids and nutrition simply meant having a healthy and high-protein diet. With today's advancement in both science and nutrition, bodybuilders are significantly bigger using growth hormones and counting their calories.

Aesthetics and Size

Modern bodybuilding is more about who has the bigger size. In the Golden era, there was a greater emphasis on symmetry, lines, and aesthetics. Frank Zane won three titles despite being less than 200 lbs. 

Social Media

In the golden-era, bodybuilders had limited contact with fans and looked toward gaining magazine contracts or product endorsements. With social media, there is not only more fan exposure but also additional revenue streams.

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