Dorian Yates definitely ushered in the era of the ugly bodybuilder. The man was gifted several times with a Sandow when he looked absolutely atrocious. I don’t remember what year it was, but he came in with a torn biceps on his left arm. He had tiny knot on that arm, and his regular bicep on the other side. In a rear double biceps pose, his biceps were invisible. In his later years of winning, his gut usually preceded him onto the stage. Todays bodybuilders are definitely monsters, and they can look stunning from the front view, but turn them sideways, and there is that ugly gut protruding beyond their pecs. The midsection of a bodybuilder should be concave, not convex, it detracts from the v-taper.
Gold had no patience for complainers; he made gladiators, not big-armed girls. The son of a Jewish junkman, he'd grown up in the working-class slums of ., and he had learned to fight his battles when the Polish toughs hassled him after school. In high school, he began hanging around the Muscle Beach Weight Pen , where the giants of the day posed for boardwalk crowds that grew to the tens of thousands on weekends. Gold got big there and formed lifelong friendships, and though he was gone for long chunks of the next two decades – to the South Pacific in World War II, where he was injured by a torpedo strike, and to South America with the Merchant Marines until he quit sailing in the early 1960s – his heart was firmly docked off Muscle Beach. When the authorities shut the Pen down in 1959, declaring it a magnet for "low morality" (read: big bodies, small swimsuits, horny tourists), Gold's friends scattered to dives like the Dungeon and a new, bare-bones weight pit on Venice Beach. Gold built his gym to bring those beasts home, and charged them the sweetheart rate of $40 a year. "If you didn't have the cash, though – and a lot of them didn't – Joe would let you slide," says Drasin. "Hell, at some point or another, he supported half those guys. Paid 'em to show up and do nothing."