Might as well take a fatty bong-rip, because we are about to do some serious Reading Rainbow level of pretending. Let’s use our imagination for a moment, as we arrive in another dimension of the multiverse. In this dimension, bodybuilding isn’t relegated as a fringe, ridiculed subculture. In this parallel existence, the Mr. Olympia is on live on Network TV, not just a failed airing on NBCSN 3 months after it happens. Top bodybuilders in this alternate reality, make a commanding 23 million dollar contracts for various pharmaceutical supplement companies. One of the most successful bodybuilders is Kai Greene, enjoying the perks of a lavish endorsement from the Citrus Growers of America. Delightfully, the Bailey’s are relegated to obscurity. Rob spends his days trying to hustle people outside of Texaco with ‘Hustle Standard’ CDR’s and Flags of Fail shirts. You’re a 10 year old red-headed stepchild and ride your bicycle to the chain store to pick the latest pack of ‘Topps IFBB Bodybuilding Cards’. You carefully open the pack, hoping to find the prestigious ‘Hardcore Superstar’ inserts, which document some of bodybuilding’s most hardcore legends.
The entire series consists of the following Hardcore Superstars:
The OG, Original Guru – The hardcore grand-daddy himself, for his revolutionary training techniques, and uncompromising fascist nature in the gym. Famous for insulting Arnold and Franco as ‘Fat fucking pigs’ upon their arrival in America, and kicking out gym attendees for wearing shoes while doing calf work. The man who invented what we term ‘conditioning’, so ripped that he was penalized in competition for being ‘too muscular’. Vince Gironda is to bodybuilding what Iggy Pop is to Punk Rock.
Arguably the most hardcore bodybuilder to ascend with the Valkyries to the realm of Iron Valhalla. Uncompromising in his work ethic, training philosophy, devotion to the evil Ayn Rand and chain smoking of Marlboros, he set the precedent for what puny faux-hawk wanna-bes would call ‘hardcore’. In some periods of his pre-contest diet he would go as low as 800 calories, sufficing on amphetamines and will-power alone.
‘Intensity or Insanity’ was his training system and life ethos, and he embodied both leaning more towards insanity for the better part of his career. He was honest about his usage of anabolics, in which he admitted to ‘stacking’ 14 different drugs at a time- which included the gamet of steroids, amphetamines (black beauties, bennies,) followed by downers to sleep at night. He didn’t subscribe to the notion of ‘over-training’ and was known to complete 7-hour marathon workouts, every day of the week. When his training partner John Defendis was preparing for the prestigious Mr. America contest he attempted to drown him in the cold ocean water, quoted as saying ‘You should want this title as much as you want a breath of fresh air’. From gobbling a-bombs and dbols like they were tic-tacs he experienced a variety of health maladies, and had 2 grapefruit size tumors on his liver from constant abuse of orals. ‘Intensity or Insanity’ was a most fitting slogan for the man as he would spend time in a mental institution for his nefarious exploits. Michalik also resides in the halls of Iron Valhalla, where he gobbles anadrol-50 every three minutes; he died from a heart attack followed by a stroke at age 63.
There is no one more synonymous with conditioning than the deceased Austrian giant, the late Andreas Munzer; so shredded, that he ‘died for you bitches’. We will never know what Andreas Munzer’s actual ‘death stack’ was but it was hypothesized by Nasser El Sonbaty that recreational drugs, diuretics and insulin is what led to his death. He also followed a POW diet year round to possess his onion peeled glutes, and suffered immensely to achieve the look of a human anatomy chart. Munzer was a gentle and caring soul, there was nothing ‘hardcore’ about his demeanor. What solidifies his place in the kingdom of Hardcore Superstars was the sole fact that arguably, no one suffered as much as Munzer. From all collaborating reports, the diet that he followed nearly year round, most would not have the will power to endure an entire week. Furthermore Munzer’s physique embodied ‘hardcore conditioning’, we will never see the likes of another Munzer.
There is nothing ‘cool’ about the crime of murdering a young woman and her mother, yet without repute, on the spectrum of crime, it remains hardcore enough to warrant a death or life sentence (depending on what state or country you reside in). Bertil Fox was known for his strenuous high-volume, heavy-weight workouts, which earned him the moniker ‘brutal’ in the first place. A monster for the times; his densely thick chest, shoulders, traps and arms were cartoonish in appearance. Bertil Fox returned to his indigenous homeland of St. Kitts in 1997, in an attempt to start a gym with his wife. He ended up murdering her instead, along with his mother-in-law in cold blood, and then claimed ‘self-defense’. The subsequent criminal investigation would find this to be false, and currently Bertil is serving a hardcore life-sentence.
One of the biggest, most monstrous motherfuckers to ever grace a bodybuilding stage, Paul Dillet solidified his place in the legion of Hardcore Superstars for 2 reasons: His Frankenstein appearance, and his ‘Mr. Freeze’, statue imitation at the 1994 Arnold Classic. Pictures of Paul Dillet from his competitive days look so otherworldly they appear to be photo-shopped. He possessed rope-like veins on his chest that appeared almost varicose in nature, his muscle mass was unparalleled except for by the top echelon of competitors. If he only possessed better posing, he arguably could have one of the sport’s most coveted title. Above all, Paul Dillet solidified his place amongst the Hardcore Superstars by freezing / cramping at the 1994 Olympia, the complication of extreme diuretic use, at the advice of John Romano. It took four officials to haul off his gargantuan physique as the audience gasped in horror at the spectacle… truly, hardcore.
—To Be Continued In Part 2—
By: Danny Manslaughter