Frank Zane vs. Markus Ruhl

Frank Zane (classic bodybuilder) next to Markus Ruhl (current).


  1. Which look do you prefer if any?
  2. Is there such a thing as too big?

Submit your comments in the box below.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

P.S. - I don’t have the information on who created this photo. But I’d be more than happy to give credit where credit is due.  I just can’t find a source.  If there is one, I’ll update this post to reflect that fact.

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31 Responses to "Frank Zane vs. Markus Ruhl"

  1. Trey:
    July 23, 2009 05:57 am

    I prefer classic bodybuilders. Frank Zane and Arnold are my favorite bodies.

    Leave a reply  
  2. Kevin:
    July 23, 2009 12:01 pm

    Zane – it is classic, achievable, attractive, and you can find clothes that fit. The attraction of a physique like Markus' is like the attraction of a car wreck.

    Leave a reply  
  3. tomtrav:
    July 28, 2009 07:19 am

    I prefer the classic look which has a much more helathier appearance than markus Ruhl's. I think the definition and proprtions are great but the classic look has the appearance of a greek statue carved out of marble. I also think the current look puts a lot of people off bodybuilding.

    Leave a reply  
  4. katherinehess:
    August 03, 2009 06:59 pm

    As a 50-year-old woman, I'm certainly not commenting on which I would rather be – I'll never come close to even the “classic.” And for my preference, I'm not sure that even Frank Zane isn't too big. I will admit to being completely biased against visible veins. And I suspect that there's more to the “perfect” body than having big biceps/pecs/etc. Could be wrong, but shouldn't the optimum include a balance of flexibility, stamina, speed, and maybe other aspects?

    or maybe I'm confusing “health” with bodybuilding….

    Leave a reply  
  5. Marc David:
    August 03, 2009 07:49 pm

    Bodybuilding in many regards, is not healthy. But YOUR perspective on this is much appreciated. I desperately hoped a female would post their personal point of view on this one. There's no right answer here just opinions which I'm gobbling up like a kid in a Powell's Candy store.

    Leave a reply  
  6. Jay:
    August 31, 2009 01:30 am

    Classic is definately preferable, modern drug enhanced bodybuilding is a truely gross caricature and in no way shows how beautiful and healthy the human form can be

    Leave a reply  
  7. massmuscletips:
    September 19, 2009 01:55 am

    I prefer the classic bodybuilder.
    Frank Zane is perfect.
    I like the bodybuilding old school.


    Leave a reply  
  8. Paula:
    September 20, 2009 04:51 pm

    I like the classic look much better. The “Modern” body builder just looks gross and unreal.

    Leave a reply  
  9. On a limb with Claudia:
    September 20, 2009 04:53 pm

    Frank Zane is one of my original childhood crushes. He's just very yummy!

    Leave a reply  
  10. lessonsinhealth:
    September 20, 2009 04:54 pm

    I prefer the Frank Zane look! Although, the other guy certainly looks like a Superhero!
    Marco-Lessons in Health

    Leave a reply  
  11. billyjacktnt:
    September 20, 2009 09:28 pm

    Frank Zane. Before him, Steve Reeves. It's been downhill since then!!! The Classic look will never go out of style.

    Leave a reply  
  12. Weight Gainer:
    September 27, 2009 07:34 pm

    its funny how people believe that classic body builders were only good. Even today we can find many good body builders, but since they are not the first ones to enter this field they are getting due respect which is sad. Arnold was defintely good but we should also promote new kids on the block to make it big and nice in the body building arena

    Leave a reply  
  13. kimmorrissey:
    October 24, 2009 07:04 am

    I met Frank, and spoke to him often back in 1974, when I trained at the first Gold's gym. He was also a judge at my win in the Mr.Eastern USA in 76.As we have a similar body type, this is what Frank shared with me.He said, Ï've won with steroids and without. In competion, no one is coming on stage to measure your arm. You might be a little heavier and certainly stronger, but a great defined physique is the goal.”After 40 years of being in and around the bodybuilding world, I beleive the exagerated physiques of the drug guys today appeal only to other drug guys and impressiionable 16 year old boys looking for super heros.These guys won't be buffed and enjoying the bodybuilding lifestyle at 68 years old, like Zane, Draper, and certainly the late, great Vince Goironda, who was instamental on both Zane and Draper. Zane was a key holder at Vinces gym in N.Hollywood.I trained there myself in the mid 80's.The bodybuiding lifestyle is just that.A lifestyle that promotes good health, strength, dissapline, and mental growth.The drugged out bodies of the pros today will not live to be the great men of tomorrow, and will enevidably find prison food not to their benefit or good to their palate or physiique! See my site at ( am the author and conduct seminars with references from the Rath Foundation, Mayo Clinic, Ron Kosloff, Vince Gironda, Dave Draper, and others.I appreciate the fine work of the WNBF and Lift For Life, and all the guys like you that promote natural bodybuilding.We are saving the sport from sure destruction and giving it a healthy, respectable future! keep the pump!, Mr.Kim Morrissey

    Leave a reply  
  14. Patricia:
    November 13, 2009 05:50 pm

    My preference definitely goes to Frank Zane. Current bodybuilders look simply bizarre. If I ever saw somebody like Ruhl on the street, I'd probably stare, and not in admiration.

    Leave a reply  
  15. dmurf:
    November 19, 2009 02:44 pm

    Frank could only compete as a top natural today a stunning symetrical look although he used steroids i would like to think with modern supplements and a good understanding of diet and training this could be acheived with his ecto meso genes he truly is one of the greatest and proof that size is not as important as condition , he is simply the greatest

    Leave a reply  
  16. Mike:
    January 27, 2010 04:27 am

    I would rather have the body of Markus Ruhl. Frank is WAY too small and he has chicken legs. Classical bodybuilders are OK, but are way too underdeveloped. Even Arnold had chicken legs. I prefer Jay Cutler, Ruhl, and Ronnie Coleman. Modern bodybuilders are way Better.

    Leave a reply  
  17. Moira:
    May 01, 2010 10:53 pm

    Much prefer Zane. Speaking from a female perspective. I like muscle and I like a lot of it. But today's bodybuilders are in danger of looking like carictures of what a man should be. They look bubbly. Like bubbles gone wild. No offense.

    Leave a reply  
  18. AKA Trex:
    December 07, 2010 05:29 am

    I prefer Zane’s Look.

    Markus Ruhl has Won how many O’s?

    Leave a reply  
  19. guest:
    January 13, 2011 07:11 am

    Zane is in complete symmetry, the other guy is a steroid freak.

    I worked as a camera operator once at a body building competition that Ruhl was the winner of. That was a horrible experience. The smell backstage was staggering, a nauseating mix of steroid laced sweat, testosterone, sudden tanning and oil sprays, and the gas produced by these freaks who had eliminated the water in their bodies with diuretics and couldn’t stop farting.

    They all acted weird, too. Another side effect of massive steroid use, and the fact that they are a bunch of body dysmorphic, self loathing overcompensating losers.

    Sorry to put such a fine point on the thing. That being said, it’s time I went back to the gym and hit the weight pile.

    Leave a reply  
  20. Radaral:
    January 24, 2011 10:54 am

    The guy on the left I’m sure did and still does get laid alot more than the guy on the right. although it’s pretty amazing how big humans can get. though he’ll probably have really bad heart and liver problems by the time he’s 40.

    Leave a reply  
  21. Teerex:
    May 18, 2011 10:30 pm

    There should be a competition; “how big CAN you go”, or is this modern bodybuilding just that, only mass matters? I think it’s interesting to see, what are the limits of human body, even that it has nothing to do with the healthy sport, but these people know what they are dealing with, and therefore it’s their decision.

    Leave a reply  
  22. Teerex:
    May 18, 2011 10:30 pm

    There should be a competition; “how big CAN you go”, or is this modern bodybuilding just that, only mass matters? I think it’s interesting to see, what are the limits of human body, even that it has nothing to do with the healthy sport, but these people know what they are dealing with, and therefore it’s their decision.

    Leave a reply  
  23. Mrbrisvegas:
    July 15, 2011 11:36 am

    Fact 1.  Most women are much more attracted to wealth and status than to looks.

    Fact 2. Heterosexual women have a very strong preference to men who are a bit taller than average (6′-6’3) and relatively lean (BMI 23-25). This excludes all bodybuilders.

    My advice to any male who wants an attractive female partner is concentrate on becoming successful rather than pumping iron.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Greg:
      February 19, 2012 07:53 pm

      I wonder where you got those ” facts” from ?? Sounds like you just made them up, out of insecurity.
      I’ve seen MANY pics of Frank Zane with beautiful women, and he was NEVER ” Rich ”
      I guess looks are more important than money, so i guess you better hit the Gym, pal

      Leave a reply  
  24. tod:
    August 12, 2011 02:50 am

    ever seen ronnies pot belly? its disgusting, any classical bodybuilder would laugh at it…..

    Leave a reply  
  25. tod:
    August 12, 2011 02:51 am

    70s and 80s bodybuilders like zane and arnold looked way better than todays mass monsters.

    Leave a reply  
  26. Ron:
    September 21, 2011 06:06 pm

    Frank Zane actually looks good but Ruhl look like crap

    Leave a reply  
  27. muscles blogger:
    November 04, 2011 02:59 pm

    We, ordinary people can never understand these bodybuilders as Markus. I do not want to be like Markus, but it can be respected for his work and dedication. He is one of the best in the world of bodybuilding.

    Leave a reply  
  28. Brian:
    June 09, 2013 05:12 am

    Frank Zane Hands down.
    Markus is Big but who want to be that big &ungainly when too much muscle would have the limited mobility of an obese person. There are a few modern bodybuilders that have the classic look eg Flex Wheeler. The others mostly are really big & looking at them they have bit tits and roid guts. Since when is that nice?

    Leave a reply  
  29. Johnny:
    August 13, 2013 11:56 am

    Horribly unfair comparison. You’re comparing Frank Zane, the “aesthetics guy” of his generation to Markus Ruhl, the most ridiculous mass monster yet (who just about everyone considers a freal), just for the purpose of making a point.

    Not all modern bodybuilders look bad. If you were to pit an old-time mass monster (say, Sergio Oliva) against a modern aesthetics guy like Dexter Jackson or Flex Wheeler, then I bet the results would be a little less skewed.

    Bob Paris > Zane > Ruhl IMO

    Leave a reply  
  30. Michael:
    August 30, 2013 04:55 pm

    Frank Zane had & has one of the greatest physiques in bodybuilding. Please do not underestimate the fact that he is an extremely muscular well built man, but not oversized.

    Bodybuilding should mean wellness & Zane epitomises this. He has a beautifully sculptured physique and to the person who brought into the equation “Is this what women want?” who cares if that’s what women go for or not, it’s irrelevant! I bet a woman would rather go for man that has it all and a nice physique, than a couch potatoe slob who earns £250k per anum, but has his butt glued to the sofa at feeding times and can’t run around the park with his kids without his life expectancy being unexpectedly cut short due to coronary disease, hight blood pressure and diebetis.

    Hmmm even at 70 Zane is looking more & more attractive by the minute than the fat lobster lounging around many a homemakers living room.

    I’d rather be fit healthy and single, than fat unhealthy and married!

    Leave a reply  

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