Bodybuilding veteran Rich Gaspari has remained an exemplary ambassador for the sport since retirement. In a recent Instagram post, Gaspari took issue with the calf muscle development of modern athletes and recommended donkey calf raises for better gains.
Rich Gaspari was renowned for his insane conditioning levels as an IFBB Pro Men’s Open competitor in the 1980s and 90s. He boasted an impressive package exhibiting refined muscle detail and striations. He established his status as a perennial contender with three runner-up finishes in the Mr. Olympia competitions against the likes of eight-time champion Lee Haney, IFBB Hall of Famer Lee Labrada, Tom Platz, and Robby Robinson. In 1989, Gaspari made history by becoming the inaugural winner of the Arnold Classic.
Gaspari isn’t a fan of the way the Open division has evolved over the years. He believes the physiques have changed dramatically since the 90s. When comparing Open with Classic Physique, he sided with the look of reigning four-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead over modern Open athletes today like Nick Walker or Big Ramy.
Following the crowning of Hadi Choopan at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Gaspari bashed the freshly minted champion’s conditioning levels by comparing his back to six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates. He argued the competitors of his era exhibited a harder look. He offered a detailed breakdown of the comparison and doubled down on his stance by calling out Choopan to bring back a drier look a few days later.
Rich Gaspari believes the Open division may be overdependent on using drugs to sculpt their packages as opposed to relying on quality training and diet. As of late, Rich motivated his fans with a strong message on workout intensity. He talked about the importance of incorporating intensity techniques to get optimal results.
Gaspari opened up on the steroid cycles he used during his days of competing on stage. He explained how bodybuilding cycles changed over time with the regulation of certain substances, which resulted in the growth of black markets. While many compounds are still used, it’s the higher dosages that Gaspari took issue with.
Rich Gaspari shares a calf exercise for muscle growth
In a recent Instagram post, Rich Gaspari criticized the calves of contemporary bodybuilders and recommended using donkey calf raises to boost muscle growth in the area.
“Donkey calf raises was the main exercise I used to build my calves training them 3 times a week,” he wrote. “Back then there weee no Donkey calf machines so I used a weighted dip belt along with two people on my back. I did drop sets to continue hitting my calves doing reps of at least 15 then dropping doing 15 then dropping with just the weight from the dip belt to failure to really burn out my calves.
“It seems athletes don’t focus on calves anymore?” Gaspari wrote.
Rich Gaspari often gives advice on health and training on his social media channels. He warned bodybuilders about the risk of using harsh diuretics and extreme dehydration. He weighed in on the widespread use of steroids in the female Bikini and Wellness divisions last week.
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Looking ahead, Gaspari is focused on longevity. He revealed the anti-aging peptide stack he’s currently utilizing to enjoy an improved quality of life.
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