Tony Pearson, a decorated golden era talent, retired from the sport but hasn’t stopped testing himself at the gym. In a recent Instagram post, Pearson blew fans away with a few Classic Bodybuilding poses and showed off his insane biceps peaks at 66 years old.
Nicknamed ‘The Michal Jackson of Bodybuilding,’ Pearson brought style and electric energy to the stage any time he competed. Pearson was known for his aesthetic and conditioned physique. He understood how to give the illusion of a thinner waist by pulling vacuums, which made his front double biceps one of his standout poses. During his tenure, Pearson sharpened his skills against the best of his generation, such as Lee Haney, Samir Bannout, and Tom Platz.
In the mid-1970s Pearson was discovered by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger at the famous Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, CA. After training alongside the ‘Austrian Oak,’ Pearson’s self-belief was reinforced by Schwarzenegger, who told him at a young age that he would one day become a champion of bodybuilding. As a proven force in the Open class, Pearson was successful on major stages. His best win came at the 1980 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe.
Pearson has kept an eye on the Men’s Open division since his departure. In a recent The Menace Podcast with Dennis James, Pearson discussed how the category has changed. Even though size has become prevalent in today’s climate, Pearson argued that Open Bodybuilding ‘isn’t about size’ – it’s about the muscle quality presented to the judges.
Bodybuilding Veteran Tony Pearson Flaunts Amazing Biceps Peaks at 66
Check out Pearson’s biceps peaks update below:
It’s not just Pearson who has expressed concern about the Men’s Open division. Lee Haney recently suggested that Open bodybuilders are ‘traumatizing themselves with terrible diets’ and as a result, are ’60 pounds overweight.’ Other bodybuilding stars have echoed similar opinions. Three-time Olympia Frank Zane warned athletes who rush to gain weight risk ruining their symmetry and proportions.
Bodybuilding staple Rich Gaspari agrees that athletes today are misusing food. He also believes the Open’s biggest problem is the abuse of steroid cycles. Furthermore, he contends that athletes of all divisions (even Bikini and Wellness) are taking excessive amounts of drugs instead of achieving physiques with work in the kitchen and at the gym.
Jay Cutler, one of the most recognizable faces in the sport, doesn’t like bodybuilders openly talking about performance-enhancing drugs. While he admits the public’s perception of these drugs has changed, Cutler worries that bodybuilders might lose future opportunities by speaking about the subject in an open forum.
Tony Pearson continues to draw fan praise for his shredded physique and longevity. Having commanded stages for more than 40 years, Pearson mounted a comeback in 2020. At 63 years old, Pearson won the 2020 Masters Mr. Universe title, which served as his final competition.
Given the risks in bodybuilding, Tony Pearson’s story is an inspiration to many, and the physique he developed was one-of-a-kind, which ultimately paved the way for competitors to follow in his footsteps.