In the early 1990's competitive bodybuilding was reaching its peak with a competition that was not only full of talented competitors but the media was saying it was full of drugs as well. The new era of competitive professional bodybuilding was presenting a new way that the athletes started presenting themselves on stage.
It set a new era in the constantly changing world of bodybuilding as new standards were being set every day re-establishing its continued evolution that started to show the staggering size of the competitors which was combined with the razor cuts that come with showing a minimum of body-fat.
This razor sharp cuts that were being presented together with an enormous amount of muscle had never been seen before only can come from cutting edge dietary perfection in peaking for a show at exactly the right time. It was the proportion, symmetry and depth of a new competitor that started to win called Mike Ashley, which started off the new era in bodybuilding.
Mike Ashley won the IFBB World Championships, not only winning his division which was the light-heavyweight but also taking the overall title presenting a new refined look not seen for a long time. He went on to win the Nationals as well in 1986, but Mike was just getting started as he went on to win the 1987 IFBB Detroit Grand Prix.
He reached the top ten professional bodybuilders in the world by winning the coveted and probably the largest pro bodybuilding contest called the Arnold Classic in 1990. The difference with Mike's rise in the pro bodybuilding world is that he constantly claimed to be 100% natural.
Mike insisted that he would never use performance-enhancing drugs of any sort. Winning as a professional bodybuilder the hard way was eventually the reason why he retired from professional bodybuilding. Mike was in a class of his own and will always be remembered as a natural bodybuilder who made a difference.
Some experts say that he just had good timing as he entered when size was not the winning issue in bodybuilding shows which is why he was able to win without taking steroids. However there is more to the reason why Mike won those titles when he did and it was the shift in the emphasis on size.
Just as many fans suspected he would Mike placed out of the top ten in the 1991 Arnold Classic, which is what prompted his retirement. It is unfortunate that such a gifted and talented competitive bodybuilder never won the Mr.Olympia title as he certainly had the physique to hold that kind of title.
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