Former pro bodybuilder Chris Cormier and current IFBB judge Terrick El Guindy recently engaged in an insightful debate on the competitors with the best back and leg development ever.
Drawing from decades of experience analyzing physiques, they provided their elite lists across both categories. As an iconic competitor in the 1990s and a respected analyst today, Chris Cormier offers an invaluable historical perspective.
His credentials as a top pro who battled legends like Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates lend unique credibility. Combine that with El Guindy’s trained judging eye, and you have the recipe for a compelling bodybuilding discussion.
Let’s examine Chris Cormier and El Guindy’s selections for the greatest backs and legs displayed on the Olympia stage.
Their choices reveal much about how the sport’s ideal physique has evolved from the days of aesthetics to today’s mass monsters.
Chris Cormier’s Background as a Top 1990s Professional Bodybuilder
Before becoming an expert commentator, Chris Cormier had an impressive career as a Men’s Open competitor in the 1990s. He burst onto the scene by placing 4th at the 1994 Arnold Classic in his second pro show.
Terrick El Guindy’s Judging Resume Across Olympia, Arnold Classic, and Beyond
Rounding out the bodybuilding brain trust is Terrick El Guindy, one of the IFBB Pro League’s leading judges. He has been critical in selecting winners at the pinnacle Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic contests.
El Guindy also oversees judging education, implementing improved training and accountability for judges. His wealth of knowledge on physique assessment makes him uniquely qualified to identify the sport’s top specimens.
Combined, Chris Cormier and El Guindy have the ideal blend of firsthand experience and analytical skills to weigh in on bodybuilding’s best attributes.
Let’s review their picks for the greatest backs and legs.
Samir Bannout’s Aesthetic Back Named Greatest of All Time
Nicknamed “The Lion of Lebanon,” Bannout is overwhelmed with aesthetically breathtaking lats, traps, and rear delts.
According to Chris Cormier, Bannout’s back looked too perfect to be accurate when he first witnessed it as a young bodybuilder. The striated Christmas tree combined with full, sweeping lats and 3D delts defied belief.
El Guindy noted Bannout’s back double biceps and lat spreads from 1983 could hardly be matched for sheer quality and beauty.
Quadfather Tom Platz’s Legs Considered Greatest of All Time
Regarding the most significant and shredded legs ever to grace the stage, the consensus pick was Tom “Quadfather” Platz. With quads exceeding 30 inches, Platz redefined leg training in the 1980s.
El Guindy argued Tom Platz sits in a class of his own when combining endless mass with diamond-like cuts. Even as current pros push leg size to new levels, Tom Platz did it decades ago with superior shape and separation.
According to Chris Cormier and El Guindy, today’s bodybuilders lack a dominant leg specialist like Tom Platz or even late-era Ronnie Coleman. They believe Nick Walker specifically needs more flaring quads to reach greater heights.
The Ideal Physique Balance Continues Evolving
Looking at Chris Cormier and El Guindy’s choices reveals how the perfect bodybuilding physique has progressed.
Bannout’s back exemplified the height of shape and proportion but was dwarfed in muscular size compared to today’s behemoths.
Tom Platz set the bar for leg development that few have reached since, relying more on roundness and striations versus overloaded mass.
As the sport has moved toward sheer bulk and heavyweights like Big Ramy, the standards for balance keep shifting.
But Chris Cormier and El Guindy prove true quality endures above any era. Samir Bannout and Tom Platz didn’t just dominate in the 1980s – their physiques represent aspirational paragons for all time. Identifying bodybuilding’s future ideal will require a blend of old and new.
The Next Generation Seeks to Balance Mass and Aesthetics
Andrew Jacked and Hunter Labrada possess shapes and proportions reminiscent of the Golden Age built upon modern 300-pound muscle. As the legends debate the ideal physiques of the past, the future could see the reemergence of aesthetics.
The winners continue pushing the boundaries of physical development. But the blueprint of what transcends any era is etched clearly in Chris Cormier and El Guindy’s historical selections.
Honoring the perfect backs and legs that came before might hold the key to tomorrow’s champions.
Chris Cormier and Terrick El Guindy’s assessments of the best back and legs provide invaluable perspective into bodybuilding’s pinnacle achievements.
While such greatness can never be replicated, identifying these past masters gives context toward sculpting future Mr. Olympia winners.
The ideal physique will keep evolving but always build upon irreplaceable icons like Samir Bannout, Tom Platz, and others. As today’s rising standouts strive for their glory, lessons from history will guide the path.
Bodybuilding’s following all-time greats surely await – but not without remembering those who defined the pursuit of ultimate excellence over decades.