Chris Cormier and Terrick El Guindy Reveal Their All-Time Best Back and Legs in Bodybuilding History

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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

Chris Cormier mr olympia
via chris cormier instagram

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.

That same year, Chris Cormier made his Mr. Olympia debut and grabbed 6th against the dominant likes of Dorian Yates, Shawn Ray, and Flex Wheeler

His combination of giant mass and aesthetics quickly made him a future title threat. While he never won Mr. Olympia, Chris Cormier consistently placed top 5 to 8 each year. 

He claimed two prestigious Arnold Classic wins and victories at the Night of Champions and Ironman Pro. Chris Cormier’s sage insights stem from battling the top names of his era on stage.

Terrick El Guindy’s Judging Resume Across Olympia, Arnold Classic, and Beyond

terrick el guindy wikipedia
via terrick el guindy instagram

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

When selecting the best back development ever seen, Chris Cormier and El Guindy pointed decisively to 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout

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.

samir bannout Back Workout
via samir banout Instagram account

El Guindy noted Bannout’s back double biceps and lat spreads from 1983 could hardly be matched for sheer quality and beauty.

Later mass monsters like Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney built more muscularity but not the balance and elegance Bannout achieved.

Chris Cormier praised back pose maestros Lee Haney, Robby Robinson, and Flex Wheeler. But for pure artistry, Samir Bannout’s back stands alone atop the peak of bodybuilding’s history.

Quadfather Tom Platz’s Legs Considered Greatest of All Time

Tom Platz leg workout
via tom platz instagram

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.

While Chris Cormier received an honorable mention for his thick legs, he agreed Tom Platz is bodybuilding’s undisputed leg king. 

The only other names in the conversation are DeMajo and Branch Warren, but Tom Platz is nearly impossible to dethrone.

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

Today’s rising talents like Andrew Jacked and Hunter Labrada aim to replicate Tom Platz and Bannout’s formula on a larger scale – combining huge size with structural beauty.

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.

The Takeaways

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.

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Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali is a freelance writer, proofreader, English tutor, editor, and content strategist. He has over 06 years of experience, specializing in health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Before becoming a freelancer, Maqsood held part-time staff positions at various companies and agencies, including Faizi Homeopathic clinic. Maqsood became heavily involved in CrossFit and fitness after finishing his Master's degree in English at the University of Okara. You can find his work at Tikkaykhan, GetSixpackab, and other fitness and nutrition companies and media outlets.

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