Chris Dickerson stands as an icon in the realm of bodybuilding, not only for the remarkable feats he achieved with his physique but also for the profound impact he made on the industry as an individual.
A trailblazer in every sense, Chris Dickerson etched his name in history by becoming the first Black, Gay, and Over 40 bodybuilder to be crowned Mr. Olympia.
Standing at a modest 5’6″, he defied the conventional norms of bodybuilding that often favored taller competitors.
What makes his journey even more extraordinary is that he embarked on this path at the age of 24, a time when many believe a bodybuilder’s prime begins.
Chris Dickerson’s narrative unfolds as a tale of a relentless spirit, pushing against the odds both physically and psychologically.
He stepped into an industry where he was considered too old and too short to make an impact.
Additionally, his race and sexual orientation set him apart in a world that, at the time, was not always accepting. However, it was precisely these challenges that fueled his determination to prove everyone wrong.
“The ideal physique is one with broad shoulders, a small, tapered waist, shapely and developed legs. The neck, arms, and calves should all measure the same or close to it. It is equally important to work on your posing to show off what development you have attained to your best advantage.”
Chris Dickerson’s story is more than a testament to his physical prowess it’s a narrative of resilience, breaking barriers, and redefining the standards of success.
His impact on the sport extends beyond the stage, inspiring generations of bodybuilders to embrace their uniqueness and push beyond societal constraints.
Join us as we delve into the remarkable journey of Chris Dickerson, a true pioneer in the world of bodybuilding.
Chris Dickerson’s Age and Early Life
Born in 1939 as one of three triplets in the vibrant heart of Alabama, Chris Dickerson entered the world amidst a backdrop of historical significance.
His mother, Mahala Ashley Dickerson, emerged as one of the most inspirational figures for African Americans during that era.
Mahala Ashley Dickerson, a lifelong friend to the iconic Rosa Parks, left an indelible mark as the first black female attorney in Alabama.
Her achievements extended further as she became the second black woman admitted to the Indiana Bar in 1951.
This trailblazing woman not only shattered glass ceilings but paved the way for future generations.
Growing up in the presence of such a formidable figure undoubtedly had a profound impact on Chris Dickerson’s early life.
From his mother, he gleaned invaluable lessons — that regardless of one’s race or gender, determination could overcome any obstacle.
In the crucible of the racially charged atmosphere of the time, Chris Dickerson learned firsthand the importance of resilience and unwavering determination.
His mother’s achievements became a beacon of inspiration, showing him that while societal norms might present obstacles, they need not be insurmountable.
As a young Chris Dickerson navigated the formative years of his life, he absorbed the ethos of perseverance and the belief that individual determination could break down barriers.
Little did the world know that this Alabama-born boy would go on to redefine standards in the world of bodybuilding, leaving an enduring legacy that transcended the confines of the stage.
Chris Dickerson Height and Weight
Chris Dickerson, standing at a modest 5’6″ (167.5cm), defied conventional norms in the bodybuilding world.
In an industry often dominated by towering figures, Chris Dickerson proved that stature is no limitation to greatness.
Weighing in at a competition-ready range of 185 to 195 lbs (83.9 to 88.5 kg), Chris Dickerson showcased the remarkable results of his disciplined training regimen and unwavering commitment to his craft.
His physique, sculpted to perfection within these weight parameters, stood as a testament to the meticulous balance between muscle mass and aesthetic proportions.
Chris Dickerson’s Plan Diet
In the realm of bodybuilding, where success is intricately tied to the fusion of intense training and meticulous nutrition, Chris Dickerson stood out not just for his physique but also for his unique dietary approach.
Unlike some of his contemporaries who favored a more natural and ‘whole’ diet, Chris Dickerson embraced the power of supplementation as a key strategy to attain his goals.
He viewed over-training as a significant challenge, often attributed to a lack of understanding about proper dietary management among many aspiring bodybuilders.
Chris Dickerson’s dietary regimen was marked by a scientific precision that set him apart. He delved into the intricacies of amino acids, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin E, and other essential elements, meticulously measuring out the exact nutritional components needed to sculpt his desired physique.
His approach was not about listening to his body alone instead, he immersed himself in the science of nutrition, gaining a profound understanding of how each element contributed to his body’s development.
This objective and scientific approach to his diet played a crucial role in his success.
It propelled him to dominate the Mr. Olympia stage in 1982 at the age of 43, a feat that underscored his mastery over not just the weights in the gym but also the intricate balance of nutrients that fueled his body to outshine competitors with youth on their side.
Chris Dickerson Workout Routine
His approach emphasizes simplicity and the use of free weights, dismissing the importance of machines in his training philosophy.
Chris Dickerson believed in the efficacy of free weights, stating that they are unmatched in building the necessary foundations for championship-worthy physiques.
According to him, this style of lifting was crucial for laying the groundwork for a sculpted and powerful body.
A notable aspect of Chris Dickerson’s workout routine was his bench press regimen.
Reportedly, he would set up a bench with 400 on the bar, performing numerous repetitions.
This approach allowed him to effectively engage his muscles with a heavy weight while maintaining proper form, showcasing his commitment to finding a middle ground between intensity and technique.
In keeping with the principle of simplicity, Chris Dickerson focused on basic exercises, aiming to develop his body from the inside out.
He prioritized foundational strength before concentrating on the “cosmetic” aspects of his physique. This approach reflects his belief in taking the time to build a solid foundation before making any adjustments.
Patience was a key aspect of Chris Dickerson’s philosophy, encouraging individuals to sculpt their bodies gradually and methodically.
In summary, Chris Dickerson’s workout routine is characterized by a strategic blend of high-rep and low-rep exercises, an emphasis on free weights, and a commitment to building a strong foundation before refining the aesthetic aspects of his physique.
His dedication to simplicity, patience, and balance in training provides valuable insights for individuals seeking a well-rounded approach to bodybuilding.
Chris Dickerson Bodybuilding Career
Chris Dickerson embarked on his bodybuilding journey in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) in 1979, defying conventional expectations by entering the sport at the age of 40.
Most athletes in the bodybuilding world would consider this age for retirement, but for Chris Dickerson, it was a time to pursue his dream of becoming Mr. Olympia before hanging up his competition shoes.
His debut in the Olympia was challenging, landing in 6th place. However, Chris Dickerson viewed this setback as a temporary obstacle and remained undeterred in his pursuit of the coveted title.
Despite competing against bodybuilders in their prime, he maintained the belief that he could achieve victory.
One of the defining moments in Chris Dickerson’s career occurred in the 1980 Mr. Olympia held in Sydney, Australia. A surprise entry by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger added an unexpected twist to the competition.
Post-competition controversy arose when the Australian Bodybuilders Association (ABBA) believed Chris Dickerson deserved the victory and awarded him the winner’s trophy in defiance of the IFBB.
However, Chris Dickerson sought an undisputed win with the judges’ unanimous decision, setting his sights on the next Olympia.
Despite contemplating retirement, an encouraging conversation with Canadian official Winston Roberts convinced him to persevere. Roberts told him that quitting would only make it easier for others, motivating Chris Dickerson to give it one final push.
In 1982, at the age of 43, Chris Dickerson achieved his long-cherished goal and became Mr. Olympia.
This historic win marked him as the first black and gay competitor to claim the title, and he was also the oldest individual at that time to hold the prestigious Mr. Olympia title.
After accomplishing his primary objective, Chris Dickerson retired from competitive bodybuilding, leaving an indelible mark as one of the sport’s most influential figures.
Despite hanging up his competition shoes, he made a return in 1994 for one last dance, winning the Olympia in the Masters’ 50+ category.
Chris Dickerson’s legacy extends beyond his victories. His advice to “invest your time in education, do what your body tells you to, and do your absolute best to avoid injuries” reflects his commitment to holistic well-being and long-term success in the sport.