So, we had some fun by posting this on Instagram:
Here are some of our favorite responses:
Hamilton inspired a lot of women to hit the weights back then, or at least try to do a few chin-ups. According to an Entertainment Weekly story at the time, she trained three hours a day, six days a week, and could bench press a whopping (?) 85 pounds. She later admitted to smoking cigarettes the whole time.
Today, most would think of her as "toned" but painfully thin. But in 1991, seeing that much muscle on an actress was shocking to the average theatre audience. Hey, whatever gets more women to lift weights.
Wonder if he rented Pumping Iron or Conan the Barbarian first? Wonder if he got frustrated when he tried to hit the pause button when Valeria took off her top, but the stupid VCR took five seconds before it paused the scene, and it took ten tries to stop it at just the right point? No, just us? Okay.
Fun fact: 20% of people wore these because that's what football players and pro-bodybuilders wore at the time; 10% because they allowed for freedom of movement; 70% so they could skip leg day.
Ah, Hot Stuff. This was a junky kitchen-sink formula rumored to contain methyltestosterone, a form of orally absorbable testosterone. As the legend goes, the supplement maker spiked the first batch to generate word-of-mouth marketing, then removed the "good stuff" from later batches. Another story is that the company started the infamous hidden ingredient rumor themselves. No one seems to know for sure.
Back in those days, there were no supplement companies making ephedrine or ephedra-based fat burners. So what you'd do is roll into a truck stop and buy "uppers" over the counter. The truck stops would sell out. Bodybuilders, high school football players, and housewives would buy the whole lot, often reselling them for a profit. The other two parts of the stack were caffeine and aspirin.
What the heck is a Sears catalog? Well, young Padawan, before there was Amazon, there was Sears. The mail-order catalog weighed 200 pounds, and everyone had a copy in their house. If you were a curious 13-year old boy, you'd secretly flip to the bra section and practice being a man. You see, the internet hadn't been invented yet. But where there was a willie, there was a way.
Just say you were a drug dealer, Karina.
Remember how the original ads said that compact discs didn't scratch like records and never skipped? Yeah, that was a dirty lie.
Say your prayers, take your vitamins, and you will never go wrong, the Hulkster said. Wonder if the box came with little plastic D-bol tablets? Also, what is this "cassette" of which you speak?
For those who don't know, T Nation began as Testosterone. It launched in 1998 as a website, but we did put out a few paper magazines along the way. For those who don't know, "magazines" were these things that looked like someone printed out parts of the internet. Weird, right?
Now, without saying how long you've been lifting, tell us how long you've been lifting. Comment below!