If you were involved with bodybuilding buring the eighties and nineties, you were most likely a fan of Rich Gaspari. His articles were particularly popular because he was a guy with genetics not quite up to the level of his competitors who, through strength of will, hard work and intelligent training and dietary strictness, became the second-best bodybuilder in the world three years in a row.
At 5’7”, Rich “The Dragonslayer” Gaspari combined thick musculature with a new level of striated leanness. As an amateur, he rose to the attention of the bodybuilding world by winning the 1983 NPC Junior Nationals and then coming in sixth-place in that years Nationals as a heavyweight. Many consider this the most competitive contest of all time, so placing behind Bob Paris, Rory Leidelmeyer, Mike Christian and Jeff Williams, all men carrying more height and size than him (and more years of training under their belts), was still impressive.
He took that lesson and realized he was built to be a shredded light-heavyweight and then cleanied house in 1984 by sweeping the light-heavyweight classes in the NPC Nationals and IFBB World Amateur Championships. In his first year as a pro, Gaspari was third in the Olympia and runner-up in the Night of Champions. He went on to nine pro wins, including the first Arnold Classic and three runner-up placings in the Olympia, with only his ex-training partner Lee Haney keeping him from multiple Sandow victories.
- Overall Winner 1983 NPC Junior Nationals
- Sixth-place 1983 NPC Nationals
- Winner Light-heavyweight Class 1984 NPC Nationals
- Winner Light-heavyweight Class 1984 World Amateur Championships
- Second-place 1985 IFBB Night of Champions (to Albert Beckles)
- Third-place 1985 IFBB Olympia (to Lee Haney and Albert Beckles)
- Winner 1986 IFBB World Pro Championships
- Winner 1989 IFBB Arnold Classic
- Second-place in three IFBB Olympias (to Haney, 1986-1988)
- Winner of nine IFBB pro shows
We thank Rich Gaspari for years of inspiration and wish him a happy birthday!