Bodybuilding: What Is Wrong?
Call me old school or nostalgic, but I sure do miss the days of Arnold, Franco, Lou, and Zane. Bodybuilding has lost it’s way and it is very sad to see what is going on these days. The days of characters like Arnold who was like a mischievous kid and a host of other characters has long since passed. Now you have a bunch of guys who are more vanilla. They look amazing(by today’s standards), but there is little in the way of personality. I tend to like quieter and humble guys, but you also need the loud and cocky guys like Arnold to make it compelling. The Kai Green and Phil Heath feud was borderline ridiculous. It looked strained and childish to be honest. Kai is colorful and Phil isn’t exactly on that par. He is kind of like Floyd “Money” Mayweather; cocky to the point that many don’t like him, but he is so damn good, it’s hard not to appreciate him. We need to change a few things for bodybuilding to ever be appreciated by the mainstream.
Stop Rewarding Freak Show Physiques
I love watching these crazy physiques get developed. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see insane stuff, but I think that is a dangerous game to play. It used to be a huge arm was 20″ back in the day. Now, huge is 23″. That’s absolutely crazy the difference in size; it’s literally a big thigh on a woman. I was joking with my buddy the other day that I wasn’t sure if some of these guys could wipe their own ass! I am being serious. I am not small at 5’9″ and 255 lbs at 10% body fat. But I saw a few of these guys up close at the Olympia Expo and it’s just too much. This isn’t just genetics either. I have pretty solid genetics to get big, but I am nowhere near that size. I am not dumb and the only real difference is that I won’t take that amount of chemicals EVER! I have more to live for than just being the “big guy.” Until the judges start getting back to 3 things- 1) Symmetry 2) Size 3) Conditioning, in that order, bodybuilding will continue to be a fringe sport.
I hate seeing guys win bodybuilding shows who present incomplete physiques. Every muscle group should be fully developed and in balance. That is true symmetry. Guys will get rewarded for having a tiny waist, but lack tricep and calf development. That isn’t completeness. People will say a certain guy has great symmetry and I will say, his calves suck. They say who cares? I say “I do because that isn’t symmetrical based on the ideals the sport started on.” Not to mention all the site injection oil that is so obvious. I think it’s ugly anyway and way too obvious. Size is key too, but it has to be in balance. When I look at Big Ramy, I see a massive set of thighs, but his physique looks so out of balance. Heath has it all and that’s why he wins. Until the day of the Mass Monster fades, bodybuilding will die a slow death. Conditioning to me is a bit over rated, especially at the lower levels. You see guys who are shredded, but have the taper of a protein bar win shows. They have neither size nor symmetry, but they win because the are “peeled.” These same guys show up at Nationals and get spanked because they compete against guys who have all 3 qualities.
This stuff needs to just go away. So many guys use it and to me, they should be punished for using it. It would be no different than getting a bunch of implants and then going onstage in my book. It’s not your work, it’s just oil making you look complete. You can often see two tell tale signs of it’s use. 1) The whole body is striated except the area(s) in question. 2) There are some really out of balance body parts that look oddly shaped. It should be an absolute zero tolerance policy. If it even looks like it, it should be an instant DQ. If you get caught doing it again, you should be banned. I am not sure how that will affect the sport of bodybuilding, but I think someone needs to address the use of this. It doesn’t belong in this sport at all.
I am not against the use of the steroids, I do however, have a strong distaste for the blatant abuse of all these drugs in bodybuilding. Guys used to use less than a gram total per week of all their steroids together. Now, It’s not unheard of for guys to use 5 grams (5000 mg’s per week). Maybe it’s because drugs were more pure back then and most of the drugs today are under dosed because they are made on the black market. I can tell you that something is very different even in the last 10 years. Not to mention, there has been a wave of deaths over the past decade at unusually young ages. Guys dropping dead like flies in their 40-50’s. That isn’t normal. Not too mention the amount of guys retiring with kidney disease and a myriad of health issues. This will happen when you create bodies that weigh upwards of 270 lbs in the off season. That amount of fluid and pressure on the vascular system for months on end is just damaging. Combine that with the force feeding, insulin use and you have a recipe for disaster. By rewarding less crazy looking physiques, you will reduce the amount of drugs needed to win. It may even make the sport more marketable to the mainstream. I think that is why MPD(men’s physique division) is so popular. It takes less work and drugs to be able to compete at that level. That physique is much more appealing to the average person and they see it as attainable. Hopefully the move to the new Classic Physique Division will pull the sport more toward the middle. Only time will tell.