“That’s gross. That’s so weird. Why would anyone do that to their body?” These are the typical comments that I hear or overhear when there is a discussion about bodybuilding involving individuals who are unfamiliar with the sport. When around people involved in the bodybuilding world, many people will try to be understanding and not voice their judgements but inevitably they slip up and make a comment that can be seen as offensive. Perhaps they don’t intend for the comment to be offensive, however to the man or woman who has dedicated hours and hours to craft their body, it can come across in a negative way.
Although I participate in the least muscular category (bikini/fitness model), and this category tends to be the most subjectively judged, it does not mean that I do not put excessive amounts of time, effort and thought into sculpting my physique. I watched some old footage of Arnold recently and he discussed that bodybuilders are like sculptors. Where as a sculptor might look at his work and add extra clay to a certain area, a bodybuilder looks at their physique and assesses what muscle needs to be built to form a more symmetrical or aesthetically pleasing physique. I have developed a deep appreciation for all of the categories of bodybuilding. Bikini, fitness, figure, physique, bodybuilding. I never look at a male or female bodybuilder and think negative thoughts.Perhaps one must experience what it takes or at least be witness to it, to really understand the dedication involved. I look at those crazy quads or the monstrous backs and I am in awe. It is not that I aspire to be that big because I am more than happy with my size, but rather it is an admiration for what they have been able to accomplish. It takes a special kind of crazy to do what we do and I say that with love. We are crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t laugh at the men’s posing suits. Don’t make negative statements regarding the women’s muscles. Don’t think they look silly because they take themselves seriously as they go through their poses. I’ll have you know that come show day, the posing routine combined with all of the compulsory poses is actually like a full body workout. It is not uncommon to be sore after show day because one has to hold poses for long periods of time and exaggerate the motions in order to best display the physique.
Perhaps if the haters out there knew more about the sport, they would understand or at the very least, keep their judgemental comments to themselves. This is a legitimate sport and athletes at the top of their game are rewarded accordingly. Did you know that the winner of the 2013 Mr.Olympia title took home a prize of $250,000? That is a pretty nice paycheck if you ask me. Even 2nd place goes home with a pretty penny at $125,000. Not bad at all.
There are things about the sport that are not glamorous and when you don’t place as well as you had hoped, you may become frustrated with the system. At the end of the day though, we do it because we enjoy it and the killer physique that comes with it isn’t bad either. Be positive people, don’t hate. If you don’t like it, it’s not your life so chill.
This is my sport and I love it!