Why People Hate Bodybuilding
Why People Hate Bodybuilding
The sport of bodybuilding could be described as a contest that combines modeling, body sculpting and dieting. Whoever presents the most muscular, symmetrical, attractive looking body is the winner of the contest. “Women’s Figure” is another type of competition, which is more about modeling the perfect “women’s figure” and less about muscularity. Most people do not respect the sport of bodybuilding because of the widespread drug use associated with it. Many narcissistic, steroid using, protein shake guzzling, competitive bodybuilders and recreational weight lifters make this even worse by actively perpetuating the stereotype.
The oldest, largest and most popular bodybuilding organization is the IFBB, which has become synonymous with grotesquely huge and freakish muscle-bound competitors. Muscle magazines like Muscle & Fitness, Flex, and Muscular Development portray these steroid and HGH using athletes to market an endless onslaught of protein powders, creatine and other highly processed chemical fitness supplements. The female models and competitors are frequently using drugs and or surgery as well to attain their phenomenal physiques and most of the credit is, of course, given to the “wonderful” supplements that they are all endorsing. Most people wrongly believe that lifting weights will make them big, bulky and inflexible. People have this wrong idea because everyone holds in mind the image of the gigantic IFBB “steroid users” which has been so heavily marketed in these magazines. Most people do not even know or care that drug free, polygraph tested competitive bodybuilding even exists. So is natural competitive bodybuilding the answer? Well it’s a heck of a lot better but the truth is Natural Bodybuilding is also all about marketing supplements through “Natural Bodybuilding” magazines that are owned or affiliated with the organizations.
Vince McMahon and the WWF
“Professional” wrestling (fake wrestling), which is called a sport but is really just mindless entertainment for the ignorant is the other cause of most intelligent peoples dislike and misconceptions of weight lifting and strength training. “Hulk Hogan” and “The Rock” are examples of American superstars who built their fame as entertainers or wrestlers. These entertainers have to be larger than life with personas like superheroes or villains. Steroid and HGH use is the norm to build the massive, freakish bodies that fans have come to expect. Vince McMahon is the evil mastermind behind the WWF, the organization that now dominates this entertainment industry. The US congress passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 making the use of anabolic steroids illegal. Around the same time McMahon was secretly plotting his formation of the WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation) to rival the long established IFBB owned by Joe and Ben Weider.
The Weider brothers at the helm of the powerful IFBB had hopes of turning Competitive Bodybuilding into an Olympic Sport. This would mean bigger profits for everyone involved by legitimizing the sport. Doping tests for steroids and other banned substances were started in the late 1980s in preparation of getting the IFBB into the Olympics. Unfortunately, the Weider brothers were foiled in 1990 when McMahon stole all their best competitors by offering them lucrative contracts to sign up for his new WBF organization. McMahon wanted to turn competitive bodybuilding into the same type of circus freak show that his WWF wrestling was by turning the competitors into personas of heroes and villains and calling them “Bodystars”. McMahon’s new organization, obviously, did not test for steroids because his goal was to create “Freak Show Entertainment” just like his WWF wrestling. Perhaps we cannot really blame the Vince McMahons of the world, they are just the exploiters and promoters of what people really want. People want an entertaining story, a drama, a soap opera, a “Reality Show”. They want to gawk at the giant freaks and imbeciles. The popularity of “Reality Shows” is further proof of what our culture finds entertaining. The makers of “Reality Shows” take a combination of fact and fiction and blend it into a compelling and entertaining story. The truth is usually too boring to be considered entertainment. One of the first “Reality Show” successes was the well-known documentary Pumping Iron from the late 1970s, which brought the bodybuilding subculture into the spotlight and propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger into stardom. The filmmakers realized that the documentary was going to be too boring to entertain people so they made up a back-story of heroes and villains to sell the movie. It worked.
The Weider brothers put their Olympic hopes on the back burner in response to their new cunning adversary McMahon, and the IFBB quietly stopped drug testing their competitions. In 1992 McMahon and the WBF came under federal investigation for alleged steroid trafficking and he dissolved the WBF in a storm of negative media coverage and the failure of the organization to profit probably from the high price he had to pay to steal the IFBB competitors. The bodybuilders returned to the IFBB and McMahon went on with the WWF as usual but the damage was done. Drug testing was never reintroduced into the IFBB. People would forever associate bodybuilders with freak show entertainment. In the 2000s the Weider brothers attempted unsuccessfully to have bodybuilding added to the Olympics. The Olympic Committee and the public at large had lost all respect for bodybuilding and will probably never consider it a real sport.
Eugene Sandow the Vaudeville Strongman
Eugene Sandow is credited with being the father of modern bodybuilding even though there were other guys who had better physiques. In the early 1900s he traveled around performing his “Strongman Show” and posing routine. The secret to his success was he was an expert at self-promotion. He was an entertainer, a showman, and a performer. He knew what McMahon knows. People want to be entertained and amused more than they want the truth. There were many bodybuilders and muscle men in the early 1900s but back then they were called “Strongmen” and would perform circus type feats of strength to impress their audiences. It has always been about showmanship and entertainment even from the early days. It had to be in order to sell it to the public. The only difference was they did not have anabolic steroids, which arrived in the 1970s.
Modern Bodybuilding Contests
Modern bodybuilding contests evolved from Sandow and the early strongmen. The strongest Strongmen or powerlifters were and are actually enormous fat guys and do not have lean, muscular physiques with washboard abs and sculpted muscle definition. With a lean, sculpted physique strength is not the goal so much as low body fat and symmetry. An actual bodybuilding competition is very boring and the judging is actually decided in the morning before the crowd shows up at the night show. This is called the pre-judging and the contest results are mostly decided at this time. This judging of physiques could be compared to a sculpture contest, beauty pageant or dog show. The results are rarely decided fairly and have more to do with the subjective whims or agenda of the panel of judges. In the 1970s anabolic steroids arrived on the scene and have become an accepted part of bodybuilding and many other competitive sports. The Russians allegedly first used them in the late 1960s to get an edge in the Olympics. In order to keep up with the Russians the USA developed their own.
There is an excellent new documentary film called Bigger, Stronger, Faster that explains how steroid use has become an accepted part of our culture here in America and is not even considered cheating because “everyone’s doing it”. Consider the common metaphor “Like ( ) on steroids!” which is used today to describe something that is stronger, faster or better. Can you see how this actually portrays anabolic steroids in a positive way?
I really should not pick on anabolic steroids because the truth is that I detest all synthetic drugs and most natural ones because they damage our bodies and minds. Drugs keep us from enjoying the physical health and clear unaltered minds that we need to enjoy a happy and free life. True happiness comes from the inside, from self-love and acceptance of ourselves. Happiness and freedom are the result of self-esteem from using a clear, drug-free rational mind to live a life of love, honesty and creative purpose.
Bodybuilding and Bodysculpting is essentially the same thing. But you can use the term Bodysculpting without raising a negative prejudice in people. Everyone wants Bodysculpting but as soon as you use the word Bodybuilding most people have an immediate prejudice and negative image that is aroused for historical reasons. So call it whatever you want because it is all the same thing. Whether you call it bodybuilding, bodysculpting, strength training, resistance training or weight lifting doesn’t matter. What matters is that you realize it is the secret to permanent fat loss and having the body of your dreams.