Bodybuilding: A Ridiculous sport, or a hobby??

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Is there a more ridiculous sport than Bodybuilding?

It’s Super Bowl Week in America, and in honor of the grand spectacle, I’m going    to write a few sports related blog entries.  Speaking of “Sports,” it made me wonder: Is Bodybuilding actually a sport?    If you are a fan of this “Sport” and happened to suddenly find your way on this blog, before you start spewing venom and hatred on my Blog, you should first understand the perspective I am coming from.

Except for a bad three-year stint of being lackadaisical, I’ve been involved in doing sports in one way or another since high school. I’ve been lifting weights for the past ten years or so, and I highly recommend it to everyone, male/female, younger/older, whatever.  Hence, my issue is not with weight lifting.

More over, I really don’t care if you lift weights due to vain reasons of wanting to look good in front of a mirror.  I’ve done that myself and know plenty of guys in the gym who the same thing.  I can respect your right to wanting to sport the best physique possible in front of the mirror.  Most guys (and women) who start lifting do initially for aesthetic reasons. Look, everyone wants to look good shirtless (or bottomless) and few actually have the drive to do something about it.  No argument there.

So what are we really talking about there?  An official “Sport” dedicated to posing on stage against each other while judges decided whose body appeases them more.  And believe it or not, in my early 20s, this made sense to me.  I even read the magazines, Flex, Musclemag, and other publications back then.  Then one day, I woke up and thought, “What the f**k kind of a sport is this?”  Suddenly, the whole completely ceased to not only make sense, but it seemed rather silly.

For some reason, it all made sense to me way back when.  Then almost overnight, I had a weird realization:  What does it say about a sport when the entire basis for competition is a bunch of grown men getting up on stage and engaging in a pose-off? They don’t really compete against each other directly.  They are not even competing indirectly in the way gymnasts do.  They are simply posing!  Grown men posing and flexing their biceps in front of judges and a miniscule audience to decide who has better looking biceps.

I say grown men because if a bunch of drunken 19-year-old teenagers started engaging in a pose-off, then you’d just dismiss it as, “Well, drunken teens.  It’s the way it goes.”  But grown men, sober, training all year so they can strike a better pose?  [All that’s missing is Madonna’s song Vogue on that stage., and sometime that may not even be a joke. ]

Being a fan of physical fitness, I respect most forms of athletic competition.  Even a sport such as Baseball, one that is ridiculed by many of my European friends, is still a sport that is very highly competitive.  Trying to swing a bat at a ball traveling at 95 miles per hour, versus the next one that is curving away from you at 75 miles, takes a lot of skill. (As does throwing those pitches.)

I can highly respect Power lifters and Olympic weight lifters.  Squatting a 800, 900, or a 1000 pounds is an incredible athletic feat by a human being.  Watching someone clean and jerk enormous amount of weight, like a human crane, is awe-inspiring.  But then, what about grown men building low-functional muscles to just show them off? Men who have just pumped up muscles that have very low functionality?

What does it say for a sport when you hear the following conversations at a competition?

-Competitor X has enormous deltoid muscles.  His posterior and mid delts are looking fine but his anterior delts are a bit smaller in proportion.  Over all, good delts.  Competitor Y has smaller deltoids but enormous lat muscles.  His Biceps aren’t very elongated but they’re more compact as he flexes.

-Competitor Z is sporting nice hamstrings, but his quads could use some help in relation to both competitor X and Y.

- Can that be considered a sport?  Grown ass men posing in G-Strings as to who has the hotter body?

Oooh, Look at me! Look at me!

What are some Arguments that are supposed to establish bodybuilding as a legitimate sport:

  • These are World Class Athletes”

Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia contest participants would like to be considered “World Class Athletes.”  That’s the problem… It opens the Pandora’s box, and does it ever….  See, when you go that direction, you’re going to open yourself to being compared to NBA Basketball players, NFL Football players, Boxers, Olympic level gymnasts, wrestlers, and Track & field athletes, as well as MMA fighters.

Yet, I’d bet you I can find high school level all-state basketball players who’d run circles around these “World Class” Bodybuilder athletes, and we are not talking basketball skills.  I am simply talking Agility, mobility, and coordination.

Many of the above mentioned athletes use resistance training to strengthen muscle, and they do so for function and practicality.  The end goal is not posing on stage in a G-string.

  • “Lifting heavy weights is an Athletic endeavor.”

And I agree with you, except modern professional Bodybuilders are not that strong when compared to world class level strength athletes.  A world class Olympian lifter or powerlifter will squat or press twice what your average puffed up-posing on stage bodybuilder will do.  So Mr. Universe is most likely far stronger than you and I,  but world class?  Forget about it.

Certainly, you have to be blessed with the proper genetics to become a bodybuilder, and a supreme athlete who could have otherwise excelled in a legitimate sport may opt to become a professional bodybuilder for whatever reason.  Yet, it doesn’t change the fact that you have people posing to see who has cuter muscles.

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So I ask again, is there a more ridiculous sport than this?  And yes, I get that they’re trying to treat the human body as some sort of a sculpture by adding pieces to the muscles to create this perfect physique.  I get it.   It’s not the endeavor that’s alarming.  It’s that it’s turned into a “Sport.”And yet, it’s still a bunch of grown men who trained for the past 9 months to pose against each other.  (Not to mention poor dietary habits, taking insane amounts of roids/growth hormone/insulin; and then taking massive prespecritpion grade diuretics days before the event, just to go on stage for an hour and look great in tiny little Speedos. )

Before you say I don’t understand what it takes to become a bodybuilder, you should know that I’ve been around competing bodybuilders.   I am aware that it’s not an easy endeavor.  There is a lot of sacrifice.  I get that.  Going through periods of torturous “Cutting down” diets where you eat ungodly amounts of meat while dehydrating yourself to the point of insanity before a contest.

It’s just that something seems wrong with a sport where eating an organically grown apple, banana, or orange is wrong, but then you are forced to eat enough meat in one day that could feed an entire village in South East Asia for a whole week.  All so you can have more puffed out muscle on stage.

And yes, I am familiar with the precision of trying to stack various amounts of anabolic steroids.  Taking the right amount of D-bol, synthetic testosterone, Winstrol, and some Deca for joints and help in recovery, tapering off of it while adding testosterone boosters to get your body’s production back up to speed, and supplementing with HGH….   Two weeks before you cycle off, you gotta hit the clomid or (if you can get it, receive HCG injections)  to get your normal test production up to speed.  (No, I haven’t taken roids or “Gear”, but I’ve learned enough about them from reading and being around the gym-rats.)

I’ve been around guys who do compete in this endeavor and it’s not easy trying to manage the three variables: 1-the Proper diet, 2-proper training, and 3-the accurate anabolic steroid stack cycling.  I know it’s not easy.

Maybe the fact that it seems ridiculous comes from the transformation of the contestants in recent decades.  In my early teens, you could look at a bodybuilder as sort of the ultimate manifestation of masculinity and male physique.  To male teenagers, there is the appeal of the ultimate male representation in such a physique.   As an example, Here is a picture of Arnold in his prime:

Arnold - Governator

Somehow we went from the above  to the grotesque representation of a human body below:

The Blob of Random Muscle

A giant mound and blobs of muscle (And I’m with you: Who knew an alien could grow out of a human ass??)

It’s what Jabba the hut woud look like if it lifted weights:

If only Jabba was motivated...

It’s sort of what Jabba-the-hut would like if he lifted weights, wouldn’t you agree?    In recent decades, bodybuilders starting injecting massive amounts of Human Growth Hormone [HGH] and the growth hormone abuse led to the new look bodybuilder with the protruding stomach.  Compare the Arnold slim abs to the one below.  This is a roid-gut:

The "Roid Gut"

The above individual is NOT fat, but rather, abuse of HGH has not only grown his muscles but it also grown his intestines from the inside.  That’s how you get his protruding stomach look.   Compare that stomach with the Arnold photo, and you’ll note the  HGH difference.  (And Arnold did his fair share of steroids.  But the Steroid technology has improved drastically since the 1970s.)

On top of that, something interesting happened.  One day a group of bodybuilding bandits dressed in bandanas and tank tops intercepted trucks full of insulin en route to poor suffering diabetics in a remote village.  The professional bodybuilding world changed forever.

Apparently injecting Insulin, (as well as Anabolic Steroids + Human Growth Hormone) enables your muscles to even grow bigger than even Arnold imagined.

And that’s how you get the look of Jabba the bodybuilder…

Yet, at the end of the day, it all amounts to puffed out grown men, fresh out of the tanning salon, posing on stage.  Can that competition be considered an athletic event?  Grown ass men posing in tights on stage as to who has a nicer ass!  Is this a sport?  We don’t call female beauty pageants a sport.  This is a male pageant except it’s not so beautiful!

I am sure if a competitive bodybuilder were to read this article, he/she would slightly peeved, but then again, it’s one person’s opinion.  Alright, relax.  I am not saying we should outlaw these contests, nor am I advocating that we should cut up these puffed out guys, turn them into “Soylent Green” and feed hungry people in Africa.

I am just asking a question. Is this really a sport? While I am certain, there are great athletes in professional bodybuilding, does it still count as a sport? If so, is there a more ridiculous sport than this where once again, grown ass men, pose against each other to see who has the nicer lats, pecs, or butt?

It’s a great sports weekend coming up.  UFC on Saturday night featuring 4 very good matchups, (though none great), and then the big Football game on Super Bowl Sunday.

 So, the Super-Bowl is less than a week away, (I’m excited about it) and we’re going to see the Indianapolis Colts play the New Orleans Saints.  And are YOU going to be the person to tell Peyton Manning, Dwight Freeney, Drew Brees, and Reggie Bush, that the three guys pictured below, (Yes, the same 3 guys who are shaking their cute butts on stage so judges can decipher who has the nicer ass in a g-string), that these guys feel they should be considered on the same plain as them???

I shake my tush on the Catwalk... yeah...

Well, you could tell them, but you’d hurt Peyton’s and Drew’s feelings, and that’s not nice.

Please discuss…