By: Marc Lobliner
I can see it now. “Lobliner is bitter because he lost due to his tan!” And, “Lobliner is bitter because he has small arms, a fat ass, and a huge penis!” Well, despite my Dream Tan mishap, my arms that are overshadowed by my chest and back, my exquisite derriere and my above average endowment; this article is not about that. This article is about facts, numbers and observations. With the disclaimers out of the way, I delve into this topic like my well-endowed…..never mind. Moving on.
I attended the Europa Super Show this weekend in Hartford, CT. The place was packed and it was an all-time best turnout for this show. There were areas that were standing room only. There was also ample commerce taking place in the supplement booths (the Libertarian in me did a backflip for this) and to my manhood’s delight, many scantily clad women in skanky outfits. The perfect weekend, right? Not so fast. As I sat down after a day full of meetings and doing business to watch the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Show (these are PROS—the BEST we have!!!), I looked and saw empty seats. The area behind the seats where you could still see the show was not full. I would estimate as would IFPA Pros Chad Austin and Damon Gillis who were rolling with me all weekend that there were less than 100 people watching this event. And to the people behind the rails, it was FREE to watch!
So the expo sucked overall, right? WRONG! All day that day, I had been wading through seas of people and female mammaries to get places. I was stuck in a Crossfit Jam with hundreds of people competing and thousands watching, a Karate expo with I’d say 500 spectators, a Strongman event with hundreds of people watching and of course the restroom and food line….enormous! Yet the most underwatched event was the headline, the reason all of these sports exist in this venue, Bodybuilding.
I am about to outline some reasons why it has become this way and what we can do to fix it. But, it might be too late. Time to get jiggy.
1. No one wants to look like a bodybuilder anymore
When I started training, I wanted to look like Dorian Yates. But, remember, I am an idiot. Everyone wanted to look like Arnold, Zane and Franco. Chicks liked that look. It looked human. They were 7% bodyfat at their leanest and they were able to walk from their restaurant table to the restroom without having to sit down and rest in between. Now, we look stupid. Bigger is better. Bodybuilders in general are not functional and do not exhibit good health. Remember that scene in Pumping Iron with Arnold running in the ocean? Imagine any of these guys now even walking in water. Most can’t. On a personal note, I am now a superheavyweight at 247lbs and ~6% bodyfat at the moment. I am healthy, just ran a 1 mile fun run with a 4 year old on my shoulders, and am a picture of perfect internal health. But although I have that going for me since I am anal about my health and want to live to see my kids get married and have kids, when most women see my picture, there is usually no “oohs” and “ahhs”. More like “Ewww, what’s up with all the veins?” And I am not even that good of a bodybuilder, I am actually decently mediocre. But to put it in perspective, we have gotten too circus-like. I like the look, but I am not the mainstream. So how do we fix this?
We don’t. The biggest and best win, I get this. BUT, the 202 class is now the 212 class because they outgrew the class. Pardon my French, but what the fuck is this? The whole point of the class was to give the smaller guys a chance to not look like a big idiot like me and to even make it more mainstream. But, now it is 212. What is next, 222? Are we just going to make the definition of “small” bigger every year? Bring back the 202!
2. Crooked ass promoters
Oh the stories I can tell. I will state this for the record and take an oath on a bible. I do NOT think Jim Manion is fixing shows. I know Manion personally and really like him. I respect the man and he works his ass off. But the promoters and chairmen in some states are known crooks and have literally admitted to fixing shows and changing scores and people are sick of that shit. I will state that Mike Valentino in North Carolina (Chairman) and Kevin DeHaven (promoter) would beat the living hell out of someone for fixing a show. But in a show I competed in, not saying which one, I had been told and subsequently confirmed that the scoring was indeed changed and influenced by the promoter. This is also a reason why a lot of people do not compete in that state and this guy is widely known as an unethical individual. To prevent this, we need term limits on chairmen to avoid “The Good Old Boys Club” like we have in said state. This guy needs to go. He is a cancer to what is left of my beloved sport. We need to bring the NPC back to what it was. This said chairman even said in the athlete’s meeting that if you didn’t do it “his way”, he would end your career. I am very impressed that I held back and didn’t knock his ass out mid speech. Suffice to say, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t win. But still, someone should have thrown a chair at him Boondocks –style.
Have you ever been to a bodybuilding show? WOW, boring! It is also a day long affair. And the cost? $90 usually for both morning and night show combined. My suggestion is to experiment with a “Live Judge” where there is one show that goes right into finals from prejudging. It starts at 10am and ends at 3pm so that way kids can watch their moms compete (nothing like seeing mom in stripper heals onstage, right?!) and people can celebrate and eat dinner before 11pm when the only thing open is Denny’s and Waffle House. This would take time to catch on, but over time, it would make more families come to the even and with increased attendance you can charge $40 for the entire thing and not lose any money. And if you do lose a little bit, make it up by selling more booth space to vendors who will enjoy the increased exposure.
The show itself is boring as well! Make it fun, have some drama, and bring it to life. The night show is what SHOULD represent this but by the night show the show is decided, the competitors know it, and half of them are checked out and ready to go. This is why with a live judge; it is still possible to alter scores based on comparisons in the 2nd part.
The Thing That Brings Us Together….TRAINING!
This is part one of a series. Next I will delve into Men’s Physique and why it is saving bodybuilding, why female Bodybuilders love the sport more than anyone, Natural Bodybuilding and why it will never grow as much as it should, and legalizing prostitution in my home state of North Carolina (a selfish piece). So keep reading MachineMuscle.com for the latest and greatest from the best in the industry!
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