People in the industry have been asking "how can we get more mainstream sponsors into bodybuilding", and "how can we make bodybuilding more accepted by the mainstream people" for years. Unlike Bob Cicherillo, whom I highly respect. I believe that this can be attained.
In a recent article for Bobybuilding.com, Bob maintains that bodybuilding will never appeal to the mainstream for the simple fact that bodybuilding isn't mainstream. I contend that it isn't mainstream because of its Achilles' heel- condoned, illegal drug use.
| What's New, Who's New, & Who's Out?
As everyone has heard by now, there have been huge changes in the world of professional bodybuilding. By: Bob Chicerillo.
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Now hold on - I know, we all know, that the NFL, NHL, Major League baseball and every other sporting organization is rampant with drug use. The difference is that these other organizations are at least making a stand that seems like they are trying to clean it up.
I may be naive, but I truly think there are people who want to clean the drug use out of major sports. I don't see that happening in bodybuilding, and perception is everything. Protein is important, supplements are important, but most people see the juice as the difference in professional bodybuilding. In face, the phrases are always linked together - pro bodybuilding and steroids. In fact if you suggest that champions are not on juice or shouldn't be on juice, you will absolutely be laughed out of the room.
And that's the problem. No one (sponsors most of all) wants to posture themselves with an organization whose champions not only use drugs and break the law, but those champions are unable to be champions without it. There's an artificial taste left in people's mouths over it. There's a flippant, underhanded tone that goes with a sport when it's excellence is based on the number of stacks that a champion can design and then cleverly hide from judges in an attempt to win.
Now everyone knows that juicing isn't going to bring muscle to a out of shape couch potato. It takes hard work, sore muscles, sweat, nausea, sacrifice and commitment. By why isn't that enough? Why on numerous boards across the web is it known, and spoken, that no one will ever win the Mr. O without juice? Bodybuilding will always be a fringe sport until someone really does something to clean out the drug use, and law breaking.
Quit screaming that steroids shouldn't be illegal and work within the framework we have been handed. Let the lawyers settle the legalities. We are athletes and should concentrate on athletics. I want to see the day when someone works hard, eats clean and wins titles - drug free.
Dean, You're Wrong!
Some will say "Deen, you're wrong. There are drug-free organizations and their popularity is lesser than the ones who aren't drug free." Correct. As long as there is a drug enhanced champion to compare the drug free champion to, bigger will win. Our champions should be masters of excellence, masters of grit and determination, not masters of chemical stacks and blood work stealth.
Anyone who has tried to add 2" to their biceps (including your truly) knows how slowly is happens, and what kind of grind is necessary to achieve the results. It's pain, it's sweat, it's hard dirt work. But the perception (there's that word again) by the general public is that the size is gained by a few reps and a whole lot of syringes full of dope.
It's wrong but its what they think. And they are the owners of the companies that will sponsor contests. They are the people who will attend the show. They are the people who will write positive articles about or sport after we admit that its been happening and that its stopping - NOW.
People are going to scream at me, call me names and say that I'm an idiot. I don't care. My message is: kick the illegal drug use out of bodybuilding, and have smaller leaner champions and a clean rep and watch the popularity soar. We have gone about as far as we can go by doing what we have been doing. Insanity is described as doing the same thing that you have already been doing, over and over again, and expecting a different result. You be the judge of what state our sport is in.
To grow, we are going to have to do things differently. Now, is there a man brave enough to step up and make the change to take our sport to the best it can be?