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New IFBB Athletes Representative, Bob Cicherillo, Speaks Out!

Bob is fearless in his approach to speaking out on the issues of professional bodybuilding, and hopes to help his fellow bodybuilders negotiate better prize money.

Newly appointed IFBB athletes representative, Bob Cicherillo, probably speaks his mind and asserts his opinions louder than any other bodybuilder on the pro circuit today - a good thing if the athletes you represent are to be spoken for effectively.

Bob is fearless in his approach to speaking out on the big issues confronting professional bodybuilding, and hopes to help his fellow bodybuilders better negotiate prize money, while also working towards bringing about changes to the current system under which these athletes compete.

However, first and foremost, Bob wants to ensure the athletes have the complete backing of their own federation: the IFBB. As a competing bodybuilder (ranked 23rd in the world), Bob feels he has the pulse of the average pro. Bob feels he can empathise with what professionals have to go through, to present the best physique they can onstage, and, as such, is very familiar with the problems inherent in the sport.

Indeed, elimination of problems such as low prize money, a faulty judging system (in his opinion), and infighting, is one of Bob's goals during his tenure as athletes rep.

From A Contest In 1981 & 1983.

Bob, 39, is a 25-year veteran of the bodybuilding business, having begun training at the age of 13. He is still working on crafting his physique, one of the most symmetrical and well proportioned around, into one of the best in the business. On the competition front, Bob plans to compete in the New York pro show in May. He fully intends to win. Good luck to Bob in this endeavor, and his new role of athletes rep.

[ Q ] Hi Bob. You have just been appointed IFBB athletes rep. When were you appointed to this position and were you receptive to the idea at this time?

    Yes, I was definitely receptive. It was a bit of a collaborative effort between myself and Jim Manion. Once Shawn stepped down, I would say there was a void that needed filling and Jim thought that I was the logical choice. Shawn and I worked hand in hand when he was the athletes rep and most people know I've always been one to take a stand on issues such as how athletes are treated and money.

    I said I would be happy to fill the position but I wasn't about to do that bogus thing and get everybody's vote thing like Wayne [Demilia] was making Shawn do, that was ridiculous. Most of the positions in the IFBB are appointed as it is so I expected to go that route. Wayne and I have a long standing relationship, so we get along well.

    We have our agreements and disagreements but at the end of the day we're still friends and business is business.

[ Q ] So when were you appointed to the position of athletes rep and is there a contract as such?

    I was appointed about six weeks ago. There is no contract, it is just an appointment. There is no precedence for the position so one of the things I will undertake is to define the role. I would like to find a way to make it work well so it is easier for someone coming in to the position after me.

    It is kind of a thankless, no paying role. It is something you do as a labor of love understanding that. There is no athlete's fund, so it will be what I make of it.

    Click To Enlarge.

    What you need to understand is a representative is just that, one who represents someone or something - in my case it will be the IFBB athletes. But if the athletes don't speak up or voice their concerns, there's not a whole lot for the athletes rep to do. I can certainly come up with things and I have an idea of how things should be, but that only one person.

    In a general sense, I think I can speak for 99.9% of the other guys, but in all fairness it would be nice to get some input. I think that's where Shawn was getting frustrated; few guys were willing to step up to the plate and voice their concerns. I would like to see the guys get involved in their own sport, after all it is their future.

[ Q ] So, you would like to see more of the athletes coming forward as opposed to standing back and letting you try to manage things as their rep?

    Yes. It's kind of funny; it's a double edged sword. Shawn got a lot of slack for not doing anything. On the other hand, you hear people saying I don't want Shawn speaking for me. So its, wait a minute, which one do you want. Do you want him to do something on his own, and then you sit there saying he's not speaking for me.

    You can't have it both ways. Either speak up, or shut up and follow. Do one or the other, pick a side. I thought Shawn did a hell of a job. He had some communication problems with Jim and some of the other higher ups, which I think ultimately led to his being frustrated with the position.

    Initially I thought it might be a better position. People need to understand, that I actually kind of created this position about three-years-ago, when I started the union talks, which ultimately went nowhere. But they [IFBB administrators] told me a lot of things I needed to know at that time - I got a tremendous response. I got a response from over 80 athletes saying this is exactly what we should be doing, form some kind of association of inclusion.

    When the meeting came to pass, only about 25 guys showed up, what about the other 60-70 people. There were guys literally 15-feet away who just wouldn't go in the room. It wasn't like it was some big coup attempt to take over the IFBB.

    It was just a meeting to see where we were, what was going on and to voice some concerns. These guys are so afraid that if they say something it will effect their placing's.

[ Q ] Is this not a valid concern?

    Well consider this. Lee Priest is one of the most outspoken guys competing in the IFBB, and also one of the most fined athletes the sport has seen.

    Speaking out hasn't seemed to have effected any of his placing's - he's won contests and come in the top five on many occasions. The athletes only have to look as far as the history of the sport to see that this is not the case.

    Click To Enlarge.

    Initially I figured that competing and being athletes representative would present a conflict of interest, which is why Shawn ran for the position and not myself. However, I have since changed my stance on that for a few reasons.

      One: I see that one really has nothing to do with the other.

      Two: I see that someone who is competing is actually in the trenches - they have the pulse of the people and know what is going on. I've been to all the shows, I'm backstage. I'm here at almost every one of these shows with So no one has more experience than myself. I think I'm respected by most of the guys, I think they feel I have their best interests at heart. There's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that people don't see.

    Many don't know exactly what competing entails, they only see the end result. Some of the systems have been in place since the 40s and 50s, it's a federation that's been around for some time. Times do change and I think a lot of the rules that are in place need to be looked at, need to be changed.

[ Q ] Exactly what do you want top achieve as athletes rep?

    First and foremost, I want to make sure that we have the backing of our own federation. There have been instances where people should have been payed prize money, but for some reason the haven't received it - the promoters have come up short or taken off.

    Quite frankly, I don't think that athletes should be taking the hit. We don't make a lot of money as it is, so getting paid is imperative.

    Darrem Charles, for example, has received only $3000 out of $10,000. Ahmed Haider has gotten $1400 out of $4000. So I work behind the scenes on these guys behalf.

[ Q ] Why aren't these guys being paid?

    Well, the bottom line is, the promoters don't have the money in the particular cases I've mentioned. Obviously they made some concession to get them the money but they got nickled and dimed. The money that Darrem and Haider got was in $200-300 increments.

    Ultimately, it's the promoters fault because they didn't pay. But take a step back and it's the IFBBs fault because according to their own bylaws, the promoters must have the money in an account for the athletes, prior to the show even commencing. Two things need to happen.

      One: the prize money needs to be in a separate account.

      Two: the sanction fee needs to be paid up front before they [the promoters] get the money.

    Clearly they got their sanction money together, but the athletes didn't get paid. Wayne Demilia told me that basically if he had to get the money up front from all these shows there wouldn't be any shows.

    To be honest, I could care less what they come up with because a lot of the money is actually taken from the show itself. The IFBB - our federation - should be backing it up. The IFBB gave these promoters permission to run the show via the sanction fee.

    In my humble opinion, I don't believe that at this point you just turn your head and say OK your on your own. There are certain rules that go along with that sanction, certain protocols that need to be followed.

    Well, if the promoter takes off the IFBB should pay the athletes, and then they can go after the promoter. After all, their the ones who gave the promoters the permission to put on the shows, so ultimately the responsibility should lie with them - if they're not backing us up, what do we need them for.

    If nothing else, they can take the money out of the sanction fee. If there was a $15-20,000 sanction fee in the case I have referred to, this is enough to pay the athletes.

    The IFBB can then go and sue the promoters for failing to honor their contract. Leaving it to the athletes to hunt down these guys, drag their asses into court while spending their own money doing this is wrong.

[ Q ] It doesn't seem to be worth it for the athletes to be tracking down promoters for their money.

    The athletes are almost at a loss as it is. People say, what are you talking about, it was a $10,000 show. Well, break that down for a second, and this is amazing.

    A $10,000 show, ultimately after expenses and taxes are paid, nets the winner about $1,500, and this is assuming they get paid at all. Consider the second place guy who just won a whopping $5,000 for his efforts. It cost around $7,000 to get ready for a show, ballpark. This guy ultimately is down $2,000. This is a guy who took second place in a professional bodybuilding contest, in the red.

    We're actually paying to compete. People think these athletes are greedy, wanting more money. But no, all we want to do is make a living. This is going to be a huge problem down the road. These guys are not stupid.

    Click To Enlarge.

    Increasingly it is becoming more expensive to prepare for a show, and the prize money is staying the same, I don't see a $10,000 show being jacked up to $15,000 - 20,000.

    The Ironman has had the same prize money for the last 15 years. Anybody who follows the internet will see that Shawn and I have been on these guys asses like white on rice. Shawn won that show in 1990, and he got $10,000. Fifteen years later, the prize money is still $10,000. Are they kidding. The price of everything has gone up.

    Its hard to get on someone like John Lindsey's ass, who just picked up the San Francisco show this year, for the first time. It is only his first year and I don't have any problem with this. We're not trying to rape and pillage.

[ Q ] What do you intend to do to address the prize money issue?

    I think some mandates need to be put down. I would like to see shows that have been around for a few years have a mandatory increase in prize money. In jobs they call it a price of living increase. You mean to tell me that these people can't come up with an extra $1,000, when Shawn has consistently gone and raised his own money for shows by literally making a handful of phone calls. He's raised $5,000 for the best posing trophy.

    Ultimately we got turned down when we raised $3,000 for a best posing award for the Ironman. Shawn called these guys and they said thanks but no thanks. They didn't seem to want to give 10-seconds of their time on the microphone to acknowledge Shawn's sponsors. Their answer, ultimately, was they wanted to give away their own posing trophy - the Vince Gironda - for a whopping $1,000.

    So they turned down three grand to get one. The ultimate slap in the face came when, at the last second, the good people of came up with $3,000 to throw into the till, and another $1,000 was donated by the business sector - they accepted this money.

    Why not take Shawn's money, and these other offers? This could have put an extra $7-8,000 into the till. Why they turned down the money is beyond me. To add insult to injury, they take the $4,000 and instead of giving the top four an extra grand each, what do they do? They split the money up to give everybody something.

    So they give basically $400 to everybody competing in the show, which I feel is ultimately retarded. Number one, $400 is nothing. Two: I'm all for spreading the loaf, but you don't spread it that thin. I mean, bodybuilding is all about sport and placing's.

    Giving $400 to people who, frankly, have no business being on stage is ridiculous.

[ Q ] What are some of the key qualities you bring to the role of athletes rep?

    I think I have a logical way of thinking, and I try to separate myself emotionally from business. Business is business. There are reasons why things need to be done a certain way. Also, my tenure in the business of bodybuilding, in the NPC and IFBB, short of Shawn, is pretty well unmatched. I have a good business sense and feel I have the athletes best interests in mind.

    Anybody who would put their own career in jeopardy even talking unions, has to care for the athletes. I have no fear, you know. My bread is being buttered by my company, I get paid whether I compete or I don't.

    1989 USA contest & Bob As Titan - The American Gladiator.

    I represent and continue to do a lot of things for them, hopefully for many years to come. Not everything is contingent upon competing. My backers pick me because I have other qualities and talents. I think I'm a general good spokesman for the sport.

    I've had nothing but positive feedback from people I've run into. I don't kowtow to anybody, and this includes Jim Manion. There is a mutual respect between us and he doesn't expect me to bow down to him. Many people might think I kiss ass, but there have been many things that me and Jim have disagreed on over the years. But we will have it out and talk.

[ Q ] Is there any one disagreement that stands out for you, which might impact your role as athletes rep?

    Three years ago at the 2002 Olympia, where I was competitor, we had the old boring ass press conference, which thank God we haven't had since. Wayne was up there in all his mightiness and someone posed him the question, "why aren't all the guys paid?"

    Wayne's answer pissed me off so much that I had to speak up on the spot. His answer, which incensed me so much, was "we tried that some years ago, but what we found was the athletes, when they found they were getting money, came in out of shape and wouldn't try as hard, so we decided to pay only the top ten".

    I remember listening to that and thinking "oh my f^cking God, I cant believe he just said that". And I responded. I said "you're telling me that for a lousy $1000 for a show they busted their butts for, the greatest show on earth, these guys are going to come out of shape on purpose, just so you can give them $1000".

    Bodybuilding is not an exact science. Everybody is trying their best to come in shape, to win. That one comment was really, to me, the final nail in the coffin. It showed how deluded some of the guys up there are. This just set the wheels in motion for me. I'm one of those people that says, "I'm not going to talk about it, I'm going to do something about it". And that's when I started making some calls, to form an association with the athletes.

    I threw my support behind Shawn because I thought it was a good idea. I didn't pursue it because I thought, at the time, it might be a conflict of interest because I was competing.

    After watching Shawn in action and learning actually what the job entails, I was ready. There was a position like this back some years ago, but ultimately it never really went anywhere. So we didn't have any precedence really. I think it was Lee Haney, who was asked to fulfill this role, years ago.

    Whoever won the Olympia was asked to be the athletes rep, if I'm not mistaken, which, in my opinion couldn't be a worse guy. If you want good representation, pick the guy at the bottom. He'll tell you everything that's wrong.

    The guy on top making $600,000 - 700,000 a year, isn't going to sit there and have any concerns for anybody else, nor should he. Someone like myself, who is more of a ham-and-egg, middle-of-the-pack, kind of guy - I'm ranked 23rd or 24th in the world - is probably better suited.

[ Q ] Speaking of bodybuilding rankings, is there really anyone who is close to challenging Ronnie.

    No. If I had to put my money down on who would win the next Olympia, I would have to go with Ronnie. It's ironic. People see pictures of Ronnie on the internet and all you her is big gut, big gut. Well if your packing the kind of size Ronnie is packing, with his structure, there will be some gut - you cant put it down to growth hormone. Lets assume that all the pros are using the same stuff.

    Do you see Dexter, Troy Alves or Lee Priest with a gut. No. To put it into perspective. Pick the biggest three guys in bodybuilding, and their not within 30lbs of Ronnie. Ronnie is all muscle, pure raw muscle. No one can catch this guy. The only person that can beat Ronnie is Ronnie.

[ Q ] So who do you think is in line when Ronnie chooses to step down?

    I think it's a toss-up between Jay, Dexter, Cormier, who I still feel has the tools to get it done, and Gustavo Badell.

[ Q ] Many people have complained about Gustavo's gut. In your opinion what causes this condition?

    Well, bellies can go up or down. They can be scaled back. But I think its due to the amount of food these guys eat. Everyone blames it on GH (growth hormone). That's all I ever hear: "it's just a big GH gut".

    If everybody on the pro stage took GH, then why do we have guys with small waists. Melvin has a small waist, as did Shawn and Chris doesn't seem to have any gut. I find it hard to believe that only a few select guys have access to some of this stuff, so we'll just go with the premise that they are all using the same thing.

    What some people don't understand is the food intake of pros competing today is so ridiculously large - a lot of these guys carb-up tremendously.

    I worked with Chad Nicholls and know most of his protocols, and I know first hand there's a lot of food involved. Try eating a ridiculous amount of carbohydrates in contest shape and see what happens.

[ Q ] Have you encountered any problems with your waistline? Have you "suffered" this big gut syndrome?

    Me? Never. Actually I'm known for my small waist. I've always been know for symmetry and proportion and a tiny waist. What I do notice though, is the worst thing bodybuilders can do is try to go up in weight. How many times have you heard the quote "hasn't looked this good since he turned pro." What's the common denominator in all that?

    Well, chances are they were a lot smaller when they turned pro. Everybody turns pro and its like a green light that they have to pack on some mass. Unless you can proportionately pack on mass, unless you can make your shoulders bigger, the only place you will put on mass is in the mid-section.

    Click To Enlarge.

    When that happens, your probably going to feel a lot bigger, and you might even look a lot bigger in the gym. The problem is when you get on the stage, where the magic needs to occur, the guy doesn't look that good. What happens? Well, the waist is three inches bigger. So its not all drugs.

    You think the guy who wins the Nationals or the USA suddenly needs to take way more drugs to compete in the pros. No, of course not. If this was purely drug related, you would see a lot more guys walking around looking like this.

    Logic dictates that that's obviously not right. With myself, I think I look better lighter, than about five-pounds heavier. We're only talking five-pounds but it's a question of where the weight is going?

[ Q ] Do you consider yourself to be in better shape now than you were at your pro qualifier, the 2000 USA.

    Obviously you try to make some progress. You need to get a few pounds in there somewhere. I think from when you turn pro, which the norm now seems to be late 20s to mid 30s, you probably have about a 10lb swing. Of course there are exceptions.

    People are going to say, well look at Ronnie. Ronnie was competing as a super-heavyweight before he turned pro. I competed against Ronnie in the heavyweight class, so we were all in the same boat. Slowly but surely, and progressively he's built up over the years - he didn't just jump up 30lbs.

    In one of the best USA line-ups, back in 1991 or 92, I competed against Ronnie, where he took fourth and I took sixth, and he was probably in the low 230s then, but he was noticeably a lot smaller, as were most of us back then.

    Comparing the Ronnie of today with other pros is not useful because Ronnie is a freak - he does not follow the same rules of normalcy and that's why he looks the way he does. I think, for most pros, there is a 10lb increase in muscle, where they can look good and improved and still keep their symmetry and proportion.

    After that, you might be bigger, but I'm not sure it's better. If you really want to talk bodybuilding, pure old-school bodybuilding, I think Ronnie looked better lighter than he does now.

    If you had an Olympia with Ronnie of 1998 with Ronnie now, I think it's a hands down win to the 1998 version - the Ronnie of 98' weighed about 247lbs. I think this Ronnie is a nicer looking, more symmetrical, complete physique. Ronnie today is 288lbs ripped, which you've got to applaud, but I liked him better in 98.

[ Q ] People often compare the physique of Ronnie with that of Dorian Yates. What is your opinion of Dorian's physique.

    I really appreciated Yates's physique but I think he was beaten at a couple of Olympia's. I think Levrone beat him, I think Shawn Ray beat him one year. Yates set a new standard for that type of physique.

    Ultimately, what got him to the top, tore him down - his hard-core, blood and guts, style of training. But what can take you up can also take you down, Yates ultimately injured himself right out of the Olympia.

[ Q ] What are your current bodybuilding goals Bob? Your next contest would be when?

    I'm two and a half weeks out from the New York show, which I'll be winning. I ain't training for second. Where the judges want to place me, God only knows, but I'm training to win and the other boys better be ready. I figure since I'm the athletes rep I better be leading by example.

    Everything's really good right now, I'm healthy and can't complain. I'm still working with my best friend, and training partner, Tom Prince.

[ Q ] Tell me about your training relationship with Tom.

    He can't really train like he used to, but his expertise on contest prep is among the best.

[ Q ] What weight are you looking at coming in at?

    If I had to take a stab, I would have to say the low 240s somewhere, which I think is me at my best. I've been heavier on-stage. I was in good shape but I don't think it was my best shape.

    My physique tends to come alive a bit better at a lighter weight - my naturally smaller waist comes down even more when I'm lighter. Bodybuilding is all about illusion, there are no scales on stage.

[ Q ] What sort of package are you going to present at the New York show?

    A physique that has zero strong points and zero weak points. That's my ultimate goal. I want people to sit there and say they don't see anything special. To me that's great. To me its all about conditioning, but physique-wise, I feel I am well-proportioned and symmetrical.

    The new mandate from the IFBB states they are going to pay special attention to symmetry and proportion. My question is, what the hell have they been doing for the last 15-20 years? So, that wasn't part of the criteria? It works for me.

    Now I can wait for the conspiracy theorists, who come out in their droves, after I win the NOC to say "wait a minute. So, Cicherillo gets the athletes rep position. Then they change the rules, and then he wins the show." That's pretty much my game plan: to go in and put out the most symmetrical and best combination there is. There will be more muscular, drier and cut physiques, but they won't be prettier.

[ Q ] I now want to give you the opportunity to refute something I saw on the web recently. IFBB pro undercover said, and I quote, "Personally I think Chic kisses the right ass to get the placing's he has been getting. Bob comes in soft, his legs are really funky, his arms have no separations, he has no striations anywhere on his physique and the synthol use is becoming very apparent. It took the man 14 years to turn pro which tells you something about his body, wouldn't you think?" What do you think about these comments?

    I have pretty good idea who wrote that. I kind of find it funny, as it was obviously written by someone I had beaten, probably on a few occasions. It's basically sour grapes. This person can't see that a proportioned, well presented, physique, is better.

IFBB Pro Undercover #37.
Learn about the new pro bodybuilding division and how the first contest is supposed to bring over $600,000 in prize money, who the new IFBB Athletes rep is and more...
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    If a competitor has something that outstanding, generally this means they are out of proportion. I've been bitching about this for years. Some one will say, "this guy has the best legs you have ever seen." Well, what about the rest of him?

    As for coming in soft? Yes, I have come in soft in a few shows, absolutely. That's been my achilles heel over the years. Bodybuilding, like I say, is not an exact science.

    If I had the right formula, I'd be Mr Olympia by now. Again, those sorts of things you can work on, genetics you can't. The rest of the comments are just so stupid; synthol? Where? I don't even know where the hell they're talking about. It's not as if I'm sporting 24-inch guns or bowling-ball shoulders. You see guys with synthol, and it is the dumbest looking thing, so stupid.

    There is far less of that going on at the pro level than people think. You kinda saw a brief hint of it, but then it faded away - because it looks retarded. You're not going to get away with this, at the pro level, for to long without it looking really bad and obvious.

[ Q ] Any other predictions for 2005? Is the Olympia a reality for you this year? What are your long-term plans?

    I would like to have at least one more Olympia during my time of competing. I don't know how many years I have left competing. I really never had any wish to be on-stage into my late 40s as I've been doing this since I was 13.

    Obviously, sometime in the next five years I will look at hanging the trunks up, but it will still be exciting to get back to competing at the Olympia, it is the best show on earth.

    If for some unforeseen reason I don't make it back to the Olympia, that's fine. I will still be doing other things like last year with the pre-game-show, and the seminar I did the day after [the Olympia]. There's always stuff going on with I would still continue with all that kind of stuff.

    Hopefully, broadcasting of the Olympia will present itself. For some unknown reason, they keep picking people who just can't speak to do these broadcasts. The pay-per-views are horrible - these are something else I would like to help to address.

[ Q ] What are some of the ways bodybuilding can be popularized?

    There's money to be made out there. The WWE has given us a perfect template to borrow.

[ Q ] Hasn't this been tried before?

    Vince McMahon tried to take the WWF and make the WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation). I knew this would fail. The problem was, you can't turn bodybuilding into a clown show, and that's what they did. That was embarrassing. Dressing people up in little hats and costumes. You don't need that.

    We need to bring personalities into bodybuilding. We need entertainment in bodybuilding. I don't mean the shit they tried in the WBF, juggling f^cking balls like a one-man-band or something, with symbols between your knees.

    When I say entertainment, you need to bring the personalities into the sport - that's what wrestling did. Hulk Hogan was a master at that. You didn't watch Hogan because he was great wrestler, or when the next body-slam was coming up. You watched Hulk Hogan for all the horseshit that he did. You know, the pointing of the finger with the big eyes, the mannerisms, the shaking of the head.

    It wasn't particularly the wrestling moves, it was the hand to the ear and the crap afterwards. It was the interviews. You watch wrestling now and it is about 70% interviews. I'm at a lot of bodybuilding shows, we sponsor a lot of shows at, and I'm their main spokesman, and I can't watch these things, and I'm a pro bodybuilder. I'm bored shitless.

    Routine after routine after routine, it is boring. You need to give people a reason to watch bodybuilding, and it ain't gonna be because someone is hitting a front double biceps.

    Ultimately, that's a body-slam. Nobody's gonna watch that. What they will watch is personalities. In bodybuilding, we have guys who have the most diverse personalities in the world.

    Dexter "The Blade" Jackson, "King" Kamali, Jay "A Cut Above" Cutler and Lee "the Blond Myth" Priest, for example. We already have characters. These guys are from all walks of life.

    We have new guys and old guys. We have guys like Chris Cormier who is the journeyman champ. You have guys with colorful pasts like Victor Martinez.

Check Out A Plethora Of Personality Inteviews.

[ Q ] How do we bring out the pros personalities and create a parallel with the WWE?

    Before these guys even step on-stage they should be interviewed. They could run a piece on them on the big screen, just before they make their appearance.

    What I would do, using the WWE as a template, is to make a bodybuilding show a production, not a competition. Competitions are only interesting to those who are in the competition or a family member. It's like going to watch a running race. Well, that's not entertaining.

    How do you bring in other people? It's just like people who are wrestling fans who you would never think are wrestling fans. They watch it because it is like a soap opera. Who left who, who did what, who stabbed who in the back. This guy was his tag-team partner, now he has turned his back on him, and now this guys managing that guy. That sort of thing.

[ Q ] But bodybuilding is a contest, surely you can't go creating scenarios.

    You don't even have to make things up. Things can be kept real. Just bring out the personalities - let the leash off these guys, let them talk shit. Just like we did in the press conference. I begged them for four years to change that boring ass, ether infected, press conference - it was like watching paint dry.

    You had people asking the most retarded questions you have ever seen. Finally, they gave me the opportunity last year. And I told them: lets make it into a production.

    First of all, I said let's get you guys out of those freaking suits. We're athletes. Try putting these guys in track suits. Guess what, by doing this somebody might take a jacket off and hit a pose, and challenge someone. And that's what happened. And put someone out there who can ask some real questions. I put myself out there, not afraid to ask the questions.

    I asked Gunter, "how do you feel about not being on the Olympia poster, do you feel slighted, did they make it a two-man race between Jay and Ronnie." And Bam, Gunter stepped right up.

    I talked to the guys in private, just before they went out. I said "remember, it is a show, we need to make this thing entertaining for our own good." The more entertaining we can be, the more attractive we become to sponsors.

    We need to understand we're all in the same boat here. We guest pose together, travel together. Everybody's pretty friendly toward each other, for the most part. Talk some smack, have some fun. The guys responded well to this.

    We had guys standing on tables in shops during the pre-game show, me and Triple-H co-hosted the event. You have never heard of the press conference before this one.

    Do some personality pieces on these guys. If I was producing the Olympia, I would even trash traditional protocol. I'd have someone out there like a Darrem Charles doing his thing. He is one of the best posers in the sport. Well, so is Melvin Anthony and King Kamali.

    When Darrem is out there, why not have, toward the end of his routine, have the big screen come up and have Melvin Anthony saying "Whoa, wait a minute, let me tell you something Darrem, let me show you what I got." And then, ladies and gentlemen Melvin Anthony. Boom, and he comes out. And then have King Kamali come out right after him.

    Maybe all on stage at the same time. They're not really getting judged on their routines anyway. Have King Kamali up on the big screen saying, "hey wait a minute you guys. I'm the best poser here and everybody knows it. I'll come out and prove it to you now, on the same stage, at the same time." Could you even imagine something like that happening.

[ Q ] What about the judging process?

    Nobodies judging the routines. Are you telling me Ronnie's the best poser out there. But see how many routine rounds he's won over the years - probably every one of them. Its what I like to call a justification round, a point here and there, but ultimately a useless round. I don't fault the judges, I fault the judging system which sucks ass. It's outdated.

    It was put in place to try top get bodybuilding into the Olympic's years ago, which is never going to happen. If it's never going to happen, then get rid of it. It's a system that doesn't work.

    Take the symmetry round, round one. It's not a symmetry round. You mean to tell me the most symmetrical guys are called up there one, two and three - there's no f^cking way.

    Jay Cutler and Gunter the first call-outs of the symmetry round? Are you kidding me. The muscularity round is fairly true because that is basically bodybuilding. Even at that, it's a bit tainted, because even some of the most muscular guys aren't called up because they have shitty physiques.

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    If you take a guy with a mountain of muscle on him, but he's not very good, he's not going to get called into the top three. The posing round is another muscularity round. King Kamali has never won a posing round, but is among the best posers. Same with Darrem Charles, other than the show's he has won.

    So what happened, his posing fell off at the Olympia? No. So what do we have? Four muscularity rounds. If you're going to do that, scrap the system, it doesn't work. The posing should be purely entertainment for the crowd.

    If it's more entertaining, then it will attract more pay-per-view and if that picks up, then there will be more sponsorships. Where do you think all the money for the NFL or NBA comes from? TV revenue.

[ Q ] So bodybuilding needs to appeal more to the masses, to generate extra revenue to help grow the sport?

The masses? We need to get acceptance from our own fans (laughs). If it was entertaining it would appeal to more people. We need to catch up with the times.

[ David ] It was a pleasure interviewing you Bob.

    Thank you David, I look forward to seeing it.