My View On The Industry
I have been in this industry, pumping iron, and creating clothing specifically for bodybuilding and fitness athletes since around 1984. I notice there are two sides. The "Lifetime Naturals", and the "Steroid Users". To this day I am trying to figure out why one is better than the other. I do not think that there is a gym in the whole country that has not had the words uttered, "Oh, he/she only looks like that because he/she is on steroids". What I have noticed is that the people that do that type of accusing do not even know how to tell the difference.
What is really exciting is the fact that in this day and era there are so many of us that can say we have been pumping iron for over 20 years. And yes, I know there are some that have been doing it for 30 plus, but please bear with me, I have only been pumping for 25, and the only reason I started is because in the 70's I was one of those "Big girls" at 5'8". So I joined the local gym like anyone else to try to drop some pounds, but LOVED pumping iron.
There are a lot of people, just from listening to conversation, that still believe someday bodybuilding could be an Olympic Sport. But here is where I start to get confused. Is bodybuilding a sport? Nobody jumps higher, runs faster, or even gets credit for how much weight we lift. We spend months and months calculating food intake and carefully planning workouts all centered around what we think can make our bodies look a certain way. Then when you get it the way you feel is just right, you again calculate your food intake and re-plan our workouts to lean out enough to show off all that hard sculpting.
Then you have to present yourself. I know in one of my books it is stated that back in the beginning of bodybuilding competitions they actually checked your teeth! No kidding. I do not remember which book it is, but I am sure there are some old school people out there that will back me up on that one. Nonetheless, nowadays you must be sure your skin is clean and dark. You must have a well-fit suit. Hair and make-up for the women must be neat and tidy. Perfect package. Mandatory poses must be well practiced. And then you present yourself to a panel of judges, and a usually very opinionated audience for all to decide in their own minds who has a better symmetry, more separation, vascularity, great posing, etc...
Is Bodybuilding A Form Of Art?
Now, is that not art? I believe it takes an incredibly disciplined athlete to be a bodybuilder, and that I stand firm on. But I also believe bodybuilding is a beautiful form of art. It is incredibly difficult, and that is why there are very few, compared to the amount of people in our wonderful country that are bodybuilders. And is it not the artists of the world that are always picked on in one way or another? The artist is always the "strange one". The normal guy is always making faces at the bodybuilder walking down the street, muttering how they would never want to look like that. Yeah, right.
I can remember in my high school days actually being picked on because I made my own clothing and they were definitely not the normal idea of what to wear. I had made skirts out of neckties, and jean skirts with sequins set in hypnotic circular patterns always in very awkward places. And now, yes, even scrawny me gets picked on for having rounded shoulders and biceps.And I LOVE IT!
I do not understand why it is such a big deal for the natural bodybuilders to attack anyone for using any kind of supplement. With all the different kinds of supplements that are out there now, there are a lot that sell over the counter at your local health food store that have close to the same effect as some of the illegal drugs. So where would one draw the line on what is natural or not? And really now, why is it such a big deal?
Bodybuilding is such a personal and spiritual lifestyle, that really only benefits that one single individual working on him/herself. Why do people feel so threatened to feel they have the right to attack someone for looking awesome, large, and super lean? I can faithfully say it is not because the attacker has any concern for the individual's health.
Yes, we have lost some really cool people in this industry due to drug abuse. But then again, we have lost some really cool rock musicians due to drug abuse. Aahh? artists. Interesting.
Not a morning goes by while I am running up in the woods with my dogs that I don't ponder these thoughts. Why do the lifetime natural bodybuilders always feel compelled to attack or pick on the ones they consider unnatural, when frankly if it weren't for the latter, nobody would be interested in the first place? Why do so many female bodybuilders that do take drugs feel so compelled to always have to tell everybody they do not take drugs? And for goodness sake, why is it such a big deal anyway? Why does it have to be an issue in the first place? Why can't every bodybuilder just respect each other's art and how they go about presenting it?
It's only my opinion,