Now most of you out there know what my stance is when it comes to the state of and reactions to women's bodybuilding. But, in contrast, when asked about bodybuilding organizations I still tell people that the NPC and IFBB are at the top of the heap, where the elite and the best compete, and if you want recognition as a competitor this is where you should compete.
To be considered the best you have to compete against the best and though the INBF, WNBF, and Muscle Mania are all great organizations, they do not hold a candle to the NPC and IFBB, which is the pinnacle of bodybuilding. However, even though the NPC and IFBB are the best organizations in which to compete in they, just like all the other organizations out there, have not done a whole lot to benefit women in contrast to the men.
I am a true believer that it is the media and organization business affairs that have put demise on women's bodybuilding. When I heard about the WPI (Women's Physique International) I just had to check them out. So, I had to talk to Tim Bonaparte C.E.O. of "Its Fitness" and co-owner of the WPI.
[ AR ] Hello Tim.
[ WPI ] Anita, Thank you for contacting me, and yes I am familiar with your column on Bodybuilding.com. These all seem like great media avenues that will assist us in our search to gain some great sponsors. I will contact my partner today regarding an interview; however, I don't foresee a problem with this. Hopefully, we will benefit from this great positive exposure opportunity.
[ AR ] OK. Whenever you are ready.
[ WPI ] Anita, Great. I spoke with my partner and we are looking forward to talking with you.
[ AR ] You ready Tim? Let's get this going then. First, and the nagging question, why did you two start this organization?
[ WPI ] Here you go Anita. This organization was formed by 4 entities; Big Business Inc, Its Fitness, a retired Pro Fitness competitor, and a retired IFBB Pro bodybuilder. It was formed by athletes, for athletes.
The competitors are going to be the heart of the WPI. Not only will they be able to showcase their hard earned physiques, we are making it more profitable for the athletes. Its Fitness' role is to bring in the money. We are always looking for Sponsors and Promoters.
[ AR ] Are you ready for the nice (sarcastic) press and comments you are going to receive from the other organizations? How are you guys going to deal with that?
[ WPI ] The press plays a key role in making or breaking a new organization. The fact that we invite competitors to openly speak their mind, the press will get more than enough comments to publish.
We don't want the attention to be solely focused on us, but mainly on the competitors. As for some of the other organizations that will even take the time to say negative things, they are equivalent to a boat with a hole in it. Instead of trying to sink us, they should save themselves and treat their athletes better.
[ AR ] Currently, who has come aboard?
[ WPI ] Our official launch is in February of 2006. There are some major players on our team; we just want it to be a surprise. One bit of big news that I will share is the WFF (World Fitness Federation) will allow their athletes to compete in our sanctioned events, and WPI athletes will be allowed to compete in WFF events.
[ AR ] Can you give us the names of the Fitness and IFBB Pro bodybuilder who are part owners? Or do they prefer to be quiet for now?
[ WPI ] Unfortunately, at this time I can't divulge that information. Not that they don't want to be mentioned, but due to the corruption of some current organizations, they are being threatened with losing their current sponsors and income if they even mention their names. However, this will add to the anticipation of who they are. Stayed tuned for more info about them in February 2006.
[ AR ] Have you hit any roadblocks yet?
[ WPI ] To answer your questions: We didn't hit a road block, more like a speed bump. Another publication that is in the pocket of the IFBB printed a FALSE story about the WPI. Basically, they stated that it crashed before it even got started. This couldn't be further from the truth, we are up and running and getting stronger by the minute.
[ AR ] When is your first major event and unveiling of the WPI?
[ WPI ] Our first Pro Qualifier event is scheduled for March in the Northeast. This will be a great launching tool that will let everyone know the WPI is serious and here for the duration. We do everything BIG, so expect this to be a blast.
[ AR ] Do you have any major sponsors yet?
[ AR ] OK, you said "tentative" who is on board. And what media outlets are you planning on using since most are in the NPC/IFBB pocket?
[ WPI ] Anita, We just picked up another WPI sponsor. Cocoa Beach Tanning will be offering the best in Airbrush tanning to contestants at selected competitions. For more information on price, visit the Cocoa Beach web site at www.cancuninc.com.
Our main media outlet will be our web site www.OFFICIALWPI.com we will post the latest news, upcoming events, and contest results. Of course we will also use Bodybuilding.com, Musclemag International, and Muscular Development. We are keeping our options open for other media avenues as well.
[ AR ] Since membership is similar to the NPC or IFBB are you planing on doing a magazine for members like the NPC has?
[ WPI ] We spoke about this, but no decisions have been finalized. If a magazine wants to cover publications of our members, they can surely contact us.
[ AR ] What is "Its Fitness?"
[ WPI ] Its Fitness is the Promotions company for the WPI. We are Chairman over a large portion of the major bodybuilding states. Its Fitness and Big Business Inc. both have vested interests in the WPI. Its Fitness believes that any competitor from any federation should be able to compete wherever and whenever they like.
Pro competitors make their living displaying their talents. Who is to say that they can't compete in other federation's events. In my opinion, that is hindering competitors from making the most money possible. If a person can prepare themselves to compete in as many shows as they want no matter what federation, more power to them. We have no restrictions of this kind at Its Fitness.
[ AR ] Thanks Tim, I'll be in touch for further updates and we'll talk again, very soon. Those of you interested check out their web site www.OFFICIALWPI.com. Further News and Updates on the WPI will be posted on Muscle Update.