TOPIC: What 3 Things Could Be Done To Make Competitive Bodybuilding More Mainstream?
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1st Place - Chewwy
1. Introduce Bodybuilding To People At A Young Age:
There is no question that the majority, if given the choice, would want the body of a bodybuilder, in preference to their own.
Even if they did not want to go the whole hog and become huge, they're sure to desire a nice set of abs, a decent sized chest, and bulging biceps. However, the general idea is that to get that kind of body, you have to work too hard, and make too many sacrifices.
To put it bluntly, people are lazy by nature. Anything which requires hard-work and dedication, as bodybuilding does, is seen as abnormal, and often laughed at by those who are misinformed and trying to fit into the way of life which is considered normal and 'cool'.
However, if some form of weight-training was introduced to all school children, around the time where the children reach adolescence, and they were educated properly, and given the opportunity to workout often, then this would change people's views.
The innocent and pure child's mind would be open to and embrace this exciting and rewarding sport. Now it has been widely disproved that resistance training during puberty stunts growth, there is no real reason against this.
As the western world becomes increasingly obese, something must be done. Bodybuilding competitions could be held within and between schools, just as football and baseball games are. This would promote the idea of bodybuilding being more than just a past-time to people.
2. Change Bodybuilding's Reputation From Being A Steroid Fuelled Activity For Freaks, Into A Healthy Lifestyle:
Show your average Joe a picture of Ronnie Coleman or any other top-ranked bodybuilder, and they will be likely to state that he is clearly on steroids. With the way all drugs are being demonized these days, this gives bodybuilding a very bad name.
It is a sad fact that the sport is to a point about getting one's body as big as possible, and steroids provide a quick and easy way of doing this, as well as being able to push the human body to grow to a size larger than ever naturally possible.
If the IFBB were to alter the scoring system, so more aesthetically pleasing, and natural-looking body types were to score higher, the tide would soon turn.
If more bodybuilders were to get into high places, where themselves, and hence their physiques could be reflected in a good light, this would also help to change people's opinions of the sport.
For example, if a few of the top bodybuilders were to do more interviews, and portray themselves as being more human, people would soon realize that there is no great divide between themselves and these guys, and actually take an interest, no longer in a voyeuristic way, into the sport.
Once people did get to learn what it's all about, and see what a great sport and way of life this is, I'm sure bodybuilding's popularity would grow escalate rapidly.
3. Make It More Interesting.
It could be argued that watching gigantic men and women strut about on stage, in the tiniest of undergarments, is not quite as exciting as watching a football match, and this means that it will never be as popular.
One way to add interest would be to raise the cash prizes, so that the sport seems like it is actually worth it for people thinking of turning professional.
Many kids aspire to becoming professional football or baseball players, since they know the rewards which can be obtained, and even if you are not good enough to make it right to the top of your sport, a decent living can be made from being a coach, or competing at lower levels. This is not true of bodybuilding.
2nd Place - Ravadongon
1. Money, Money, Money!
Today, everything needs money being pumped in to be successful. Bodybuilding like anything else needs to be funded well. More prize money would make the career of bodybuilding more lucrative to many, especially the smaller scale contests.
For example, if I were to choose between pursuing a career as a teacher or a career as a doctor, I would chose to pursue a career as a doctor, why, because there is more money in it. If prize totals are upped, then the more chance you have of amateurs turning pro.
This money could also be used for advertising and telecasting major bodybuilding events on TV. Sure it wouldn't start on primetime, but with more money being pumped in, it could only improve it's ratings. And more money means we could recruit commonly known celebrities and etc. and further improve ratings.
Also, continuing on this theme of money as mentioned by many supplements is far too expensive. Boy, even I struggle to buy them now, because the prices are quite often ridiculous at health food stores.
If we lowered prices of supplements I am certain many more people would buy them, especially in lower class countries, such as India as someone mentioned on this forum the other day, where people struggle to afford supplements, even the cheaper ones.
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2. No More Roids
If I asked my friend, who has no interest in fitness, whatsoever, to name five words associated with bodybuilding, I guarantee one of them would be either steroids or drugs.
This would be the case with many people, as a lot of people love to stereotype someone who's better then themselves at something as a "cheat/druggie" or "on roids". But what if we removed roids from bodybuilding, with random testing just like all other competitive sports?
Would it stop people stereotyping bodybuilders in this way? Sure, bodybuilders now would not be as big, but average people wouldn't look down on them, they might even aspire to be like them...
3. Educate People...
Most people know nothing about bodbuilding. I know I for one didn't even know a thing about Mr. Olympia or even for that matter, name a bodybuilder except for Arnold, before starting bodybuilding. I know this would be the case with almost all people.
First of all, in terms of education at a high school level, we need someone educated teaching people about the art of bodybuilding either a pro, experienced lifter or a qualified personal trainer, NOT some pansy gym teacher who thinks he knows it all.
We need to educate these people about not only how to lift weights with correct form, but also educate them about the importance of nutrition, sleep and other underlying factors, apart from just the weights, in bodybuilding.
The history of bodybuilding is another topic which can be taken care of in this sense. It can be handled like any other sport/topic in PE, a course of around 6-8 weeks informing people of the mentioned.
I know a lot of people want to have bigger muscles, it's just that when they try they can't, because they aren't educated about the matter. Education, even just a brief introduction could set many on the path of further developing the sport of bodybuilding.
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3rd Place - Audioslave
Unfortunately it isn't going to be easy to make bodybuilding a very mainstream sport, well at least not in America.
1. Bodybuilding Is Left In The Dark...
In the USA we have so many sports like football, baseball, hockey, basketball, boxing etc., which makes bodybuilding a much less popular sport. This is the main reason why a sport like soccer is not as popular in the US as it may be in other foreign countries.
Fact is, the US has so many other great sports that bodybuilding is somewhat left in the dark. You must think creatively and spread the original essence of the sport to make it become more main stream. It's hard, but possible.
Now the problem I see with bodybuilding is that it has become a freak show. So the first thing I would do is limit/ban the use of steroids.
They might already be doing this but they are going to have to either get tested more frequently or be disqualified if tested positive, or be disqualified if they are over a certain limit.
2. Make It So People Can Relate To It!
The reason I think this would make it more mainstream is because people will be able to relate to the sport more. Not many people out there want to look like these roided out bald guys with puffy nipples, and a growth hormone gut. People want a more natural and realistic physique.
This tactic will not only get more people to watch the show, and get more people involved in competing but it could also increase female viewers. How many guys would watch a Beauty Pageant of bald females with facial hair, and weighing 250 lbs of muscle?
I highly doubt that Trump would sponser a Ms. Bald With Facial Hair beauty contest... but you never know.
Girls would rather see fit men, just like men would rather see fit women. By eliminating or restricting steroid use, more men and women will become much more interested in bodybuilding because it will be something they can relate too. Point is, people would rather have good muscular and physically fit bodies over growth hormone guts with gyno and baldness.
I remember watching a television show on ESPN Classics of Jack LaLanne demonstrating workouts which the people could follow to gain muscle, burn fat etc... If you can get a few professional bodybuilders together (who are not roided out and have physics that people would desire) and put a show together then you will be able to get more people involved in bodybuilding.
I know pro bodybuilders have tapes out, but a television show which airs daily or every other day with bodybuilders demonstrating workouts, and talking about diets, supplements and how to keep a good physic will get people more motivated and into the gym and interested in bodybuilding.
This is a great way to reach out to the people and get them started on the right foot by providing them with information on how to become a bodybuilder.
3. More Or Stronger Advertising.
Obviously my last idea would be more or stronger advertising. The only time I see any advertising for a bodybuilding show is in bodybuilding magazines such as Flex. By advertising in only fitness magazines you are only reaching the public that know about bodybuilding and not the people who don't.
I'm sure if there were more advertisements in other sports magazines like baseball, boxing, or football there would be much more people tuning in or going to see bodybuilding shows, especially since sports players like football players, baseball players, and boxers use weightlifting (bodybuilding) techniques for their training and most of them don't even know about competing in a bodybuilding contest.
How often do you see any bodybuilding contests advertised on television? Barely ever. Papers, magazines, TV, you have to reach out to the people.
That's my three ideas to make bodybuilding more mainstream. Like I said before, in a country like the US there are so many great sports which leave bodybuilding in the dark. These are the steps I would take to try to reach the peoples interest and make a bigger name for bodybuilding. Bodybuilding will be a hard sport to spread, so you must think creatively.