I could be well wide of the mark here, as I’ve only got my own (maybe limited) personal observations to go by, but has bodybuilding kinda died? I say this for a few reasons;
- Hardcore gyms seem to be disappearing at a rapid rate, in favor of more profitable airbrushed ‘fern bars’ where the staff have nothing better to do than hassle me about using chalk or telling me to use the Hammer Strength deadlift machine instead of the free weight version, so ‘the bars don’t get damaged’ (if they even have any free weights left!).
- How many hard core meat heads do you find in gyms nowadays? How many competitive bodybuilders do you know (geared or not)? Competitive powerlifters? Maybe you know a few, but I’ll bet not as many as you would 7 years ago.
- It doesn’t look like there are a lot of younger guys taking it up anymore. It seems like the average age of lifters/ gym members is gradually rising. At the risk of sounding old beyond my years is this too much computer games!?
- Steroids and steroid users are sadly a diminishing breed, at least in the southern hemisphere. Drugs are getting lower quality, more expensive and harder to find. I’m sure this is having a major impact on the number of hardcore lifters.
We hang out in gyms, socialise with other bodybuilders and spend our spare time on websites like this one, so maybe we get a distorted picture of how popular the sport is. But take a walk down the street. How many bodybuilders do you see walking around the city you live in? On the train or bus? Hell I’m not the biggest guy around by a long shot, but even I’m bigger than half the guys working security at pubs and bars nowadays? Has the criminalisation of steroids taken bodybuilding out of the hands of the public and left it the sole reserve of a (small and shrinking) minority subculture? Is bodybuilding/ power- or- olympic- lifting whether competitive or recreational doomed to going back to its ‘weirdo’, pre- Pumping Iron days again? Thoughts?