I was thinking about all of this as you were talking and wanted to join in on the convo:
I think, for me personally, BBing seems more like a young mans game. Coming up on 35 I just dont have the desire to be the biggest, strongest person in the gym… I still strive to improve but that desire to be hyooge is mostly gone. Although obviously with a new crop of 18 year olds coming up every year this shouldnt affect BBing as a whole. There was a time in my lift I would have snapped my fingers and turned into Ronnie Coleman… now, 0% chance of that. Frank Zane most likely.
As you both mentioned, the drama is largely gone. Phil is going to win. I happen to think a bit more of Phils physique than you guys do it seems, although kind of in line with above I see how cartoonish and outlandish top BBers are now more than I used to. “Knowing” Phil is going to win kind of kills any desire to see how the other guys are stacking up. Levrone’s come back was kind of fun though.
My interest in top level BBing waned quite a bit after I realized how prevalent drugs were in the sport, for me having that veil lifted killed some of my enthusiasm for keeping tabs on the sport… I think so much of the interest for young guys is “ohhh… if I could just find out that one thing I’m not doing, or doing wrong, I would finally look like XYZ” … Turns out its drugs. Everyone basically trains the same as everyone else… some people do an extra set here, little higher reps there, squeeze this, stretch that… Bottom line is 90% of BBers are doing one big body part a day, about once a week, and about 12-15 sets of 5-12 reps, so why does one person have 50 more pounds of lean mass (assuming they’ve put in the same time)?
Like you guys said, many more avenues for training and physiques. I was getting into this all right about the years 2002-2005. BBing was quite literally synonymous with going to the gym… thats WHY 99% of people went to the gym back in those years, to look like Arnold basically. Now that there is crossfit, MMA training, power lifting, etc competitive BBing is just taking up a smaller and smaller slice of the pie.
thats all I can remember to comment on right now, it was a fun listen though.