T Nation

Matt Porter on the Bodybuilding Scene


#1

I thought this post was AWESOME. You guys' thoughts?

"After attending the 2015 Arnold Classic I was left with some deep thoughts on the current state of Bodybuilding and the Fitness industry as a whole. This industry has dramatically changed in the last decade, but really made a HUGE leap in transformation in just the last 3 years due to prominent presence of social media--i.e. FaceBook, InstaGram, twitter, and YouTube. These outlets have made certain people (and I use these terms loosely) celebrities, icons, leaders, and individuals young people admire, look up to, and aspire to become.....

Now I have no issues with people making a name for themselves and doing positive things to motivate others and be a role model to the masses etc... but when you can literally start a YouTube channel, and do something as idiotic and moronic as doing dangerous eating challenges risking health, or saying the "F word" over and over again, or thinking you know what all pro Bodybuilders "secretly" do and disclose incriminating information out to the public for the masses to think itâ??s 100% gospel is mind numbing.

As I was walking down the Arnold expo I saw a gigantic line wrapped around the BPI booth, I look up and see the Hodge Twins pictures across the top of a banner. I then see a similar line for another YouTube celebrity known as the BroScience guy, same for CT Fletcher. That was pretty amazing to see, but what choked me up and pierced my heart was immediately after walking past those lines I see Ed Corney's little booth.

I see an individual who is pretty much the centerpiece of Bodybuilding. Someone who had the body, brain, and commendable work ethic. I saw NO LINE, I saw no one interested in his historical albums on his table from the 1960's -1990's with candid pics of Arnold, Franco, Mentzer, you name it. I literally walked away choked up trying to comprehend what is going on in this current era.

Some of these Media Celebrities had bigger lines than some of the most respectful, polite, IFBB Pros in our current day state of Bodybuilding, with perhaps more lucrative sponsors or endorsements. I 100% understand it's all about what the masses want to see and hear for companies to spark interest in paying a person to represent their company. But its to the point now that a company doesn't seem to care whether person is negative, positive , moral, immoral, respectful, disrespectful etc... to be a leader or ambassador.

That part is alarming, someone with an amazing resume of serving our country, achieving a Masters degree, having Doctorate, winning several overalls, and has a amazing build, great family life, and is extremely admirable will get overlooked for sponsorship over someone who has perhaps..."2 million followers." Ouch.....all those accolades and accomplishments mean nothing.

I am on a personal mission to spark positivity back into this industry without doing outlandish activities on camera, without using profanity every other sentence, and to give out the best, most honest information I can give, without compromising my integrity, morals and personal beliefs. I also ask fellow competitors and people with interest in bodybuilding to make conscious decisions on who you follow and look up to."


#2

Honestly i think the hodge twins are fucking stupid and dont see wjy anyone gives 2 shits about them. Id go see bro science dude just to get a good laugh. Times have definitely changed though. Thats for sure. I dont see wjy furious pete is even sponsored by bb.com other than his decent following. He seems like a good guy though. Now a days its all about how many people you can market to and how big of a following you have So you can push their products and make them money. Sad really.


#3

This sums it up.

It’s business… watcha gonna do? Lightweight motherfucker!


#4

I suppose the mask has been pulled off a bit in modern bodybuilding. Most IFFB Pros are totally unrelatable to even the expo going population. Now with “normal” guys having a YouTube channel, making it funny and basically saying “we are all in this together, I am a normal dude like you”, numbers flock towards these everyday people.

Another reason for the rise of the Physique Class.

Good for the promoters, supplement companies, Google (youtube), the Youtube celebrities.

Bad for bodybuilding purist.

Almost the same thing happened to Women’s Bodybuilding years ago. The physique’s got so unattainable, people walked away from the sport (or never even showed up).


#5

Still dont understand people’s fascination for guys like CT Fletcher and Rich Piana… i wouldnt go see them if there was no line at all


#6

Eh, it kind of smacks of “Get off my lawn you damn kids” honestly. On the one hand I see what he is saying, but on the other hand its like saying “Why dont young people today like music from the 70’s!? Those guys were REAL artists! Not like these good for nuthin’ rappers today with their baggy pants and curse words!”

Its just the natural order of things. People tend to associate with people more their own age. The Beatles still sell records I’m sure, but they wont sell as many as Justin Beiber or Kanye West will this year, no matter who the better musicians are.

It’s also a matter of exposure and “celebrity”. To people who are really interested in BBing and have taken the time to look at its history he is obviously a legend of the sport… But what is he doing in this day and age to get his name out there? The ONLY reason I know him is because I know a bit about BBing history. Asking casual gym goer’s to be up to date on Body Building history is a bit much from people who don’t give a shit about pure body building but just want to look good, be strong, and have a laugh at a 3 minute video.

Its CERTAINLY not something to literally get choked up over.

Myosin also makes great points. The “word is out” about BBers being on drugs and nearly everyone knows that looking like that isn’t in the cards for them


#7

I saw that post on my FB feed the other day, and it rustled me a bit too.

One one hand, I understand that most of the people following the fitness-sport/lifestyle/hobby (whatever you want to call this all encompassing thing we have some degree of interest in) don’t give a damn about who placed out of the top 5 at the most recent IFBB contests. Their “heros”, for lack of a better term atm, are those who appear to speak well, have some degree (arguable) of knowledge on the subject matter, and are reasonably entertaining. Having accomplished things in either the competitive arena or even the educational one isn’t deemed as a requirement to garner fans and followers. Is this horrible? Not if they help you fulfill your individual goals.

On the other hand, I can’t put aside my own fan-ness of the sport of bodybuilding, nor can I put aside the pedagogical part of my persona (got 3 degrees myself) that values the dedication and perspective that comes to those who excel in these (both?) arenas. Neither is usually gained by having a bit of natural charisma or even just being an early comer to the world of social media.

I personally don’t fully “get” the current state of social media sometimes. [old man/bodybuilder rant coming up! -lol] Oh sure I fully understand how it works, but when I see a girl who has done one contest (placed a deserving dead last), manning 3 facebook pages of her own, an IG, a twitter account, and who knows what else, updating each a good 5-10 times each day, constantly hawking crap and talking about her “sponsors” (minor local bullsh-t and gimmick equipment) and how she lives the “lifestyle” while pleading for her followers to send her money so she can support her aspirations, it certainly doesn’t ring to me as someone who should be looked up to in any way as a fitness related role model. At least not unless the only take home lesson is “learn to cash in on any possible avenue you can.”

S


#8

The consumer is going to decide in the end. If one is passionate about bodybuilding, and follows his passion knowingly without the skills to market himself, the cost to him will be having to settle for much less money than someone who treats it as a business and caters to what his audience wants.

If you accept that all of this is a business (because if you don’t, it’s best to seek some other profession which may prove more lucrative and indulge in your passion on the side), whining about methods other competitors use to market themselves instead of finding original ways to gain a larger share of the market is bad form. It is weak. It shows you have no idea how to compete and the only thing you can do is bad mouth others.

Edit.


#9

[quote]dt79 wrote:
The consumer is going to decide in the end. If one is passionate about bodybuilding, and follows his passion knowingly without the skills to market himself, the cost to him will be having to settle for much less money than someone who treats it as a business and caters to what his audience wants.

If you accept that all of this is a business (because if you don’t, it’s best to seek some other profession which may prove more lucrative and indulge in your passion on the side), whining about methods other competitors use to market themselves instead of finding original ways to gain a larger share of the market is bad form. It is weak. It shows you have no idea how to compete and the only thing you can do is bad mouth others.

Edit.[/quote]

Yup. It saddens me to see guys like Corney just passed by like that, but the reality is that there aren’t many real fans of the sport, and like you stated, at the end of the day, for 99% of people involved, it is a business. Hell, if it weren’t, I doubt it would be around in the current incarnation (Arnold Classic Expo bringing in millions of dollars every year and mainstream media coverage vs a few hundred bucks to a contest winner and a general disregard for the practioners by the general public back in the 70’s)

S


#10

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
The consumer is going to decide in the end. If one is passionate about bodybuilding, and follows his passion knowingly without the skills to market himself, the cost to him will be having to settle for much less money than someone who treats it as a business and caters to what his audience wants.

If you accept that all of this is a business (because if you don’t, it’s best to seek some other profession which may prove more lucrative and indulge in your passion on the side), whining about methods other competitors use to market themselves instead of finding original ways to gain a larger share of the market is bad form. It is weak. It shows you have no idea how to compete and the only thing you can do is bad mouth others.

Edit.[/quote]

Yup. It saddens me to see guys like Corney just passed by like that, but the reality is that there aren’t many real fans of the sport, and like you stated, at the end of the day, for 99% of people involved, it is a business. Hell, if it weren’t, I doubt it would be around in the current incarnation (Arnold Classic Expo bringing in millions of dollars every year and mainstream media coverage vs a few hundred bucks to a contest winner and a general disregard for the practioners by the general public back in the 70’s)

S
[/quote]

Yeah, as a fan and spectator, I don’t like what I see either. The thing is, if the “serious” professional bodybuilders adopt this loser attitude, it does nothing but hold them back.


#11

I can’t tell if he is talking more about the fitness industry or bodybuilding or trying to mix the two more than they should be. It’s obvious the Arnold is becoming less about bodybuilding so you can’t really complain about bodybuilding related stuff in regards to that expo. If your deeply involved in bodybuilding you can’t really concern yourself with the rest of the fitness industry. Anything that mainstream is always reduced to the lowest common denominator, its just a fact of life.


#12

Correct in waaaaay many more ways than the “unrelatable” aspect.

The golden age of BB was when mainstream public looked up to bodybuilders as being freakishly strong (thank you Arnold movies), larger than life and athletic to boot (thank you pro wrestling), punch through a brick wall (thank you Arnold movies), the most desirable to women everywhere (thank you early Chippendale shows with muscle beach recruits), rich and famous (thank you Arnold again) AND attainable by everyday joes by hard work and good food (thank you Joe Weider)

This is no longer the case. You’re more likely to intimidate people by wearing a freakin’ Tapout shirt and sporting a few bruises, attract women by simply being tall, thin and well endowed, etc etc etc The mask is off for bodybuilding in general (not just IFBB)

The same internet celebrities WILL bring people back to bodybuilding over time, though… for a very obvious reason :slight_smile: We need to be patient.

[quote]Myosin wrote:
I suppose the mask has been pulled off a bit in modern bodybuilding. Most IFFB Pros are totally unrelatable to even the expo going population. Now with “normal” guys having a YouTube channel, making it funny and basically saying “we are all in this together, I am a normal dude like you”, numbers flock towards these everyday people.

Another reason for the rise of the Physique Class.

Good for the promoters, supplement companies, Google (youtube), the Youtube celebrities.

Bad for bodybuilding purist.

Almost the same thing happened to Women’s Bodybuilding years ago. The physique’s got so unattainable, people walked away from the sport (or never even showed up).[/quote]


#13

pop music and politics immediately come to mind.


#14

Ed Corney ignored, yet idiots like Bostin Loyd and Rich Piana are basking in the bright rays of social glory. Sad indeed.