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Minimum Standards for Big Contests?!

I think we’ve had a similar thread a while back where a certain competitor was upset being left off a poster…

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so to clarify, because I don’t know how bodybuilding works… can anyone just sign up and compete at the Arnold as an amateur bodybuilder? There isn’t any sort of qualifying at lower levels? If that’s the case… yes, there should be.

Every other sport at the Arnold is the best of the best, even in the amateur ranks. I’m a heck of a strongman competitor. I can deadlift 600+, lift a 340 lbs Atlas stone, press 280 overhead, and I have yet to qualify for the Arnold, as a LIGHTWEIGHT AMATEUR. The lowest division available. Powerlifting is similar, you have to qualify through previous competitions. The highland games have a similar process.

So yea, it would absolutely make sense, and be in line with, the rest of the Arnold to have standards.

I would be surprised if there isn’t entry criteria but it is probably like most sports in that you need to win a certain level of contest or gathered sufficient points.

That could have been over 11 months ago if Arnold Strongman is any guide.

Pretty easy in bodybuilding to rock up out if shape with those timeframes.

The question is can they refund the entry fee (assuming there is one), can it result in promoters being sued and how is the standard judged?

Are these guys trolls or did they believe they deserved to be here?

I’m not the biggest fan of LUI (guy who posted the video), and I didn’t watch all of the prejudging, so I don;t know if this was the regular Arnold divisions, or the AMATEUR ARNOLD divisions, which has been a thing for several years now.

Based on what I do know about the IFBB, is that you MUST be a valid Pro to be allowed entry into a Pro show (The Olympia, The Arnold, The NY Pro etc). With some Pro shows, even if you are technically a pro, you might still have to further Qualify for entry (like the Olympia) or else every “Pro” out there - and some are shockingly not impressive - would enter every contest and they would take days to complete.

With bodybuilding in general, except for the bottom level amateur shows, there is usually some type of tier system. That’s why if you scroll social media you’ll see countless fit folks bragging about being “NATIONALLY QUALIFIED”. It means that they finished in the top 5 at a State level (smaller) show that was denoted as a “Qualifier.” This does not automatically mean that they are excellent in their chosen sport, just that they either did earn a top 5 placing, or (as I’ve seen many times -lol) they had a small class and beat one, two, sometimes even no other competitors.


Luimarco’s content was, once upon a time, pretty awesome to watch. Lately, it has changed…for the worse, in my opinion. A lot of his content is to self-promote his online training, to promote competitors that he likes, or to hate on competitors/organizations that he doesn’t like. That being said…

I agree with @flipcollar’s assessment 100%. There needs to be a qualification system to be at big shows…and there is – for strongman, for powerlifting, for PRO bodybuilding. Why isn’t there a qualification system for amateur bodybuilding (that term incorporates bikini, figure, physique, class physique, 212, and open)?

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Entry fees? They collect cash from every amateur who wants to get on stage right?

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I would assume so, yes. It makes sense for smaller shows…but when you also have a three day expo, it’s not as if the amateur-competitor-entry-fee is needed to garner profits…
My question was a bit more rhetorical. I suppose a better one is: When the organization is netting so much money off the expo (booth rentals, expo attendees, etc), why isn’t there a qualification system in place to keep standards high for the competitions in lieu of even more profits?
Again, rhetorical – I understand that human nature makes people shitty.

lol that’s not a qualification system.

For the amateur strongman competitors, you still have to pay entry fee, AND you have to qualify via competition, which is pretty freakin’ hard to do. I believe top 8ish at NAS nationals qualified last year for each class, and then the rest of the competitors come in internationally or via other qualifications at big shows. I’m competing in USS nationals this year, and even if I win that, I’m not qualified to compete at the Arnold as an amateur. Basically, I’m saying it ain’t easy, lol.

I was speaking to how the BB guys slipped through who clearly weren’t bodybuilders. @IronAndMetal asked “Why is there no qualification system?” The only rational explanation I could think of was entry fees. But that doesn’t hold water either.

That’s been a question I’ve seen asked before,… at what level should there be just an open free for all when you’re discussing amateurs.

Something I had said in previous discussions about whether someone belonged onstage or not was along the lines of these very different view points:

1- If someone gets in shape (ie. loses 100 pounds) and is damn proud of themselves, and feels proud in their body for the first time ever, and a contest is there way of showing off their hard work…

2- A bodybuilding contest is not a bucket list, and for serious competitors, who eat, breath and live their sport, having to show pics of their “competition” after the show, especially if they win, and seeing a “fellow competitor” who is still an easy 30+ lbs away from being lean, cheapens their suffering and ultimately their victory.


I’m not well-versed in bodybuilding, but I’m with @flipcollar. I competed against an Arnold competitor at my last strongman competition. It was a total blow-out. I mean, this guy was obviously on a different level than the rest of us, & he apparently made the Arnold cut-off by a hair. It’s crazy to think that Bodybuilding doesn’t have similar standards for an expo of that caliber.

Yeah but what happens if a strongman wins Arnold’s Australia, 2 weeks after the Ohio Arnold.

S/he’s qualified. Theyre excited and pays their fees and buy their flihht/hotel rooms.

They go to train the next week and ruptures their Achilles. Takes a full 12 months to recover and they havent been able to train.

Theyre gonna get creamed.

I believe the same thing can happen in bodybuilding or the guy can lose the drive during his prep.

Do you call them out on the day? What happens to all the money they’ve spent?

That’s a good point. If that happened to me though, I’d probably pull out of the competition like a lot of the pros have done for WSM & the Arnold & such. I guess it comes down to the competitor, but especially in a physique/BB comp where their look is their brand, showing up is such dismal condition seems quite the odd choice.

If you are clearly still hurt, that’s one thing but if you are healthy but under prepared because you have been hurt… man, that would be a friggin difficult decision to make if you had been working years and years to get there and just came off a long injury which means you might not get there again.

this happens. they have alternates for this reason. they have provisions for injury and such, or just inability to get to the contest for whatever reason.

I also don’t think this situation is remotely similar to the pictures above of guys that are at 30 fucking percent bodyfat, lol.


Who the hell told those guys it would be a good idea to even enter somthing of that level?

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Planet Fitness personal trainer?

Jason Blaha?

Facebook Online Quiz (“are YOU ready to win your first bodybuilding contest?!”



Its funny this thread has been bumped
A mate of mine is on that stage, Mike Pearson. Flew all the way across from Australia to attempt to qualify.

Sacrificed so much like all aspiring professionals, im not going to say anything further in hate, that I dont know what mindset the grossly under prepared man was in, but its sure upsetting and personally I would be beyond pissed if he came out and said it was a dare, or was just mucking around.
Would it have changed the end result? Probably not…

Could it have made a negative mindset towards that particular group? Maybe

But surely anyone in their right mind could think “im not really proving myself to any standards being up on this stage” regardless if they are being serious or not…

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