T Nation

My 2008 Olympia Experiece. The Expo.

I’m a longtime member (since 2003) but rarely post. I got a chance to go Vegas for the Expo and keeping with the spirit of Shugart’s article, I thought I would share my experience:

I got there friday at 8am and left sunday at 6am. Don’t ever fly that early (departed at 6am local time, both times). Basically started on a huge sleep deficit. Horrible mistake.

Random thoughts, facts and stories:

(I’m too lazy to type every exact detail, but if you are particularly interested in a company, product or character, just ask.)

  • For about 90% of the attendees the Expo is about free shit. Plain and simple. Some people will act like civilized individuals, and others will just make their way to grab samples like they need it to survive.

Surprisingly almost all of the latter were grown adults and not teenagers. Personally, after two days, I walked away with 100+ samples of various products (mostly fat burners and pre-workout boosters, some protein) and about a dozen different tshirts, all free.

  • The quantity of samples you will get is ridiculous. Just by visiting each booth/stand once you will be set for the day. The companies that gave away the most stuff (without having to sign in or register to anything) were Optimum Nutrition and VPX.

Along with BSN, those were probably the best looking girls (as in hot but not trashy-crack whore hot). In numbers?

About 22 of 25 would get my approval…some were bitches…but most were nice…a couple that I got to know some more, I would go as far as meeting their parents (so much for being too lazy to type details).

  • Met a chatted with a couple owners Matt from RPN and Joey from MAN Sports. Have talked to them online before, so made sure to come around and score some good deals. Great guys. Great products, IMO.

  • Met an idol, Barbie Barbell aka Amanda Harris, sponsored athlete for All-American EFX. She’s only 17 and already has like +240 powerlifting records. A regular Texas teenager. I think she has the potential to do for the industry what Arnold did back in the day.

Yes, that special. Also present: Ronnie Coleman (signing for BSN and charging), Jose Canseco with GAT or something (pretty much ignored, I was just waiting for people to start yelling Rat!), WWE’s Paco Bautista with Nutrabolics and John Cena with Ultimate Nutrition (cool dude I admire).

Darling Jamie Eason with BB.com was also signing autographs. A few more that I don’t remember right now.

  • Met the people from CMI. Along with a friend we got a chance to talk bullshit-free science, which was good and refreshing. They got some of my business.

  • Also talked to the people from StarChem Labs, allegedly an up-and-coming company from NJ. They had a couple interesting products and another one with some “crazy shit I cannot tell you about or what it chemically looks like, because people will rip it off”.

One of those products contains 11-Ketotestosterone “which was sent to you-know-who and he said it was good shit”. Which makes me wonder why ‘you-know-who’ doesn’t use that form on his product.

They were very impressed with my friend’s chemical knowledge and my portrayal of ‘bad cop’, so they asked for our info so we could get their whole line and ‘spread the word if they work’. I may or may not receive those.

  • Talked to the VPX people, they have a new product called BANG!. Supposedly “the first stable liquid creatine”. They dropped a couple big known names that are on their R&D board, so they may or may not be onto something.

  • According to my math I consumed almost 3grs of caffeine on a 36 hour period, thanks to shots containing 500mg in 2Fl oz and beauties like BSNs ‘Endorush’ which according to their rep, may contain up to 800mg in a 16fl OZ bottle (proprietary blend).

Add about 3 low-carb monsters (thanks to the convenient machines on the monorail stations) plus countless trials of nasty-tasting shit, some even including good old ephedra. Pretty stupid now that I think about it, but something had to pick me back up when I started to crash.

  • Pre-workouts were the most popular product. Beta-alanine was definitely the MVP of ingredients. EVERY pre-workout product has it. “Have you tried it?”, one company rep asked, I felt pretty good letting them fuckers know that I had first tried it +4 years ago when MAN’s Body Octane first brought that shit to light. How dare you asking me if I have had it???

  • Bullshit alert: some company promoting DNA testing to see “what’s wrong with your genetics”. A freaking saliva swab??? At least get my blood. Their reps were wearing lab coats and talking about science this and science that, so I thought I’d asked them what degrees they had…“I’m in finance”, one said.

Then he proceeded to give me a long ass speech about how much of a great business opportunity it was and how if I referred four people I could have free testing for life. Gotta go, thanks.

  • There was also this company with a Glycine PLCAR HCL (GlycoCarn®) product. They had a TON of literature making me think they spend all their money at Kinko’s. But the combo looks interesting. I understand Poliquin really likes PLCAR. Surprisingly is not widely popular yet, mostly because regular ALCAR is still way cheaper, IMO.

  • Most companies are now aware arginine is shit for NO. They have to get rid of their current stock for now, but they know the new wave of NO boosters will be arginine-free and their main priority is to come up with solid replacements. That was a surprise to hear several times.

  • Cheap shot of the Expo? Somebody’s energy shot that contains 500mg of caffeine and 3grs of Beta-Alanine. “Because you know people want stuff they can feel”, they said. Really?

  • VERY little protein around. I guess the companies are getting away from it because of the slim margins of profit and high shipping charges?

But anyways, I’m sure there are some other stories but that’s all I got for now. Let me know if you got any questions in particular.

That’s really cool. Thanks for posting. It’s strange/a shame we don’t get these types of expos in the UK even on a moderate scale.

Were you by any chance there Saturday am about 10? There was dude in line in front of us wearing a sleeveless flannel with jean cutoffs so short you almost didn’t know they were there… BUT this dude had quads the size of me! Crazy freaky vascular! Very impressive, but also kind of frightening.

Or the chick that banged out 10 reps of 250 (the fake 450) without hesitation? Maybe not a big deal to some of you… but so damn impressive to me!
I was actually very unimpressed with the O. The Arnold blew it away!

[quote]Bachovas wrote:

  • VERY little protein around. I guess the companies are getting away from it because of the slim margins of profit and high shipping charges?
    [/quote]

great summary wish you went further in detail though but sounds like an overall great experience.

maybe china was a big factor in the lack of protein powders?

[quote]GymJenn wrote:
Were you by any chance there Saturday am about 10? There was dude in line in front of us wearing a sleeveless flannel with jean cutoffs so short you almost didn’t know they were there… BUT this dude had quads the size of me! Crazy freaky vascular! Very impressive, but also kind of frightening.

Or the chick that banged out 10 reps of 250 (the fake 450) without hesitation? Maybe not a big deal to some of you… but so damn impressive to me!
I was actually very unimpressed with the O. The Arnold blew it away! [/quote]

Missed the guy with the jean cutoffs (luckily) and also missed the woman repping the fake weights. But I did see Barbie Barbell repping her BW 40 times! That was crazy.

Great summary! Did you watch the Powerlifting Supershow? That was the highlight for me.

I saw some of it. Including a ridiculous 700lbs X 10 in bench.

Were you working the expo or were you just in attendance?

[quote]Bachovas wrote:
I saw some of it. Including a ridiculous 700lbs X 10 in bench.

WTF?? im not sure i can belive that, are you sure it wasnt the incredible hulk in disguise?

There were a bunch of World Records being broken there. I remember hearing “for the world record…” a bunch of times while I walked around.

The original incredible hulk was in the building…but that’s another story.

[quote]Bachovas wrote:
I saw some of it. Including a ridiculous 700lbs X 10 in bench.

Were you working the expo or were you just in attendance?[/quote]

I actually went just to see that, I wasn’t working this one. Five of the lifters are my friends from our gym in Omaha, so it was very cool to see this kind of contest on such a big stage!

That’s crazy, I may have to go visit some of my Omaha buddies and go check out that Big Iron gym. Sounds like an incredible place to train.

Thats for the writeup, pretty awesome.

No pictures? lol

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Thats for the writeup, pretty awesome.

No pictures? lol[/quote]

Here is one of the Big Iron Team backstage