T Nation

Skipping Smaller Shows for the Olympia


If you were one of the top bodybuilders in the world (you were a serious threat to win the Mr. O) would you skip all the smaller pro shows like the IronMan, NY Pro, Europa(s), Atlantic City, Colorado Pro, even the Arnold Classic ect... just to focus on the Mr. Olympia?

A few pros seem to take the year off to prepare for the biggest show of the year (which makes sense), but meanwhile they can be racking up wins at the smaller shows. I look back at pros like Levrone and see how many pro wins he has (22?) and the legacy he left behind. He ran the circuit racking up wins and still managed to be a threat at the O.

For example, I see a pro like Phil Heath, being able to knock down win after win in these smaller shows with out much resistance. However, he sat out this entire year to prepare for the Olympia (which he has a VERY good chance at winning). What would you do and why?


id take a year off to prepare for the olympia because if you have a good chance of winning like phil has, why risk your muscles fading to much by dieting down, bulk up and come out bigger and better Conditioned
just my 2cents :wink:


I think it depends. For a guy like Wolf who already has the endorsement deals and doesn't need the extra money he could make from winning a few smaller shows I think it's wise to sit out.

For guys that aren't quite making so much money it might be wiser to place at the smaller shows and at least make something. Although, I'm pretty sure smaller shows don't really pay much (10k or so?) so it might not even be worth it then.

Besides, the only wins people really care about are the Arnold and the O.


I agree with you guys. Why go through hell all the time with dieting down and risks injuries for shows that aren't "worth" the time. I know money is always a major incentive, but as competitive people (as we are by nature) why not strive to rack more wins? I guess just winning that ONE important show is more competitive than winning multiple smaller shows.

It seems more common with today's pros to only do the "important" shows, rather than running the circuit like the pros from back in the day did.


You can largely thank the internet for that. In the early 90's, no one was even going to see these guys outside of a bodybuilding magazine. Those mags were also not going to feature people who weren't winning RIGHT NOW. Therefore, to get the exposure they needed to even get their names out there, they had to compete constantly.

That is no longer the case. Phil Heath hasn't stepped on stage in well over a year I believe yet people are still pulling his pics up and discussing him every single week. The mags are no longer in control of the entire industry. Some could say sites like this and others have taken that spot light.


Well that about wraps it up. I hope you don't mind me leaving this here.



Midget Mac FTW.


i thought you had to qualify for the O

so that you needed to do those shows before you could even gain access to it.



That makes sense.

How about this though? Lets say a bodybuilder like Victor Martinez (who happens to be my favorite so I admit I may be biased) never ends up winning the Olympia. He has a very legit shot at winning it, but never does. He eventually retires after a few years to go on to different business ventures.

He has only 3 pro wins under his belt, being the Night of Champions, The GNC Show of Strength and the Arnold. Not a bad record by any means, especially with that Arnold Classic win in there. He also has an Olympia runner up (which should have been a 1st place, but thats another story) that adds to his credit.

However, I feel that Vic is one of the largest, most muscular, aesthetic and symmetrical bodybuilders of late. I feel that he is ONE of the better overall bodybuilders of recent time and "deserves" to be mentioned with the greats of the sport when all is said and done (at least physique wise). I just don't feel that 3 pro wins really expresses that.

He won't really be leaving a legacy behind like pros of the past did. Also, how will they decide to enter new pros into the hall of fame with only a few wins under their belts?

I'm ranting. Let me sum it up.

I feel that as competitors, we should strive to win as much as we can. Rack up wins and leave behind a legacy. Leave your mark somehow, someway. When ever someone commits to something, they strive to be the best at it. However, I can also see how this would translate into just wanting to win the O.

Also, I see how much sense it makes to just aim to do the shows that give the largest pay outs, exposure and fame. Why tire yourself out with many shows, when one BIG win can outweigh them? I get that.

I can't help but think though, that I would be doing more of the smaller shows if I knew that I was one of the best in the world. Would everyone else here just wait for the O?


If I was Dexter Jackson and knew I could come in peeled at every competition with the consistency he does, I'd probably compete (and win) just about every show, lol. Most BBers have a hard time peeking multiple times in a season, though.