Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dexter Jackson Wins the Olympia.

In case you haven't heard, Dexter Jackson won the Mr. Olympia title and there was a stunned hush throughout the land.

Followed by wild applause.

The stunning news was that Jay Cutler (the defending champion) showed up to his second Mr. Olympia in a row in less than stellar shape, leaving some to wonder if his best days of competing are behind him. His soft appearance at the Friday pre-judging left the judges with no choice but to select Jackson as a winner, lest they risk losing all credibility with the fan base.

In the end however the judges got it right, an oddity for the show, and there's a remarkably small amount of carping about the results in opposition to prior years.

If, like me, you are looking forward to next years' competitive season with anticipation instead of dread it could be because there's been a glimmer of hope in the judging this year, where the best physique has been rewarded with placings instead of the usual political decisions.

Good job to AMI and the IFBB for putting on a good show.

Other winners:

Ms. Olympia - Iris Kyle: After her Ms. International debacle (7th place after almost being disqualified for "boils" on her glutes) Iris needed a good showing here. When she's on she's the best in the land. She was on.

Fitness Olympia - Jenn Henderschott: I thought she retired? Guess not.

Figure Olympia - Jennifer Gates: Um...ok. Congrats. It's figure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Does the Mr. Olympia still matter to the Health and Fitness Industry?

This weekend, juiced up, oiled up, sexed up, pumped up bodybuilders will descend on Las Vegas for the 2008 Olympia Weekend as the 800lb Gorilla of bodybuilding organizations, The International Federation of Bodybuilders settles in to name its pre-determined champions in all of its contested divisions.

Maybe the worst kept secret in the industry is that bodybuilding is not now, nor has it been for some time, a legitimite competition. So rigged is the judging that Vegas won't even run betting lines on a competition being held in its own back yard. The casino's roll up their carpets (for fear of getting them stained) and only the Spearmint Rhino does any gussying up for the penultament event on the bodybuilding calendar. Absent any drama in the competition, the bodybuilding industry tries to invent drama by creating controversy that doesn't exist or by making one's selves a spectacle.

Yes, the bodybuilding industry is bereft of many of the principles that made it relevent in the past, creating the physical culture, comraderie, adherance to a healthful lifestyle. Those tenets are gone only to be replaced with false "gangsta" bravado, disposable female models willing to shoot nude (and have sex) at the drop of a hat to 'further their career', a chemical lifestyle, and a 'bunker down' mentality that places their thought processes outside of normal society. In short, its full of insecure men and pathetic women convincing themselves that they are somehow 'pretty' or 'manly' because of their ability to drop trou or their isolation. Bodybuilding men have convinced themselves that they really are modern-day equivilents of the gladiators of old. Bodybuilding women have convinced themselves that they are Amazons placed somewhere higher than males.

The sad thing is, they HAVE to convince themselves of this fact in order to make up for the fact that none of it really matters any longer.

At one time, bodybuilding training techniques were the most advanced in the industry. Football players and other athletes could use these cutting-age techniques and apply them to their sport. Today's bodybuilder is a luddite in the world of high-tech training. Yes, lifting weights is still the foundation, but the anciliary workouts that bodybuilders often ignore have progressed leaps and bounds past the archaic relics that bodybuilders adhere to. Nutrition and supplementation have progressed as well, leaving bodybuilding and its practionioners sucking the dust of an industry that's moving past the marketing of flavored powdered sugar, and into the realm of fresh whole organic foods supplemented with a few basic necessities for muscle growth and good health.

If you're still training and eating like a bodybuilder, you're at least 5-10 years behind the times.

Las Vegas is going to play host to a dinosaur's convention this weekend, sadly all of the attendees will be too self-absorbed to realize they are obsolete.