Tectonic Shift in Bodybuilding
The Olympia is to bodybuilders what the Super Bowl is to football fans. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of drama going down this year.
Earlier this week Kai Greene made a tearful YouTube video where he said he was blacklisted from the Mr. Olympia competition. NPC/IBFF officials fired back that he was given the same contract he’s signed for the past six years back in April and chose not to sign it. Hmm…
Then, Lee Thompson, the head of NPC Texas and a NPC judge for the past 16 years, announced online that he was dropping out of NPC (National Physique Committee) and forming his own federation, NPC Global (Nspire Physique Championships). NPC sent out a tweet saying that NCP Global was an imitation group trying to mislead athletes by using the same abbreviation. Oh, it’s getting ugly.
In his YouTube video explaining the split, Lee Thompson said that his new federation will have pro and amateur divisions, and what will separate his federation is that he will do profit sharing with the top athletes who currently don’t get paid for use of their images online. He’s supposed to have a roll out explaining everything on November 8.
In his video he shows a clip of Arnold Schwarzegger speaking last year about his disappointment with the current judging, so there’s speculation among bodybuilders (at least in the gym) that Arnold may be part of this new federation. So it will be interesting to see what’s gym gossip and how this plays out for real.
I was actually in the audience last year at the event where Arnold said that he felt that some of the bodybuilders who placed very well looked fat (…um, bloating from steroids?) and he thought Cedric McMillan should have placed higher because his body was more proportionate and shredded. I absolutely agree with that criticism; Cedric looked amazing.
In other news, perhaps also in response to Arnold’s criticism last year, NPC/IFBB announced that they were creating a new division called Classic Physique, which will be a hybrid of the men’s physique and men’s bodybuilding divisions and will include some mandatory poses.
Well, that news really got all the natural bodybuilder’s in a tizzy. Here’s the low down on that. A natural bodybuilder (no steroids/diuretics/banned supplements) will never look as a big as someone on steroids. It’s just not humanly possible. People committed to drug-free bodybuilding will compete in natural bodybuilding competitions where the top prize money is $1,000. In an NPC show the top prize money is like $40,000. So all the natural bodybuilders are scrambling to see how this new division is going to allow them to stick to their principles and get paid as well.
There’s also talk on social media about dividing the bikini divisions into bikini model vs. bikini sports, but I haven’t seen any articles about it on NCP News so this may just be speculation.
Anyway, the 2015 Olympia Bikini winner is my girl Ashley Kaltwasser.
She won a record 3x this year. #GirlCrush I love her posing. She switched up her bikini this year from her signature green to a blue bikini. Lots of competitors wore blue and purple instead of all the red from last year and they seemed to wear them higher up on their hips than in the past, so I’m watching that trend too.
Janet Layug took 2nd place. What’s amazing about her (other than being strong and gorgeous) is that she’s also a mom. I was lucky enough to meet both her and Ashley at the Arnold Amateur in March. I also met Oksana Grishina, the most innovative and entertaining fitness competitor to see since Adela Garcia, and I could barely speak in complete sentences I was so star-struck. She won Ms. Fitness again.
This is an exciting time to be involved in this sport and I can’t wait to see how these changes will impact the bodybuilding landscape in 2016.
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