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  1. #1
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Question Bodybuilding: A sport?

    Do you consider competitive bodybuilding a sport, an art, or something else? By "bodybuilding" I mean stage competition including all divisions normally appearing at a show, the venue, announcer, judging panel, prejudging, quarter turns & lineups, evening show with awards & guest poser, the whole shebang. I will hold off on offering a view until you comment, & will reconsider my view based on what you say. Thank you in advance for your comment.

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    Good question, Im going with a lifestyle, art, it's definitely not a sport. If you google what qualifications do you need to make it a sport. It will make sense.
    If you read this it makes sense.

    Yes im qualified to make this response.
    I am a NPC/ National Physique Committee, local and national Judge.

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    OLYMPIAN Sunnyday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orion View Post
    Good question, Im going with a lifestyle, art, it's definitely not a sport. If you google what qualifications do you need to make it a sport. It will make sense.
    If you read this it makes sense.

    Yes im qualified to make this response.
    I am a NPC/ National Physique Committee, local and national Judge.

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    I have to agree it’s not a sport. While it does have many sport qualities to it, bottom line is it lacks a rulebook that describes a set standard for each category. Sure, there are guidelines but that’s not the same. Sad to say but without that it’s a glorified beauty pageant. As a former competitor I wish it wasn’t so.
    Last edited by Sunnyday; 09-29-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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    OLYMPIAN BananaHammock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
    it’s a glorified beauty pageant
    This.
    Last edited by BananaHammock; 09-29-2019 at 04:54 PM.

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    OLYMPIAN EvanL's Avatar
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    Well, I dont think it is a sport in the sense of the term we normaly use, but competitors train and diet then have to physically strain and flex their muscles on stage for a period of time while the judges assert a score compared to other competitors.

    Compare it to boxing, competitors train and diet, and then exert themselves on stage and receive points or a knockout etc etc.

    In bodybuilding there just isnt any physical contact with the opponent but exertion of muscles and body movement is required to obtain a good score which is what I would consider "sport"

    Just my 2 cents

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    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    In mixed pairs, there is physical contact but w/ a partner, & you compete against other teams.

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    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Mixed pairs posedown round in 1986.

  8. #8
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    I will chime in. I was surprised no one said bodybuilding is a sport, for that is how it is marketed in magazines, & I suspect most competitors do see it as a sport. As for its being a sport, it depends on who gets to consider it so. Sports media do not consider it a sport. You will not see bodybuilding listed in Bing Sports. You will not see it covered in Sports Illustrated or magazines like it. ESPN does not report on bodybuilding as a sport. The IOC does not sanction bodybuilding in the Olympic Games, although bodybuilding has been included in regional or specialized Olympics events. Ben Weider spent decades trying to get it included in the Olympic Games & failed. The only place bodybuilding is generally called a sport is in the bodybuilding world. The book Pumping Iron (1974) was subtitled "The Art & Sport of Bodybuilding" by its authors, Charles Gaines & George Butler.

    If bodybuilding is not a sport, what is it? Suggestions here include a lifestyle, an art, a beauty pageant, & a competition. The question is complicated by the number of divisions available. What a female bodybuilder does onstage is different from what a bikini competitor does, much less a 212 pro. It seems the main creative presentation allowed in most shows is the guest poser. Each division has evolved to permit certain positioning & body language. (I was struck by bikini competitors brushing their hair back as part of their lineup presence.) If you do something outside of what's expected, your placing will go down. That limits the artistic expression of a competitor, who probably doesn't consider it an art to begin with.

    Lifestyle? Working out is, dieting for competition is, getting together for competition is, but I don't see bodybuilding onstage as a lifestyle. A lifestyle fuels it.

    A beauty pageant? For men? No man would join the NPC if he were told he would be in a beauty pageant. The term is associated with beautiful women competing in specific forms of dress & (as Wikipedia states it) "incorporat[ing] personality traits, intelligence, talent, and answers to judges' questions." The only equivalent I can recall for men's competition is certain competitions (mainly local) where the announcer reads a prepared statement by the competitor thanking God, his trainer, his gym & his family or significant other, usually in that order.

    For women's divisions such as figure, fitness & bikini, "beauty pageant" is closer to the mark. Still, major differences exist between Miss Universe & IFBB Pro Bikini. They may be cut from the same cloth. Costuming, hair preparation, makeup & high heels are part of both, with emphasis on attractiveness & stage presence.

    Sunnyday suggested that criteria for judging are too subjective for bodybuilding to be a sport, but the same could be said for ice dancing, & that's an IOC event. I once joined the NPC to find out what it told members about the rules for competition. The pamphlet it sent me listed no rules. The closest it got was to say that men's competition suits had to cover three quarters of the buttocks. The other info was how to contact your area chairman to enter a show. I agree w/ Sunnyday that there's a problem w/ judging. It is sometimes hard to tell why competitors got their placings. I have never been to a competition where I agreed with everything judges decided. But I am not a trained judge, & they are usually very good at what they do.

    To sum up, it's easy to see what bodybuilding isn't. It's harder to see what it is.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 10-05-2019 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #9
    OLYMPIAN EvanL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifrommike65 View Post
    I will chime in. I was surprised no one said bodybuilding is a sport, for that is how it is marketed in magazines, & I suspect most competitors do see it as a sport. As for its being a sport, it depends on who gets to consider it so. Sports media do not consider it a sport. You will not see bodybuilding listed in Bing Sports. You will not see it covered in Sports Illustrated or magazines like it. ESPN does not report on bodybuilding as a sport. The IOC does not sanction bodybuilding in the Olympic Games, although bodybuilding has been included in regional or specialized Olympics events. Ben Weider spent decades trying to get it included in the Olympic Games & failed. The only place bodybuilding is generally called a sport is in the bodybuilding world. The book Pumping Iron (1974) was subtitled "The Art & Sport of Bodybuilding" by its authors, Charles Gaines & George Butler.

    If bodybuilding is not a sport, what is it? Suggestions here include a lifestyle, an art, a beauty pageant, & a competition. The question is complicated by the number of divisions available. What a female bodybuilder does onstage is different from what a bikini competitor does, much less a 212 pro. It seems the main creative presentation allowed in most shows is the guest poser. Each division has evolved to permit certain positioning & body language. (I was struck by bikini competitors brushing their hair back as part of their lineup presence.) If you do something outside of what's expected, your placing will go down. That limits the artistic expression of a competitor, who probably doesn't consider it an art to begin with.

    Lifestyle? Working out is, dieting for competition is, getting together for competition is, but I don't see bodybuilding onstage as a lifestyle. A lifestyle fuels it.

    A beauty pageant? For men? No man would join the NPC if he were told he would be in a beauty pageant. The term is associated with beautiful women competing in specific forms of dress & (as Wikipedia states it) "incorporat[ing] personality traits, intelligence, talent, and answers to judges' questions." The only equivalent I can recall for men's competition is certain competitions (mainly local) where the announcer reads a prepared statement by the competitor thanking God, his trainer, his gym & his family or significant other, usually in that order.

    For women's divisions such as figure, fitness & bikini, "beauty pageant" is closer to the mark. Still, major differences exist between Miss Universe & IFBB Pro Bikini. They may be cut from the same cloth. Costuming, hair preparation, makeup & high heels are part of both, with emphasis on attractiveness & stage presence.

    Sunnyday suggested that criteria for judging are too subjective for bodybuilding to be a sport, but the same could be said for ice dancing, & that's an IOC event. I once joined the NPC to find out what it told members about the rules for competition. The pamphlet it sent me listed no rules. The closest it got was to say that men's competition suits had to cover three quarters of the buttocks. The other info was how to contact your area chairman to enter a show. I agree w/ Sunnyday that there's a problem w/ judging. It is sometimes hard to tell why competitors got their placings. I have never been to a competition where I agreed with everything judges decided. But I am not a trained judge, & they are usually very good at what they do.

    To sum up, it's easy to see what bodybuilding isn't. It's harder to see what it is.
    Great response, I agree with it all. I think there is a strong argument for it to be considered a sport simply by looking at the definition which I attached. Bodybuilding covers all three of the required areas:

    1. Training
    2. Physical exertion
    3. Competition

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    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Thank you, Evan. I am ready to extend my commentary:

    Bodybuilding is a competitive sport and art fueled by a lifestyle; it resembles beauty pageants in some women's divisions.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 10-07-2019 at 10:51 AM.

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    Its all the above, art, a lifestyle, a sport....

  12. #12
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashop View Post
    Its all the above, art, a lifestyle, a sport....
    Agreed. It is not a subset of anything else. It is unique.
    Last edited by hifrommike65; 10-08-2019 at 10:28 PM.

  13. #13
    OLYMPIAN EvanL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hifrommike65 View Post
    Agreed. It is not a subset of anything else. It is unique.
    Yes, it is not like anything else and at times it may seem like you are the only one in the world who understands it. But when I travel to vegas and see the thousands of people who share the same passion as I do it brings me hope and reassures me that while we may not have the support of mainstream sporting media we have each other, the fans and competitors.

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  14. #14
    RX MEMBER hifrommike65's Avatar
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    What the Weiders, Bob Hoffman, Peary Rader & his wife, & others did was invent their own media. They didn't wait for someone else to declare bodybuilding worthy of attention. They knew the general public would not treat it as anything but a novelty show (& that's still true). The first big-time bodybuilder was Eugen Sandow, & he started out a carnival attraction in America. I expect there's still something carnivalesque about the Olympia expo.

  15. #15
    RX MEMBER Sexybeast777's Avatar
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    Yes it is a sport

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