During a public appearance at the 2015 Arnie Classic in Columbus Ohio, Arnold Schwarzenegger had some things to say about the current state of bodybuilding. To paraphrase in sound bites, here’s what he said:
Well proportioned bodies should score higher...it should not be who has the thickness neck or biggest muscles...who is pleasing to look at?...for example, Steve Reeves...you say to yourself “look how beautiful that man looks”...so many of those guys have their stomachs sticking out...it used to be they had a V-shaped body...now, they have a bottle-shaped body...they can’t seem to stand on stage, hold their stomach in and look athletic...it doesn’t look right anymore.” Arnold went on to criticize the judges, blaming them for allowing the sport to get away from beautiful physiques and be all about masses of muscle
We hear you, Mr. Schwarzenegger! The solution is as simple as it is obvious: change the judging and drug test the competitors. That’s why we started Physique Canada: to bring back the sport to its glory days when the general public looked on in awe, not disgust. When the human form was celebrated in its perfection, not twisted into monstrosities by steroids, growth hormone, and other drugs.
If I could highlight just one of the points Arnold made, it would be to pick up on his use of the word athletic. I couldn’t agree more – above all, the human form in its zenith should exude athleticism. We believe in that so much, we created “Athletic Physique” categories for our male and female competitors right from the outset. Our judges are trained on the criteria of the divisions, and our Chief Judge (Debbie Laurin-Leclerc) is always cognizant to safeguard against the “mass creep” that happens in other federations. To always reward mass over aesthetics/proportion will eventually lead to the situation that Arnold recently railed against. We see that mass creep happening in the IFBB female divisions, where now the “Figure” athletes are looking as jacked as the female bodybuilders were ten years ago.
Of course, a real honest-to-goodness doping control does wonders. Doubt that? Then check out our rogues gallery of Tier 1 Elite Pros ( http://www.physiquecanada.ca/index.php/tier-1-pro) ...you’ll see something missing: jacked-up juicers. Ours is the place Arnie would be proud to visit. Arnold could have reduced his 3:49 rant to simply say: “check out Physique Canada...they’re doing it the right way.”
Arnold Schawrazengger, the elder statesman in so many respects, brings wisdom garnered from decades of bodybuilding, business and politics. In the twilight of his career, he fears no reprisals for speaking his mind. For the sake of the athlete’s health and for the sake of our sport, heed Mr. Schwarzenegger’s words. Thanks, Arnie, for being in our corner.
President, Physique Canada