Monday, January 24, 2011

My Take on Fitness

As everyone knows by now, it is Fitness Week on my blog. Why? Because there are some amazing women who compete in Fitness, and they seem to be getting less and less respect in the fitness industry. It is almost an example of why this blog exists. Because women in both the fitness industry and MMA seem to get less respect as compared to men. Well, take that respect the women do get, and there is then a lack of it for fitness as compared to other divisions.

I remember being young and watching Fitness America and stuff on ESPN. I just found the women amazing. It is safe to say that without seeing that, I may not have found the appreciation I have today for women in physique sports. Not only were these women in amazing shape, but the talent and skill level to do the things they were doing was incredible.

There can be any number of reasons why fitness seems to be on the low end of the totem pole. Ask a different person and you get a different response. Here are some of the explanations I have heard.

1. It is easier to just do Figure. Well that may be true, I mean in a way Figure is one part of competing in Fitness. You just don't have to do the routine. But in a way I feel that knocks Figure competitors, because less face it, those women work incredibly hard. But it is probably less stress to not have to worry about putting together a routine.

2. Cost. Can't be cheap to put together a routine. There is validity to that excuse. However, part of that could be fixed if the sponsors out there would sponsor more fitness competitors, however, with an apparent dwindling interest, it is a bit understandable why the sponsors look to other divisions.

3. Lack of fan interest. There clearly is. However that is not because of the competitors. It is because there are less and less shows doing fitness and therefor the girls have less opportunity to be seen and form a fan base. I believe the fan base would be there if there were more chances for fans to see them.

So what can we do to maybe fix this?

1. COVERAGE COVERAGE COVERAGE!!!!! What Iris Kyle did by winning another Olympia was amazing. But So did Adela Garcia, yet open the muscle mags and you saw maybe one little page with a couple photos from the Olympia. Let these women be seen. Let people see them and make people want to see more.

2. Fitness only shows. Some promoters say with the lack of competitors, it isn't cost effective to have fitness. Well lets see some Fitness only shows. It will be cost effective then because you don't have all the other divisions. You will draw all the fitness fans, plus fans who just want to see physique competitions. Fitness only shows would give the girls a show they really want to be in, so more competitors, so more opportunities for fans to see their favorites.

3. Websites. You go on any website and you will see clips of someone training and showing their hard work. Help that person get more fans and more respect. Well why don't those sites have videos of fitness competitors working to. Working on routines. Show the hard work that is required for that. May gain them some new fans or admirers or whatever you want to call them. Make people respect that work.

4. Seminars. Some girls are afraid to do fitness because they think they HAVE to have a gymnastics background. That isn't the case, but they may not know that. Shows have guest posers right? Why not guest seminars. Who wouldn't want to go to a show and have an hour seminar where Victoria Larvie, Stacey Wright, Adela Garcia, Tanji Johnson, or someone else shows you how to develop a routine or do some of the fitness moves. A chance to learn from an accomplished competitor and see it can be done without having been some elite level gymnast.

5. Push promoters. Tell promoters you want to see fitness competitions at their shows. Without action there is no reaction. IF enough people demand it, they need to supply it.

Are these surefire ways to make fitness bigger? Of course not. I am no expert!! These are just opinions or suggestions. Maybe they will work and maybe they wont. But how do we know if we don't try?


  1. Fitness definitely is a passion! It's got to be in your blood and in your heart! It IS hard. It IS expensive. But with great challenges, you get GREAT REWARDS!!
    I'm all for doing seminars and "guest posing" or whatever the case may be!
    But I will say to anyone who's ever considered fitness. DO IT! You won't look back! The feeling of performing on stage is like none other!

  2. (the following is just a collection of my random thoughts on the topic above. it in no way expresses a dislike or disrespect for any of the organizations mentioned. and is not meant to offend or influence anyones views. this is only one perspective of this sport/topic, as there are many ways to interpret such comments)

    I think, that it all boils down to money and marketing. The sport is NOT "competitor friendly". I mean, how can it be?....It can't. Why not?! Well because it Costs TOO Much!
    Just think, it costs the supplement companys $$ to sponsor a show then it costs the promoters $$ to provide a venue and pay judges and a crew to run the show smoothly, guest poser(s) too, not to mention any fees that go to the Ifbb/Npc for each division within the show.
    Of course, the majority of the spectators whom are paying to attend are the very same families who have been shelling out hundreds sometimes thousands of $$ for the athlete to compete!!

    Do we even dare to suggest that the only reason that fitness, figure, and bikini exist is to supplement the "bodybuilding show"....and have through the years become so popular that they have practically pushed Female Bodybuilding out of the sport! Even the Fitness Division is close behind!

    With that being said, simply, the IFBB/NPC Fitness Division, does not have the strength alone to generate enough money to warrant it's own show or its own anything!

    Has anyone EVER attended a local or regional show where there were more than 3 fitness competitors. Hmmmm , "Not I" But, we all qualify just for showing up!! How convenient. lol ....and what comes next...nothing, that is, until the next national show where pretty much everyone who competed who could afford to compete, and thinks they have an honest chance at a Pro Card, enters.
    In fact, I think it's great that the qualifications have been made to expire in 1 year. It may revive the sport on a local level.

    I think the reality is Fitness may never become as popular nor will it gain the same respect as its Bodybuilding divisions. After all, it is the International Federation of "BODYBUILDING".

    I'm not all broken up or fearful of the fitness division dying out. I guess I'm just glad that the sport of Competitive Fitness still thrives and grows in other organizations and will never really disappear! I am going to be doing it where ever however I can. I just choose and enjoy competing with the IFBB!!!