The Great Debate.
For many, bodybuilding is a lifestyle and not a sport, the name says it all, the purpose of it is to build one’s body to its maximum potential, there are guys and gals out there with amazing physiques that don’t even dream of competing in a Bodybuilding stage, possessing a nice physique and being healthy is good enough for them. On the other side of the fitness map there are people that dream of going under the spotlight and competing, they want to showcase all of their hard work and dedication.
Even though working on building a world class physique is difficult enough, getting on stage is even harder, it takes hard work, dedication and heart, the physique division has been getting a lot of heat and negative criticism from the hardcore bodybuilding fans for a few years now. A big part of the online fitness community originally questioned the appearance of the male physique division on bodybuilding stages around the world, some called it a “joke” and an insult to Bodybuilding, they said it would never be popular and it would fail, fast forward a few years later and you have one of the biggest divisions in the entire sport.
Men’s physique has been critiqued because of the way the men pose and the shorts they use to pose in, that said, there are a few things people don’t really take into consideration when analyzing and judging the physique division, not every man out there wants to be a big bodybuilder and carry that much mass, the purpose of creating the physique division is to introduce a more “general” or “normal” looking side of bodybuilding to the fitness community, something that resembles the classic side of bodybuilding, a lot the guys doing these competitions like Steve Cook or Sadik Hadzovic, for example, have really good legs. Competing in the physique class has more to do with having a “nice” and “aesthetic” physique. A lot these guys truly have the potential to become Pro Bodybuilders, genetically speaking, but they choose not to.
Bodybuilding has and always will be the cream of the crop, it’s the sport that started the whole movement, kids from the 80’s and 90’s grew up watching people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and even He-Man on television, some of these kids grew up to become professional bodybuilders – but over time things have changed and bodybuilding has become more of a size game. That’s why the Men’s Physique division was created, people wanted something attainable, something “prettier” to look at, something that resembled the physiques of the 60’s and 70’s.
At the end of the day, the debate will always go on. Some fans will always prefer the physique look while others will prefer the bodybuilding build. That said, no division is better than the other, each has its own pros and cons. Hardcore bodybuilding fans need to understand and respect what the physique division stands for because it’s here to stay for a long time, the division has gotten so big that it now has its own spot in the 2015 Arnold Classic.
Physique competitors need to understand and remember that bodybuilding is the original division that started it all and the division that brings the most spectators to the federations around the world, comparing bodybuilding and physique is almost like comparing apples to oranges, at the end of the day both divisions make the sport that much popular so why not learn to respect and enjoy both?