The Washington Post's War on Bodybuilding

I wasn’t going to post about this. But apparently the Washington Post is on a mission. The timing is likely not coincidental, either.

Well Mr. Nate Jones looks like he could hit the weights a little more frequently:

It’s definitely not a coincidence that it’s coming out on Olympia Weekend. Those of us that follow the sport know that BB’ing isn’t really about health, it’s about freaky muscle.
It didn’t necessarily read as a hit piece, but about the dangers of the sport.

And as a fan of bodybuilding I am not opposed to regulation of some of the drug use.

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We’ve discussed the one about prep coaches here:

Seems accurate to me. Many coaches will definitely risk YOUR health to get another notch in their belts and sell more consulting packages.

The other articles are behind a paywall, but the titles aren’t exactly wrong. Competitive bodybuilding has always been pretty shady/corrupt, and steroids and related drugs definitely take years off your life.

And I’ve written about the brain effects a couple of times, like this one:

It is weird that the Post is running a lot of articles about competitive bodybuilding. Maybe it’s part of the anti-fat-shaming, obesity-is-healthy, tell-me-I’m-pretty movement. Like they’re saying, “See how unhealthy working out and dieting is!” Yeah, lame to focus on the extreme side that doesn’t care about health anyway, but maybe that’s their ulterior motive.


Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, who literally made his money by turning Americans into the fat lazy fucks you see in Wall-E.
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It’s unironic that the big box store “Buy-N-Large” is strikingly similar to Amazon too.
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Call me a conspiracy theorist, but “they” want men to be feminine and weak so we’re easier to control. So no, it doesn’t surprise me that WaPo is anti-bodybuilding/pro-fatness.


what would you do if it were up to you?

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I think they’re just trying to sell clicks vs deliberately emasculate anyone. Validating laziness and timing it with the Olympia are good marketing. I don’t think it’s sinister; I think it’s apathetic.

On the other hand, if Jeff Bezos has achieved the level of total vertical integration that uses the Post to sell “lazy value” so you’re then “forced” to order everything from Amazon because you can’t get off your couch… well, then I’m just impressed.


I think it’s naiive to assume there is no unstated motive in how news stories are presented, but this isn’t PWI so I’ll leave it alone.

I just think the motive is selling. It’s super hard to get multiple operating companies behind one campaign. That’s why Iger is back at Disney: he was a master.

Anyway, I agree: tis for a different sub

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I am not well versed enough in PEDs to say specifics but I think a good start would be bigger prize money for natural bodybuilders and weight classes in the open category.

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and another one

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I’m too much of a capitalist to arbitrarily pay more or subsidize natural bodybuilders. What is their worth at the gate?

So why do you have a history of recommending extremely small AAS dosages (relative) in the Pharma forum?

I know the answer already, I’m just pointing out a logical inconsistency.

Actually, I don’t believe you do.

I took AAS to improve my chances in competitions. I am a competitor.

I never spent any effort in my bodybuilding to make a dime. In fact I hated the night show. The competition was completely over (except for the class winners battling for the overall.) I’d have been most pleased if we waited for the scores to be tallied and ran the overall all before noon.

Don’t pay me a dime. Just tell me how I did within the competition. A trophy was nice initially, but after receiving quite a few it became more of a nuisance than a prize.

I recommended lower doses than are typically taken today, because I believe the additional AAS provided more risk than extra benefit.

I am a terrible bodybuilding fan for giving prize money to the winners. While I am interested in how the competitors placed, I am not willing to pay a dime to see it live (either at the night show or televised.)

Once again, I competed for the sole purpose of knowing how well I looked compared to the other competitors and judged by (supposed) qualified and impartial judges.

Likewise I played rugby to see if our team could beat their team. No money doing that either.

So then why take issue just with the thought of additional payment/incentive towards the natural category? They’re already paid for winning regardless of how the money is distributed… why not make it safer for everyone involved (including the idiot teenagers that think Ronnie Coleman was natty)?

I thought I explained that fairly clearly.
All my bodybuilding recommendations are “what I would do.” In that regards, I would not (and did not) compete with the desire or expectation of being paid. Therefore, I have no dog in that fight. Don’t pay any bodybuilder is fine with me.

My initial comment was in regards to an “economic” decision to pay (subsidize) a group to encourage less drug use. As a capitalist I don’t support those types of decisions. Why shouldn’t WNBA ball players receive the same money as NBA players get?

Because most people don’t care much about women’s sports. On average people are willing to pay a lot more for professional men’s sports.

If that changes, then they will get paid more. It has changed in some cases (women’s soccer).

Well that’s a different subject, but they should get paid based on the crowds they bring in. Why should the NBA have restrictions on PEDs though? Surely they’d bring in larger crowds…

I think deliberately paying the human pin-cushions in untested divisions more money is literally subsidizing choices which are terrible health choices for the individual and many onlookers.

This is also fine with me, but since that is not the case - I don’t think your logic works anymore. I think people compete without the expectation of pay, BUT when there is payment for winning - that there should be some smarter rules in place. But no one ever accused the Olympia or IFBB organizations of looking out for the well-being of their competitors.

I agree 100%

Put on natural bodybuilding contests only. That was done when I competed. I don’t know about today. See what the market will bear.

So you reply: The NPC is the sole pathway to the IFBB.
I know that was true when the NPC decided to drop from the AAU and fall under the umbrella of the IFBB.
So what you are then saying is that the IFBB is the only show in town. And of course you do know that was Weider’s objective, don’t you?

So, I see two options:

  1. Convince the IFBB to value natural competitors
  2. Start a natural federation. This will require a major financial backing, and be a long uphill battle.

But I return to my original position. Don’t pay bodybuilders anything, but fair, competent judging. I have no dog in the fight for better pay to natural bodybuilding competitors.

Just a thought toward natural. Get Powerlifting to become an Olympic event. They have hard, fast doping rules.

There is too much money in bodybuilding to alter their desire to put more butts in seats. “Freaks” fill seats.

I just don’t agree with subsidizing the natural bodybuilders on the backs and expense of the “freaks.”

I agree here.

Maybe sell the tickets to the different divisions separately, and have the prize money be split based off of ticket income.

I actually believe there is a market for smaller bodybuilders. Divisions like classic physique for example do seem popular. I think the reason for that is that a lot of the lifting community would actually like to look like that vs the open guys. I am not sure how many meat heads out there would rather look like a natural BBer though compared to enhanced classic physique.

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Just out of curiosity @Andrewgen_Receptors and @mnben87 , have you ever attended a natural bodybuilding contest?

When promoters put on a natural (tested) bodybuilding contest, if they are not supported how can it hope to get any traction to grow a larger market. The two contests I did compete seemed to have a pretty good crowd, though I don’t recall for sure. They were tested with lie detectors.

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