By Neto Baptiste
Hardcore bodybuilding, although not a very popular aspect of the national championships here, is not a dying art.
This is the belief of President of the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF), Dave George, who however acknowledged that the introduction of other categories like classic bodybuilding and classic physique have drawn some athletes away from the more traditional aspect of the sport.
“It is no secret that it takes an extra effort, an extra commitment level and discipline to push your body to that extent; and to be fair, what we have discovered is that not many guys are willing to do that anymore; so, hence, I am so happy that IFBB had the foresight to introduce all these other types of categories where, depending on your body type, your body structure and what level of work you want to put in … you can fall into any of those categories,” he said.
“It is not easy to push yourself to that level to compete in hardcore bodybuilding, so it is being affected. I see it, I see a trend, and it’s being affected in terms of the number of athletes that are drawn to that category,” he added.
George, who was elected to lead the federation in February last year, said the country’s male bodybuilders have found some success competing in the new categories.
“We can go back to last year where Bernard Percival Jr. in bodybuilding, classic bodybuilding, got his pro card. Elvis Bailey in classic physique, he made a transition from hardcore bodybuilding last year after we came back from Aruba; and straight into the transition of classic physique; and when he went to Santo Domingo he earned his pro card one time when he won that show, so that was a transition for him,” he said.
The bodybuilding boss said the Federation will continue to advocate for participation in the hardcore aspect of the sport.
It is going to take some renewed effort to encourage bodybuilders to get to that level but there is still something there to benefit from, because when you see these massive guys on stage then that is motivation enough if you’re a bodybuilder to get to that level, so it’s not dying,” George said.
The number of competitors has dwindled over the years where it pertains to the more traditional aspect of the sport in the men’s category while the women’s version has completed faded here.