By Neto Baptiste
Chief Judge for the Antigua and Barbuda Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABBWF), Errol Williams, is not convinced that the hardcore aspect of the sport will make a significant return anytime soon.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Williams, who has held the post for almost 20 years, said that the majority of the male bodybuilders today are seemingly contented with competing in the softer aspect of the sport and are too “lazy” to put in the work and time needed that would allow them to excel in the top echelons.
“I think the love of the sport and the drive or the hunger for excellence [may not be there]; we have a lot of lazy people [in bodybuilding]. Remember, for bodybuilding that you have to work the entire body because it’s about whole body development, while in men’s physique, all they are working is the upper body and building big legs and calves is about genetics,” he said.
Williams, who was also Chief Judge for the Caribbean for 10 years from 2010, noted what he calls a steady decline in competitors for the hardcore aspect of the sport as opposed to other Caribbean countries.
“If you check, over the past five to six years, we’ve had approximately nine or ten bodybuilders competing for the Mr. Antigua, in comparison to about fifteen years ago where we had about 22 or 23 going up there. At one time we had four classes, and then we dropped it off to three. We were struggling to get two and the other day we only had one,” he said.
“I’ve seen an upsurge in bodybuilding in Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana, Bahamas, Santo Domingo and Jamaica, they have been going pretty good,” Williams added.
The experienced Williams said also, that he is not entirely confident that athletes competing in the physique aspect of the sport will eventually graduate to hardcore bodybuilding.
“I’ve seen over the years, in the short period of time we’ve had men’s physique, is that people graduating from men’s physique into men’s bodybuilding is less than half of a percent. A lot of guys would say they are using men’s physique to bodybuilding but it never happens and they just stay right at men’s physique and if it’s not men’s physique, they stay home,” he said.
Franklyn Carbon, who competed in Masters Bodybuilding, was the lone athlete to take part in the hardcore bodybuilding aspect of the sport during last month’s national championships.