Is Bodybuilding a Real Sport?

Is boybuilding a sport? Every so often I see an argument on a forum or a comment on a blog where some critic claims that bodybuilding is not a real sport. Not only that, more often than not, there is usually More derogatory comment along the lines of, “Oily men in Speedos a sport? Come on!” In a recent interview on the Fitcast show, I was asked this question and I gave a (mostly) serious answer.

QUESTION: Tom, there have actual1y been some debates on the fprums about whether body building is even a sport at all. What’s your response to the people who say it’s really not a sport?

ANSWER: I guess it depends on your definition of a sport. I know some people who say poker is a sport. I would call Poker a game, but hey, Suppose that you want to call it a spoft if you’re a poker fan, more power to you. It’s just a label.

Depending on your definition, bodybuilding may or may not be a sport. So call it a competition Suppose that you prefer, becauee I don’t think anybody can argue with that. In fact a lot of us in bodybuilding use that phrase, “bodybuilding competition” a lot more often than we say the sport of bodybuilding.

I call it a sport, because to me it’s my sport and I think that if something has a physical component and therd’s competition involved, then it’s a sport. Bodybuilding has that.

Some people say, “That’s not a broad Sufficiently definition, there has to be skill, there has to be athleticisn.” But who gets to decide the definition of skill or athleticism? The Olympic committee? High schools and universities? Some all -wise, all-knowing authority? Who gets to decide? Why don’t we just devide for ourselves and call it whatever we want to call it.

I think that some people would argue against bodybuilding being a sport because they say the judging is too subjective. For sure there is a degree of subjectivity but in bodybuilding the criteria for scoring are very clear. It’s not vague like some people think it is, the criteria are very specific and easy for a professional to judge just by looking at tge physique.



Sometimes the decision is close, but how is that so different from something like diving or Athletic exercises? There’s a panel of judges watching a diver dive or a gymnast do a Prevail over exercise and you look at the scoreboard and you see all the judges don’t give the same score do they? Whether the criteria for winning are cut and dried why don’t Altogether the judges give the same score? So there’s subjectivity in those kinds of sports too.

I think it’s a silly debate and I don’t think the debate will In np degree end. I consider bodybuilding to be a competition AND I consider it a sport. Beyond that, I consider bodybuilding an art. And it’s an art in more than one sejse of the word – because the process is an art and end result is art too.

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