Technology is a wonderful thing. It has allowed a lot of people, not just bodybuilders, to promote and develop a brand very quickly. Back in the day, it was nowhere near that easy. In bodybuilding, it has allowed up-and-coming athletes to develop a following before ever being in a magazine or receiving any kind of traditional exposure. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have changed the landscape of self-promotion in bodybuilding forever. I would be so inclined to think that as technology progresses, this phenomenon will only gather steam and become even easier. At times, people come across as though they are Mr. or Ms. Olympia, and they haven't even stepped on a stage. On the flip side, it can showcase a truly motivational story that can get you in the gym training just a little bit harder. And sometimes, it's just plain stupid.
And it doesn't get much stupider than this.
There is a TMZ mentality that seems to be permeating bodybuilder culture recently. Oh wait, it has always been like this. I don't know why, but ever since I have been involved in bodybuilding, the gossip has been atrocious. Everybody talks; and my hands aren't clean either. I'd really like to focus on the people who use friendships or close relationships with top athletes in the industry as a way to promote themselves. There are people out there that think it is okay to take a private video of a top athlete or celebrity brushing their teeth, giving him a massage and even taking pictures of them sleeping on their sofa. I think these kinds of people think that they will gain notoriety by being associated with the celebrity (if you can even call bodybuilding fame, celebrity). I understand that people judge you by the company that you keep but it is plain wrong when you exploit and break the trust of said company. When I was heavily in the public eye, I was alert and cognizant of these kinds of friends. I was always careful with regard to where and when I allowed people to photograph me. In the present day, people have cell phone cameras and technology that allows them to just snap a picture at the drop of a dumbbell (I could have said 'at the drop of a hat' but this is a bodybuilding website afterall).
Have you ever been on Facebook and there is a guy that has literally put on a smidgen of muscle and now he thinks that he is the next Arnold Schwarzenegger or the Future of Bodybuilding? If I had a nickel for every time I have run across a trainer at the gym saying this about some amateur level bodybuilder, I'd have a shitload of nickels. I'm talking about having as many nickels as Scrooge McDuck had gold coins.
I told you it'd be a lot of nickels.
Anyway, a telltale sign of this kind of deluded goof ball is that he or she will get a bunch of t-shirts made with their name/nickname on it. Then, they will train in those t-shirts day in and day out. All of a sudden, all of their friends and family has them too and they're wearing them. I am sure that you all have also seen this kind of person taking pictures of their meals and posting them up. Hey, there's nothing wrong with it as long as it isn't EVERY MEAL!!! I mean, seriously, how many of pictures of chicken breast and asparagus do you want me to see. A lot of pro bodybuilders do this, but the difference is that they are pros and they have some kind of knowledge to impart. A guy that has been training for 3 months and thinks that he is Mr. Olympia should not be doing this. The absolute worst is when people post this regularly on a professional bodybuilder's Facebook page. It is like a desperate cry for attention that just embarrasses them.
There is nothing wrong with legitimate self-promotion. However, I think that the line has to be drawn in the sand somewhere. If you are exploiting a friendship, promoting an ego that is more muscular than your body or just plain being stupid (I refer to the video above), maybe you should re-examine your priorities and get your ego in check. Speaking of self-promotion, I have my website coming out soon. Keep it locked to my articles for updates. I'llbe throwing some crazy training videos up and lots of pictures of chicken and asparagus.
All articles by Greg Kovacs have been edited and arranged by Jeff Pearce since April 2011. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions e-mail him at [email protected] .