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  1. #1
    Joe Pietaro Contributer
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    2019 - Less is More for the IFBB Pro League

    The handwriting has been on the wall for a few years now and the 2019 IFBB Pro League schedule does nothing to dispel what has become more obvious - the day of the mass monster is on its way out. Yes, the open bodybuilding category is still the headliner at any competition it is being held at, but the industry as a whole has been force-feeding its fans more of the smaller physique classes and not just as warm-up acts for the big boys, either.

    It was almost unheard of some years ago to have what is commonly known as a 'bodybuilding show' without any bodybuilders. But since more and more divisions were added, additional shows were added that were of the pro-am variety (a full slate of amateur divisions and a few - or sometimes, even as low as one - pro categories included). So a spectator has to sit through hours upon hours of NPC competitors to watch 12 IFBB bikini pros take the stage.

    Since this has become commonplace (as opposed to having local and national NPC shows separate from IFBB pro contests), there are many more opportunities to add the 'fluff' pro divisions that would not be able to sustain a top billing position on their own. Remember, folks. This is a business and the bottom line is just that. So it makes total sense from that perspective.

    Perusing the 2019 IFBB Pro League calendar, there is a whopping 33 shows that include the men's physique division (which, along with bikini, should still be a 'body search' contest and not an official pro card-carrying class) and 22 with men's classic physique, the latter being the NPC/IFBB's shiny toy.

    In contrast, there are only 17 shows with men's open bodybuilding and three less than that with the 212.

    That speaks volumes about the direction that the industry is going in. It all began to change once Arnold Schwarzenegger was critical of the wide waists the bodybuilders brought to his show in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. "The Austrian Oak" did have a point, but it could have resulted in the judges' scorecards reflecting as such, not adding a division to a field that was already overcrowded.

    Classic physique was created to satisfy Schwarzenegger and the fans who agreed with him, but was it overkill? Scoring down the massive freaks and rewarding the aesthetic look could have easily been done in both the open and perhaps even more so in the 212, where it's not a height restriction and someone who is now a classic physique champion could have stood out amongst the (shorter) crowd on the 212 stage.

    But we will never know if that hypothetical situation would have 'worked' for the anti-HGH gut crowd.

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    Joe Pietaro
    Owner & President
    MuscleSport, LLC
    (631) 948-5381
    joe@musclesportmag.com



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  2. #2
    TalkAdmin/MuscleMecca TalkAdmin's Avatar
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    Re: 2019 - Less is More for the IFBB Pro League

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