This event has become an absolute practice in organized chaos. A three day event that has Columbus, Ohio in shut down mode for the entire weekend. People on top of people on top of people, all carrying bags filled to the brim with samples of goodies from protein shakes, protein nuggets, carbo drinks, nitric oxide, fat-burners, and everything in between. I was up there helping to promote my new partnership with MyBodySite.com, a social networking website focused on fitness enthusiasts. It was an incredible opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best marketing machines you could imagine.
Huge supplement companies were there like MuscleTech, VPX, Gaspari Nutrition, Twin Lab, ABB, EAS, Prolab and smaller companies like Supro, MHP and the like. GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe took up half a football field to show their wears. WWE wrasslers were grunting and throwing t-shirts to the crowd, while to the left of me some power lifter just just broke the squat record of over 700 and something pounds. And just when I thought the me lee couldn’t get any worse…out of a white door comes Arnold being shuffled to a stage to give a welcome talk.
When I was able to catch my breath and fend of the onslaught of crazed bodybuilding fans I went over to watch some of the amateur boxing and martial arts. From what I saw it was some excellent competition. Just this was worth the price of admission…which is only $10 bucks.
Some really cool things that I thought made the Expo was some of the Legends of Body Building were there to sign autographs and shake hands. If you own The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding , by Arnold Schwarzenegger you will know some of these names. The likes of Ed Corney, Lou “The Hulk” Ferrigno and Sergio Oliva. It was nice to see and meet them because I wonder what has happened to many of these all-time legends who actually brought the sport into the spotlight. Back in the day it was impossible to get near these guys and it was nice to see many of the younger fans paying homage to them.
Friday night I had the opportunity to present the Womens International Finalists with awards and checks. As a fitness columnist for Columbus Alive, the Arnold Classic people asked me to present and I accepted. No one who was presenting really new what they were doing but Wendy and Adam were right there like choreographers for a Chorus Line giving presenters their cues and making sure everyone got their turn.
It was nice to see how the The Body Building, Fitness and Figure competitions have grown from a mere high school production to a full Hollywood production fitted with lights, cameras and a whole lotta action. I was surprised to see that the production was run like a well oiled machine and to watch it from backstage was quite an interesting endeavor. Kudos to Jim Lorimer for having the balls to put on such a great event.
Even if you’re not a huge Body Building fan this is a sight to see. There really is something for everyone. I had a great time even if i did practice some insanity myself by driving up and back 1 1/2 hours each way three separate times. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Arnold Classic.