We're not saying we're the best bodybuilding newsletter on the web. But we are the one you're reading now, so buckle up, buckaroo. It's time to get mind jacked.
One BarBend contributor wrote something pretty darn interesting this week: "The gym industry, as a whole, has little use for the type of spaces that keep bodybuilding culture alive."
Why — really — are bodybuilding gyms disappearing before our very eyes?
The Arnold Classic has upped its champion prize purse to $300,000, a BIG 50-percent increase from last year. What could that mean for the field?
And lastly, we're diving into one of the burning questions of the fitness world: Are squats or deadlifts better for building power? We've got some thoughts.
Where Have All the Good Gyms Gone?
There’s the idea of a “true bodybuilder gym.” They are known for having it all: a bajillion machines, handles, gadgets, weights that run heavy, and tons and tons of space to strut, pose, and generally take up a lot of physical — and charismatic — space. These are places where big bodies bang and clang big weights, where no one apologizes for throwing up poses to inspect their progress. In short, the classic idea of a bodybuilder gym is, in a way, “psychically loud.”
Although predicting gym trends can be daunting and best left to analysts, it would be inflammatory and premature to decry “the extinction of true bodybuilder gyms is nigh!” However, there is no denying that their market share seems to hold less and less favor in an industry dominated by corporate franchise gyms.
Bodybuilder-oriented culture is not what the industry favors. This places these beloved gyms in a micro-category that their business model may not have been designed to sustain.
Mo' Money, Mo' Gains
It pays to be big.
Seven-time Mr. Olympia and Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) co-founder Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the prize money awarded to the 2023 Arnold Classic champion will be $300,000. That is a 50-percent increase from the $200,000 prize awarded to 2022 champion Brandon Curry.
This is the second year in a row that the prize money has significantly increased. In 2021, champion Nick Walker won $130,000, which was the standard prize money for several years prior. The announcement was made on the Arnold Sports Instagram page and via press release.
To Pull or to Squat?
If you ask around your gym about whether the squat or deadlift is truly king, you’ll probably get as many different answers as there are people you ask. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other — there is no one lift to rule them all.
The reality is the squat and deadlift should both sit atop the throne. They’re both fundamental movements worth mastering, and both exercises are phenomenal for building full-body strength. On top of that, the squat and deadlift support sports performance and add quality mass to your body.
Instead of putting them directly against each other, you should simply ask yourself which exercise is better for your current goals. In the article below, we go over the differences between the squat and deadlift, which is better for strength and mass, and how to program each lift.
Ronnie and Jay, Back Together Again
- Jay and Ronnie, Ronnie and Jay: Between them, these two legends have 12 Mr. Olympia titles. So when they train back together, we'll watch!
- Bodybuilding up-and-comer Blessing Awodibu had a Mr. Olympia performance some thought fell a little flat. But his next stage appearance will have to wait, as he's bowing out of the Arnold Classic this year.
- Hamstrings ALWAYS come first on leg day, at least for bodybuilder James Hollingshead. Find out why!