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Be About It

CPC's Blog About Health and Wellness

The Arnold Classic: More Than What "Meats" The Eye

Tuesday, 3 / 7 / 17

Before I get started, I'm sure some of you do not know what the The Arnold Classic is. Let me tell you a little bit about it (and why I went there) and then I’ll get into what I learned and why I think it's important for you to know.

The Arnold Classic, or also known as The Arnold Sports Festival, is the largest multi-sport festival in the world. There are over 70 sports at the festival that include fitness competing, olympic sports, combative sports, strength sports, dance, team sports, and much more. The classic in the USA is held in Columbus, Ohio and was founded in 1989.

The main reason I went is because I'm Arnold Schwarzenegger's biggest fan… ever! I have loved Arnold since I was a kid, but that will have to be a topic for another time because I could go on forever. Another reason why I went is because the fitness industry is a passion of mine and it's so amazing seeing so many athletes and spectators coming from all around the world for one common interest, health and fitness. Now, when you hear about this fitness festival, you are probably thinking that it is nothing but a bunch of meatheads walking around, puffing out their chests, and trying to get all these free supplements (which is the reasoning behind my title for this blog). At first, that's honestly what I thought it was about... this weekend's experience really changed that for me.

One thing that really stood out about this weekend was the respect that everyone had for each other, including the athletes and the spectators with one another. Like I said, everyone there is from all around the world. The athletes would perform their hearts out in each sport that I saw. If they did not perform the way they wanted to, whether that be a new personal record in their sport or they were beaten by another opponent, they did not put their heads down. They didn’t throw a tantrum or get pissed off. They finished with a smile, they waved to the crowd, they shook hands and hugged their opponent. When I watched the bodybuilding, bikini, fitness, and strongman finals, the winners of all those events didn't go up to get their first place trophies and shake Arnold's hand by themselves. They brought in ALL their competitors in a huddle together and went up and received that trophy together. The reason why? They said they might be from different parts of the world, they might not speak the same language, but they are family and they all worked hard to get where they are today. I love that.

The winner of the bodybuilding finals for the Arnold this year was Cedric McMillan (if you ever get free time, hear this man talk because he is just so wise and inspirational). Cedric made a speech after he received his trophy which really hit home. He said that his mission for competing in bodybuilding is simply not for himself, but for us. It's his mission to change the bodybuilding industry and how people see bodybuilding. He stated that everyone is so obsessed with how their bodies compare to others. They judge someone's body in a magazine or while someone is up on stage. Cedric wants to encourage people to NOT shoot for body image simply by wishing it looked like someone else's. People need to remember that diversity within each other is a good thing and that these fitness shows would not be what they are if there were no diversity.

He then went on to talk about the negativity in the fitness industry. We can change someone's views on the bodybuilding world if we all stop trying to put each other down, especially in the gym. We need to stop trying to intimidate other people because you think you're better than them. He said, "You need to be a good man before you can be a good bodybuilder" and I really liked that. That's what is so great about the Arnold Classic; everyone is picking each other up. Athletes are inspiring each other and fitness celebrities are interacting with their fans to answer their questions without hesitation. That was Arnold's mission back in 1989 for the Arnold Classic. He wants to inspire people and create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone, whether you lift weights or you don’t.

So this festival was not about meatheads getting their supplements. It's about creating a community within this lifestyle and pushing each other to always seek greatness and never settle. We all need to pick each other up, and just be a good damn person. I'm excited to have been able to share my experience with you all and would love to talk more about everything that I saw. I witnessed the strongest, most dedicated and inspirational males and females in the world. I watched the greatest athletes break world records against opponents that were in high spirits. I could go on, but this weekend really opened my eyes and inspired me for my career as well as my own lifestyle.

TAGS: Community, Inspiration, Strength, Bodybuilding
Madison Schiltz