Will the Real Frank Zane of 2015 Please Stand Up! Part 2


by Anders JP Eskilsson

Today It seems like a greater part of the bodybuilding movement is extremely focused on the “aesthetic” part of the sport than anything else. Well if that’s the case, it is important to choose a bodybuilder as the poster boy for the direction and not a Men’s Physique competitor like has happened during 2015. Why? To begin with, and as I mentioned in part one, there are already bodybuilding competitors who have greater aesthetics than any MP guys out there. But also – and maybe more importantly – because otherwise bodybuilding will be diminished in favor of the well promoted Men’s Physique division.

This also means that Men’s Bodybuilding will lose even more of its necessary promotion which is needed for the athletes to get supplement contracts to survive as competitive pro athletes plus to keep the division and sport alive globally.

It is also crucial to remember that Men’s Physique will never be as exciting as real bodybuilding, at least not in the long run. There is no real posing going on in this division, and there is no “freak factor” to the game which audience and fans around the world really appreciate with bodybuilding.

MP might be popular now, but I believe that the MP hype eventually will die. People will get bored of the boardshorts and its mediocre format. My guess is that the division will transform into something else in the forthcoming years.

Hopefully this will happen before MP has taken over bodybuilding’s number one position; otherwise the division might bring bodybuilding along with its division 6 feet under. If this happens, we will have a long road before us to build up the sport around Men’s Bodybuilding again… and that will be hard. So it is important that the Bodybuilding division stays strong and not get either mixed up or even ousted by MP.

Another important factor to recognize is that when we chose to compare a contemporary athlete to the 3-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane with all his physical strong points as a bodybuilder and then choose a Men’s Physique guy, it’s like comparing the 2015 version of legendary football player Dan Marino with a quasi-elite softball trendy dude. I mean… why? Is it just because some people appear to like softball and will generate more mainstream and a bit more money for the time?

No, this analogy is completely wrong, of course. To begin with, everyone (or 90% of the fans and the people involved in the sport) needs to remember why they got into this industry; it was because of the iconic bodybuilding division and nothing else.

When we are talking about former champions and their trademarks whether it’s posing on a bodybuilding stage or being a champion in any other sport and comparing them to any other athlete of today we must be elitist, and naturally choose the best of the best in a former champ and the sport in general. So come on, pay tribute to the real McCoy instead some MP competitor, for god’s sake. Let the real version of Dan Marino portray him if necessary, like Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers for instance, and not the softball dude from a small village in Minnesota… Come on, keep it real and stay true to your core passion with respect. Reproduce the sport henceforward with elite quality and nothing else!

It is also important to realize the reasons why so many young bodybuilding Pro prospects now are coming from outside of the U.S. than earlier. This is due to the fact that the culture around bodybuilding is still strong in countries like Canada, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and countries in the Middle East. Their bodybuilding culture is still strong because they are not so infiltrated by Men’s Physique. They don’t believe in Men’s Physique to the extent that the U.S. does. No, they are staying true to the core of lifting weights and all things “Real bodybuilding.”

In closing, I think the U.S. should be prepared for the future, because the American domination of the sport and holding Mr. Olympia titles might be counting its last days. Yes, the young and hungry real bodybuilders outside the U.S. might be just a few years away from taking his Sandow and keeping it for a long time.