Bodybuilding Is NOT A Sport


Over at the Yahoo newsgroup, Supertraining, there’s a li’l discussion brewing over bodybuilding being classified as a sport.  Here’s my position on the subject and I’m sticking to it…

If it’s played on a board (chess), while seated (race car driving) or on a computer/television screen (this means Wii), it’s a game in MY book.

Football, baseball, basketball and track & field require athletic skill and award predetermined points for completion of a specific task.

At the end of the contest, whichever team/individual has the most points, best time or distance wins. 

That’s a sport.

 

But a contest alone does not make a sport.  Cheerleading, figure skating, gymnastics and even “Dancing with the Stars” may require physical skill, preparation & dedication to excel, but the scoring process is much more subjective and inconsistent.

Just like a bikini contest, winners are determined by the personal preferences of a panel of judges.

Yes, they do require athletic skills and can be done in a competitive environment.  But no – they’re not sports.

Powerlifting and Olympic lifting have elements of objectivity and subjectivity, so I s’pose the way one would categorize them would depend if they’ve ever been a cheerleader or a football player.

But getting back to bodybuilding… I’m calling it a hobby (albeit an extreme one) along with mountain climbing, scuba diving and bungee jumping.

Golf? Hmmmm…

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10 Comments

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  1. I agree. I don’t consider it a sport.
    I think another fair comparison is between physcial activity and athletic events. I think gymnasts & figure skaters might be athletic – but I don’t think bodybuilders need to be athletic.

  2. I don’t consider bodybuilding to be a sport either but I do believe bodybuilders need to be athletic. You still need to be able to increase your heart rate to get any sort of benefit from a weights workout (as I call it) and be fit enough to have the energy to lift the weights. Or maybe that’s just the way I train. I just can’t imagine someone doing nothing to prepare themselves for a workout if you know what I mean. Well that’s my opinion anyway LOL

  3. I see your point, however you’re stating that a sport must be objective, why?

    Noun

    * S: (n) sport, athletics (an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition)
    * S: (n) sport (the occupation of athletes who compete for pay)

  4. joe-

    Age-old argument, and as a skater myself, I’m glad you at least gave a nod to the athleticism and dedication. Your argument is a veiled “dis,” as if your narrow definition of what is “sport” means anything. There really is no other way to have an event that rewards the athleticism and dedication of athletes whose sports come down to a judgment.

    I suppose under your definition boxing and wrestling are not sports either because they rely on a human to make the call as to who wins.

    ‘Course, baseball also relies on umps who call balls and strikes, safe and out — and that’s pretty subjective. oh, and I guess football, basketball, soccer, hockey all have refs, too. Gee, I guess no sport with rules is not “subjective” at some point, and that’s a compromise those of us who have a broader definition of the “Wide World of Sports” can handle.

    To me, there is no doubt that bodybuilding is a sport, just as the others are, and when a computer is invented that can measure the performance of an athlete in achieving closer to an agreed upon standard of perfection, if those are the rules, then by your logic, you will have to agree too.

  5. I see more and more of this type of discourse on the web today because of the consideration for bodybuilding to be part of the Olympics. I have not made my decision on wether to support it or not. I believe in preserving the spirit of the Modern Olympics. They were created to enhance future generations in the physical sense and strive for cultural understanding. Bodybuilding can serve both these purposes just as well as any existing “sport” in the Olympics. I consider it to be in the same category as gymnastics, figure skating, ballroom dancing, boxing, judo, etc. I call these exhibition sports. They rely mostly on judges for determining the winners. They are artistic sports.

  6. ncskate wrote:
    “I suppose under your definition boxing and wrestling are not sports either because they rely on a human to make the call as to who wins.

    ‘Course, baseball also relies on umps who call balls and strikes, safe and out — and that’s pretty subjective. oh, and I guess football, basketball, soccer, hockey all have refs, too. Gee, I guess no sport with rules is not “subjective” at some point, and that’s a compromise those of us who have a broader definition of the “Wide World of Sports” can handle.”

    Boxing I’ll concede because it uses judges (although, when you knock a guy out it’s pretty clear you’re the winner of the fight), but you seem to misunderstand the role of a referee in the other sports. Of course, there are moments in these contests that give referees room for their judgement to make a call for or against a competitor… but only when there is a violation of the rules of competition.

    When it comes to the scoring of points to determine a winner, however, those rules are unquestionably clear.

    Did the football cross the plane of the goal? Yes? That’s six points. Did the kick split the uprights? No? Sorry… no points awarded. This scoring system is the same every time in every game. So there’s no need to worry about the French or Russian awarding more or less points accordingly.

    Balls and strikes, safe and outs are also clearly defined. Throw the ball within the confines of this box and it’s a strike, otherwise it’s not. Did the runner reach the base before the ball? Yes? That player is safe. Score a point when the runner crosses home. There are no degrees of safety, no deductions for technical deficiency on wicked sliders.

    In wrestling, when you hold your opponent’s shoulder blades to the mat for three seconds, you win. You score points by taking him to the mat, escaping him and taking control from him, and exposing his back to the mat for a specific number of seconds. No concern is ever paid to the symmetry or appearance of a competitor’s body.

    In hockey and soccer, it can’t get any easier than the puck/ball crossing the goal line. No subjectivity there. Either it did or it didn’t.

  7. “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.”

    Widely mis-attributed to Ernest Hemingway but more likely the product of Barnaby Conrad, a writer of the same era as Hemingway.

    It is a matter of risk. If you are risking your life while doing something for fun then it is a sport.
    Not willing to risk your life? Then it is just a game.

    I do not see why there is even a need to define mans contests as sport or not.

  8. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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