If you are involved in the world of competitive bodybuilding & fitness events you will have no doubt heard the word “Federation” come up in conversation. “What Federation do you belong to or compete in” is often heard when the topic of Bodybuilding and Fitness events come up. In most instances its used rather frivolously with no real understanding of what the word “Federation” actually means or stands for! Let me first provide the true meaning of the word “Federation” according to Wikipedia. A federation (from Latin: foedus, gen.: foederis, “covenant”), also known as a federal state, is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central (federal) government. Ok, notice I highlighted the key words Political Entity and I did this for a reason. Bodybuilders and Fitness athletes are supposedly competing in events judged “Purely” on merit, or the level of physique development, conditioning and overall presentation that the athletes brings to the stage on THAT given day. Based on the above is the word “Federation” fitting for Bodybuilding and Fitness Competitions? Politics certainly have NO place when it comes to “judging” a Bodybuilding or Fitness event. It should be judged purely on merit alone. Its common knowledge.... Many of the so called “Federations” in Bodybuilding and Fitness are quite open about their events rewarding “Loyalty”. Interesting, and proof that “Politics” are coming into the equation. In some instances certain “Federations” have what they call “Preferred Trainers”. Now what does that mean? Does it mean “IF” you are “Not” being trained by a preferred trainer you will not be looked upon in the same light by the judges? In all honesty the whole preferred trainer thing does not sit well. It should be totally irrelevant and not even be present in any shape or form as it should not matter who you are trained by. You could train yourself at home, or in the park, or in your mates garage... Who cares? What matters is how you look on the day of the show - One word -MERIT! A message to trainers preparing athletes for shows. Do you want your athletes to win based on merit or because you are a preferred trainer? How you answer this question is clear judgement of your training skills and the expertise you have when it comes to preparing athletes for the stage. Jumping back to another word used in combination with the word federation - This being “Loyalty”. The big question that needs to be answered is... What are these so called “Federations” doing to deserve “Loyalty” from competitors? In most instances the answer is “Zippo” a big nothing. Competitors are in fact paying customers, they pay an entry and a membership fee to compete. You would hope that these fees include being judged on “Merit” and not by “politics” or how Loyal the competitor has been! Are these Federations investing anything back into the growth of the sport or are they providing any “funded” travel opportunities or further opportunities to gain media exposure? From my observations the answer is no. Where do the membership fees go? Is it being used to assist athletes with travel and accommodation? What happens after the show, is there any ongoing promotion of athletes? Time and time again I see athletes win shows only having to run a “Fund Raiser” on social media to scrape some pennies together to compete in their so called Federation’s World Titles! The point of this message is to stress the term Federation, Organization, Association mean very little in the Competitive Bodybuilding and Fitness world. Especially when politics and favouritism fall into play. Competitions should be judged solely on “Merit” alone, not Loyalty. It should not matter where you train, who your trainer is or who you know. All competitors should feel confident and secure in the fact that when they step on stage they will win for all the right reasons. Loyalty is something that has to be earned by the event promoter, based on the quality of the show, the opportunities up for grabs and the ongoing support of athletes. As an ex competitor myself and an event promoter for the Asia Pacific International and Musclemania Australia I welcome ALL natural competitors to our events. I don’t care who your trainer is, or where you train, you will be judged purely on Merit and each an every competitor will be in the running to receive funded travel and accommodation to compete in Las Vegas, along with the chance to appear as a Cover Model or feature in our magazine. We are now in the year 2015, we are not back in the 80’s. It’s time to drop the them against us mind set and look at the bigger picture. Competitions have changed, there is no room for dictating and politics. The focus should be on providing competitors with top quality shows, solid judging and opportunities for athletes to further their careers. Opportunities like this are what inspire future competitors, which benefit the industry on a whole.
Yours in health and fitness
Natural Bodz Magazine