Everybody wants to be a reality star these days. The channels are littered with dozens upon dozens of reality show pitting contestants up against each other in races, contests, and other situations. Have you ever wondered if the sport you love, bodybuilding, would make a good reality show? Would it be fun to watch twelve bodybuilders trapped in a single house for a 12-week pre-contest phase? The answer is an unequivocal “no”, and you will soon see why.
Reps and sets, reps and sets…
The life of a bodybuilder is one of repetition and consistency. In the real world, these characteristics lead to the development of a solid physique built on hard work and the slow effects of multiple workouts over many weeks and months. It sure wouldn’t be much fun to watch the same bodybuilder complete the same exercises over and over. Cooking and eating would be pretty much the same after the first episode. Let’s face it, a bodybuilding reality show would be pretty darn boring after the first five minutes, if counting reps and personal record lifts was the gist of a day’s work.
Catabolism is your enemy
We all know that the best reality television shows involve lots of drama. Someone ate the other person’s last bag of potato chips, or the gossip in the house reaches the breaking point when a contestant steals the boyfriend of another. While these conflicts are terrific for ratings and are fun to watch, they would be terrible for bodybuilders. We grow when we are in a relaxed state, and stress is certainly not welcome in this equation. Stress releases cortisol into the body, which leads to catabolism. Muscles cannot grow when they are in a catabolic state. The largest bodybuilders are most often the one with the most relaxed personalities. The melting down we’d see from week to week would sure cost the competitors a lot of muscle!
Growth occurs when you sleep. How fun would that be to watch? Imagine the drama as fans vote online as to which 280-pound beast snores the loudest. Which bodybuilder will wake up first to enjoy a protein shake? Imagine the drama (or not!) Perhaps this is another reason why most television viewers would sleep through such a show.
A bodybuilding show involving 160-pound naturals dieting down for a show wouldn’t be all that fun. Rather, we’d probably rather watch some 250-pound monsters getting diced for an upcoming national or professional contest. To achieve any sort of success at that level, steroids are definitely going to be part of the equation. Since such rampant drug use would never make it past the FCC nor the sponsors, we’d never see such an important and integral part of the bodybuilding world.
Bodybuilding can be an exciting sport in which to actually participate. The exhilarating feeling of lifting more weight than ever before, or growing your body to new dimensions, is an incredible feeling. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a new quarter-inch of muscle rise from one’s frame. However, these personal victories and accomplishments probably wouldn’t make for good television.
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