So Jodie Marsh has done a bodybuilding competition. Judging by twitter, Facebook, and various opinion pieces the general consensus seems to be a mix of "I don't like her but fair play" and "looks gross though"
Having never met the woman I can't quite understand the outpouring of scorn. She seems to just be one of many people playing the fame game and doing well out of it and good luck to her.
As for the "she looks gross" part, well bodybuilding is a pretty weird sport I'll give you that. I can easily see how someone on the outside looking in would find it pretty hard to relate to and wonder why anyone would ever want to look like that. It's worth bearing in mind that when someone is on stage they are at their absolute leanest, a state that is maintainable for only a couple of days at a time. They are fake tanned and oiled up and looking about as far removed from a normal human being as possible. It looks weird, I get it. But I think in many cases, people who readily dismiss bodybuilding as ridiculous or pointless are telling us more about their own lack of progress in the gym or discipline at the dinner table.
Whether you like the look or not bodybuilders are the most successful dieters in the world. They are bigger and leaner than anyone else, so whatever your physique goals you can learn something from the bodybuilding world.
Will these new pictures result in women shunning weights for fear of "bulking up"? I don't think so. In recent years women have definitely woken up to the fact that weight training is essential to body transformation and that a few sets of squats do not a Ms Olympia make. At Aegis, slightly more than half of our client base is female and they are a pretty cool bunch. They power clean, squat and drag sleds and no one worries about getting bulky. Any such worries, if they are expressed, are generally stamped on in the consultation process with a pair of steel toed boots.
If anything, I have witnessed a baffling increase in new male clients who utter the dreaded phrase "I don't want to get too big" ("Oh thank God you told me! We'll only do two sets of lunges instead of three, otherwise you'll wake up tomorrow looking like He -Man")
If you take a look at the cover of mens health from 2000, and then look at an issue from the last two years you'll notice a stark difference. The cover models from the 90s and early 2000s were uniformly lean, muscular guys. The modern trend however has been towards men who are just, well, skinny. Perhaps the roles are reversing.
Where am I going with this? Men need to man up, and women need to keep it up. You don't have to like bodybuilding but don't be scornful of someone elses hard work. And if you're a man who is worried about lifting weights for fear of getting too big, do me a favour and give yourself a good, hard slap round the head.
PS - While I was writing this someone sent me a link to an interview with Jodie on This Morning. My thoughts-
1- I want to marry Holly Willoughby
2- I thought she came across like a nice person.