Industry pundits lament low turnout of Bodybuilders at the NPC Jr Nationals

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Industry pundits lament low turnout

Industry pundits lament low turnout of Bodybuilders at the NPC Jr Nationals.

This weekend the popular NPC Jr Nationals (15-16 June 2018) was organized and some of bodybuilding’s most respected athletes/reporters expressed their disappointment on the turnout of athletes in the bodybuilding open class category.

A total of 27 competitors competed in various bodybuilding categories at the 2018 show.

Super Heavyweight – 4 competitors
Heavyweight: 8 competitors
Light Heavyweight: 8 competitors
Middleweight: 2 competitors
Welterweight: 3 competitors
Bantamweight: 2 competitors

2017 – 47 competitors (Bodybuilding)
2016 – 58 competitors (Bodybuilding)
2015 – 66 competitors (Bodybuilding)
2014 – 82 competitors (Bodybuilding)

The numbers shown above show a sharp decline from 2014.

The very popular athlete/journalist John Hansen pointed out the decline in numbers through his social media. A very good discussion took place with some valid points from a number of popular names in the industry such as Aaron Singerman, Ron Harris, Robby Robinson and Johnny Styles.

I just saw a video on Facebook from the Jr. Nationals prejudging of the middleweight class. There were only 2 competitors in the class. This is unbelievable. I remember competing in this contest in the 1980’s and there were normally 25-30 competitors in each class. I know the other divisions are getting more popular but I’m shocked at the decline of competitors in men’s bodybuilding. This is a national level show! – John Hansen


A number of people pointed out a number of factors that could have been the reason why the number of bodybuilders have declined.

Some of the main points mentioned were;
• Too many new classes.
• The younger generation do not want to work hard.
• Financial issues.
• Bodybuilding is not a pro qualifier at the Jr. Nationals.
• Athletes do not want to work their way up, they want to win a Pro card instantly.

All the above points are valid and no doubt these all have had a negative impact on the sport of bodybuilding. Many say that the sport is coming to an end and others blame it on laziness. Whatever the reason, a solution has to be found.

If this was just a local show, the turnout would have been great, but this was the Jr. Nationals. A prestigious show for the young athlete. In the 80’s and 90’s a teen would dream of competing in such a prestigious contest.

Whatever the problem, the organizers have to put their heads together and find a solution as this is just going to decline further!!