I talked about the pros and the supplements, but let’s see what kind of people I ran into at the Expo, including a few run-ins with the pros
BAD and FREAKY-
The EXPO crowd
If someone could enlighten me as to why, every year, half the expo appears to be people that have never stepped foot in a gym, then I would be thankful as hell. There were definitely a number of muscle worshipers who wanted pictures of the bodybuilders flexing, a ton of guys who looked like they were more comfortable in a Dungeons and Dragons game than a squat rack, who just wanted to get a creepy picture with the booth girls, but sadly that is expected after going once before.
What I was shocked by how many freaking children were there. Now as important as I think physical fitness is to kids, and badly needed, why a group of seven year olds was in front of me getting bags full of free samples for pre-workout powders is beyond me.
And I saw at LEAST a dozen children <6 months strapped to their parents walking through the crowded expo. If you’re a new parent and you want a free 4oz packet of protein so badly that you’ll knock your way through a crowd VERY similar to what you would find in a busy city bar, then maybe your priorities need to be re-examined.
The Booth Girls…. It was an off year.
IT’S TIME TO PLAY MY NEW FAVORITE GAME SHOW!
INTERN, STRIPPER, OR MALE BODYBUILDER IN A WIG!!!!
Honest to God we played this game while walking the expo this year. Seemed they decided to rally up the local talent from the strip clubs, they showed up on a Tuesday afternoon instead of a Saturday night.
Not the A-team, that’s for sure.
Of course the big booths like Muscle Tech and the magazines had the national models like the goddess that is Jamie Eason, but for a majority of them, I was more frightened than I was attracted. The number of female bodybuilders who looked like they had run Test non-stop for the last decade or so was the most frightening part.
Imagine Sly Stallone with a weave, but taller, and with bigger legs. You’ve now pictured most of the female bodybuilders I saw yesterday.
Prices of Supplements
Now I’m not sure if it is because it was Sunday and a lot of vendors just didn’t want to bring product back, but they were more than willing to give out a large number of samples and cut prices on full products. Even better, if you’re going to go with buying supplements in mind, get a large group, and buy things in bulk. My group decided ahead of time that we were all going to buy a pre-workout product, so going to a vendor with eight people interested in buying multiple tubs makes them VERY motivated to sell.
We were able to get products retailing for $60 dollars for $20 dollars apiece, and we all got a t-shirt and shaker, as well as extra sample packets.
Keep in mind, this is one of those rare times when you can haggle the price of your supplements. Also, if you just make conversation and prove that you’re not just another asshat looking to score some free stuff, and that you know what you’re talking about, you’re likely to get some cool stuff thrown your way.
GOOD, BAD, AND FREAKY-
Legends of the Sport going Sheen level crazy in front of you
GOOD – One of the greatest American strength athletes of all time, who was still in great shape, was signing everything he could, and giving out full sized products to absolutely everybody.
BAD – What if I were to tell you that a 3 time worlds strongest man champion then jumped up on a table started giving a Leonidas-from-300-style rant about how he was going to revolutionize the food industry, supplement industry, and personally save America’s youth?
FREAKY – I wish I had video because it really was one of oddest things I have ever seen, then he pointed at a young African American child in the crowd and went off on a rant about how how he gave a speech in an inner city Atlanta school and all the children were so clean, well spoken, and polite. Following this up with a talk about how President Obama had done so much considering what kind of person he was put the icing on what had to have been the worst well meaning but racist speech ever.
Current IFBB Pro’s who don’t hate meeting fans
While I don’t follow pro bodybuilding as closely as I used to, and you won’t find me waiting in for an hour to get Jay Cutler’s autograph, it is kind of cool to see so many guys who are ridiculously huge. I was glad to walk through the Crossfit area on my way out just so I could feel like I was actually muscular again.
The guy who impressed me the most had to be hands down Stan “The White Rhino” Efferding. I first caught wind of this guy last year when he was in that lifting challenge with Ben White, and I realized that this was a guy who not only had a great physique, but was an absolute beast in the gym. To compliment him even more, he was a complete class act at the expo, he was signing absolutely everything that put in front of him, making real conversation with people, and inviting people around the side of the booth to take multiple pictures. He also wasn’t rushing people at all. I wish this guy continued success, because he is everything this sport needs right now.
Almost getting your ass whooped by Kai Greene’s entourage.
I like Kai Greene, seems like a nice enough guy, clearly works hard, brought himself up to something from nothing, but anybody who follows the forums, knows that Kai is most famous for one thing…. The grapefruit incident.
Without going into unneeded info, “Kai Greene Grapefruit” on Google brings about 189 million results. Search at your own risk folks.
Well, without knowing it, I told a buddy standing next to me who wasn’t familiar with the sport the grapefruit story, at a conversation level that I thought to be completely discrete as we stood next to a giant poster of Kai. What I wasn’t aware of was that Kai Greene had just walked up behind me, and apparently one of his people had heard me. A word to the wise- when you’re talking about someone who resembles a shaved silverback gorilla, and he might be in the building, look over your shoulder first.
IS IT WORTH IT?
It depends, if you live close enough, definitely. If you’re looking to buy a lot of supplements, yes. If you’re interested in the sport of Bodybuilding, and you don’t have any major shows close to you, then I would suggest making it out at least once. It’s only 15 bucks for the expo, and you’ll get about 5X that much worth of free supplements. But just know that parking is pretty crazy, and by Sunday afternoon that convention center smells greatly of body odor and tanning lotion.
I suggest to get a few meathead friends together, bring a little extra cash for buying supps in bulk, and know that you’ll have plenty to laugh about on the drive home.