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The Informant

Scott Welch BASc. (Nutrition)

Scott Welch has devoted his career studying performance enhancement and weight loss through dietary intervention. He received a bachelor of applied science degree in Nutrition from Ryerson University and later completed a post-graduate certificate in advertising. He’s had countless interactions with leading scientists, doctors, and hundreds of trainers from around the world, giving him a unique perspective that others lack. Welch founded MUSCLE INSIDER in 2009.

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The Arnold VS. The Olympia


As we approach the new year, and the Arnold is the next BIG IFBB Pro show on the schedule, it's only fitting that we talk about the Arnold show relative to other IFBB Pro shows such as the Olympia. Why is the Mr. Olympia competition the “Super Bowl of Bodybuilding”? Why does it supersede ‘The Arnold’ in terms of its eminence and prestige? Why is raising the Sandow like raising the Stanley Cup?

Everyone knows that the Arnold Sports Festival is growing rapidly with every passing year. In 2016, it was held transcontinentally; that is, there was one Arnold Classic in every continent all over the world. It also continually adds sports outside of bodybuilding to its lineup, which has led to an exponential growth of over 10,000 athletes competing over the course of the weekend.

            As stated before, however, this is about why the Olympia is the Show of Shows, not why the Arnold is awesome.


Rich History

The Olympia began in 1965, 24 years before the Arnold Classic. Joe Weider decided he wanted a contest that would enable all the Mr. Universe winners to compete on one stage to determine who the best Mr. Universe was. You had to earn your spot! To this day, you still have to qualify for the Mr. Olympia; unlike the Arnold, it’s not something to which you get an invitation or free pass (the physique divisions don’t get invited; it’s an open category). You have to qualify, rack up enough points, or have won a previous Olympia title in order to get onstage in Vegas.

What’s in a Name?

The second aspect that makes the Olympia the premier contest is that it’s named after a beer. Oh, and the home of the most powerful mythological gods ever. Larry Scott (the winner of the first two Olympia titles) was having dinner one night at Joe Weider’s house, and Weider was telling Larry about his idea for the biggest contest in the world. He was trying to convince Larry to enter and help him promote the show. The brand of beer they were drinking at the time was named Olympia. “Olympia,” of course, is based on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, and the abode of the mythological Greek gods known as the Olympians). Any contest named after not only alcohol but also where Zeus’ throne sat is pretty badass.

The Trophy

Holding up a giant glass goblet with Arnold’s face on it is cool, but holding up a Sandow is cooler. Eugen Sandow was an exceptional bodybuilder and strongman in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He caught the eye of a sculptor in 1891, and they devised a statue together for the “Great Competition,” the first major competition that focused on judging not only strength but physique as well. Sound familiar? The statue they made was what we all now know as the Sandow trophy. The top three winners of his competition were awarded, you guessed it, the statue of Eugen Sandow himself.

You just can’t argue with facts (or my opinion) here. Despite all the other shows, the Olympia always has been and always will be the Super Bowl/Stanley Cup of bodybuilding. So let’s raise a Sandow and celebrate the name and rich history of the world’s most famous bodybuilding competition!