Bodybuilding fans have become accustomed to seeing many of their favorite athletes training, sharing tips, and giving insights on their preparations for upcoming contests. One example of this is Regan Grimes. The pro Open competitor has been using social media to update his fans on his progress as he has been preparing for the 2019 Romania Muscle Fest Pro Am show which is set to take place November 1-3, 2019. He recently shared both front and back photos on his Instagram page at three weeks out from the contest.
He’s also been active on his YouTube channel. On October 15 he posted a video of his chest training which includes him sharing his thoughts and tips on execution as well as how he prepares some of his meals. This is one of several videos that can be found that covers his workouts and his everyday life overall.
The use of social media and YouTube for self-promotion, all-access looks, and marketing of their sponsors’ products is commonplace nowadays, but fans that have followed the sport for decades know this hasn’t always been the case.
The Old-School Approach
Before the internet boom took place, the only way fans were able to keep up with their favorite stars was to subscribe to the major bodybuilding magazines of the era or to buy them on the newsstands. The issue with this was that those magazines wouldn’t normally be available until long after the contests were over. So the updates, news, and results fans saw had actually taken place months ago. The only exception was if you happened to be in attendance at an event where a competitor was making a guest posing appearance.
As for videos, those weren’t common either because bodybuilding wasn’t broadcasted on television often and when it was, it was also taped in advance. Live bodybuilding simply wasn’t done. Stars of the era could produce videos of their own which did offer information and educated the viewer but as with the previously mentioned instances, they weren’t current.
The advantage of this for the competitors were that they only had to focus on the preparation for the show when they started getting ready. They felt the lack of attention was to their advantage. They had no problem giving tips and speaking about what they do but it would be after the event took place.
Those examples were for the champions that were willing to go through those efforts. There were others that simply didn’t want to share anything at all. They kept to themselves and prepared for the shows without any communication at all until the day of the contest. The most famous example of this is Dorian Yates. He felt the isolation allowed him to focus on his training and recovery so he was very limited with his appearances, interviews, and other requirements until after he retired. He was even restricted on what he did in the offseason.
The Modern Day Methods
Grimes’ work online is one of many examples of how the athletes of today succeed. With limited endorsement contracts available, their use of social media and the ability to showcase themselves on their own online channels maximizes their exposure and allows fans to follow along as the preparation goes along. This can result in a greater connection between the athlete and fans which allows the athletes to capitalize and potentially monetize their efforts.
This is common practice among the current crop of champions but even stars of the past have seen the potential and capitalized on the opportunities. Dexter Jackson, a 20 year pro veteran of the stage, has been active on all forms of social media which he feels allowed him to give fans a more personal look at what he does and his life out of the gym.
The advances of technology have also allowed fans to communicate directly with their athletes of choice and allowed athletes opportunities to speak directly to them back. Fans of the past could only write letters and hope for either a reply in the mail or for their letter to be published in the magazine.
Fans will be able to see if Grimes’ strategies that he shared will be successful when he takes to the stage in Romania. The man who places first will not only get the winners’ prize money but will also be qualified for the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Featured Image: Instagram/regangrimes