Is Bodybuilding Sport or Show? (with Roger Lockridge)

Today I’m talking to one of the fitness world’s prolific writers, Roger Lockridge. Roger is a longtime contributor to all sorts of outlets, including BarBend and Breaking Muscle. He’s also one of the world’s best-known writers on bodybuilding, and he’ll be covering the Olympia Weekend live and in person this year (as he did last year as well). Roger joins the podcast to talk about building an unlikely career — even from his home in rural West Virginia — as well as how to talk about bodybuilding. Is it a sport? Is it a pageant? Or is it something else entirely?

Before we get into that, I want to give a quick shoutout to today’s episode sponsor, Thirdzy. Thirdzy’s PM Recovery Collagen is formulated to help you sleep deeper and recover faster. It’s got collagen peptides to support muscle, bone, and ligament health, plus sleep-promoters like magnesium, L-theanine, and tryptophan to help you fall asleep and stay asleep for better recovery. I’m personally a huge fan of magnesium before bed to help with relaxation. Wake up feeling energized and ready for the day and training ahead. Use code BarBendZzz — that’s BarBend with three Zs after it — for 25% off today.

Roger Lockridge BarBend Podcast

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, David Thomas Tao and Roger Lockridge discuss: 

  • How Roger first reached out to David and built a writing career (2:10)
  • Who are we really writing for? (5:30)
  • Why didn’t BarBend cover bodybuilding for so many years? (9:46)
  • The difficulties of writing about an inherently visual sport (12:00)
  • Covering the Olympia weekend live, and what to keep in mind when watching bodybuilding coverage (15:00)
  • Roger’s favorite bodybuilding division (17:00)
  • How to be a better bodybuilding spectator (21:00)
  • What would Roger change about bodybuilding if he could? (24:20)

Relevant links and further reading:


I would call it a strange sport, personally, because I know what they have to do to get ready for it.


For a bodybuilding fan that has never stood on stage under hot lights in front of thousands of people holding poses for 15 to 20 seconds at a time, go stand in front of your bathroom mirror and go try to hit each of those compulsory poses, and then try to do it four or five times.


You’ll eventually get pretty tired, and your muscles will start cramping. Then imagine doing it at three percent body fat while you’re dehydrated.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend” podcast, where we talk to the smartest coaches, athletes, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by


Today, we’re talking to Rodger Lockridge, who’s been a writer in the fitness and strength spaces since 2009. He’s one of the most prolific fitness writers in history. He’s been contributing to BarBend and “Breaking Muscle” since around 2019. Particularly when it comes to bodybuilding, you won’t find someone who knows more and writes more on the space.


Rodger’s actually, going to be covering the Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas a little later this year live. Treat this podcast as a primer, both for veteran bodybuilding fans and for those who might not know how to follow the sport or what to look out for. We also talk about, well, is bodybuilding even a sport in and of itself?


Rodger has some really interesting thoughts there. I personally learned a lot from this recording. Before we get into that, I want to give a quick shout-out to today’s episode sponsor, Thirdzy. Thirdzy’s PM Recovery Collagen is formulated to help you sleep deeper and recover faster. It’s got collagen peptides that support muscle, bone, and ligament health.


Plus sleep promoters like L-theanine and magnesium to help you fall asleep and stay asleep for better recovery. I’m personally, a huge fan of magnesium before bed to help with relaxation, wake up, feeling energized and ready for the day, and training ahead.


Use code BarBendZzz — that’s BarBend with three Zs after it — for 25 percent off today. Now, onto the show.


Rodger, thank you so much for joining me today. We’ve been working together for a while. First time we ever sat down for a podcast. I’m super excited.


For those who don’t know you, give us a little bit of the rundown. Who’s Rodger Lockridge? How did he get involved in this whole fitness thing? You have seen the entire industry evolve over the course of almost a couple decades now.

Thank you for having me first of all, David. It’s a privilege. I am from rural West Virginia, a little town called Lewisburg, southeast part of the state. I got into the fitness thing because it was a positive outlet for me.


Without going into great detail, childhood was a little rough — bullying, childhood domestic violence. I didn’t want to do anything super aggressive that would hurt others so I found weightlifting.


It was stressed, it was aggressive. It was a positive release for me. It helped me. I was able to get bigger, able to get stronger, and now decided, you know what? I want to make this my career. Started out as a parcel trainer, worked at a supplement store for a couple of years as well.


Now, workout for people, and around 2009, I started writing a little blog on the body space. A former podcast guest of yours, Kris Gethin, signed me to a writer deal, and I was off to the races. At the end of 2009, I got this little writer-of-the-year award, but the local news thought it was a big deal and they made me the top story on the news that evening.


Of course, I’m sure you’re familiar with West Virginia. There’s not much happens around here. Something like that’s a big deal. I was just off and running from there.


I’ve been with “Iron Man” magazine, I have joined BarBend. It was January 2019 and I wanted to get more into other strength sports coverage. I had seen your site. I followed your site and I think you remember this.


I took a shot in the dark and emailed you because I had Arnold Classic story, I thought you’d be interested in. For the next three-and-a-half years, I think I’ve become more associated with BarBend than I had, which is quite a statement.


It’s been fun to be a part of this whole endeavor and to be able to shine some form of a positive spotlight on all these athletes through BarBend’s partnership. It’s been an incredible process.

David TaoDavid Tao

I think what a lot of people underestimate about or this might be a common misconception about people in strength content. You and I have both been writing on the space, in the space around the space for a long time. I get a lot of folks who asked me. It’s like, “Oh, you know.” When you can because I’ve competed in a few different things like when you competed.


You must have been really elite. That’s why you liked it so much. The answer is no. I’m not that great at lifting weights. I just truly enjoy it and it had a very positive impact on my life. Just writing about records and events and kind of that top tier.


We looked at those athletes for inspiration. It’s cool to see what the human body is capable of. Just because we’re in this space, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re the best at it, but we get so much from it personally.


For me, I think you and I share this, trying to convey that positive impact that strength training can have on a life. I’d much rather convince someone to get up off the couch and start lifting weights than I would convince someone to train a set of world records if that makes sense.

It absolutely makes perfect sense, because I know the career I had at one point was in advocacy. I was a bigger guy for someone that was in that particular field. People would ask me about weight training questions and things like that, and I loved it.


I loved being able to expose people to that lifestyle and hopefully, they would catch the bug themselves and start improving and reaching their own goals and seeing themselves improve.


That was always more motivating for me than writing an article on how to do a curl or how to maximize your lateral race. At the same time, at any point, you can do anything in this space that can help improve quality of life for someone or quality of training.


Absolutely, I’m all in on it. What I’d love to tell people is, I don’t do this to make a living. I found a way to make a living so I could keep doing it.


David TaoDavid Tao

[laughs] You have to reverse engineer it. I will say, when BarBend started in 2016, geez almost seven years, we’re coming up on seven years, the number of people who told me it was a bad idea economically to put my chips in that basket for a job, they were a lot of folks.


Here’s the problem, they weren’t wrong because it’s been a long slog to get BarBend to a place. We’re the biggest in the space. We are the biggest independent in the space right now in strength publishing to get to a place where I could really support careers.


I’ve been asked on a few podcasts that I’ve guested on social like, “Don’t you like going back and telling your haters they were wrong.” I say, “No. They actually were right.” It’s hard to make a living here and people have to get creative in how they find it.

What I have told people in the past for my own particular instance is, it’s not that they were incorrect because that may be the rule. It’s just there are exceptions to the rule. What are the odds of being an exception to a rule? In you or my case, we were the exceptions to the rule.


The work that BarBend has done, over that closing in on seven years, has been an astronomical. I’m not saying that as a contributor, I’m saying that as a fan because I’ve watched it from beginning to now and that’s why I want to jump on at some point.


Because it’s not often I reach out to someone to say I want to be a part of something. At the risk of sounding arrogant, normally, the editors reach out to me.


This was something different, this was something special, and it covered all of strength sports which was very unique. To see the growth that has happened here, you’re absolutely right. BarBend has become a leader in all strength sports — bodybuilding, powerlifting, weightlifting, CrossFit, strongman you name, even Hyrox.


I’m not sure how much covers Hyrox was gaining before BarBend came along, but now it’s almost become a regular part of it. The best part is, what you have done, you’ve found a way to translate that outside of news into training content, into reviews into things like that that is helping improve the quality of life for the reader that may become an athlete someday, that may become another exception to that rule.

David TaoDavid Tao

The most surreal thing for me…I want to dive in…We are going to actually talk about bodybuilding covers specifically in a second. Since Rodger and I don’t get a chance to talk as much as we used to, the thing that gets me is, that we do news. We do the evergreen content, the training content.


I never thought we’d have the chance to touch any types of content. I thought we’d have to pick something and double down on it and we’d be a bit of a one-trip podium because we’re so specific.


Wellness is pretty broad and then you get to fitness and it’s a little bit narrower. Then you get to strength and it’s even narrower, then you get to strength sports and it’s even narrower. The fact that we get to write all these little types of content is really, really exciting to me.


That also means that we get to bring on more people who have different types of expertise and different types of interests. Because someone might be interested in the news aspect of strength sports and they might not want to do a listicle or in-depth article on research or exercises or vice versa.


I will say, Rodger, I remember that first email. I was looking back at some of the emails that you and I exchanged when you reached out. I’m always biased.


I had a lot of family in West Virginia. I lived in West Virginia for a time. It’s got a real special place in my heart, so if you’re someone who lives in rural West Virginia and you want to make a career in strength sports, reach out to me or reach out to Rodger.


You are going to have a very sympathetic year because there’s something about that part of the country still holds a special place in my heart. I think great people come from West Virginia, that’s just me though. Anyway, I don’t know if I can hear any disagreements from you, Rodger.

No. Not at all.

David TaoDavid Tao

[laughs] Anyway, let’s talk a little bit about bodybuilding coverage. Bodybuilding for context.


You and I have had this conversation briefly. We didn’t cover a lot of bodybuilding when you first got involved with BarBend. In fact, you were expanding your horizons and we were covering other things.


A lot of that was because I don’t have a background in bodybuilding. Actually, at the time we didn’t have a background in bodybuilding. It wasn’t the thing that got me out of bed in the morning. I like to wake up to a lot of these things. The bodybuilding space is massive.


We started touching bodybuilding when we knew we could do it at a scale and at a quality that was relevant. We didn’t want to do it and do it really poorly. For the last couple years, you’ve been one of the go-to people for a bunch of different publications. When it comes to bodybuilding coverage, including doing it live like at the upcoming Olympia Weekend.


I’d love to hear a little bit about what you like about covering bodybuilding live and writing about it. Maybe what’s particularly challenging about it, or what you don’t love about it.

What I love about the part that’s doing it live is, I can remember reading the magazines in the old days, “The Muscle & Fitness,” “The Flags,” “The Muscular Developments,” The Iron Man. All those that I eventually got to become a writer for.


Just being a part of that space, being a part of that world, and getting to see them live and knowing that I can help bring the action to the next generation of fans who will never know what it was like to have to go back and read those magazines.


It’s a better form of coverage because we’re getting to do things as it happens, and the fan doesn’t have to wait two months or call Gold’s Gym Venice to find out who won the Olympia. All they got to do is go to BarBend, follow the feeds on social media, and you’re going to see everything as it happens up to and including the callout reports.

David TaoDavid Tao

Wait, is that a real story? People calling Gold’s Gym to find out who won the Olympia contest?

Oh yeah, absolutely. They did in my local gym, the few muscle heads that were there where I trained, they would call Gold’s Gym Venice to find out who won the Olympia.

David TaoDavid Tao

They didn’t want to wait for the magazines to come out the next month, right? They just wanted the info right then.

 Right. The Internet was in its infancy. You didn’t get really a chance to see all the forums or anything like that. You called the major gym chains that you knew had bodybuilders in them and that was how you found out. Yeah, absolutely true story.


As far as the challenges part of it goes, let’s call a spade a spade. It’s bodybuilding. Quarter turn to the right, front double bicep. You’re not going to see too much in the form of entertainment from that part of it alone. One of the challenges that comes with it, is making it interesting.


Talking about, OK, well, in the case of the Classic Physique Olympia. Bumstead is ramp. He’s solid, he’s huge, but Terrence Ruffin is putting on a posing exhibition like no other. That’s a little bit of a tough dynamic to try to write out for a reader to understand if you’re not watching it on the pay-per-view.


If that’s the major challenge I have to face, then I’ll be glad to face it because, at the end of the day, the fans are staying update alive. Athletes are getting exposure. The sport is growing from it. BarBend is maintaining a top position in terms of the coverage because we’re doing something unique.


To be a small part of that, I’m all with Andrew and Phil and everybody else. It’s going to be backing us up for the coverage this year. Man, it’s a fun process too. There’s nothing like it. I got to do it at the Olympia last year, the Arnold this year.


Yeah, I’ll be in Las Vegas for the first time this year for BarBend. I’ll be doing a couple other small things on the side as well. Man, it’s going to be exciting to be able to do 11 different world championships in the same weekend.

David TaoDavid Tao

We’ll get back to the conversation in just a moment. First, a quick shout-out to our episode sponsor, Thirdzy. Thirdzy’s PM Recovery Collagen is formulated to help you sleep deeper and recover faster.


Collagen and sleep-promoting ingredients make for a potent recovery supplement to help you wake up energized for the day and training ahead. Use code BarBendZzz — that’s just BarBend with three Zs right after it — for 25 percent off today. Now, let’s get back to the show.


It’s absolutely insane that look, sports are concentrated. I’d say the most concentrated sports season in this space is often weightlifting because it’s really like the Olympics are the most important thing. That’s only once every four years. The CrossFit games pretty concentrated.


There are some other events on the calendar. The Olympia Weekend, like there are pro shows all year across divisions. The Olympia Weekend is it. It’s Christmas. It’s New Year’s. It’s every holiday rolled into one. The fact that it’s back in Las Vegas. It’ll be your first time in Vegas? You said.

It’ll be my first time in Vegas period. Not just for the Olympia, but in Las Vegas ever.

David TaoDavid Tao

 I was going to say, I actually think that’s a really good way to rip the Band-Aid off because Las Vegas is such an odd place in so many ways. You take an event that is already like this interesting microcosm that would turn a lot of heads and you put it in a city that just blows your mind anyway. It’s the perfect pairing.


It’s something out of like fantasy land. Like you went into the wardrobe and you came into this whole different world. Your first time covering the Olympia was live in person last year. Tell us about that. Tell us about a little bit about that experience being there live as a journalist for the first time.

Being there last year it was a unique dynamic. We were starting to come out COVID, but there was still this struggle of COVID. Everybody was trying to maintain their distance. Everybody was trying to be respectable of the guidelines that Florida had.


At the same time, this was still the world championships, and you knew everybody was going to be on their A game. What are you going to do differently than nobody else is doing to stand out? That was when we decided to do the callout reports as they were happening.


To try to keep track of 60 bikini competitors, or 40 Classic Physique athletes that are all trying to stand out, but they look very similar. Bear down those pin numbers so we could figure out who’s in the callouts, and oh jeez, they switched again. They’re OK. Now the guy that was in the center is on the far left. That was a little bit unique challenge to it.


Then there’s the fans behind you that are just going absolutely out of their minds for some of these divisions like Classic Physique and a new wellness division and men’s physique. The 212 has its own major loyal fan base and they have their own stars as well.


The energy was contagious. You just couldn’t escape feeling it from the time you walk into the experts to the time you went back to the hotel.

David TaoDavid Tao

What is your favorite division to see live that isn’t men’s open? Look, the Olympia Weekend, it’s multiple worlds. 11 world championships, or 4 champs, forgetting the number. The one that people associate with is like, who’s going to be Mr. O? Who’s going to be the Mr. Olympia champ?


They often mean men’s open. Bodybuilding has really diversified in a lot of ways, and I think that’s partially been on purpose. We can talk about that. They’re really trying to expand the sport to appeal to more different frames and bodies and training styles and audiences. What is your favorite division to cover that isn’t men’s open?

I’m probably going to surprise you with this answer because it’s not Classic Physique, it’s not 212, it’s the wheelchair division, men’s wheelchair. Nick Scott is a friend of mine from the days and he’s the chairman of the division.


I have literally watched that division grow from the grassroots up until the point that it has an Olympia and Arnold Classic title that goes with it. Every athlete has their own inspirational story that leads them to that position on the stage and they are working as hard. If not harder than every other athlete to get to that point.


They are putting themselves out there for the world to see live on pay-per-view, live in attendance for thousands of fans. You just can’t help but feel like you have no excuse to try to be your best. See what these athletes are doing.


The inspiration is just spread far and wide. Then to see, last year it was Harold Kelly. This year, there’s a chance there’s going to be a new champion crown because Harold actually lost at the Arnold Classic. Gabrielle Manole, I believe, was the gentleman’s name.


It’s going to be a very intense and competitive lineup this year. Even though that would probably be the last one on Saturday at the Olympia Expo, that’s the one I’m looking forward to the most because the next time I’m in the gym, I’m going to be thinking about those guys and what they’re doing.


Nick is also trying to branch out a women’s wheelchair division as well. There’s one athlete that’s qualified as a pro right now. I believe he’s trying to find a second. If you need some inspiration before heading to a workout, watch that division at the Olympia. You won’t regret it.


David TaoDavid Tao

The best part about divisions like that is the stories behind them and the motivation behind them are really exciting — especially that one — are really exciting in the early years. But now it’s super competitive.


If you’re able to follow along and maybe you get into it because of a particular competitor’s story, something they’ve been through, something you can connect with, you blink and two or three years later the division’s stacked. It’s completely stacked with people who could take the crown away.


Suddenly, it’s just as exhilarating as the others. Because heading into a particular event, you might not know who’s bringing the packet is going to win it all.

Wheelchair is the personification of that. There are other divisions that do that as well. The new wellness division, who would’ve ever imagined that Isabel Nunes would’ve not won the Olympia, but Francielle Mattos took the title.


Now, there’s Dr. Sunny Andrews, there’s [inaudible 19:01] , there’s several of them that could easily take the title this year. It’s going to be a very competitive lineup. The same thing could be with 212. Shaun Clarida was qualified for both the Open and the 212. He wanted to do both. Ultimately, was told he couldn’t. He’s going to try to take back the 212 title.


Is Kamal Elgargni, who is also a former champion. If either one of them do it, they’ll be the first man to have regained the title after losing it in that division.


You could do the same thing across every division. I believe the bikini is going to have four former champions. The Mr. Olympian and the Men’s opens going to have the past two champions. Every one of them have their own unique storylines. That’s why everyone have their own fan bases.

David TaoDavid Tao

Are there any competitors who are making comebacks this year? Because it happens in this sport. Look, the lifestyle drains you. If you are a competitive bodybuilder in any division, you are eating, sleeping, and breathing quite literally a particular lifestyle.


We see people maybe phase out of that level of competition for a little bit, maybe because they have other life obligations that they want to explore other things and then come back into it. Or maybe an injury knocks them out for a little while. Could be anything. Are there any particular comeback stories that should be on our radar this year?

Yeah. In the 212, there is a gentleman named Eduardo Correa. He was right there with Flex Lewis during his reign in the mid-2010s, but then he disappeared off the map for a few years. I think 2016 was the last time he was on the Olympia stage. He was sixth that year.


He is now back and he’s going to be in the Olympia this year. It’ll be interesting to see how he does against this whole new crop of talent like Bryan Balzano and Kamal, who wasn’t there the last time Eduardo competed, Shaun Clarida, several others. Kyev, the guy out of the Ukraine who’s making a big splash.


He’s an older guy, an old-generation guy who’s now coming in with the new lineup and it’ll be interesting to see where he places.

David TaoDavid Tao

For people who might be new to bodybuilding…Hey, say someone’s listening to this and they’re on the fence about watching the Olympia week. Maybe they decide, “Hey, I might tune in for coverage.” Could be the reading recaps on BarBend, could be they pay for pay-per-view and actually want to watch it live.


What are some tips you give for newer bodybuilding fans about how to get the most from being a spectator?


The one thing I will tell them is the two main callouts you want to watch out for, outside of the numerical callouts where they come out in number order, is the first callout and the last callout because that’s going to be where you find who your champions are.


In most instances, you would think a callout is from left to right. In this particular sport, it’s the center where you want to pay the most attention because the people in the center are the ones that everybody else are being compared to.


There are two rounds, the pre-judging, and the finals. The finals on Friday night and Saturday night — December 16th and December 17th — that’s where you’re going to see your champions crowned.


It’s going to be much more than just quarter turns and a pose down. There’s going to be some entertainment value this year that’s going to be brought to the Olympia stage and it’s going to be quite the show.


You could catch the pre-judging in and out or you can keep up with BarBend to watch the pre-judging stuff as it happens. If you’re going to watch anything live, make sure you watch the live finals on both Friday and Saturday night. You will absolutely get your money’s worth.


David TaoDavid Tao

This brings up a good question. You say there’s going to be spectacle and I know event organizers in the years past said, “I’ve done a lot of different things to change up the sport, change up the game, change up the viewing experience.” Because ultimately, bodybuilding across all the divisions, it’s a very visual experience.


Their physicality’s being compared. It’s not an objective measure, “Whose lifting the most weight on the barbell? Who’s snatch or clean jerking or deadlifting the most?” It’s very much not that. It’s comparing bodies. Is bodybuilding a sport or is it a spectacle?


The way I would personally call it is sports entertainment. Most people would associate that with WWE, thinking it’s predetermined, and it’s really not.

David TaoDavid Tao

 Are they so different in some ways?

They’re really not because there is an entertainment value that’s trying to be brought to it. You are going to see physiques being compared to each other, and there is a subjective conclusion to it because judges are the ones that are assigned to winners.


Like I said, nothing is predetermined, so don’t let anybody have that idea. At the same time, it’s going to be…I would call it a strange sport, personally, because I know what they have to do to get ready for it.


For a bodybuilding fan that has never stood on stage under hot lights in front of thousands of people holding poses for 15 to 20 seconds at a time, go stand in front of your bathroom mirror and go try to hit each of those compulsory poses, and then try to do it four or five times.


You’ll eventually get pretty tired, and your muscles will start cramping. Then imagine doing it at three percent body fat while you’re dehydrated. They are definitely athletes, I will say that. I would personally call it a strange sport. If I’m going to associate it with anything, I would call it more sports entertainment.

David TaoDavid Tao

I was racking my brain in prep for this chat, and I was going to try and offer up a better term, but I couldn’t think of one. I really like that. That’s probably when people bring it up to me because people bring it up to me now.


I did not start BarBend as a big bodybuilding fan. I’ve had to learn about the sport. As our editorial team has grown…I no longer run our editorial team, which is a very good thing for all involved. Let me put it that way. I’ve had to learn more about this, and I really do appreciate that framing.


I can tell it’s something you’ve also spent quite a bit of time thinking about, so thank you for sharing that.


If you had a magic wand and you could change anything about competitions in bodybuilding. It could be to add more spectator value. It could be for better judging, whatever it is. What might you tweak about how a bodybuilding competition is run and presented?

 I’ve never been asked that question before, so this might actually take me a second or two to come up with an answer to.

David TaoDavid Tao

 It’s not meant to be a gotcha question. I’m kind of curious.

I would actually make the posing routines more part of the competition itself because the posing rounds are not scored in most competitions. They are in like the Arnold Classic. I would take it back to more of the old school days when you had to put together a posing routine and do something that was going to inspire the crowd.


A lot of these athletes, I hate to knock them, and I’m not trying to. There is a lot of clapping the hands and putting hands to the ears, trying to ask the crowd to get up for them. Back in the older days, as someone like Shawn Ray or Arnold Schwarzenegger would tell you, that was their job. Their job was to put together something that would make the fans get up on their feet.


I would put some type of special bonus on top of that, whether it be a mandatory prize from the promoters for each competition or score the rounds. It was a part of the final decision. All these athletes worked so hard to develop these physiques, make them show it off, and give the fans another reason to enjoy the show.

David TaoDavid Tao

You want to bring that choreography, that showmanship, that all razzle-dazzle back is what you would do?

Yeah. Pretty much. That would be it. I think so.

David TaoDavid Tao

My whole goal for this podcast was to be able to say that all razzle-dazzle. That’s mission accomplished for me.

Great chat, David. Thanks.

David TaoDavid Tao

[laughs] Good thing. Good job. Who do you think is the best poser? Who had the best routines in bodybuilding history?

 Lee Labrada. I have no hesitation with that answer because I would watch his stuff back in the ’90s. Even now, in the 2010s, it still stands out. That guy was an incredible poser, an incredible showman. He would put routines together that would help him beat guys 50, 60, 70 pounds bigger than he was. He would make himself look so much bigger than he actually was.


That’s something that’s passed down to his son, Hunter, now because Hunter can do the same thing. He can put together routines like that. Another guy that can do it is Terrence Ruffin in the Classic Physique Division. It’s like walking art. Lee, though, would be my absolute favorite.

David TaoDavid Tao

There’s some strategy here. A lot of the strategy for this sport happens behind the curtain. It’s also a mental game. If anyone’s ever watched “Pumping Iron,” which, by the way, everyone should. It’s just a fascinating film. The mental game. The mental intimidation that has an impact on the physical presence.


It’s like a master class in that psychology. The physicality carry over. I cannot recommend that enough, even if you’re not a bodybuilding fan, because it’s super interesting.


 I agree wholeheartedly. The way Arnold Schwarzenegger is psyched out Lou Ferrigno legitimately before the 1975 Olympics as soon as he said, “Lou, you need four or six more weeks,” or however he actually said it. We got this developed over space, and the contest was over. That mental aspect drained into his physical form when he showed up on the stage.


Then to cap it off, Arnold had told Lou that he called his mother and said, “He had already won.” Shoot, at that point, all Arnold had to do was go out and hit his poses.

David TaoDavid Tao

Some of that, I’m sure was played up a little bit for the film, maybe. Absolutely fascinating, like microcosm of the sport and a human psychology in general. Rodger, this has been flying by for me, but before we part ways, I do want to let you, let the people know where they can find you, your work, what you’re writing, social media plugs, all that jazz. Now is the time to do it.

Whew. Instagram and Twitter. I am @RockLockridge, that’s R-O-C-K, Lockridge. You can always find my work on BarBend, which I’m proud to say on a regular basis. You can also see a lot of my work…I shared all of my social media. One of the best parts of my job though is I get to cover so many different facets of the industry.

David TaoDavid Tao

Rodger, I really appreciate you taking the time. I am excited to see the kind of coverage that you put out later this year. It was always a pleasure to connect. I thank you for taking the time today.

David, it’s an absolute pleasure to be on this podcast and it’s a joy to actually listen to your podcast when I’m doing cardio or I’m in training or driving on the road.


It’s always a master class with whoever it is you have on. It’s always a learning experience, so I greatly appreciate. Not only the opportunity to be on here with you but everything you do for the industry as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

Oh, thank you very much. The feeling goes both ways, my friend.