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The Future of Bodybuilding

When we first started using the trademarked phrase “The Future of Bodybuilding” in January 1989, my vision was to enhance the bodybuilding environment by emphasizing the positive and growing the awareness of bodybuilding as the foundation of a healthful lifestyle. Our editorial content has always reflected that commitment—bodybuilding isn’t meant to be a quick fix but rather a realignment of priorities, a positive addiction.

The reality is that 80 percent of the people who start training drop out within five years, never graduating to the level where bodybuilding becomes embedded in their lives. As I said, bodybuilding is the cornerstone of a strong, healthful lifestyle. Without it at the center of your long-range commitment to your physical self, diet, supplements and nutrition have greatly reduced impact.

I got into this business essentially because I was and am an evangelist for bodybuilding—I believe it’s good for every body. For me the future of bodybuilding is both personal and universal. The Web has revolutionized the universal aspect. Last year we brought the idea of a covermodel search to—a contest that would be at once a model search for the magazine and a spokesperson search for Through the BodySpace community at we were able to engage hundreds of thousands of men and women who are the future of bodybuilding. This month’s cover models are the winners of the inaugural event.

What I especially like about the contest is that the people are chosen by their peers and the whole process engenders inspiration and recognition. Very few of us start out to make bodybuilding a lifestyle—that happens with time, and so many drop out before they get to where they enjoy its multifaceted benefits.

I believe that cover-model recognition will draw many to bodybuilding and that the accomplishments of others will be a beacon of inspiration to everyone involved. The 2010 model search will be greatly expanded, growing our grass roots competition into an exciting contest with national scope.

Allison Ethier and Sean Harley, our cover models, are “next stage” bodybuilders. Allison combines a background in gymnastics and cheerleading with a life that includes being a math teacher, mom, fitness competitor and gym rat—in short, a graduate lifestyle bodybuilder.

Sean is similar in that he’s taken his own love of bodybuilding and turned it into a personal-training business—again a lifestyle choice. Both have the physical development that reflects their commitment. In the end, the only way to live the lifestyle is to enjoy the process that leads to the results, and it’s obvious from the interviews that begin on pages 122 and 136  [of the June ’09 issue] that they do. Congratulations! IM

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