Could Athleticon Stomp Out the Arnold Classic in 2021?
by Matt Weik 2020 was the year that caused many bodybuilders to pull their hair out. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than months of planning to get ready for a show, only to find out that the show was canceled a week or two before taking the stage. Well, this is the world we […]

by Matt Weik

2020 was the year that caused many bodybuilders to pull their hair out. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than months of planning to get ready for a show, only to find out that the show was canceled a week or two before taking the stage. Well, this is the world we live in right now and unfortunately it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. No show has felt the effects of 2020 more than the Arnold Classic, and 2021 could be another black eye at the hands of Athleticon.

Now, I'm not here to say that one IFBB show is here to hurt another, but in December 2020 people are still mad at what happened at the Arnold Classic 2020. To say it politely it was a total clusterf * ck. People lost a lot of money and the way it all turned out was absolutely unacceptable.

Fans, sponsors and vendors all had choice words to say when describing what happened in Columbus, and many of them to this day mention that they will never support the Arnold Classic again. . So where exactly does that put Athleticon in 2021? I will actually say before Arnold. (gasp)

Athleticon 2021 will bring it

I'm known for making bold predictions, and this one even makes me think I might have gone mad. I think there are a lot of fans, vendors and sponsors who will be away from the 2021 Arnold Classic and investing their money to attend Athleticon. Now the current bodybuilding show is called Icon World Classic (I like the name Athleticon much better). But, for the sake of this article, I call everything Athleticon.

For starters, no one wants to go to Columbus when it's cold. This is the biggest gripe you hear from everyone. If it doesn't snow on Arnold weekend, it's at least cold enough to make you miss your “vacation” at the Arnold.

At least Athleticon is later in the year (October 9-10) and Atlanta (where it's at least warmer than Columbus in March).

I still think whatever happens the Arnold will draw a crowd and have a bunch of contestants for the sports festival, but Athleticon also has some really cool events that I think will attract a lot more people.


From an athletic standpoint, you have the Icon World Classic that I mentioned before as well as the NPC Worldwide International Championships. Then you have high energy dance and cardio events that people can participate in. They will be giving live fitness classes taught by world-renowned fitness instructors. Finally, under their athleticism (at least from what they tell us on their website), there is a 3v3 slam n 'jam basketball tournament (which in my opinion is really cool. to hold on to Athleticon).


Athleticon will also be hosting wellness events and classes that deal primarily with yoga, sleep, mediation and more, run by professionals in their respective fields. They want to have a little something for everyone, and those who are not actively participating in workouts or training may be interested in finding ways to further improve their health, flexibility and strength by d 'other means.


When you think of entertainment, it's hard not to think of Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson. I mean, do you really think "The Rock" is going to show up at a boring event, let alone his? His name is online here. If those tanks after all the hype go out, there won't be another Athleticon. However, I'm pretty convinced that Athleticon could be the biggest event of 2021 - even bigger than Olympia in terms of total fan experience and attendance.

Now, before everyone calls my head, the Olympia is the Super Bowl of sports. There is no show more meaningful than the Olympia in terms of prestige and what everyone wants to win. And Dan Solomon did a killer job putting the Olympia production and the overall experience on point. But given that Athleticon was publicized and then canceled in 2020, if things go in 2021, I can see that Athleticon is the busiest show of all of 2021.

The website says Athleticon will host a "range of visionary speakers and breathtaking shows." Let's face it for a minute, Dwayne and Dany have some pretty famous friends, and with just one phone call I'm sure they can get all of their friends to show up in Atlanta.

Coming back to what exactly we can expect from the entertainment part of Athleticon, there will be a UFC fan experience, which they believe will give fans a greater opportunity to get even closer to the UFC brand. There will be an athletics conference where renowned speakers and thought leaders will present to an audience and bless everyone with their knowledge.

Then there is the festival. The website claims there will be live performances and celebrity appearances. I could be totally absent here, but I imagine a massive roster of big name performers coming in to do live performances and celebrities walking around taking pictures and shaking hands.

It all sounds good, right? Obviously, all of this can only be made possible if this pandemic decides to say goodbye, and we can all meet again in person. Crossed fingers!


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For many women, getting motivated to weight train is easier than ever; after all, there are a wide range of health- and physique-related reasons to pick up the iron. Unfortunately, as women, we just don’t have the level of anabolic hormones in our body that men do, so building muscle is, and probably always will be, more challenging. This does not mean, however, that it’s ! It’s just going to take a strategic approach.

Here to share some of their best tried-and-true muscle-building tips are the fit beauties from NLA. Listen, learn, and grow !

The ' eat no more than absolutely necessary ' approach won’t suffice if you want to add force. In fact, figure pro and NLA-sponsored athlete Jessie Hilgenberg says eating enough is one of her top priorities, which is one reason why she leapt at the opportunity to show us what’s in her fridge.

' It’s all about eating to fuel your muscles, ' she says. ' A lot of us can’t get over that hurdle of gaining force, because we simply aren’t eating enough to support and maintain growth. '

She likes using the IIFYM ( if it fits your macros ) approach, as it allows her to figure out the best formula that fits her body. ' It breaks it down into how much protein, carbs, and fat you should be eating for your activity level, ' Hilgenberg explains, ' and often, it’s more than you think ! '

There’s nothing wrong with full-body workouts. Many women are able to build appreciable bourrinage by training every major muscle group a few times a week, especially when they first start. But if your total-body approach isn’t taking or has plateaued, it might be time to try a body-part split.

This is what finally worked for NLA athlete and bikini competitor Theresa Miller, which is why she advises hitting each main bourrinage group alone for maximum intensity. ' It’s important to come up with a good weekly training schedule that best suits you and your body type and goals, ' she says. ' I like to devote specific days to focus on certain muscle groups such as shoulders, back, and legs. '

There are many ways you can organize your split. For example :

2-4 workouts a week : Push/pull ( squats and pressing motions one day, pulling motions the next ) 2-4 workouts a week : Upper body; lower body3 workouts a week : Legs; push; pull4 workouts a week : Chest and triceps; back and biceps; legs; shoulders and abs

Here’s the catch : These workouts should still be ! Embrace the challenge, and find out what #legday is all about. It could be just the thing to take your results to the next level.

When you increase kcal and protein, it can be tempting to up your cardio as well. After all, you don’t want to gain the wrong type of weight, right ? Jessie Hilgenberg says that esprit trap might be just the thing that’s holding you back. ' You don’t need to spend hours doing cardio—especially when you’re looking to add muscle, ' she says.

It can help to think of it this way : Every calorie you burn on the treadmill is one that your body won’t use to build bourrinage. If you’re looking for a challenge to replace all that cardio, Hilgenberg advises hopping into the squat rack and pushing new limits rather than continuing to submit to your old ones.

For NLA athlete and bikini pro Amy Updike, results came when she started really adding weight to the bar. ' I try to lift the heaviest weight I can while still maintaining proper form and reaching the range of 8-12 reps per set, ' she explains. ' Heavier weight for me means the muscle has to grow in order to lift it. '

Don’t expect to get a lot stronger overnight, though. Slowly add weight to the bar, giving your body a chance to rise to the challenge. While you may not add weight to every lift in each workout you do, you should see a gradual upward trend. If it’s been six months and you are still using the same weights, consider this a clear sign that you need a change of approach.

When you’re doing endless reps with tiny light weights, you can get away with sloppy form. That changes once you commit to lifting heavier. Form needs to become a top priority !

' Don’t get sloppy, ' advises Miller. ' Always do slow, controlled movements when hitting each rep. This will help you feel the movement and the burn in the right places.

One great thing about that 8-12 rep range is that it is low enough to help you gain some strength, but high enough that you’ll feel that fondamental mind-muscle connection—the feeling that helps you ensure you’re working the right bourrinage fibers and getting the most from each exercise you do.


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