by Matt Weik
Never in my life have I seen athletes behave like a bunch of crybabies when the media critiques their performance. And it seems these days that Nick’s Strength and Power is taking the brunt of it. I wouldn’t say I’m friends with Nick in any sense of the word, I’ve messaged with him a few times, but that’s the extent of our “friendship.” If you were to mention my name to him, he’d probably have no idea who I was.
But I need to come to the guy’s defense, even though I’m sure he’s not looking for anyone to have his back. There is no one out there with the following Nick has when it comes to bodybuilding media. He built a huge channel, and it’s where people want to go to get all the news and updates about everything bodybuilding-related. But the fact that this kid can’t even give his opinion on placings without some bodybuilder lashing out just blows my mind.
Look, I get it. No one wants to have anything they do scrutinize or put under a microscope to have the most minute things brought up. But guess what? We’re talking about the sport of bodybuilding, where if your glutes aren’t striated, people are going to say you’re not in shape.
Why Are There So Many Crybabies in the Sport?
First off, let’s get one thing straight. I’m using the term “sport” loosely when talking about bodybuilding. More than anything, bodybuilding is a pageant. You walk up on stage, pose, and get a score based on how you look and the presentation you brought on that day. You get your little trophy if you place well and a small check you can’t live off of, and back home you go.
Bodybuilders can miss their mark, it happens. They have days where they peak just right, and then days where they spill over or look like dog shit compared to the other competitors. It is what it is. You live, and you learn. I don’t think anyone would say that the life of a bodybuilder is glamourous in any way. In fact, most bodybuilders would tell you they live boring lives that revolve around training and eating and that women are not attracted to them — which impressing women is one of the reasons why most guys start lifting in the first place.
But circling back to Nick and his commentary on bodybuilding shows. These bodybuilders are hot and cold with his videos. If Nick says they look good, they support his channel. If Nick says they didn’t look their best, all of a sudden, “this YouTuber has no idea what he’s talking about, go get on stage, do you even lift, you’re bad for the sport,” you name it, and the shade has been thrown his way.
Nick always takes it on the chin with a bit of humor and even shows bits and pieces from social media where these same people say how they like him and that he’s doing a good job with his content, etc. But God forbid he say something about their physique that doesn’t make them sound like a Greek god, and they’re about ready to throw down.
When you look at Nick over the last couple of years, he’s had beef with plenty of bodybuilders. Some of them being Phil Heath, Nathan De Asha, and Iain Valliere. While I’d say a good majority of the industry appreciates what Nick does and understand his commentary and picking apart physiques (it’s what he’s done for years and is basically his job and income source), I don’t understand where some of these bodybuilders all of a sudden turn into sensitive little snowflakes.
If you were to look at the issues these bodybuilders have with Nick, it all stems from the fact that they didn’t win a show, and Nick is breaking down the reasons why. Then when they actually do win a show, they jump on social media before they even walk off the stage to post an image and tag Nick with some comment blasting him. Why do these bodybuilders care so much about what Nick says? Listen, it’s bringing you attention, dummy. Otherwise, no one would hear your name. He’s doing you a favor, even if you find his comment to be negative.
Without guys like Nick talking about you (good, bad, or indifferent), you’re a nobody in this world. Bodybuilding gets zero attention from the mainstream media. This isn’t the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, or even the PGA — this is the IFBB. Go ahead and walk down the street and ask 10 people what IFBB stands for. I’m willing to bet all 10 will get it wrong.
The only spotlight you get in this industry is when YouTubers talk about shows and how people placed. Sure, you could say social media plays a part, and athletes can promote themselves on their own page — but that’s self-promotion. Heck, I could do the same thing, and so could anyone reading this. It’s not like Fox News or CNN is plastering me or any of us all over their channel. So, take the publicity you can get and if you don’t agree with someone’s take on how you look, prove them wrong the next time you step on stage.
I’ll be the first to say that I agree with Nick and many others that Iain Valliere was given a gift with his 2nd place finish at the 2021 Arnold Classic. Just about every pose I saw, I had Steve Kuclo in 2nd. To be honest, there’s nothing about Iain’s physique that I think makes him a threat at any big show if other big names are in it. Has he won shows? Sure. But his lines are bad, I don’t think he comes in conditioned, and he has some work to do on lagging body parts.
What? Is he going to bash me for saying that? Go for it, see if I care.
But overall, something needs to change. I know bodybuilders have thin skin to show off their muscles, vascularity, and conditioning, but I didn’t expect them to have thin skin mentally and emotionally. If they get that bent out of shape by commentary, they’re in the wrong sport as their physique is going to be picked apart every time they step on a bodybuilding stage.