I’ve been there; we all have.

It is hard to accept when you aren’t judged as the winner of the bodybuilding show that you just killed yourself to get ready for. You know, the show where you put your family second, job second, friends and other obligations second, and you are reading this thinking that you are different because you would never do that. But you did.

It takes a massive amount of dedication and discipline to do what it takes to prepare for a show and that is probably a big part of the reason that, unless we are called as the overall winner, we are incredibly disappointed with the outcome, thinking we somehow deserved—as if the other competitors didn’t—to win. I am getting tired of the whining and specifically whining about the judging at these shows with words like “politics” thrown around to scapegoat many a lost competition. Yup, it’s rant time.

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The large majority of whining and complaining about not winning is at the local, state, and regional level. I think once competitors have spent enough time getting to the national level they have matured (at least in reference to competing) and they tend to understand that they just weren’t good enough to win. Though they might not necessarily enjoy losing, they accept it and know that they will come back next year even better. I am going to put this on the table for those of you that don’t get this: You didn’t get “screwed” by the judges (that don’t even know or care who you are) and there isn’t politics at these shows. To say otherwise is you not accepting that you aren’t very good and THAT is why you did not win. Read this again, please: You didn’t win because you simply were not good enough. Hard pill to swallow but swallow it because this is your truth.

Yes, there is the occasional dipshit trainer that sits on a panel and judges his or her clients without bias. This is not the norm and I will go on record as saying that if a trainer EVER sits on a panel and judges his or her clients, that trainer is a piece of shit with no integrity. Do not tell me dumb shit like, “I can judge without bias." It isn’t about whether you can or you can’t. The issue is the perception of impropriety. It doesn’t even matter what your intentions are; it is the perception of the other competitors and that is why you should never judge your clients. Even in saying this, though, please understand as you read this that this is not the rule but the exception and I am going to explain to you—because a lot of you on social media are clueless—how hard it is to either screw someone and impact them not winning or like someone and impact them winning.

There are almost always at least seven judges on a judging panel and sometimes there are nine. Understand that if there is one bias person on the panel, there are at least six that are not (and sometimes eight). As if that should be enough to at least get you thinking that maybe one judge can’t get someone to win a show, maybe this huge and very important tidbit will: At least one top and one bottom score for each division is eliminated and the other scores are averaged to determine placings. Sometimes there are two top and two bottom scores that are eliminated, provided the judging panel is large enough. Please tell me you understand what I just explained because it seems most do not know this based on lame arguments on social media. You would need to have more than two corrupt and bias judges on a panel to even begin to influence the outcome. Even then, if you were the third corrupt person on the panel, you would then have one vote that will get averaged with at least another five votes. If you take an honest look at how the judging is set up and take the time to understand how it works, even the most daft would agree that controlling the outcome of a show is next to impossible.

I do suppose you COULD have a corrupt head judge. Though it is possible, it still isn’t likely. The head judge would need to influence the other judges through conversation to vote the way he wants them to. I don’t know about you but the judging panels I sit on and the judges I know would NEVER sit back quietly and let that happen. I have a fat mouth and I am very opinionated so you can bet your ass I would be telling anyone that would listen if this ever happened to a panel I sat on. Keep in mind that head judges have been judging for a very long time and have moved up through the ranks, so-to-speak, and have taken over the head judge position after sometimes a decade or two of judging.

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The above being stated, please quit with blaming the judges when you don’t win. I understand that your mom took some pictures and your abs were better than the guy that beat you, but…if you want to chastise someone for being biased, bitch your mom out because I guarantee she is lying to you. If I could see from only fifteen feet away that you were not in good enough condition to win and that you were basically outworked by the guy that beat you, bet your ass your lying mom saw it, too, right along with your lying-ass friends.

Bro, they are YOUR FRIENDS. Do you honestly think they are going to tell you that you lost because you were too fat? Plus, think about the credentials of your mom or girlfriend or even your friends. Do they have more experience judging physique than, say, I do, after being in the sport for over thirty years, competing for twenty-five, and judging on and off for ten?

Or maybe you actually KNOW they are lying to you. Maybe you know damn-good-and-well that they are full of shit, but it feels so much better to hear them console your weak ass than to accept the reality of your placing from the seven people that you don’t know sitting at the judging panel. Maybe if you can’t grow a pair and accept that you aren’t always going to be the best and win, you shouldn’t compete. I mean, if your mom thinks you are the best, do you really need a trophy? Just Sayin’.