This past weekend me and my girlfriend attended the 4th annual Parking Lot Bash & Supplement Expo outside the World Gym in San Diego. The premiere special guest was 3x Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler. He is going for his 4th title this year. If you have never met Jay in person, he is a mass monster of an athlete with razor cuts and Herculean proportions. His build is what I would best describe as “muscularly obese”.
To the layperson, bodybuilding events are easy to find. Just follow the giant freaks of muscular nature. The crowd was what you would expect from any muscle event: high-testosterone men and women, young and old gym rats, and physique competitors with their tupperware containers of food. I was kind of disappointed that some of the pro bodybuilders that were scheduled to appear weren’t there, but it’s hard to complain about a free event.
By far the big draw of the supplement expo was the ALR Industries booth grilling up and giving out free hamburgers. While I don’t consider the combination of white bread and charred ground domesticated animal muscle the most physique-friendly foods, it certainly was a nice gesture. I hope the guy behind the grill is getting paid well – he was above the hot smoke for 4-5 hours on a hot day in San Diego! They were also giving out cool t-shirts and tanktops.
We also got to meet and chat with the founder of the company, Author L. Rea. I’ve read his articles and books, as his knowledge of the chemistry of bodybuilding is unparalleled. He also has quite the party persona. One thing I notice about meeting my bodybuilding idols is how much taller I am than them (lol). It’s all good though; what they lack in height they make up for in width. I swear some of these cats have wingspans greater than anything I’ve seen at the Wild Animal Park!
Among the other booths were the typical array of protein drinks, “nutritional bar” samples (if it looks like candy and tastes like candy…), magazines (read: supplement ads), DVD’s, and apparel. There was an arm-wrestling booth, but the guy only had XL, 2XL, and 3XL t-shirts (I’m a medium). He was expecting more “big” guys to participate and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that most bodybuilders only want big arms, they care less about winning at arm wrestling.
On the main stage, they had a guest poser, and the “Super Fit Challenge”: burpees, pushups and biceps curls. There were also a few ammonia-sniffing powerlifters/strongmen competing in super feats of human strength: getting the crowd going by lifting a 130-pound dumbbell over the head for reps and carrying 700 pounds on their shoulders for several yards forward and back!
They finished with the Bikini competition – there was a full judging panel but the competition was casual at best – some of the competitors seemed like they were just talked into doing it that day; which is okay because it created a bigger lineup. Usually at amateur bodybuilding shows, I’m able to predict the placings correctly, and this time Dianne called the shots with 100% accuracy. It bugged her that the runner up didn’t bother to take off her sunglasses or her hair out of a ponytail – details that could have cost her 1st place!