Last weekend was the Arnold sports festival here in Columbus and I had mentioned in a post that I would be creating a meet up event for it for like minded individuals who enjoy fitness, wellness, sports, etc and I did happen to create that meet up event. I went on Sunday & stayed for a couple of hours, and wanted to share my overall thoughts on this year’s Arnold festival.
++ First and foremost, I am so happy for all the athletes that competed, win or lose, you all were champions and amazing to watch and I was honored to be able to be there to support.
For starters, ticket prices were more expensive than the years prior, and I cannot account for parking because I was within walking distance — but lots that offered parking, were charging high rates from what I could tell on the signs.
For I’d like to say that my gym didn’t feel overwhelming by any means (especially knowing that it is a popular gym due to the close proximity of it to the convention center & how many athletes they get coming through). On that note, I did not attend the Arnold Fri or Saturday but was told it definitely wasn’t as full as the years prior (those days being the busiest of the all normally). Sunday was not busy & I was there around 11am — typically it is hard to walk without being pushed up against someone but I had so much space to walk that it was unbelievable! LOL #notcomplaining
Sunday’s are also known to have more discounted merch, more freebies than usual and lines are not as long — while there may have been discounted merch, I chose to not purchase anything. I did happen to get some freebies (Reign) and try some pre-workout, protein and other fun goodies, it wasn’t a whole lot but take into consideration, I didn’t stand in EVERY single line available either. I happened to notice that there weren’t as many vendors as the previous year and some of the bigger and more popular vendors did not show up this year at all. Which makes a difference because a lot of fitness people have brands they really like and due to that alone, could effect the amount of people who attend the event.
Celebs? Pro-Athletes? Arnold was there, yes! However, I did not get to see him or speak with him this year, and I didn’t sign up for anything VIP or backstage passes, so while it might have been a cool experience, I have had the privilege years prior of seeing him and speaking with him and shaking his hand, etc so it wasn’t a huge deal for me. I did some background research on what athletes were attending because like many, I do follow some who I really enjoy supporting — but to my shock, very few guest appeared and NONE of which were ones I’d be interested in meeting (some I didn’t even know). That was a sad factor for me, because I love watching local athletes, yes, but I also go because I get to connect with the pros and talk to them or spend a few seconds taking pictures — it was always a fun time when I had the opportunity in the past.
Public participation events? I didn’t part take in competitions this year at the Arnold and I didn’t take part in any of the “mini games” or events they allow the crowd to participate in either. There was one which looked to be tug-a war in a different form and they had some activities that were smaller scale for the public to try but nothing on Sunday seemed like a huge deal as far as getting the crowd worked up BESIDES the USA powerlifting, bodybuilding and Strongman comp (all of which normally are very popular to watch anyways). Some of the activities were moved to the fairgrounds this year, so many activities and events were no longer showing at the convention (which could explain the lack of people).
Food vendors, were the same as the previous years, I used the food court and had subway for lunch. Nothing special.
Things I didn’t see that showcased: pole dancing, smack contest, dance, just to name a few. I didn’t know anything about the smack contest until someone mentioned it to me at work the day after and it sounded crazy! something new they introduced this year that is gaining popularity. I haven’t yet watched it myself but might decide to YouTube it just to see what it is all about.
Typically, I’d say that the Arnold Sports Festival is a good way for trainers to network with likeminded individuals but the more and more I go, it becomes harder to do so and that could be because of many factors that are out of my control or lack of preparation on my part as a trainer trying to promote myself; either way, I didn’t even give it a thought this year to do so. With this all being said, I had a good time with the people that accompanied me and they enjoyed it as well — which really is all that matters at this point.
I would love to hear from you if you attended this event! leave comments!