The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

Should Bodybuilding be considered a sport?


According to a Google search, the definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. By going off of this definition, bodybuilding should be considered a sport to all.

Bodybuilding involves physical exertion and skill, and can also involve competition. The act of lifting heavy weights and pushing yourself to new personal bests is the part where someone is exerting themself and doing so requires skill. Weightlifting, which is the main part of bodybuilding, is a part of the Olympics where competition comes into play.

As stated by Essentially Sports, “five times Mr. Olympia Winner, Chris Bumstead, have discussed how hard of sport bodybuilding is”. The people who participate in bodybuilding and are very successful at it should be the judge of whether or not what they do is a sport or a form of art. Bodybuilding consists of strict dieting, painful workouts, and a serious amount of coaching and critique. Seeing as many other sports consist of these things, bodybuilding should check the box for being a sport. These athletes are training every day to compete with other athletes for a chance to win a competition. If I said that same sentence without the context surrounding it, you would think I was describing any other sport such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and many other sports. So why shouldn’t Bodybuilding be considered one as well?

So as we can see, people who partake in Bodybuilding believe it to be a sport, so now let’s take a look at the opinion of someone who is not a bodybuilder.

According to the National Library of Medicine, their definition of Bodybuilding is “a sport that involves the rigorous training and development of the body’s muscles through a combination of weightlifting, cardio, and nutrition.”. Now we see a trusted government source making it clear that what it takes to be a bodybuilder makes it a sport. Bodybuilders are at work nonstop, whether it is an exhausting workout or what they must eat on a day off. This hard work and dedication relate to that of athletes who partake in other sports. The source also goes on to say that “bodybuilding has become a global phenomenon with millions of enthusiasts and a billion-dollar industry”. This also makes it sound like any other professional-level sport, with an extremely large number of supporters, and a lot of money to be made by partaking in the sport.

Now that we’ve seen multiple reasonings for why bodybuilding should be considered a sport worldwide, let’s look at someone who doesn’t believe bodybuilding is a sport.

According to an article on, author Christian Matyi writes that “Bodybuilding Is an Art, Which Makes It Hard to Treat Like a Sport”. While the first part could be true that Bodybuilding is an art, why does that have to make it so it can’t be considered a sport? Just because it can be called a form of art doesn’t mean that the extraordinary effort these athletes put into it should go unnoticed. A big argument for why bodybuilding should not be considered a sport is the use of steroids and other Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). But an article from The Bridge brings up a good response to that debate, “Steroids do not discount the effort, dedication, and struggle that many bodybuilders go through”. Just because the athletes use substances to give their bodies more definition and structure, doesn’t mean that they just bypass the struggles of maintaining their physique and strength.

The debate over bodybuilding being a sport will most likely never come to an end. People who don’t believe it is a sport just simply don’t have an appreciation for the dedication of these athletes and all the work they have put in to perfect their craft. If bodybuilding meets the criteria of a sport, it should be considered one worldwide.

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