Fun times from Olympia 2011 with Anca and Farinaz
For the past seven years, I have attended Olympia every year and have always enjoyed the whole experience. This year, however, I will not be attending since the main sports supplement company I work with, SWAT Fuel, will not have a presence there this time around. What is strange for me is that I am not bothered by the fact that I won’t be rubbing elbows with the fitness and bodybuilding icons I have come to know over the years. In some sense I am actually relieved that I will get a break this year, since I have been traveling more this year and could use a staycation.
For those of you who are wondering what event I will be at next, please come by and say hi at the Ferrigno Legacy on November 18th and 19th. I will be at the Flexpo, handing out samples of SWAT Fuel’s 9mm+P, which is a combination preworkout/endurance/thermogenic formula unlike anything else on the market!
For more information and tickets to the Ferrigno Legacy, please visit: https://www.ferrignolegacy.com/
I am so blessed and honored to be able to represent AIM at various fitness expos! This weekend I am representing them at the Los Angeles Fit Expo.
Here are some fun photos from expos I have worked in the past with them.
With Ian Lauer last year at the L.A. Fit Expo
With Vladimir Dan and Theresa Jenn Lopetrone from a previous expo…good times!
This amazing lady Ashley Kaltwasser added a third gold medal for a three-peat Olympia Bikini win since this photo was taken in 2014!
Goofing off at the Arnold a couple of years ago…
Here’s another fun interview which I did with the amazing Dr. Venus Ramos for Prozis during Olympia 2014…
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Mention the word “FREE” and people will suddenly scramble to participate, whether it requires standing in line, being part of a contest, or simply showing up at an expo or convention. Fitness and bodybuilding expos are certainly no exception. I still get a kick out of expo attendees who lose control of their impulses and ingest EVERY drink and food item which is offered to them to sample. The inevitable result is an expo hall full of supercharged, jittery, bloated fans who either quickly learn that such abandon is not the wisest thing, or foolishly repeat the behavior the following day.
Some attendees have become wise to the hazards of consuming samples and instead know how to collect samples to take home. My perspective is usually from behind a table at which I am working, where I observe the excitement and frequent frenetic energy of people who act like kids in a candy store while at expos. They will open up their bags and look at me expectantly to see what it is that I am about to give them. In that sense, it is very much like trick-or-treating. I have definitely experienced the wonder of dumping all my samples onto a hotel bed at the end of the expo day and assessing what I collected, much like a pirate with a bounty. It’s extremely enjoyable and visually interesting to look at all the packaging, and it certainly feels like a victory to amass a huge collection of free stuff.
Some people have the technique of collecting samples down to an art. On the rare occasion when I was at an expo and not actually working at a booth, I collected roller bags full of samples and full size products EACH DAY, which was a great way to learn about the different products and companies. I had to laugh when I saw my friend IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Dr. Brian Epstein’s haul from the Olympia Expo on September 19th and 20th, because he collected roughly the same amount of stuff that I used to accumulate during a large expo like Olympia, L.A. Fit Expo or the Arnold. Go Brian!
I have one caveat which is that if you have any health concerns, such as high blood pressure, neurological disorders, diabetes, etc., then you need to find out the ingredients in the samples you collect, and if any substances are unsuitable for you, avoid supplements which contain them.
My non-fitness friends don’t see why I get excited about attending Olympia every year. They say that it looks like the same old thing every year, and to a certain extent it is. But there is something so powerful about getting bodybuilding greats to descend upon Las Vegas that I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. The energy in the Expo Hall is incredible, and with so many of the world’s top competitors there to compete, I pick up on that buzz and enjoy it immensely. When I attend Olympia, I bump into so many friends in the industry that it serves as a regular reunion. This year in particular is a milestone because it marks FIFTY years of Olympia. This year’s Olympia will be televised, hopefully generating more interest from the mainstream and portraying bodybuilding in a favorable light.
From Olympia 2012
I think I maintain a certain balance and guard against boredom at the Olympia by working a booth each year. I have been extremely fortunate to work with wonderful companies, representing great products, and I never run the risk of sensory overload that sometimes hits spectators who go up and down the aisles endlessly. I am happy to stay within the confines of my booth, handing out product and talking to fans, friends and attendees. One disadvantage is that I rarely get enough time to explore the Expo and have to plan out which booths I need to visit during my lunch break on each day, but the list has gotten smaller over time as a result of my more established name and a different objective for visiting the booths. I used to visit booths to get myself on the fitness map, but now I visit booths to see friends and conduct meetings, so I am much more focused.
The noise in the Expo hall can be deafening at times, but I love it because it is reflective of the energy that builds up. People in the industry are very bold about showing their excitement and passion. There is no restraint at the O! At the end of each Expo day, my feet are sore, my legs are tired, my forearms are cut up from the magazines I pass out to people, and my voice is hoarse, but I absolutely love it. You better believe I will be back at the O next year and for many years to come.