The Arnold Classic, or “The Arnold”, is an annual event, and chiropractors can play an important role for some competitors.
The Arnold Classic
The Arnold is held in worldwide venues in Asia, Australia, Brasil, Europe, South Africa, and Columbus, Ohio. Other names for this sports festival are the IFBB Arnold Classic and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic. The bodybuilding portion of the festival, the Arnold Classic, is organized by the International Federation of BodyBuilders. The first year this contest was held was 1989.1 The Arnold hosts many “pro card” events. The larger festival is now called the IFBB Arnold Sports Festival, or the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival. Aside from bodybuilding, there are separate expos for physique, strongman, figure, fitness, and bikini. Historically, the ASF has offered many large prizes, including the first prize in bodybuilding, which is a $130,000 check.2
The IFFB Pro League competitions include both the Arnold Classic and Arnold Classic 212, Men’s Physique, both Fitness and Figure International, Bikini International, Women’s Physique, and Pro Wheelchair. The festival also offers contests such as Arnold Amateur, Strength Sports (Amateur Strongman, Armwrestling, Ultimate Teen Challenge, USA Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Arnold Strongman Classic, POWER X, MAS Wrestling, and XPC Powerlifting), Dance and Fitness (5K Pump & Run, CrossFit Endeavor, Cheerleading & Dance, Youth and 50+ DanceSport, Indoor Cycling Charity Ride, Jump Rope, Rowing, Disc Golf, Pole Fitness, and Ultimate Teen Challenge), and Olympic and Combative Sports (Amateur MMA Festival, Amateur Boxing, Pro Boxing, Fencing, and Martial Arts Festival). The Olympic Sports portion consists of Archery, Fencing, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Soccer, Indoor Triathalon, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Amateur Boxing, Weightlifting, and Tennis. Europa Sports Products is the presenting sponsor of the 2016 event, and other sponsors include various sports, nutrition, and fitness companies.3
Arnold Sports Festival 2016
In Columbus, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Arnold Fitness EXPO 2016 is held for three days, from March 3-6. There are over 700 exhibit booths with fitness equipment and apparel, nutrition, and training tools. It “features 18,000 athletes competing in 50 sports and events, including 14 Olympic sports” and “the event is the largest multi-sport festival in the nation”.4 Events at the festival include Arnold Model Search, Arnold Sunday Showcase, Art at the Arnold, Chess, Meet & Greet, Party with the Pros, and the WWE Experience.5 There is also the Arnold SportsWorld Kids & Teens EXPO, described as “the activity core for youth sports competitions and family activities…dedicated to providing young athletes access to hours of entertainment and youth/family sports, products and services”. The Arnold SportsWorld has demonstration areas, clinics, vendor booths, awards ceremonies and youth competitions in Archery, Cheerleading, Table Tennis, CrossFit Endeavor, and more. It also features Arnold’s Quest for Talent! and the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant events.6
According to Dr. Dennis Lee, a chiropractor, there are many “emotional, mental, physical, or chemical stresses” in life that are “easily controllable”. For the emotional and mental stresses, there are treatment options such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, counseling, or hobbies. Chemical stressors can be dealt with by supplements and diet, as well as avoiding “excess pollution”. A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy, and pains in the body are not brought on by good health. Health must be maintained, and “trying to regain that health is always more difficult than maintaining it throughout the years”. Ridding the stresses allows the immune system to perform optimally. Chiropractic care may be beneficial not only for average people but for athletes. Athletes “probably…(require) greater maintenance of their spine due to the stresses”. Chiropractors are experts in helping patients increase flexibility, mobility, endurance, and strength in muscles and joints. With regular care, patients may “decrease the chance of things like degenerative disc and…joint disease”, according to Dr. Lee. Chiropractic care is tailored to the individual, so athletes who are dedicated to strength or to endurance will need different types of treatments. Chiropractors can be useful to bodybuilders and other athletes. It is important to find out what muscles are overworked, because the muscles not only tighten, but they “reciprocally inhibit the muscle that is opposing that action”, leading the opposite muscle to weaken. The overworked muscle (a bicep, for example), therefore, needs to be stretched, and the opposing muscle (the tricep) needs to be strengthened. As a result of treatment, the muscles can be balanced, reducing the risk of “aches, pains and sprains”. Chiropractors can teach patients how to maintain their health as a “lifestyle change” and not a “quick fix” and to be “proactive instead of reactive”. Prevention is important. Dr. Lee recommends starting chiropractic care from childhood on.7 Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted chiropractic care, stating, “I depend on chiropractic and so does my whole family” and that chiropractors “take care of people like no other kind of healer”. The ICA Symposium on Natural Fitness is “held in conjunction with the ‘Arnold Classic’”. Schwarzenegger has been the headline speaker at the ICA’s annual symposium.8