Bodybuilding.com Forms Partnership With Retail Ecommerce Ventures – SGB Media

Bodybuilding.com, the online fitness store, has struck a deal to partner with private equity firm Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV).

Terms were not disclosed.

Bodybuilding.com specializes in dietary, sports, and bodybuilding supplements. Its platform includes an e-commerce store with private label and third-party brands, its Bodyfit fitness coaching app, and a BodySpace and Forum online community with over 15 million registered members.

Founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr, Retail Ecommerce Ventures has purchased a number of brands that were failing with a focus on switching to a digital-only approach. Its portfolio includes Pier 1, Radio Shack, Dressbarn, Ralph & Russo, Stein Mart, Franklin Mint, Modell’s, MentorBox, FarmersCart and Linens ‘n Things,

Retail Ecommerce Ventures’ team of e-commerce veterans are expected to bring their domain expertise into substantial operational roles within Bodybuilding.com and help build upon the company’s online footprint.

“We couldn’t be more excited to become partners in the Bodybuilding.com platform. My dad was a professional bodybuilder, and this is a brand I have been passionate about for nearly two decades,” said Lopez, executive chairman of Retail Ecommerce Ventures. “This company’s history is only in its first inning, and at a time when there’s so much noise and confusion on the internet, Bodybuilding.com’s trusted content, products, and community are more valuable than ever.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Retail Ecommerce Ventures into the Bodybuilding.com family”, said Karl Walsh, CEO of Bodybuilding.com. “Their expertise in e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and community-building is a significant value-add to our platform and will further catalyze our growth both domestically and internationally. At Bodybuilding.com, we are stewards of a legacy that supports individuals building their bodies and their lives – and this relationship will enable us to achieve our mission at an even greater scale.”

Bodybuilding.com Forms Partnership with Retail Ecommerce Ventures – Longview News-Journal

LOS ANGELES , July 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bodybuilding.com, the world’s largest online fitness store, has struck a deal to partner with Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), a global leader in ecommerce with a rapidly growing roster of well-known brands.      

Bodybuilding.com specializes in dietary, sports, and bodybuilding supplements. Its platform includes an e-commerce store with private label (“Signature”) and third-party brands, an interactive fitness coaching app (“Bodyfit”), and a loyal online community , (“BodySpace and Forum”), with over 15 million registered members.

REV’s all-star team of e-commerce veterans will bring their deep domain expertise into substantial operational roles within Bodybuilding.com and help build upon the company’s considerable online footprint.

“We couldn’t be more excited to become partners in the Bodybuilding.com platform. My dad was a professional bodybuilder, and this is a brand I have been passionate about for nearly two decades”, said Tai Lopez, who co-founded REV along with Alex Mehr. “This company’s history is only in its first inning, and at a time when there’s so much noise and confusion on the internet, Bodybuilding.com‘s trusted content, products, and community are more valuable than ever.”

This partnership marks yet another high-profile deal for REV, whose mission is to transform iconic legacy brands into ecommerce success stories. Their impressive portfolio includes globally-recognized brands, such as Pier 1, Radio Shack, Dressbarn, Ralph & Russo, Stein Mart, Franklin Mint, Modell’s, MentorBox, FarmersCart, Linens ‘n Things, and more.

“We are thrilled to welcome Retail Ecommerce Ventures into the Bodybuilding.com family”, said Karl Walsh, CEO of Bodybuilding.com. “Their expertise in e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and community-building is a significant value-add to our platform and will further catalyze our growth both domestically and internationally. At Bodybuilding.com, we are stewards of a legacy that supports individuals building their bodies and their lives – and this relationship will enable us to achieve our mission at an even greater scale.”

Bodybuilding.com has been helping people achieve their fitness, health, and wellness goals since 1999 alongside a loyal community of lifestyle enthusiasts that now boasts +11 million social media followers and +5 million YouTube subscribers.

Bodybuilding.com has become a pioneer in direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce by combining commerce, community, and content. Through helping people achieve their fitness, health, and wellness goals, Bodybuilding.com has built one of the largest online sports nutrition stores in the world – with more than 10,000 products, 25,000 articles, 9,000 videos, and a loyal community of more than 15 million online subscribers.

About Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV)

Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) was founded by Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez in 2019 and is a global leader in ecommerce with a rapidly growing portfolio of brands that includes companies, such as Pier1, RadioShack, Steinmart, Modell’s, Dressbarn and more that are recognized in every corner of the world. With unrivaled experience in digital marketing and advertising, they create thriving online stores where physical-first operations previously struggled.  REV’s deep domain knowledge and expertise helps transform iconic legacy brands into ecommerce success stories.

CONTACT:

info@bodybuilding.com

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bodybuildingcom-forms-partnership-with-retail-ecommerce-ventures-301579941.html

SOURCE Bodybuilding.com

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Bodybuilding.com Forms Partnership with Retail Ecommerce Ventures – PR Newswire

REV’s all-star team of e-commerce veterans will bring their deep domain expertise into substantial operational roles within Bodybuilding.com and help build upon the company’s considerable online footprint.

“We couldn’t be more excited to become partners in the Bodybuilding.com platform. My dad was a professional bodybuilder, and this is a brand I have been passionate about for nearly two decades”, said Tai Lopez, who co-founded REV along with Alex Mehr. “This company’s history is only in its first inning, and at a time when there’s so much noise and confusion on the internet, Bodybuilding.com’s trusted content, products, and community are more valuable than ever.”

This partnership marks yet another high-profile deal for REV, whose mission is to transform iconic legacy brands into ecommerce success stories. Their impressive portfolio includes globally-recognized brands, such as Pier 1, Radio Shack, Dressbarn, Ralph & Russo, Stein Mart, Franklin Mint, Modell’s, MentorBox, FarmersCart, Linens ‘n Things, and more.

“We are thrilled to welcome Retail Ecommerce Ventures into the Bodybuilding.com family”, said Karl Walsh, CEO of Bodybuilding.com. “Their expertise in e-commerce, digital marketing, technology, and community-building is a significant value-add to our platform and will further catalyze our growth both domestically and internationally. At Bodybuilding.com, we are stewards of a legacy that supports individuals building their bodies and their lives – and this relationship will enable us to achieve our mission at an even greater scale.”

Bodybuilding.com has been helping people achieve their fitness, health, and wellness goals since 1999 alongside a loyal community of lifestyle enthusiasts that now boasts +11 million social media followers and +5 million YouTube subscribers.

About Bodybuilding.com

Bodybuilding.com has become a pioneer in direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce by combining commerce, community, and content. Through helping people achieve their fitness, health, and wellness goals, Bodybuilding.com has built one of the largest online sports nutrition stores in the world – with more than 10,000 products, 25,000 articles, 9,000 videos, and a loyal community of more than 15 million online subscribers.

About Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV)

Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV) was founded by Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez in 2019 and is a global leader in ecommerce with a rapidly growing portfolio of brands that includes companies, such as Pier1, RadioShack, Steinmart, Modell’s, Dressbarn and more that are recognized in every corner of the world. With unrivaled experience in digital marketing and advertising, they create thriving online stores where physical-first operations previously struggled.  REV’s deep domain knowledge and expertise helps transform iconic legacy brands into ecommerce success stories.

CONTACT:
[email protected]

SOURCE Bodybuilding.com

2022 Orlando Pro Bodybuilding Show Preview – BarBend

The 2022 Orlando Pro bodybuilding show is scheduled for the weekend of July 2, 2022, at the Orange County Convention Center in downtown Orlando, FL. The only IFBB Pro League division that will be contested is the Men’s Open. The winner of this show will earn an invite to the 2022 Mr. Olympia, which will take place Dec. 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV. The roster of athletes competing is below:

2022 Orlando Pro Bodybuilding Show Roster | Men’s Open

  • Tonio Burton (USA)
  • Maxx Charles (USA)
  • Phil Clahar (USA)
  • Jonas Giatras (USA)
  • Jameil Hamilton (Bahamas)
  • Martin Hernandez (Mexico)
  • Matt Kouba (USA)
  • Jason Lowe (USA)
  • Walter Martin (USA)
  • Hassan Mostafa (Egypt)
  • Rasheed Oldacre (USA)
  • Andrea Presti (Italy)

[Related: Interview: Former MLB Pitcher Kyle Farnsworth On Winning Gold in Bodybuilding Debut]

Favorites to Watch

Below are three athletes to pay attention to when they step in front of the judges in Orlando.

Hassan Mostafa

The 2022 Puerto Rico Pro winner now knows the taste of victory as a professional and wants more of it. He’s already qualified for the Olympia, but winning this show will help him earn momentum, another title, and extra prize money.

A Mostafa win could also keep someone else out of the Olympia for the time being because the invite is not offered to anyone if the champion has already qualified.

Phil Clahar

In the summer of 2021, Clahar let the bodybuilding world know he would be a force in the future. He finished second at the 2021 Tampa Pro to Iain Valliere, then placed third to Valliere and Steve Kuclo at the Texas Pro.

Clahar had a long off-season to make improvements. That makes him someone to watch when the athletes face the judges. Mostafa would be wise to improve his Puerto Rico physique if he wants to keep Clahar from tasting victory.

Maxx Charles

We’ve seen a lot of Charles in 2022. His most recent contest was the Puerto Rico Pro, where he finished fifth overall. The only competitor who placed ahead of him at that show also competing in Orlando is Mostafa. Charles has come close to winning a show this season, and Orlando might be his moment.

Charles placed second to Blessing Awodibu in the Indy Pro back in May. If he can secure a top-five spot, he’ll add to his point total in the Olympia Qualification System, which can help him immensely if he doesn’t win a show before the Olympia.

[Related: Derek Lunsford Trains Delts and Calves Before Demolishing a “Clean” Cheat Meal]

Points for the Orlando Pro

Regarding the Olympia Qualification System, the Orlando Pro is a Tier 4 show. The points for second through fifth will be awarded as follows:

  • Second Place — four points
  • Third Place — three points
  • Fourth Place — two points
  • Fifth Place — one point

The top three finishers in the Olympia Qualification System at the end of the season by the cutoff date of Nov. 20, 2022, will be qualified to compete in the Mr. Olympia contest. Those who earn their ticket to Las Vegas will have the chance to challenge two-time reigning Mr. Olympia champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay for the most coveted title in bodybuilding.

Featured image: @hassan_mostafa92 on Instagram

Samir Bannout Tackles Bodybuilding Current Events, Believes ‘Excessive Dehydration’ Caused George Peterson’s Death – Fitness Volt – Fitness Volt

Bodybuilding veteran Samir Bannout is a well-known figurehead in the industry with a wealth of knowledge regarding the finer details of the sport. In a recent discussion with Nick Trigili, Bannout touched on a number of issues like building muscle without cutting corners and the tragic passing of George Peterson.

Samir Bannout, a former 1983 Mr. Olympia champion, competed in the Golden Era of bodybuilding. His lone Olympia victory marked the beginning of a new chapter in the sport. Bannout ushered out aesthetics to a degree, which gained widespread notoriety from legend Frank Zane, who first won the coveted title in 1977.

Size and muscle mass were highly favored in the sport after Zane, which was highlighted by the reign of Lee Haney. Haney is tied with Ronnie Coleman for most Olympia victories ever recorded (8). While Bannout has long hung up his posing trunks, the decorated Pro has been in the news cycle lately, giving his take on various events present in the sport of bodybuilding.

Samir Bannout on Building Muscle: “It’s Better to Take Your Time and Grow”

In a recent YouTube video, Bannout gave his thoughts on athletes building muscle in a gradual manner compared to quickly gaining mass by ‘cutting corners’. 

“That brings us back. We are going to talk about someone who is trying now, I think they are gaining properly the same way I did it year after year. Three or four pounds, three or four pounds, but come on, you don’t need to cut corners and think cutting corners is gonna help you become a champion.”

Samir Bannout explained. “It can cut your career short trying to do it the wrong way.” Bannout told Trigili. 

Bannout agrees cutting corners may work for a year or two but believes after a while it starts to ‘backfire’. 

“Pushing yourself and getting beyond… there’s two ways. I’m not discouraging putting on lean beef, but I’m saying the method of how to put it on, it’s backfiring. Eventually it works for a year or two.” Bonnout added.

“If you do the method in question, later we will discuss it again, it’s going to make you vastly improve but eventually after a year or two it’s going to be terrible for you. It’s better to take your time and grow.”

Bannout’s Advice to Bodybuilders: “Show Your Strengths and Hide Your Weaknesses”

According to the 1983 Mr. Olympia, being smart goes a long way as a competitive bodybuilder. Similar to Frank Zane, Bannout believes reigning Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead understands how to accentuate strengths while hiding weaknesses.

[Chris] Bumstead. Bumstead is very smart. Why? He understands positioning, he understands conditioning, but again, is he beatable? From my perspective, yes, he is. He is beatable but he’s smart. He’s doing what Frank Zane used to do. What I’ve done to when I won Olympia. He gave conditioning and he showed the angle properly.

Show your strengths and hide your weaknesses. He outmatched a guy like Breon [Ansley]. Breon has the body and capability to take him. But Breon, instead of hiding his weakness, he showed his weakness. I’m friends with Breon, no disrespect. I mean when you go try to dance your routine and not show your strengths, that’s not smart.” Bannout said.

Bannout maintains that modern bodybuilders are using too much gear. When reflecting on testosterone intake, he made it clear that an athlete could win Mr. Olympia with 400 or 500 milligrams of testosterone, like ‘C-Bum’ has recently suggested

“A small amount of androgen. I didn’t really use the amounts that these guys are using, enough for a T-Rex right now. The amount of testosterone being used is enough for a T-Rex. Is it necessary? Honestly, it’s not necessary. 400-500… can you win the Olympia on 400-500 miligram? Hell yes you can.” 

“Well, it’s not the genetics. It’s really understanding nutrition and recovery, and not overtraining. All of those. You have to have all the pieces of the puzzle.” Bannout shared.

In simple terms, Bannout says athletes should study what they believe works for them. Whether it’s stress levels, training, calories, or quality of food — all have a significant impact on a bodybuilder’s development. 

“The bottom line is you have to study what works for you. Stress level, overtraining, your caloric intake, the type of calories you use. All of those things matter.”

Modern Bodybuilders Dying

Bannout added that legends like Lee Labrada and Arnold Schwarzenegger never used Insulin despite the drug’s recent popularity.

George Peterson Passed Away
George Peterson Passed Away

“Again, it’s better to be ready and peak properly and load up properly etc., accordingly. It’s all doable without Insulin. I guarantee you, [Lee] Labrada didn’t use it. Arnold [Schwarzenegger] didn’t use it. But you can get shredded. Look, I was ripped enough in ’83 and I didn’t touch it. No GH, no anti-estrogen, I swear to god on the soul of my father, I never did any of the above. It’s okay to talk about things and let the kids out here hear the truth from me. I’m not a saint but I’ve learned not to do stupid things.” 

2021 saw a number of bodybuilders pass away, and some at a young age. In addition to former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, George Peterson also died from heart issues, which Bannout believes was caused by ‘excessive dehydration’. The concerning trend continued in 2022 as Bostin Loyd died at 29 as well as the late Cedric McMillan, who passed away back in March.

“You know we lost a good champion. We lost a great champion. I’m talking about George Peterson. A great guy. A great body. Excessive dehydration from what I think is the cause of his death. We lost a great champion and a super nice guy.” 

Bannout asserted that if Peterson was still alive, he would have had the tools to become an Olympia champion. One of his biggest takeaways from the tragedy was that bodybuilders need to rehydrate even when it risks the quality of their physique. 

“I saw pictures of him flying to the show, and I looked at his face and said, ‘oh my god.’ I felt something is wrong with him. Bannout added. “George could be with us, he could have probably gone on to win the Mr. Olympia but I think his coach, I don’t know why he didn’t stay with him that night in his room and monitor what he’s doing.

Was it really necessary to go that limit? It really hurt me a lot. It broke my heart because I liked the guy. So, listen, can a little bit of water hurt you?

Last year, Bannout voiced that Peterson’s coaching staff was at fault for his untimely death. Other athletes have had close encounters with dehydration, like eight-time Mr. Olympia Coleman, who recently discussed a near-death experience he had in 2001 caused by dehydration

Watch the full YouTube video below: 

RELATED: Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout Begs For The Return Of Old School Bodybuilding

Given Bannout has reached the top of the sport, the knowledge he brings to the table is always welcome in the fitness community. After a thorough discussion with Nick Trigili, Bannout understands the risks associated with bodybuilding and only wants to see the sport prosper moving forward.

8 Old-School Bodybuilding Supplements That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of – BarBend

The global value of the supplement industry was estimated to be worth over $150 billion in 2021, spread across protein powders, vitamin and nutritional supplements, sleep aids, beauty enhancers, and a host of other products. (1) While some supplements have stood the test of time, others fell victim to the abundance of selection and experience a relatively short shelf life.

jars of supplement capsules and powders on a plain orange background
Yuliia Ushakova / Shutterstock

Regarding fitness supplementation in particular, the market is divided between popular, long-lasting products (think whey protein, pre-workout, creatine, and omega 3s) and newer supplements that often promise a lot but deliver a little, or operate on the border of illegal and legal.

Fitness supplements only became a true staple of the gymgoers’ diet in the 1960s and 1970s. Even then, many of the supplements bodybuilders, powerlifters, and weightlifters took during this time would be unrecognizable today. What was once a popular product often becomes a niche supplement only utilized by the bravest of souls.

These are eight old-school fitness supplements you’ve (probably) never heard of. 

Old-School Supplements

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. None of these supplements are meant to treat or cure any disease. If you feel you may be deficient in a particular nutrient or nutrients, please seek out a medical professional.

Dried Milk Powder

Dried milk powder can be thought of as one of the early precursors to dairy-based protein powders. The first supplement promoted by the “father of modern bodybuilding” Eugen Sandow in the early 1900s, it was effectively promoted under the name “Plasmon”.

In the 1950s, Steve Reeves used skim milk powder to boost his protein intake. (2) Likewise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, noted his use of milk powder to boost the protein content of his diet.

This supplement served as an effective and cheap way of increasing protein while keeping calories relatively low. (3) It could be added to a glass of milk, water, or even thrown into an existing shake to cheaply up its protein content.

The explosion of protein powders produced in the United States from the 1960s onward largely killed off the use of dried milk powder.

Desiccated Liver

Desiccated liver is dried liver converted into a pill or left as a powder. It is an excellent source of iron, folate, and vitamin B12 and, for bodybuilders of the 1960s and 1970s, it was a staple in their fight for muscle growth and a stable energy supply.

The most outspoken supporter of desiccated liver was undoubtedly the “Iron Guru” Vince Gironda. One of the most influential coaches of the era, Gironda promoted desiccated liver as one of the best muscle-builders.

Gironda often quoted old scientific research that suggested that the “wonder supplement” could drastically improve one’s ability to exercise for longer periods. (4) Trainees, depending on their experience, would take two tablets with each meal or every few hours.

Brewer’s Yeast

Packed full of protein and B-vitamins, brewer’s yeast was presented as a wonderful supplement for exercise enthusiasts from the 1950s to the 1980s. At the time, it was linked to muscle gain, fat loss, and more energy. It could be poured over food (one tablespoon with yogurt was a common recommendation) or mixed into a glass of water.

In the 1960s, the owner of Iron Man magazine, Peary Rader, recommended brewer’s yeast as a critical component of a DIY protein powder. (4

  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cups instant powdered milk 
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons malted milk mix
  • 3 tablespoons soy flour
  • 2 raw eggs
  • 2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast 
  • 1 tablespoon imitation vanilla
  • 1 pack of Gelatine

Regarding taste, brewer’s yeast is perhaps up there with Bob Hoffman’s Protein from the Sea protein powder, which was made from fish protein. Used also in the manufacturing of beer, brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste that can prove off-putting to people. This old-school supplement is still promoted today, although with far less fanfare. 

FRAC (Ferulic Acid)

For a brief period in the late 1980s to early 1990s, FRAC was presented as an up-and-coming natural anabolic agent. Following an article by Luke R. Bucci in FLEX magazine in April 1989, entitled “A Natural Magic Bullet?”, aspiring bodybuilders took to their supplement shops to buy it in droves. (5)

Derived mainly from rice bran oil, it was said this “wonder supplement” would increase muscle and strength levels while simultaneously lowering body fat.

FRAC was held in high esteem at the time. At one point, eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney promoted it as part of his Olympia-winning bodybuilding diet. (6)

A lack of consistent research on its effects proved to be the death knell for FRAC. Nevertheless, for trainees of a certain vintage, ferulic acid is remembered as one of those “miracle supplements” whose time in the spotlight was very short-lived.

Wheat Germ Oil 

The origin of wheat germ oil can be traced back to the mid-20th century but, unlike FRAC or brewer’s yeast, it has a relatively long history.

Unlike other products, wheat germ oil was still being discussed in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Eugene Schiff, one of America’s first supplement manufacturers from the late 1930s, even sold wheat germ products personally.

Its supposed benefits included energy, endurance, improved strength, and improved wellbeing (wheat germ is an excellent source of Vitamin E as well as Omega 6 and Omega 9). (4)

Some, like Gironda, recommended individuals take wheat germ capsules, while others, such as York Barbell founder Bob Hoffman, sold it as part of a blend of other oils (which he branded as Energol).

What likely ended interest in wheat germ oil was the noted increase in popularity for fish oil beginning in the 1980s, and the fear that an abundance of omega-6 and omega-9 in the body could cause inflammation or injuries. (7

Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) Capsules

How often do lifters care about their digestion and assimilation? Not their diet, but rather how well their body absorbs the nutrients that it is already consuming. This was a major concern for gymgoers in the mid-20th century, especially in the United States.

The theory was that some bodybuilding stars, most notably two-time Mr. America John Grimek, succeeded in part because of their ability to absorb protein better than the public at large. (4)

From the 1960s to the late 1980s, HCl Capsules were recommended by everyone from Hoffman to Joe Weider to improve gymgoers’ digestion and, it was assumed, their physiques.

This was an interesting approach to marketing supplements. (4) Rather than adding anything to an individual’s diet (i.e. more creatine, more protein, more calories, etc.), HCl capsules improved the absorption of a person’s current diet. Oftentimes HCl would be taken as part of a supplement stack.

For example, former Mr. Olympia champion Franco Columbu advice for champion bodybuilders in his 1985 nutrition book and promoted a supplement stack including, but not limited to:

  • 1 essential amino acid tablet
  • 3-4 HCl tablets
  • 3-4 enzyme tablets
  • 1 ribonucleic acid tablet (RNA)
  • 1 organic iron tablet
  • 3 tri-germ oil capsules/essential fatty acids (8)

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA Tablets)

In a time when anabolic steroids were transforming the bodybuilding industry in the 1960s and 1970s, many natural trainees scrambled for a healthier alternative. At the forefront of this wave was, again, Gironda, who promoted a supplement called RNA. Writing in Iron Man magazine in 1973, Gironda said:

“RNA and DNA. These two elements enable the body to read the master blueprint in the cells and thus repair worn tissue. These elements are indispensable in protein metabolism.” (9)

From the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, RNA tablets were regularly promoted in bodybuilding magazines and books. They were thought to quicken the recovery process, help build muscle and increase strength. However, newer products and the realization that RNA would not drastically change the body led to the downfall of this particular product after a brief stint in the sun.

Kelp/Iodine Tablets

Weight loss supplements are, of course, a key part of most bodybuilders’ pre-contest diets. While many modern supplements are loaded with caffeine or caffeine substitutes, earlier weight loss products focused on altering a bodybuilder’s hormonal profile.

The use of kelp tablets or iodine for this purpose began in the 1960s, and it is still possible to find bodybuilding books promoting the use of iodine as a weight-loss tool. (4) Iodine is, at times, prescribed medically to help regulate thyroid disorders.

The logic for bodybuilders was that an abundance of iodine would help them to strip off unwanted body fat. As part of their pre-contest diet, bodybuilders would take either kelp tablets (which were a good source of iodine) or straight iodine tablets (which were subject to more regulation than kelp tablets).

When he was training for the Mr. America contest in the mid-1960s, eventual champion Bob Gajda followed a steak-and-eggs diet, supplemented with straight iodine drops to lower his body fat. (4) Likewise, when he published a how-to manual for bodybuilders in the early 1980s, bodybuilding writer, coach, and entrepreneur Joe Weider promoted iodine as a must-have for bodybuilders. (10)

What likely killed off the use of iodine in the 1980s was a new wave of bodybuilding pre-workouts and fat loss supplements, some of which contained now-regulated substances like ephedrine. Nevertheless, this supplement was a must-have for many in the latter half of the 20th century.

Notable Mentions

The above list is not exhaustive. Especially given the dozens and dozens of nutritional supplements which have come and gone in the fitness industry. Still, it is worth briefly mentioning three notable products and supplements which nearly made this list.

Beginning with protein powders, it is important to note that the first batch of products that emerged in the 1960s were soy-based supplements, rather than dairy products. As entrepreneurs began seeking alternatives, a brief opportunity arose for egg white protein powders to take the market by storm.

They were easily digestible, high in protein, and readily available in the United States. While some bodybuilders continued to promote egg whites in the 1970s and 1980s, most notably former Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, the majority moved to whey and casein powders. (4)

Equally transitory were energy and pre-workout supplements. This particular branch of supplements has long encountered regulatory issues. The primary issue for many now-forgotten energy supplements is that they sometimes contain illegal substances or substances which are eventually deemed to be illegal. A major problem is that regulation of these supplements often comes after they have reached the market and, in many cases, have developed a cult following.

Scoops of protein powder sitting in front of a grey background
NatalyaBond / Shutterstock

Ripped Fuel, a late 90s and early 2000s supplement, is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of this. Marketed as energy pills, Ripped Fuel contained ephedrine among other ingredients. Taken before a workout, Ripped Fuel became a major component in many lifters’ supplement stacks. That is until a series of high-profile accidents, including several deaths, was linked to the product in the United States. (11) In time, Ripped Fuel faded into existence, to be replaced by a multitude of other energy products.

Finally, the Cybergenics bodybuilding system. This was an all-encompassing product that spanned nutritional supplements, diet advice, and workouts. Made in the 1980s and early 1990s, Cybergenics was sold at a then hefty price of $139. It required trainees to incorporate fasting, restricted carbohydrate intake, cardio sessions, and high-intensity workouts. Fueling this approach were seven powders and formulas specially formulated by bodybuilder Franco Santoriello to build muscle and decrease body fat.

As fitness writer Vince Andrich noted, Cybergenics is arguably one of the earliest companies to sell supplement stacks in this manner and, by combining everything into one simple package, hooked thousands on the Cybergenics system. (12) This supplement was not necessarily revolutionary, but it set a standard for dozens, if not hundreds, of later entrepreneurs to iterate on. 

Conclusion

In a still-relevant scene from the 2008 Chris Bell documentary Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Bell aimed to create his supplements from the comfort of his home. He hired people to help him package it, created his own before-and-after shots on the same day, and, with relative ease, produced a product that vaguely promises to build muscle.

While supplement regulations have improved somewhat in the modern era, Bell’s comedic industriousness spoke to many trainees’ innate desire for a quick fix — an easy solution to improving their bodies. The rampancy of poorly-researched but highly-lucrative supplements available on the market in the 20th century speaks to that demand in the market.

Many were marketed as effective as steroids or as game-changers within the fitness industry. That they have long faded from memory gives pause for thought about the next time a “miracle’” supplement emerges. 

References

  1. ‘Dietary Supplements Market Size,’ Grand View Research, first accessed 27 June 2022. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/dietary-supplements-market. 
  2. Conor Heffernan, ‘Steve Reeves Definition Diet,’ Physical Culture Study, 19 January 2016, https://physicalculturestudy.com/2016/01/19/steve-reeves-definition-diet/.
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Dobbins. The new encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding. Simon and Schuster, 1998.
  4. Randy Roach, Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors. AuthorHouse, 2008.
  5. Bill Reynolds, Negrita Jayde, Sliced. Contemporary Books, 1991.
  6. Conor Heffernan, ‘The Workouts and Diets of Bodybuilding Champions,’ Physical Culture Study, January 11, 2019. https://physicalculturestudy.com/2019/01/11/the-workouts-and-diets-of-the-bodybuilding-champions-2/ 
  7. John D. Fair, Muscletown USA: Bob Hoffman and the manly culture of York Barbell. Penn State Press, 1999.
  8. Franco Columbu, The Bodybuilder’s Nutrition Book. McGraw-Hill Education, 1985.
  9. ‘RNA & DNA,’ Iron Guru, accessed 27 June 2022, https://ironguru.com/rna-and-dna/.
  10. Joe Weider, Joe Weider’s Ultimate Bodybuilding: The Master Blaster’s Principles of Training and Nutrition. Contemporary Books, 1999.
  11. Steve Chawkins and Dawn Hobbs, ‘Death of 15-Year-Old Fuels Concern Over ‘Energy Pills’, LA Times, April 16, 1998. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-apr-16-mn-39901-story.html.
  12. Vince Andrich, ‘Was Cybergenics a Scam?’ Muscle Insider, accessed 27 June 2022. https://muscleinsider.com/content/was-cybergenics-scam 

Featured Image: Yuliia Ushakova / Shutterstock

Do Site Injections Like Synthol Have a Place in Competitive Bodybuilding? – Fitness Volt – Fitness Volt

In a sport as competitive as professional bodybuilding, athletes are always trying to find new methods and innovations to enhance their physique before a contest. Following the 2022 Musclecontest Brazil Pro, Thiago Santisteban’s physique turned heads after many suspected that he used an egregious amount of site enhancement oils, i.e., Synthol. 

Bodybuilding, especially in the IFBB Pro League, is a unique sport that requires participants to build muscle mass and present physiques on the basis of size, symmetry, and proportions. In addition to meticulous dieting and exercise, competitors search far and wide for techniques and compounds to help them bring their best physiques to the stage. 

Performance-enhancing drugs, while controversial, play a significant role in the sport. Androgenic compounds like Trenbolone and testosterone have become increasingly popular with competitors, prompting many athletes to use these drugs to facilitate a better and more refined physique. Unlike steroids, site enhancement oils like Synthol, modify a muscle’s appearance by adding size or bulk to a specific body part after injection. 

The latest case of suspected Synthol abuse involved 212 bodybuilder Thiago Santisteban, who competed recently at the 2022 Musclecontest Brazil Pro. He finished the show in eighth place and sparked controversy amongst fans after many in the community suspected him of using oil in his hamstrings, back and arms. 

The Dangers of Site Synthol

Site enhancement oils have caused widespread concern due to their unpredictable nature. In fact, Russian native Kirill Tereshin was scared of dying after he injected a jaw-dropping amount of homemade Synthol into his biceps. It should be noted, Synthol users like Tereshin do not represent how site enhancement oils are used in the sport of bodybuilding.

Nicknamed “The Synthol Kid”, Tereshin underwent life-saving surgeries to remove the excessive amounts of necrotic tissue. He was told by doctors that if he continued to abuse Synthol, his arms were at risk of exploding. In addition, medical professionals made it clear that if Tereshin kept using the compound or any site enhancement oils for that matter, he risked amputation of his arms or death.

Site Enhancement Oil Use

After campaigning to fix his arms, the social media star received surgery to remove the extra tissue. While the Synthol freak Tereshin illustrated one of the most extreme cases, many bodybuilders have used these substances without raising any alarms, and have found them useful for bringing up lagging body parts.

Some believe site enhancement oils can instantly help bring up a muscle by adding volume and mass. However, bodybuilding guru/retired Pro Milos Sarcev revealed that shooting Synthol into his biceps was by far his ‘biggest regret’ throughout his career.

In 1997, Sarcev used Synthol that was given to him by legend Flex Wheeler. While Sarcev was able to increase his biceps to 22 and half inches, he believes the site enhancement oils made his arms look suspicious and ’embarrassing’ during his performance at the Night of Champions contest in the late 90s. 

Another bodybuilder who used Synthol was the late 29-year-old Bostin Loyd, who passed away back in March. Loyd was known for his eccentric personality and routinely shared his experiences using steroids and Synthol on social media. While it’s unclear whether or not site enhancement oils contributed to his death, it’s certainly worth mentioning as a possible culprit. 

RELATED: ‘Synthol Kid’ Kirill Tereshin Gets Smashed In MMA Fight!

It remains unclear if there is a place for site enhancement oils in bodybuilding. Clearly, they can offer athletes a quick way to increase the size and volume of a muscle, but they come with evident drawbacks over time. Following his eighth place performance last week, Santisteban’s recent use of site enhancement oils continues to stir controversy among the community. 

FST-7 Training Explained — Can You “Shock and Awe” Your Muscles Into New Growth? – BarBend

Every bodybuilder has their own claim to muscle fame. From Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous addiction to the pump, to Dorian Yates’s high-intensity, one-set-to-failure approach, it has been proven time and time again that there’s no one way to build an impressive physique.

FST-7, or “Fascial Stretch Training” (the ‘7’ referring to the number of finisher sets at the end), has enjoyed some time in the limelight as a training tool employed by Men’s Physique athletes like Jeremy Buendia and Open Bodybuilding pros like Phil Heath alike.

Cable Curl
Credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

Born from the mind of career bodybuilding coach Hany Rambod, FST-7 promises to deliver impressive muscle growth in a short amount of time — if you can handle the pain that famously comes with it.

But just how does FST-7 work? Is it backed by legitimate science, or is it just another fad? The results may speak for themselves, but the jury’s still out.

What Is FST-7 Training

The most important part of FST-7 is to understand that it isn’t one specific program. Rambod’s FST-7 is a training principle or style that you can apply to nearly any exercise or muscle group.

By applying FST-7 to your bodybuilding workouts, you’re making a conscious effort to lengthen your fascia, the “casing” that helps to connect or conceal your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. You can think of fascia as a soft structural architecture that holds you together. 

By performing high-rep, high-intensity sets of a given exercise at the end of your workout with little rest, Rambod believes that FST-7 can alter the biological structure of your fascia, making it more volumized and permitting more muscular expansion. This translates to a fuller, more three-dimensional muscle belly. 

What the Science Says

Any good training approach should be able to stand up to scientific scrutiny. While the medical community has long documented the nature and behavior of muscular fascia, there aren’t any widely-available studies on Rambod’s FST-7 approach to bodybuilding specifically. 

However, the general idea behind FST-7 is based in (at least some) reality. Fascia does have elastic properties and will, in fact, stretch if enough tension is applied. (1)

Fascial remodeling is a core aspect of most static stretching regimes, although most research on the biological impact of extended stretching centers around muscle tissue. (2)

All in all, Rambod’s FST-7 training philosophy isn’t credibly backed by a solid body of evidence, but is at least sound in concept. It also comes with plenty of practical endorsement from high-level bodybuilders.

Who Should Try FST-7 Training

It’s not for everyone, but FST-7 can be a powerful training tool in the right contexts. If you’re on the fence about trying out Rambod’s approach to muscle growth, consider first whether it’s the right decision for you.

Intermediate to Advanced Bodybuilders

As with any high-intensity training technique, beginner physique aspirants should probably steer clear of FST-7 training. When you’re new to training, your muscles tend to grow like weeds, and a grueling workout with FST-7 might be overkill.

Conversely, muscle growth gets exponentially harder the longer you’re in the gym. If you’ve been in the gym grinding away for several years, or maybe have even stepped on stage once or twice, FST-7 training might be relevant for your goals.

Those On a Plateau

Feeling “stuck” in the gym is as close to anti-fun as it gets. Whether you’ve been hammering away at the same program for months and seen little return, or you’ve seemingly tried every routine under the sun and made no progress, plateaus can be a serious blow to your motivation in the gym.

In such cases, you might consider plugging in a high-intensity technique like FST-7. Not only will it provide a novel stimulus that you’re not used to, that kind of muscular “surprise” can often induce enough stress to drive new growth

If You’re Short on Time

One side perk of FST-7 is that it packs a lot of volume into a short amount of time. Although the training is more than its finale, seven hard sets burned through in less than 10 minutes also helps make FST-7 a viable option if you can’t commit to a two-hour training session

Who Shouldn’t Try FST-7 Training

Anything is better than nothing (usually), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go wrong with FST-7. Rambod and his athletes certainly boast an impressive resume, but FST-7 training may not be right for you regardless.

Beginners

It’s a common misstep for beginners to closely mirror the training habits of their physique idols. If you’re new to the gym, you shouldn’t train like your favorite bodybuilder does now — you should train the way they did when they were starting.

This extends to FST-7 as well. Since the philosophy is high-volume and high-intensity, it may yield more stress than you’re capable of bearing. You’ll do just fine in the gym if you stick to the basics and keep it simple.

If You’re Injured

This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but you may not want to pick up FST-7 as part of your workouts if you’re currently battling an injury. Any high-intensity training technique tends to come with breakdowns in your form as you push yourself to the limit.

A degradation of technique may put vulnerable tissues at risk, especially if you’re focusing hard on getting that last rep out.

This isn’t to say that FST-7 is off the table if you’ve got a sprained ankle or something minor, but you should consider how hard you can actually work if you’re nursing something. 

General Gymgoers

Those who go to the gym for fun or just to stay in shape overall may have no need for something as precise (and painful) as FST-7. While it certainly may help you make solid muscular gains, any high-density training technique will also create serious amounts of muscular damage and general fatigue.

group exercise class
Credit: Rido / Shutterstock

If you have a physically-demanding job or home life, that extra stress might be more than you need from an exercise routine. It’s perfectly okay for the gym to be a means to an end, not an end unto itself.

Nutrition for FST-7 Training

All bodybuilders appreciate the impact that solid nutrition has on their training. In an article he wrote for Simply Shredded, Rambod outlined his approach to pre, peri, and post-workout nutrition for those following the FST-7 way.

Getting your food and water intake right can, according to Rambod, make or break the results that FST-7 aims to provide. 

Pre-Workout Nutrition

Rambod stresses the crucial nature of both a good pre-workout meal and ensuring you’re drinking enough water. He recommends not training fasted if you employ FST-7, and instead aiming to have eaten at least two solid-food meals prior to beginning a workout

As FST-7 is a metabolically-demanding style of lifting weights, Rambod also emphasizes that you should drink plenty of water before (and during) your workouts

Intra-Workout Nutrition

Roughly a liter of water is the benchmark Rambod suggests that anyone should hit during a FST-7-inspired training session. He also notes that you should consume a bit more water if you train in a hot climate or sweat a lot in general. Without adequate fluid intake, you may find it difficult to secure the skin-tearing pumps FST-7 provides. 

Post-Workout Nutrition

Rambod claims that you should ingest a high-quality protein source as soon as possible following your workout. This holds true no matter what kind of lifting you do in the gym, but is especially relevant if you employ FST-7.

Capping off your training session with an intensity technique that burns your muscles to a crisp also drains you of any available fluids and stored energy. As such, you’re particularly susceptible to utilize any nutrition you consume.

Rambod suggests that your post-workout shake or drink also include a fair amount of carbohydrate to replenish the glycogen you’ve spent. 

Sample FST-7 Workout

Since FST-7 is a series of principles and not a singular routine, you can apply it to your existing workout plan if you like, or go for a pre-written template that puts its core tenets into action. 

Rambod has stressed that FST-7 is about more than just the seven capstone sets you finish your session with. Leaning heavily on the principles of powerbuilding, FST-7 also necessitates that you begin your workout with heavy straight sets, follow up with higher-rep metabolic work for the pump, and tie it all together at the end with the seven cluster sets

The Workout

This workout puts FST-7 into practice and is aimed squarely at blowing up your arms. Per Rambod’s recommendations, make sure that you consume plenty of water throughout, especially while resting between the seven cluster sets at the end. 

Note: For the final two exercises, rest between 30 and 45 seconds at most. 

How to Program FST-7 Training

Even physique pros like Phil Heath don’t make FST-7 a core constant of their training plans. Like any intensity technique in bodybuilding, the devil is in the dosage. Use it too sparingly and you might be wasting your time, but go overboard and you’re headed for overtraining or perhaps even an injury. 

Start Slowly

Rambod himself recommends that anyone who includes FST-7 into their bodybuilding workouts do so in a rotational manner.

Instead of finishing every workout with FST-7 clusters for several weeks and then taking a break, you can plug FST-7 into one body part session for several weeks, and then switch it to a different workout later. 

[Related: Bodybuilder Terrence Ruffin Nears 200 Pounds in His Off-Season]

This ensures you’re properly acclimating to the rigors of the style without overloading yourself all at once.

Change Your Weights as Needed

While you should proceed through the bulk of your training session however it is written, Rambod has noted that the weights you use specifically for the seven cluster sets aren’t particularly important. Your goal is to shunt as much blood into the muscle as possible and volumize it, so feel free to switch to lighter weights between sets if you need to

Do It at the End

It’s worth mentioning in plain terms — FST-7 style training is a finisher for your workouts, not a warm-up. The cluster sets will fully burn you out and you probably won’t have any energy left for subsequent tasks, even if you want to train a different muscle group.

As such, make sure the seven finisher sets are just that, finishers. Once you wrap them up, call it a day in the gym.

Use Isolation Movements

Rambod himself has noted that FST-7 isn’t the best choice if you perform a lot of heavy compound lifting in your workouts. While you can work with the barbell in the 6 to 10-rep range just fine, the seven cluster sets that are the hallmark of the technique aren’t the most appropriate for the squat or deadlift since your technique is likely to fall apart in a big way.

Instead, FST-7 is best utilized on single-joint free weight lifts, machine exercises, or cable moves. It’s both easy and safe to push yourself to the limit on a cable curl or dumbbell flye, for instance. 

Test Your Limits

Hany “the Pro Creator” Rambod’s FST-7 training style is all the rage among competitive (and recreational) bodybuilders. The science hasn’t conclusively determined if fascial adjustment or remodeling is a viable strategy for producing physique champs, but anecdotally, his clients seem to enjoy the method quite a bit.

Rambod’s training style has produced over a dozen Olympia title victories in various divisions, including the triumphant (and at the time, unheard of) comeback victory of Jay Cutler in 2009 who leaned on Rambod after his loss the year prior. 

Does FST-7 reinvent the wheel of resistance training? Not necessarily. Working in various rep ranges, tactically utilizing intensity techniques like cluster sets, and ripping your muscles to shreds with a big pump have always been integral to building the physique of your dreams. Rambod didn’t create these ideas, but he may just have perfected them. 

References

1. Frederick, C. (2020). Does Fascia Stretch?. In Fascia, Function, and Medical Applications (pp. 129-139). CRC Press.
2. Stecco, C., Pirri, C., Fede, C., Yucesoy, C. A., De Caro, R., & Stecco, A. (2020). Fascial or Muscle Stretching? A Narrative Review. Applied Sciences, 11(1), 307. MDPI AG.

Featured Image: @hanyrambod on Instagram

Former MLB Pitcher Kyle Farnsworth Is an Absolutely Shredded Bodybuilder Now – Men’s Health

houston astros v minnesota twins

Brace HemmelgarnGetty Images

You may know Kyle Farnsworth for his 17-year Major League Baseball career spanning from 1999 to 2014. Though the 46-year-old former pitcher left the major leagues in 2014, he hasn’t let his love of fitness falter. In fact, Farnsworth is now an absolutely jacked bodybuilder in his “retirement.”

Once sporting a relatively-slim baseball player physique, Farnsworth recently captured headlines for his status as a bludging competitive bodybuilder. In a recent YouTube video, Athlean-X trainer Jeff Cavaliere broke down Farnsworth’s incredible physical transformation—and why it may not be as surprising as it seems.

“No doubt, he looks like an absolute beast,” Cavaliere says of Farnsworth’s current physique. “The vascularity is sort of crazy, the size is ridiculous, the legs are absolutely shredded and humongous…Basically, Kyle Farnsworth is a big, jacked dude.”

At 6’4″ and currently 240 pounds, Cavaliere says Farnsworth has always had bodybuilding potential from a genetic standpoint, adding that he was also “one of the hardest workers in the room,” giving him the ability to capitalize on the hereditary leg-up.

“He was an anomaly when it came to baseball players, especially as a pitcher,” Cavaliere says in the video. “His size and his overall appearance were not what you would typically see. So he was always big.”

Cavaliere, who worked for the Mets from 2006 to 2008, was with the New York-based team at the same time that Farnsworth played for the Yankees. The trainer said he personally would see the pitcher “cranking out” countless leg extensions before any other players showed up on game day, showing his bodybuilding potential several years ago.

“I didn’t really see that as being the best, most functional way to train for his sport. Step-ups, lunges — there are better things that he could do,” Cavaliere said. “But he did a lot of leg extensions, so the fact that he’s now become a bodybuilder certainly doesn’t surprise me at all because I always wondered if he was more interested in bodybuilding versus pitching.”

Cavaliere also mentions the possibility of performance-enhancing drugs playing a role in the transformation, though the speculation is just that — entirely speculation. Yet, the trainer says performance-enhancers were a reality of the baseball era Farnsworth played in, citing that the former pitcher was on the receiving end of some PED rumors during his major league tenure.

During his time in the major leagues, the pitcher played for several teams from 1999 to 2014. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1999, playing with the team until 2004. He was then traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2005, then traded again to the Atlanta Braves later that same year. Farnsworth signed with the New York Yankees in 2006, playing with the team until 2008. In 2008, he was traded back to the Tigers, but swiftly signed to the Kansas City Royals from 2009-2010. In 2010, Farnsworth was traded back to the Braves, then signed with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2011 to 2013. In 2013, he traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, then to the New York Mets in 2014. He wrapped up his MLB career with the Houston Astros in 2014.

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Rancho Mirage hosts 24th Annual West Coast Classic bodybuilding competition – kuna noticias y kuna radio

The 24th Annual National Physique Committee West Coast Classic is taking place Saturday at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort in Rancho Mirage. It’s the second time the event has taken place in Rancho Mirage.

The NPC West Coast Classic is a bodybuilding competition sanctioned by the National Physique Committee.

“The NPC West Coast Classic has something for everyone. Whether you want to get motivated to start going to the gym, get a little more fit, or if you are a die-hard bodybuilding fan, you will leave inspired,” said the founder of NPC West Coast Classic Lonnie Teper.

In amateur competitions, competitors appear in lineups and perform specified poses (and sometimes individual posing routines) for internationally top-ranked judges who score them based on symmetry, muscularity, size, conditioning, posing, and stage presentation. This happens in two events, the pre-judging event and the evening show.

Pre-Judging is where most technical judging occurs, and athletes may do multiple posing rounds until the judges have picked the ranking.

The athletes all return for Finals to perform their routines and receive their awards and placings. Athletes compete for custom championship trophies, a coveted NPC National Qualification, and free entry/ hotel accommodations at Center Podium’s NPC Worldwide Invictus Pro Qualifier in Kazakhstan. One lucky winner will even get a free flight!

The athletes’ ages can vary between 18 and even 80. Attendees will also get the chance to visit more than 20 fitness vendors who will share their latest products and services. There will be companies with options for nutrition, gyms, personal training, fitness apparel, workout recovery, supplements, bikinis, and even jewelry.

Schedule:

  • 9:30 a.m. Doors Open for NPC Pre-Judging
  • 10:00 a.m. NPC Pre-Judging Begins
  • 5:00 p.m. Doors Open for NPC Finals
  • 6:00 p.m. NPC Finals Begins

Tickets are $29.00−$139.00 at www.CenterPodium.com/npc-west-coast/ .

People can also view live online via live stream on Center Podium TV for $29.95.