Josh Miller, Christian Duque IG LIVE!

Josh Miller, Christian Duque IG LIVE!

Be sure to check out this great IG LIVE featuring Josh Miller and Christian Duque. Josh is an NGA Pro Bodybuilder and the promoter of the upcoming 2024 NGA Kentucky Natural Classic in Lexington. Christian Duque is the founder of and will be covering the contest thanks to his title IronMag Labs. The two discussed the state of natural bodybuilding, where it can go in the future, and the unfortunate direction in which untested bodybuilding has gone.

The hour-long live chat touched upon many topics, including the need for unity among natural bodybuilding federations and how much more the sport can grow in the future. Additionally, the need for truly tested contests was explored. Is a show really natural if only the Top 5 are tested? And what kind of testing is enough?

Josh spoke about why the NGA uses both polygraph and urinalysis in order to ensure a level playing field for all competitors in all divisions. This is key for the drug-free athlete. One would think that an enhanced competitor wouldn’t compete with folks that adhere to the natural path, but it happens far more than I care to share. The difference between natural on paper and natural across the boards is like that of night and day. The last thing drug-free athletes should have to worry about is if the man or woman next to them is competing with an unfair advantage. Josh and his fellow NGA promoters make effective testing a top priority. This is why the National Gym Association has earned its place in the sport.

See You June 22nd In Louisville!

Moreover, the pair didn’t tiptoe around more controversial topics such as politics in the wider physique-based community. One show in particular that was discussed was Kevin Whaley’s NGA River City Classic held in Louisville. Christian Duque believes that external forces may be the main culprit in why the contest hasn’t taken off. The River City Classic is held at a premier venue, that’s centrally-located, with tons of free parking and run by a very talented crew. Kevin Whaley works as hard as any promoter, making sure every aspect of the show runs without a hitch. So why isn’t his show getting the numbers of Josh’s, Jared’s, or even Tricky’s shows? And I say even Tricky because Tricky’s show is in Frankfort, KY. Although Frankfort is the capital of the Commonwealth, it’s a significantly smaller market than Louisville or Lexington. Josh discussed how the NGA could come to Kevin’s aid and what measures could be implemented to help grow the show.

During the Instagram LIVE, Duque also expressed an interest in being sure to cover as much of future contests as possible – including check-ins, the prejudging, and the night show. Both Miller and Duque spoke to the importance of promoting the sport, why competitors should promote themselves, and the huge opportunity to use natural bodybuilding contests as a way to make friends.

Competing for the first time can be a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be. Bodybuilding shows are all about the competitors so have fun! Plus, even if you’re competing in a faraway place and don’t know a soul, you’ll more than likely run into competitors that will go out of their way to make you feel at home. Duque couldn’t help but mention NGA Competitor Natasha Tackett. She’s one of those competitors backstage that is all about making friends and making people feel right at home. As Josh echoed, it’s just who Natasha is. She has a great spirit a real bubbly personality.

Networking is key!

Christian Duque

Bodybuilding has the potential to become very close to a mainstream sport. To suggest that it can ever as big as basketball, football, baseball or even hockey might be a little overly-ambitious and not so realistic. That said, it could very well become as socially acceptable and as respected as MMA, boxing, karate and other sports like field hockey and roller derby. That’s definitely within the realm of possibility. Cross Fit, for example, has been able to break down a lot of barriers that at one point in time existed between strength-based sports and the corporate world.

It’s all about building bridges and expanding into different walks of life. Just look at what Brent Jones was able to do with bodybuilding and the Kentucky Derby. He was able to get the sport included on a very prestigious roster of events that boasts of Fortune 500 companies and enjoys a tremendous amount of local, national, and international media. Just getting a meeting with these heavy hitters is an achievement in and of itself, but to jump through all the hoops, and be embraced – that’s liquid gold. And then to be included year after year – again – that’s unheard of for bodybuilding. And there can be more, if done correctly. Growth is the name of the game! But what are we trying to grow? That is the question.

Das Freak, Germany’s MARKUS RUHL

Modern day (untested) bodybuilding is dominated by competitors taking a boatload of anabolic steroids, research chemicals (labeled “not for human consumption”), SARM’s, SERM’s, and SEO’s (site enhancing oils). Some competitors have even gone beyond SEO’s to Nolotil and getting implants. This is not body-building and it’s certainly not what Fortune 500 companies want to be associated with. This is why untested bodybuilding has remained the butt of many jokes about muscle heads. It’s that juiced to the gills stereotypical bodybuilder that’s portrayed as the quintessential lunkhead in every Planet Fitness sign in the world. It’s that irritable, acne-covered, huffing and puffing, closet-bully walking around as if he had a roll of carpet under each arm, intimidating everyone in his way, and thinking he owns the gym, that has turned so many people away.

Natural bodybuilding can change all that. It can show the world what can be accomplished with clean eating, smart training, and quality supplementation. Natural athletes can make the case that theirs is a sport of longevity and one that improves quality of life. Bodybuilders shouldn’t be dying in their 20’s or 30’s. Fitness should improve health, not compromise it. And those who want to embark on the journey should embrace the fact it takes time to reach their goals.

Understanding how much work actually goes into building just one pound of lean muscle tissue – naturally – is quite noteworthy. And taking the time to appreciate the fact that the natural athlete’s gains are his or hers rather than dependent on injecting synthetic, exogenous hormones is key! While pretty much everyone is familiar with what drugs can do, a great many folks in everyday life are clueless as to what a person can achieve naturally. Take a look at a young pro like Austin Baird or a seasoned pro like Josh Miller and most people would know exactly what I mean!