Hotel Urban and the Melbourne Bodybuilding Championships

This year’s Australian National Bodybuilding Championships were held in Melbourne.

Now bodybuilding has received a bad rap. The whole sport has been stigmatized with the 200647-bodybuildersteroid abuse of a few. Admittedly, those few have been the ones at the top of the sport. And, admittedly, the sport is still rife with drugs.
But what is often overlooked is the politicking that is part and parcel of a competition. For, when it comes down to it, bodybuilding is not just about the biggest, most well defined bodies. It’s about presenting those bodies: Presenting them to the judges and the audience.

And here is where things get really interesting.

I belong to an events management organisation involved with with the production of this year’s competition. I am also a member of a Melbourne gym (no names) with an entrant, Gordie, in the Men’s Heavyweight division.

A conflict of interest? I wouldn’t say so. I just did my job – really, really well.

For, you see, I was charged with negotiating accommodation for all the contestants. You’d be amazed at the deals you can get when you can guarantee fifty plus guests for a weekend.

So I did my homework: Looked for places close to the venue, checked the rates, and looked for deals.

Hotel Urban St KildaThe Hotel Urban in Melbourne solved a number of problems for us. It also provided a number of opportunities.
First, it’s right on Fitzroy Street; close to the beach and venue. It’s a beautiful hotel in a beautiful area.
Second, I managed to squeeze  a really good rate out of them. These are top quality rooms in a prime location, so I’d have expected to pay more. But the lure of a fifty plus booking for a weekend (not counting those who would decide to stay on, at their own expense, after the show) made them a little more flexible.
But before I agreed I noticed something. The Hotel Urban Melbourne was currently running a Hot_chocolate_Wallpaper_JxHypromotion: ‘The All About Chocolate Package.’ This includes unlimited hot chocolate, chocolate martinis and complimentary chocolates in your room.
The opportunity was too good to pass up.
For those unfamiliar with bodybuilding competitions I must explain: Building a body is only half the battle. What wins competitions is presenting that body well. To do that the athlete must shed as much fat as they humanly possible. To do that they starve themselves; and I do mean starve. These competitors enter competitions with 1 or 2% body fat. They are literally dizzy with hunger for the days prior to going on stage.
complimentary-chocolateWhen the body is starved of nutrients it enters into a catabolic state; where any food it is given is instantly stored as fat. The body is trying to protect itself and so hangs on o every calorie it is given. So the hungrier a bodybuilder gets (towards competition time) the more detrimental it is for them to eat.
I booked a room for Gordie and the other athletes. But for Gordie’s main competitors I booked them rooms including the All About Chocolate Package.
Yes, it was a bastard act. But if you knew Gordie, what he’s been through to get where he is and what a nice guy he is in a sport full of drug-cheats, well – I think you’d be tempted to do the same.
I won’t go into details. There were a lot of tortured souls that weekend. There were tears and fits and tantrums. Most couldn’t resist the temptations of the Hotel Urban (through the scheming of Yours Truly). And when they went on stage it showed. They weren’t fat, but they’d lost definition. And for that they lost points.
The ones who did resist were quite literally shaking with hunger. They were distracted, 49637741_niels-andersen-bodybuilding-bodybuilder-muscle-biceps-disoriented and discouraged.
Gordie walked it in.

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