Arash Rahbar believes paying dues shouldn’t exist in bodybuilding but it’s an unavoidable in such a subjective sport.

The term paying your dues is a common one both in and out of sports. Sometimes you need to go through the paces before you’re considered for that promotion. Or in sports, you need to show you’re willing to run with the pack before pulling ahead. Arash Rahbar doesn’t like the fact that paying dues exists in bodybuilding. But he doesn’t think it’s being done on purpose either. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Arash Rahbar discusses the problem with paying dues in bodybuilding and why it can’t be avoided.

Sometimes a a truly great young bodybuilder comes along and shocks the industry. They get labeled a prodigy or a phenom and become the talk of the town. Yet when competition time comes, they don’t win or place close to the top. Of course there are a few exceptions, but this seems to be the usual pattern. Many people call this paying your dues in bodybuilding. No matter how impressive you are, you need to put in the time before the judges really start to notice you.

Arash Rahbar doesn’t think that’s fair. He believes that each competition should exist in a vacuum and solely focus on the physiques. Whoever is the best should win – even if it’s a newcomer. Surely the judges would agree with that statement. Arash knows that. There’s no secret agenda forcing bodybuilders to pay dues. The problem is that bodybuilding is a sport where judges decide the score. It’s not like basketball where points are determined obviously by getting the ball in the basket. The points in bodybuilding are determined by opinion.

While there is a criteria the judges must stick by – how that criteria is interpreted can be skewed by subjective opinion. That’s unavoidable. You can’t police thought. So ultimately, every competitor who walks on stage already has the baggage of preconceived notions about them. Sometimes it’s good baggage. Sometimes it’s bad. The judges nor the athlete can live in a bubble leading up to the show – and past competition performance certainly plays a subconscious role in how judges and fans see a competitor.

So is there any solution to this situation? Arash Rahbar doesn’t seem to have one – and maybe that’s because there is no way to fix it. Ultimately, Arash admits that it’s part of the game. It’s what he and every other bodybuilder signed up for when they decided to dedicate their life to the sport. So while Arash thinks paying dues shouldn’t exist in the sport, he also doesn’t feel any ill will towards it happening. Neither should any other competitor. It’s how the sport works. It’s not a secret. It’s not an agenda. It’s just a natural side effect of this kind of sport.

You can check out Arash Rahbar’s full comments on paying dues in bodybuilding by watching our GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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