Pump It Up

The art of bodybuilding has been around since the late 1890s, though its athletic roots date back to 11th-century India. By 1904, slathering one's monstrous physique in baby oil and flexing for the delight of large audiences had developed into a more refined formal sport with the American premiere of "The Most Perfectly Developed Man in the World" competition. Charles Atlas helped carry the torch into bodybuilding's "Golden Age" while various leagues and organizations formed to see the sport through a period of healthy popularity that peaked in the 1970s. By then, steroid scandals and accusations of spray-on tans had started tarnishing the industry. But a few phoenixes would rise from the ashes and go on to portray the Incredible Hulk on television or be elected governor of California. Popular interest in bodybuilding has regained momentum with renewed efforts to have the sport officially recognized both as an Olympic event and as an independent sovereign nation. The 2006 NPC Lonestar Bodybuilding and Fitness/Figure Classic begins 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Plano Convention Center, 2000 E. Spring Parkway, culminating in an orgy of glistening flesh on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices generally range from $10 to $30, depending on event. Call 972-247-15369 or visit texasbodybuilding.com.
Fri., June 2, 7:30 p.m.
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Geoff Johnston