By Cory Gregory
Arnold Classic 2013
A decade ago, I was just glad to be there.
Being a fitness & bodybuilding nut already, I somehow got a job, selling programs at the Arnold Sports Festival it had one particular perk that I couldn’t pass up – free tickets to the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show & expo.
I was fresh out of a life-changing job working in a coal mine, in college and I was about to get up close with the one and only Arnold and all of the “Golden Era” bodybuilders. To say I was excited would be a vast understatement.
It took every ounce of energy to stay outside long enough and fulfill my duties for Lucy, who had the arduous task of keeping me in line, before I went charging into the Arnold Expo for the first time.
This was my Graceland, my Disney World and I wanted to be a part of it in the worst way. Little did I know that I would get the amazing chance to do more than sell some programs at the biggest bodybuilding expo on Earth it would just take a few years.
So, let’s fast-forward 10 years, which was a decade filled with an immense amount of hard work. It was a decade where I didn’t miss one single Arnold Sports Festival or one Arnold Classic as my career as a fitness professional continued to grow. It was also a span that was filled with endless hours in the gym, bodybuilding shows, photo shoots, training clients and powerlifting meets, all done with the intent of reaching my goals.
But ten years later, it took just one moment at the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival and Arnold Classic to make it all worth it.
Here I was, 10 years after selling my first program, walking onto the stage at the Arnold Classic night show as a major sponsor of one the biggest bodybuilding shows today. I’m now the co-founder of the sports nutrition power house MusclePharm, and walking on the same stage as Arnold is one of the most surreal moments of my career.
It’s still hard to believe it’s happening, but I take a deep breath, walk out on stage and present the award to the 5th-place finisher (Hidetada Yamagishi) at the 2013 Arnold Classic.
I almost had to pinch myself to make sure this was real, but it was and completed one of the most amazing weekends in my professional life. Just a day earlier, I traded poses with one of my bodybuilding idols, Frank Zane, and he even showed me his signature pose at his booth.
While all of this was happening, I was informed Arnold – Arnold! – was going to stop by the MusclePharm booth to say hello to the MP family.
Are you kidding me? Is this real? Those were the only thoughts shooting through my head.
Again, it was surreal, but it was true and everyone was excited. I was about to meet the biggest legend in the sport and, without a doubt, one of my biggest idols. After Arnold snapped a few pictures with my team he told me he really enjoyed my article Golden Results I had written for his website. This was truly a great moment for me.
To top it off I shot 2 covers of major fitness magazines during the same weekend at my own gym in Columbus Ohio. (The Old School Gym) I truly felt like I was living a dream all weekend.
Reflecting back on all of it, it’s amazing that in the fitness world or any business really, if you dream big, train hard, stay disciplined, & work as hard as you can, anything can truly happen. Arnold is the perfect example of this and why he’s an inspiration to so many of us. In his classic “Education of a Bodybuilder,” that mindset was one of the big keys he touched on, and it’s forever been engrained in my approach to every part of my life.
I applied these tools & often asked myself, “Why Not Me?” and worked my tail off. Ten years later at the 2013 Arnold Classic, I got to be part of something I will remember forever & I am grateful for those opportunities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cory is one of the most unique stories in the fitness industry today. A former underground coal miner, Cory diligently saved money to start his first small gym. He opened it when he turned 20 and, in the last 14 years, Cory has seen every aspect of the fitness industry. Cory has his Exercise Specialist certificate from Columbus State and is also NESTA nutrition coach certified, Westside Barbell certified and a Cross Fit level 1 trainer. Cory is also the Co-Founder of Musclepharm, which has quickly become one of the hottest brands in Sports Nutrition, grossing an impressive $78 million in just its fourth year of business. He has achieved a powerlifting total of 1755 pounds, weighing just 208, putting together a career-best 700-pound squat. Most recently Cory was featured on the cover of the popular Inside Fitness Magazine. Cory eats, breathes and lives fitness everyday, helping people reach their goals through his free plans on social media especially his Twitter account that has more than 250,000 + followers.