Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports
For a man who’s traveled the country, JR had never taken the JR Sport Brief podcast to Boise, Idaho. Well, he hadn’t been there until JR flew out to Idaho to catch up with the folks behind BodyBuilding.com.
BodyBuilding.com was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest communities for bodybuilders and anyone set on improving their fitness and general wellbeing.
“We’re all about changing lives here, and that’s the mission we champion every single day,” said Kandace Hudspeth, vice president of marketing.
Hudspeth and her colleagues care about helping others improve their lives. That means anyone and everyone, not just hardcore weightlifters.
“What’s interesting is most people initially hear our name and they think trunks and oil and lots of flexing, and that is very much our core… But over the last 17 years, we’ve really evolved to celebrate all types of fitness,” said Hudspeth. “It’s really, for us, a daily commitment to getting better, better than I was yesterday.”
For Rachel Pyron, who works in regulatory compliance, she made the natural progression from running then to weights. She gets weird looks at times when she tells people that she can lift a car as she stands at a diminutive 4’11”.
“I went from bodybuilding and I got slowly exposed to strongman and I fell in love with it… I started strength training and it was like a switch in my head, a renewed passion,” said Pyron. “Just being small and being the underdog a little bit just pushes me even more I guess, and try to encourage women that you don’t have to be six feet tall to train.”
A man who no one is shocked when he tells them he’s a body builder is Jesse Norris, one of the strongest pound-for-pound men in the world. Norris works as an accounts payable specialist for BodyBuilding.com, and despite being just 22 years old, he has been lifting for 10 years.
“My uncle owns a gym, so it just kind of got me started young, just going in, helping out and he let me workout there,” said Norris. “That’s how I got started, just throwing around weights.”
As for people who are looking to get started, Norris believes that community is a big part to staying at a gym.
“The best thing to start… it really just comes down to getting the nutrition part then finding yourself a gym that you could feel at home, if you feel like an outsider at a gym you won’t want to go,” said Norris.
Community is the crux of Phil Sansotta’s job, who works for BodyBuilding.com in community management, as well as running their Snapchat account. He loves the feeling of community, despite how huge their company is.
“It’s a great way to interact with our customers,” said Sansotta. “Even though we’re a large company, we love to engage on a small micro level.”
Lastly, he wants to help in the positive transformation of lives.
“The biggest thing we want to build here is community,” said Sansotta. “We want people to transform their lives.”
As a fan of repetitive disappointment and frustration, Tom holds Liverpool FC, the New York Knicks and New York Red Bulls near and dear to his heart with occasional joy coming from the New York Giants and New York Yankees.