Buzzwords and BS: Waist “Training”

By: Jordan Shallow


When the IFBB introduced the Men’s Physique category at the 2013 Olympia the bodybuilding purists were skeptical, but hopeful. The thought of reincarnating the timeless looks of Zane, Draper and Schwarzenegger was on everyone’s mind. But what they got was far from timeless.

The classics physiques of the golden era have been replaced with feminine pretty boys worried more about the color of their board shorts, or the gel in their hair than the size of the size of their delts or the width of their lats. And from this vanity a new trend was born…

Those in men’s physique call it “waist training” or “squeems”, those in late night infomercials call it “spanks”, those in 16th century France called them “corsets”. But we here at Fire and Ice are calling it absolute BULLSHIT!

For those of you who are unaware of this “waist training” or “squeem” trend, let me shine some light on it for you. Essentially, there are male physique competitors (and I use the term “male” loosely) who are squeezing themselves into shape changing corsets with the hope to bring a smaller waist circumference come show time.

In the world of aesthetic sports there has been an anything goes mentality since its inception. From depleting diets to excessive drug use there has been nothing that has been deemed unacceptable, until now. Just imagine where the sport would be if Arnold and Franco were tying each other up in frilly form shaping lingerie?


Don’t get me wrong; the idea of waist training is in no way a new idea, many of bodybuilding and physique greats have been plagued with the designation of being “boxy”. But their solution wasn’t slipping into their wife’s post-partum undergarments. They got back in the gym and mercilessly blasted delts, lats, abs and obliques their circumference of their waist was no longer the topic of conversation.

Does anyone remember that great quote from pumping iron? When Arnold, in his accent laden broken English eloquently described the true art of bodybuilding.

         “The good bodybuilders have the same mind that a sculptor has. If you analyze it, you look in the mirror and you say, okay, I need a bit more deltoids … so that the proportion’s right, and … you exercise and put those deltoids on, whereas an artist would just slap on some clay on each side.”

If Arnold was the sculptor then his physique was undoubtedly Michelangelo’s “David”- a masterpiece, one of a kind, often imitated but never since been duplicated, truly a work of art.

Now lets compare that to today’s competitors, no longer worried about training grueling hours in the gym to sculpt their own work of masterpiece. Instead, their “training” is now being done for them, as they prance around their house, posting mirror selfies in their effeminate “squeem shapewear”. Embarrassing.


The evolution of all sport is inevitable, from the designated hitter in Major League Baseball, to video review in the NFL. The IFBB is not exempt from this seemingly inescapable fate of change.

But we need to draw a line in the sand, re-rail the train and get it back on track. This trend on “ waist training” needs to be met with swift justice. Competitors who practice this need to be shamed off stage, dropped from their sponsors and laughed out of gyms so we can return to a sport that fans and fellow-competitors alike can be proud of.