by Christian Duque
We’re all stoked to have seen the new shots of 2x Mr. Olympia Big Ramy all over Instagram. Although he was eating far less food, due to religious festivities, he looks bigger than a house. After all, size has never been hard for The Egyptian Phenom to acquire. Even at reduced calories, he still looks very impressive. That said, what’s impressive and what’s not, is highly subjective.
For me, I’ve always preferred symmetry and condition. This is why I was a supporter of Rhoden, Curry, and Bonac. I liked Phil’s physique long before he became Mr. Olympia, however, as many of you know, it was his attitude that pushed me away. Despite the gut issues, Heath represented a look that would have grown bodybuilding. Dexter Jackson also had a perfect look.
Ramy, with all his size, causes a reaction, but how many lay people are going to see him in a magazine or a DVD, and say they want to look like him? There’s just no way. That said, he is the greatest bodybuilder on the planet, so maybe he doesn’t need to look like the average guy. Also, as I always like to point out, I am a fan of Ramy’s. I have always been supportive and always said that I thought he has a great heart, treated the fans very well, and truly loved the sport. My points of contention are that he doesn’t come in with the level of condition necessary to best someone at Curry’s level and that he’s absent from social media.
HIs recent physique update addressed his absence from the scene, as well. It was short and sweet, but to the point. The champ apologized for being absent from many of the platforms used by the fans and promised to get better, to be like he used to be. While I can certainly appreciate him saying he’ll try harder, I don’t know that he was ever very active on social media, to begin with.
Our phones are no longer really just phones. They’re indispensable to our daily routines. I just bought myself an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Between the phone, AppleCare, the screen protector and case, I spent $1500. 90% of the use my phone gets is for business. I run all StrengthAddicts platforms and now I’m running the Iron Mag Labs affiliate program. I live with my phone and I’m using the old one for social media as well. I’m no different than your average bodybuilding journalist. And in reality, hardcore bodybuilding fans, are just as connected – if not more so – than I am. Muscle enthusiasts are always connected; they always want to know what their favorite bodybuilders are up to! That said, if you’re following Ramy’s feeds, you don’t see much activity. This has been a long-running issue, it’s not like it suddenly started. This is why I’ve been pushing the idea of a Mr. Olympia promotions clause. For 99% of the bodybuilders, promoting the title would be a given; however, for Ramy, it seems that growing bodybuilding is the farthest thing from his mind.
I don’t want to slam the champ. I get it’s the holiday season and I also understand that he’s got well over seven months before hitting the Olympia stage, but it bothers me that he thinks he can get away with being absent, simply by posting a couple shots or video clips, along with a promise and then disappearing again. When Brandon was the champ, he was doing an IG Live every week. Sometimes, he’d do one every day! And that was at the height of COVID. What possible excuse could Ramy have for not developing stronger ties to the fans through social media apps? This is where muscleheads are at! They want to see the champ eat a meal, make a shake, talk in between sets. They want to see the champ get a massage, talk on the phone, and maybe even watch TV. I know it sounds crazy, but look at what Ronnie did.
Did we need to see Ronnie at the police department or in his patrol car? Did we have to see Ronnie washing his dishes after eating or watching a football game while he took handfuls of vitamins? No, no, no, but it was entertaining! As fans, we had some kind of idea what life at Casa Coleman was like. We don’t see that with Ramy. We don’t know where he trains, what he eats, we just have to sit around and guess. When’s Ramy going to post, when’s Ramy going to guest pose, what’s Ramy up to? It’s really sad and not only isn’t it growing the sport, it’s not doing much for his sponsors, either. It’s bad for business – all around – but the question is, will the champ change?
If Ramy was allowed to win in 2021, looking as badly as he did, there’s no question in my mind that he’ll “win” again in 2022. How many years will Bodybuilding be led by the absent champ? I mean, when he inked with Tony Huge’s company, I was beyond excited, but I knew it wouldn’t last. I knew that it would be the same as GAT and the others. If a company is going to sponsor a champion on Ramy’s level, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, they’re going to want to see him and hear him – A LOT! They’re going to want him doing Lives, guest posing, and being wherever they’re at, so that sales will skyrocket.
With Ramy living in Egypt and, largely, cut off from the world, Enhanced couldn’t justify the rumored $25,000 a month they were paying him. The money was going out every month, but the question is, how much money coming in that was Ramy responsible for? Apparently not much, because he got dropped.
The fitness industry has bounced back from the pandemic and everyone is excited to earn again. Shows are back to normal, the Olympia is back in Vegas, and prize money is through the roof. Of all the times to have been dropped, this is probably the worst, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Had Ramy taken the Enhanced deal seriously, he could have been jetsetting all around the world. He would have doubled or tripled his fanbase. Instead, he goes back to North Africa and lives off the grid. It makes absolutely no sense. It almost seems as if he doesn’t like being the champ. There’s no question he loves to train, eat, and be freaky, but maybe he dreads being the #1 guy in the world. I’m sure he doesn’t dread having a one workday year or all the money he makes with it, but maybe he’s not into ribbon-cutting ceremonies and/or talking to lines and lines of patiently awaiting fans. Another possibility, and please forgive me for being so blunt, is that he’s lazy. That’s another strong possibility. Then again, maybe he’s turning the page and ready to step up!
Ramy looks amazing, says he’s sorry for being absent, and promises he’ll be more active and consistent with social media. We shall see.
I for one, would love to see him all over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from here till December. Do I think it’ll happen? Probably not. Do I think he’ll resurface in two weeks or a month with the same song and dance? Absolutely. This is the champ we’ve got. No one and nothing will change him. That said, I WOULD LOVE TO BE WRONG. I’d love to see him truly embrace his role as Bodybuilding’s Ambassador to the World!