HomeArticlesChristian Duque

Vitaliy Ugolnikov “GoodVito” Out For 2023?

by Christian Duque

You all know where I stand when it comes to bodybuilders making appearances. I think this is the tried and true way to grow the sport and narrow the gap between the biggest names in bodybuilding and the fans. You can achieve elements of this through maintaining a strong presence on social media. Their consistency is key. You can’t be active one week and dormant the next. You also need to publish new content – whether that’s progress shots, training footage, or simply doing an Instagram LIVE from time to time. These are ways to maximize your social media efforts. That being said, there’s a limit to what you can do digitally.

Ultimately you have to get out in the world and be seen. You have to appear at your sponsors’ booths at the biggest expos in the world, you have to give out awards at contests, go to gym openings and do collabs with other big names throughout the world.

One key way to grow your fanbase while fattening your wallet is to do guest posing appearances. These can prove quite lucrative if you’re a good poser, stay in relatively good shape, and love interacting with the fans. Some guest posers can charge anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per appearance. Contrary to public opinion you don’t have to be a pro.

In fact, you don’t even have to actively compete in the federation you’re presenting at. Look at Mike O’Hearn. He’s not an IFBB Pro. He doesn’t even compete in the NPC. Yet he gets a lion’s share of his guest-posing money from NPC and IFBB shows. The reason why is because his appearances help promoters sell more tickets and his presence gets audience members amped up. GoodVito was privy to the power and the finances involved with guest posing so he wasted no time in making appearances.

Right now there’s a small handful of guys who are commanding tremendous interest on social media. They include Krizo, Nick Walker, The Tren Twins, and of course GoodVito. People can’t stop talking about his huge size and tremendous potential. The guy has wheels that are a throwback to the Trey Brewer days. Some have even called him a mass monster with Tom Platz-like legs and a Tom-Platz-like approach to leg training.

The fans have been clamoring for as much coverage on Vitaliy Ugolnikov (aka GoodVito) for months on end. His popularity was so great that everyone in his camp saw the writing on the wall. The numbers were so great he ended up leaving the IFBB Elite and went over to the NPC. This kind of move could spell disaster if not properly thought out, but this guy knew what time it was. He made the switch and hit the ground running.

When you’re riding the social media wave, you have gotta strike while the iron is hot. Unlike the magazine days where you could be the flavor of the day for a few months – if not a full year – we’ve seen stars shoot high and crash in a matter of weeks, if not days. The key is to give the people what they want and when they want it. If you can feed that demand you can pretty much write your own ticket. If you let the hype go to your head and you disappear then you may very well become yesterday’s news. It’s as simple as that.

Now when it comes to GoodVito he was on the precipice of greatness. When he went to Brazil he wasn’t going to that contest to compete. This was a guest posing obligation and he was just going to have fun. Unfortunately, I don’t think he put enough time into prep. Prep for a guest posing? Absolutely.

Most times when people think of prepping, they think of prepping for a contest. This entails an attention to nutrition, training, supplements and cutting. What does a prep look like for a guest posing? Well, it’s not so much one that’s related to the physique. As long as you’re in somewhat good shape, then you’re good to go. What’s a prep for a guest posing then?

Well for starters, an athlete who’s scheduled to guest pose should have a posing routine down pat. And this may call for a routine customized to that particular stage. He/she should know the stage layout – when the lights are on. They should know how much of a drop there is from stage to audience level. This last note could have saved GoodVito from the freak injury he sustained by jumping into the audience.

If jumping into the audience is the plan, the presenter should study the best way to de-stage. This might mean using a hand to help come down, maybe take a side-stage set of stairs, or maybe have some padding set up where he/she plans to jump down to. This can all be prepared in advance by the athlete and the promoter. Because as I stated previously, promoters hire guest posers to boost ticket sales, sell pay per view packages, and sometimes to sell more vendor booths. If setting down some foam padding will make for a better presentation, don’t you think the promoters shelling out thousands of dollars wouldn’t accommodate?

The problem is that I think GoodVito just winged it. I don’t think he practiced his posing routine, I don’t think he went in the day before to study the stage, and I also don’t think he put much thought into his jump. What more than likely happened is that he got caught up in the momentum and he just went with it.

I’m not going to say that most others wouldn’t have done the same, but now the popular bodybuilder may need surgery. I know he said he was fine and implied it wasn’t a big deal, but those of us who have been around know better. The way he landed didn’t look right and from everything I’ve heard since the incident, it sounds like Vitaliy’s absence might be more than a few days or even a few weeks. Some pundits seem to think he may be out for the rest of the summer and quite possibly the rest of 2023. If he does need surgery, he needs to get it done. The longer he waits, the higher the likelihood that he won’t make a full recovery. I’m no doctor, but that’s more common sense than anything else.

We often hear everyone talk about the importance of longevity. We hear about it in the context of sensible training, sensible eating, and even when it comes to the drugs. You don’t have to take huge cycles. Moderation is the key and there’s certainly something to be said about patience. Slow and steady wins the race. I’m in agreement with all of the aforementioned, but I think the longevity argument should be extended to include guest posings. And it should include feats of strength at expos and really any activity that could compromise the health and well-being of the athlete.

A person who makes their living based on how their physique looks, shouldn’t be jumping off super-lit stages into the darkness of audience floors. It just sounds like a recipe for disaster especially when dealing with an athlete who doesn’t do much in terms of jumps and landings. If GoodVito was maybe a fitness competitor instead, then maybe the jump and landing wouldn’t have required as much prep. Then again, no fitness competitor would ever jump off a stage like that. Fitness competitors would have way too much sense for that.

Again, I’m not looking to ridicule Vitaliy, but was his decision to jump off the stage a bad one? I think so. And while it’s understandable that the adrenaline got the best of him, sometimes we need to ignore that as well. Adrenaline is great, but common sense must prevail.

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