Survival of the Fittest – that’s a promise Legion Sports Fest is yet to break. When the west’s biggest fitness expo takes over Reno the weekend of October 7th, don’t let it catch you sleeping.
Legion is a muscle-bound medley of eight sports. At the top of the bill, you’ve got the IFBB Pro Open, IFBB Masters Legion, along with NPC competition. To further pack this weekend, you’ll experience everything from Strongman to Armwrestling to Armored Combat. You heard that right, Armored Combat.
Massive trophies loaded cash purses, and 2022 Olympia Tier 3 qualifiers are up for grabs. The avid bodybuilding promoters at Center Podium have made the stage at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center a crossroads for the legendary, the influential, and damn, they’re jacked.
It’s not just the attendees – the event itself is so swole, this article covers it like a skimpy bikini. There’s a lot you’re just gonna have to see for yourself – but let me try and paint a picture.
Over 12,000 people and 2,500 athletes are expected to show. The biggest male and female names from the IFBB Pro League – some kickass Muay Thai fighters – the entrepreneurs behind your favorite fitness brands – arm-wrestlers ready to war over a cash prize – knights in armor itching to beat the medieval crap out of each other – even the guys still trying to learn how to count macros have an open invitation.
They’ll be walking amongst celebrities, influencers, and some of the biggest names in sport. Four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and the fan-favorite Mr. Olympia Dexter “The Blade” Jackson are just a couple of the big names Legion has drawn over the years. Three-time Miss Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser makes a welcome return in 2022 and even MMA, Pro Wrestling, and Kickboxing Legend Ken Shamrock will be in attendance.
It’s a good thing Legion has a red carpet flowing into its bodybuilding arena – for photo opps and exclusive interviews you can catch on Center Podium TV.
Such a crowd unites in a quest to find, display, and celebrate their fitness superpowers. One thing’s certain – Reno won’t know what hit it.
“The tone is set,” Partnership Director Ted “Tahoe” Johanson says, “right when people walk in.”
Smoke machines cloud the giant entry way. Girls in superhero suits flip through the air doing aerial tricks. Speakers pump out the hottest workout mix you’ve ever heard – spun by the bodybuilding athlete known as DJ Teddy P.
“We are going to amaze everybody from the first step in,” Johanson says, “then we’re just gonna keep blowing their minds with the craziest stuff they’ve ever seen in the fitness world.”
Center Podium – who will celebrate Legion’s fifth anniversary – know a thing or two about upping the ante. Their annual events throughout the year take them from Tahoe to Kazakhstan. This makes for a full-stop effort to continue to outdo the last – somehow, they’re yet to jump the shark. This big October weekend in Reno will continue this trend – from a swaggering entrance to an electric grand finale that will see IFBB Pro League action with Olympia implications.
On the NPC side, the overall winners will likely not stay amateurs for long. The competition in Reno is for a ticket to the promotion’s NPC Worldwide INVICTUS Pro Qualifier in Kazakhstan. If you seek greatness in the sport – this is the stage to get on.
Owner Chris Minnes, the captain at Center Podium’s helm, may be a seasoned pioneer of the Nevada bodybuilding scene – but every event is as magical as his first. “You can think we’re the biggest meatheads in the world,” he says. “Just let me sit in the chair when those guys and girls are on stage flexing. It’s just so freaking awesome.”
But it’s not all bodybuilding at Legion Sports Fest.
Walk from one corner of the convention floor to the next – and you’ll see everything from strongman deadlifting cars to functional fitness athletes doing handstand push-ups like the world’s ending.
“All the sports are happening simultaneously,” Johanson explains. “You’ll hear something crazy happen on one side of the building – then you’ll hear something wild going down in another – there’s always at least one crowd absolutely roaring.”
With so much going on – looking up is all it takes to catch something awesome, no matter where you are.
Armored Combat makes a welcome return – and you best believe the muscle-bound and metal-clad knights set to compete won’t be skipping sword day. Legion Sports Fest is home to a crucial battleground in the sport – as the Armored Combat Sports North American Championship will be decided in combat right there in the convention hall.
“They’re so hardcore,” Johanson jokes, “they broke our arena last year. We had to get a new metal-reinforced fence this year just to contain them.”
Armored Combat Sports athletes about to throw down
That’s an event even Sir William Wallace would enjoy.
At the center of this massive event is an expo loaded with samples from emerging brands, madhouse deals on your favorite products, and a chance to network with the brains behind them all. It’s a good thing the new metal fence will reign in the armored gladiators – because there’s impressive and expensive work being put into every booth.
It’s an all-out expression of everything great in fitness and sport – and this is only a glimpse of the high-octane experience you will have.
“It’s fun, entertaining, and inspiring,” Johanson says. “It’s stressful bringing it all together, but when we open those doors, the place gets packed, and all the action is happening at once, it’s like Christmas morning for me.”
Written in partnership with Amir Bakian
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