A Quarter-Century of Excellence: How Bodybuilding.com Changed Fitness

Bodybuilding

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The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and there is always something new and exciting that is going to “change the game” or “disrupt the space.” Some of those moves may barely make a noise while others have an impact that lasts a lifetime. 

What most athletes, influencers, and passionate trainers may want to think about is that the goal should not just be about what you do now. It should be about what kind of difference you can make and how long it lasts. Can you create something that will change lives, impact the industry you want to be a part of in a positive way, last for decades, and generate a lot of sales? 



A young Idaho entrepreneur was hoping to do just that in 1998 when Ryan DeLuca took action to create an online creatine wholesale business.

“I joined up with a bodybuilding friend and started contacting creatine manufacturers. We realized we could buy it wholesale and sell it for only $79, directly to the consumer. That’s when our site, wholesale-creatine.com, first went online.”

It wasn’t long before DeLuca realized that there was both more work to do and an opportunity to make the kind of impact all business-minded people strive for. That led him to April 13, 1999 and the launch of a website called Bodybuilding.com.

There had been other websites that sold products online, but this one was different. Not only did it have supplements available to purchase – there was also a forums section where like-minded people could have conversations, debates, and share their beliefs about how to get in shape and reach their goals. There were many people that may have questioned why DeLuca was doing this and doubting his odds of success, but it wasn’t long before he was proving himself right and Bodybuilding.com was doing what he set out to do.

Throughout the turn of the millennium, the company was growing. The online store was selling more products, and the forums had grown into a full content site on its own. Trainers, experts, bodybuilders, and other athletes had opportunities to become contributors and be digitally published authors. By 2002, the site had become a top source for both supplements and information to help consumers and readers achieve personal fitness success, and those people were from all parts of the world.

First Major Milestones

In 2002, the Bodybuilding.com team, led by DeLuca, created an expo that allowed locals and people that wanted to travel to Boise to feel a connection to them in real life. Whether you know it as the Bodybuilding.com Expo or the Boise Fit Expo (BFE), it had become an annual tradition in the midwest.

By 2003, the site had become a pillar of the fitness space. Yes, the name was Bodybuilding.com, but they were reaching individuals with all types of fitness goals and backgrounds – many of which had nothing to do with the stage. “Bodybuilding” had different meanings to different people, but all of their journeys could be shared and built upon here.



Supplement brands were growing as well, and many were seeing records in sales and exposure. Bodybuilding.com started recognizing these companies and the people behind them by launching the Supplement Awards in 2005. Awards for brands and specific products were handed out. In its inaugural year, Optimum Nutrition was dubbed “Brand of the Year” and their 100% Optimum Whey was crowned “Protein of the Year”.

Birth of BodySpace and Content Growth

Today, social media is king, but in 2006, it was in its infancy. MySpace was the premiere place to be, and Facebook was still learning to walk. Instagram and Twitter, now “X”, would later debut.

MySpace was all the rage, but what if there was a place for fitness-minded people to connect, share their stories, and inspire each other? The world needed a fitness social network, and Bodybuilding.com created just that when they launched BodySpace. Members could join for free and upload progress pics, share goals to keep themselves accountable, post daily “Fit Statuses”, and celebrate accomplishments together. Millions of people that lived in places that other people could only see on TV were moving forward together as one.

Aside from the Supplement Awards, Bodybuilding.com was also presenting the Site Awards, recognizing contributors and authors that were making a positive impact for the readers, consumers, and industry as a whole. Honors such as BodySpace Member of the Year, Forum Posts of the Year, and Male/Female Writer of the Year were presented to community members and professionals alike. Bodybuilding.com was now serving as the launching pad for people that would become household names in the world of fitness.

By the end of the decade, the combination of soon to be award-winning customer service, editorial excellence, and BodySpace made Bodybuilding.com the number one online fitness destination on the planet. They shipped their one millionth order and became the leader in sports nutrition.

Continued Success in the 2010’s

Bodybuilding.com showed no signs of slowing in its second decade. By 2011, they reached one million BodySpace members. They joined Facebook and reached one million followers within one year. 

The 2010’s began with the first 12-week daily transformation video series. Kris Gethin filmed himself for three months as he dieted, trained, and shared insights on how to make a transformation that had never been seen anywhere else before. You could see the changes happening in front of your eyes and hear Gethin’s thoughts about the process as he was going through it. The “12-Week Hardcore Daily Trainer” was the first of its kind, and it led to many more video series like it being produced. Bodybuilding.com was now making videos, and they were the talk of the town. Among the athletes that contributed to various series were Jay Cutler, Mike O’Hearn, Jim Stoppani, CT Fletcher, and many more. The legend himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even appeared once or twice. Many of them had programs for the community to follow along with and apply techniques at home.



What’s better than getting in your best form ever? Getting paid to do it and receive international exposure. Along with the trainers and world class athletes, Bodybuilding.com debuted transformation contests that gave readers and customers even more incentive to put the programs to use. Over the years grand prizes evolved from cash prizes as high up as $250K to free trips to events like the Olympia.

The online store continued to sell best in class brands across the industry, but after 19 years in business decided it was time to launch its own private label. In 2018, the Signature Series hit the site, offering the perfect stack for any starter from whey protein and creatine to pre-workout and amino acids. The best ingredients backed by the biggest site in the game – what’s not to love?

Commerce reached new heights, content remained as a core stable as the business, and it was time to take “community” to an entirely different level. In 2017, the Lift Life Foundation was born. This nonprofit organization serves students at underfunded high schools across the United States by transforming their old, dilapidated and unsafe weight rooms into state-of-the-art facilities with brand new equipment. Transforming lives began to surpass the digital borders.

BodyFit is Here and Elite Line Launched

By 2020, Bodybuilding.com had a digital catalog of innovative programs that could help you reach virtually any fitness goal. The brand would begin to transition written 4,6,8 and 12-week programs into video-led, guided workouts within an app. It would be called BodyFit, where workouts, meal plans, supplement tips, and immediate access at your fingertips – making it easier for you to take your goals from improbable to incredible.

The Signature line continued to provide starters and fitness novices with the core products they needed to kickstart their journey, though there was something missing- a line designed for elite athletes. Elite by Bodybuilding.com was designed, formulated and launched in 2023 and caters for those seeking a clean, advanced formula to propel them past the competition. Professional and collegiate athletes alike can bank on the Informed Sports Certification stamped on every product in the line, including the test booster. Each product hosts trademarked ingredients without artificial coloring. There’s also a stim-free pre-workout, packing the same punch without the caffeine crash.

The brand would go on to make 2023 the year of its private label expansion, debuting six more lines in quarter four alone. There’s Nourish + Bloom, an entirely plant-based line made with earth-derived ingredients, and Revel, the lifestyle nutrition brand designed with weight loss and wellness in mind. Splash Candy burst onto the scene as a colorful gummy vitamin brand alongside Remix Nutrition, a line crafted for gamers with an emphasis on focus, energy and sleep. In between would live the brand’s most affordable line yet, Cheap Supplements. We created products that catered from people focused on whole food plans (like Nourish and Bloom) to the gamers that need extra energy to play after they train (like Remix). 

2024 and Beyond

For a quarter of a century, Bodybuilding.com has served millions of customers and educated generations of fitness enthusiasts. It has boasted a blue collared mentality through eras of transformations and inevitable change as the science behind human development progressed. Today hundreds of thousands of competitors exist in the space, and the market makes it easier than ever to launch your own supplement company in a mere matter of days. So what continues to set Bodybuilding.com apart from the rest? Community. 



The brand engages with over 13 million followers across social media, 300,000+ current members on BodySpace, 135,000+ users on BodyFit, and millions more drawn to the site each month. The e-commerce brands prides itself on the loyal customer base that’s been with them for all 25 years and proudly welcomes anyone looking to get a little bit better each day. The brand debuted a new mission statement, taking its stance as an inclusive community for athletes of all modalities. 

Bodybuilding.coms new mission statement

Bodybuilding.com’s new mission statement

To celebrate its 25th year in business, Bodybuilding.com is launching the Strong 25 Challenge, providing anyone the opportunity to win $20,000 in prizes after completing a 12-Week transformation challenge. Over the course of 12 weeks, they’ll provide the best information you need to move, eat, and sleep better, which will help you on your journey to your best self yet. Eligible contestants will be instructed to submit before and after photos via the submission form on their website, with winners being selected and announced this summer. 

At the finish line of the Strong 25 Challenge, Bodybuilding.com internal judges will pick three winners to receive sponsored prizes from top tiered wellness brands including but not limited to:

  • 1-Person Infrared Sauna, Presented by Sun Home Saunas
  • Ice Barrel 300, Presented by Ice Barrel 
  • Frontier X2 Heart Rate Monitor, Presented by Fourth Frontier 
  • Portable, Waterproof Red Light Therapy, Presented by LumaFlex, 
  • 4+ Certification Options, Presented by National Academy for Sports Medicine
  • 3 months of meal prep, Presented by Trifecta Nutrition 
  • TONS of free supps to fuel your journey 

Signups for the Strong 25 Challenge will start on Apr. 24, 2024, and the last day of the challenge is July 17. Bodybuilding.com will announce the winners on Aug. 5.

Here’s to 25 more.

Build Your Body. Build Your Mind. Build Your Life.

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