The dark side of the bodybuilding industry in Killer Sally explained

Killer Sally dove deep into the abuse Sally McNeil went through, but at the same time, it detailed how the bodybuilding industry works and the pressure it puts on a competitor.

Before getting into the tragedy that took place on Valentine’s Day in 1995, Killer Sally went back in time to explore Ray and Sally’s relationship and the dreams they had for themselves.

Ray was more inclined towards becoming Mr. Olympia someday, and Sally believed that he wanted her to give up her dream so that she can support him.

In order to pursue his dream, Ray headed to the IFBB North American Championship, intent on becoming a professional.

What he didn’t know was that his desire to win Mr. Olympia would lead him down a violent path.

The pressure of bodybuilding competitions

Ray was certainly on cloud nine after winning the North American Championship. Despite being a big man, he still felt insecure when he got to these bodybuilding competitions.

According to Hugh Malay, a former sportscaster at ESPN, bodybuilders are control freaks by nature. By the time a bodybuilding contest is around, they control everything around them.

The dark side of the bodybuilding industry in Killer Sally explained 1
Arnold Schwarzenegger posing at the Mr. Olympia competition

The pressure of the competition forces them to be on schedule with their diet and exercise. Especially because, if they are not the ones doing it, their competition is.

The insecurity Ray had is described by Sally as reverse anorexia, a delusional belief that one’s body is too small and not muscular enough.

The secret of gyms

Back in the day, steroids were the dark secret of the gyms and the bodybuilding industries. All the bodybuilders were on steroids, but if they were asked, they would deny taking any.

The bottles and pamphlets of these drugs would say these drugs don’t enhance athletic performance, but they sure did.

Ray and Sally were into this stuff. Sally earned a lot by acting in home wrestling videos so that Ray could buy these steroids.

Despite Ray’s immense efforts, he was placed at No. 15 at the Mr. Olympia competition. The loss took a toll on him, and he also had his fair share of demons.

With all of the losses together, Ray and Sally’s marriage started falling apart, with the former being physically abusive to Sally.


Also Read: Killer Sally review: Insightful look into physical abuse