BLURRED GUIDELINES

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Overall Bikini 2013 Ron Love Classic

Bikini Winners

“HEY, HEY, HEY…”

The required poses in the posing rounds for each division of NPC competitions are each different, but similar. As confusing as that sounds, that’s how clear the judging criteria is for any and every NPC event. “You can, you can’t…you should, you shouldn’t”… all rules are malleable, all guidelines are blurred.

The Official required poses can be found here but are subject to change, even mid pose. With the addition of “True Novice” and all the iterations of categories to ensure crossover costs per division keep rising, keep checking the official entry blank of your area promoters; as if Novice, Local, Open and National Qualifier weren’t enough. But I’m trying to clarify rather than confound the issue more.

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Men Physique Winners

Sure size, shape, symmetry, muscularity, leanness, roundness, height, non-muscularity,  smile, tan, teeth, suit, association to the judging panel, and sometimes even the actual physique, matter. But ultimately a competitor, through the perfect concoction of the above ingredients, and the grace of God Himself, must please the judges, must win the appeal, must ignite a connection between those on the table, to those on the stage. Sometimes, even the hands-down, most-obvious, walk-away winner in the competition, does not win. Yet sometimes, sometimes, when the applause-o-meter is working that day and all the judges go to lunch at the same diner, the real winners are chosen, undisputedly, across all divisions. It happens, really. I’ve seen it myself.

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Bodybuilding Winners

This inconsistency is the only consistent tract from the lowest, local levels of the competition, through the highest-almighty IFBB Pro ranks. Someone appealed to the right someone, all down the line, all the way to the top. The rest of the discrepancies determining that rise would take a book to document. Still, the poses required pale compared to the hoops ensued.

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Bikini Winners

After 30 years of work in this field, and over 600 shows documented from behind the scenes, it’s time someone tells the truth about competitive physique events. This is not to bash any specific people, just to inform the competitors of what they are dealing with and in what’s become of this sport that means so much to so many, yet so little to a few. You can speculate all you want over that sentence; but to those involved over the years to build it to what it is, who supported, promoted, documented and spent countless hours coaching, training, nurturing and developing it into the monster it’s become, we all know where our personal responsibility falls.

DREAM Girls II

Pro Bikini

The athletes themselves are often spectacular. Their hard work and dedication rival the greatest of any athlete in any other sport on their level. Amateur bodybuilders work harder than amateur baseball players. Olympia contenders work as hard as Olympic contenders. They are each measured subjectively right down to the direction their toes are pointing. They win by paying  attention to every nuance of detail to ensure their appeal is as convincing as their performance. But often, even when everything is 110% correct, it doesn’t turn out right.

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Women Physique

The distinctions for the new divisions of physique men, physique women, bikini and whatever else the ruling gods may conspire to produce, are no more definitive than those of an advertising campaign. Sales. That’s all. And the sad part is, the competitor never knows where the line will be drawn in any given event. So the competitor who wins in week one, must realize 6th place is possible in two weeks, or 60th in a National show even though you’re the best in the state. And this is the way it must be; unless the rules require a timer, a knockout, a pin, or a duel to the death.

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Figure Winners

This is the best advice on how to win a Physique competition. It’s a crapshoot, keep trying. Let your body be your trophy, walk your talk, lead with distinction, move on.

If you’re lucky, a judge was watching and can give you the necessary feedback to improve. By that time you know your own weaknesses and are simply looking for a confirmation from a knowledgeable eye. These are the only definitive guidelines:

  • You must only bring your best.
  • You must fully prepare every given detail.
  • You must perform the mandatory and compulsory poses.
  • You must expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
  • You must take criticism constructively.
  • You must smile and accept defeat as equally as victory.
  • You must continue to be your best, do your best, share your best.
  • You must realize that the path makes you a winner, not the trophy.

The sport of Physique competition has been growing steadily, giving many more athletes room to compete, despite their weaknesses, handicaps, age or affiliation. The sport has helped to raise public awareness to the beauty of an aesthetically pleasing physique, and the care, preparation and attention it takes to acquire one. By giving more competitors a chance to compete, it has left less winners in every category; but not necessarily defining what makes one the best and runners up, down the line. In short, it has become quantity over quality.

It is a cattle call. Your nine months of training are whittled down to four turns and a return trip to the warm up room; which used to be “pump up room” but that too has been disallowed. Bodybuilders used to be judged from their forearms to their calves, left to right, top to bottom. Now, an athlete is often chosen without yet making it to the comparison line-up.

It’s true when they say the victory is in the journey. It’s a gratifying sport, an enriching path that leads you to your best shape and opens new doors of opportunity and service. But the sport of Physique Competition has been dwindling as the number of athletes has risen, the number of promotions have dropped, and the integrity of the sport, diminished.

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Physique Posing Fitness & Physique-Sarah Bodary

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Sarah Bodary is a Fttness competitor and a Physique competitor. Her attention to detail in all aspects of the sport are phenomenal. She has her own style. From her suits and costumes, to her hairstyles, she shouts, “individual.”

Her fitness routine, seen here at the 2014 Flint/Mid-Michigan, was memorable. She had all the required moves and utilizes the stage over every inch; but she also accomplished the rare ingredient of bringing drama to the performance, by plotting out the course of a cat -burglar/cat-woman, in bad ass fashion, with push-ups, cartwheels, flips and handstands, punctuated by punches and kicks to finish off her invisible foe. It was as memorable as it was enjoyable.

When she cracks the whip, she brings it home; to show she even practiced that. The Devil was in the details of every bit of this splendid routine. This is where true athleticism shows for the women’s Fitness division.

Bodary next competes as a Physique competitor at the 2015 Flint Championships, owning the stage with poses to match the beat of the music; and once again, capitalizing on every inch of floor space across the stage.

We need more of this entertainment aspect in all divisions to save the physique sports from being “4-turns-to-trophy” shows.

8xMs. Olympia LENDA MURRAY Interview Part Two

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The Lenda Murray Interview Part Two details her transition from amateur Michigan competitor to National leval competition and her ultimate rise to her first and second Ms. Olympia wins.

She covers how it affected her outlook as a competitor and the importance of the business perspective in regard to the  responsibility as a brand to sponsors, promoters, colleagues and fans. She tells how friends and family kept her grounded and humble and what people expected of her as an ambassador to the sport.

Listen closely to her methodical approach to going one step at a time rather than focusing too far out on the big picture. She offers great advice to newcomers and seasoned pro’s alike on the realities of the sport, the blessings it’s offered her and how she gives back.

Figure Competitor Amanda Betron Interview Part Two

This is the second part of an interview done with National level Figure competitor Amanda Betron. She is also a trainer at The Rochester Gym, specializing in contest prep, figure training, posing and motivation. Her frankness and sincerity are evident in this second part of the interview, where she talks at length in the differences between competing on the state level, and what she’d learned on the National level.

She will be hosting a boot camp for group training and nutrition coaching on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, February 2,  through March 28. Sign up at amandabetron@therochestergym.com by Saturday January 31. Email for more info.

Amanda can be reached at www.therochestergym.com and by email at amandabetron@therochestergym.com for training, advice and inspiration.

AMANDA BETRON National Figure Competitor Part One

Each interview has a certain viewpoint, a certain set of questions that are to be answered. But often, I come away with learning more than I set out to discover.

Amanda Betron is not only super sweet and easy to talk to, she makes you feel you’re an instant friend. She is passionate about the sport of Figure competitions and knowledgeable about what it takes to be a champion. She is tough, dedicated, and a competitor whom realizes that even in defeat, a measure of victory reigns.

The big takeaway in speaking with her is realizing that she has no pretensions, no ulterior motives and nothing but kindness to give to everyone. She is tough in the gym, but one of the nicest people you will ever encounter in this sport, on or off the stage.

Here in Part One she discusses her background, her motivations, her goals, and how she plans to attain them. She also explains what it takes to get from the local level of competition to the National ranks; some tips on cardio and diet; and the importance of using video as a way to monitor your progress through the years.

In her own words, Amanda Betron. She can be contacted at 517-256-6889 or amanda@betrontraining.com where she offers training at the Rochester Gym in Michigan.

DREAM VIDEO TESTIMONIAL John Pitsch III

Listen as National Level Competitor and trainer John Pitsch III explains the merits of posing practice and how proper practice and presentation make the difference for winning the title.

 

Michele Roscoe NPC Judge, Competitor, Trainer Interview Part 2

In this Michele Roscoe Interview Part 2, Michele explains what the judges are looking for in the, as yet, undefined category of Male Physique. She tells how important it is to be poised, show confidence, and to sustain that presentation the whole  time on stage, whether from the center in comparisons, or off to the wings as you walt to be called center stage. Michele reinforces how important it is to be conditioned in Posing Practice to be able to stand for long periods of time without fidgeting and changing stances due to the discomfort of not being able to hold your poses.

The interview continues to point out that charisma and confidence cannot be taught, they have to come out naturally to make a contagious attraction so you will be the center of the judges attention with a magnetic pull that keeps drawing them back to you.

Michele also points out Men’s Bodybuilding and where the sport started, to where it has progressed. She gives great insights from the perspective of a competitor, judge and trainer. Michele Roscoe can be reached at The Flint Barbell Club 810-875-5288 for training and coaching.

Michele Roscoe NPC Judge, Competitor, Trainer Interview Part I

Michele Roscoe is an NPC sanctioned judge, a certified trainer and a National level competitor. She first studied at the prestigious Dr. Kenneth Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas while stationed as an enlisted Air Force member. She continues to speak, write, teach, train and offer her varied expertise at the Flint Barbell Club (810-875-5288), where she coaches athletes and non-athletes in all aspects of nutrition, wellness, strength training and contest preparation.

Here, she gives her background as a competitor and conveys her lifelong passion for the sport of bodybuildng; as well as promoting an approach to sustaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise.

She further explains the differences between the classes of competitive physique, bikini, figure and the newly formed women’s physique division.
She tells what she looks for as a judge of NPC competitive events, from Men’s Bodybuilding and Physique, to all aspects of the women’s divisions as both a judge and competitor. This interview had to be split into two parts to contain all her information. Enjoy.

Michele can be reached for training and wellness consultations at the Flint Barbell Club, 810-875-5288.