I enjoy competing as a bodybuilder, primarily because it gives me motivation to train hard and reach new levels of personal fitness success. Having this goal keeps me in tune and on the same page as my clients, who are each on their own personal journeys toward living a little better each day. In order to be a part of that process, I have to be walking the walk myself. I feel more connected to their successes and set-backs when I am training, sweating, worrying and celebrating right along with them.
Historically, women's bodybuilding dates back to the seventies - no worries, this will be a short history lesson! But today, the most popular category among women who train hard and achieve a very muscular, defined look is called Figure. Unlike bodybuilding, Figure competitors do not execute the eight mandatory poses, nor do they perform a routine (usually 90 seconds) which is set to music. They simply walk to center stage, strike a pose which emphasizes the lats and glutes, and make four quarter turns, wave, and walk off to the side of the stage. For this reason, women's bodybuilding no longer has weight classes. There are so few of us left, that we all compete against one another in one open class, regardless of size! And in the sport of bodybuilding, the rules are simple: the person with the most muscle and the most definition wins! At 5'2" and 100 lbs. competition weight, this puts me at a disadvantage!
Enter the bikini competition: This is a new category where the ladies walk on stage and do two model turns, front to back – basically, modeling with a sculpted, well-toned body, in an off-the-rack bikini. I like the freedom of this discipline – the model walk and turns are tailored to personal preference; each competitor makes it their own through how slow or fast, how sexy or sporty they decide to move through them! Can I pull this off as a 49-year-old? Well, I think I'll give it a try! Stay tuned for details on all the ins and outs of contest prep, as well as a look behind the scenes at the folks that make these shows possible. Hint: He's an African American, former champion bodybuilder!