Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 NPC San Jose Bodybuilding & Figure Championships

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The day is almost over, it's 11:00 pm and I am sitting here with my HUGE glass of water and a nice glass of champagne.

I have eaten a cookie that the expediter Keith gave me backstage, my Doritos's, some milk duds and half a banana ("M" needed the other half, she was cramping up).

I came in 2nd place in Master's 45 and over and 5th place in open "B" division. I had a super fun time, I met lots of new friends and connected with friends from previous competitions. I even met a woman from my gym who was in her first show.

The setting made it easy to spend time together as a group, we were in a small ballroom, the pump up room was the make up room, was the tanning room, was the lunchroom.

As usual, there were an incredible number of beautiful bodies, all tanned and oiled and full of muscles, it's fun to eat rice cakes and watch oiled men pump up.

The demographics are changing, I have noticed it in the last few shows, but this one was more evident. The "Bikini" division is new, I believe it started in 2009, in fact, when I was in my first NPC (National Physique Committee) show, I witnessed the debut of the very first woman to win her bikini "Pro" card- yes there are "Pro" bikini competitors!

Because Bikini is still a fledgling, the industry has not yet decided the "look" they desire as the "perfect bikini competitor" and this means that women are not quite sure exactly what the judges want.

What I have noticed though, is that the division is growing in leaps and bounds, overtaking Figure at times!

Figure is fast becoming an older woman's sport, it takes a great deal of muscle maturity to have the look they want. It takes a lot of time in the weight room. Your shoulders must be at minimum 15 inches wider than your waist, and your hips must be at least 5 inches wider than your waist or you cannot place in Figure, you do not have the symmetry they are looking for. If you are not at that point, you can step down to Bikini, there are no set guidelines such as this yet for that division. A Bikini gal cannot step up as easily to Figure though as she will typically lack the width in the shoulders and carries more body fat.

I am sensing that because of this, we will be seeing more younger women who are fit and want to compete in Bikini, while the older women who have lifted for years and wish to maintain that will continue in Figure.

Tonight my Masters over 45 division had 9 women in it. The Masters 35 to 44 had even more. The open divisions were smaller, maybe half the size. Bikini was the largest group there.

At first the energy was incredible, the Figure gals and Bikini gals all chatting together, the male bodybuilders spend time pumping up alone and the few female bodybuilders are completely alone. Then as it got to be later in the evening, the competitors started getting tired, and thirsty, and wanted to get it over with. It is such a long day.

Now, I am getting ready for a long, hot shower and will watch the brown dye swirl down the drain, it will take some time to get it all off. Then some pizza and pinot noir with David and Cooper.

Then, sleep, blissful sleep.