There’s been some interesting talk going on for the last couple of years or so (and has been BUILDING ever since the figure mandate has been established…and actually been put to use) about the possibilities of a physique division? Wait a minute…yet another division for women?! Yes, and to me, this could be the most popular division of them all, if this was to actually come to light. Why? So many unique possibilities could come out of this division.
For one, it would give fitness/figure competitors (especially figure competitors) who are deemed too big for their division to showcase their hard-earned physiques without necessarily going the bodybuilding route, as well as bodybuilders who are deemed too small to compete in bodybuilding to compete in a division where they would be widely accepted without having to go to extreme measures to get the to the top tier of women’s bodybuilding.
Another thing, this could bring back some competitors out of retirement as this division would fit who they are. I mean, I know she has a family now, but someone like Davana Medina (who is surprisingly private regardless to her major success in the female muscle industry) would be a great fit for the physique division. She came in practically shredded in every Olympia she competed in, and guess what? Her look won her the first three Figure Olympia titles (and possibly a fourth one had she not gotten sick in 2006). And don’t even get me started on The Regal One! Valerie Waugaman (Siren on NBC’s American Gladiators) would be one of the main poster girls for this division. I mean, it’s been a year now, but I still can’t get over her look at the 2007 Arnold Classic. Everyone thought that she should have won the competition that year (including yours truly). However, when has the decision of the judges ever agreed with the decision of the fans?
Can’t think of any? None?!?!
Didn’t think so.
Anyways, this is truly something that I would love to see come to the ranks of the IFBB and NPC. Apparently, so do many of you, as last month’s poll showed a near-unanimous agreement to a possible physique/classic bodybuilding division. Although it seems like this is something many people want, like most things, everyone sees their own version/proposal of this division. Dave Palumbo has his vision of the current division, currently on the Muscular Development forum (http://forums.musculardevelopment.com/showthread.php?t=31531). IFBB Pro Lisa Aukland posted a proposal on the FeMuscle board from fellow bodybuilder Betty Pariso(http://femuscle.org/board/showthread.php?t=660). Both of these stars have one major thing I don’t possess, and that’s experience. They’ve seen what works in this industry and what doesn’t work. I have no problem with either of their proposals, as I think both of them would work. My version of a IFBB/NPC physique division would be somewhat of a combination of basic principles of women’s bodybuilding, fitness, and figure. Presentation (hair, makeup, style of suits) would be key as well as physique. BTW, the physique would be more judged on conditioning and flowing of muscle groups. Size would be fine as long as there was some form of balance. Also, since this would be physique, only two-pieces would be used. No thongs or over-the-top bikinis either. The physique should be the top priority.
Here’s my proposal:
There would be four rounds to judge (two preliminary rounds and two final rounds). The first preliminary round would be have each competitor do an introductory quarter-turn pose with heels, exactly like it’s done in fitness and figure. Make sure the muscles are as tense as you can get them. Hey, this IS a PHYSIQUE proposal, after all, right?!? Being hard would be preferred, but those who are soft can excel in this division without any problems. Anyways, after each competitor does their quarter turns by themselves, then they will go three, five or six at a time (depending on the number of competitors) at a time and do it side by side, for comparison reasons. After that is done, the competitors will do another three/five/six person comparison. But this time, posing will be involved.
Each of the competitors will do the following when called to do so (in this order):
- open-palmed bicep pose (one arm or both arms)
- tricep push (similar to NABBA)
- side chest (either FBB, NABBA, or whatever style you want to)
- back/lat pose (however you show off your back is up to you)
- back open-palmed double biceps pose
- legs/abs pose
- open-palmed double bicep pose
- Curtsey, then go back to your original spot.
No most musculars or closed fists poses.
Once that is finished, the judges will tally up the scores. The top ten or twelve scores will go on the finals, where it gets really interesting really quick. The finals would be a combination of fitness and women’s bodybuilding principles. Each competitor would perform a two-minute routine which displays their muscles to the best of their abilities. Heels are optional for the finals. If you happen to be skilled in muscle control (pec bouncing, bicep bouncing, quad shaking, etc.), this would be a good time to bring it out. It’s not required whatsoever, as not all competitors are skilled in this kind of flexing. You MUST incorporate all the preliminary poses in your routine. You miss one, you will be deducted points. For the final (and possibly most crucial) round, all the finalists will go all out at the same time in a one-minute, 30-second (yes, only 90 seconds) posedown to impress the judges (and really get the crowd riled up). All the rules are thrown out the window, just as long as you don’t hurt yourself or others in the process. The scoring would be like the other divisions with the winner being the person with the lowest score, ranging from a low as 5 points for each round to 50 points each round. The winner should have great muscle definition, femininity, and poise. Before a division such as this would exist, there should be some posing seminars that every competitor (pro and amateur) would need to attend to in order to learn how to pose correctly. As a matter of fact, that should be a pre-requisite to compete as a physique competitor. You don’t attend at least ONE seminar, you can’t compete in a physique contest, simply for the fact that you will be lost and will have no clue what the hell you’re doing.
Well, there you have it. If I was a member of the IFBB, this would be the proposal I would bring up at an official meeting. My proposal is simpler that it looks on paper. I wish there was video out there that would show exactly what I’m talking about. The best thing I can think of if you want a visual aid would be to look at some NABBA figure competitions. My proposal would not be the same as those competitions, but it would be somewhat similar.
Do you like my proposal? Do you hate it? Could this actually work? Leave a comment below; I would love to hear what you’ve got to say about this subject.
Side note: Can you believe that the Olympia is only a few weeks away? Man, time passes by so quickly!
Also, my best-wishes go out to Adela Garcia, who suffered a knee injury and will need surgery, thus making her unable to defend her Fitness Olympia title this year. Get better soon, chica. You’ll be better then ever the next time you compete!