The NPC is changing and change is good, right? We have change going on all over, some good and some well, not so good, but for certain we have it and we need to learn how to accept these changes and do with them what you choose.
The NPC has changed dramatically over the time that has spanned since I first got involved as a female bodybuilding competitor in 1989. I have seen the introduction of Fitness and Figure in the mid 90s, Bikini two years ago and this year the introduction of both men and women’s Physique.
To start, if anyone reading this happens to remember when Figure was introduced as a new NPC division, they will recall the negative comments that floated throughout the auditoriums, back hall and judge’s meetings. While many thought Figure to be a “silly” sport that would go nowhere, it has turned into a huge success bringing many women to the stage that earlier wouldn’t have dreamt of competing. Figure went through many years of “growing pains” in an effort to define what the division meant, yet today we have a clear definition of what a Figure athlete should look like.
A couple years ago, I recall sitting at the Board of Governor’s meeting while we discussed the introduction of a Bikini division. It was defined and that first year we saw all sorts of different examples of what athletes thought Bikini was. We are still going through some growing pains with Bikini, but as time goes on this division is defining itself and bringing a new group of women to the stage the earlier didn’t feel like the NPC had a division that they fit in.
This year, the new division that we will be seeing hit NPC stages across the country is Physique and this article is dedicated to the men’s portion of this new division. I will chat about the women’s portion in a later post.
I feel like Men’s Physique will be a huge hit for a large majority of men who enjoy working out and keeping their bodies looking good while not requiring the demanding dedication of bodybuilding. This division is for men who train hard, are fit, muscular and symmetrical without the extreme muscularity that would be required to compete in bodybuilding. The conditioning of a male Physique athlete will be different from a Bodybuilder, with Physique not requiring the deep, striated muscle definition of Bodybuilding. The Physique division does not include bodybuilding type poses or routines, making the athlete’s stage presence preparation a bit less demanding.
Just like all of the NPC divisions, this class will require athletes to diet to get their bodies to a body fat percentage that will display their muscle tone and symmetry. Athlete contest preparation will include stage presence practice, diet, weight training and cardiovascular conditioning, just as in other divisions. Suit standard is board shorts which are easy to find and allow you to add some personality to your stage presence.
The Men’s Physique division will bring a whole new group of men to the stage that before thought the NPC didn’t have a place for them. If this new division sounds interesting to you, my suggestion is to dive in and give it a whirl! Why wait to see what everyone else is going to do, be the trendsetter that just steps up and does it! Once guys get wind of this new division I think it’s going to catch on quickly.
Have questions? Then make sure to attend the 2011 NPC Athlete Meeting on February 12, maybe even pre-register for the Posing Seminar to be held after, we’re still looking for someone to help me demonstrate Physique posing!