My husband Jimmy weighed 10 pounds more than last year at the check-in on Friday evening, reflective of added muscle. He was still somewhere under 8% bodyfat we believe. It's hard to tell without exact measurements when you've just been through the final week of preparation which includes manipulation of protein, carbs, fat, sodium and water. Here's a picture we took in the hotel room (before the spray tan!).
The divisions available for entry included teen, men's novice, men's junior, men's open, masters (men over 40), grandmasters (men over 50), women bodybuilders, figure, masters figure (over 35) and bikini. Unfortunately there were no bikini competitors this year. C'mon girls! I know there are some of you out there that should be signing up. One of my favorite bodybuilding categories to watch is the novice group. You can tell they are so nervous but they always do well.
Jimmy's primary entry is Grandmasters, and since this competition was a week out from his 60th birthday, he was on the older end of the competitors. There were 8 guys that competed in this one, and Jimmy won 3rd place. He did a great job on his posing and his body looked very good. The 1st place winner has been competing for over 30 years, and the 2nd place winner certainly showed up with a lot of mass. That said, I still believe (surely I'm not biased) that overall Jimmy's stage presence and posing was better than the other 2 guys. Of course I'm not sure he believes me, but there were others that thought the same!
That's my baby, and I don't mean maybe...The other division he entered was the Open Division. This is categorized by weight and not age. In this case the extra weight didn't help so much, because he was two pounds away from making middleweight and instead ended up in light heavyweight, which also includes guys up to 198.25 pounds. He did not place in this one, but still presented himself well alongside some very impressive guys who were 20 years or more younger, which was good experience!
Friday night was the night for spray tanning. We had been working on his tan at home for a couple of days (much less frightful now that I know what I'm doing). This is quite an ordeal because it involves exfoliating, shaving, knowing when to shower, not using deodorant (it turns your armpits green!) and layers of application of tanning product. The spray tan really finishes it off. His color was the best it's ever been thanks to Jay and Liz Bramlett of SunBlast Mobile Tanning. The process was very easy. The crazy part was putting a blocking lotion on his moustache and then having to clean it up afterwards without messing up anything else!
Prejuding is a separate session that occurs on the morning of the event usually. It was 9am Saturday morning and lasted until around noon or so. This is where the judging really happens. Tickets are sold to the public for this portion of the weekend too, so you can come and take pictures and cheer for your favorite competitors. I do not envy the judges because there were so many fantastic physiques there. In this event, the bodybuilding competitors must hit the 8 mandatory poses on command, plus their favorite most muscular pose. That means you can't just work what you can see in the mirror! They may put you in "front double biceps" but that doesn't mean they aren't looking at your pecs and your quads, etc. Symmetry matters and the best posers are those who have taken the time to really learn how to make as much muscle pop as possible during any pose. The figure competitors are completely dressed out in either a two-piece or one-piece suit depending on the competition requirements. They are taken through quarter turns for a complete view. I can't imagine how much time it takes to practice walking in those shoes! I did learn that they also have to glue their suits to their glutes.
The evening show feels like more of a celebration. This is when most of the public shows up and it's very entertaining. Most shows have an opening act and a guest poser. This show started off with the Star Spangled Banner and an opening fitness act and 3 guest posers! Then the show features each bodybuilding competitor performing a 60 second posing routine to music. During this routine they can pick and choose to show off their best muscle. This year I fixed Jimmy up with 60 seconds of Enter Sandman by Metallica. He got the house rockin'. The music selection is always fun and some of these competitors really get creative with their routines. The figure competitors are also presented. Their categories are short, medium and tall, and there's also a master's category for figure. Gotta hand it to those ladies, there were some awesome looking women over age 35, many of them well into their 40's. Winners of all divisions are announced as each division performs. For the divisions such as Men's Open that has several weight classes, the winners of each division are then brought out for a pose-down for an overall winner to be chosen. These guys really ham it up and strut their stuff. The same is done in the figure division, so at the end of the show there is an overall men's bodybuilding winner, an overall figure competitor winner, and an overall female bodybuilding winner. The overall men's bodybuilding winner was a 43 year old guy that had some unbelievable quads, lots of symmetry and really presented himself well. The overall female bodybuilding winner was 50 years old! She looked awesome! The overall figure competitor had the whole package going on - great muscle and symmetry, looked beautiful in her suit and presented herself with the best stage presence.
I will post more pictures as I have them. I get so excited I forget to snap pics so my niece helped me out! Also, the official photographer for the event was TR Stewart Photography. He will have pictures of the event as well as all the competitors, so check it out!
Chris Caudy has a lot to be proud of with this show. He's also Jimmy's trainer that I have mentioned before. He never ceases to amaze us with his talent and ability to bring out the best in everyone he trains. I imagine he will be posting more about the results on the website. I will be sure to at least provide a reminder link when they are up.
Now we have 2 weeks before the 2009 GNC NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters National Championships in Pittsburgh...should be amazing.