What I Look for in a Competitor

Figure competing is an amazing sport that I have had the privilege to see from both angles as a competitor and recently as a judge. I have experienced all the emotions from the shaky knees and “Deer in Headlights” look, all the way to absolute confidence and poise of winning the first place spot. I know what it feels like to want to run off stage and standing with a dozen other fabulous looking competitors and know I'm number 1. Those two places are not very far apart if you know a few secrets. Here is a collection of thoughts of what I look for in a competitor while seeing the competition through a judges eyes.

First things first! Presentation, presentation, presentation! The first thing that draws my eye to a competitor is absolutely how they present themselves to the judges and to the audience. This does not mean just their overall appearance, but really the confidence that they let radiate off of them. The "look at me, I'm your winner" attitude that they project. Now, don't get me wrong. One of the biggest turn-offs is the person that is full of themselves and thinks that the world revolves around them. We all know one of those. It is always a pleasure to see a competitor on stage that is proud of the body that they have achieved through hard work and dedication. That is usually where you can tell the more experienced competitors from those just starting out.

Physically, I look for the body type resembling the athletic physique of a gymnast or track star. These physiques show muscle tone not necessarily a great deal of muscle size. They look strong and powerful, yet still show a great deal of femininity. I always describe figure competitions to the "average Joe" as a bikini competition with muscle.

Judging the body, I start near the top of the body with the rounded delts. These are those beautiful caps that pop up on your shoulders that come with thousands of overhead presses and lateral raises. We look for a nice, round, well-defined delt. Continuing down we see the wide lats or nice wings earned from doing lots of lat pulldowns, rows, or for the hardcore...pullups. From the rear, this is generally one of the
harder poses to hit for women. Practice posing your lats using two mirrors so that you can be sure that you are not pulling your shoulders back to far and diminishing the appearance of your strong trapezious muscle. The shoulder and lat combination point to a beautiful small waist that can be a good focal point of your physique. I next look at the strong arms.
We like very strong defined arms, but not too big. Moving on toward the legs, they should be full and muscular with an obvious differentiation between the quadriceps and hamstring muscle. The glutes are one of the most important areas for a figure competitor. Figure shows are won from the back. This is usually the last place that woman are able to completely tone up. Judges want to be able to see that nice glute ham tie and not have it covered by a "smiley face". Be sure to hit those deadlifts, squats, kickbacks, sprints, and plyometrics . Don't let this area fall behind just because you can't see it every day in the mirror. Also, don't forget about those calf muscles. The tallest stilettos in the world can't make your calves pop out the way they need to if you haven't put in the ground work.

I hope these notes give you some little hints on where to spend some extra time sculpting and understanding on what a judge wants to see beyond just the physical. Be confident. Be
proud. You earned it.

- Megan


Originally posted at: http://nojokelifestyle.com/ARTICLE_figure_competitor.html

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