By Scott Canatsey – Lead trainer at the Parrillo Performance training facility
The bodybuilding world has changed dramatically over the last decade. The advent of several new divisions within the sport has given rise to a variety of looks to fit each division respectively. From bikini to bodybuilding, each division has a standard to be met. There is an appropriate level of muscle and conditioning distinct in each division. Shouldn’t more consideration be given to achieving a specific look to bring to the competitive stage?
If anyone has paid much attention to their local bodybuilding shows, it is apparent that the majority of people tend to enter multiple divisions in hopes of some kind of hardware. I understand the mentality, but it is a bit haphazard for a sport that demands meticulous control and dogged effort. It is easy to witness many of the same people, show after show continue to enter multiple divisions in hopes of a trophy in some class. Maybe even pull off a class win. But, does this help the competitor to hone in on the division best suited for them?
If a competitor is entering their first or second show, it is a good idea to enter a couple of divisions to see where they fall in the judging, and see what criteria that they come closest to now. That is a great way to find a starting point for the competitive journey. Our in-house Amazon, Carrie Canatsey, is a good example of this. She loved the idea of bodybuilding, but in her second year competing, Women’s Physique was created. The judges all offered Carrie the same advice… “Try Women’s Physique.”
It did not take long and within 2 years the Women’s Physique division also changed. The women were getting more muscular and Carrie was honing her physique into a sleeker and more aesthetic look. She loves the physiques of Cory Everson and Anja Langer and sought to achieve the look that they had presented so well. The Judges were urging her to try Figure, as it was the look she was sporting. Now she is in preparation for the NPC Universe in the division that she has taken painstaking steps to be ready for.
The point I am trying to drive home is that an athlete should begin to zero in on a look that will be most competitive in a chosen division. To dabble in a couple of Divisions early on is understandable, but, once a clear signal and advice from the judges, it is time to come up with a strategy to achieve the desired look. If being a true Bodybuilding Division competitor is the goal, then the 5 year plan is in order. Just keep growing proportionally and keep listening to the judges. Bodybuilding takes patience and a few years of committed time for most mortals.
There are certainly some out there who may just want to get on a Bodybuilding stage for fun, or just to say they “did a show”. That is expected, but there are some who will take this endeavor more seriously and seek to make more than a weekend competition to try. Those are the ones I enjoy working with the most. There is power in raw passion. I love helping people to nurture and cultivate the passion and direct it to a winning end. This is the laser focus necessary to succeed in the competitive bodybuilding universe. Now pick a division and go for it!