Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Pittsburgh Recap

This weekend, Jerry and I went up to Pittsburgh to watch the Pittsburgh bodybuilding show. As I mentioned in previous entries, Jerry and I met at this show exactly a year ago, so we were both a bit nostalgic this weekend. This show was also the first shows that I've ever watched completely from the audience, without being backstage. I thought it would feel weird not to be behind the scenes, but it really wasn't. At this point in my prep, doing anything more than the necessities makes me tired to just think about it. So I was actually really happy to just stay in my seat and watch everyone else do their thang on stage.

We got to Pittsburgh late Friday evening (after only turning my yacht of a car around 4 times while trying to navigate to my friends' house). Mel and Damon opted to sit this show out, as they didn't think their 7-month-old would appreciate spending hours watching oiled up people pose on stage. So Jerry and I headed to pre-judging after doing morning cardio and packing all our meals for the day, along with a change of clothes for the evening show.

As always, this show didn't fail to impress. The lineups were solid, and it seemed like everyone brought their best package to the show. One of the teenage guys, Erik Christensen, dominated all of his classes. He's huge!! When he walked out with the teenage class, we all thought he'd messed up and entered the wrong class ... but then we found out he's only 19. This kid is gonna do some major damage on the bb scene in the next few years! He's the one on the far left.

Last year there was no Pro Figure at the Pittsburgh, but it was brought back this year, along with the inaugural Pro Bikini lineup. I was interested to watch these classes for several reasons.
  1. I wanted to see what the Pro Figure girls look like on stage. I wanted to see their presentations and their posing so I could take cues from them.
  2. I also wanted to look at their physiques. How much muscle do they carry? How lean are they?
  3. Since this was the first Pro Bikini show I'd seen, I wanted to see their posing and presentation too.
  4. I also wanted to see if I could figure out the judging criteria.
It was a great opportunity for me to see these divisions. I noticed many of the Pro Figure girls added little poses in between their model turns. Some walked with more sass, much like the Bikini girls. And much to my dismay, some even looked bored on stage! I was really surprised by this, especially considering everything I've heard about how important stage presentation is. I can understanding the girls shaking a bit from nerves, but I expected to see smiles at all times and a gracious expression on all of their faces. Not the case. And yes, these "bored" girls placed very high. Disappointing and confusing to me.

The bikini was ... an experience. When those girls took the stage, they really owned it! They all walked with sass, flipped their hair around, stuck their booties out, and flirted with the judges and audience. And apparently, that's the winning formula. Some of them held the booty pose for quite awhile, glancing flirtaciously over each shoulder at the judges before shifting their weight to the other hip. While this kind of posing isn't really my style, I must admit that most of the girls were classy and sassy, but not trampy. Their bodies were definitely tight and toned, which clearly indicated they put their time into the gym and the diet.

Nathalia Melo - Pro Bikini Winner

Nathalia Melo won the Pro Bikini show, upsetting 2-time Bikini winner Sonia Gonzalez. I was interested to see which of these ladies won, as they were both the only two Bikini pros to have won shows. The judges went with Nathalia's more streamlined physique and sassy presentation. Sonia presented herself a bit more cautiously, and dare I say, more ladylike?

I wasn't as impressed by the amateur bikini girls. Some were very classy with great proportions and toning, while others seemed to add a bit too much sass to their presentation, and crossed over to the trampy side. This seems to be a common trend in a lot of the local shows, where there's a mix of class and tramp style. I was happy to see that not everyone felt they needed to bend over at the waist in front of the audience and wiggle their booty. I was also happy to see the great shape and tone that most of the girls brought to the stage. The audience reaction was definitely different than the reaction during Figure, though!

Vanessa Campbell - Bikini Class A Winner

Speaking of amateur Figure, what a lineup! All the classes were stacked, and the competition was tough! A lady from a forum I belong to swept the Masters Short and Open Figure A classes with a full, tight physique. It seemed like the judges were looking for the best balance of symmetry, shape, and conditioning - it wasn't a hard vs soft look. Most of the girls who placed well were hard, but also very balanced. Some of the girls who came in looking like mini-bodybuilders didn't do so well because they were too blocky or their physiques didn't flow as well.

Amy Marie Fargo - Open Figure Class A and Masters Short Class Winner

While the location of the show is great, it doesn't leave much room for an expo. I was frustrated that I didn't get to experience and enjoy my absolute favorite part of expos: the free protein bar samples. As I'm only 2 weeks out from my show, all Treat meals have been cut out for awhile, so I just tried really hard not to drool on the samples as I walked by. I didn't collect the samples (like I did at the Arnold - yes, I was THAT girl, walking around putting sample pieces in a bag!), because I didn't want to be tempted by them on the way home. I've been struggling a lot lately with the mental aspect of my diet, and it was frustrating not to get to enjoy ANY samples from the show. I chewed a LOT of gum and drank a lot of water all day.

I'm glad we went to the show. It was a great learning experience, and also a fun way to relax. We got to meet a lot of the pros too, which was really cool! The Pittsburgh always has the most guest posers of any show all year, so it was a rush to see most of the top guys all together on stage.

Guest Posers

Jay Cutler and Dennis Wolfe Posedown

And at the expo, we got quite a few pictures with some of our favorites.

Me with Ms. Olympia and Ms. Figure International, Nicole Wilkins Lee

Jerry with 8-time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman

Me with 3-time and current Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler

One of the coolest things about the day happened during the evening show. As I was watching the show, a lady came up to me and asked if I'm the writer of the Figure Girl World blog. I said I was, and she introduced herself as someone who reads my blog. Thanks so much for saying hi, Leah! It was so nice to meet you, and I want to thank you for reading what I write. :) I know my blog is on the web, available to everyone, but I never really know who it reaches, and if the words I write touch anyone's lives. I'm so thankful and flattered to have been recognized, and I hope I can at least provide a bit of entertainment for you each day.

It was a great weekend overall! Fun time at the show, and wonderful to visit with my good friends. Now it's back to training ... this is the last week of hard work, and then we'll head back to PA next weekend to dominate the Lehigh stage!

1 comment:

  1. Just so that you know, I came here from Google search after searching for "Jay Cutler girlfriend". Hahaha. BTW, I am from Baltimore!