Friday, October 22, 2010

Judging Criteria from Sandi Williamson

One of my favorite internet radio shows is Muscle Girls, Inc., hosted on RX Muscle by Adela Garcia and Sonia Gonzalez. Adela is 5-time Ms. Fitness Olympia champion, and Sonia is the first ever Ms. Bikini Olympia champion. Both of these ladies have been competing for quite a few years, and are well-known names in the bodybuilding industry.

Adela Garcia and Sonia Gonzalez

Every Tuesday evening on Muscle Girls, Inc., they have a guest(s) join them for industry news, gossip, or an interview. I wanted to share this past week's show with you, because I feel it contains a lot of very important judging information for female competitors. Sandi Williamson, who is an IFBB Head Judge, talked about what judges look for in Bikini, Fitness, Figure, and Bodybuilding competitors.

Muscle Girls, Inc. (10-12-10): IFBB Head Judge Sandi Williamson

The show is an hour long, and if you don't have the time or the inclination to listen to the whole thing, here are a couple points I feel were the most important.

  • Bikini is the most subjective division.
  • There's not one "ideal" body for Bikini. Even though Sonia Gonzalez is the reigning champion, it wasn't her ideal body that won her the title. It was everything she brought to the stage, including presentation, hair, makeup, and suit.
  • Skin tone and a pretty face are important judging criteria in Bikini.
  • It was a close call between Nicole Lee Wilkins and Erin Stern at the Olympia this year. Sandi said there was no doubt in any of the judges' minds that those ladies were the top 2; however, comparing them was like comparing apples and oranges.
  • Nicole brought a fuller look and seemed to carry more water.
  • Erin has a tendency to be almost too lean; she brought a slightly fuller look to the Olympia, which earner her the title of Ms. Figure Olympia.
  • There's not one "ideal" body for Figure. It all depends on who shows up the day of the show.
  • Fitness is the most difficult category in which to compete.
  • Routines that are gymnastics-heavy tend to get marked down; Sandi likes to see a sense of rhythm involved in the routine.
  • Iris Kyle brings a complete, conditioned package to the stage year after year. She's the standard for Female Bodybuilding (FBB).
  • Adding more muscle isn't always the best option; competitors need to present a complete physique.
There's more information in the show, so I really encourage you to listen to it when you get a chance, especially if you're a competitor!


  1. Awesome information Kari, thanks for sharing. I haven't listened to the broadcast yet, but I will before bed tonight :)

  2. this is great, thanks for sharing!