Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New NPC Divisions

After Nationals on the weekend of October 16th, rumors have been swirling online about the creation of two new divisions in the NPC and eventually, the IFBB. These two divisions are Men's Physique and Women's Physique. Because there was no "official" statement about either of these divisions, the message boards and online communities exploded with questions, concerns, rumors, and fear. I've been following discussions on several forums, and have waited to post any information or weigh in with my opinion until I had all the facts (hey, my English degree is good for something!). Keep in mind that details about these divisions are still being determined. The information I have is current as of the day I'm posting this; however, it may change.

Men's Physique

Here are some details about this new division:
  • Men will be barefoot and will wear logo-free board shorts a la MMA, "belly button to top of knees," according to Steve Weinberger.
  • There is no posing criteria defined yet, but word is that traditional bodybuilding poses won't be required.
  • Emphasis is on abs and chest (obviously not on legs, since they'll be half covered by the board shorts).
  • Physiques will be along the lines of a male fitness model, and those featured on Men's Health.
  • Any NPC promoter can have this division at their show in 2011, with a Pro division beginning in 2012.
Men's Physique Example
    Women's Physique
    This division has created the most firestorm and uproar, as lack of official information bred rumors and fear among competitors.
    • Women be barefoot and will wear posing suits, either plain or blinged out.
    • Physiques will be in between Figure and Female Bodybuilding (FBB). More muscle than Figure, but less than FBB.
    • There will only be 6 shows in 2011, all at National shows: Jr. Nationals, Jr. USA, Team Universe, USA's, North Americans, and Nationals.
    • Any competitor can compete; competitors do NOT have to be Nationally Qualified.
    • If the 2011 season is successful, Pro shows will be added in 2012 (initially suggested in NY, CA, and TX).
    • Classes will be based on the number of competitors initially, with classes added for higher numbers of competitors.
    • Classes will most likely be based on weight, not height. This is not yet finalized, though.
    • Posing will include quarter turns and some traditional bodybuilding poses (made more feminine with open-hand posing). Competitors will also perform a posing routine.
    • This division will NOT replace FBB (this was a huge point of fear for many competitors). It's simply an additional division for those ladies who are too hard and too big for Figure, but too small to be successful as a Pro FBB.
    • Several examples of physiques that have been suggested as being suited to this division are: Juliette Bergmann, Cory Everson, Juliana Malacarne, Gina Aliotti, Marina Lopez, Monica Brant, and Larissa Reis.
    Juliana Malacarne
      Cory Everson

      Gina Aliotti

      My Thoughts
      Change is inevitable. These two new divisions offer opportunities for more people to compete and to live the competitor lifestyle. As a female, I'm not complaining about seeing more men on stage. :) However, I understand how guys who have been competing in bodybuilding for years could be upset by Men's Physique, as it seems like any gym douche could throw on a pair of board shorts, waltz on stage, and win a trophy. Hopefully this proves to not be true. Hopefully we'll see guys who aren't as big as bodybuilders, but who still have a solid muscle base and show up in good condition.

      I'm also excited about the Women's Physique division (WPD), because I'm hoping it means that slightly smaller, softer physiques will now be awarded in Figure ... and that's exactly along the lines of my own look! I will never have feathered quads, striated glutes, crazy arm veins, and deeply cut abs - all of the things that may be rewarded in WPD. Although all of us competitors love to train, some ladies discovered they were getting too big for Figure and were told to cut back on training and to increase cardio. (Who wants to do that?!) So I'm happy to see the NPC offer a place for those ladies who are too big for Figure, but not big enough for Pro FBB - they can still train hard and be able to compete successfully.

      The only drawback about adding these two divisions is that shows are going to be even longer now. Some shows are already several hours long, and this will extend them even longer.

      One thing that's for sure - 2011 is bound to be an exciting year!


      1. That's exciting. I cant wait to see the first show with this division.

        PS good choice on that mens health pic. yum yum to whoever that dude is.

      2. Excellent post, Kari. I am excited about these changes too. Even if it take a year or 2 to iron things out, I already feel less pressure to get big and cut.

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