You don’t look like a body builder

For the first time in my life I feel like I can call myself an athlete. I competed in two figure body building competitions 1 week apart from one another at the beginning of November 2005. Did I win? No, but I got up there & did it, I am in the best shape of my life, and for that, I won something for myself – something that no one could give me.

There are a couple of different reactions that I get from people when I tell them that I am a competitive body builder. First, they look me up & down & state: “You don’t look like a body builder.” I’m never quite sure how to take this comment. Is it a compliment? Or an insult?

I assume that “You don’t look like a body builder.” means that I don’t look like a man, so I thank them – I then explain that I compete in figure body building competitions.

There are three divisions of women’s body building: Fitness, Figure & Body Building. Fitness & Figure are very similar. Competitors in both divisions are judged on their physique as it embodies the female form. The difference between the two is that 50% of the Fitness competitors score comes from a dance/gymnastics routine they perform that must contain certain moves (eg: one armed pushup). Figure was created in 2001 as a way for women who don’t have a gymnastics background to be able to compete.

Then there’s the Body Building division. At this point the person that I’m speaking to brings up the “s” word – you know what I’m talking about. You thought about it too. STEROIDS! Yes, most professional body builders have done steroids. They need to in order to be competitive against the other participants in their sport. However, there are many body building organizations that are drug-free. These are the organizations that I will be competing.

Many people seem to have a pre-conceived idea of what a body builder is. I don’t think most people know what it takes to follow a bodybuilding lifestyle. Muscle doesn’t grow just because someone takes steroids. It takes dedication, training and a strict diet in order to sculpt one’s body to appear the way that a body builder’s does.

I’ll add more about this topic as I progress through this blog, and dive into details that I have only touched on here.

Body Builders strive to look like a walking human anatomy chart – Serena Yang