[u]Bodybuilding a serious sport in the Valley[/u]
Amanda Harris (Valley Morning Star)
December 24, 2007 10:55AM
HARLINGEN On competition day, participants are standing on stage under bright lights, concentrating on a perfect pose to show off months of hard work and discipline. Every muscle must look its best.
Standing on stage wearing what could be considered a bathing suit or bikini in front of a large room full of spectators, there is no room to be nervous, said Harlingen resident and figure competitor Kendra Lee.
If you re nervous, you wont do good, Lee said. You just worry about yourself, really.
You cant worry about anyone else around you. Its too late then, anyway. The workï¿½??s already been done.
Lee describes [b]being a figure competitor as expensive and lonely.
The final package that is seen on stage is the result of months, if not years, of work, according to competitors.
Itï¿½??s 100 percent discipline, Harlingen resident Lendell Griggs said. You ve got to be obsessed with the sport to do it[/b].
All it takes is one
Lee was 18 years old when she competed in the figure division for her first show in November 2005 and competed a second time in October.
Griggs, 24, competed for the first time Oct. 6 at the Golds Gym Classic in McAllen, in the heavyweight division, he said.
The events are competitions regulated by the National Physique Committee, an amateur bodybuilding organization.
Finding time to eat the necessary amount of food and to fit in weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise sessions can be difficult, Lee said.
Its what you live and breathe, Lee said.
[i]With a busy schedule as a full time student, Lee said its difficult to find time for a social life, and many times friends dont understand what it takes to enter a competition and win, Lee said.
Most of her time is spent preparing meals, eating those meals, working out and resting.
The dieting is very strict, she said.
As a figure or bodybuilding competitor, eating at least six healthy meals a day with a specified amount of healthy carbohydrates and protein is critical.
Lee said she prepares a few days worth of food at a time and carries her meals with her to school and goes to the gym twice a day.
Being organized and planning ahead is crucial.
She remembers being at birthday celebrations with friends and not allowing herself to eat even a sliver of cake.
My friends would say, One little piece wont hurt, and they dont understand that yes, it will[/i], Lee said.
Griggs said he gave up alcohol during training and bought groceries about every three days because of the large quantities of food he had to eat often. [b]He would spend about $500 a month on groceries.
If you cant handle eating as much as you have to and what you have to, bodybuilding is not for you, he said. One cookie could determine whether you win or lose[/b].
Vanity at is best
As a figure competitor, Lee aims to achieve a tight package for a show, and adds that if a competitor is too muscular, they will have points deducted from their score.
[b]Judges look at every detail of a figure competitor, from the shoes to hair to the suit worn to makeup.
Any little imperfection, they ll take a point off, she said.
Suits can cost as much as $500 because they are extensively detailed with jewels, she said.
When you put on that suit, its like wearing a $5,000 gown[/b], said Lee s mother, Rita.
As a bodybuilder, Griggs said his goal is for his muscles to look full and have visible veins, or to be vascular.
For both types of competition, its important to have a symmetrical body, or one that is proportional, and its also important to have a dark tan.
You cant have a big upper body and toothpick legs, Griggs said.
Lee and Griggs said the atmosphere backstage can be intense and competitors can be viscous.
Its basically every man for himself backstage, he said. Dont take tips from people backstage.
Competitors have to be more than confident to enter shows, Lee said.
This kind of sport is vain, she said. So, when you get 200 vain people backstage, it gets intense. You have to think that way or youï¿½??ll get trampled.
alot of wrestlers love to be touched by a man. Wrestlers are like shrek. All strength and no brains. Steroids and eating disorders. Wrestling does not even look appealing. Whats up with those funny looking ears? Looks like a monkeys a hole. Wrestlers are a joke and so is the sport.
teto - Dec 25, 2007 01:05:09 AM
well its nice to see that the valley is embracing something other than high school football. Unfortunately for bodybuilders, you must contend with the stereotype of steroid abuse. The valley should embrace wrestling more! now thats a real sport. Unfortunately wrestling also has stereotypes such as eating disorders.
wrestler for life - Dec 24, 2007 11:57:29 AM
hey pitbull i know who that guy jon is. I have seen him and yeah your right. i guess its because we live close to mexico and these lifters go to get sterids there. they are crazy
cardinal - Dec 24, 2007 11:42:06 AM
i workout at pump in mcallen. There are some dudes there that one day they look drained and small, then all of sudden they look alive and with veins over veins. bigger and with arrogance and attitude. protein shake or maybe the fifth meal did not sit too well?
pitbull - Dec 24, 2007 11:39:21 AM
oh and stop trying to tell people that its becaus of the five to six meals you eat per day. No and its not that protein shake or the fuel fat burner pills. Tell them the truth. You juice.
pitbull - Dec 24, 2007 11:31:18 AM
its about steroids. Look at that john springer guy who fights mma from harlingen. One day he was built and puffy and now he is all ripped. All in a short period of time. I have seen other athletes from the valley gain like twenty to thirty pound of muscle in a short period of time. All you bodybuilders juice and you know it. Stop trying to become advocates to a sport that has been tainted by long term steroid abuse. you guys need to get big and ripped naturally, oh whats that? you need to juice? thats what i thought so meat heads.
pitbull - Dec 24, 2007 11:29:05 AM