T Nation

Blurring The Line...

VERY interesting editorial in one of the most recent Mags. While sitting at a female fitness/bodybuilding contest, the editor of the mag noticed something that intrigued him: the most muscular Fitness women were in many cases LARGER than the least muscular bodybuilders! He went on to comment that it was a combination of greater emphasis on size and strength in the fitness ranks (there was no mention of the use of Gear),COUPLED WITH an emphasis on “softer” bodybuilders. He then posed the question: What does this mean for womens bodybuilding? Is it another “nail in the coffin”? I don’t have a clear answer (and neither did he). However, I would love to hear you guys thoughts…

My personal opinion, with which by no means
competitors univerally agree or anything
like that, is mass index (weight for height)
classes.

Both for bodybuilding and fitness competition.

In other words, if you want to compete
in the Female Version of Dorian Yates
class, go right ahead, but you’re going
to be competing only with women with
similar builds. Or if your taste is
more the Cory Everson class, well then,
compete in that class and you’ll be up
against women with that kind of weight
for their height.

I also think that in fitness competitions
it would be entirely reasonable to have
some expectation, understood among the
competitors, that there’s a range of
bodyfat which is optimum, and being
above or below that would cost you.
It might be possible to give the
guidelines quantitatively with skinfold
values, but in practice “eyeball” would
be the method. Basically I don’t want
to see a fitness competitor with skin
like a shredded male bodybuilder. I
want their skin to look female, which
does require at least a little smoothness.

i totally agree with Mr. Roberts. It would make things more interesting and competitive. laters pk

Bill: This makes a LOT of sense. It really would also give greater validity to judging criteria, and the atheletes would not have to guess from contest to contest what the judges would be looking for. If things “remain as they are”, what do you think the eventual outcome will be? Total elimination of a “bodybuilding” class? (It’s interesting that just about all the coverage the female bodybuilders are getting are at contest time and in a few articles the Mags. The Fitness competitors appear to be getting all the jobs…that’s sad, actually…the bodybuilders really DO sacrafice and work hard…)

Mufasa, my guess is no better than anyone
else’s, but I’d think that if there were
mass index (weight for height) classes
in women’s competitions, what would happen
is that the lighter and middle weight
classes would receive a lot more public
interest and would offer better financial
rewards for the competitors (both contest
money and endorsement money) than the
heavier classes.

Bodybuilding and fitness could reasonably
still stay separate on the issues
of bodyfat (bodybuilding would probably
remain more-ripped-is-better whereas fitness
would reward an aesthetic, lean, feminine
look), and of course on the issue of
ability to perform fitness routines.

To me the important thing is that women
would have the opportunities to compete
according to whatever look they liked,
rather than being penalized for being
less than utterly massive, or for being
less than utterly shredded. Why shouldn’t
a woman who wants to look like Cory
Everson did, or Marla Duncan did, have
a class to compete in that will reward
success in achieving her goals?