This past weekend two University of Richmond females participated in the 2015 Blue Ridge Classic bodybuilding competition in Charlottesville and one came away with medals.
Junior Tabby Bruck trained with senior Sara Kube for 16 weeks for their first competition with strict dieting and workout regiments. Bruck won second place in her division of the novice bikini class and fourth in the open bikini class. Kube did not place but had an enormous transformation over the course of the 16 weeks, losing more than 20 pounds, Kube said.
The competition began at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 with the pre-judging portion. The categories included men’s bodybuilding, women’s body building, women’s physique, men’s physique, women’s figure and women’s bikini. There were different subcategories within each, dividing contestants by age and experience level.
These subcategories were further divided into individual classes based on height, so class A had contestants who were shorter than those in class C. Bruck competed in class A for open bikini and novice bikini while Kube competed in class C for those events.
Teresa Davis, promoter of the event as well as the owner of Body By T Fitness LLC. in Midlothian where the two women trained, said there were 86 total competitors.
Kube said that the bikini classes were unique. While the other three categories focus more on an overall body of muscle, the bikini classes emphasize small waists, large butts and strong legs. So a woman with little upper body strength could still do well so long as she was toned in those areas.
The bikini contestants came onto the stage and lined up along the sides. The judges then called them individually to the center of the stage where they did their posing inside a box taped to the floor. The competitors sought to show off their strengths during their posing while covering some of their weaker areas.
The judges then had all the bikini competitors stand in the center of the stage in a comparison line while being asked to turn and show 360 degrees of their bodies to the audience. They called out contestants’ numbers asking them to trade places and move through the line to compare the athletes’ bodies. Those asked to move to the center of the comparison line were more likely to place, Bruck said.
The athletes’ physical appearance was critical in the judging, but the competitors were also expected to present themselves confidently, Bruck said. A woman with a less impressive body may still do well if she exhibits sass and grabs the judges’ attention.
Though the judges basically made up their minds during pre-judging, the competitors then came back at 5 p.m. for the final round of the show. At this point the bodybuilders did their routines to music after which the other competitors came on stage, allowing the judges to take one final look before making their decision.
Both competitors performed wonderfully, despite their nerves before their first show, Davis said.
“But once they got up there and got confident, they shined and did exactly what they were supposed to,” Davis said.
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Campus police officer Dave Johnson was incredibly supportive during their training, even inspiring the students to do the competition in the first place, Kube said. Both Kube and Bruck are personal trainers at the gym and met Johnson there while he was training for the Fairfax County Fire and Police World Games in July.
Throughout the 16 weeks of constant dieting and multiple workouts a day, Johnson sent the women inspirational quotes and messages to help keep them on track, Kube said.
“It takes a certain kind of person to go in the gym every day for two or three hours and just lift weights and just wear your muscles out,” Johnson said. “That takes a different person to put your body through that pain every day, but you’ve got to love that kind of pain though.
Kube said she wanted to move up to the figure class for her next competition, hopefully sometime in the late spring.
Bruck wants to try another small competition in the spring before tackling a larger competition in the summer, she said. There is a greater chance of not being noticed by the judges at a bigger competition, so she is nervous about jumping into a class of 20 and being discouraged, she said.
Both women said that overall the sacrifice was worth it. For Bruck, being on stage with the thrill and strategy of competing left her eager to sign up for another show, she said.
Kube said her weight loss through her training as well as her overall satisfaction in competing in a fitness competition made the process worthwhile. Despite the expenses in health food costs, paying for a coach, suit, spray tans, hair and makeup, she said she would do it all over again.
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