So perhaps some of you have already read that there is a new category on the way to the IFBB competitions: Fit Model for men and women.
When I first read the title of "New Fitness Category on the way to IFBB" on the Danish fitness blog Trainingday.dk, I was so excited as I clicked on the link to learn more.
My excitement was quickly turned into disappointment when I read that this new category is really just a copy/paste of the WBFFs concept where fitness meets beauty pagaent complete with themewear and t-walks.
Now don't get my wrong, I have the utmost respect for the WBFF competitors. They are gorgeous and they work very hard for their amazing physiques, I have absolutely no doubt about that. I mean, just look at these incredible bodies...
I guess I was just hoping that any new categories of the IFBB would be more focused on fitness and/or athletic performance rather than just "looks". Perhaps I'm disappointed because I feel that IFBBs Bikini Fitness is already so "dolled up" compared to all the other categories. We have to wear high heels, jewelry, make sure our makeup, hair and nails are flawless, pose, do t-walks and "flirt" with the judges and audience to show how "playful" and "feminine" we are.
I'm not complaining or knocking Bikini Fitness though. No one forced me to compete 4 times in Bikini Fitness. I got on that stage all by myself and proudly so. But I have to admit, speaking as a bit of a tomboy, that the last few times I've competed I found myself wondering whilst on stage posing and strutting my stuff, "what does all this actually have to do with fitness and all the training I've undergone?" and "How come the bodybuilders don't have to strut through a t-walk and flirt with the judges and audience?" (How awesome would that be actually?)
I've always thought it's kind of ironic that although we're supposed to be standing there on stage as fitness and strength personified, we're actually at our weakest due to the dieting and water depletion. If we had to perform anything athletic at that point, we'd most likely pass out.
Personally, I feel that IFBB is missing more categories that embrace more body types and ideals as well as categories that focus more on athletic performance on stage. I didn't want to just criticize without having some solid suggestions or examples of what I mean so...
DNFFs Natural Power Fitness
This category is, in my opinion, pretty badass. It's both for men and women. 50% of the competitor's points is based on symmetry and aesthetics. The athletes must pose, look muscular and have a relatively low body fat percentage.
The second part of the competition is based on strength and condition. 2 rounds split in to 6 minutes of deadlifts and 500 meters rowing.
I haven't competed in this category so I can only speculate that it must be a fine line between getting your body fat percentage low enough while still maintaining strength and endurance on competition day. I like the idea of being able to perform as an athlete on stage and not just in a bikini. I especially like that they deadlift on stage. How cool is that!
Wellness IFBB Brasil
My absolute DREAM category that actually is an IFBB category but, sadly, only exists in Brazil. The Wellness category was actually created specifically for the curvy Brazilian women who wanted to compete but were too bottom-heavy to compete in Bikini Fitness.
Now this category speaks directly to my Latina heart, big butt and thunder thighs! The picture below is me off season, now compare it to the girls above, it's a bit more comparable than the Bikini Fitness ideal that I try to achieve every comp, wouldn't you agree?
However I do my best, spending 90% of my training focusing on slimming down and tightening my legs and butt. I do it because I love to compete and challenge myself. But when I think about that there actually is a category out there MADE for women with my specific body shape! I do wish, beg, plead the IFBB, and their international affiliates, to be so kind as to make this category available for athletes like myself.
I don't know if there are enough curvy, bottom-heavy athletes like myself here in Denmark, but if the category was available in the USA or Mexico (and God knows there are plenty of curvy women there!) then I would definitely make the effort to travel there to compete.
I found out about this particular category about a year ago and I contacted IFBB Brasil about it. I asked how I could compete in this category, I stated that I was willing to fly to Brazil to compete. Unfortunately, according to the person I mailed back and forth with, it is not possible for international athletes to compete in this category yet :-(
I'm of course sad that I can't compete in Wellness since it seems to be the perfect category for me as an athlete. Hopefully IFBB will soon realize that not only Brazilian women are curvy and bottom-heavy :-) I also hope they realize that there are many amazing fit, athletic and strong potential IFBB athletes out there if the categories could some how expand to embrace the diversity that's out there.
And on that note I leave you with these images of inspiring Olympian athletes of all shapes and sizes. Because health and strength, no matter the size or shape, is beautiful.