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Behind The Scenes Of A ‘Natural’ Bodybuilding Championship

Behind The Scenes Of A ‘Natural’ Bodybuilding Championship

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AUSTRALIA

Article by Saxon Cheng for Daily Mail Australia | www.dailymail.com.au

Photos by Gavin Leung | G-shot Photography by Gavin Leung

A collection of some of Australia’s most buff and bronzed women have flexed their stuff at the recent Australasian Natural Bodybuilding championships.

The chiseled competitors duked it out in the competition, which was held at the Marconi Centre in Bossley Park, New South Wales, about 30 kilometres west of Sydney, on October 8, 9 and 10.

The competition was a bumper event for the ANB, with more than 220 participants taking to the stage – a massive increase from the 40 who competed in 2010.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Tanning is an essential part of each bodybuilder’s preparation, meaning all competitors get a careful coat applied before the start of each event.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Under the bright stage lights, the right tan can be the difference between winning and losing for competitors.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

A team of people work behind the scenes to ensure the models look perfect before they head out onto the stage.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Competitors are coated in spray-tan just minutes before they head out to perform, as it can help bring out their muscles under the lights.

ANB Head Judge Phil Lehner said the sport’s growing popularity is due to free bodybuilding competitions rewarding a more ‘natural’ and ‘attractive’ look.

“The big increase in female competitors in these categories can be attributed to a physique that can be maintained all year round and it’s an attainable goal, compared to bodybuilding,” Mr Lehner said.

Mr Lehner said the biggest increase in competitors was seen in women aged between 18 and 39, with most opting for the Fitness Model and Swimsuit categories.

He also said the ANB competitions were divided into multiple divisions, based on height, weight, experience and other factors.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

One of the competitors gets in a last-minute workout just before heading out onto the stage.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

The competitors time their preparation for the competition down to the final moment, which includes one last pre-judging workout.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

The behind the scenes look at the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding Championships shows what the competitors go through to win.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

The most recent competition was a bumper event for the ANB, with more than 220 participants taking to the stage – a massive increase from the 40 who competed in 2010.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Two of the competitors workout together back stage ahead of the competition, which had more than 220 entrants in 2015.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

The models get in one final workout before taking the stage in an attempt to make sure they are primed for to perform.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

“The big increase in female competitors in these categories can be attributed to a physique that can be maintained all year round and it’s an attainable goal, compared to bodybuilding,” Mr Lehner said.

Swimsuit model Melinda Viluan was one of the big winners at the recent event, winning the under-163cm division.

The Filipino-Australian also finished second in the under-21 division, following a third-placed performance in the ‘Novice’ tier of the ANB Central Coast Championships on September 26.

She said one of the most crucial parts of the sport for competitors is having a personality on stage, and coming up with a way to get the attention of judges.

“Stage presence is really important,” Ms Viluan, who wore a Catwoman costume during the ‘theme’ section of the competition, said. “I worked really hard on creating a presence that would leave a lasting impression. I believe that just being myself and enjoying my time on stage really allowed me to stand out.”

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Melinda Viluan, who finished second in the under-21 category, opted for a Catwoman costume as her themed outfit.

She also said swimsuit models are judged on a clear set of criteria, including: athleticism, beauty, body shape and tone, confidence, stage presence and marketability.

Fitness models who take part in the competition are also expected to be leaner and more toned than other competitors, and also to have a clearly defined six-pack.

In order to get into competition shape, Ms Viluan tackled a grueling 12-week body program that including an intense training schedule and strict diet.

Her coach, Timmy Naidoo, was on hand the day of the competition to provide last minute advice, and to apply a final coat of oil and spray to ensure she glistened on stage.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

The bodybuilders wait anxiously back stage before stepping out into the on-stage glare.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Fitness models who take part in the competition are also expected to be leaner, toned and to have a clearly defined six pack.

Behind The Scenes Of A Natural Bodybuilding Championship - ANB

Trophies for the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding at Club Marconi, Bossley Park, NSW on October 10, 2015.

The Five Tips To Becoming A Fitness Model

  1. Join a team – Like Body Dynamix or Mike’s team and learn all the training, dieting and posing secrets from the experts.
  2. Diet – About 80 percent of the preparation is a micro managed high protein and low carb diet, consisting of six meals a day. Staple diet includes chicken breast, green beans, broccoli, tuna, rice cakes and oats.
  3. Training – Cardio alone will not get results, but a combination of resistance and high intensity interval training will. Good symmetry is essential in the Fitness Model category.
  4. Posing – Rehearse weekly with your team in front of a mirror that includes half turns and T-walk. Being confident with a big natural smile will show strong stage presence.
  5. Stand out – Every division has a theme wear, so an original and sexy costume like Catwoman (above picture, Melinda Viluan) or a lifeguard with props will impress the judges and entertain the crowd.

Saxon Cheng is former four time ANB & INBA NSW Fitness Model finalist and fourth place winner, and a Personal Trainer with Freeway To Fitness www.freewaytofitness.com.au

[Original Article]

(Original title: Dollops of fake tan, glitzy bikinis and a whole lot of flexing! Behind the scenes of a ‘natural’ bodybuilding championship where more than 200 women compete to show off their muscles)

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