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.
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.
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.”
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.
The Five Tips To Becoming A Fitness Model
- Join a team – Like Body Dynamix or Mike’s team and learn all the training, dieting and posing secrets from the experts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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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