Contests 101: Finding your division - Oxygen Magazine

Contests 101: Finding your division

If you've ever considered competing, look no further! Here's your nutshell guide to the three biggies in physique competitions: Fitness, Figure and Bikini.
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1. What is...Fitness?

You're a good candidate if: you have a dance, cheerleading or gymnastic background and love to perform in front of an audience. "Fitness competitors must be athletic and willing to employ additional training like plyometrics and agility in their contest preparation," says Tanji Johnson, IFBB Pro Fitness competitor, physique and posing coach and president of the Save Fitness Team in Seattle, WA. "These women are willing to dedicate a lot of time to the sport, both in the gym and out, to hone their skills."

Physique: Athletic, very lean and highly muscular

Number of Rounds*: Two to three: bikini with/without mandatory poses, fitness routine, interview

*Note: Each sanctioning body has different rules and regulations. Check their individual websites for more detailed information.


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2. What is...Figure?

You're a good candidate if: you love to train and work out hard, but don't have the dance or athletic background of a Fitness competitor. "A girl with an athletic fitness-model-type body is perfect for Figure," says Tanji. "Lean, yet still feminine, she looks like a badass onstage!"

Physique: athletic, muscular, lean

Number of Rounds*: One: bikini with/without mandatory poses

*Note: Each sanctioning body has different rules and regulations. Check their individual websites for more detailed information.


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3. What is...Bikini?

You're a good candidate if: you have a toned, fit body, but don't have any deep muscular cuts or heavy definition. "A Bikini competitor has tightness and curves but not a lot of muscle," says Tanji. "In fact, they get marked down if they look too athletic."

Physique: toned, fit

Number of rounds*: One to two: bikini with no mandatory poses, sportswear

*Note: Each sanctioning body has different rules and regulations. Check their individual websites for more detailed information.


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4. Find out more!

For more information on the different kinds of physique competitions, check out these websites:

www.fitnessuniverse.com
www.nationalphysiquecommittee.com
www.msfitness.com

And for something a little different, check out Tri-Fitness. This contest includes a SWAT-team style timed obstacle course round along with a physique and fitness round. Check it out at www.trifitnesschallenge.com

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