Issue #7


by HardFitness

2005 USA's Figure and Female Bodybuilding Results and Photos

2005 Team Universe Results and Photos

2005 USA's in Vegas Review

2005 Team Universe Review

Credible Constructive Criticism
by Katie Szep

Video Interview: Pamela York NPC Figure

The Basics
by Chrissy Garcia

Cover Model Video Interview: Traci Redding

The Logic of Abs Training by Rossella Pruneti

featuring Traci Redding, Tamee Marie, Karen Zaremba, Debbie Bramwell, Melissa Degasis

20 Questions with our Cover Model Traci Redding

Video Interview: FBB Debbie Bramwell

The Supplement "Activator": Water
by Rossella Pruneti

Video Interview: FBB Sherry Smith


Credible Constructive Criticism
by Katie Szep

One of the best ways to improve your overall presentation as a fitness or figure competitor is to solicit the advice of a judge immediately following a show. Their critique is an invaluable recourse for a variety of reasons. Not only are the judges the most educated in the criteria of scoring, but they will most likely be the same individuals who judge your future shows. There is a strong possibility that they will remember you and appreciate the fact that you took their recommendations.

Another important reason to seek the advice of a judge, and quite possibly the most important, is the fact that judging criteria is ever changing. As most competitors know, what was considered “too small” last year could be the perfect size this year. One of the best ways to monitor these trends in judging criteria is too speak to a judge mid-season, while there is time to make necessary changes for your next show (before the trends change once again).

I was fortunate enough to receive very helpful advice at the 2005 NPC Junior USAs. Below, I will share with you the key points discussed during my critique. Hopefully the information will be helpful, particularly to those of you competing in the upcoming national shows.

Swim Suits: Most bikini bottoms were said to be cut too low in the front. It was suggested that the bikini bottoms start at the midpoint between the navel and the beginning of the natural pubic hair line, instead of right above the pubic hair line.

It was also suggested that the front of the bottoms, both of the one and two piece suits, not be cut too narrow across. In other words, the bottom should form more of a V-shape than a T-shape.

Pastel colors were said to translate poorly on stage. Instead, choose vivid vibrant colors that stand out. This was said to be true even on girls of darker colors.

Make Up: Much like the swim suits, applying vibrant colors was strongly emphasized. The neutral colors, used in much of today's popular makeup, will create a washed out look on stage. This was particularly said to be true of lipstick.

Posing: When posing to the side and back, proper posture was suggested rather than standing with an exaggerated arched lower back.

Physique: Obviously, the advice given in this category varies considerably depending on the individual. However, competitors were warned to heed the advice of the NPC to decrease size by 20%. In fact, many women who were considered to be “too small” last year (such as myself) were told “not to get any bigger” for the next national competition this year.

Remember, the advice of friends and family can be helpful, but it can also be biased (and they aren't the ones judging your next show). If you are given the opportunity to meet with a judge, take it. No matter how tired or hungry you may be after your big day, the advice is priceless!

Back to Issues

About the Author...

My name is Katie Szep and I am an IFBB Fitness Professional, Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. My husband and I own Core Fitness Inc., a personal and sports specific training studio in Middletown, New Jersey. In addition to training my own clients, I am also the fitness director at Gold's Gym, Middletown, New Jersey where I teach a variety of classes including spinning, step and sports training.
My passion is to improve the fitness levels of my clients, my students and myself through all-natural training and nutrition programs. I enjoy designing my own competition diets, training programs and fitness routines, as well as preparing other athletes for competition. Fortunately, I am able to do so because of my education, athletic background and support from my husband, family and friends.
My future goal is to enjoy a successful career as a professional fitness competitor while continuing to help others achieve optimum health and fitness.

© 2004 HardFitness Design All right reserved.