Bodybuilding has finally jumped the shark by starting a division for women with bikini-figure upper bodies and Kardashian-esque lower bodies.
Will Brink for T-Nation: I've judged NPC shows on the regional level in New England for approximately twenty years, as well as a few Fitness America shows and a few other now defunct organizations.
Like most old-school purists, I didn't love the inclusion of new divisions such as bikini and I got all grumpy about dudes wearing long, flamboyant surfer shorts in the Men's Physique division.
Still, while I may have had my issues with the inclusion of those divisions (where's the muscle?!), I acknowledge that they were at least all based on the foundational concepts of physique sport: proportions, symmetry, and balance.
Not so with the new "Wellness" division that makes room for women who have thick legs and glutes but a bikini competitor's top half.
I Like Big Butts But This I'm Not so Sure of Problematic name aside, the Wellness division is not actually new per se; it's just new to the US. It's popular in other parts of the world, and I even judged a show in Panama a few years ago that featured that division.
While the gals who compete in the Wellness division are stunningly attractive – especially for those who like the look of thicker legs and glutes – it often looks like someone glued together the upper and lower bodies from separate people. It allows these leg/glute heavy women to compete where they may not have done well in say, bikini, figure, or physique.
Sound like an unbalanced physique? It is! I've since labeled it the Thickness Division. These women don't represent a proportional, balanced physique, which is the foundational focus of physique sports and what's supposed to separate them from a basic beauty show or T&A extravaganza.
While I, as a man with healthy, functioning sex organs, find thick legs and glutes terribly attractive, my judge brain just says "nope."
When I voiced my objections, one NPC judge responded,
"That's just it. This division is not about symmetry and balance. This division was made for the girls who are more muscular on their lower half. Brazilians, Colombians, and Venezuelans are the perfect athletes for this division."
Translated, that means to hell with proportions and balance. These women can't fit into the other divisions because they don't have either the genetics and/or the drive to fit into them, so let's supply one they can compete in to be more inclusive.
Okay. How about a wide-waisted division for guys like me? Or a division for pancake-butt women who can't grow glutes at all, no matter how hard they try? Maybe even a Dad Bod division?
Well truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction because one show has instituted a Dad Bod division. I shit you not. Sure, it's all in good fun, but where does it stop? Of course, that show isn't sanctioned by any major organization, but let's say it was widely popular at that show and it caught on.
With our all-inclusive, everyone should get a medal for just participating, striving for mediocrity society, could the Dad Bod division end up in more shows? A few years ago I would have said no, hell no. Today? I'm really not so sure.
Muscle & Fitness: Generally in the bodybuilding community, there's a tendency to look to the men for the title of “most shredded,” but anyone who really follows the sport knows that's far from the truth. Case in point: Angelica Enberg, a new face on the bodybuilding scene with a physique that has legendary potential. If you check out her Instagram, you can watch her punishing the weights, practicing her poses, or just hanging around, looking godly.
According to sources, Enberg placed third in her first competition at the Norway Open back in 2014. She moved to the U.S. in 2015, so there’s a solid chance that she will be taking off in the near future.
Check out her Instagram to see some of her most awe-inspiring posts.
KahawaTungu: It was a big win for Kenya in the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival’s held in South Africa, as the country’s Evelyn Owala scooped two trophies following her exemplary performance.
Evelyn Owala during the sports festivals
The annual sports festivals are sponsored by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness umbrella body better known as IFBB.
Speaking exclusively to Kahawa Tungu, the Homa Bay-born star didn’t hide her joy as she welcomed the May victory. “I participated in the category of wellness, its a category for women out there putting Kenya on the world map.
“There are different categories for example in my category there was the height level [muscle part in the height level]. I was in the level below 163 [Centimeters]. The other category is for people above 163 [Centimeters]. The other medal was [for] overall win in all height categories, ” Owala said.
Owala, however, was not the only Kenyan who participated in the competitions. She was accompanied by Wilson Munene, who represented Kenya in the male bodybuilders’ category. Read more >>
Aol.com: Meet Aleesha Young, who has been a professional bodybuilder for half her life. But despite all the hard work that goes into preparing for competitions, her biggest accomplishment is being a wife and a mother. With biceps over 18 inches and quads over 28 inches, Young may be considered the World's Strongest Mom.
"I think people in the fitness world are surprised that I'm a mom because it's pretty rare at my level of female bodybuilding," Young explained to AOL Lifestyle.
"I knew that being a mom was a number one priority for me -- it had to happen for me," she continued. "I couldn't give the sport everything I needed to until I had my little girl." After Olivia was born, it took Young 10 months to get back into competitive shape.
TheMorningShow: Janice Lorraine is a 76-year-old grandmother, and she's claimed 12 world titles in the past two decades. The former psychologist trains at the gym for three hours a day, three days a week. On the other days, she recovers with an 8km walk. She's been competing in bodybuilding for the last 20 years. "When I started, there was nobody my age," Lorraine said. "I was 56 then, and gradually it's grown. "I get a lot of Facebook messages from people all over the world, mainly 50-plus. They're all so excited."
Dealing with trolls While most of the feedback Lorraine receives is positive, she's had to deal with critics and trolls - mainly from men. "I get called old duck, old bag, old chook," Lorraine said. "In 2013, I was on my way to training for the championships in Greece. "A neighbour of mine, two years younger than me, he said, are you still doing that bodybuilding? "I said yes, and he said, it's about time you gave that up - you're well past your used by date. "I didn't want to waste my time putting those thoughts in my mind and dwelling on them. "I take (the criticism) and use it in a positive sense, in order tell others that you should be able to live your life to the full, and follow your dreams no matter how old you are."