Strong(wo)man competition and a 140kg deadlift

April 9, 2015

What’s filthy, involves a lot of pulling, and makes you feel like your insides might burst out through your eye sockets?


On Easter Sunday I did something a little bit different: took part in a local strong(wo)man competition.

I’ve done one previously but that was a private, gym-run thing. Whilst this one wasn’t a huge event, it was open to anyone and so I had no idea who else would be in my category – other than my pal Linda.

Linda is a powerlifter but we manage to peacefully co-exist training together at the gym 😉 She sometimes makes me go in the monolift, and I sometimes make her do 20+ reps of something.


We decided a while ago to enter this strongwoman comp, and headed up to Terry Hollands’s gym to train with real strongman kit (you can read about that here).

The events listed for our category were:

Farmers walk, 45kgs in each hand, 50 metres
Viking press, 55kgs, reps for 1 minute
Deadlift knock out starting at 80kgs
Seated hand-over-hand truck pull, 25 metres
Loading medley (“to be decided on the day”)

We did what we could in terms of training and preparation, but I’ll be honest: I didn’t really feel like I’d trained enough. I was hoping brute force and persistence would get me through. And my deadlift, which is decent.

Here’s how it went down:

Farmers Walk

The weight was no problem, but in the comp we had to turn around a marker. I’d only trained to walk, drop the handles, turn myself 180* and pick them up to walk back. Turning around the marker seemed a tricky challenge, so I went for “slow but steady” (to avoid falling over). Result? I came last in this. So I was first up in the….

Viking Press
This Viking Press looked nothing like the one we’d trained on at Terry H’s, but it didn’t feel too bad. 55kgs is heavy, mind you! I think I banged out 19 reps in the minute, which is more than I’d done in training. The referees seemed impressed, so I had high hopes. Until the women who went after me got 20s… and 30s…. I think I was 2nd to last in this event.

I was looking forward to this! I love deadlifting lots, and rarely train for it in any kind of kit (not even always a belt). We were allowed belt and chalk, but no straps. 80, 90, 100, 110 went up just fine. 120 started to feel a bit heavy. 130 was a struggle but there was no way I wasn’t going to get it. 140 was scary. I have pulled 140kgs before, but so long ago I was beginning to think I made it up. In front of a crowd which included friends and family, I eyed that mofo up. If I started to lift it, it was coming all the way up. And it did… excruciatingly slowly and excruciatingly painfully. It felt like my insides were going to come out through my eye sockets, taking my eyeballs with them. A good look, I’m sure. Still, who cares, I legit pulled a 140kgs deadlift. With 3 of us left in at this stage, the refs put it up to 150kgs. I set up and gave it a pull. Nope. Not moving. I bowed out, chuffed to bits with 140.

Sled pull
We’d been expecting to pull a truck towards us, hand over hand, with a rope. That’s what we’d trained to do. For some reason, this event was replaced with a sled drag. The rope was attached to a prowler/sled which was loaded to (I believe) 140kgs. We had to sit and just heft the damn thing over the line. Trouble is, sleds aren’t on wheels, so there was no momentum. And we were pulling it over a muddy and stony surface. I went second or third on this, so the ground was still “fresh”. The sled got wedged behind a stone at one point and I genuinely thought I couldn’t shift it. With every competitor, the ground got worn down a little smoother until eventually the sled was (kind of) running in a groove. But I was still pleased with my time. This event was a lung buster!

Loading medley
I had no idea what we’d be loading. Hopefully not the stones, since they started at 80kgs. And ideally not those 55kgs concrete blocks. Oh, what’s that? We are loading those 55kgs concrete blocks? All 5 of them? And we’re picking them up and running them a short distance to a truck before chucking them in? OK, good. This was hard. I had no clue how to even tackle picking the blocks up (arms underneath and deadlift them up to lap them heft them in?) I truly didn’t know if I’d be able to do one, let alone all five. As it turned out, I managed all five with a few seconds to spare, and not before declaring “I’m going to die!” (rather dramatically if I do say so myself). “No you’re not,” was the response from the official!

I came 4th (of 5!) by just 1/2 a point, to my friend Linda. We had always said we were representing the gym, and she very graciously offered to share her trophy with me. It’s now on the shelf at the gym along with various other bodybuilding, powerlifting and strongman trophies.

There was a big gap between Linda and me, and the two ladies who came 1st and 2nd. They were beasts (in the nicest possible sense). Whereas Linda and I are just only slightly beastly 😉

I didn’t ache the next day… but by two days later I was sore almost all over. Traps, front delts, biceps, neck and upper back were all suffering. Lower back was feeling the effects of my max deadlift followed by the awkward action of the loading event. And I was so tired!

But it was great fun and definitely a good way to spice up lifting and strength training.

Big thanks to the organisers of the event!

Have you ever done a strongman or strongwoman competition? What was your favourite event?

Thank you to Linda’s partner Jeff for the pics

Strong(wo)man competition and a 140kg deadlift is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Strong(wo)man training at Terry Hollands S&C Gym

March 10, 2015

I haven’t posted about training in ages. So here’s an update involving a truck, some large men, and a bit of falling over in front of my friends.

strongman training bodybuilding

Whether I compete in bodybuilding this year or not (#vague), I’m still in off-season, not dieting, and, y’know, enjoying living life not in a constant calorie deficit 😉

I’m taking the opportunity to do a few different types of training: I’ve been riding horses, going to the local boxing club, doing a bootcamp on the beach at 8:30am on Saturdays (!) and warming to the idea of a powerlifting meet.

So when there was talk of a local strongman and strongwoman event, all 5′ 5” of my good self said “sure, let’s do it.”

Happily for me, I know lots of strong men, and also some Strongmen.

And Terry Hollands’s (<<< apostrophe self-doubt panic mode) new S&C gym isn't too far from where I live. I’m sure you all know who Terry Hollands is but just in case my Dad is reading 😉 he’s the most successful British strongman competitor in 20 years, and has competed in 10 World’s Strongest Man comps (3rd twice), and has held the titles of UK’s, Britain’s and England’s strongest man.

And yes, to those of you who’ve asked, he was indeed there (but no he didn’t coach me). I borrowed his wife’s belt though if that’s cool enough for you?

My gym-pal Linda and I went over to Hollands Strength and Conditioning gym last Sunday to muddle our way through an approximation of the events which will face us on competition day.

Here’s what’s listed for the event:

Farmers walk 45kg in each hand for 50m. 60sec time limit
Viking press 55kg for reps. 60sec time limit
Deadlift knock out 80kg start weight
Arm over arm vehicle pull 25m
Medley load event to be announced on the day.

And here’s what Linda and I did:

Bit of battle ropes and light Viking press to warm up.


Viking Press 55kgs for 60s x 2 rounds.
– OMG this was so very difficult. I am in agony today! I got 11 reps, then 7 reps, yes in one whole minute (!) It was killer though I promise!

Farmers Walk 45kgs in each hand, inside (4 “lengths” of around 10m)
– I was somehow quite good at this?

Arm-over-arm seated vehicle pull using Linda’s truck which weights around 2.5 tonnes (?) – we’ve no idea what kind of vehicle will be used on the day
– This was surprisingly easy once I got it going. I suppose the thought (and visual) of pulling a truck that people actually drive around in makes your brain think “nope”. But it’s totally doable. Think I did this in about 28 seconds.

Loading medley. Again we’ve no idea what we’ll be loading on the day, but we used a light barrel, a 30kgs-ish dumbell, a 32kg (I think) kettlebell and a 65kgs (I think) sandbag.
– This was OK, I found it a bit of a struggle being relatively short (for strongwoman!) but we’ve no idea how high the platform will be on the day. Sandbags are a b*stard to load!

Farmers Walk 45kgs each hand, outside this time (2 “lengths” of 25m)
– Again I was pretty quick on this – 23 seconds the first time round, then I fell over at the end of the second go (still 26 seconds even with the fall!) And no I am not posting the video!

Then some tyre flipping “for fun” with a 180kg tyre.
– I’m glad this isn’t in the event, it definitely favours taller people! Felt very uncomfortable (maybe a padded bra would have helped!)


Strong(wo)man training was amazing fun and a brilliant change to my normal strength training. The two hours flew by and it didn’t really feel like training at all.

I’m really looking forward to the comp 😀 I’ll keep you updated (although I have no expectations and not a clue about how I’ll do).

Hats off to strongmen and strongwomen, your training is killer and I think I’ll be sore for a week!

Oh, and one last thing? In bodybuilding, “lightweight” is U55kgs. In this comp, U75kgs is the cut-off. In your face, bodybuilding! 😉 (Love you really).

Thank you to Linda’s partner Jeff for the pics (strength sports – not designed to look attractive! Haha!)

Have you ever done a strongman/strongwoman comp? Did you fall over?

Strong(wo)man training at Terry Hollands S&C Gym is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Tested this week: activbod skin and body care range

December 11, 2014

Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is a lovely treat ideal for sporty ladies or fellas: activbod‘s range of skin and body care “smellies” (please tell me my family isn’t alone in using the term “smellies”…)

By the way – stand by for a quite a few reviews over the coming weeks: I get sent lots of lovely stuff to tell you about, but can’t try most of it during competition prep. Thankfully the PRs I know are all patient folk!

activbod (1)
activbod is a brand new range of shower products and skin care designed for sports people and gym goers. What’s so special about it? The products are a first for mainstream skincare, made using ground-breaking formulations to help the body pre and post-exercise. And 10% of net profits from activbod sales will go to the the charity Women’s Sport Trust for projects including increasing sports participation.

Get clean, smell nice, and support grass-roots sport… what’s not to love?

Here’s what I got to try:

‘Game Changer face scrub’ (a fab face scrub specifically designed to combat redness after a particularly sweaty or outdoor training session)
‘Feel Great shower concentrate’ (a small tube of deodorising shower gel which is double-concentrate so you get more from the tube)
‘Cooling finish lotion’ (a light minty gel which cools and moisturises)
‘Pick Me Up scrub’ (a lovely body scrub which gets rid of sweat and dirt. I loved them all, but particularly liked the face scrub.

The rest of the range includes muscle warmers and even an aroma stick balm to promote mental focus.

activbod (3)

All the products smell great (citrus, grapefruit, etc) and really do work well. The entire range is MIT/MI and paraben-free. And the flip-top tubes are the perfect size and design for kit bags and gym bags.

Supporting the Women’s Sport Trust

I tell you what else is great about activbod: it has close links with the Women’s Sport Trust charity (which I fully support, and have blogged about here). The Women’s Sport Trust is a grass roots movement whose aim is to raise the visibility and increase the impact of women’s sport through role models, media coverage and funding. 10% of net profits from activbod sales will be used by for projects that will bring parity to women’s sport – including increasing the profile of female sporting role models and increasing sports participation.

activbod has just launched and will be available in Boots stores and online from activbod’s website

Thanks for the samples, activbod people!

You can find activbod on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: activbod skin and body care range is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Tested this week: Enhance Drinks natural fruity water flavour drops

December 5, 2014


Today’s fitness kit I’ve reviewed this week is something to liven up your water during these chilly days.

We all know we should drink plenty of water (at least 2 litres, although frankly I think 3-5 litres is more like it, particularly for active folk). Plain, filtered water is always going to be best. But sometimes it’s tough to chug tons of water, especially when the temperature is cold and the weather is grim.

I often use sugar-free flavour drops for my water so, when I was sent this lovely presentation pack of “Enhance”, I was happy to give them a mention on the blog.


They’re little squeezy bottles of concentrated flavour, made from real fruit juice, with no added sugar or artificial colours/flavours. So technically they’re not sugar-free, but they don’t have any additional sugar, and no Sucralose or other sweeteners. And because you only need a tiny amount, the fructose/carb load is minimal (barely worth mentioning). You can (indeed I have) pop them in your gym bag/handbag if you want to top up your water during the day, and they seem to be lasting for ages because you really do only need a small amount.


There are four flavours: apple & blackcurrant, strawberry & kiwi, lemon & lime, orange & passion fruit. All are lovely!

I’ve been using them in cold water and also as a hot drink (the apple/blackcurrant and strawb/kiwi are best for that).

Sadly you won’t get them in this lovely box when you buy them from the shops, but I can tell you that they’re on offer at the moment – £2 each instead of the usual £2.49. You can get them from most supermarkets and direct from Enhance’s website.

And for every bottle sold, Enhance will make a donation to the charity Just a Drop, which will provide a child in Africa with clean and safe drinking water for a month.

Thanks for the sample box, Enhance Drinks people!

You can find Enhance Drinks on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tested this week: Enhance Drinks natural fruity water flavour drops is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

I’m on a podcast (… so now you can hear what I sound like… !)

August 18, 2014

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 17.37.57

Check my riddims! Not only am I blogging twice in the same day (!) but I’ve been interviewed on a podcast.

(Fun fact: “Be on a podcast” was one of my goals for the year. TICK!)

The lovely Katie Bulmer-Cooke interviewed me for her podcast – you can listen to the episode (number 7 I believe) here or directly on Katie’s website.

If you like it, share it!

Here’s what you’ll find out by listening to my interview:

– why fitpros and fitness businesses need to create more content
– how to reuse every single bit of content you produce
– the sporting challenge which kicked down the door and started my freelance writing career
– why your writing is part of your brand
– how to deal with awkward situations like… um… interviewing an Olympic athlete whilst they’re taking an ice bath
– how to find something to blog out within 30 seconds (it’s so easy!)
– why I think of myself as “a little dog” (did I really say that? I’m so weird)
– what I sound like when I guffaw at my own jokes

Thanks for the interview, Katie! x 🙂

I’m on a podcast (… so now you can hear what I sound like… !) is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

thefitwriter profiled on Fitcetera’s Yeah She Lifts

March 6, 2014

This week I’ve been interviewed by Georgina over at Fitcetera for her series about ladies wot lift called “Yeah, She Lifts”.

nicola joyce yeah she lifts

Check it out here (please excuse the overshare – I don’t think I’ve ever told that particular story before and I don’t know what possessed me to do so now!)

Thanks for the opportunity, Georgina aka Ms Fitcetera!

PS I don’t often write guest blog posts for people but when I do, they’re full of advice for fitpros about how to write press releases which get read – and used. Check it out over on FitPro Client Recipes.

thefitwriter profiled on Fitcetera’s Yeah She Lifts is a post from the Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review

December 31, 2013

What a year it’s been! I’m looking forward to the opportunities and adventures which 2014 will bring. Here’s how 2013 went down in my world (and on the blog)

nicola joyce inbf world champion

I did five bodybuilding competitions and experienced the lows of not placing at all right through to the highs of competing in the USA and winning an overall World title!

comp 1) BNBF Centrals – 6th place physique
comp 2) BNBF Midlands – 2nd place physique
I was then invited to do the (new) Athletic class at BNBF Finals and decided to go for it
comp 3) BNBF Finals – 4th (of 5!) athletic
comp 4) UKDFBA Open – 3rd place bodybuilding
A few days later, I was invited to be the amateur female bodybuilder on Team UK at the INBF Worlds! Getting that phone call was one of the best moments of my year and I think I’ll remember it forever.
comp 5) (aka What the whaaaaat?! :-O ) What an experience… competing at the INBF Worlds as part of “Team UK”. I won the women’s bodybuilding HW class (by default!) and then competed in the over all against the LW winner. I won it, and became the INBF women’s bodybuilding overall winner and World Champion for 2013!

You can read the UKDFBA’s report of the INBF/WNBF Worlds 2013 here – it’s a great read and I encourage you to take a look.

I won a two awards in the end of year awards (Best Journal, and I tied for Toned Glutes, LOL) – thanks, chaps! has generated a handy summary of my blog stats for 2013. Have a look, see if you spot yourself in there! thefitwriter 2013 blog activity.

My most active blog commenters in 2013 were
Tara of Sweat Like A Pig (a fantastic strongwoman blog which tackles some meaty issues about training, women in sport, nutrition and competing – read it!)
Trish (she doesn’t have a blog but give her a cheer anyway, she’s probably making her bodybuilding debut next year)
Helen of Diary of a Newbie Strongwoman (as the name suggests – a strongwoman blog charting Helen’s journey through training and competing)
Rooobarb & Custard of Adventures in a Campervan (a wonderful blog about adventures in Ruby the 1967 split-screen campervan)
Fiona of HiFifi’s Transformation (a blog about a one-time (and future?) figure competitor who’s working out a way to eat and train for life)

Thank you, ladies (and gent)! But really it’s a big thanks to all of you who read, share and comment 🙂 Apparently people read this blog from 155 countries, mainly the UK, USA and Australia.

Most popular post and product reviews in 2013 were

Tesco Nutri1st Advanced protein products
Monkey Nutrition whey isolate Primal26
Bio Synergy
Bio Synergy and Melanie Sykes supplement range
What I learned from the Phil Learney Fat Loss & Performance seminar
(You can see all my product reviews here)

Big up yo bad selves

I’d like to say a big thank you not only to my blog readers but to my friends and supporters in sport and business. Clients, agencies, PRs, collaborators, designers, editors, interviewees: thank you all. You can find me (wearing a slightly more professional hat) on my website, my linkedin and linkedin company page.

To anyone who has read, shared, liked, commented on or visited this blog in 2013: thank you! If you stick around into 2014 I promise to bring you plenty of interesting content, training info, competing reports, and behind-the-scenes news from a competitive bodybuilder who writes a lot. Hey, 2014 might even be the year in which I actually write more about the business of writing 😉 You never know.

Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

3rd place UKDFBA (check out the cup!)

October 1, 2013

Just a quick one today – to let you know that I placed 3rd in the amateur women’s bodybuilding class at the UKDFBA open championships on Sunday.

nicola joyce ukdfba 2013

That’s me done for the season now – no more competitions planned.

I’ll post a recap later in the week (busy times here at Fitwriter Towers) but for now I’ll leave you with this silly series of pics, snapped the morning after the show whilst I was staying at my Mum’s house.

I always said that if I won “a big cup” I’d eat cereal out of it the next day (oh how I miss cereal whilst dieting – although I’m not sure why!)

A full box of cereal (other own-brands are available) + litres of milk, maybe?

Don’t forget a nice big “cup” of coffee

Carbs. We need carbs. Pasta shapes should do it

With wine… a bottle of wine

Now I’ve gone carb-crazy… but cat biscuit is taking things a little far

Polish that halo (yes yes I know fruit is still sugar)

Tee hee. Bye!

3rd place UKDFBA (check out the cup!) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

A bodybuilder’s response to the “What I See” project’s question

September 20, 2013

Quick question for you. What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Tricky one. It’s not a simple question, and there isn’t one single, simple answer.
“What do you see when you look in the mirror?” is the question I was asked when I was invited to take part in the What I See Project, and you can see my response here.
(Excuse the “diet face” – I did my video the day after one of my bodybuilding comps)

What is the What I See project?

This non-profit organisation aims to unite women: initially, by asking that deceptively simple question. Women from all over the world and from all walks of life were invited to answer via a video clip and the resulting videos have created an amazing community. The projects acts as a platform for women to air and share their views on body image, women’s issues and what it means to be a woman in these visual and visible times.

The What I See project hopes to recognise and amplify women’s voices, helping women to become more empowered.

It’s been a wonderful thing to be part of. I found the question a challenging one to answer and I’m pretty sure I haven’t even articulated 0.1% of everything I think about the topics under the microscope.

But that’s the point: the videos, the website and all the social media activity is just the start. It’s really about what happens next: the discussions and debates, opinions and thoughts. Ultimately, the project wants to help more women’s voices be heard more in more societies all over the world. I’m lucky: I’ve got this blog, a host of technology at my fingertips, and very little which has the clout to shut me up 😉 Not all women are in my position.

Check out the project’s trailer video which explains more about the campaign (and includes snippets of some of our video contributions).
what i see project

Of course, you can also head straight to the What I See project website to take a look at any of the contributors’ videos (there’s an amazing range of women, views and voices and you can filter the videos by country and age range) and see 10 ambassador short films. The ambassadors include Eileen Cooper (the first woman to be Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts), Jude Kelly (Artistic Director for London’s Southbank Centre), feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and Martha Lane-Fox (co-founder of, and the youngest female member of the House of Lords).

You can get involved too.
The What I See project wants as many women involved as possible. You can get in touch (and submit your own video) via the website. Anyone who submits during the five-week campaign will be in with a chance of attending the launch event at the Science Museum.

Passing the baton
The What I See contributor up next is Dr Ceri Brenner – who describes herself as a physicist and a communicator with a mission (to bring “research to reality, through applied research, innovation and by spreading the joys of laser-plasma science). Quire a leap from me and my bodybuilding-based ramblings, to a post-doc laser-plasma specialist. Do keep an eye out for her blog post tomorrow and take a look at her video. You’ll be able to find both by following the What I See project on Twitter

Keep up with the What I See project on social media
The What I See project on Pinterest
The What I See project blog
The What I See project on Facebook
The What I See project on Linkedin
The What I See project on Twitter.

A bodybuilder’s response to the “What I See” project’s question is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Competing at the BNBF Finals – but… which category?

August 12, 2013

I’ve got some exciting news to share!

As per my previous post, I qualified for the BNBF British Finals by way of my 2nd place at the Midlands qualifier.


A couple of days later, I had a lovely (and unexpected) surprise. I was one of 8 women from across the Figure, Masters Figure and Physique categories at the qualifiers who had been invited to compete in the new “Athletic” class at the Finals.

What’s it all about?

Once I’d got over my shock (I’m not sure why but I didn’t think I was in the running for an Athletic invite), I gathered all the info I could.

Athletic is a new division which the BNBF, and their international counterpart the DFAC, have created to sit between the softer look of Figure and the big, dense, hard look of Physique (aka female bodybuilding).

It makes sense.

Here’s a post from DFAC about the new category and their women’s categories. And here’s some info taken directly from the BNBF/DFAC women’s classes criteria.

Miss Athletic
The DFAC judging criteria comprises the judgement of competitors over 3 rounds : Symmetry, Athletic Muscularity and Evening Performance. The weighting of each individual round with regards to scoring is divided evenly across the 3 rounds. Round 1 and 2 judged in preliminaries and round 3 judged at the evening performance.

Athletic will consist of three rounds:
Round 1 symmetry
– Quarter Turns
Round 2 Athletic Muscularity
Round 3 Routine

Two-piece suits is used for all rounds. Heels of no more than 3 inches are allowed for rounds 1&2, a dance shoe is highly recommended to allow flexibility of the foot during poses in round 2. A dance shoe will be very elegant but functional as it has a flexible sole.

Symmetry – Competitors will be judged on the overall shape, structure and proportion of their physique. Competitors should display an evenly balanced physique which is aesthetically pleasing and equally proportioned from the front, side and rear. In addition, an even balance between the upper and lower half of the body should be evident.

Competitors will be judged through a series of quarter turns, starting in a front relaxed pose facing the judges and moving in a clockwise direction, quarterly, upon the request of the head judge.

Athletic Muscularity – Competitors will be judged on Athletic Muscularity. They should be harder in condition than the figure competitors and show very detailed abdominals and strong detailed quads. They will not get marked down for having striations and muscular condition will be a rewarded. They should not be over muscular, heavily muscled athletes will be considered wrong for this class. They look should be athletic with long hard muscle rather than the bigger full muscle bellies of the Ms Physique.

The competitors will be asked to carry out 5 poses.
1 Leg out to the side front bicep pose (open Hands)
2 Straight arm chest pose with leg outstretched to the side.
3 Cross legged rear bicep (open Hands)
4 Side tricep pose with leg stretched out to side
5 Any pose showing abdominal detail and quads

Evening Routine – This will be a routine to music done with bare feet. The routine should display the athletic muscularity, include strong movement and any poses the athletes feels showcases her shape and athletic muscle. It can also include strength moves. Flips and tumbles should not be included.
It will be assessed on the presentation of the athlete’s musculature, symmetry and movement on stage.

Here’s a video explaining why Athletic was introduced, what it means for the other two women’s classes (Figure and Physique), what’s expected of Athletic competitors – along with a demo of the poses.

The woman demonstrating the poses is Rachael Hayes, the first DFAC Athletic Pro, and winner of the class at the Worlds and the Universe last year.
rachael hayes bnbf athletic
Whilst Athletic has never yet been held at any competition (qualifier or British Final) in the UK, it was held (launched, I guess!) at the DFAC Worlds last year. Two of our ladies were asked to do it – Rachael, who got her Pro Card in Physique (bodybuilding) and Jo, who got her Pro Card in Masters Figure.

Here are some pics from the first Athletic class at the DFAC 2012 Worlds in Miami.

This year, DFAC amateur athletes have been competing in the Athletic class over in the States.

But it’s never been done here in the UK before.

So, when I step on stage as an Athletic competitor – along with whoever else in that list of 8 chooses to accept – I will be part of the first ever British line up of BNBF Athletic. What an honour, and how exciting!

It actually does feel like an honour to have been asked, and I am really happy to accept!

I can understand why the BNBF offered me the opportunity and can certainly see how my physique fits well into the category. How well I’ll do remains to be seen!

So – all change as I continue with my Finals prep! Heels to master, new poses to learn, and a “Ms Athletic” persona to develop and refine so I step on stage ready to do the new category proud. 🙂


Competing at the BNBF Finals – but… which category? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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