This year, the 2016 National Physique Committee had its Sun City Regional National Qualifier at the Magoffin Auditorium on the UTEP campus.
The event took place on August 20th and was host to an Official Classic Physique bodybuilding competition and also had competitions in the class A and class B Men’s and Women’s Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique, Women’s Figure, NPC Bikini, and Classic Physique.
It was a body – sculpting exhibition from petite to gargantuan (neither puny) athletes whose bodies were not only on full display but also their personalities.
“It takes hard work to get this far but it is worth it. Its about the mind body and soul,” said Competitor, Tiffany Gadsden.
The ambience started off shy but shortly outgrow their tameness with outburst of sheers and clapping. The vitality of this event depended on the crowd more than anything that helped bring out the vivaciousness in the competitors.
“I enjoy doing this. This year we had a good crowd of competitors. I’m excited for them,” said Judge and Fitness Coach, Alicia Ramos.
For years the culture of weightlifting has been growing in popularity in the U.S., in El Paso and all over the world ever since icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbo, and Lou Ferrigno ignited the sport in the 1970’s into the spectacle and sport that it is today. Although the sport has remained a bit of a mystery and perhaps even a sideshow for those who are new to bodybuilding, weightlifting and bodybuilding have grown in popularity because they inspire people to explore the limits of the body and see how far they can push themselves.
“Everything is energy. Depending on the kind of walk of life the individual is taking, our bodies are one with our mind and soul,” said Judge, Alicia Ramos.
Indeed the art of bodybuilding has inspired people who have their own battles to overcome in life who to push towards their fitness goals, including one special individual that went through a radical life change from fluff to fit.
“Everyone has a different path in life that gets them to the point where they are happy and content with their fitness goals,” said Ramos.
Starting in 2012, she began a plan that took her 76 weeks to reach her goal. She was able to move through her pain and use it to propel her to become a fit mom and it is because of people like her, that other fit enthusiasts come together at events like these – that showcase their hard work in the essence of body sculpting.
“This is my second year attending the National Qualifier here in El Paso, and I plan to compete next year. I’m not exactly where I want to be but this is definitely a big influence for when I do decide to compete,” said Event Attendee and Fitness Enthusiast, Ricardo Escobar.
Among the large crowd, you could hear jolts of enthused crowd goers, encouraging their favorite contestants, while the comedic host, Gilberto Guillen brought some sassy Chuco sense of humor to the show.
There was one particular contestant who strut down to the center front flexing not really for first place but rather for himself.
“I’m not here to beat anyone, I am here to overcome my struggle with anxiety. My doctor said the best way to relieve stress is through exercise, and ever since then, fitness has become my life,” said Contestant, Carlos Garcia.
Body sculpting event promoter, Fred Guerrero, who is also the main promoter for this event has been doing this since 1994 and says it is only getting better as the years pass.
“This type of sport was not as popular as it is now. Now it is more mainstream. The body sculpting culture is a very unique one. People start to push themselves further than their natural limit. Till there is no limit,” said Guerrero.
The way these athletes get lean is by a lot of sacrifice. Work out regimes, specific diets and natural supplements to get to the competing level.
Different vendors such as, So Fit, GMC, and TransAmerica Financial Advisers were there to promote and assist the audience with meal plans and dietary supplements to help in the training process.
“We are on a good start here. This event is important to the community. I have been a part of this community since 1989 and it only gets better,” said Sponsor and Owner of Backstreet Gym, Mary Ellen Jerumbo.
There was no age limit to the competitors, for each individual had a story to tell, regardless of their age and gender. On a wide spectrum of fit human beings, there was also a plethora of personality and each one had a unique story to tell.
“I strongly believe that the best enterprise you’ll ever work on is yourself,” said Event Attendee and Fitness Enthusiast, Amber Soto.