Physique taking over
The face and look of bodybuilding have changed, possibly forever, and the sell-out crowd at last Saturday’s Mr Bridgetown competition at Combermere School’s Major Noott Hall would have recognised it.
While 15 competitors took part in the crowd-teasing Men’s Physique, only four battled for the once prestigious title of Mr Bridgetown.
In reality, the latter was just a two-man show between winner Dario Bryan and Mr Teenager Shaquille Lavine because Mr Novice Glenn Collymore was a late entry and Reginald Thorpe never looked or posed as if he was a serious contender.
The Barbados Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation would have assisted in the shift of importance since they would have been striving to exploit the popularity of the physique element with the large number of new fans turning out to support the mushrooming and already established gyms.
However, proof that the bodybuilding element was being relegated to a support show was provided when the results of Mr Bridgetown were announced before those of the Men’s Physique.
While bodybuilding is often viewed as outfits on a catwalk – nice to look at and appreciate – the Men’s Physique is seen as more practical since almost every spectator would believe he or she can achieve similar looks of smoking six packs, nice arms and backs, even if a three-quarter pants is needed to cover skinny legs.
The Ladies Fitness and Bikini Fitness categories have also drawn more spectators and competitors over the years to push the bodybuilding element almost off the stage.
The screams and shouts of support were magnified when Anke Griffith, Melina Leblanc, Kara-Lynn Belle and winner Domini Alleyne took to the stage in the Senior Bikini Fitness.
The poor performance of the soundman – who caused a 40-minute delay of the show and first competitor Faye Jones to strut her stuff without any accompanying music – was quickly forgotten when the proverbial buffet of some of the finest legs, thighs and glutes were put on display.
Griffith, Leblanc and Waynel Lynch set the standard early in the Junior Bikini Fitness with bodies that were well complemented by hairstyles and hair colour, as well as colour coordinated shoes and outfits, and it was maintained by Kathy-Anne Greenidge, Janelle Butcher and Nicole Garnes in the Senior Body Fitness.
With the promise of even more delectable offerings, the Nationals, which will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on August 30, are expected to be one of the greatest shows, bringing out the best in body and physique.
The Central American and Caribbean Championships will follow from October 2 to 4 in St Marten, with the Darcy Beckles Classic slated for October 25.