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DANISH DYNAMITE
11-24-2008, 11:22 PM
Helle Nielsen’s 2008 NPC Nationals female bodybuilding review.

Women’s bodybuilding is growing increasingly popular!
With the introduction of fitness and figure in the early 90s, female bodybuilding experienced a huge drop in athletes competing - not because the sport wasn’t popular, just because now there were more options. And the options that were available appealed to a large amount of women. Now in 2008 we can thank fitness and figure competitions for the increasing number of female bodybuilders on the stage. A lot of the figure girls who started training in the 90s are now ‘outgrowing’ figure and crossing over to bodybuilding. A natural progression of things I would say. Here is a quote from Steve Wennerstrom (IFBB women's historian) :
“Staged at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in downtown Atlanta on the evening of November 22nd, a total of 80 contestants took part in the four divisions of women's bodybuilding. Only two other NPC Nationals have draw more contestants (82 in 2003, and 81 in 1992), and this year's Georgia bash was considerably larger than when it was last held at this same location in 2005 when 63 contestants competed. This year's competitor interest is significant considering only 42 contestants took part in each of the NPC Nationals in 1995 and 1997 - and with a national economy that has been less than energetic over the past several months, it is encouraging to see the women continuing to support the sport.”
What wonderful news!

LIGHTWEIGHTS

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/coconutsandapples/NEW/l1st1.jpg

The lightweight division was convincingly won by Rita Rae, who just turned 42 a couple of months ago. At 4’11 and 113 very well distributed pounds, she displayed a very symmetrical and balanced physique with strong quad development. What struck me was that most of the lightweight women had awesome hamstring development. I just love the look of the leg, when in a side pose, how the hamstring and quad displays an equally round curve in each direction (see attached photo). It makes a perfect balance. Rita also won the NPC USA earlier this year which stunningly makes her the first woman in history to win both titles at over 40 years of age.

Who says you can’t be over 40 and look amazing! Rita indeed shined that evening!

The 2007 jr. national champion Tammy Patnode was giving Rita Rae some serious competition. After the prejudging they were holding equal points on the judges score sheets. Tammy was equally displaying a beautiful flowing physique with outstanding quad definition. At 5’1, 112pounds, she may have appeared a little less dense than Rita Rae, and lost a few crucial points in the end. But I’m sure she will come back next year even better.

Lisa James took third; she was the LW winner of last years North American Championships. I really liked her physique, very feminine and balanced. With a little more quad detail she should do really well in the future. Crazy biceps! I just loved her hair! This is just the kinda style that helps make your competition face look softer and adding to the overall stage-presence.

MIDDLEWEIGHTS

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/coconutsandapples/NEW/m1st1.jpg

Everybody just loved middleweight Diana Tinnelle’s aesthetic physique! Even before the competition there was a buzz about her. Diana won the 2008 NPC USA middleweight division as well, so this year has been a really successful one for her. Diana is one of the girls who is a cross over from figure in which she started her competitive career in 2004. A very successful cross over! Her 125pounds were very well distributed on her 5’3 frame. Everything was in perfect place on a perfect evening.

Tracy Mason was chasing Tinelle’s heels, just 3points separating the two. Tracy barely made it to the show. She was stuck in a snowstorm, and with closed airports, the odds for her to appear at the show was getting slim, but where there is a will there is a way, and after a 7hour drive, and another flight from another airport, she just made it in time. Whew! Talk about elevated cortisol levels! I think my nerves would have been sliced and diced if it was me! Anyways, she made it, and she looked awesome. This gal has been competing for 22years! And it showed. Great muscle maturity, fabulous back and great lines. I loved her hair as well. Great stage presence.

Another athlete whose physique I really liked was Julia Korfhage who took 3rd. She had very nice lines and an impressive pair of delts! Great back with a lot of detail as well. With a little more quad sweep she’s gonna get even more dangerous in the future.

An athlete I couldn’t help noticing was Dee Lazard, she didn’t finish in the top, but I was IMPRESSED. This lady is 62 years old! And she looked great! Wide back, split biceps, impressive delts and a cross striated chest. Wow, what an accomplishment at that age. She was tight and very competitive. I was just thinking of my own mom who is 62 years of age as well. She just joined a gym two months ago, and calls me all the time to tell me about her accomplishments in the gym. She diets and trains 5times a week. She just told me her biceps has grown bigger! LOL I gotta show her a photo of Dee Lazard.

On the counterpart, the youngest female bodybuilder in the show was 21 years old. I just think this sport is so amazing, because it doesn’t matter if you’re 21 or 62 or 80, you can work out, look great, feel great and enjoy all the health benefits that comes with it. It’s never too late to get into bodybuilding.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/coconutsandapples/NEW/lh1st1.jpg

An athlete who has been working so hard over the years, showing an ongoing drive and persistency, and a has huge heart for bodybuilding is Elena Seiple. She has made numerous trips to the Nationals - 7 in fact, and always been very close, so close that she could literally taste the pro-card. This year at the Nationals she could go home with her pro-card in her pocket. Very well deserved. Before the contest, I had this feeling, reading about her prep, seeing progression photos – that everything this time around just fell in place for Elena. And it sure did. Displaying a beautifully muscled physique with full muscle bellies - she easily won this class by a unanimous vote of the judges. Congrats Elena!

2nd place finisher Rose Kasallis displayed a very symmetrical and flowing physique. Great conditioning and striated glutes were some of the things she brought to the table that earned her 2nd place this evening. I liked that she showed several creative poses which really gave her a gracious look.

Yahaiva Vives took 3rd in this very tough class. Yahaiva impressed with a very thick back and a pair of great legs to match. If she can come in harder in the future she could move up even higher.

HEAVYWEIGHTS

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c155/coconutsandapples/NEW/h1st1.jpg

I was very happy to see that the heavyweight title was taken by Sheila Bleck. I thought she deserved to win a long time ago, but it always seemed like her conditioning needed the final touch. This time around she nailed it! She was chiselled from head to toe! The package she brought was nothing less but impressive. She was packed with lots of dense symmetrical flowing muscle. Everything was in perfect place like a beautiful statuette. In addition, Sheila brings the most creative and artistic routines to the stage than I have ever seen. I’m always in awe when I’m watching her.

Runner-up Necole Hamrick, was displaying a quite different type of physique - her physique reminded me of Anja Langer, with long athletic muscles with an aesthetic flow to them. A very well deserved 2nd place. Keep an eye on this beauty.

Monique Jones took 3rd place with a beautiful flowing physique. A wide back, wide clavicles, a tiny waist and nice legs made out for an impressive X-frame. If she could just build a little more quad sweep, she’d be the one to watch out for next year. Monique was another cross over from figure along with 4th place finisher Amber Defrancesco.

This was my NPC Nationals wrap-up, I hope you enjoyed it. I wish I could have commented on everybody’s physiques, but since there were soooo many contestants this year it would have been an impossible task.

Congrats to all the new pros: Rita Rae, Diana Tinelle, Elena Seiple and Sheila Bleck.

Good luck to all the ladies in your future pro careers!
1. Rita Rae LW Champ
2. Diana Tinelle MW Champ
3. Elena Seiple LH Champ
4. Sheila Bleck HW Champ
5. Dee Lazard MW and 62 years of age!
*Photos are courtesy of www.Musculardevelopment.com

NIC
11-25-2008, 01:51 AM
Thanks for the expert review:awesome:

My only disagreement would be the girl on the far right in the lightweights, but I have zero judging qualifications and this is just one picture. From this pic she seems to have better muscle shapes, symmetry and overall development.

Siouxcountry
11-25-2008, 02:52 AM
Great job Helle! :waving:

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-25-2008, 06:02 AM
Thanks for the expert review:awesome:

My only disagreement would be the girl on the far right in the lightweights, but I have zero judging qualifications and this is just one picture. From this pic she seems to have better muscle shapes, symmetry and overall development.

Thanks Denny! You can look at more photos of her at MD:
http://www.musculardevelopment.com/browse/index.php?mode=viewphotos&divisioncode=1259&comparisons=yes&classcode=7367
Her name is Barbara Fletcher, she was 4th, which is a great accomplishment at a packed Nationals. I think the judging was very fair.
Go look at the photos and tell me how you would have placed her and why:)

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-25-2008, 06:09 AM
Great job Helle! :waving:

Thank you Sioux!:)

Siouxcountry
11-25-2008, 06:31 AM
Helle I was disappointed that Lori Steele did not make first call outs. Only the lightweights had 4 in the first call out. Lori ended up in second call out and placed 5th. She was not compared to the top 4.

Here is pic of her with Lisa James & Rita at finals.

I feel her conditioning was superior to many of the women who placed ahead of her.

Your thoughts?

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-25-2008, 06:52 AM
Helle I was disappointed that Lori Steele did not make first call outs. Only the lightweights had 4 in the first call out. Lori ended up in second call out and placed 5th. She was not compared to the top 4.

Here is pic of her with Lisa James & Rita at finals.

I feel her conditioning was superior to many of the women who placed ahead of her.

Your thoughts?

At first glance, I thought: "She was overlooked". Then, as I looked further and compaired different photos. I thought her placing was right. Lori had an amazing conditioning! But bodybuilding is not just about that. Its also about flowing lines, aestetics and muscularity. The perfect female athlete has all of that along with femininity.
Personally, I think Lori will fit better as a middleweight. She was taller than top 4 and looked a little thick waisted, which will balance out once she adds more muscle to her frame.
If she came in as a middleweight with that kind of conditioning, then the other girls can pack their stuff and go home! LOL

hansk01
11-25-2008, 12:10 PM
Great review Helle! Great to have your insights.

I have 2 questions on the light-heavies. Firstly, what did you think of Karen Choat, who placed fifth? I was surprised she didn't place higher - in that pic you posted of the top five her x-shape looks great. I'd be interested to hear your assessment of her physique. Secondly, what do you think of Monique Hayes, who took fourth?

Hans

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-25-2008, 09:46 PM
Great review Helle! Great to have your insights.

I have 2 questions on the light-heavies. Firstly, what did you think of Karen Choat, who placed fifth? I was surprised she didn't place higher - in that pic you posted of the top five her x-shape looks great. I'd be interested to hear your assessment of her physique. Secondly, what do you think of Monique Hayes, who took fourth?

Hans

Thanks Hans!:)

First of all, I'd like to say all of those women looked great, and I bet that they were separated by only a few points. It's always a very tough call to assess someone's physique just by looking at photos. I'll tell you how I see it; I've said it before and I'll say it again: There are many factors that needs to be considered in judging a physique. Most just notice the muscularity or the definition, but you have to really lean back and look at each individual physique and see how it flows. You cant just say: Oh she's got freaking big biceps and the best back. Every muscle has to flow into the next. After you've looked at everyones physique individually, then start compairing to the the other women's physiques.

It's about aestetics, symmetry, balance, muscularity(every bodypart has to be equally developped) and conditioning/definition.

Karen Choat was in tremendous shape, great muscularity as well. What is her little obstacle is that her waist appears a little wide, I think if she builds some more quad sweep that her physique would flow better. The wider the waist, the bigger you have to be to visually make up for it. It looks like her lower back could be thicker, especially in the rear double biceps. Her right biceps is noticable shorter than the left. Maybe she had it torn? Its often really small things that can throw off the balance or make it really great. An athlete can change tremendous in one year, if small things are being corrected.

For Monique Hayes - amazing athlete as well. Plenty of muscle - she could have been a little harder, and her upper body overpowered her lower body. Especially her biceps were too overpowering i thought. She was very thick. If she could build some more quad sweep, let the bi's come down a bit and come in harder she should do really well.
If you look at a body and nothing stands out, then its the perfect symmetrical athlete:)

Andy Vogel
11-25-2008, 09:56 PM
Awesome review Helle! Thank you so much for your expertise!:bowdown:

NIC
11-26-2008, 02:56 AM
Thanks Denny! You can look at more photos of her at MD:
http://www.musculardevelopment.com/browse/index.php?mode=viewphotos&divisioncode=1259&comparisons=yes&classcode=7367
Her name is Barbara Fletcher, she was 4th, which is a great accomplishment at a packed Nationals. I think the judging was very fair.
Go look at the photos and tell me how you would have placed her and why:)

I was only able to look at a handful before the website cut me off, but here is what I think

#4 was the best conditioned of the 4 in the pics, little wider back and a little more thigh sweep and she would be hard to beat.

I think when #12 has one or both of her legs angled out her X shape is exaggerated (thighs look almost bigger than her wasit) otherwise from a straight front view (legs together) she looks a little squarish. #5 looks better from the front view and has slightly better conditioning.

# 7 also had some great shape and flow, but I thought her conditioning was off.

I hope someone bought the judges a round of drinks afterward:respect:

Disclaimer: I know nothing and I hope all the competitors take a strong sense of accomplishment from competing at such a high level. No matter what place you finished you are in better shape than 99.99999% of the world.

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-27-2008, 11:20 AM
You made very good observations there Denny!:) Everything you said, I agree with. You'd make a great judge;)

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-27-2008, 11:23 AM
Awesome review Helle! Thank you so much for your expertise!:bowdown:

Your welcome Andy:)

cray17
11-28-2008, 01:16 AM
Awesome, AWESOME review, Helle! I couldn't be a judge if they offered me to pay off my entire family's debts. Despite the lack of respect they get from some fans and even some competitors, you gotta give a hand to those that do this job.

Also nice to see the numbers of FBB increasing, too.:awesome:

scottnva
11-28-2008, 01:48 AM
hey helle your one of the posters i can learn from thanks for being such a help around here :)

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-28-2008, 10:31 AM
Awesome, AWESOME review, Helle! I couldn't be a judge if they offered me to pay off my entire family's debts. Despite the lack of respect they get from some fans and even some competitors, you gotta give a hand to those that do this job.

Also nice to see the numbers of FBB increasing, too.:awesome:

Thanks cray. I think the judges are doing an awesome job too. Before I started judging, I didnt realise how hard it was to sit there from morning to evening and just be concentrating, compairing and evaluating.
Sometimes even for 2 days!

hey helle your one of the posters i can learn from thanks for being such a help around here :)

Your welcome Scott! :)

GeminiJedi
11-29-2008, 03:37 AM
The ladies look awesome! I know Rita worked hard for it--and she's always so humble and nice! (we work out at the same gym) Loved your evaluation, too, Helle :)

NIC
11-29-2008, 02:20 PM
You made very good observations there Denny!:) Everything you said, I agree with. You'd make a great judge;)

No way would I want the responsiblity:nuts: Too much subjectivity b/w shape and conditioning, especially outside the top 3 when things are not quite so obvious.

I'll leave it to the pros, such as yourself:respect:

DANISH DYNAMITE
11-30-2008, 11:06 AM
The ladies look awesome! I know Rita worked hard for it--and she's always so humble and nice! (we work out at the same gym) Loved your evaluation, too, Helle :)

Great! Tell her congrats! Glad you liked my little review:)

No way would I want the responsiblity:nuts: Too much subjectivity b/w shape and conditioning, especially outside the top 3 when things are not quite so obvious.

I'll leave it to the pros, such as yourself:respect:

LOL well thats not the way it SHOULD be. You could be one to change the judging for the better;)
Thats why I went into judging; because I saw some judgings I didnt agree with, so I thought: Let me join and help them out;)
But you're right it is a big responsibility.

NIC
12-06-2008, 02:13 PM
Alright, when is the next contest?

DANISH DYNAMITE
12-08-2008, 08:55 PM
Alright, when is the next contest?

LOL next big one I'm waiting for is the Arnolds - can't wait!!!!:woohoo:

NIC
12-10-2008, 12:22 PM
LOL next big one I'm waiting for is the Arnolds - can't wait!!!!:woohoo:

Awww!! Isn't that like 3 months away! I guess I will need to learn patience.

DANISH DYNAMITE
12-10-2008, 01:49 PM
Yeah unfortunately, 6-7march. Too long a wait!! LOL

But I bet there's some local shows around that lets you rehearse;)