Thursday, February 3, 2011

SNBF Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness, and Bikini Workshop 2011

WOW! What an amazing weekend.  What an amazing group of people!

retrieved from
 I and my running buddy spent 8 hours last saturday in Suwanee, Georgia  learning what it takes to compete in a bodybuilding and fitness competition. 

I walked in to a room full of men and women wanting to naturally shape their bodsy and mind to compete, it was very inspiring. The 1st thing we did was introduce ourselves to the group.  "Hello, my name is Larissa, from Atlanta, I am a trainer and fitness instructor at Georgia Tech, I saw the show last year, I was really impressed with the competitiors, and would love to try and compete this year...".  There were mothers, fathers, grandparents, athletes, non-athletes, trainers, teachers, students, and cancer survivors amongst the participants.  All their with the same goal in mind, to push themselves to a new level of fitness and challenge themselves by trying something new.

I learned about spray tan. Yes, the recommend that even the caramel sisters get a spray tan.  It evens out the skin tone and gives the body a nice glow.  Who knew! Not me, but I saw the photos and it is amazing what a tanner can do even on a darker skin tone.  We even got a live demo of how the process works, as a black female this is something I never thought I would be doing or need to know about.  I learn something new everyday!

Next they split us into 2 groups, Bodybuilding or Fitness,Figure,Bikini, and Fitness.  I was on the fence - do I go the figure route with the heels and the routine and the costume changes or the less frill more rigorous bodybuilding?  I spoke with our host Carol a figure and bodybuilding competitior as well as another dual competitir at the event.  They bothe listed the differences and why they chose to compete in either, main difference in my mind is performing in figure versus muscular definition in body building, and it just seemed like bodybuilding would be the most natural fit for me, and then I can always try figure when I feel more comfortable on stage and in heels ;-).

There were about 4 females in the bodybuilding group amongst the group of men.  But, I felt like we were all old friends.  It was definately the right choice for me.  Our host Bruce, Carl, Herb, and Steve were just amazing - I actually remembered Steve from the November show once he started the posing section and his tan settled in.  The hosts skills included bodybuilding competitors, personal trainers, nutrition coaches,  posing coaches, and judges.  They had such a diverse wealth of knowledge, and to be able to have the opportunity to ask them all our questions and get there tips was truly invaluable and an honor.  They just made me feel soooo comfortable, and I guess I was not expecting that, I don't know what I was expecting, but they definately exceded my expectations. 

I got to talk 1-on-1 with Carol a female body builder and competitor out of Alabama and she was so inspiring.  You could hear her passion for the sport in the way she talked to me about her training and her experiences in competition.  It was definately contagious.  All of them and their enthusiasm for what they do showed through in how they coached us through the day.

After lunch came the real excitement. POSING PRACTICE!!! We got to learn from the pros the standard poses for a competition and how to execute them..If you have ever been to a show, they make it look easy, but it is soooo physically taxing for a newbie.  Your whole body is held in an isometric contraction for each pose.  But, practice makes perfect, and we got in a lot of practice.  Then we took it to the stage under the bright lights, and that is a whoooole other game.  Hot lights, strong contractions, and do not forget to SMILE. Hehe, I was loving it.  It hurt, and it was hard, but I loved it.  It made me feel strong and confident, and that feeling is empowering and addictive.  Who would not want to feel that way?

I learned soooooooo much from this workshop and the people.  But, beyond what I learned was the feeling that I got from the other competitiors, coaches, and SNBF founders.  I think for anyone looking to step into the world of competitive natural fitness, this workshop is a good 1st step.  They provide you lots of resources and support. 

I am looking forward to entering my first competition this year!  Either April 9th or July 16th.  Be on the lookout for more updates !  For other show dates with SNBF checkout their website at

Health and Happiness,


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