This weekend was full of great bodybuilding shows. The Midwest was showing off their muscle at the OCB Midwest States promoted by Ray Binkowski, while the Miami Nationals had over 700 competitors. On the east coast the NGA Mt. Rogers Bodybuilding Figure and Bikini Championships took place at Freedom High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. This is where I competed for the day.
The better portion of my competition history has been in the Midwest with a single competition on the East coast. My last East coast competition was not what I expected, and I was not sure what to expect with the NGA Mt. Rogers which is promoted by Dave Spindel.
This is the 36th year for the longstanding show. After the NGA Mt. Rogers bodybuilding show was over I understood why this bodybuilding show is so popular. By the numbers the show was smaller than last year’s, but the quality of the competitors, promoter, expeditors, trophies and venue was nothing to scoff at.
Freedom High School
The venue had a great stage and lighting, and the sound was excellent. There was not a single hiccup with the music for the competitors. This is not often the case at bodybuilding events, which sometimes leaves competitors on stage to do a routine without music.
The doors opened at 9:00 a.m. for check-ins. There were stations to purchase organization cards, weigh-ins, height measurements and posing suit checks. Although many shows include posing suit regulations, there are very few who follow the set guidelines.
The athletes meeting started promptly at 11:15 a.m. and the prejudging started at 12:30 p.m. There was no waiting, no meandering or waiting for stragglers. For me, this was a relief. The last show I participated in began one hour and 45 minutes late.
Prejudging moved quickly for the 80+ competitors and was finished by 2:30 pm. The night show began at 7:00 p.m. and ended at 10:10 p.m. During this time the competitors were in the caring hands of Bill Hurd, Rochelle Ford and Frank Duff, along with several other expeditors, who kept the show moving at a successful rate. As any competitor and promoter knows poor performing expeditors means a slower, unorganized bodybuilding show.
Fortunately, Spindel has a crew of expeditors that are on top of their game. Expeditor Hurd also gave newbies a quick stage presentation lesson before heading on stage. Most shows expect you to fully know what to do before arriving. For a bodybuilding newby this act of professionalism is a saving grace.
Sporstmanship all around
Once off the stage I joined the crowd to enjoy the remainder of the show. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The audience participation was through the roof and everyone was enjoying themselves. There was no heckling and it was still a large audience considering the show was almost over. At many shows there are few left to see the overalls or heavy weights on stage, or the audience only cheers for people they know. It was a very sportsman-like crowd; much like the competitors.
The NGA Mt. Rogers bodybuilding competitors were very friendly. There were nervous jitters for the new bodybuilding competitors, but it lacked the cattiness or snooty remarks of other shows I’ve attended. There are some friendships I made that I would have never made otherwise.
Bodybuilding judges and advice
After the show the judges made themselves readily available to speak with the bodybuilding athletes. I spoke with judge Medina Roberts and Gary Jackson and their impressions of me were very similar. Unlike telling me what was wrong and leaving it at that, both offered some great advice for next year. The judges were also available at the pizza party held at Power House Gym for all the bodybuilding athletes, friends and families.
Awesome last bodybuilding show of the season
The NGA Mt. Rogers bodybuilding competition is the last show of the season in the state. In the future it is one I recommend. Spindel, his expeditors and judges were top notch and offered a great event for bodybuilding athletes to participate in. It is one the best ways to end the season with a solid show such as this.