Ready for Pacific Muscle Classic
By Bill Charles
Primping, posing, flexing and even a bit of wiggling will be taking place Sunday as dozens of competitors step on the Keystone Theater stage at Kadena Air Base for the 7th Pacific Muscle Classic goes to the wire.
The 45 Japanese and American entrants will be competing in the Body Building – Men’s, Body Building – Women’s, or Women’s Figure categories. Organizers say they expect to see more than last year’s 800 spectators attending the Pacific Muscle Classic finals, which begin at 5 p.m. Sunday. Attendance is free. A combination of American and Japanese judges form the deliberations panel.
On Saturday, the Pacific Muscle Classic organizers are conducting a free meet-and-greet with a professional body building poser. Guest poser Hidetada Yamagishi will be meeting visitors and signing autographs from 5:30 p.m. ~ 6:30 p.m. at the Risner Fitness Center.
So…what’s all this about….besides watching a bunch of beefy-looking guys and gals strutting in front of the crowd at the Keystone Theater? Call it an art, or a sport, or whatever you want: participants take it darn seriously. As the judges point out, Bodybuilding is based on a “total package” which is a balance of size, symmetry and muscularity. The Figure competition’s a bit different, based on muscle tone and overall physique appearance. Muscle tone should appear firm and round, with a small amount of body fat and no excessive leanness.
Seriously, these folks are dedicated, often working out numerous hours each day, ready to abide by what seems like an over-abundance of rules and regulations. Everything’s structured, right down to the
directive “all posing suit bottoms must be V-shaped, and suits worn by male competitors must be plain in color with no fringe, wording, sparkle or fluorescents”. Ladies, on the other hand, get a break, as they “must wear a two-iece but may include a printed design with fringes, lace, sparkle or fluorescents that are in good taste.” Posing music must contain no vulgar lyrics.
What are the judges looking for? In the preliminaries there’s a ‘Relaxed Round’ where the eyes are on keeping feet flat and heels together, arms at the sides, no twisting and head facing the same as the feet. In the ‘Individual Round’, body builders have options of how to pose. In the ‘Mandatory Round’, each participant must show front double biceps, front lat spreads, side chest and side triceps, rear double biceps , rear lat spreads and abdominals with one thigh. Whew!
Figure competitor rules are a bit more flexible, with the ladies allowed to wear high heels and jewelry¸ and can compete in off-the-rack swimsuits…in good taste, of course. Figure competitors don’t have any routine rounds.
Within each of the three Divisions, there are sub-divisions. On the men’s side, there are Bantamweight competitors 143 pounds and less, lightweights 143¼ ~154¼ pounds, middle weight over 154¼ ~ 176¼ pounds, light-heavyweight more than 176¼ ~ 198¼, heavyweight, over 198¼, and Masters, over age 40. For the women, there’s a Lightweight category 125 pounds and under, and heavyweight over 140 pounds. The Women’s Figure competition has two divisions for those up to and including 5’4”, and another for ladies over 5’4”.
Got all that? Good. Now then, take your camera and head for the Keystone Theater Sunday afternoon. Doors open to the public at 4 p.m. Enjoy the 7th Pacific Muscle Classic. Who knows? Next year you could be competing!