Since I announced that I would be doing an NPC Bikini competition on April 8, I’ve gotten quite a few questions from friends, family and colleagues. Here are a few of the more frequent ones, with my responses.
Why are you telling everyone?
I’ve read arguments for and against telling people. For me, there are two things I value the most: hard work and honesty. So if I tell people I’m going to do something, you better believe I’m gonna do it or have a damn good reason why I’m not (including but not limited to: death, dismemberment and death…you get the point). So, telling people is a way to hold me accountable and keep me on track. I’m using you #sorrynotsorry
What exactly are you doing? A bikini contest? A pageant?
It’s an NPC Bikini Competition. NPC stands for the National Physique Committee. It’s the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States.
Similarly to other sports, you must register for an annual card, in this case, your NPC Card. This allows you to register for and compete in shows throughout the year. For a point of comparison, triathlons work the same way – you sign up for a USTA card and then you can register for triathlons.
A bodybuilding contest; but won’t you wind up looking like a man?
There are 4 levels: Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding. The bikini level, for lack of a better explanation, is the “lowest” level. Or the least “manly” looking. This description from getfitgofigure.com explained the scoring the best:
“Bikini women are judged on their lean and firm physique scored on proportion, symmetry, balance, shape and skin tone. Abs and glutes are important muscle groups.”
But is it a sport?
(Usually I get this as a statement from people, and not a question)
Well, here’s the definition of a sport: a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.
So one could argue bodybuilders (and some dancers) aren’t competing in a sport because they aren’t necessarily competing in a PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Re: flexing in a bikini, swaying on stage in a tree costume for 2 minutes because that’s the role you landed etc.
So then we turn to the definition of an athlete: a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports or games requiring physical strength, agility and stamina.
I’d say bodybuilders (and ballerinas) definitely meet that criteria.
Maybe not as clear an answer as you were hoping for and maybe I haven’t convinced you of squat (pun intended) but if you don’t consider it a sport and you don’t consider these people athletes, i’d encourage you to try it out for a few weeks. Maybe your quads, back and biceps will convince you of what I cannot 🙂