Sports

Top level bodybuilding competition on its way to Arlington

Keith and Denise James show off their physiques in past competition for natural bodybuilding.  The two will strut their stuff along with many other elite level performers at this years 2007 Washington State Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championships. -
Keith and Denise James show off their physiques in past competition for natural bodybuilding. The two will strut their stuff along with many other elite level performers at this years 2007 Washington State Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.
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The Arlington High School Performing Arts Center will present a top level bodybuilding competition coming up Aug. 11.
The 2007 Washington State Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championships will consist of the finest drug-free athletes that this region has to offer. Organizer Denise James emphasized the drug free policy and explained the stringent regulations in place to keep the event clean.
Every competitor is tested by polygraph test prior to competing. The winners will walk right off stage and be subject to a urinalysis, said James. We insist on seven years of being free of performance enhancing drugs in order to compete.
Because of that, the figures in the competition look much more like regular people than what unknowing spectators would expect.
What people think is that all bodybuilding looks like those shows on television with the freaks. Those bodies are not earned naturally. The people that compete in natural bodybuilding are not the freaks you see glamorized. Not everybody is associated with steroids, said James.
So what does it take to be a competitor in these events? According to James, all it takes is weight lifting, small healthy meals and the ability to say no to sweets.
The men get to eat much more than the women, thats just the way the body works. Everybody trains year round with weights and then a few weeks before the show, theyll change their routine to emphasize tone, said James.
Three months before the show starts, competitors begin to eat only clean, water based foods. Lots of fruits and vegetables are consumed, and the last week before a show wheat will be eliminated from the diet. Wheat causes the body to store subcutaneous fat, a competitive bodybuilders nightmare.
My husband Keith and I have a lot of fun with it, said James. I treat it like a science project to see what we can do with our bodies. Theres not a lot of people who have the discipline to avoid the cookies, the cake and the ice cream. These athletes are all extremely prepared for this competition.
In addition to the rigorous diet and heavy lifting, competitors must also train cardiovascularly. It takes 20 minutes to an hour every day to keep the body pushing out more energy than it is taking in.
With all the stringent requirements placed on the competitors you might wonder when these people have time to have any fun. After the show on Aug. 11 all the athletes will be celebrating with a huge afterparty at El Gitano Mexican Restaurant in Smokey Point.
The people competing havent had that rich food for months, said James. Theyll be sick for a week afterward, but itll be a huge release. Were going to celebrate the show.
The competition itself will be divided into two portions. In the morning, all competitors will pose for judges and be given scores based on tone, definition and overall fitness. These grades will carry over into the nights festivities, wherein the athletes will be on stage performing routines set to music.

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