Building a winning body
Queenstown bodybuilder Cassie Chow won her first New Zealand title on Saturday and is now excited to be performing before a home crowd.
Chow won the Open Figure short category at the Wellington regional National Amateur Body Building Association on the weekend, qualifying for the national competition in three weeks.
But before that the Alpine Health and Fitness trainer is looking forward to the Southern Lakes Natural Classic in Queenstown this weekend - the first bodybuilding competition of its type to be held in the district.
South Pacific Natural Physique Association president Peter Hardwick said he had run a contest in Taupo for the last 23 years and had often considered running a competition in Queenstown.
"This is our very first one and we'd like to make it an annual event."
2012 South Pacific champion Janine Hayward would attend as a guest poseur while the 30-odd entrants will compete for titles including Mr and Miss Southern Lakes Classic champion and then in various age groups and divisions, including novice and open.
If there was a particularly outstanding contestant they would be invited to join a team to compete at the International Natural Body Building Association championship in San Diego, in November.
Other locals competing at the event are Irshad Ali and Liz O'Sullivan.
People who had never watched a body building competition before would probably find their impressions of the sport change, he said.
"It's not just for big muscly guys, it's something everybody can do."
Competitors needed to work hard and watch their diet. They were all drug tested.
"Most people can handle the training. Not a lot can handle the diet and nutrition."