Muscle-flexing makes a comeback

"For some people it's a real life sport."

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 05:00 25/03/2013
Taranaki Body Building Championships
Cameron Burnell Zoom
The NBBA Taranaki Body Building Championships were held at the weekend
Josh Smaller
MUSCLE BOUND: Josh Smaller, of Taranaki, competes in the teenage mens event of the Taranaki Body Building Championships.

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An increased awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle is bringing body builders out of the woodwork, says the Taranaki Bodybuilding Championships co-ordinator.

On Saturday, the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) Taranaki Body Building Championships were held at New Plymouth Boys High School's Ryder Hall.

NABBA regional representative Charmaine Sutherland said this was only the second time the championships had been held in Taranaki. This year there were 45 competitors, compared with last year when there were just 19, she said.

The body building community in Taranaki had increased since NABBA began holding competitions in the region, she said.

"It's really bringing people out of the woodwork," Ms Sutherland said.

This was largely due to more people seeking out personal trainers and gym memberships to lead a more healthy lifestyle, she said.

"Once they get started on some training and they realise it's a good thing and it gives you a natural buzz it usually changes their whole mental attitude."

Body building was a natural progression for many people getting into shape, she said.

Of the 45 competitors, 16 were from Taranaki, she said.

Hawkes Bay's Andrew Murray won Mr Taranaki athletic, Gisborne's Trudy Lelievre-Houkamau won Ms Taranaki physique, Taranaki's Farah Deobhakta won Ms Taranaki figure and Taranaki's Karl Cook took out Mr Taranaki physique.

Ms Sutherland said most competitors would have spent up to six months preparing for the championships.

"But some people have trained for years because it's their thing.

"For some people it's a real life sport."

Some people had a skewed perception about what motivated people to participate in body building, she said.

"It's really just about good health and good exercise and taking pride in yourself and having some fun."

Body builders used a lot of fake tan to enhance muscle definition under the stage lights, she said. "If they didn't have the tan the lights would make them look very pale and washed out." NABBA holds 13 regional shows in New Zealand each year and a national show in Auckland, she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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