The BC Cup Naturals bodybuilding competition took place Saturday at the Kelowna Rotary Centre for the Arts, attracting 60 competitors who flexed it out on stage in several categories.
Event promoter Dean Brandt says groups included bodybuilding, physique, classic physique, bikini, figure, and wellness.
"The judging is based on the category, where they’re looking for specific criteria for the judging. Most of them have wide shoulders, small waists. For the women, obviously in bikini it’s the hourglass figure they’re looking for, really lean with no visible body fat," he said. "Posing presentation, hair, and makeup come into it as well."
The top three finalists from each category will go on to the 2023 Canadian National Pro Qualifier in Toronto later this year. This amateur provincial competition acts as a stepping stone towards professional status.
“There’s some pretty steep competition, so we’ll see what happens here today," said bodybuilder and physique competitor Raymond Reimer.
"I’d love to go to the national level and keep trying to shoot for a pro card as a natural athlete, but it’s a journey and every year is a little different, you don’t know who’s going to show up and it’s just always a little tough that way. But I’m going to keep pushing for that because I love it."
The sport is obviously extremely physical, but competitors say the mental side of things can be even more difficult, especially in the last few weeks of preparation, where diet and workout schedules can get very intense.
"Getting ready for a show, your body can go through a lot more and sustain a lot more than your mind can. Your mind is the one that tends to say 'we can’t do this, we’re done with the cardio, we’re done with the diet.' Pushing through that is the most important and difficult part," said figure competitor Angela Hermann.
"Once you’re able to push past that mental part, it’s really smooth sailing. The more and more you do it, the easier it gets. It becomes an addiction."