DIS Magazine and Paul Greenhouse traveled to Glenpointe, New Jersey to cover the Team Universe National Figure Competition and follow Kelly Keiser during her final hours before the show. After months of preparation, training, and stacking proteins, Kelly’s extensions are clipped, her makeup is set, her tan is impressive, and her physical transformation is complete.
In an effort to expand its base and market to the mainstream, bodybuilding has recently evolved to include a larger spectrum of body types, particularly in the women’s division. Below the proper Bodybuilding class are Physique, Figure, and Bikini. Each of these has different requirements and ideals, in terms of muscle mass and bodyfat. In 2010, the National Physique Committee (NPC) expanded men’s bodybuilding to include a new Physique division. Extreme muscularity is marked down, while presence and personality are marked up. The men wear board shorts that must be just above the knee and up to one inch below the navel. They are asked merely to walk to the center of the stage perform quarter turns with an optional pose of hand on the hip or in the pocket. It is because of the body type, outfit requirement, and catalog-ready presentation that this new category is often referred to as the “Abercrombie” division.
We also learned that Jan Tana is the premiere tanning lotion, sparkly tans are grounds for disqualification, Swarovski crystals are a must, and pushing a dehydration too far can make a contestant very, very shaky.