This holds true for N.P.C. Colorado Chairman, Jeff Taylor's last show of the year. Competitors from Oregon, Texas and various other states made the trek to compete in one of the best National qualifying shows anywhere.
'The Rocky', as it's often referred to as by those familiar with it, had around one hundred competitors this year. The competitor numbers were down a bit from 2005 and I asked Jeff Taylor why he thought that was. Jeff spoke with a number of people who have competed before and they were a bit gun shy after last year's show. The 2005 Rocky had one of the best lineups you will find anywhere.
The conditioning of the athletes was insane and the overall winner of the men's bodybuilding cracked the top 5 at The NPC North Americans this year. Men's Masters overall winner, T.J. Humphreys has been published a few times in various muscle magazines. The figure overall winner, Tammee Marie did well at the IRONMAN NPC figure contest in early 2006. Despite the number of competitors being fewer this year it didn't equate to any less quality.
Promoter Jeff Taylor had this to say about the show.
"I think I was most impressed with the Masters Competitors at the NPC CYTO CHARGE Rocky Mtn. BB and Carol Semple Fit/Fig show this past weekend.
I have promoted over 100 shows and am consistently impressed with our First timers and Masters competitors every year thanks to so much information online as well as supplements that actually work. Trainers and competitors are making their way to the stage really ready to win.
Case in point this last weekend in Denver. With 19 Figure competitors in the Over 35 Figure class, I decided after Check In to add an Over 40 Figure class and had 9 in that class! The winner of that category, Teresa Nystrom also won the largest OPEN height class. I think that you will see a number of our Figure winners on the national NPC stage next year.Our men's overall OPEN bodybuilding winner also won his 40-45 Men's Masters Class, Michael Alexander. He last competed in the 80's!"
Contest Check In:
The competitors checked in on Friday night at the host hotel. IFBB rookie sensation Phil Heath was on hand to encourage the competitors to do their best.
Top National NPC competitor William Owens helped weigh the athletes in and told me he would be competing next year as a heavyweight.
The prejudging started bright and early with figure taking the stage first. The figure prejudging seems to take forever and it's no fault of the judges. The show expeditors and judges kept things running smoothly but the number of figure competitors and the two rounds took all morning and ended shortly after noon.
I'm slowly adding my vote to having the figure go to one round and just the two-piece. The bodybuilding prejudging was over in about an hour compared to four hours for the figure.
Only two fitness competitors entered the show, which is a disappointing and seems to be the trend lately. Fitness is hands down my favorite event to watch and despite only having two entries the routines were good. With a little more polish and practice both women who entered could do well on the next level.
I'd encourage any competitors who have their eyes on turning pro to look into fitness. You don't need a gymnastics background and the current Ms. Fitness Olympia, Adela Garcia, has proven that.
The figure portion had solid competitors in all height classes. Two competitors stood out and will do very well on the next level. Courtney Gahm and Ali Huston are two figure competitors to keep an eye on. Courtney made the trip from Texas and entered her first Figure show ever. When asked why a Colorado show, she told me she wanted to go skiing in Vail.
Not your typical response for choosing a show but it proved to be the right one as Courtney had a clean sweep by winning the Novice and Open Figure A class and the Novice and Open overall titles.
Courtney had a very balanced physique and great stage presence. Ali Huston was the talk of the show. She introduced herself to me backstage and said she was from Omaha. Deb Widdis and Tammee Marie, both from Omaha, competed and won overall titles at the Rocky in years past. She looked great but in prejudging was a bit too hard for the judges. Ali's color was a bit too dark as well in the morning.
Bodybuilding.com Writer Isaac Hinds Interviews Figure Novice Overall Winner Courtney Gahm After Her Win At The 2006 NPC Rocky Mountain Bodybuilding, Figure & Fitness Contest. Choose Your Version:
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She smoothed out a bit and washed some of the excess color off for the night show and looked great. Ali packs a ton of muscle on her frame, which she informed me, was due to her power-lifting background. She has everything in place to turn pro and I'm putting my money on Ali Huston her to do so in 2007.
At only 20 years old she has a promising future ahead of her. Teresa Nystrom edged her out for the Figure F class and in speaking with the judges it was due to her being too hard in the prejudging.
The wheelchair athletes were very inspiring and the energy that Nick Scott displayed was awesome. Nick came out with some monster tires on his wheelchair and hit a number of poses that were nothing short of great. Jack McCann made the trip down from Canada and was improved from his showing last year. Jack can be seen at most NPC National shows lending a hand.
Jeff Taylor had this to add,
"My favorite story from the weekend was hearing from our head judge that one of our four Wheelchair athletes jumped into the Christmas parade flexing with his shirt off in sub-freezing weather. That was awesome! Thanks Nick Scott for putting some beef in the Denver Christmas parade this year."
The women's bodybuilding had a good turn out however the conditioning of the female bodybuilders was all over the map. One fourth of the competitors showed up in shape and did their homework. The vast majority of others looked like ate a nice Thanksgiving meal and forgot to get back on their diet.
Yes, I know that may be a bit harsh and you never know where someone started. I give everyone props for getting on the stage. Michelle Toussaint was the overall winner. She had nice symmetry and conditioning for this show.
IFBB Pro Bodybuilding, Johnny Jackson was the guest poser and was in full on off-season condition.
Johnny is a soft-spoken guy and while insanely large, his body was every bit as soft as his demeanor. He mentioned he is considering doing the Colorado Pro in June and hoped to be in better shape next time the crowd saw him in Denver.
The men's bodybuilding was down in numbers and a couple of the classes were relatively weak but the overall winner, Michael Alexander had crazy conditioning and was without question the clear winner.
The Novice Middleweight winner and Overall Novice Winner, John Workman had some ridiculous quad separation and if he can bring his upper body up to match his wheels, he could hold his own on the next level. This was his first show and made the trip from Omaha. There must be something in that Nebraska water.
Props to Jeff Taylor for orchestrating another successful show. Cyto Charge, Vyotech, Weider Publications, Optimum Nutrition, ABB, BSN, Bodybuilding.com, Labrada and a number of other companies stepped up as sponsors to help make this show a success.
Jeff Taylor added,
"Thanks also to the support of our sponsors, trainers, fans and of course the athletes who sacrificed Thanksgiving dinner; this was another successful year for the 'Rocky'/Carol Semple show!"
The next show in the Colorado region will be March 31st in Boulder, Colorado.