"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". This is a popular and true statement. It is important to be able to take a good look at yourself, internally and externally and be proud of what you exude. If you are not, it is time to make changes and dive into a progressive journey that will lead to an ultimate state of self-love. However, when indulging into the sport of fitness, it will be important and necessary to understand the definitive areas of the model fitness and figure physique. And this is where your personal body assessment will begin. This is the first step after deciding and committing to progress into the realm of competing. No one competes forever, but commit to compete in at least one show and more importantly, commit to the training that will lead you to the results!
The fitness/figure physique promotes a look of symmetry, healthy muscle tone, and exceptional but not excessive body conditioning. Women everywhere possess a wide range of physiques and shapes. Begin your assessment by analyzing your body composition and determine your body fat percentage. Since height, bone density, body shape and various other factors play a role, body weight is not the ideal indicator of what your best physique is. Female bodybuilders compete at an average body fat percentage of 6-10%. The average body fat percentage for female athletes is around 16 - 20 %. A fitness/figure athlete will aim for a 9 - 15% body fat. Determining how much of your body composition is lean muscle mass and how much is body fat will help you evaluate your level of muscular development. Your muscular development should be distinct enough to identify the major muscle groups. For example, you should have an above average development of the traps, shoulders, biceps and triceps, abs, lats, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Your body conditioning will also help display the lines outlining these muscle groups if you are lean enough. If you are carrying too much body fat, it will be difficult to identify the quality of your muscle mass. You will need your muscles to look hard and firm. This hardness will be the result of minimizing your body fat. The lower your body fat, the more vascularity will be seen by the judges. However, unlike bodybuilding, excessive conditioning and over muscularity is discouraged. Get lean, but stay away from attaining striations in your physique.
Next, symmetry is one of the most challenging elements of the fitness/figure physique. A symmetrical fitness/figure physique will have an hourglass figure. From a front view perspective, the shoulders should be wide with a lat spread that tapers down to a smaller waist. The hips and outer quads should open up the physique and taper down again at the calves. From the side view, the chest and back should be built up enough to provide depth in the upper back tapering down to the waist with the glutes, quads and hamstrings bringing that depth back to the physique. If a woman is blessed with an impressive bust and a full round buttocks, that will enhance the overall symmetry as well.
During your assessment, you should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, when I evaluate my physique, I acknowledge that symmetry is one of my strengths. My back and lat spread tapers down well and the shape and development of my legs (quads) bring a nice balance to my physique. However, the muscular development of my shoulders and calves are still weaker than that of my legs. Conditioning could also be better to bring out the lines in my shoulders and abs.
Be fair and objective with your physique. Allow others with experience to help you analyze your physique. This assessment is important because it will direct you to the type of training you'll need to strategically enhance your look. Good luck and let the training begin!
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