Recently, there has been a distinct increase in the amount of women lifting weights in the gym whilst working out. Decades ago, if you walked into a gym, in the weight room you’d see guys, and in the cardio section you’d see women. Whereas once upon a time, people believed that lifting weights as a woman would transform you into the hulk, we now know that lifting weights as a woman will actually give you a shapely, curvy, muscular, aesthetic, and feminine physique. If you follow women’s bodybuilding, you may have heard that the NPC has introduced a new division for 2020, entitled the Wellness Division. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the NPC?
The NPC is the National Physique Committee. This is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the entire United States of America. Here, amateur bodybuilders from all over the country, and the world, are able to enter various competitions in order to showcase the bodies they’ve worked so hard on building. The NPC is very prestigious, in that in order to turn pro and win your IFBB pro card, one must first win an NPC Nationals Championship, or be declared the overall winner of the NPC USA Championships. Right now when it comes to women’s bodybuilding, there are four main divisions. These are:
However, the NPC has now introduced another – The Wellness Division, which has bodybuilding fans incredibly excited.
What is the Wellness Division?
So, what’s the new division people keep talking about in women’s bodybuilding, and what sets it apart? Well, the Wellness Division is put in place for women that are looking to build a physique slightly bigger and more muscular than Bikini Division athletes, without muscle separation and striations. Basically, this division is for women carrying more muscle mass, especially around the glutes, thighs, and hips, without super-low levels of body fat. They will also need to be carrying mass on the upper body, but not to the same degrees as the lower body. If you are familiar with the NPC and women’s bodybuilding in general, your typical wellness athlete will sit somewhere between physique and bikini. They should be slightly more muscular on the lower-body, and their physiques in general should not be considered too muscular, or too lean and ripped either.
How are athletes assessed?
When it comes to judging and assessing the athletes and their physiques, the rounds and the judging criteria is identical to the Bikini Division. Here, athletes will perform an individual ‘I’ model walk presentation in the finals, as well as performing quarter turns in each of the rounds. There are four height classes in the Wellness Division, which are as follows:
- Up to 158cm
- Up to 163cm
- Up to 168cm
- Over 168cm
Are there any rules or restrictions on the suits?
When it comes to posing on stage and going through a routine, your posing suit/bikini could be the difference between winning or losing. Rules are the same here for all other divisions. You can customize suits and ‘bling’ them up if you wish. Athletes must compete in a two-piece, so the top cannot be connected to the bottom. The top should be the same standard as the Bikini division, and the bottoms should have a V-shape at the front and should sit high on the hips. There are no T-back suits or Thongs permitted in the Wellness Division. Suits must be in good taste and will be inspected. Athletes will be marked down if their suits are not deemed to be in good taste by the judges.