Straight from the table episode 6. BNBF Midlands
Posted by BNBF on Monday, 14 August 2017
BNBF Nutrition First Midland Championship 2017
The penultimate qualifier of the BNBF season would take place at the Crescent Theatre Birmingham with over 50 competitors looking to obtain a coveted “Golden Ticket” invite to the British finals. A capacity crowd of enthusiasts would scream the house down as they borne witness to the fruits of their friends and family endeavours. The Midlands championship would also see the hotly anticipated return to the stage of BNBF heavyweight competitor Louis “Big Lou” Smith. The crowd wouldn’t be disappointed either as Big Lou, brought his trademark size and condition to the stage to eventually take the overall title. Big Lou will now surely be amongst the favourites for the British title as he looks to capture the elusive pro card, when the BNBF returns to Birmingham for the finals in just over 6 weeks’ time.
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As soon as the masters stepped out on stage it was clear this was going to be a two-way battle between Joao Amaro and Paul Ennis. Both competitors were in fantastic conditioning, displaying a level of development that put them in the category of top British Masters competitors. Joao had a beautiful physique, fantastic clean leans, on a tall man, reminiscent of the golden age of bodybuilding. His front Lat spread was probably the best in the show, while his rear shots were probably also the best. Joao has a wide thick back, huge deltoids and fantastic arms. Joao capped off an excellent showing with an entertaining and well-choreographed evening routine. Joao will certainly be in contention for the British title if he can replicate this kind of form. Paul Ennis was a close second, which is testament to how good a competitor he is given the standard Joao produced. Paul is extremely muscular, well balanced top to two, with no real weaknesses in his physique. Paul has a slabs of muscle on his chest and arms, and great fullness. Paul however has been harder in the past, and his posing lets himself down a little. A sharper better posing Paul may have been able to take the title from Joao, he should also look to come in tighter for the finals. After 1st and 2nd place Neville Murray (4th) and Neil Stanley (3rd) would battle it out for the remaining podium position. Neither competitor brought the total package, giving the judges a head ache on who to choose. Neville had good arms and was bigger up top, but had weak legs, while his tan was light, something he addressed in the evening. Neil on the other had a similar amount of muscle, and was more balanced top to toe, he was also slightly harder which made the difference between placing and not placing at night.
Masters Over 50s
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Adisa Dyan (1st) was the stand out competitor in this class, however 2nd place Denton Wilson wouldn’t make it easy for him. Adisa was the most conditioned competitor in the class, with strong chest and arms, a wide back and shoulders. Perhaps slightly weak in the legs, he showed his strengths well in a nice evening routine and had enough to take the title. Denton in 2nd place, improved significantly at night and was drier and tighter slamming the door shut on any competitor looking to take the spot away from him. Denton always produces entertaining crowd pleasing routines, and crowd loved his moonwalking, and rope climbing. The routine aside, Denton could work significantly on his mandatory poses for the 1st and 2nd round as he fails to show himself as well as he might. 3rd place would go to Mark Cooksey, who while conditioned, lacked the fullness needed to make his muscles pop. A balanced physique with etched detail, particularly in the back, he simply didn’t have enough size to challenge the top 2 in the class.
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Masters Figure would turn out to be the stronger of the two figure classes featured on the day. Two competitors stood out in this class Michelle Lawrence (1st) and Lindsay Davies (2nd), while the rest were left fighting for 3rd and 4th place. Neither of the top two could be described as the total package, Michelle had the shape the judges look for; a wide back, narrow waist, wide shoulders and sweeping quads, but was slightly soft. On the other hand, Lindsay had a great look, well-conditioned and was a strong competitor in the front and side shots. In the end this competition would be won from the back. Michelle has a world class back with thickness and width to rival most bodybuilders, while Lindsay lacked width and posed poorly in the back shots, which exaggerated her lack of width. If Lindsay can add size in this area she could be a formidable competitor in this class in the future. Likewise, if Michelle, comes into the finals much harder she could see herself amongst the podium positons come the finals. After the top two the judges had a real battle trying to round out the podium position and a case could be made for a number of competitors taking those slots. Claudia Brown would finish third by virtue of a narrow waist, decent upper body and reasonable conditioning. However, she didn’t make it easy for herself with poses that would be more suited to a bikini competitor, consistently made herself look narrow while failing to show off the X frame the judges look for in this class. In 4th Benita Linde took this spot by virtue of superior conditioning to her peers, while having enough of an X taper (despite a thick waist) to still make her competitive.
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From the moment the competitors stepped out on stage it was clear that Luke Dunne (1st) would be the man everyone would have to beat. Luke was a giant, taller than his peers with slabs of muscle all over. Big thick legs, big arms, big delts, and a big back. Luke was big! He was symmetrical too, posed well, and brought a level of conditioning that was enough for a novice class. If Luke can improve this condition for the finals, he’ll be tough for anyone to beat going into the show. Likewise, he should work on being slightly tighter at night to avoid competitors overtaking him in the third round. In 2nd Steven Read, was the most diced competitor in the class, he also had the best tan, which showed off his deep clean lines. His front lat spread was a particularly good shot for him and he improved significantly from the morning to the evening round. He also produced a posting routine this judge particularly enjoyed. Where Paul needs to improve is in his posing and in his back, more size in this area is needed to make him more competitive to battle with the likes of Luke and experienced Mr competitors, still a strong first showing for Steven. In 3rd place Benjamin Chetwynd would narrowly take the title from Mathew Mcdade (4th). Both Competitors were symmetrical and balanced, however both need a little more time to fill out their frames and come in with stronger conditioning. Benjamin, took this one though based on his stronger legs, while Mathew probably still needs a little more time to fill out his frame, although he was noted for his good arms.
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Three competitors would contest this class, and on any given day you might have been presented with three entirely different winners. No competitor quite brought the total package the judges have come to expect from athletic competitors like the archetypal athletic champions; Racheal Hayes or Kerry Stewart of years gone by. Vicky Mirceta (1st) was conditioned as one would expect for this class, but lacked muscle, particularly in the legs and back which hurt her symmetry, while she was also flat lacking any fullness. However, she produced an entertaining evening routine and her striated pecs and arms were probably what helped her take the top spot. In 2nd Morgana Fuchers was carrying the most muscle in the class, she had the thickness you’d normally associated with a bodybuilder, which made her stand out. A particularly prudent point all athletic competitor should note since the class still requires a decent amount of muscle hence the previous examples. Morgana, however struggled in the symmetry round and was heavy in the lower body, particularly the glutes in hams, which stopped her taking the top spot. She’ll need to bring a more conditioning package going finals. In 3rd place Nicky Rodgers deviated from her usual preferred class of bodybuilding. Nicky had easily the best natural shape in the class, with the broadest shoulders, smallest waist and sweeping legs, I’d be surprised if she didn’t take the symmetry round on most of the judges score sheets. She was improved on her conditioning from South Seas producing the same entertaining posing routine. Her conditioning however, so often her Achilles would let her down in a class that demands so much of it’s competitors. A much harder Nicky could have taken this class on another day ahead of her peers. Judges however can only award what is presented on the day and Vicky and Morgana would be awarded invites to the British finals.
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Four competitors stood out in this class, all bringing with them, their own strengths and weaknesses. James Hilton (2nd), was the biggest, most muscular competitor in the class, however his natural shape wasn’t as tidy as other competitors which was exacerbated by poor posing and his lack of tan. Daniel Kirk (3rd), had great stage presence, lovely colour, and good conditioning, yet a little narrow and slightly under muscled. Then there was Taylor Neville (4th) who had the most muscle of any competitor in the class, great natural symmetry and lines but was far too soft to challenge the top sports. The eventual winner would be AJ Morris (1st) who wasn’t the most conditioned, biggest, or symmetrical, but ticked the most boxes for the judges bringing the best overall package to the stage. AJ should be pleased, making significant improvements since the last time he competed as a teen competitor, and should now look to come in much harder for the finals should he hope to mix it with the top competitors from around the UK. A note of caution from the judges on this occasion for those competing in this class. Proper stage etiquette should always be observed and many judges remarked about the aggressive nature of posing on display, arm duelling and clashes while poses are being hit, is generally regarded as unsporting.
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Like the Jnr class this would be a battle between three competitors bringing three very different packages. 1st place would go to Chris Paline, who was shredded!!! Chris was rock hard, and this conditioning was rewarded by the judges on this occasion. Chris also had a decent amount of muscle on his frame, but was a little narrow with a long waist that hurt him in the symmetry round. Chris has the condition nailed down, this judge would now like to see him bring more size to the stage if he hopes to be competitive at a national level. In 2nd place Delroy Kays, wasn’t quite as shredded or as hard as Chris but was more conditioned than the 3rd place Aeronn Bevin. Likewise, Delroy didn’t have the same great shape as Aeronn, but was superior in that respect to Chris. Delroy had good legs and big round muscle bellies, he also had a good set of chest and arms. If Delory can come in harder, he might find himself moving ahead of Chris come the finals. Aeronn in 3rd, had the best shape in the class, a wide back, sweeping legs and impressive symmetry. What he lacked first and foremost, was condition, a fact that was made all the worst by his lack of tan, making it difficult to see his detail. Aeronn seemed to have all the tools needed to take this class, but shows aren’t judged on potential. If Aeronn can address these issues he will be a strong competitor in the future.
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The Mercurial Peter Garay took the title on this occasion. Peter is a competitor well known to the judges who took the overall title at this show a few years back. On his day Peter is one of the best lightweight competitors in the country, however one can never be sure which version of Peter is likely to turn up. Peter easily took this class however this version would not be the chiselled, dry version capable of dominating the lightweight scene, and he’ll have some work to do to get himself in shape for the British finals. In 2nd place was a toss-up between Tyler Buckingham and Karol Nowakowski, it really could have gone either way. Neither man was ripped liked you’d expect from Mr competitors, while neither quite had enough muscle that he might be able to take the title from Peter. The decisive factor would be the evening show where Karol would come out similar to his morning condition, while Tyler seemed to go backwards in terms of condition. Both competitors have potential however both will need to bring the shredz if they want to challenge for top spot in future.
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The heavies were a highly entertaining class with four excellent competitors. Two heavies stood out, Big Lou (1st) and Theo Golaub (2nd). Louis quite simply brought it, he was big, hard and nasty! He was everything we’d come to expect from him. He’s done his homework and made improvements to his back, where he was weak before. Lou would also take the best legs title with striated, sweeping quads and deep hamstrings that looked like steel cables. In 2nd place Theo, a competitor who is really starting to fill out his frame. He has a huge set of arms and back, along with a big set of pins. This is the best version I’ve seen of Theo to date, and he should be happy with his showing, however he’ll need to be more conditioned if wants to topple Louis in round two of their heavyweight battle at the British finals. Theo can also make some easy fixes in the meantime, pulling his trunks up will improve his taper, while his posing from the back is hit or miss, something that lets him down in the symmetry round. Twerking his way (yes twerking) into 3rd position, was Afolabi Abdul-Salam. Afolabi has a great physique, good proportions, decent conditioning, and good mass. He just needs to fill out his long limbs a little more to be competitive, particularly in the posterior chain where his calves, glutes and hamstrings could do with some work. Worth mentioning Steve Wells, brought a balanced and complete package, he simply lacked the condition to mix it with 1st through 3rd.
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This class would be won and lost in the evening. The criteria for the figure class demands an X shape, with stage worthy condition and confidence and poise in the t-walk. First place Leah Dawson ticked two out of three of those boxes, with a confident, elegant and powerful t-walk reminiscent of Steff Noble, that highlighted her broad shoulders, small waist and sweeping quads. Where Leah could improve is her stage conditioning and her stage tan that was a little too light. Joanna Fara was a front runner for much of this class, however her lack of confidence in the evening meant she struggled to show herself in this round. She had superior conditioning to Leah, but didn’t have the same wide shoulders and here performance in the t-walk made it an easy decision for the judges to put her in 2nd in the end. Jennifer Dunn in 3rd has some potential for this class, but needs some refinement. She has big legs and decent upper body mass, but didn’t pose well, or have enough condition to be a threat to the competitors ahead of her.
Overall: Louis Smith
Best Wheels: Louis Smith
Report by Andrew Chappell