Pump it up 

If you didn’t get enough treats for Halloween, the World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation will provide plenty of eye candy at the Southwest U.S. Championship on Saturday.

“You’re going to see athletes from all over the world who’ve honed their bodies to extreme fitness,” said WBFF promoter Randy Sandberg. “It’s like a Victoria’s Secret show, but with better bodies.”

Oklahoma is one of seven states hosting a WBFF competition. Athletes from four countries and 13 states are coming to Rose State Performing Arts Theatre to battle it out in categories like bikini, fitness, and bodybuilding.

WBFF competitions are scored based not only on physique, but also on marketability and stage presence, which makes the tournament as much performance as competition.

“You have to keep in mind all of these athletes are under 10 percent body fat,” said Sandberg. “It’s still a competition for them, but for everyone else, it’s a show.”

For competitor Malorie Gulikers, a local business owner, there’s more to the sport than meets the eye.

“A lot of people don’t realize the kind of work that goes into building these kinds of physiques,” Gulikers said. “We’re talking near perfect, like statues. And everyone has a story, something they’ve had to overcome to reach this level of fitness.”

To prepare for a bodybuilding competition, many athletes train year-round. Most competitors begin increasing the rigor of their workouts and restricting their diets anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks prior
to competition.

Gulikers said being a role model for women motivates her to stay fit.

“I want to inspire women to take time out for themselves,” she said. “Especially for moms like me. It’s important because it gives you energy at home, in work and with your family.”

Two opportunities exist to watch the tournament. Pre-judging begins at 10 a.m., with the finals at 6 p.m.

“The pre-judging is more of the competition side of things,” Sandberg said, “whereas the finals are more about the show.”

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