Figure :                                                               Physique:

1/4 turns with heels                                      barefoot 1/4 turns

no routine                                                         1 minute routine to music

no mandatory posing                                   5 mandatory comparison poses  (all open handed and extended leg, no 2 flat feet)

  1.  front double bi with a torso twist

2. abdominal thigh with hands behind head

3. back double bicep

                                                                               4. side chest w/arms extended

         5. side tricep

Both divisions wear the same style suits. The ladies of physique have more overall development whereas figure ladies are more well known for very small waists, large delts and a wide taper. Conditioning in figure has gone for a softer look, though 4 years ago when I started the ladies were more “ripped” and muscular.  The problem with any of these is that like female bodybuilding the only way to come back from losing is to try to build a bigger physique…so you grow, you train harder, you get leaner , etc. You can’t really go backwards. I was tiny at my first show at 108lbs. I kust competed at 122lbs…17 lbs more!!  So with all my hard work, my love of the gym I had in fact, “outgrown” figure.  I had contemplated going into lightweight bodybuilding but what I felt would happen is I would stalemate there and my mind would mess with me and I would just keep trying to get BIGGER.   I’m petite , about a size 3/4 and 5’3″. My arms are only 12 inches around when flexed and my legs are between 20/21 at their widest point.  Figure is now tiny at my height and though I say it again and again…its too hard to compete with a girl that is my height and weighs 15lbs less than me! I end up looking like a monster when I am in fact pretty much of a twig when I diet down. If I stand next to a bigger woman Im sure I will look like a peanut.

People will tell me I look great, good symmetry, overall shape, but the simple fact is I am lacking the right body type for figure.  To be honest (and I hope this doesnt come out bad as it is the written word and sometimes misconstrued or politically incorrect)   the ladies of color seem to do great in figure now, as their body types are ideal for the shape judges seem to be seeking.  I believe it was Jr Usa’s that every class winner was a woman of color. I use the term women of color because they could be African American or from the Islands and I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings 🙂 They have the good glutes, little waists and shoulders. I always complained about my lack of butt…….I call it the white womans curse. I did grow one and sometimes it looks kind of big on stage , but trust me, dieted down….I feel like Ive got pancake ass.   

Anyway, these are the differences thus far. The volume, the overall definition is different. Bob Ciccarello wrote in a post on that no one should be describing a physique competitor as “bulky, grainy, hard, striated, etc” I believe those were most of the terms used, but that is not a copied and pasted quote. The division is new and I am sure changes will be made as they go along, but they do seem to be picking the ladies without any bulk, with longer, leaner muscle. Will that change? We will have to wait and see………For now I have found a division that seems to suit me 🙂

Here is a video of Team Universe Physique posing


About Fern Assard

44 year old Professional Fitness Model, National Womens Physique Competitor, Mother or four...crazy food advocate fighting for a fitter, healthier America. Im passionate because I care :)

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