Bodybuilding takes center stage at FAMU

This year’s Miss FAMU Fitness Pageant and Mr. FAMU Bodybuilding Contest will take Rattler fitness to a new level.

Newly hired Campus Fitness Director Gei-Nam Lim has used his 15 years of experience in fitness and bodybuilding to add several improvements and perks to tonight’s annual competition.

The competition, hosted by the Campus Recreation Department, will showcase FAMU’s fittest bodies. This year, over 25 student contestants will compete for over $3000 in cash awards and prizes.

The 10 female contestants have received coaching from Angela Glenn, a nationally ranked fitness model and competitor. Lim first approached Glenn in January.

“Lim asked me to help the girls and encourage them to the level that I’m at,” she said. “It has been great to help them and to see their enthusiasm.”

The women’s categories include a two-piece swimsuit to show off physique and a 2-minute fitness routine. Lim said he wanted to make this year’s fitness pageant and bodybuilding contest model after national competitions. He has made sure that every contestant has been fine-tuned in his or her stage presentation and routine.

“This is going to be a great show. We have really tried to make it have a level of excellence and something the kids can be proud of, ” Lim said.

The male categories include a relaxed pose, where judges check for muscle proportion, shape and balance, a posing routine that allows contestants to come up with their own 90-second routine, and a round to show off muscular development.

One of 15 male competitors, Chris Thorpe, a senior defensive lineman, said his training started four months; since then he has lost 15 pounds in preparation. Thorpe also said he enjoys showing off the work he has put into his body.

“I love my body… and like to show it off, but I do the contest for the competition,” Thorpe said.

Junior Desiree Paramount, a female contestant, said she wants to help break the trend of African-American women absent in fitness competitions.

“It shouldn’t be a shock to see a black female running or exercising…hopefully I can be a role model for other girls by participating in the pageant,” said Paramount.

Glenn said she also hopes her assistance with tonight’s pageant will encourage more African-American to be physically active and or even enter fitness competitions.

“When I watched fitness competitions in high school, there were no minority women. I hope to change that,” Glenn said.

If crowned Ms. FAMU Fitness of Mr. FAMU Bodybuilder, each student will win a four-foot trophy, $150 in cash and a one-year membership to Gold’s Gym.

“I’m excited. I have never done anything like this before,” said freshman Joseph Neil from D.C.

Tonight’s competition includes guest posers Glenn and nationally ranked heavyweight Marcus Hailey.

The contest will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium. Admission is $1 for students with Rattler ID and $2 for non-students. Tickets will be available at the door.

For more information, contact FAMU Campus Recreation at 599-3785.