A letter went out after JR USA to the NPC competitors in Texas. See the letter below:
Greeting All TX NPC Figure Competitors,
This update is specifically for you as it pertains to the new judging criteria we at the NPC are judging. For the past year you have been hearing rumors or directly from me that judging will move toward a softer athletic look in figure instead of the muscular, lean look. Well, we kicked off the national competition year with the Jr. USA in Charleston and true to our word we set the stage for local and national level judging. The look is soft and athletic. I suggest that you go on-line to examine pictures of this past weekends competition.
With the exception of Figure Class D as it was too lean and hard, but we didn’t have anything else to judge in that class. But all others are representative of the new look.
We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Train hard and demonstrate sportsmanship always,
N.P.C . Texas District Chairman/IFBB Judge
This has caused quite a stir on a few message boards and I checked in with J.M. Manion, who updates npcnewsonline.com, to get clarification. J.M informed me that this IS NOT a letter from the NPC National Office. If there is an official letter, you will get it from him or the NPC National Office & it will be posted on NPC News Online.
My two cents… A good reference what figure should look like see the top 6 at the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Figure. You’ll notice how different Amy Fry looked from the Arnold to Pittsburgh. Many women are thinking that by the words “soft” that they can slack on the diet. This is simply not true. You need to still show a muscularity, symmetry HEALTHY and athletic look. Women will be marked down for separated quads and looking “too hard”. That means your level of conditioning is the dry, hardened look that works for male bodybuilders but not the females. This usually happens when a competitor is training with a trainer who doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Don’t overdue the contest prep but at the same time don’t think this is an excuse not to diet and train. Women should pay attention to their entire presentation. Hair, makeup, suit cut and color, shoes - it’s the entire package. Lenay Hernandez won the JR USA because she possessed that. Some women are bitter and feel that they are loosing out to a better looking woman. You choose to participate in figure, no one is holding a gun to your head. Don’t hate on the women who possess the healthy, attractive, feminine look that is going to help the industry.