We've had "The Rise of the Fit Over 50s", "Disordered Eating and The Rise Of The Competitive Fitness Model", and "The Rise of the Female Fitness Guru". Now it's...
THE RISE OF THE FEMALE FITNESS MODEL
Click on it. Don't worry, it's the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation!)
The rise in UK gym membership in recent years has been well-documented, and has in no small measure been powered by the rise in the number of women working out at least four times a week - see "The Rise of the Protein Princess", and "How Women Fell in Love with Working Out and Fitness (Finally) Became Fashionable", for example.
Now, it seems, record numbers of women are competing as well.
At last year's UKBFF British Championships, for example, there were so many entrants in the Masters Bikini category that for the very first time the competitors were split into two height classes, and at the other end of the age scale a staggering (for the UK at least) 35 young ladies made up two Junior Bikini classes. There were over 50 T-walks for the judges to enjoy in the Open Bikini classes, and over 30 across two Bodyfitness (ie. Figure) classes. Even the Physique class, which has not always been blessed with a plethora of competitors in the past, had 20 women flexing off for the British title.
Numbers of female competitors are also up at NABBA events, and with more and more PCA events on the calendar as well, the opportunities for women to get truly ripped and show off their muscles in thongs and heels is also on the up and up it seems.
The internet is a powerful tool, says Olly Upton, COO of BodyPower, in the BBC clip. Social media, fitness professionals and celebrities who are pushing it...
Yes, but there's a world of difference between doing 4-5 days in the gym per week and actually prepping for a contest. Celebrities - some of whom we featured here on FMS not so long ago - might get women buying little weights in Argos, or get them to the gym, but kids don't want to be football players because they've seen their favourite celebrity having a kickabout, do they? If you want to explain why more and more women in the UK are actually getting covered in Liquid Sun Rayz and oil, surely the "fitness professionals" responsible are the women who actually compete already.
Women like Brittany Rhodes (see FMS passim) and 2016 NABBA and PCA British Athletic Figure champ Bethany Lord, both whom have over 12,000 Instagram followers. Connie Slyziut, UKBFF Junior Bodyfitness champion is just 20 and already experienced in international competition, and can boast a whopping 56,900 IG followers at the time of writing, while the not much older than Connie Kristina Vassilieva, as savvy as any at the social media game, has over 65,000.
Let's hear it for them and the (increasing number of) UK women who take it to competition level and inspire yet more to do the same. Absolutely amazing!!! exclaims a follower of Bethany's, well-placed, if her Instagram is anything to go by, to succeed on a stage before long. Such motivation to work hard every damn day!!!
And to keep working (and getting) harder and harder.