After months of strict dieting, constant hard work in the gym balanced with studying for their degrees, 40 students from across the UK amassed in Bristol on the 16th March for the MASS Student Physique Championships 2019.
With several returning competitors, many newcomers and equal amounts of resilience and talent from both camps, the competition was fierce as all fought for the huge selection of prizes, including Maximuscle supplements and the coveted Men’s Overall, Women’s Overall and University team trophies. The show wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the volunteers running things backstage and front of house, Bristol SU providing a stunning venue, the judges carefully selecting worthy winners, the sponsors Maximuscle and Only the Fierce, Get Bronzed tanning, Matt Marsh’s photography and the audience for traveling to support Britain’s student-athletes athletes.
With competitors arriving at 8 am for the second layer of tan, it was the start of what proved to be a challenging day for all. Focused and in the zone, they followed the numerous different stage day diet plans as they waited for their turn on stage. Yet despite the competitiveness of all the athletes involved, the atmosphere was relaxed pre-show – numerous Instagram exchanges were made as students from different universities with a shared passion were brought together.
With doors opening for the public at 12, the host and founder of MASS David Bissell introduced the show and the judging panel; which featured several celebrity fitness models and bodybuilders, including WBFF Pro World Champion Williams Falade & PCA Competitor Laura Baker.
After the all the athletes went on stage for the group photo the competition kicked off with a round of pre-judging for all categories, with Women’s Bikini and Bikini Fitness the first in the list. For each category the students perform an I-walk with a pre-made posing routine, followed by completing a series of quarter-turns as a group.
After all the categories had performed in the pre-judging there was a short interval offering a chance for the competitors to see their families and supporters from the crowd before the final round of judging commenced. For the second round, the I-walk, a series of quarter turns and then a posedown between all competitors in their respective categories was performed before the top 3 winners were announced.
On a personal note: The show offered a great opportunity to both excel in the sport and the fitness industry – I’ve been weight training for several years without a real goal in mind. This show offered a chance to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle whilst allowing me to see if I was comfortable performing on stage – a dream of mine since I was fifteen and first picked up a dumbbell (and watched Pumping Iron!). Mass SPC is a great introduction to a physique competition, which maintains a friendly and constructive attitude that appreciates the difficulty in balancing studies with sport and resisting the stereotypical aspects of student life. I’d strongly recommend everyone, no matter the fitness level to consider competing in the 2020 show!
- Winner: Natasha Palmer (left)
- Runner Up: Charlie Warwick (right)
Women’s Bikini Fitness
- Winner: Amy Clark (left)
- Runner Up: Hattie Pearsey (right)
Men’s Physique Transformation
- 1st Place: Charles Tran (centre)
- 2nd Place: Rob Angel (right)
- 3rd Place: Sam Chen (left)
Men’s Physique Fresher
- Winner: Jack Booker (right)
- Runner up: Matt Mooney (left)
Men’s Physique Short
- 1st Place: Tom Teixeira (centre)
- 2nd Place: Kyle Colin (right)
- 3rd Place: Steven Qi (left)
Men’s Physique Tall
- Winner: Jordan Canepari (centre)
- 2nd Place: Austen Hills (right)
- 3rd Place: Jack Booker (left)
Men’s Classic Physique
- Winner: Tom Baddeley (right)
- Runner up: Makhosi Makhetho (left)
Men’s Open Bodybuilding
- Winner: Ismael Onilearan (right)
- Runner up: Daniel Thorne (left)
- Winner: Amy Clark
- Winner: Jordan Canepari
- Winners: MASS UWE
- Winner: Kyle Colin
By Charlie Thompson
SPC Competitor and Journalism Student