No punches were pulled at the 2013 UKBFF British Championships this past weekend that saw 24 year old, current Arnold Classic European Champion Ryan Terry looking to add the UKBFF to his list of achievements for 2013! Approx 30 other competitors were hoping to spoil his day, with Champion Fitness Model Rob Riches bringing a tight, conditioned and muscular package to the show. All of this paved the way to a momentous UKBFF British Championship that had more than one twist and turn, and ended with a HUGE announcement!
The docile tones of my alarm clock roused me from my slumber at the bright and early time of 5am on a Saturday morning…wait, let me capitalise that…on a SATURDAY morning! You know what though, it didn’t matter because a whey protein shake and multi-vitamin awaited me, immediately followed by some rolled oats, coconut oil and cinnamon. Alright alright, I confess it was fry up, but we had the small matter of a road trip to Yorkshire awaiting us, so we treated ourselves! Yup, this years finals were held at the Harrogate International Centre in Yorkshire, ‘I say, I say, Yorkshire lad’, which meant we had a 230 mile trip ahead of us before the ‘Beginners’ bodybuilding category took to the stage at 10am.
In the arena and ready to go!
We were optimistic of getting into the arena easily by 10am, right up until we walked in the arena foyer where we were greeted by a massive spiral ramp with what must have been close to 300-400 people stood idly, waiting patiently to buy a ticket. By the time we reached the ticket table the show had already started, 10.30am meant we had cued for more than an hour and had consequently missed the ‘Beginners’ first pose offs, but managed to get to see the final showdown for their category. ‘Beginners’ is probably a loose title considering the aesthetic physiques on view no doubt took several years to achieve! Once we were sat and settled, the master of ceremonies voice was reminiscent of Jim Bowen, the infectious host of popular program from back in the 80’s, Bullseye!
Voluntary judges and organisers
The judging panel deserve credit for doing their job on a voluntary basis, judging is never easy, but separating some of these athletes was proving extremely difficult even by the UKBFF standards. All staff involved had a very long and busy day to manage. Incidentally the whole event was organised on a voluntary basis, and although it went by in a relatively smooth manner, the fact you couldn’t order tickets online, the resultant major delays in cueing, and the fact there wasn’t even one certified first aider on site to tend to an injured competitor back stage demonstrates some flaws that, if addressed, might help to boost the shows validity. This being said, the show is robust, the staff were on the whole very helpful, and they provided a fantastic stage for some of the best athletes in the UK to exhibit their assets.
The best line up in the history of the show
At the end of the Juniors Under 23 Years category, the line up was so impressive and so close that the judging panel labelled this particular line up as ‘the best line up of under 23’s we have ever seen’. This was relatively early on in the show but what followed was equally as competitive…and impressive! The line was as follows:
Line up from beginning to end
-Body-Fitness Up to 163cm
-Masters men +40 years
-Classic BB up to 175cm
-Bikini-fitness up to 163cm
-Men’s Physique up to 178cm
-Women’s + Men’s athletic fitness
-Body- Fitness over 163cm
-Master men +50 years
-Classic BB over 175cm
-Bikini-Fitness over 163cm
-Men’s Physique over 178cm
-Body- Fitness over 163cm
-Master Men +50 years
-Classic BB Over 175cm
-Bikini- Fitness Over 163cm
-Men’s Physique Over 178cm
The main event…Men’s Physique up to 178cm!
It may seem wrong to label this one category as the ‘main event’ considering every athlete competing has arguably worked as hard. What a lot of bodybuilding comes down to however is marketability…the overall package, and Men’s Fitness fits that bill perfectly. Competing within the Men’s Fitness category are some of the finest physiques, certainly in the UK, but also in Europe with the likes of prolific fitness modelling champion and True Performance Nutrition owner Rob Riches, Reflex Nutrition sponsored athlete Ben Noy, and current Arnold Classic champion, and USN sponsored athlete Ryan Terry! These massive names alone make this category one to watch, but the depth of talent on display makes it all the more impressive. The competitors were judged on their physique first and foremost, their style and stage presence, the fluidity of their movements (because fitness models aren’t bodybuilders per se), and their overall marketability i.e. will they look good on the cover of a magazine and will their face sell merchandise!
The results for Men’s Physique up to 178cm!
As the top 5 were called out, the talent on display spoke for itself. Both 5th and 4th place was going to be interesting, but it was pretty clear who were going to place in the top 3, the question was…what would the order be? Ben Noy, Rob Riches and Ryan Terry were the eventual final 3 with all 3 of them bringing an incredibly refined and compact package! Ben Noy brings a ‘V’ like taper to the stage that certainly draws the eye, whilst Rob Riches brings a degree of conditioning to every event that is testament to his vast knowledge and experience in nutrition, fitness and fitness modelling. Ryan Terry was bearing a bit of pressure, having recently won the title ‘Best physique in Europe’ he was inevitably hot favourite to take the crown of the UKBFF too…but with the likes of Rob Riches on the stage, nothing is a foregone conclusion. Ryan Terry’s Oblique’s frame his incredibly separated rectus abdominus similar to the ornate, beautifully moulded frames presenting one of Van Gogh’s master pieces in the National Gallery, Ryan Terry was in tip top shape.
The judges deliberated for some time which only added to the tension. Ryan Terry is a midlands lad and thus had a huge following within the arena, in fact, his Mum was sat directly in from of us, who quite understandably made no effort to contain her support and excitement for what her son was on the cusp of securing. About 10mins passed before the announcement was made, in 3rd place…Rob Riches, which was somewhat of a surprise (in my humble opinion), in 2nd place…Ben Noy, who quite honestly looked as though he’d been vacuum sealed such was his definition. This left Ryan Terry to be announced UKBFF Champion, and what a deserved victory it was!
Twist in the tale
As Ryan Terry received his trophy and lapped up the deserved applause a show official popped his head around the curtain to whisper something to Jim Bowen, I mean ‘the master of ceremony’! A minute or so passed before the announcement was made, Ryan Terry, for the first time in UK Men’s Physique history was granted ‘Professional’ status! The significance of this means he is now able to compete in the IFBB in America and the Olympia against some of the best physiques in the world, including Steve Cook, the legendary Optimum Nutrition Sponsored athlete that our very own Scott had the pleasure of meeting and having a Nando’s with this past Saturday.
It is beyond the scope of this post to discuss each and every category, but let me make it clear that each and every one of the athletes deserve a full write up for the part they played in a momentous UK Championship final! The Bikini-fitness categories exhibited muscular yet elegant physiques, the Women’s + Men’s Athletic Fitness category personified the unison of sport, fitness and aesthetics, and as for the Master’s Men over 50+, well let me tell you, if you’re in your 50’s and think it’s too late to get in shape…think again!
Thanks to all the organisers and the volunteers that made this event possible, congratulations to each and every one of the competitors who made it a show to remember, and a massive nod of approval to the UKBFF for granting our very own British athlete Ryan Terry professional status so that he can exhibit that incredible physique to the rest of the world!