Big bodies of Asia

bodybuilding BODYBUILDING as a sport has been gaining popularity in Asia, with Thailand, China/Hong Kong and South Korea taking the lead. Nongyao Kosinam of Thailand lifted the gold medal in the 49kg category at the Asian Women’s Bodybuilding Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2009.

Due to a 1988 government ban on bodybuilding for women, professional women bodybuilders are virtually unheard of in Malaysia. Enthusiasts such as Lilian Tan have only recently begun to enter competitions such as the Asia/World Bodybuilding Championship – the most renowned bodybuilding competition in Asia – held in Singapore last year.

Malaysian women bodybuilders are currently opting for “physique” rather than bodybuilding competitions since the latter has been banned. Although both categories are almost similar, the physique category requires a more proportionate body and essentially, less bulk.

Ultimately, the nature of physique competitions allows for the women to look more feminine.

So when you see a physique contestant like Lilian Tan, you will notice that while her body is well-sculpted and toned, she is not necessarily hulky compared to global competitors.

On a global level, there are many organisations that actively encourage the participation of women bodybuilders.

One of these is the Arnold Amateur competition in the United States which attracts contestants from Europe, Asia and Canada. Many aspiring bodybuilders start here.

Then there’s the famed Universe Championships organised by the US National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA). Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr Universe title in the professional level, for three consecutive years from 1968 to 1970. A number of competitions such as the NABBA Mr Universe (amateur and professional), Miss Physique and Miss Figure, are organised by this association.

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3 Responses to “Big bodies of Asia”

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