"Each division has its own personality, expression, and challenges..I love them all!"
If the Shoe Fits…
Competing in one category of women’s bodybuilding is difficult as is! Whether you’re ‘bikini’, ‘wellness’, ‘figure’, ‘physique’ or ‘fitness’, each division takes intense training, precise nutrition, proper supplementation, and more!
Most competitors typically fall into one of these categories over another and train to accentuate their strong points within the division. But, what about a competitor who has gone through ALL of the women’s divisions?! 😱
Meet Kristen Dillard (@kris10fierce), a customer and affiliate with The Shoe Fairy who recently put up this post below on Instagram and we HAD to hear more about her journey!
Caption: “I have competed in every female division in the NPC. Each division has unique cultures, standards, personalities, and of course physiques! Three things to consider when choosing your division- Shape and Structure, Size (Amount of muscle on your frame), Your personality...There are more factors and layers, of course!”
We HAD to hear more - so, check out Kristen’s responses to the following questions!
When did you start competing and which was your first category? What inspired you to change divisions? Was it the judge's feedback, etc..?
I began my bodybuilding career in 2015, competing in Figure at the Jay Cutler Classic in Dallas, Texas. While I love posing for all the divisions, I first fell in love with the posing and expression of Women’s Physique. We focused my program on Women’s Physique in 2016, winning the overall in my debut. In 2017, I won the title of Texas State Women’s Bodybuilding Champion and went on to place fifth in Women’s Physique at NPC Nationals. From 2018-2020, we continued our focus on Women’s Physique and won a few regional shows, but my consistent feedback from the National panel was my size was an issue. I was too small and not dense or thick enough in comparison.
What steps did you take to build muscle and/or change your body composition for each?
After competing in the 2020 NPC North American in both Figure and Women’s Physique, we knew I needed to make a few tough choices. When we looked at the current trend of Bikini, and my genetic structure, shape, tendencies, we decided to try it. I entered a local regional show in November of 2020 competing in both Wellness and Bikini. My body type does not fit into Wellness and we knew that going into the show. However, in Bikini, I won my height class. My feedback was I was a little hard for the division, but Bikini is my home!!!
Is the training for each category severely different?
The training for each division is different across the board. However, for me personally, moving from WP to Bikini was a different planet! For example, in WP, my back training is vastly different. Heavy rowing (dumbbells, barbells, etc,) in different angles was a way of life. Rowing adds thickness and density to the muscles. However, being a Bikini athlete, I do not row at all. We avoid anything that would add any additional thickness to my back. Instead, I focus on precise technique in pull downs, utilizing different bars and angles. I keep my weight loads relatively light in comparison to WP training and my reps higher. I wear a waist trainer from Squeez Me Skinny daily. The waist trainer aides in sculpting my waist as well as supporting my back.
4. Is the diet different?
As far as nutrition, it could vary person-to-person depending on the body type and their challenges within their new division(s). For me, we were able to keep my nutrition plan pretty consistent.
5. Which division do you like the best and why?
I LOVE all the divisions! I am very lucky as a prep and posing coach, I get to work with athletes across the spectrum. Each division has its own personality, expression, and challenges…I love them all!
6. Do you believe the different divisions in NPC are evolving? Why/why not?
The addition of Wellness to the United States has been and will continue to be a game changer! All of the divisions are evolving. It’s natural that the sport progresses. I think as more girls grow up playing sports and are introduced to lifting and healthy nutrition, we will see the women’s side of the sport grow in all divisions, both in terms of quality and quantity. As we add more divisions, it will cause more “morphing” and evolving. It’s so important to stay on-top of the trends for each division!
7. For fun- fave Shoe Fairy product for show day? 😉
My favorite Shoe Fairy product is my East Coast Hoodie! For game day, I love “Best Life Slippers” for everyone, FBB to Bikini, because all athletes should feel glammed up from head-to-toe! On stage and in the posing classroom, TSF “Olympian” is my go-to shoe!