by Nick Hickey
Since House Of Muscle decided to sponsor Ethan Pendry back on 1-14-14, we have tried to bring you, our valued customers, insight into how an NPC bodybuilder trains, eats, supplements and prepares for a contest. We have detailed Ethan's journey over the last ten months via our newsletter, taking you from his introduction right up until showtime.
Our first update from Ethan showcased the first steps on his journey. Next, we documented Ethan continuing his quest for an improved physique. Ethan faced adversity in this training, like we all do, when he sustained a minor lower back injury. Our third newsletter about Ethan detailed his plan to push through and prevail. The next update of Ethan was at 20 weeks out. At this point, you could really see the improvements in Ethan's physique as he began to diet hard up until showtime. At 12 weeks out, we brought you another update of Ethan's plan for this crucial time period. Our 7th update brought all of you "In The House" an in-depth look at Ethan's final stretch of the remaining 4 weeks. Throughout his journey, Ethan has worked extremely hard. He has shown that hard work and dedication is the only true way to reach your goals. We hope that documenting Ethan has not only inspired, but educated those of you who followed along. Ethan's journey to the 2014 NPC Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic was completed this past Sunday, November 2nd.
I made the trip down to Baltimore, MD along with my fiance, Caitlin, to support Ethan as he reached the final step of his quest. We also set up a House Of Muscle booth at the show, to get the word out about our sports nutrition supplements and to show our support of Ethan in his bodybuilding competition.
It was a great event, with other big name vendors there, including IFBB pro, four-time Mr. Olympia and bodybuilding icon, Jay Cutler.
How A Bodybuilding Contest Works
For those of you unfamiliar with how a bodybuilding contest works, there are two parts that the competitors are judged on: 1) the "pre-judging" portion which occurs in the morning, and 2) the "finals" which occur at night. During the pre-judging, all contestants from their respective weight classes line up and go through the "mandatory bodybuilding poses". You've probably seen these in the muscle magazines, such as the front double bicep and most muscular poses. The judges then mark the competitors with a preliminary score, based solely off of their morning mandatory poses. This score is 1/2 of the final score for each competitor, the other half being from the night time finals show. During the finals, each competitor has his or her own routine to music that the judges score. After the finals are complete, the competitors are lined up and the final placings are announced.
In pre-judging, Ethan looked great! As the competitors went through each pose, it was evident that Ethan had practiced his posing and was in condition to not only hit each pose properly, but to hold the pose for the judges. He was clearly one of the better competitors in his class, and we both agreed he looked good for a top-3 finish going into the finals, but it was up to the judges.
After the pre-judging, Ethan took a few minutes to visit the House Of Muscle booth and pose for a few pictures. Ethan seemed to be truly enjoying himself and in great spirits. He was excited about his showing that morning, and anxious to get on stage for the finals. There is definitely something to be said for Ethan being in such good spirits, as competitors in bodybuilding are totally dehydrated and depleted the day of the show. Ethan's positive attitude is a great reminder for us all to "enjoy the journey".
When the night show rolled around, there was an electric feeling in the Hippodrome Theater. The show started with all 350+ competitors ranging from women's bikini to men's physique to bodybuilding on stage at once, celebrating their hard work by waving to their supporters in the crowd and dancing. That was a great display and brought about a feeling of camaraderie during the heat of competition. Once the introduction was complete, it was showtime.
The emcee for the event was a well-known fitness personality, IFBB pro, Masters Mr. Olympia and Mr. Olympia emcee, Bob Cicherillo. He did a great job of moving from one competitor to the next, and soon it was Ethan's time to take the stage. Ethan's name was called, and he confidently walked out from backstage with his hands raised high as the crowd cheered loudly. "Bulls On Parade" by Rage Against The Machine blared from the speakers as Ethan went through his routine. You could tell there were plenty of Ethan supporters there, and he had one of the biggest cheering sections of all competitors. Ethan wrapped up his routine with a powerful back double bicep pose and walked off, thanking the crowd. After the crowd cheered loudly at the completion of Ethan's routine, emcee Bob Cicherillo sarcastically asked if "anyone was there to support Ethan?"
The final few competitors in the super heavyweight class did their routines, and then it was time for placing. The top 5 competitors in each class were called to line up, and Ethan was in the top 5. This means that no matter his placing from this point forward, Ethan had reached his goal of a top 5 finish.
There were formidable opponents in Ethan's class, and as they called out the 5th, 4th and 3rd places to accept their awards, Ethan was still standing there, in the top 2! This was very exciting, and we thought Ethan had a great chance to win his class. The next name called was Ethan Pendry, and he was awarded 2nd place in his class! He received an awesome sword trophy and earned the respect of his fellow competitors.
Over the last 10 months, House Of Muscle has followed Ethan Pendry, an up-and-coming NPC bodybuilder, throughout his journey to the stage. We have striven to provide you, our valued readers and customers, with information that could help you in your own journey. It is quite a unique thing to prepare for a bodybuilding show. As one competitor mentioned to us at our booth, you train and prepare for almost an entire year for about 3 minutes on stage. But, it is not about the 3 minutes on stage. It is about the journey. It is about pushing yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Ethan did just that. He stayed on track and fought his way through a grueling prep in order to reach his goal. When it was all said and done, he not only achieved, but exceeded his goal. Ethan has shown us all that he has the heart of a great competitor and the drive to be successful. As evidenced by his Tweet shortly after the show, Ethan truly has the drive to be a champion. He said, "I wanted to win. Just as everyone competing did. I took 2nd, pleased with my effort but there is more in me."
A video of Ethan's finals routine and the awards can be found here: Ethan Pendry 2014 NPC Jay Cutler Baltimore Classic. We hope you can use this journey as inspiration for your own training. We appreciate you following along with our newsletters and updates, and will continue to keep you updated on all things House Of Muscle.
We would like to once again congratulate Ethan Pendry on achieving his goals and being an outstanding representative for House Of Muscle.
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