The 19th annual Mr. and Ms. SMU competition took place in the lower level of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center April 17.
Mr. and Ms. SMU is a natural bodybuilding competition that values dedication and the physical form. Both men and women competitors train their bodies to maximize muscle tone, definition and size while staying lean. The competition is part of SMU’s Mustang Fitness Club.
There are four main components of the competition for both male and female competitors: the symmetry round, fitness routines, pose-off and awards ceremony. The symmetry round includes a series of posing; fitness routines allow competitors to impress the judges and audience with 60 seconds of choreography; and the pose-off is a 30-second final showdown in which the contestants impress the judges with their physique.
The scoring for Mr. and Ms. SMU varies based on gender. Male competitors are required to do the following poses: front double biceps, front lat spread, side biceps, side triceps, rear lat spread, rear double biceps, abdominals and most muscular poses. Female competitors are only required to showcase their front, best side and back.
The judges included IFBB Pro and two-time “Mr. Israel” Sagi Kalev, fitness professional Regina Coreil, former NPC middleweight bodybuilder Keri C. Parker Berry, personal trainer Chad Wall, and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports personal trainer and 2014 and 2015 SMU Strongman winner Andrew Elrod.
Competitors for Mr. SMU were sophomore Ben Nabors, senior Statten Corwin, PhD student Patrick Lan and sophomore Alexandro Garcia.
Competitors for Ms. SMU were masters student Nina Sosa, senior Courtney Thrower, freshman Sophia Ho and senior Rachel Nicol.
Nabors won Mr. SMU and Sosa won Ms. SMU. Runner ups for Mr. and Ms. SMU were Lan and Nicol. First place winners received Sagi Kalev’s Body Beast workout DVD set as well as a box of Shakeology shakes as prizes.
This is both Nabors’ and Rivera’s first time winning Mr. and Ms. SMU. The 2015 winners talked about their fitness and diet regimen in preparation for the competition that led to their victory.
Nabors discusses his fitness routine and the changes he had to make in order to get in shape for the competition.
“I’ve been training about five to six days a week for the past three years,” Nabors said. “I started a fairly aggressive cut about six weeks ago to prepare for the contest.”
2015 Ms. SMU winner Nina Sosa also trained hard in preparation for the event.
“Two weeks prior to the competition I cut down on sodium, I cut carbs completely and I went from four meals to six meals a day,” Sosa said. “A week before the competition I started slowly decreasing my water intake then I started eating carbs again for a fuller figure.”
The winners also reflected on winning the competition.
“I felt honored to win the title of 2015 Mr. SMU,” Nabors said. “It’s a great feeling when hard work and dedication pays off. I plan to compete in a men’s physique show within the next year and also do some fitness modeling. I hope to one day become an IFBB pro in men’s physique.”
Sosa believes that the experience made her a better person.
“It feels really good; I feel very accomplished,” Sosa said. “But I felt like I already won the competition before I stepped on stage. I’m in the best shape of my life, and that alone makes me feel like that I won the competition against myself.”
Nabors and Sosa believe that with hard work and dedication, achieving your goals is possible. Both gave advice for potential competitors next year.
“My advice to anyone who plans to compete would be to do there research when it comes to dieting and allow plenty of time to cut down in order to preserve muscle mass,” Nabors said. “It’s definitely a worthwhile experience though.”
Sosa added her own advice about competing.
“I definitely say to not give up,” Sosa said. “It is a physical competition, but it’s more mental than anything. You have to be disciplined, persevering and never forget your doing this for yourself- to be a healthier person.”