Guest Interview with IFBB Olympia Head Judge Sandy Williamson
As a competitor, have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of the judges? What are they looking for? Why did she place higher than the other girl?
Well, this conversation is as close as you can get!
Today Whitney talks with the illustrious Sandy Williamson, women’s chairperson for the NPC/ IFBB, head Olympia judge, and co-promotor of Junior Nationals. As one of the most sought after judges in bodybuilding, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge and offers an important perspective for competitors.
We begin with Sandy telling us how she got started in bodybuilding and how the sport has progressed over the years. When she first started, women weren’t even allowed in the weightroom at The Y and there were few co-ed gyms. Sandy loves that today we have shows like Nashville Fit Show and GRL PWR to showcase female competitors. When Sandy began judging, she realized she belonged at the table instead of on the stage. One of Sandy’s goals is to prepare more women judges for the National and IFBB levels before she retires.
Sandy is always generous with her time in helping competitors improve. She talks about the pre-show seminars she offers and how they are catered to meet the needs of the athletes. Because of NPC News Online, athletes no longer have to rely on magazines for information. Sandy says answers to commonly asked questions can be found there.
Whitney and Sandy discuss how a competitor knows when they are ready to move on to the national level and why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. As Whitney opens the discussion to questions from followers, the most common question is about the criteria for the Wellness division. While there is a set criteria, competitors have to consider what looks best for their body, within the criteria. In closing, Sandy offers advice to first-time competitors. Enjoy your day and remember where you started. You can learn something from every show!
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[1:11] Sandy’s start in bodybuilding
[4:28] Sandy’s start in judging
[8:00] Changes in the sport over the years
[10:22] Pre-show seminars
[12:24] Common presentation mistakes
[14:00] Information available on NPC News Online
[15:00] What Sandy looks for while judging
[17:30] How to know when to compete at Nationals
[21:06] Wellness division criteria
[26:05] How judges compare different competitors
[27:05] Advice to first time competitors
[30:00] Junior Nationals show