Renee Rogers took first place in her class and overall at the 180 Fitness Competition Oct. 3 in Statesboro.
Rogers had taken time off from competing. Her last show was four years ago when she was a figure competitor.
“I was a little nervous, but we jumped in and it was my first physique competition, so it was a little different,” Rogers said, noting the entire weekend was awesome. “We had nine different poses, whereas figure competitors only had the quarter turns. And you actually had to have a routine. You had to have music and a 60-second routine set to that music, and that was different. Figure competitors don’t do that either.”
Physique is a fitness competition classification above the classification of figure. Rogers said it fits her body type.
“It was a little bit more my niche,” she said. “The bodies are a little leaner, and you have the ability of lifting a little heavier, and I could bulk up a little bit more and not look soft, but at the same time not look like a bodybuilder.”
When the physique category opened, Rogers said she knew she wanted to give it a shot, but waited four years to handle personal issues.
“And that put everything on the back burner for several years,” she said. “But I stayed in the gym, I stayed lean and stayed on my regiment.”
Rogers said she was introduced to Team Iron Body trainer Nick Perkins, who saw her potential and essentially sparked her journey back into competition.
She also started working with posing coach, Jennifer Beck, and trained regularly with fitness competitor Vince Gumataotao at his 24/Seven Family Fitness.
“I think they were crucial elements to the package I was able to bring,” Rogers said.
She said she took the stage for prejudging in Statesboro with determination.
“That morning in prejudging, I was all about business, so when I got on the stage I was more concentrated on poses, and they said the only thing I didn’t do was smile,” she said. “But I was a woman on a mission.”
Her wins were in the short class and best-overall categories.
“There were two classes, the short class and a tall class. And the winner of each class goes against each other and I got winner overall,” she said.
“The icing on the cakes was that I got called back to compete as best poser amongst six other competitors, guys and girls. It came down to me and this guy. We did a pose down and ultimately he won, but it was so much fun. The crowd was going crazy and there were people yelling my number and yelling his number.
It was like a free-for-all. He was having fun and we were playing off of each other… Ultimately, he won out and I think it was because his routine during the show had a lot of swag.”
Rogers said the show was small, but that she thought Perkins saw it is a start, letting him see what training modifications might be necessary for bigger competitions.
“The show that I am eyeing is a National Physique Committee show in St. Augustine on Nov. 7,” Rogers said. “The NPC show is a qualifier. If I qualify, that gives me the eligibility to go to a national show.”
Rogers said she is shooting to qualify for the Junior National in May in Charleston.
“So we got my feet wet and got me a little experience of what the NPC show will entail,” she said. “I spoke to the judges afterwards because I wanted some critique... To my amazement, and again, it was a local show, they pretty much said I was spot-on and to keep doing what I was doing.”