Nearly 200 competitors are scheduled to compete one week before the ‘09 Nationals

By Zack Zeigler

November 16, 2009


One week before the 2009 NPC Nationals — the last pro qualifier of the year — is the 2009 NPC Eastern USA Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships, held at the Tribecca Performing Arts Center in New York. One of the contest’s promoters, Steve Weinberger, is expecting some “heavy hitters” to show up before battling it out on the Nationals stage November 20-21.

WHAT: 2009 NPC Eastern USA Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships
WHERE: Tribecca Performing Arts Center, New York, NY
WHEN: Saturday November 14, 2009
PREJUDGING: 10:30 a.m. EST
FINALS: 7:00 p.m. EST

FLEX: How many competitors are you expecting at the 2009 Eastern USA’s?
WEINBERGER: “We’re expecting about 200 competitors. This show is at the end of the year and the last show until April in New York, so that usually earns us a good turnout.

FLEX: What’s the draw to the Eastern USA’s?
WEINBERGER: Basically, if there’s a beginner who wants to compete, there’s the opportunity. If there’s someone that’s competed before, there’s a spot for them too. We try having a class for everyone. We have a novice division so the heavy hitters don’t scare away the people who want to compete for the first time. We have a Masters over-35, over-45, over-55. There’s also novice women’s bodybuilding, figure, women’s Masters and a Masters bikini. We have classes for every level.”

FLEX: What are your expectations for this show?
WEINBERGER: “I expect to see tough competitors show up and use the Eastern USA’s as their Nationals warm-up. Last year, Jon Delarosa won the show and then he won the 2009 NPC Junior Nationals. A lot of locals in the area who have gotten their pro cards have won this show. Usually there’s really good talent, and people like Tara Scotti (2003 figure, tall and overall) and Elana Seiple (2006 figure, middleweight and overall) went on to earn their pro cards after winning this show.

FLEX: Who is guest posing?
WEINBERGER: “The guest poser is Kai Greene, which should be a big draw. He placed fourth at the 2009 Olympia and has a steady following. Plus, Kai is a Brooklyn native, and it’s always good to have a local guy.”

FLEX: What’s more challenging — judging the show or promoting it?
WEINBERGER: “A week before the show, I’ll say promoting. It’s hectic. There’s keeping track of the trophies, the sponsors, making sure the theater is okay, the workers are there and things are getting done. I have a really good crew and we have some good judges. Jim Manion [NPC president and IFBB Pro League chairman] comes and head judges all the shows. That’s a huge help. We never have to worry about the judging because he’s the man — the boss. I’m lucky to have good people around me and I’m thankful that the president [Manion] comes up and we get good coverage. Running a show is gratifying, but it’s a lot more stressful in many ways, too. There are just more components to worry about.”

FLEX: How have you learned to deal with the last-minute issues that pop up?
WEINBERGER: “If you’ve done everything right and you anticipate these things, you’ll know what to do. Whether it’s a technical problem or an issue with a competitor, you’ll be prepared. It’s like anything else — you have to roll with the punches.”