Ripped, for your pleasure

NPC Southern States Championships

The NPC Southern States Championships return this weekend to War Memorial Auditorium, and the glut of shredded bodybuilders on hand can mean only one thing: more iron-pumping retirees in bikinis.

The 33rd annual pose-off on Friday and Saturday, open to top fitness amateurs, will draw 300 competitors this year from 18 states to compete in several categories, including fitness, figure, physique, bikini and the always-popular bodybuilding. And they've added a new category: the Women's Bikini Over 50, no doubt for all those majestically ripped grannies out there in South Florida?

"No kidding. This is a hot spot for very-built retirees," says Southern States organizer Peter Potter, whose competition is the country's biggest national qualifier east of the Mississippi.

Potter says at least 20 over-50 competitors are set to strut their bikini bodies this year, in one of two debuting categories that also includes Teen Bikini (ages 16-19). Demand surged for more-mature, muscular women three years ago following the introduction of a Women's Bikini Over 30 category, which Potter says eventually attracted interest from the older set.


PHOTOS: Perfecto Gastrobar's launches in Miami's Brickell district

Joining these fitness warriors will be guest posers such as Erin Stern, the 2012 Ms. Figure Olympia; Nathalia Melo, the 2012 Ms. Bikini Olympia; and Victor Martinez, a three-time Pro IFBB Arnold Classic Champion.

The 2013 Southern States Championships will begin 10 a.m. (pre-judging) and 6 p.m. Friday (show) and 9 a.m. (pre-judging) and 6 p.m. Saturday (show). Admission is $20-$35. Call 954-828-5380 or go to NPCSouthernStates.com.