Iron Panther information meeting set for Tuesday

Andrew Paisley, Campus Reporter

Correction: The post has been changed to reflect the correct date of the Iron Panther Classic competition. The News regrets the error.

The 2018 Iron Panther Classic is coming up, giving students the chance to compete and show off their physique and fitness skills.

The Iron Panther Classic is a bodybuilding competition that aims to help students to also improve their motivation and self-esteem, according to organizers. This year, it will be 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in McAfee Gym.

An informational meeting is set for 9 p.m. Tuesday in the meeting room of the Student Recreation Center.

The Iron Panther Classic is typically composed of three categories. These are Mr. EIU, Miss Physique and Miss Fitness.

The competition, which started in 1983, originally consisted of only the Mr. EIU competition, with only men competing, according to Flasch.

“Several years later, they started including the ‘Miss Fitness’ and ‘Miss Physique’ categories, allowing women to compete,” Flasch said.

“They are not sure if they are going to include the ‘Mr. EIU’ category this year because there is a lack of people willing to participate in the competition.”

Kevin Flasch, a senior management major who participated in both the 2016 and 2017 competitions,said it is based on symmetry, size, proportions and muscular definition.

“The individuals competing will be divided up into multiple weight classes depending on how many people are competing,” Flasch said. “Each individual will do their own 60-90 second posing routine to their song of choice, which will give judges an initial impression of the individual and their stage presence, although the final scoring is not based on this.”

Flasch said after the posing routines, individuals in a weight class will then all go on stage to go through mandatory poses.

“These poses include side chest, side tricep, rear double bicep, rear lat spread, side chest and tricep on the other side, hands-over-head abdominal and front lat spread and most muscular,” Flasch said. “The posing round will finish with a pose down while the judges tally the score up.”

The individual who wins the most mandatory poses will win for their weight class and then go up against the other winners to compete for Mr. EIU.

“As far as my journey, I worked for 12 weeks to practice for the competition (last year,)” Flasch said. “Going through the process takes an extreme amount of dedication and determination, as it is extremely hard to get down to such a low level of body fat.”

Kyle Paulsen, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, also competed in 2017.

“The journey to participate in Mr. EIU is long and exhausting, and I hadn’t really anticipated what I was getting                                              into,” Paulsen said. “About two months from hitting the stage, I found that maintaining a strict diet was my greatest obstacle.”

Paulsen said he was in the gym twice a day, doing cardio in the mornings and lifting in the afternoons to prepare.

“After stepping on stage, there isn’t a word to describe how you feel,” Paulsen said. “You have to experience it yourself and after competing I can say that my self-esteem and motivation improved drastically.”

Andrew Paisley can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].