It was all about the body Saturday at Caldwell Auditorium where more than 30 bodybuilders flexed and posed their way across the stage for a chance to impress judges and grab a trophy.
Purebody Nutrition’s Extravaganza is the first show of its kind in Tyler. About 250 attended the event, most of whom devotedly cheered for their favorite bodybuilders.
Many Tyler residents participated in the show, as well as those from across Texas and other states. Several middle-aged and older bodybuilders made their debut, while some veterans competed to gain a professional card.
The show featured pulsating music and dramatic lighting with workers coordinating the show behind the scenes. Judges carefully critiqued contestants’ overall physique as well as showmanship qualities such as hair, makeup, confidence and symmetry.
The overall winner in women’s bodybuilding was Janet Keais, of Tyler, who has been competing in bodybuilding shows for 31 years. Ms. Keais, 49, placed first in the women’s masters category and in women’s open bodybuilding.
As a physician with a background in physiology and kinesiology, bodybuilding has been a natural fit for her.
“I work out because I’m a happier person when I work out,” she said. “It’s my stress reliever. That’s my motivation.”
“This is the most I’ve been excited for a while,” she said.
Chrysa Fulcher, 20, of Lindale, took home first place in the women’s physique category and third in the bikini category. A type 1 diabetic, this was her second competition. Dennis Sutton, 41, of Henderson, took home second place in the men’s masters bodybuilding category and second in the men’s open bodybuilding category.
Sandra Baker, 48, of Bullard, shined on stage and seemed to be a crowd favorite. However, she did not place in her category. This was the Bullard resident’s first show. Ms. Baker has trained for months for Saturday night’s show but said she has no regrets.
“I’ve always wanted to do this but never really had the guts,” she said.
Alicia Burgin, host of the show and co-owner of Purebody Nutrition, said she was overwhelmed by the success of the day’s events, including the local reception. She, along with husband Will, also are supporters of Tyler’s Fit City Challenge.
To go behind the scenes in the world of bodybuilding, including Sandra Baker’s and Janet Keais’ stories, see more photos and video next week in the Tyler Courier-Times—Telegraph and at TylerPaper.com.