There are a few different amateur contests that allow you to qualify as a professional bodybuilder. The most prestigious ones are the USA Championship, NPC Nationals, NPC Universe, and the North Americans. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire bodybuilding schedule had to be reshuffled. So even though we’re in September, the North American contest, which took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is actually the first pro qualifier of the year.
Super-Heavyweight and Overall Champion – Nick Walker
Walker went into this contest as the overwhelming favorite and didn’t disappoint. Up to this contest, the closest that the New Jersey native had come to earning pro status was when he finished 2nd to Zack Merkel at the 2019 USA Championship. In that show he was a heavyweight. He competed here as a super-heavyweight.
In his last onstage appearance, Walker was criticized for his waist being a little loose. He was tighter here and presented his best physique to date. Standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall, he weighed around 250 pounds onstage. He now gets to choose whether he will jump right in and compete this season or wait. If he does make his pro debut right away, he still has time to qualify for the 2020 Olympia in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rounding out the top three of the super-heavyweight division was runner-up Jephte Cherenfant and Nathan Spear in 3rd place.
Heavyweight Winner – Martin Fitzwater
Fitzwater not only finished as the heavyweight champion, but he was runner-up to Walker for the Overall title. He could’ve competed as a super-heavyweight as well but opted to diet down to 223 pounds, which put him below the heavyweight cut off of 225 pounds.
Now that he is a pro, he will need to add overall size while maintaining his symmetry if he’s to win on the big stages. Finishing second to Fitzwater was Jordan Janowitz. Todd Whitting rounded out the Top 3.
Light-Heavyweight Winner – Douglas Conner
Conner not only won the Over 35 class of his division, he took the open division as well. He competed at the division that ends at 198 pounds, but he appeared to be well over 200 onstage. The roundness of the muscle he displayed made him look larger than he actually was. He will likely take part in the 212 division now that he is no longer an amateur.
Middleweight – Nathan Glaser
The other pro qualifying winner was Glaser in the Middleweight division. He is only his third year competing as an amateur, but it will now be his last one. With his size and proportions, he could do well in the 212 or in the Classic Physique division.
The next pro qualifying show is the NPC Universe contests which are scheduled to take place November 12-14 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Featured Images: Instagram/nick_walker39 and Instagram/npcnewsonlineofficialpage