Issue #15


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Arnold Classic 2006 Photos and Results

Arnold Classic 2006 Review

Arnold Classic Expo Review and Photo Gallery

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Photos and Results

San Francisco Grand Prix Pro Figure and Steel Rose Review

Finland's Boosman Fitness Classic Preview
by Kaisa Piippo

20 Questions with our Cover Model: IFBB Figure Pro Waleska Valle

Video Interview with Cover Model: Waleska Valle

Christian Podgorski: Bodybuilding Art

Waleska Valle, Amy Huber, Holly Powell, Danielle Rouleau & Liz Lozano

Getting a Figure Pro Card in Europe
by Annika Warg

Video Interview: NPC Figure Megan Payan

The Joy of Dieting
by Kaisa Piippo

Video Interview: CBBF Figure Roxana Kreklo

Roxana Kreklo Profile of a True Athlete

Tweaking that Figure Posing
by Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Model and Competitor Tina Jo Orban

Arnold Classic 2006 Review by Juan Carlos Lopez

Mary Lado

Columbus, Ohio again for 2006 was the city were the Arnold Classic would take place. People from all over the world came to watch the show and enjoy the huge expo. This year the Arnold was bigger including events in the Nationwide Arena home of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Every hour there were events in different locations ranging from Martial Arts to Speed Skating and of course Bodybuilding.

As far as accommodations and travel details we will begin our reviews this year with some advice on hotels, restaurants, and other important details during the weekend. First thing to know if you are attending the Arnold is to book your hotel far in advance. By this I mean to book it November rather than December or January. Hotels will get full very fast and for example "The Lofts" which costs $189 per night has a waiting list starting the weekend the Arnold ends. You can add yourself to the list now and then they'll confirm if you still want the room.

Mindi O'Brien

The host hotel for exhibitors and most fans is the Hyatt Regency in Downtown. For $150 a night (contest rate) normally $159 per night doesn't really offer much more of an advantage. The competitors have their host hotel in the Double Tree close to the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. There are many many hotels around the area if you are eating clean and want to keep it that way then it is best to find a hotel that will have a kitchen. The food at the Hyatt Regency is limited and for the first time they had a semi-bodybuilding menu. Starting Thursday and ending Sunday they had even on the buffet available steamed white rice and egg whites for breakfast. Oatmeal, vegetables, baked potato and chicken were readily available. You can always ask for boiled chicken, make sure they don't confuse it with "broiled" chicken. Avoid sweet potato as a side as this is bought already made and has a lot of added sweeteners and other things that make it taste sugary. So far the best contest hotel has been the Sheraton at the Ironman show in Pasadena.

Monica Brant

Now going into the actually show review, the women's portion began Friday at 12pm March 3rd, 2006. When all figure athletes were presented there was one that had pulled out for unknown reasons, any fan that has been following figure at the Arnold knew it was Jenny Lynn who was missing from the lineup. Rumors and some sources mentioned she had been really sick and had even passed out. Doctors had come in that morning and strongly advised not to competed as she was very dehydrated. Jenny like a warrior still wanted to go but if she did her health was at stake. She ended not competing and thus leaving the Arnold Classic title vacant. Jenny herself confirmed that she was sick either from the flu or from something she ate. She still wondered around the expo with Monica's husband, Scott. Now with Jenny out the new champion could be almost anyone. Physiques that really made a difference again was Zhanna Rotar who year after year brings out an amazing package. Obviously Monica Brant-Peckham again had that near perfect physique. For those that remember 3 year ago her conditioning was even better, but judges wanted her to tone it down. Not many new faces on stage, Mary Lado, Christine Pomponio Pate, Latisha Wilder would surely gather the top 10. Some newer competitors at the Arnold did very well such as Chastity Sloan, Jane Awad and Amanda Savell. This time the look favored Mary Lado who has a very nice look, young and fresh. This perhaps may start being a trend, pushing back some of the other competitors and trying to bring in new blood. There could be other reasons but in general figure is a very subjective sport. I am sure judges can tell you why a certain competitor places where they place. In general it was difficult for the audience to understand some placings given the people I talked to. It can be very difficult to tell who wins in Pro Figure as all their physiques are very good, it will all depend on what judges are looking for.

Tanji Johnson

Fitness was a bit easier to understand given what we knew from last year. Adela was back and won the show, Kim Klein was really close given her amazing energy. Adela seems to connect with her audience, which probably helped her in this show. Jenny H looked great as usual and did her great routines which energized the crowd. Julie Childs, Julie Palmer, Tracey Greenwood and Mindi O'Brien pumped the stage with their amazing physiques. Angie Semsch was there with great improvements from previous shows and was a pleasure to see on stage. Tanji's routine was the most original and she is getting up there in the top ranks. Tanji is an icon in the Northwest and will probably continue to do very well.

Jitka Harazimova

For Female Bodybuilding Iris Kyle did bring a smaller frame but still well conditioned body. It was basically between her and Jitka Harazimova who could well be the next Ms. Olympia. Jitka's body and balances just shines all over, perhaps judges would like to see Jitka compete more often. Yaxeni came in softer as judges had given that mandate about 20% reduction in muscle. Overlooked was Kim "Baby Doll" Harris who brought a very balanced package and also very feminine looks. Betty Pariso, Bonnie Priest and Annie Rivieccio were right up there creeping up on the top placings and should do well at the Olympia.
Overall the show was a bit confusing in the judging but as always very well organized show by the promoters and treated press and competitors like gold. I am sure this year the Arnold with it's expo and quality competitors will surpass the Olympia in all senses.

Iris Kyle

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