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

Boosman Fitness Classic 2006: Review into novice and amateur championships
by Kaisa Piippo

Fitness Classic is a traditional Finnish fitness and bodybuilding event with a successful history of exciting shows. There are two major fitness competitions in Finland every year, Fitness Classic being the one that takes place every April in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. This year the main sponsor of the event is Boosman, a Finnish supplements store.

There will be two categories in Boosman Fitness Classic (later mentioned as BFC): fitness and body fitness (same as figure in the US). These two have been split into four classes: novice fitness, novice body fitness, open fitness and open body fitness. Juniors and masters will stand in the same lineups with the large classes but they will be awarded their own placements. Open classes serve as qualifications to the European Championships as well. The top five competitors of every class will also qualify for the Finnish Nationals, which will take place in October 7th and 8th in Lahti.

A peek into the lineups  

The lineups look interesting so far. There will be nearly 60 fitness and body fitness competitors on the stage during BFC. It’s impossible to predict how the novices will end up placing, but there are some very talented and promising competitors in the novice classes who could place very well even in the European Championships.

The open classes will offer some exciting entertainment to the spectators. Former IFBB pro Jaana Kotkansalo will make a comeback on the amateur stages. Jaana swept the stage in the novice championships in 2003, won Fitness Classic in 2004 and was awarded a pro card. Later in 2004 she competed in Figure Olympia with another Finnish figure pro, Lisbeth Hälikkä. After Olympia she took a break and now she will come challenge the amateur figure girls again. Just a note – being a pro in Europe is very different from the US. It’s very difficult to get well known in another continent without living there. Since all the pro events are held in the US, a pro will have to either promote herself like a maniac or move to the States in order to get known amongst the judges, competitors and the crowd. Having Jaana back on the stage with the other Finnish amateurs will surely make an interesting show!

National champion, Satu: Hungry for success

Satu Korhonen

The current Finnish national champion, Satu Korhonen will also compete after winning the short class and overall in figure in the Finnish Nationals in 2005. Satu competed in 2002 for the first time placing third in the novice championships. After her success in 2002 she took a break promising to come back when she would make it to the finals the amateur class. In 2005 she definitely did – first winning the Turku Body&Fitness and then taking overall after a couple of weeks in the Nationals. I got a chance to chat with Satu a little, and here are some of her thoughts before Fitness Classic:

Kaisa: So, after all the success past fall, how’s your contest preparation going? How did it feel to win the Nationals and take the overall as well?

Satu: I don’t think I will ever wholly comprehend what happened last fall – it was something so unbelievable, all the way from winning the qualifications to taking the first place in the Nationals. Soon after the Nationals I decided to compete in the spring also so I didn’t have that much time to think about it. My weekly schedule is also very busy so it kind of forces me to keep my head clear. This competition diet has been mentally challenging since I only had two months of off-season between these contest preps. On the other hand, I was able to continue training hard soon after the competition. I managed to stay healthy during the 2-month off season period also. That made a good basis for the new diet.

Kaisa: Have you planned this diet the same way as the previous or has there been some changes?

Satu Korhonen

Satu: The basic principles have been pretty much the same since I learned my diet last fall worked very nicely. I have changed only few things: I’m even more precise with the split of the macro nutrients. I have also changed some of the foods to the choices I really, really like and so that the amount of the food would be as large as possible. This means high amounts of foods with a low-calorie content – vegetables. I haven’t been as hungry as before so it’s been a good change. To keep the fat metabolism high, I have added a “fat refeed day” to my weekly schedule and it has worked nicely. I also use supplements even when the energy intake is low. On this diet I won’t leave out my amino acid products like I did last time, in order to be able to eat more real food. Other than food, my training has been good. I push myself to train with the same weights as on off-season and I also work on my abs a lot more.

Kaisa: Who do you think as your “worst enemy” on the stage this spring?

Satu: Jaana Kotkansalo, of course, but like I have learned myself anyone can become a champion in one night. I respect all the competitors the same way and wish all of us a great time and a good competition!

Kaisa: What are your plans like after this competition?

Satu: If I won’t be able to qualify for the European Championships, I won’t take a long break anyhow: as soon as I have recovered from this show I will start training for the year 2007. I have planned on having a year of off-season and start preparing for the year 2007’s Finnish Nationals (held in October) in spring 2007. My goal is to work hard and develop my physique to match the requirements of getting a trophy again… and qualifying for the World Championships wouldn’t be that bad of an achievement either!

Tiny but mighty Mimmi: Playful attitude and happy thoughts

One of the well-known fitness stars, Mimmi Jokinen, will also compete in BFC in the open fitness class fighting to qualify for the European Championships. Mimmi is tiny – only 5’1” – but carries a lot of quality muscle and tightness in her athletic body. She has been training for competition for seven years and made her debut in 2002. After that she has successfully improved her placings from contest to contest, placing 4th in her last show in 2004. Mimmi also has her own website, http://www.mimmijokinen.com. Be sure to check it out! Here’s what Mimmi has to say when she’s four weeks out:

Kaisa: How do you feel about the upcoming competition?

Mimmi Jokinen

Mimmi: Now when the contest is only four weeks away, I can say this diet has worked excellent! My competition prep started right after Christmas (16 weeks out) and at some point I was sure I’m going to run out of time. I got great advice from my coach and really worked hard. Now I can say all this really helped and the changes were only good. I’ve done lots of routine practice and weight training and less cardio than before. I really hope these changes pay off and will be seen when I’m on the stage during the physique and routine rounds.

Kaisa: How about the routine, any special thoughts?

Mimmi: I’m ready to perform my routine with a playful attitude and a big smile on my face! I’ve gone over and over the routine and worked persistently. I want to offer some fun for the audience and also enjoy myself.

Kaisa: What are your plans for the rest of the year 2006?

Mimmi: At first my ultimate goal was just to be able to compete in the spring, no matter how I would place. When I realized I can reach that and even more, I changed my goal into placing in the top three. I will also keep on going and compete in the fall with the same ambitions.

Kaisa: The lineup looks a little different this time when the most successful competitors like Marjo Krishi and Nora Yrjölä are not competing. What are your thoughts about that?

Mimmi: I haven’t given thought to other competitors, really. What I do is my own accomplishment no matter if it’s just a workout in the gym or the real deal, meaning competition. I just hope the level of the competition will be good and there will be no easy wins.

Kaisa: What do you enjoy the most in competing?

Mimmi Jokinen

Mimmi: I love the feeling I have when I can stand on the stage lights knowing I have done my everything for the show and I can enjoy the results of the hard work. When I perform my routine, I get tons of energy from cheering audience – it’s awesome! And one more thing… that would be the chocolate after the show. (laughter)

Kaisa: What is the first thing you’re going to do after the show?

Mimmi: I want to go eat out with my love. I’m thankful to him for putting up with me for another diet! And of course I will EAT too. Here we come, post-show goodies!

List of competitors (from BFC’s official website, http://grandprix.boosman.fi):

Fitness novices
Marke Hietapakka
Heidi Laitomaa
Sanna Laaksonen

Open fitness  
Maija Elovaara  
Maarit Mattila  
Mari Huhtanen   
Mimmi Jokinen  
Sari Vainio  
Sonja Färling
Open body fitness, under 164 cm

Satu Korhonen
Hanna-Mari Kärkkäinen (junior)  
Annika Nykänen  
Sannika Schroderus  
Mia Ahinko   
Anna Salo  
Elina Karjalainen  
Minna Paler    
Sari Hoikka   
Kirsi Tuominen  
Jaana Kotkansalo   
Marjut Vainio  
Tiina Ruusunen   
Niina Jäntti
Pirjo-Liisa Kuuppelomäki

Open body fitness, over 164 cm
Katriina Toivanen  
Laura Rantanen  
Anna-Mari Puranen
Tarja Liimatainen
Eveliina Rosenström  
Sari Kontturi (junior) 
Petra Orpana
Riina Syrjä
Kirsi Mattila 
Minna Lehtinen 
Kirsi Korhonen
Sanna Helin-Kiiski
Pia Heikkilä 

Body Fitness novices
Kati Lahtinen  
Heli Mahlakaarto  
Niina Hietanen 
Nina Leinonen 
Satu Turhala 
Mari Päkkilä
Kaisa Piippo
Ulla Mustonen
Jaana Kiuru 
Ringa Ruisniemi
Suvi Tulonen 
Sanna Tossavainen 
Heli Mäkilä
Riina Aalto   
Maria Kuure
Katarina Lindström  
Emma Kallio 
Jenni Kohvakka 
Satu Hyrkäs
Carita Horppu
Sini-Marja Heikkinen
Sini Ratas
Jaana Visulaaka

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About the Author...

Kaisa Piippo

I am an enthusiastic and goal-oriented 23 year old future figure competitor from Finland. Currently I'm getting ready for my first figure competition in April 2006 in Finland. I have been training for the competition for nearly two years. While preparing for my first show I have been living in hot and sunny Arizona. Since it's hard for a foreigner to get a permission to work in the States, I have been studying the fitness industry and lifestyle 24/7. It doesn't always take the competition experience to learn about the sport because being around it teaches a lot too! By all the knowledge I've gathered I now feel confident on stepping on the stage and learning some more about fitness, this time by experiencing the competition excitement myself.

So how to learn fitness in theory? For most of my knowledge I can thank Pakkotoisto.com, energetic NPC fitness athlete Katie Madden and of course the ever informative Hard Fitness!

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