Issue #19


by Juan Carlos Lopez

2006 Team Universe and NYC Pro Photos and Results

2006 Team Universe and NYC Pro Review

2006 USA's Figure and Bodybuilding Photos and Results

2006 USA's Figure and Bodybuilding Review

2006 Tara Scotti After Party Photos and Review

20 Question with Cover Model: Jamie Senuk IFBB Figure Pro

Video Interview with Cover Model IFBB Figure Pro: Jamie Senuk

How to Stay Relaxed
by Kaisa Piippo

Ask Misty Green
by Misty Green

Jamie Senuk, Heather McKinnon, Jeni Briscoe, Macey Boudreau & Serena Cooper

Femsport 2006
by JP Erickson

Journey to Jr. Nationals and Beyond Part 2
by Becky Clawson

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Charlene Akhurst

Pre-Post Canadian Nationals
by Charlene Akhurst

Handling Dissa- pointment with Grace
by Christie Sharun

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Kim Stefanski

From the Start
by Tina Kellog

Video Interview with CBBF Figure Christie Sharun


Nationals:  The Experience of a Life Time by Charlene Akhurst

Charlene Akhurst

I would like to share my experiences with you as I take you through the journey of preparation, competition and the opportunities gained as a result of competing in the National Figure and Fitness Championships.  Perhaps as a result of my story, you will be inspired to push yourself to accomplish a task that adds richness to your life as this has mine.

I am a wife to a fantastic husband, Damian, and a mother to four incredible boys; Tanner (13), Branden (11), Spencer (9) and Prestin (5).  All of them have made sacrifices that have enabled me to spend the time and energy needed to compete at the National Level.  As with most anything, if you do not have the support of loved ones or passion for it, doing it well becomes very difficult.  I love building my body and competing in figure competitions and have been doing so for four years at local and provincial levels. Having placed in the top three at the provincial level, I qualified to compete at the National level; such an incredible honour!     

Dedicated training is vital to proper preparation especially for a National Level Competition where every competitor must attain a level of excellence in the sport to qualify.  Starting at 20 weeks out from the competition, I spent five days a week weight training two bodies parts a day.  Seven days a week, I did 30 – 45 minutes of cardio.   In order to have the right stage colour, I also spent every other day in the tanning bed.  Some days my mind tried to convince me I did not want or need to train and it was often friends at the gym reminding me of the importance of positive self-talk.   I am blown away by the encouragement the community showers on me. 

As important as the training is a strict diet plan.  When preparing for a show, I eat six meals a day, six days a week.  Each meal includes a protein, a complex carbohydrate and a vegetable.   The seventh day is a “cheat” day.  On this day I eat everything and anything I have craved all week.  By bed time, it is all I can do to keep it all down! 

Charlene Akhurst

I remember thinking about my chances of placing in the top 10 and this often motivated me to work harder.  I knew my conditioning would have to be bang on to compete against the size of the other competitors.  Protein powder, creatine, glutamine…what else could I take that will not compromise my values yet encourage muscle growth?  A question that constantly plagues my mind.  I am tempted to compromise my values to gain size to place higher in competition.   I am grateful for those in my life that remind me of my   Christian values and the importance of priorities.  I want to be a role model of health and wellness, first to my boys and then to anyone who cares to notice me.

Arriving at the competitors meeting the night before the competition confirmed my fears.  Everyone was much bigger than me.  Once the prejudging was completed, I was mixed with emotions of relief and anxiety.  Relief because making it to the competition signified the end of five months of hard training and clean, repetitive, boring eating.  Anxiety because if I did not place in the top 15, I would not have the opportunity to wear the suit that cost $500USD!  I waited in anticipation to hear whether I would return for the night show to wear that suit.

I did qualify for the night show placing 9th in the Figure Tall Class of 16 talented athletes.  Above getting the privilege to wear the suit was the opportunity to compete with two friends from my home town, Duncan, BC.  Kim, Bonnie and I had a wonderful time supporting one another with words of encouragement, tons of laughs and a comrodery that added such fullness to my experience.  Relationship before rivalry:  Such a healthy sense of friendship, one that will stick with me. 

Charlene Akhurst

I am so excited about the opportunities I gained as a result of my interactions with people at the competition.  I look forward to the possibility of working again with fantastic photographers and the chance to continue sharing my experiences in articles like this one.  I returned home from the competition with a new sense of confidence.   I hope to place well in the provincial competition late this summer in order to qualify for the Nationals again next year.  Watch for me…I plan to train harder than ever for 2007!

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About the Author...

Charlene Akhurst is a National Level competitor for B.C. in Canada. Charlene competed at her first National level show and placed pretty well for being her first. Canad prides itself like many other countries in rewarding the harder physiques which makes it twice as nice to do well in their shows.

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