Issue #5


by HardFitness

California NPC and IFBB Championship Results

California NPC and IFBB Review

Video: Self Tanning an Alternative Part 2
by Shelly Leversage

ATTENTION Professional Make up for USA's Vegas
by Brittany Thorsch

Video Interview: Andrea Giacomi New HardFitness sponsored competitor

My Emerald Cup Experience
by Amanda Ogden

Video Interview: with IFBB Fitness Pro Stephanie Worsfold

Pre-Contest Abs Training by Katie Szep

20 Questions With Our Cover Model

Video Interview: Nancy Hirsch Pro debut at the Cal Pro

Prepare Yourself
by Shelly Pinkerton

Video Interview: Vicky Oates Amateur Figure: A mix of class and sex appeal

Women: Competing and their Menstrual Cycle
by Tanya Pennington

The Transitional Athlete
by Katie Madden

Training Video Jane Awad talks about working out legs

Ephedra and Estrogen
by Darlina Acampora

Stephanie Worsfold, Christine Moore, Karina Nascimento, Jane Awad, Amanda Ogden

Video Interview: Bodybuilder Christine Moore at the Arnold speaks about her upcoming shows

Down the Wire
by Shelly Pinkerton

Video Interview: Amanda Ogden upcoming Fitness Star

A Month After Pittsburgh
by Kristi Wills

2005 Emerald Cup Experience by Amanda Ogden

Preparing for the show:

My first show of 2005 and I was in the best conditioning I have ever been. I started training in November 2003 and did 5 shows in 2004, ending the year with a win at the Washington State show in figure. I was just coming off of a bulking diet where I put on a lot of quality muscle, but I had to lose the weight. My trainer had me start dieting 16 weeks out from the show, with a mix of chicken and fish, sweet potatoes and broccoli.

I really enjoy the challenge of fitness, so I knew that I had to do it at the Emerald Cup. Gymnastics is a mentally challenging sport and combined with the fact that I only started doing it 3 years ago makes it an interesting adventure. I have had to deal with being really frustrated and just plain scared. Jumping backwards into the air is not something our bodies naturally do. Having the support of coaches and friends was a big help to overcome frustration. I have been told that unless I have done 2000 repetitions of a particular skill I am not allowed to give up. Consistency (sometimes forcing myself to go) has made a huge difference in making me comfortable and making me into a gymnast.

Planning for the routine is something that should be not put off until the last minute. I started by choosing a theme and music. You have to pick music you love because when you are on stage having a blast it shows to the judges and the audience. I can listen to that same 2 minute mix over and over and still not get tired listening to it. I started the choreography in February and was training gymnastics between 6-8 hours per week. I created a list of the moves that I wanted to include and started to focus in and make them really clean. Once the routine is together I run it a lot on a spring floor and 2 weeks before the show I take it onto hardwood.

1 week out:

The week before the competition is when all of the fun and craziness happens. The Emerald Cup was on a Friday, so I carb depleted on boiled chicken and green beans on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday I started to carb-up with yams, sodium-free rice cakes and jam. I always feel extra pampered during this week preparing to step on stage. I get my hair cut and colored, acrylic nails, bikini and arm waxing and airbrush tanning. This year I got to do a photo shoot on Wednesday with JC from, which was a blast. I love getting my hair and make-up professionally done and it was great to work with a photographer who has great energy and gives really good direction.

On Thursday morning I did my final routine practice at my local gym where I got to shake my booty for a crowd of elderly people waiting for the aerobics room. I wasn't sure if they were prepared for that or not! After the final run through I just tried to take it easy and not stress about the next day’s events. I called my trainer and went through my backstage pump-up routine and got my last minute encouragement.


I arrived to check in the day of the show in the morning and met with the stylist to get my make-up done. I like to stretch and check out the stage to make sure I know my way around when I go to do my routine. With encouragement from my team I was doing both fitness and figure, so 5 rounds instead of 3. This was the longest show I have ever been to. It is nice to have time to change between rounds, but this was crazy. Pre-judging lasted from 12:00 to nearly 5:30 and we had to be back for finals which started at 7:00. There were a lot of great physiques and fitness routines. As for me, I came in a bit too soft because I started to carb-up too early, but my routine went well and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Overall, the show was a good experience and helped me figure out what changes I need to make to compete at the national level.

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About the Author...

Amanda Ogden is an amateur NPC fitness competitor. With great energy her future seems bright and will improve from show to show.

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