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

Editorial by Juan Carlos Lopez

Issue #5 is out now and hope everyone enjoys it. Again thanks to all the competitors who contributed with material. Also thanks to all the great shoots I had at the Cal Pro Championships, there is nothing like a competitor in contest shape.

HardFitness has successfully sponsored a few athletes for upcoming shows and will continue to do so. Andrea Dumon to the Emerald Cup, Andrea Giacomi for Jr. Nationals, Shelly Pinkerton for the Vegas USA's, Darlina Acampora for the NY Pro Figure and Traci Saba for the USA's Vegas as well. There are few spots left for sponsorship about one left for bodybuilding amateur, one for Figure at Team U (likely taken...) and one for Fitness (likely taken as well). But then again there might be more spots left in there, there is nothing wrong with adding more and more athletes right? There might one for competitor added to Figure on our roster. Anyone can email me and discuss $$$ with me. But then again you must prove yourself to be worthy of being sponsored, so first thing is setup a shoot and we'll go from there. I'll be getting some testimonials so you all can see there is indeed help for those who compete in this expensive sport. Believe me supplement companies are not going to spend much money on anyone, just recently I have heard stories about certain competitors who you would see working at Company A's booth and think "damn, she must be totally sponsored by these guys". Wrong! I know from other competitors that have been disappointed by their supplement companies. Some very big companies don't put any monetary support on athletes that people associate their names with. You must be able to produce some revenue for anyone to spend money on you. Being easy to work with helps a lot.

Moving to another topic: regional/state shows and nationals, what are the differences? For those competitors who are new or just starting to compete be advised that competing in either show is completely different according to the NPC. The judging is totally different and some of you already know that. Since the only show I attended was the Cal a few days ago I can prove my point. So first thing first, what is a good physique? My understanding is anything that resembles a Pro Figure competitor say Monica Brant for example. Great amount of muscle, quad separation, good symmetry and well conditioned. You can tell the competitor has spend time on building a physique and looks lean enough to showcase their body piece by piece. When shooting someone who is a Pro or close to it you can see excellent muscular development and great symmetry and very lean too. So why would anyone not win a state show if they look like a pro? You would assume that if you have the closest body to a Pro then you would win a state show right? Well, WRONG! we go back to basics it's all about money. The federations people compete are really a big business that should generate more and more money. Figure was invented to generate money not to give athletes who can't tumble a chance. It's like saying "Is that glass of water half full or half empty?" I will always say half empty. So Figure it's a money making scheme rather than a well laid plan for those who want to compete. Look at the Fitness and Bodybuilding competitors at the Cal, barely any to compete. What a shame to have both of the original disciplines decimated to only a handful of competitors.

Back to the topic, recently at the Cal one competitor in particular, Shelly Pinkerton was stripped away from taking her class and having a chance at the overall and probably even winning it. Trainer extraordinaire Tony Dodd knows what he is doing and brought in Shelly looking like a Pro. Why did she get 2nd in her class and not first? Politics can be one reason, but behind politics is money. And the photo below if perfect proof of what I mean.
If you look at the photos from the from (Shelly Pinkerton #47 on the left) you can see great conditioning and shoulder development and also abs. Most people looking at this photos would make the assumption that Pinkerton would take the class. And now we take a close look at a backshot and thing are even more confusing as why Pinkerton didn't take her class. If we look at the photos from the back you can clearly see Pinkerton's glutes holding virtually no water (something more common with National and Pro level competitors), V-taper, and back development. Judges and even other photographers claimed Shelly was way too conditioned and could have done lightweight bodybuilding. If this is the case then a ton of Pro Figure girls would be able to do this. I bet if you placed Pinkerton right on the Pro stage she would have looked like she belonged. A big difference is made by your trainer and let me tell you Tony Dodd knows his stuff, check out his page if you are in the San Diego area for training. But there is a reason on why Shelly Pinkerton didn't win her class. All you have to do is follow the money trail. Being a state show in the Los Angeles area you are bound to have many girls considering entering competitions. So if these girls look at the winners and consider those physiques unattainable then they will not want to compete. The less girls competing means the less money for the promoter. One thing is to have a symmetric but less conditioned athlete beat you or someone who has a similar physique. But the competitor who beat Shelly Pinkerton makes it really confusing. It's pretty much an insult to her and the sport. This was a clear message from the judges telling her to stop doing these state shows and move unto Nationals only. If your physique has muscle and your conditioning is sharp state shows are for your own practice not for a placing. Nationals are what you want, but even there your physique needs to be a step below the pros. An NPC competitor looking much better than a IFBB competitor? Officials wouldn't want to see that.

The problem is that the sport should stop catering to the mainstream and trying to make money. A great soccer player doesn't have to be great looking or have a perfect physique, he just has to be good at what he does. Ever since figure started there has been more and more competitors entering these contest and therefore generating more money. Fitness is getting less and less competitors because of its level of difficulty and also the expense regarding putting up a choreography and getting your costume together. Not only is it expensive but there is less and less exposure on the internet and everyone seems to be jumping unto figure. Bodybuilding is not doing very well, fewer competitors want to enter this discipline. If you hand out a trophy to Ms. Olympia and she looks absolutely ripped and super muscular (which I think is fine) then girls entering the sport will have a hard time getting to that point. Steroids play also a big role on the sport, I have talked several competitors who are not willing to take on anabolics. Others want to stop taking them because it's affecting their femininity and their minds. Bodybuilders stepping in figure is now very common and sometimes they are able to do well but most of the time they are still pretty thick compared to the other figure girls.


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