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

Women: Competing and Their Menstrual Cycle by Tanya Pennington

One of the potential side effects of competing for many women is the loss of their menstrual cycle during their competition training. The name for it is athletic amenorrhea. Athletic amenorrhea happens to women who perform considerable amounts of exercise on a regular basis and usually lasts for about three months. The reason for this happening is because low body fat levels and exercise related chemicals disrupt the interplay of sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. I believe it is important for women to know about this is so they can take action that may help prevent the long-term effects that can occur.
The lack of estrogen can lead to a lack of calcium in the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the most important side effects to take note of for athletes. Because of the reduced estrogen levels in the body during the absence of the menstrual cycle, the bones, over a period of time, become brittle and we are at high risk for stress fractures.
Premature aging is another long-term effect. The reason for this is also because of the reduced estrogen levels, the skin easily loses its elasticity without enough estrogen being produced. While infertility is also one of the side effects, it is only temporary while she is amenorrheic. Once her menstrual cycle returns, she is fine, this has no effect of long-term fertility.
It is said that the only way to stop the amenorrhea is to reduce the intensity of your workouts and to let your body fat increase a bit. As a competitor, I know I look at this and say “yeah right”! We are constantly working so hard to bring in our optimum physique, so I did my research. With all of my research on this topic, I feel that most important thing for us to do is to make sure we are taking in an adequate amount of calcium to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis. A calcium supplement is usually the easiest way since we usually can’t get the required amount necessary through our strict diets.
Also, to help prevent premature aging, it is important to stay within a healthy range of our competition weight. By constantly gaining and losing too much weight, our skin is already under enough stress trying to maintain its elasticity. With the added stress of athletic amenorrhea, the skin is very likely to become loose.
The fact that many of us do anywhere from one to four shows a year allows our bodies to return to a “normal” level in the off-season. During the off-season, our body fat should return to a healthy level so that we begin to menstruate again. However, don't forget to pay attention to your calcium intake during your off-season. With all of this said, if you are a person who experiences amenorrhea, you should take a visit to the doctor to make sure what you're experiencing is in fact athletic amenorrhea. Good luck to all who compete, and remember, believe and you will!

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About the Author...

Tanya Pennington

Being a competitive cheerleader for ten years and running track for three, I have always been interested in fitness and health conscious. I began working out at 24 hour fitness as a sophomore in high school in 1997. Upon graduating, I became a personal trainer and loved assisting people attaining their fitness goals and changing their lives. I admired Monica Brant and Kelly Ryan and made the goal of walking on stage one day.

In 2002 I got serious about competing and began to train and diet for the San Jose show. After 12 hard weeks, I placed 3rd and was so happy to accomplish that goal. That was only the beginning; I caught the competition bug and have competed in six shows since then. I recently took 2nd at the Sacramento show and 1st and overall at the San Francisco show. My next step is the USA's in July. My goal of becoming an IFBB Pro is one I strive for everyday.

I am currently working toward a degree in Kinesiology at Sacramento State University. I love what I do and most importantly, I love my support system. I believe a support system is just as important as your training and your diet. My boyfriend Armando, my mom Lorenza, my aunt Elbs and uncle Victor have never missed a show believe it or not. In state or out of state, they are always there. My dad is also a huge support and they are the reason I am able to be so successful in this sport!
…Always remember, believe and you will…

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