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

The Transitional Athlete by Katie Madden

Life is a process, and I am certainly no different. I spotted my first “female bodybuilder” on Clearwater Beach in Florida ... it was May of 1986. She sat her beautiful body down in the sand very near to me. I could not stop staring, for I was completely awestruck! Immediately I knew that this buff beach babe was a look I would dream about. I had NO courage to approach her, but I was undoubtedly curious to know more. I was 25 years old, and had no idea about weight lifting at all. When I left the beach that day, little did I know how that vision would eventually impact my life. I returned to my home in Illinois, and soon after, decided to set my sites on moving to Florida. Not because of the bodybuilder I spotted on the beach, but simply to improve my career path and social environment. By September, 1986, I made my quest a reality, and moved into a condo in Clearwater. Shortly after I settled, I began dating a man that I eventually married. He bought me my first membership to a gym in February, was Gold’s Gym in Clearwater! He helped me learn the basics of weight lifting, and it quickly became a regular part of my life. Not until 4 years later, did things really begin to intensify.

My husband and I had moved to Asheville, North Carolina, but our relationship had hit muddy waters, and sadly we ended up going our separate ways. During the divorce process, I threw myself into training, and it quickly became a therapeutic passion. I was training at a small gym called “The Body Shop”. The owner, Maria, quickly took notice of my efforts, and soon we became close friends. She helped me to improve my training a great deal. Then in late 1991, I moved myself back to Illinois, returning to my hometown of Bloomington. My first day in town, I went looking to join a gym. I walked into the local World Gym, and within seconds of my entry, I met Ross. Here was someone who would enlighten my life in many ways, bringing my training to new and exciting levels. Ross and I practically joined at the hip as training partners, which lasted around 18 months. His level of knowledge in the sport was fascinating. He had quite a resume’ of competitions under his belt, I believe he competed in his 17th show shortly after I met him. But I still was not feeling at all ready to compete myself. My lower body always seemed to be lagging behind my upper body development. Ross moved away, and I staggered in and out of training for the next 5 years, on my own.

Then in 1998, Ross returned to the area with his employer. Wow, I felt a new level of adrenaline, and decided to join the newly built Golds Gym of Bloomington. Ross had married, so we decided to not become training partners again, but we immediately established a “consultant” type of relationship. As my excitement progressed, I decided to really apply my life to training with a new and ballistic attitude. I began to study some respected literature, and changed my nutrition dramatically. Over the next 2 years, I could really see the improvements happening to my body. It was becoming complete. My confidence was maturing, and I actually began to seriously think about entering a competition. I decided in late 2001, to compete in March 2002, at the NPC Mid Illinois Championships. Ross coached me every step of the way! On April 2, 2002, my life changed forever. I was 43 years old, and could not believe I was actually doing my first show at this age. I signed up for the Womens Open and the Masters. I walked away with 4 trophies that night. First place in both divisions, and Overall both divisions. I set my sites on a National Qualifier. In November, 2002, I entered the same divisions as previously, at the NPC Midwest Ironman Championships, in Chicago, Illinois. History incredibly repeated itself! I now had 4 more trophies, and a qualification to compete nationally.

All of my peers heavily encouraged me to turn around 3 weeks later, and go for it in the NPC Nationals in Dallas, Texas. I was so inspired, I decided to do it! 3 weeks later, I was on a plane to Dallas, this day, that entire trip seems like a fog to me! This experience would prove to be a new pinnacle in my athletic world. The competitors that weekend were elite. I was flabbergasted to say the least. As I stood in line to weigh in (as a middleweight), I was humbled by who stood in front of me. Elena Seiple. She looked awesome, and I admit the intimidation I felt that night was immense. I hit the stage the next day, and though I looked great, nonetheless I remained greatly humbled. If memory serves me right, there were 27 competitors in my Middleweight class alone! I did not make it past pre-judging, which means I did not make the top 15. My devastation was harsh but brief, for it became a grand revelation for me that sunny day in Dallas, Texas! It was in this moment, that I decided to convert to Fitness. Why? Only because I realized that the “physique” I had worked so hard to put together, was harmonious to the Fitness Athlete, not the National level bodybuilder. I admired every one of those fellow competitors that day, but physically it was not for me. I had been admiring the Fitness athletes for a long time, and I actually loved the idea of teaching myself the elements of this Sport. I was about to embark upon a whole new level of training. So in early December, 2002, I began my quest to rise up to this challenge. Little did I realize, just how drastic and demanding these changes would become! I soon had a whole new level of respect for the grueling competitive road the Fitness Athlete travels. I have since competed in one show, in June, 2004, so it took me 1.5 years to get “ready”. While my physique received rave reviews, the overall placing was 3rd. The judges shared with me the improvements they would like to see, which all related to my fitness routine. My strength elements were “impressive”, but my stage presence and choreography needed to improve. I have taken their advice, and worked for one more solid year to prepare. I now have my new music, and awesome choreography! I have set my sites on mid September, where I plan to enter the Europa Fitness Championships in Dallas, Texas. I continue to learn a great deal in this athletic arena, and at 46 years old, I can still say I am driven and inspired to do my best. We may hear it all the time, but I wish say it again...that one should never lose sight of their goals and dreams. When we allow this to happen, we stop living!


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About the Author...

Katie Madden

NPC Fitness Athlete, former National Level Bodybuilder

I am in the process of moving to Scottsdale, Arizona....but you can continue to stay in touch with me through my website, at
I extend my best to all of you, and hope to see you at some upcoming events. Thanks JC for your great website. You have created a fantastic avenue for all of us in the industry.

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