Issue #6


by HardFitness

2005 Chicago Jr. Nationals Contest Coverage

2005 Chicago Jr. Nationals Review
by HardFitness

Tanning Video, Part 3 by Shelly Leversage

Can Caffeine Make You Stronger?
by Allison Jones

Video Interview: Randi Post

Training for the Emerald Cup and Interview
by Karen Patten

First National Show Experience: Taking 2nd Class A at Jr. Nationals
by Alex Galvez

Muscularity by Shelly Pinkerton

My Journey to Turning Pro
by Amy Peters

20 Questions with our Cover Model by Andrea Giacomi

Video Interview: Andrea Giacomi HardFitness Sponsored Athlete

Video Interview: Breean Loepp

Fitness Competitors: Help Prevent Injuries
by Kristi Wills

Interview with Traci Redding, a pro physique, competing in the amateur division

Andrea Giacomi, Monica Guerra, Shelly Pinkerton, Traci Saba and Zhanna Rotar

Video Interview: Jodi Miller speaks up

Video Interview: Sarah Dunlap about Female Bodybuilding

Jr. Nationals Experience by Andrea Giacomi

Video Interview: Nikki Warner

Motivation: It is no Myth
by Jodi Leigh Miller



Editorial by Juan Carlos Lopez

By now my editorial have been read by many people, including J.M. Manion himself the son of the NPC President Jim Manion. J.M. deserves a good amount of credit as he had told me I was entitled to my opinion and didn't care about the content of this editorial. Being my opinion and only that there can be some individuals that will not agree with it. And in reality it's just an opinion just like "black is the best color" or "figure girl Jane Doe looks the best to me". It's hard to argue with the first statement but the second one can be arguable. It can depend on my relationship with the person, whether they are my wife, girlfriend, client, friend, relative, etc... You sometimes cheat yourself at prejudging thinking your girl looks best but looking at photos will prove almost always the best judge. I noticed a great deal of people who were unhappy about the placings after the show. Many girls cried backstage, others were angry, some sad and was their last show ever. If I were a figure judge I would reward muscularity, conditioning, symmetry and femininity first. Presentation, suits and other details would go second. For example Michelle Troll when ripped is hardly unbeatable as she presents all the qualities I like. Traci Redding, Zhanna Rotar and a few others bring that package. But few competitors can bring those packages and unfortunately these competitors aren't placing as well. I like the tight glute/ham tie-in but wanna see each bodypart visible and each bodypart to be the right size. If you have big shoulders have the quads and calves to match them. Abs look very good and veins aren't that bad to look at as long as there isn't an excess of them. As long as you can tell the competitor is a figure girl and looks attractive then she belongs. So my point is that no matter what you do there will be different opinion and different things judges are looking for. The NPC and other organizations are looking for more mainstream figure girls with less muscle and less conditioning. Figure being the #1 money maker for any organization they have to keep on increasing those numbers. If next year more than 138 figure girls show up in Jr. Nationals then the shows have been successful. In 2004 145 figure girls came up on stage meaning 202 total competitors. This marks a decrease and would be interesting to know what holds for 2006. For example a girl like Jessica Paxson who just got her pro card will have to build a lot of muscle in order to step next to a Monica Brant who has several pounds of muscle on her. Abby Duncan for example hasn't made her pro debut and it has been a good move, she would have looked very small compared to all the other pros on stage.

So Sunday morning as usual the NPC news gets all overall winners of each discipline and the new IFBB Pros and shoots photos for the cover. It was about 8am when I was doing a photoshoot with Stacey Tomasini at the hotel pool on the second floor. There were 5 female competitors and 1 male competitor. I had no idea anything was wrong with the picture. But after a short break between outfits J.M. Manion was telling me the fitness overall winner Bridgette Murray didn't even show up. I asked J.M. if he had made it clear and he said he did make it very clear. A couple of other girls including Shannon Young the female bodybuilding overall winner admitted that J.M. did make extremely clear to be there 8am on Sunday. The first thing that makes sense is that the fitness winner gets black balled or at least lower placings in the next shows. As a fellow photographer I can see how bad it is to have a no show for a photoshoot. But I can see that insulting an organization can result in inner secret sanctions. But you have to live with the mistakes you do. If you go insult the company's CEO outside of work hours don't expect to be in that job for long. They'll find a way to nail you. As in life you have to keep your nose clean. Or be ready to face the consequences.

Also want to send a special thanks to the sponsored athletes, this issue is dedicated to Andrea Giacomi in particular. Such a smart, pretty, toned and all around great personality. I wish more competitors would be like her, things would be much less drama for sure. After the show I went out with Andrea and her boyfriend William, we went for some Pizza at Gino's East close to Rosemont. Speak about cool people, William is probably one of the best and most supportive boyfriends I've seen. He is also a very cool guy which make Andrea and him a great couple to hang out with. We saw Karen Zaremba and Alicia St. Germain there as well with their friends and family. But anyway the pizza was great and good to see Andrea indulge into some real food after such a grueling show.

Last but not least, the subject of the Ms. Olympia Finals. So what happened? Well, the Friday night female bodybuilding finals was replaced with a model search contest. The Ms. O finals are now going to be Saturday at the expo during normal expo hours. So this sounded like and insult to the FBBs and it was. Some did write letters and other people tried getting the idea of a new organization. But until FBBs get together and decide to take responsibility for their own sport is the moment when things will change. If all the Pros at the Olympia decided to boycott the competition that would mean they are all on the same page. But doing that would might just bring professional female bodybuilding to an early grave. Several FBBs have now decided to step into figure such as Lisa Bickels and Malissa Robles. For whatever reason they decided to move many more are following their path. Some other seasoned amateur and professional FBBs have lost direction and have stopped competing. Some due to health risks with steroids, others don't like the look and some feel the sport doesn't help promote them enough. For whatever reason you decide to compete do it for yourself and understand the risks about it and the poor exposure the sport will get. Even Mr. Olympia gets less exposure than the average MLS game. But this shouldn't stop anyone, it's about a personal journey of self improvement.



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