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




My Journey to Turning Pro by Amy Peters

When I started competing in Figure in 2002 my main goal was just to do it as a hobby and also for my nutrition business. I enjoyed competing so much that after each show I competed in, my goals changed. I decided after doing 4 Texas shows, and never placing below 2nd that I wanted to go to the national stage. So I decided on Figure Nationals in NY in 2003. I wanted a top 10 finish, knowing that in itself would be a huge accomplishment. It was from that point that I also realized I really wanted to turn pro. I placed 10th out of 40 girls at Figure Nationals in 03. I knew I had a lot of work to do before I stepped back onstage in 2004. I worked on improving my trouble areas such as my glutes and hamstrings, worked on creating a better V-taper and as always, trying to perfect my presentation and quarter turns since that is one of my main trouble areas. Stage fright is and always has been a huge issue for me.

At the 2004 Jr. Nationals, I came in a lot harder, with more muscle, a different hair style, different makeup and different suits. I placed 9th out of about 35 girls. I was a little disappointed since I felt like I had brought a whole new physique and package to the Jr. National stage. I guess I expected to move up more than 1 placing. I failed to realize that even though I thought I had gotten better, the judges may not have thought so, and all the other girls got better too. I then competed in NY at Figure Nationals and placed 8th. Again a little disappointed that my placings were only improving by 1 placing at a time. I thought, hell at this rate I’ll be pro by the time I'm 50! I decided to finish out the 2004 year by doing 1 last show, hoping to end my competitive year in 04 with a bang. A 4th place finish is what I got at the North Americans. I finally had a top 5 placing and a trophy at a national show. Honestly, again I was disappointed, mainly because there were only 8 girls in my class at this contest. I had beaten more girls at local shows, then at this one. After this show I felt at a loss as to what to do with myself. I had tried being bigger and harder, worn different suits; different styles and different color suits at each show, tried changing my presentation a little and yet my placings weren't improving as quickly as I wanted. However, I was grateful in that I was improving, and that my placings weren't slipping. At any time, on any stage placings can go backwards or forwards. So that's what kept me motivated to keep trying in my quest to turn pro, and continually trying to get better.

When the 05 year started, I initially only planned on doing national shows. But I didn't want to wait till June to do Jr. Nationals. So I decided to do the Ironman, which was in February. I decided to do the Ironman for many reasons. First of all, for fun, I had never been to or competed in California. I had a good friend who lived there, and was dying to visit. Also, I wanted to try to come in a little softer and fuller to see if that's what the judges wanted to see from me. I also changed my hair and makeup as well as my presentation. I placed 3rd at that show, the 2 girls that placed ahead of me; especially the winner of my class was very lean and conditioned. So there I was, confused again as to what to do with myself. Harder, softer, smaller, bigger, fuller, I questioned all of it. I decided to watch the next few shows to see how the girls were coming into the shows leading up to Jr. Nationals. I started preparing for Jr. Nationals at 8wks out, which was 2 weeks earlier than I normally start. I trained harder and heavier than I ever have, I did more cardio and dieted harder, cutting my once a week cheat meal out sooner, at 7 weeks instead of at 2-4 weeks out. I started working with Jeff Dwelle on my quarter turns and posing, working with him for 2hrs a week. We totally changed up my presentation and tried to perfect and fine tune how I presented myself onstage. Only time will help me get over my stage fright but presenting my physique in a way that is smooth and flows well with my body was our goal for Jr. Nationals. In the past I had a tendency of over posing or flexing too hard on stage. So Jeff really helped me change that and down play my presentation. My suit sponsor, Crystal Corner-Competitive Edge Competition Suits and I spent a lot of time deciding on new ideas for my new suits. We really spent a lot of time in deciding on the 1pc cut, color and rhinestone pattern. As well as doing everything stated above, I really only ate, slept and breathed figure. I watched old tapes and DVD’s from my previous local and national shows as well as watching the Olympia 03 and 04 over and over. Not 1 minute of my day wasn't consumed with thoughts of training, dieting, being onstage and competing in this show, as well as trying to turn pro this year.

Before the Jr. Nationals, I had booked tickets to Vegas for the USA's and New York for Figure Nationals, expecting it would take me doing all 3 national shows this year to turn pro. I told myself, that being my 3rd year on the national stage this could be my year to turn pro. Going into Jr. Nationals I was just hoping for a top 5 finish to start my year off, then go into the other 2 shows and turn pro by the end of the year. I put a lot of pressure on myself for Jr. Nationals. I doubted myself more than I ever had. I felt like I was training and dieting harder, yet I was seeing the results I wanted. So many times I broke down, wondering how I would pull it off, wondering how I would do and how I would look onstage. Leading up to this show I received numerous e-mails, phone calls and messages from friends, family and others telling me this would be my turn. That this would be my show. I told all of them, no it wouldn't happen at Jr. Nationals. There was not way I was gonna win my class at this show. I told all of them, I was behind schedule and full of doubts. I had people remind me that things happen when you least expect it. I talked with IFBB Pro, Art Atwood 1 week before the show, and he told me “the times when you train the hardest and doubt yourself the most is the time you'll end up looking and doing your best.”

So that last week before the show, I did my best to stay calm, stop doubting myself and just go into it with a positive attitude. Since my contest color has been a problem for me in the past I wasn't gonna leave that to chance. I started getting sprayed with Protan on Wednesday night, and got sprayed 4 heavy coats before leaving Dallas for Chicago. After I got in that night while at check in, I noticed I was starting to turn green in some places. And I confirmed it with a few friends, that yes; I was looking like the Incredible Hulk. As I sat thru the meeting I tried to scope out the other competitors, but it was difficult since most of them were fully covered. All I knew is that there were a lot of girls, around 30 something in my class and from what I could tell they all looked great and everyone was there. Almost every girl I had competed with or against in the last year was there. I tried not to over think things, because I could not predict the outcome. I showered off a lot of my Protan so I could start over, and surprisingly didn't stress about my color. I woke up extra early on Friday to start painting. With the help of a few friends and my husband, I was able to get 4 coats of Protan on before the nite show. (And no they didn't all paint me at the same time). The 1pc round was first on Friday night. And the 1pc round, is not my best round. Normally I don't even get in the first group of callouts, so that was my goal just to be called out somewhere with the top 5 girls in the 1pc. As I said before, I spent a lot of time with Crystal in designing my 1pc suit. It was absolutely beautiful! And as my posing coach said, “It’s the best thing to ever happen to my Figure Career.” After group quarter turns and model turns we were all onstage for the callouts. I waited as the judges got their #’s together to start the callouts. And I hear “when I call your number come to the center stage.” Then I hear “can I have competitor #18 in the center.” I was competitor #18! I almost started crying then! I could hear my friends, family and others in the crowd going crazy. I could hear them cheering #18, go 1 8. I was so overwhelmed with excitement and anxiety, I told myself to hold it together because the contest had just begun. Right after the 1pc round, I was getting congratulations from everyone. I did not want to jinx anything and told everyone else the same. There was still the 2pc round, which was always my better round, but only ½ the judging had been done and anything could happen. Saturday morning comes and again more Protan. By this time I think I had on 11 or 12 coats total. As I go downstairs for the 2pc round I'm very anxious and trying to stay calm, knowing that this round could make or break my score. We go through group 10 quarter turns, do our model turns and we’re all onstage again for callouts. Again I hear the same words from Sandy Ranalli “when I call your number please come to the center of the stage, can I see competitor #18.” Any competitor knows that getting a 1st callout is a dream come true, it is just as exciting as the final placing and trophy. They quarter turn us 2 times and then moved me over 1 spot. That move had me a little nervous, at that point I thought worst case, I was in 2nd place in the 2pc round. After the 2pc round I was being congratulated by my friends, family, girls backstage, competitors in my class, photographers, and even a few Pro’s!

I went back to my room to call some friends, get a pep talk from Jeff, let it all soak in and take a nap. That 1 hour nap was the most peaceful, restful sleep I’d had in the last 8 weeks. I woke up with plenty of time to touch up hair, make-up and Protan. I went downstairs for the competitor meeting and even as I listened to J.M. talk about the photoshoot the following morning for the winners of each class, I didn't really have much thought as to what the outcome would be. The show started with Fitness then women's bodybuilding, and then we were onstage. As I went onstage in the group of top 5 girls, I was overwhelmed with emotion. They began calling out placings, and it seemed as if time was standing still. Once they called every girls name and 2nd place was called, I realized I was the only name left. Then I was announced “1st place winner and new IFBB Pro, Amy Peters.” I started crying. I was so happy; my dream had finally come true! After 5 regional shows, 5 national shows and 3yrs of competing I was finally a Pro. After the show I went back to my room to have a piece of Oreo cheesecake and a much needed shower. We went out to eat pizza and went to Soundbar for a little celebration. I got back to the room, set the alarm clock and called down for a wake-up call. I wasn't gonna miss my photoshoot at 8am with J.M. I was the first one downstairs for the shoot. As I waited for the other competitors and J.M. to arrive I thought about how I felt last year, the day after the show. I remembered seeing IFBB Pro, Abby Duncan having breakfast wondering how she felt eating breakfast as a new Pro. After the photoshoot for NPC News I went and had breakfast as a new Pro! When I got home I got the “I told you so” from all my friends, family and others that told me this would be my show to turn Pro. It was the only time in my life that I actually enjoyed hearing “I told you so!” Now as I end one journey on my road to turning Pro I begin a new one, as I prepare to step on the Pro stage for my Pro debut at the 2005 Europa Super Show.

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About the Author...

Amy Peters, BS
National Figure Competitor

I graduated from Texas Woman's University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition. After graduating in May 2000, I started my own business as a nutritionist doing nutrition consulting. Since graduating, I have worked with numerous individuals helping them reach their fitness goals through proper nutrition by not only educating them about nutrition, but also helping them learn what is right for them, the individual. My philosophy on healthy nutrition is not about being or feeling as if you are on a diet. It is a lifestyle change that is realistic and maintainable for life.

Eating is a pleasure and we live in a world surrounded by food. You should enjoy what you eat, and feel good about your healthy food choices. A healthy nutrition plan should consist of 3 basic components: variety, balance and moderation. It is important to eat a well balanced diet consisting of a variety of foods that are satisfying and convenient, as well as easy to prepare. This will ensure success on a nutrition plan. If you enjoy what you eat, and can easily plan and prepare your meals, you will be able to follow the plan with ease and not feel as if you're on a diet; because diets do not work! I work with any kind of client regardless of their goals; whether it’s losing body fat, gaining muscle, or anyone who just wants to learn about healthy nutrition. I also do contest prep for
bodybuilding, fitness and figure athletes.

Bachelor of Science Degree-Nutrition in Business and Industry
CIAR Certified-Biomechanics of Resistance Training
SWU-EDU-Sports Nutrition Certification

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