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



2005 Chicago Jr. Nationals Review

Chicago is such a pleasant place to spend time, a real city with everything from ice hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball, football and lots of crime. It makes me feel at home. The venue was the same as last year the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, IL. It's about 5 minutes from the Chicago O'Hare airport. This is by far the best National show I have attended. Everything is in the hotel, there is no need to even go out of the hotel. We have also a restaurant that will server food fast and will cater to hungry competitors on that weekend. A chicken breast was done in about 10 minutes and it tasted great. If it's the day of competing and after prejudging you need to eat something fast, the restaurant can provide it the way you ask for it. And if you want to take a nap you just have to go up the elevators to your room. Sleep and then walk down to the first level where the lobby is at and you'll see a big room where the contest is held. Tickets are also sold inside the hotel together with a free expo where you can talk to people or watch a bit of the show if you stand outside. The locations to do photoshoots are by far the best, even if tired any competitor only needs to walk around the hotel and will find many good places.

Regarding the show this was a huge show as always, 138 figure, 15 fitness and 35 female bodybuilders giving a total of 188 women. Last year many great physiques were overlooked such as Michelle Flake who later on took top 5 at Team Universe. This time other physiques were ignored such as Traci Redding, Michelle Troll, Michelle Greer, Jodi Miller and several others. Figure was decently predictable the top 5 girls were mainly girls we have seen before at 2004 National shows. There some newcomers to the National level such as Andrea Dumon and Alex Galvez who cracked top 5 deservingly. Valerie Waugaman took the overall after having taken her class at the Jr. USA's and was expected to win this show. She resembles physique-wise Louisiana Figure Pro Mary Lado. And it seems the girls who got their pro cards were tight but much smaller and less muscular. Figure has always been the hardest to judge as many factors involve the judges' decisions. Many of the more muscular physiques were not rewarded and one thing judges were looking for is tightness in the glute/ham tie-in.

Fitness was much easier to judge as the fitness routines made a clear impact on the scores. Bridgette Murray took the overall with ease given her background in gymnastics and her good level of muscularity. Corry Matthews made her mark with a symmetric physique and excellent presentation. Breean Loepp had an excellent boxing girl routine. Some of the best music and theme was Dawn Gustafson with her "cigarette girl" routine. Heidi Fletcher's routine was energizing and very fresh to the audience.

For the bodybuilding there is a lot to be said. This was the first National show that would feature female bodybuilding after the Ms. Olympia decree was made publicly. The Ms. Olympia finals were relegated to a Saturday expo and a simple model search brought on Friday night instead with the IFBB Figure and Fitness. Before hand the theme of femininity, FBBs not being mainstream, and 20% muscle reduction had been brought up and this time the judges made some very serious statements. If you looked at all competitors Dr. Michelle Neil from Oklahoma stood out because she had the muscle and conditioning of a IFBB Bodybuilding Pro. She could have jumped with some IFBB Pros and would have looked perfect. The problem is that judges felt for this show it was too much and awarded a very symmetrical and softer Alicia St. Germain. The moment Dr. Neil was awarded 4th place the crowd echoed their sentiments in the form of loud booing. This happened again when Kim Buck was given 3rd place in the Heavys. Kim Buck was symmetrical and ripped. The crowd again booed against the judges decision. Shannon Young another Oklahoma girl took the overall. Excellent upper body and good level of conditioning.

So in general it's a less hardcore show, if you want to come into this show don't come ripped or too muscular. Just come in softer and make sure you are tight on your glutes. But then again anyone would rather come in hard and be told they are too hard, than told they are too soft.


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