Issue #8


by Juan Carlos Lopez

Campeonato Selectivo Nacional 2005 San Luis Potosi

Campeonato Selectivo Nacional 2005 San Luis Potosi Review / Reseña

Cover Model Video Interview: Karen Zaremba

Close Grip Bench Press Article and Video
by Sandy Grant

20 Questions with out Cover Model Karen Zaremba

Karen Zaremba, Kristi Wills, Dawn Principe. Nancy Hirsch and Alia Anor

Video Interview: Sherry Smith

Fitness Power by Linda Cusmano

Video Interview: Cynthia Sharp

My Journey Towards a Pro Card
Katie Szep

Video Interview: Kristi Wills

Competition Journal
by Natalie Verges

Karen Zaremba IFBB Figure Pro

Team Universe Experience
by Karen Patten

Drinking Coke
Rossella Prunetti

Karen Zaremba IFBB Figure Pro

My journey started when I won the overall at the Central States Figure Championship in Michigan Sept. 2004. It was a National qualifier and my first Figure competition. At that point I really wasn't sure what I would do from there. The feedback I got from that show was to take my physique to the National level because that's where it belongs.
I began working with Justin Harris, better known to his clients around the country as Troponin. He's a genius with diet and training and is a National competitor himself. I am genetically very lean and stay in shape all year long but I needed to fine tune my physique for the National stage. I needed to add more size to my legs and back to give me a better V taper. Troponin designed a diet for me that would keep me full and lean. I also added a second leg workout each week.

I entered the Jr. USA's this past April, my first National show. I was really nervous and scared to death! I had no idea what to expect. I heard at this level you have to have your name out there so the judges will look at you. I was a new face. I was so happy and surprised when I placed 3rd in class A. I would have been happy in the top ten! Even though others knew I could do it I had my doubts. That show was a huge confidence booster for me.
I went on to place 3rd again at the Jr. Nationals in June. I was going to be done for the year, two big shows in a row were enough for me but....I had some great feedback and conversations with some people in Chicago that urged me to compete at the Team U. I was so close to that pro card placing top 3 in my first two contests that I had to go for it. I really buckled down with the attitude it's now or never and I was "right there". I put forth my best effort yet and won my pro card by placing 2nd at the Figure Nationals.

I start my contest prep 6-8 weeks out depending on how many shows I do and how close they are to each other. 6-8 weeks out I do all high carb days which is 200g of carbs and 140-150g of protein broken down into 5 meals. I need to keep my carbs high with my body type and high metabolism. If I don't I lose size and look skinny. I also don't do any cardio for the same reason. I burn muscle if I do. 5 weeks out I go to a 3:1 high/low carb schedule. My low carb day is 100g of carbs and I keep the protein at 140-150 grams. This is also broken down into 5 meals. 4 to 2 weeks out I go to a 2:1 High/low schedule. Then the dreaded final week prep. I carb deplete starting the Sunday before the contest and then start carb up on Wed. in addition to the water and sodium depletion. This last week is so important as everything I've done for the last 8 weeks just falls into place and I end up with a tight very fit physique. Troponin was right on with everything he suggested for me and since we train at the same gym he could evaluate my progress and make changes if needed.
My training schedule goes something like this. I do some cardio in the off season but just 3 days a week and no more than 20 minutes. I like the Stair Master because it really works your lower body's and tri's
Tuesday.........legs, heavy squats and other basic exercises for quads and hamstrings. I really push myself with this workout.
Thursday........shoulders and chest
Friday.............legs again but with lighter weight and more isolated exercises.

I am a very competitive person so when I set my mind on something, like getting my pro card, I give it all I have! I would never step on stage unless I knew I was "dead on". My placings this year were very high but I can always find something to improve on for the next contest. I guess that's what keeps me in the gym training hard all year long besides the fact that I LOVE it.
I'm very fortunate to have a very supportive husband. We have two young kids which makes contest prep a little more challenging and crazy although they do help me keep track of my water when I'm drinking 1 to 2 gallons a day!! Dan has never held me back from the things I have a passion for. He helps me every single step of the way. I will tell you that I never would have become an IFBB pro if it weren't for him. I actually meet him somewhere backstage so he can tie my suits for me. He's the only one that gets it perfect! He's great with the pro tan too...(smile)!!! It's such a comfort for me to have him at my contests. When I see him in the audience and he winks at me it makes everything absolutely perfect!!

I met JC in the lobby at Jr. Nationals this year. He knew me but I had no idea who he was. He knew my name from images he's seen in MuscleMag and other fitness mags. He gave me his business card and asked if I would be interested in setting up a shot with him. I was a little reluctant at first as you should be when you don't know a photographer. I agreed and got some of the most amazing images I've ever taken. The ones that you look at and that really me?

JC was very professional and I was so comfortable with him, not to mention that he and my husband get along great. I really like his style. I was able to to hit poses that showed my muscularity and conditioning and at the same time show my sexy and feminine side. That was a first for me. Others I've worked with want more mainstream images so no flexing allowed!
I had the pleasure of working with him again in NY at the Team Universe. During that shoot he predicted that I would be getting my pro card that weekend. Even though I've only worked with him twice we work great together. He lets me do my thing and he just shoots away. He lets me be me!
JC has such an appreciation for female muscle and it shows in his work. He is supportive of the athletes and helps give you some exposure, or at the very least great images of you in your best shape ever. I was so flattered when he asked me to be the cover model for this issue and to write this article. I look forward to working with him in the future. Thanks JC for everything!

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About the Author...

Karen just turned Pro at Team Universe Figure Nationals in August of 2005. She is genetically gifted and comes into shows very lean and with excellent symmetry and class. She is hoping to do her debut at the Pittsburgh Pro in 2006. Karen is a full-time mom and one of our industry's best models.

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