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

Competition Journal by Natalie Verges

Having been dieting for 7 months now, my body is physically drained. NPC Junior USAs in SC was my kickoff for '05 competitions, where I placed 13th in the C Class. Next was NPC Junior Nationals, where I placed 5th in the C Class. In June & July, I won the Overall at the NPC Greater Gulf States in New Orleans, then won the Medium Class at the NPC Louisiana.

2 weeks out from the 2005 NPC Figure USAs
Fast forward to today, I can't believe I've been competing since April! As a 4th Grade Teacher, competing during the school year proves to be challenging feat. Summers are a great time for me to compete, as I'm not teaching. I'm 2 weeks out from the NPC Figure USAs in Vegas. For the past 8 weeks, I've been pulling 2-a-days in the gym 5-6 days/week. As far as cardio goes, I'm doing intense cardio twice a day, once before Meal #1 & once after weight training. Intense cardio includes running stadiums, sprints, step mill, & football types of drills...lots of bootie busters! I've been weight training 5 days a week: Legs, Back, Shoulders, Arms, & Chest. Each bodypart is given a day; abs are thrown in daily w/crunches, hanging leg raises, & incorporated w/my cardio. My diet now consists of eating 6-8 small meals a day & I drink 1.5 gal/water daily. Some of my staples include oats, chicken breasts, egg whites, tuna, orange roughly, & asparagus. Supplements include 3rd Degree Burn Fat Burner by Gaspari Nutrition, Glutamine, L-Carnatine, Women's Multi-Vitamin, Calcium, & Chromium Picolinate. Coffee & sugar free Extra gum help me make it through the day! The aforementioned diet, cardio, & weight training programs combined have leaned my 5'5" frame down to a toned 128 pounds. This killer program has also brought great pain to me right knee & shins. Mike Davies, my trainer, changed up my cardio to low impact due to the knee injury. As my nutritionist also, Mike actually granted me a cheat meal today due to my speedy progress; Yum, pizza & TCBY!

1 week out from the 2005 NPC Figure USAs

Down to 126 lbs. I'm starting to lose ~1lb/day now. Mike predicts me to lean out to 122 lbs. I haven't been that low since I was 14! My cardio & weight training are less intense this week. My knee injury & shin splints have subsided. I'm running on empty now! I've been doing low impact cardio twice a day through Wednesday and circuit training for my workouts this week. My diet basically stays the same. Like Mike says, it's not Rocket Science! Thursday night I started cutting back on water. Friday I sipped when I ate, and the same for Saturday. As my psychic trainer told me, I weighed in at a sleek 122 lbs Saturday. As JC mentioned on his editorial from the USAs, I placed 11th in the 1-piece and 5th in the 2-piece, scoring a 7th place finish overall in the D-Class, which was quite a jump! I'm ok w/my 7th place finish, seeing that the many of the judges have never judged me before. I feel that my shoulders & arms need to come up, my back needs more width & meatiness, & my waist can come down a little more. Look for me in 2006 on the NPC National circuit w/improvements to boot.

In the End
In the end, it's all worth it. The self-accomplishment I feel after giving my all & pushing my limits makes me feel alive & privileged to compete. I'm used to working hard. I wouldn't compete if I wasn't passionate about it. Inspiring others to live active & healthy lifestyles gives me pleasure. Whether I'm making an impact on the life of a child in my classroom or on an adult I've never met, it gives me great joy to know I'm helping better someone else. I feel that we all have God-given gifts in life, and I'm simply utilizing them.

Special Thanks
I'd like to thank a few special people in my life.

Cade Verges, my husband, has always been by my side; I couldn't have made it through all this without his love, support, & empathy.

Mike Davies, my trainer & nutritionist, is not only a genius, but also has utilized his gifts to help me sculpt my physique into my best in only 8 weeks. His genuine care for his athletes is real & I'm so proud to be on his team!

Rich & Liz Gaspari--Gaspari Nutrition are my awesome sponsors. Liz & Rich are professional & have been very kind to take care of me as one of their Spokes models for Gaspari Nutrition.

Carla, Creighton, Cary & Caylin Verges (my In-Laws) have been so supportive of my competing in NPC Figure. They are like a second family to me.

Marilyn & George Stelly (my Parents) have also supported my decision to compete; it makes me happy to make them proud.

Steve Wennerstrom has been shooting with me at nearly every competition this year, and has given me some sound advice. His sense of humor & professionalism helped me through those tough competition weekends.

JC Lopez provided a calm, professional setting for our shoot & I appreciate his expert skills in photography on & off-stage. Besides npcnewsonline, I always check first for the latest competition results/pics.

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About the Author...

Natalie Verges has made great improvements in her body and will probably be a Pro contender in 2006. An excellent trait most people don't know about her is her amazing ability to model and under all the glamour there is a great gal. She is a 4th grade teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


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