Issue #2


by HardFitness

2005 Ironman Review by HardFitness

2005 Ironman Expo by HardFitness

Breast Augmentation by Darlina Acampora

Becoming a Fitness Competitor
by Kristi Willis

Julie Lohre Interview
by Julie Lohre

Sodium in Your Diet
by Shelly Pinkerton

Alexis Ellis Overall Winner of the 2005 Ironman Video Interview Footage from Sunday after her victory.

Recipe: Breakfast Frittata by Amy Peters

Pictorials featuring Monica Martin, Carina Dupree, Darlina Acampora, Alexis Ellis and Andrea Dumon

Diuretics and Alternatives
by Sandra Del Vecchio

Rising Star Video Interview: Andrea Dumon NPC Figure from Arizona 2005 Ironman short class competitor

Show Schedule for 2005
by HardFitness

Contest Prep Diet and Supplement Schedule by Kristi Wills

Measuring Body Fat by Shelly Pinkerton

Secrets to Achieving a Leaner Physique by Linda Cusmano

Road to the 2005 Ironman by Andrea Dumon

Future Fitness Star: Mandy Polk 19 years old by Mandy Polk

Abby Eyre, Pro card contender Interview by Abby Eyre

How to Gain Natural Muscle by Kelly Burke Jennings

Becoming a Fitness Competitor by Kristi Wills

At about 2 a.m., you're flipping through the channels of your t.v. because you can’t sleep. Then, you're really wide-awake, when you land on a sports channel that has girls flipping across a stage doing extraordinary strength moves and showing impressive flexibility. These girls then come out in two-piece suits, high heels, and in your eyes, have flawless physiques. They're looking confident and looking like they are having the time of their life. Your wheels start turning and you start thinking..that's what I’d like to do! Many fitness competitors, including myself, have begun competing because of the fitness shows that have been shown on t.v. during non prime times or have been covered in magazines. Unfortunately, there are still many talented girls who do not go for their dream because they simply do not know where to start or they become overwhelmed with all that it entails. Hopefully with this article, I will be able to answer some of their questions and give beginners a better understanding of what a fitness competition is all about.

To begin with, I highly suggest you watch or attend a local fitness show. Take notes and try to talk to some of the competitors. If it looks like something you would like to get involved with, make an appointment with a company that trains fitness competitors. Personally, I work with Cathy Savage from Savage Choreography, which is located in Walpole, MA. She works with competitors from all over the US and even parts of Canada. With today's technology, it doesn't matter where you live! You will need to be assessed so you know what areas you need to work on, what federations you should compete in, and when you will be ready to do you first show. You will also need to have a nutritional plan that is geared toward a fitness competitor, not a bodybuilder. Fitness competitors have to be conscious of skin tone, hair, and nails, so they have to ensure they are getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Next, you need to create your music for your fitness routine. You should try to come up with a theme, have about 5 different songs, have sound effects, and have your music professionally mixed. You will need to have a costume, and if you're just starting out, I suggest you buy a used one. If you are planning on having one made, allow for 3-6 months. Your costume should match your theme!


You also need to have a two-piece suit and some federations, like the NPC, also require a one-piece suit. Again, if you're just starting out, you may want to buy used ones. For a year, everything I had was used. I then set up a “fitness fund” so that when I reached the National level, I was able to purchase suits and costumes designed for me. Some competitors only do one show and realize it’s not for them. That is why it’s best at first to buy used costumes and suits before you drop $1,000.00!

Once you have your music, set up an appointment with a choreographer. Again, I use Cathy Savage. She also videotapes routines for her clients all over the US and parts of Canada. Enroll in yoga, pilates, or core board classes to increase your current flexibility or purchase a stretch or yoga videotape if you can’t find a good class. Always engage in daily stretches. Make sure you budget your time accordingly for your weight training and routine practice. I always practice my routine on my non-weight training days. Trust me, the fitness routine is a workout in itself!
During the physique rounds, you are required to walk in high heels. Generally, these heels are 4-5 inches and have a low platform in the front. They are also clear, and for those of you who are more unsteady, you may want to purchase a shoe that has a strap to ensure your foot stays in the shoe! I purchase my shoes online at Lisa's Shoes. Once you have your shoes, practice, practice, practice. This is when you need to work on your stage presentation, and if possible, have someone videotape you. Order videos from previous shows to see how the winners walk and perform the different turns.

You also need to purchase tanning products and bikini bite. The tanning products you use and the amounts you use, vary depending on your skin type and tone. Because I am on the lighter side, I have 3 Mystic Tan sessions, and then I have about 4 coats of Pro Tan on me before I step on the stage. You need to be very dark due to the stage lighting. You should always practice with your tanning products before your first show, as some of them may give you a green tint or they may not take to your skin. You will want to purchase bikini bite, which is a roll-on glue. This helps keep your suits in place as you walk on stage and do all of your turns. It helps prevent those unwanted wedgies! Have someone apply it for you, so that you know that your suit is even in the back and on the sides.

Also, make an appointment with a professional make-up artist to learn how to apply make-up for a stage. Personally, I recommend MAC cosmetics. You will also want to wear some jewelry that will add to your suits, such as earrings or a bracelet. For the routine round, if you have long hair you can put it into a ponytail since it’s the athletic round. For the physique rounds, you may want to add clips or barrettes, and either wear your hair down, with curls, or in an updo. If you are doing a one-piece and a two-piece round, vary your hairstyle for each round. I highly suggest you get your nails done and that you go with a French Manicure. You don't want to use too bright of a color because it will distract the judges from looking at your physique. With the right hair, make-up, and jewelry, you can show off your physique in a very glamorous and feminine way!

With all of the above in mind, one can see that there is a lot to learn before you step on stage. However, with the right resources and dependable advice, you can reach for your goal. Remember that every show is a learning experience whether you perform at the local, national, or professional level. You learn a lot, not only from your own experiences, but also from the experiences of the other competitors. During my first show, my tanning was off, my costume didn't fit right, and I had no idea how to do my make-up! Even so, with all the glitches, the most important lesson I learned was that fitness shows are for me and competing is where I belong . I am so glad that a few years ago, I had a sleepless night, and there was nothing on t.v., except a fitness show!






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About the Author...

Kristi Wills

My name is Kristi Wills and I have been a fitness competitor for 1½ years. I compete in the NPC. In April of 2004 I was the overall fitness winner at the Jr. USA's. I then went on to place third in the short class at the USA's in July. My goal for 2005 is to earn my Pro Card. I am very fortunate to have great genetics and a strong background in gymnastics. In addition, Cathy Savage from Savage Choreography and Kim Oddo from Body By O have developed a workout schedule, diet, and fitness routines that have helped me to be a top contender at the national level. The best things about competing for me are being able to entertain the audience with my fitness routines and walking out on stage with the confidence that I know I did everything I could do to look my very best. With each competition, I learn how to better prepare myself, not only physically, but mentally. However, the most important thing is that you compete for the love of the sport and strive to reach your own personal goals.

As a 4th grade teacher, I promote a healthy lifestyle to future generations. I have led class discussions about the importance of diet and exercise. In the past, my students have nicknamed me “Miss Muscles” and get excited when they know I have a competition coming up. They wonder about some of the foods I have to eat and ask me if I went to Florida recently because of the tanning products. In the words of a nine-year-old, they find it to be “cool” and “I can’t believe my teacher can do flips and one-arm push-ups.” Besides the students looking forward to seeing how I do in competitions, I also hope that they will choose to follow my example of eating healthy and exercising regularly.

For present and future fitness competitors, I am also available to help you learn the ins and outs of the sport. Over the past year and a half, I have gained many resources necessary for the high heels you need to walk in, the stage make-up you should wear, costumes, DJs, etc. This is a sport that you can’t go into blindly, as too much goes on behind the scenes. If you have questions about anything, feel free to e-mail me at:

With my past experiences and list of reliable resources, together we can get you the help you need. Good luck to you all, and remember, it’s all about having fun and being proud of the personal goals you have reached.

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