Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jennifer Broomfield

Jen was a terrific bodybuilder in the making with beautiful looks and a natural looking physique. Not to mention the natural red locks that seem very rare in the art of bodybuilding.

Top Swimmer Gets 2-Year Ban for Doping

By Kim Tong-hyung
Staff Reporter

With the Beijing Summer Olympics just around the corner, South Korea picked the worst time to have a drug problem.

Shin Hae-in, considered among the country's top female swimmers, was slapped with a two-year ban from the Korea Swimming Federation, after she tested positive for testosterone at October's National Sports Festival in Gwangju.

The 18-year-old had claimed a gold in Gwangju by setting a new national record of 59.64 seconds in the women's 100-meter butterfly.

However, Shin was found to have excessive levels of testosterone, an anabolic steroid, according to tests conducted by the Korean Anti-Doping Agency (KADA), and will be stripped of her record and title.

KADA, which tested 328 athletes who participated in the National Sports Festival, also issued warnings for Lee Ki-san, a male weightlifter who tested positive for methylephedrine, a banned stimulant, and Kim Min-ji, a female weightlifter who tested positive for triamcinolone.

Under Korean anti-doping rules, athletes tested positive for specified substances, which are included in the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list but are susceptible to unintentional violations due to their general availability for medical purposes, receive warnings and a max one-year ban for a first-time offense. The violations of Lee and Kim fall under this category, KADA said.

However, the rules are tougher for performance enhancers, such as anabolic steroids, with a first-time offense requiring a two-year ban and a permanent ban following a second positive test.

Shin blamed her positive test on oriental medicine she took before the Gwangju competition to treat her shoulder pains, according to the swimming federation, which did not identify the substance.

thkim@koreatimes.co.kr


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Uplifting athlete

Uplifting athlete
Despite busy life, Mitchell finds time to become champ

By Bob Jarzomski
bob.jarzomski@timesnews.com

Cathi "GG" Mitchell lifts life's weights in her waking hours, and even in her dreams.

How else to describe the 42-year-old single mother of two who is employed fulltime to help special needs children, spends up to 50 hours a month with an integrated song and dance group, sings country music and dabbles in jazz vocals, is a certified personal trainer, runs in 10K races, and manages to squeeze workout sessions into her spare time?

With all that, Mitchell, who weighs all of 124 pounds, set a world record for her weight and age division with a deadlift of 264.5 pounds at the World Natural Powerlifting Federation Championships last month in Atlanta. With less than two years in the sport, her quest is for more competition.

"I was told that there's no way you can powerlift," Mitchell said. "I believe if there is something you want to do, don't let anybody tell you that you can't."

Mitchell, a Pittsburgh native, came to the area from Quaker Valley High School in the late 1980s to compete in track and field for Edinboro coach Doug Watts.
Mitchell was a standout in the javelin, long jump, triple jump and sprints before tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in her freshman year.

"You mean little, skinny, tiny Cathi Mitchell won a powerlifting championship?" Watts said -- in jest, not disbelief. "I actually can see that because as a sprinter, she could be a powerlifter because of fast-twitch muscle fiber that makes an athlete contract muscles at a faster pace for explosion, rather than slow contraction like distance runners."

Watts, 65, who has coached cross country and track and field for 39 years, said Mitchell's personality fits the marathon of life.

"Cathi was a social work major who was not a one-dimensional person. She was a good, serious kid," Watts said. "I can see once she got focused, she could get into something and make a serious effort to succeed. I can see that she carried part of her track experience into her life, and learned that you can do more than you think you can do."

Her nickname, "GG," is shortened from the God Girl of her high school days.
"I used to sing gospel music and talk about God all of the time, so my friends called me God Girl, and it stuck," said Mitchell, who has long since developed a wide spectrum of ideals.

Diversity is the core of Common Ground, a talent showcase that Mitchell directs, and which performs for charitable functions and celebrations throughout the area.

"We have people from all races, creeds and social status that don't realize they not only have talent, but they can perform in other kinds of song and dance," Mitchell said.

She sang and played percussion instruments in high school, then began singing professionally in her senior year at Edinboro.

"There's a lot of talent in Erie, but they only sang hip-hop, or rock, or gospel music, or a certain kind of dance," she said. "With Common Ground's diversity, they find out that there are other forms of entertainment they didn't realize they could do, and they found out that they were good at it and liked it."
Mitchell, who works with special needs students at the Achievement Center, was inspired to lift by a 21-year-old who had Down Syndrome.

"He is overweight and drank Diet Coke, and I told him he could only drink water if I could lift something like 110 pounds," she said. "A bunch of people gathered around, and somehow I lifted it. He helped inspire me, and yes, he drinks water."

Mitchell, whose goal as a personal trainer is to create a fitness program for special needs kids -- "I've coached in Special Olympics and I can see these kids try so hard to get better," she said -- began her pursuit of powerlifting in March 2006.

"I saw a flier about a bench-press competition, and he said I could do this, and that really motivated me to try it," she said.

Another inspiration was the death of her mother, Ruthie, on Nov. 8, 2006, her 73rd birthday.
"She was the mother of six children, and worked in the same field as I do. She died a year before the competition, and I dedicated that to her."

At the WNPF meet in Atlanta, Mitchell competed in the 40-to-49 masters age division at 132 pounds and under. At 124, she was the lightest at that weight class, but pound-for-pound, one of the strongest.

"I competed in the Raw Division, which means that I had no equipment or suits to help me lift weight," Mitchell said. "There's the single-ply, double-ply and unlimited divisions, all with types of suits that help contract muscles to lift more weight."

With three attempts at each lift, Mitchell had a combined overall total of 501 pounds, which included 154 in the squat, 99 in the bench press, and 248 in the deadlift, where the weight is lifted off the ground. Competitors close to a world record were allowed one more lift, and she hoisted 264.5 pounds for the record.

"Another girl tried 260 and she missed. I was elated with getting the opportunity and the record," said Mitchell, one of 22 women in the 360-competitor event. "I had wonderful people like the Team USA coaches who were very informative and helpful."
Mitchell works out a Nautilus Fitness and Racquet Club -- when she can.

"The toughest thing for me is find the time to work out, and to train for lifting weights," she said.

Mitchell knows time management.

"Once she gets focused, I can see how Cathi could get into something and make a serious effort to succeed," Watts said.

Twice divorced, Mitchell encourages her daughters Micah, 17 and Ciah, 9, to pursue their goals.
"Micah is a senior at McDowell and is singing with Pride, a national anti-drug and alcohol team performance group," she said. "And both girls have competed for Millcreek cheer and dance all-star cheerleading squad."

Mitchell was a cheerleader in high school, and her daughters seem to possess her determination.

"Everything I do is to pave the way to make the world better for my daughters, and I tell them they can do anything that they strive for," she said.

That powerful philosophy is definitely uplifting.

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20071225&Category=SPORTS13&ArtNo=712250365&SectionCat=SPORTS40&Template=printart

USA Women's Weightlifting

Here's some video of a portion of the 2007 Women's Weightlifting Open.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fitness matters: Working out pumps up mental strength as well


Carrie Riggott works on weight training at the Anytime Finess gym in the TJ Maxx Plaza.
Jerry Olson/Post-Bulletin

Working out isn't just so Carrie Riggott can maintain her figure.

With all the responsibility she has in any given day, she needs to maintain her mental and physical strength and stamina through her daily workouts. As a licensed police officer in Minnesota for more than 14 years, regular exercise has become a way of life for her.

"Workouts are my stress reliever before work. It prepares me for what's to come in my day and helps me stay focused."

Her exercise plan helps her feel strong and confident.

"My job can be very physical at times, and I need to be strong to take control of some situations, especially if I have a subject that is under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

Proper defensive techniques as well as strength come into play, especially being a 5 foot, 6 inch woman. Maintaining control of a situation requires her to think clearly and remain calm even while her adrenaline may be racing. As an instructor for defensive tactics, she teaches handcuffing techniques, pressure points, take-downs, escort holds and weapon retention.

Even with her long shifts at work, she maintains her eating patterns by planning ahead and bringing what she needs from home.

Riggott's source of inspiration came in her teen years, when she remembers seeing (bodybuilder and actress) Cory Everson on magazine covers as an image of strength and beauty.

Carrie Riggott works on weight training at the Anytime Finess gym in the TJ Maxx Plaza.
Jerry Olson/Post-Bulletin" src="http://www.postbulletin.com/imagegallery/gallery/Post-Bulletin_photos/News/oirynmeew3cu8t12232007171342.jpg">As a teenager fighting a battle with cancer, Riggott had plenty of setbacks with treatments and surgeries, but by her mid-20s she was hitting workouts harder than ever. She knew it was a choice between feeling exhausted and unmotivated or energetic and healthy.

Last year, Riggott became a pole fitness instructor, and for 2008 she is looking forward to competing in her first fitness/bodybuilding competition.

For now, she continues her 90-minute workouts five days a week at the gym. She has a four-day lifting pattern that combines muscle groups, challenges her abdominals, plus 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity four to five times a week.

Yoga and pilates complement the program.

"Seeing definition in my body is a huge motivator for me. I don't pay too much attention to the scale, but I look at how my clothes fit."

Exercising with her work partners has helped her stay accountable and motivated over the years, especially after coming back from a surgery. "My partners have taught me proper lifting techniques, and they push me to get that last rep when I think I've had enough."

If you have a workout that's helped

http://www.postbulletin.com/entertainment/photo_gallery/image.asp?id=48&imageid=28963

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Leap of faith

Alex Croak's poise hides a terror that should paralyse her every time her heels hang over the edge of the 10 metre platform and the instant her muscles twitch before she launches herself into the great nothingness.

Regardless of whether it's a training session or an international meet, the 23-year-old defies the fear factor every time she climbs to her launch pad.

When Olympic medallist Loudy Tourky first saw Croak compete at the nationals two years ago she described her as a "very pretty" diver. Croak called herself "pretty scared".

"I find the height quite intimidating, but I'm getting used to it," she said. "I find having fear always keeps me on edge and that helps with my performance."

Such is the demands and the complexities of her sport the university student shouldn't even have time to dwell on fear.

"You climb up there after having your previous dive corrected by your coach thinking about what he has said, what needs to be fixed," she said. "When you stand on the edge of the platform you think about what it is you're trying to achieve ... but fear sneaks in. I use that to my advantage, I use it so I don't take each dive for granted.

"In diving you have to be aware of your body position and everything your coach has taught you to do."

While her sport appears to be fast-paced and frenetic, Croak said her mind was so wired during competition it pinpointed the slightest involuntary body movement as she free-falled.

"You're aware of how fast you are spinning," she said. "You feel if you've done something wrong. For instance, you might be spinning slower than normal. If that happens you might need extra rotation before kicking out ... if you're spinning quicker you might need to kick out earlier."

Her rise and rise from leaping into the unknown has been extraordinary and swift.

When Croak retired from gymnastics at 18, after having represented Australia at the 2000 Olympics and winning gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, she pursued diving for "something to do".

"I just wanted to finish my last year of high school and move on, but diving interested me," she said. "I had no expectations ... though, if someone had've asked me what I wanted out of it, I'd have said a chance to compete at Beijing. I didn't make last year's Commonwealth Games a goal because it was only two years away at the time, it seemed too close for someone who'd just started diving."

The biggest transition was adjusting from landing off a 10 centimetre-wide beam to plunging 10 metres and smacking the water headfirst.

Yet, last year when Croak was matched with 13-year-old Melissa Wu at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games they won what was described as an "improbable" silver medal in the 10m synchronised event. After overcoming the problems associated with their height difference - in an ideal world synchro divers would be the same size to mirror each other - they came within 7.68 points of the gold won by the more experienced Tourky and Chantelle Newbery.

Wu, who finished the Games the new wunderkind of Australian sport, gave an insight into Croak's ability to focus on the moment..

"Being up there doesn't really scare me, it's what I'm doing off it that's scary," Wu said."I'm always nervous, especially now that it's the Commonwealth Games, but having Alex by my side really helped me."

Croak, who is studying occupational therapy at Sydney University, credits her time in gymnastics as helping to prepare her for the disciplined life of diving.

"I started gymnastics when I was four and by the time I turned 10 I left the family home at Coffs Harbour and moved down to Canberra on my own to take up a scholarship at the AIS," she said. "I didn't see my residency as a sacrifice; I loved gymnastics.

"I developed a sense of independence. My nephew is 10 and when I look at him I can't believe I moved away at that age. It brought out different traits in my personality, including strength and determination. I had a vision to do something at 10."

Croak has entered the history books as the first Australian woman to compete at consecutive Commonwealth Games in different sports. And while other divers such as Olympic medallist Tourky and Wu cut their teeth on the gymnastics mat, none were quite as "old" as her.

After she wrote to renowned diving coach Chava Sobrino at the NSW Institute of Sport asking for him to take her on, he promised only brutal honesty because he reasoned she was coming into the sport at an age when others were leaving.

Sobrino, who represented Mexico at the 1980 Olympics and coached Tourky and Rebecca Gilmore to a bronze in the 10m synchronised event at the Sydney Olympics, impressed Croak with his honesty, and then his knowledge.

"He's a good coach; a great coach," she said. "He was the coach of the divers who won Australia's first diving medal since Dick Eve won gold in 1924, and he helped get me to the Commonwealth Games."

It's because of her trust in Sobrino that Croak has resisted overtures to relocate to Brisbane and train alongside the nation's elite in the lead-up to the Olympic qualifiers.

"Chava told me he was going to be really honest and have a look at me," Croak said. "If I didn't have it he was going to let me know because I was considered old to be starting diving. But he got me to the Commonwealth Games after only two years. I trust him, that's why I've stayed in Sydney."

Croak trains twice a day, works part-time and attends uni. Apart from her medals, she described a recent sponsorship deal as a reward.

Some may not see it as quite enough for her dives into the great unknown.

Source: The Sun-Herald

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/12/22/1198175408167.html

High achiever ... Alex Croak on the 10m platform. 'I find the height quite intimidating, but I'm getting used to it,' she says.

Gold medal the reward for a fine body of work

Adrian Proszenko
December 23, 2007
Advertisement

KAREN Flaherty is officially the buffest woman in the universe. The 43-year-old single mum Karen Flaherty trains with the weights at Cranbourne. "It's a 110% commitment," she says.from Cranbourne has a gold medal to prove it.

Just two years after taking up the sport of bodybuilding, Flaherty beat the world's best — many half her age — at the Natural Olympia Bodybuilding titles in Greece last month. For those not au fait with the muscle game, this is the Olympics of bodybuilding.

"I walked out there as if I owned it; I thought, 'I'm going to do this today'," Flaherty said of her winning posing routine. "Once I have something on my mind, I have to do it.

"I'm 43 years old. I think I look pretty amazing for my age."

The achievement is almost as amazing as the journey itself. A couple of Christmases ago, a friend suggested she give bodybuilding a go. Her friend soon realised Flaherty doesn't do things by halves and from that moment she became a mean, lean bodybuilding machine.

Up to four hours of gym work every day. Ninety kilometres of walking a week to make sure there wasn't a skerrick of fat on her body. Preparing every meal the previous day to strictly regulate her fat and calorie intake. And if that wasn't enough, she got herself a second job. The former amateur jockey returned to the track to work for trainer Michael Kent.

A typical day starts at 4.30am when she rides up to nine horses during trackwork. Then it's time to get her two daughters to school, head to the gym for a couple of hours, squeeze in some clients from her beauty therapy business, pick up the kids, more gym/walking, more clients, then dinner, chores and bed. All in a day's work for Miss Olympia.

"It's a 110% commitment," said Flaherty, who is just 154 centimetres and weighs 47.5 kilograms. "The training is the easy part. It's the other 20 hours a day and what you don't put in your mouth — you have to be extremely strict with your diet.

"You don't lose all contact with your friends but they stop asking you out and you feel a bit isolated. You can't go out to dinner, you stop drinking alcohol, you stop partying — your life is about stops."

Her trainer, Mick Thornton, knows a bit about the pain game. Having himself competed at the highest level for 17 years, he pushes Flaherty to the limit to get her into shape. Even lets her train with him and his mates. "I have been in the car park literally throwing up — and she's been fine," Thornton said of their workouts together. "Her ability to push is amazing. If you ask her to walk for three hours, she'll do four. If you ask her to train seven days a week, she'll try to do eight."

So why do it at all? Unless you're Arnold Schwarzenegger, there's no money in being buff. In fact, Flaherty had to scrimp and save just to muster the airfares to compete in Greece. The answer can be summed up in one word: self-satisfaction.

"I'm a single mum doing my best. I'm not running around the pubs, I'm not out getting drunk or doing the wrong thing. I'm doing something that's good when I could be doing something that's bad," she said.

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/12/22/1198175413752.html

Sunday, December 16, 2007

PG East: Penn Hills woman eats up bodybuilding

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07340/839275-139.stm
Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cheryl Szarmach has found plenty of advantages to working in a restaurant.

She has gotten to meet plenty of people, have a lot of fun, make a few dollars and been able to eat just about whatever she wants.

Her career, though, made pursuing her hobby more difficult than expected. Szarmach, 46, of Penn Hills, won the 2007 Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Yorton's Cup National Women's Bodybuilding Championship in Bowie, Md., Oct. 27, just a little more than a year after she started taking the sport seriously. She took first place in the 35-and-older age group and the overall competition.

She never knew when she started how difficult her full-time job at Mohan's Restaurant in Penn Hills would make winning a championship.

"The weightlifting for something like this is the easy part," she said. "The diet was the hard part, especially when you work in a restaurant and nibble all day long. I used to eat and drink whatever I wanted. Changing my lifestyle, my eating habits, was the hardest part,"

Szarmach dabbled in bodybuilding for about a year during her mid-20s. But she was married and eventually had five children, and the time it took raising a family took her out of the sport.

She continued to work out with friends, though and started training more seriously about a year ago with Tina Randazzo, a friend from Penn Hills and former bodybuilding champion. She also was motivated by a comment from trainer Cecil Rice, who saw her in the gym weighing 170-pounds and realized she had great potential.

Szarmach always enjoyed lifting weights, saying she found it a therapeutic hobby. She began working out more seriously with Randazzo and Penn Hills' Doreen Harris, who won the Yorton Cup two years ago. She also got a hand from Tracie Tucker of Wilkinsburg, who taught her how to pose in competition.

"I was always kind of afraid to compete on a national level," Szarmach said. "It was stage fright more than anything else. But they convinced me that I could do it and really worked hard with me. I figured I was 46, my kids were grown -- my youngest was 19 -- and why not try it? I wasn't getting any younger.

"I decided to do it, and I told people I was going to do it. Once you start telling people something like that, you can't go back. I was fortunate because everyone -- all my friends and family -- were really supportive."

Szarmach rewarded that support with outstanding performances, although she never had participated in any significant athletic competitions in the past. She was in the marching band at Plum when she was in high school, playing the clarinet, but never was involved in any team sport in school.

She eyed national bodybuilding competitions this fall as her first serious attempts at winning and came away with victories in the heavyweight and masters divisions of the Cardinal Classic in Youngstown, Ohio, Oct. 13 before winning her first Yorton Cup two weeks later.

Szarmach began training seriously about 12 weeks before the Yorton Cup, altering her diet from pastas and fried chicken to one that included baked or grilled chicken, grilled no-fat steak, steamed broccoli and other natural foods. Once she thought her body was getting the right nutrition, she was able to concentrate on the other facets that lead to bodybuilding success.

"The mental approach is huge," she said. "But one of the hardest parts is posing. It's unbelievably difficult. I had to practice posing every day. It's hard, and it hurts. But you have to stand up there and do it and keep on smiling."

Szarmach said her goals for the future include participating in professional bodybuilding events. She competed in both the Cardinal Cup and Yorton Cup as an amateur, but earned her pro card with her performances.

Now, she wants to spend a year dieting properly, working out and preparing to enter next year's Yorton Cup as a professional after a year of doing everything right.

"I just want to see what I am capable of," she said. "I enjoy the camaraderie of being out there. I enjoy being with my friends. There is a good group of people in this sport who have helped me a lot. There are a lot of benefits to it -- self-esteem and better health. But I really want to see what I can do."

Pumping Iron with female touch

Pumping Iron with female touch

Lyudmila Tuboltseva holds the title of World Champion in Female Bodybuilding. She's dedicated her world to a daily grind of training, dieting and supplements. But there's one thing that she's now become more dedicated to – her family.
Almost every day for the past thirteen years has been spent in the gym for Ludmilla. A grueling regime of training was designed to hone the perfect body.She was lifting heavier weights than many men, but also combined the femininity needed to impress the judges and become the woman dominating her sport.More than a decade of dedication that this year culminated in a moment at the World championships that still burns brightly in her memory.“When I was a child I often watched the World Championships on TV. When I saw Russia win, and how they stood proudly on the pedestal as the flag was raised and the anthem played I dreamt I would one day be there. So when I won in Athens my dream came true and I wept with joy on the pedestal as the anthem began,” Lyudmila Tuboltseva said.But the pinnacle of her career she's decided to quit...

Check out the Video. http://www.russiatoday.ru/features/news/18547/video

Bodybuilding: She’s small, strong and a world champion

http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/BodybuildingShessmallstrongandaworldchampion/tabid/209/articleID/41776/cat/41/Default.aspx

Auckland based body builder Jo Stewart has done something no other kiwi female has achieved.

Two weeks ago she won an International Federation of Body Building World title.

Now she has her sights set on an even more prestigious prize.

The successful personal trainer and aerobics instructor is now a world champion.

Stewart out muscled 22 competitors to win the world masters bodybuilding title in Budapest in the open category, and weighing just 55 kilograms.

The tiny 47-year-old proved that big is not always the best.

“I kind of always dreamed about getting first. But never dreamt a hundred percent that that was going to happen, I couldn't believe it, I kept on waiting for them to say they had got the placings wrong,” Stewart says.

Mark Stewart doubles as Jo's husband and trainer.

As her husband he is proud, as her trainer - there is no time to reflect on past glory.

Jo is about to compete at one of most prestigious events in the world - the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic in the United States.

The competition is by invitation only, and it is only three months away.

“I just didn't know it would be this close. He's not going to let me have Christmas dinner now, and he is going to have me out running on Christmas Day or something,” Stewart predicts.

The Christmas season may not be as festive for Jo Stewart but she intends to make it all worth it come next March.

Auckland based

Auckland based body builder Jo Stewart has done something no other kiwi female has achieved.

Two weeks ago she won an International Federation of Body Building World title.

Now she has her sights set on an even more prestigious prize.

The successful personal trainer and aerobics instructor is now a world champion.

Stewart out muscled 22 competitors to win the world masters bodybuilding title in Budapest in the open category, and weighing just 55 kilograms.

The tiny 47-year-old proved that big is not always the best.

“I kind of always dreamed about getting first. But never dreamt a hundred percent that that was going to happen, I couldn't believe it, I kept on waiting for them to say they had got the placings wrong,” Stewart says.

Mark Stewart doubles as Jo's husband and trainer.

As her husband he is proud, as her trainer - there is no time to reflect on past glory.

Jo is about to compete at one of most prestigious events in the world - the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic in the United States.

The competition is by invitation only, and it is only three months away.

“I just didn't know it would be this close. He's not going to let me have Christmas dinner now, and he is going to have me out running on Christmas Day or something,” Stewart predicts.

The Christmas season may not be as festive for Jo Stewart but she intends to make it all worth it come next March.

body builder Jo Stewart has done something no other kiwi female has achieved.

Auckland based body builder Jo Stewart has done something no other kiwi female has achieved.

Two weeks ago she won an International Federation of Body Building World title.

Now she has her sights set on an even more prestigious prize.

The successful personal trainer and aerobics instructor is now a world champion.

Stewart out muscled 22 competitors to win the world masters bodybuilding title in Budapest in the open category, and weighing just 55 kilograms.

The tiny 47-year-old proved that big is not always the best.

“I kind of always dreamed about getting first. But never dreamt a hundred percent that that was going to happen, I couldn't believe it, I kept on waiting for them to say they had got the placings wrong,” Stewart says.

Mark Stewart doubles as Jo's husband and trainer.

As her husband he is proud, as her trainer - there is no time to reflect on past glory.

Jo is about to compete at one of most prestigious events in the world - the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic in the United States.

The competition is by invitation only, and it is only three months away.

“I just didn't know it would be this close. He's not going to let me have Christmas dinner now, and he is going to have me out running on Christmas Day or something,” Stewart predicts.

The Christmas season may not be as festive for Jo Stewart but she intends to make it all worth it come next March.


Two weeks ago she won an International Federation of Body Building World title.

Now she has her sights set on an even more prestigious prize.

The successful personal trainer and aerobics instructor is now a world champion.

Stewart out muscled 22 competitors to win the world masters bodybuilding title in Budapest in the open category, and weighing just 55 kilograms.

The tiny 47-year-old proved that big is not always the best.

“I kind of always dreamed about getting first. But never dreamt a hundred percent that that was going to happen, I couldn't believe it, I kept on waiting for them to say they had got the placings wrong,” Stewart says.

Mark Stewart doubles as Jo's husband and trainer.

As her husband he is proud, as her trainer - there is no time to reflect on past glory.

Jo is about to compete at one of most prestigious events in the world - the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic in the United States.

The competition is by invitation only, and it is only three months away.

“I just didn't know it would be this close. He's not going to let me have Christmas dinner now, and he is going to have me out running on Christmas Day or something,” Stewart predicts.

The Christmas season may not be as festive for Jo Stewart but she intends to make it all worth it come next March.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Student is a world record-breaker

Girl power

by: LYNN JACOBSEN World Sports Writer
12/3/2007 12:00 AM

Student is a world record-breaker


Image
Haley Bird’s migration into weightlifting was innocent enough.

The Kansas, Okla., middle schooler got into the sport to help her gymnastics career.

Instead, it has taken Haley to new heights.

“I bypassed two levels in gymnastics and I wanted a way to compete with the older girls,” she said. “So Mom (Wendy O’Leary) suggested I take up weightlifting.”

The sport has become her first love.

And she’s good at it. One might say she is in a class by herself.

The 119-pound Haley set four world records in October at the AAU World Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Fla., in the 123-pound class.

  • She set a record with a 264- pound squat, which is when a lifter has the bar across the shoulders and stands from a squatted position.


  • She had a 137-pound bench press, which is pushing weight upward from the chest while reclining.


  • She had a 275-pound dead lift, which is lifting the weight from the ground to a standing upright position. The weight isn’t raised above the head in dead lift.


  • Her total weight was 676 pounds.


“It’s been really fun,” Haley said. “The trip to Florida was my first time to fly. The championship was fun; flying was just OK.”

In just three years of competition, Haley has rewritten nearly every state powerlifting record.

“I knew she was special the first time she started to lift,” said Jon Hanna, the school’s varsity football and powerlifting coach. “In 1981, we started going to the Cascia Hall state powerlifting tournament, and our girls team has won it every year since 1999.

“The first year she won it, she competed in the 95-pound class.”

Haley comes by her athletic prowess naturally. Her mother was an outstanding basketball player at Kansas, and her father, Stacy, was a standout football player and a state champion powerlifter.

“I really only got into powerlifting to help with gymnastics, but I really love it,” Haley said. “Coach Hanna really pushes us. He’s awesome. I’m just having fun.”

Her attraction to powerlifting even caught her mother by surprise.

“Did I expect her to love powerlifting?” O’Leary asked. “No, I did not. I had no clue. Her uncle, Cory Steele, took her to the gym to lift weights, and that’s how it started.”

Haley and her mother travel an hour one way, four times a week, for three-hour gymnastics workouts in Springdale, Ark. In addition, Haley competes in track and plays guard on her eighth-grade basketball team.

“We get a lot of bonding time in the car,” O’Leary said. “We kind of laugh about that. It’s good because we can talk to each other. (The travel) is tiring, it’s hard on her physically, but we enjoy the time together.”

Haley’s powerlifting training is limited to weekends or when she isn’t competing in gymnastics.

But she still finds time to go to the movies with friends, take care of her younger cousins and just hang out at home.

“I’m a typical teenager,” she said. But there is no mistaking which sport is her favorite.

“Without a doubt, powerlifting,” she said.

Hanna foresees a bright future for Haley in powerlifting if she continues to work hard.

“She’s already the best in her weight class,” he said. “Eventually, she will make money in the sport if she wants to stay with it. Right now, she just does it for fun.”

Trips to places such as Orlando or Detroit, the site of the 2008 Junior Olympics, are a plus.

“We didn’t get a chance to go to Disney World in Orlando because we so busy with the tournament,” said Haley, who made the trip with her mother and uncle. “It was a lot of fun, but it was business. I went there to lift.”

Haley’s mentality in competition is simple.

“I just clear my head and focus on what I have to do,” she said. “I keep telling myself I have to get this weight.”

The Strongest Girl-world record set by Jacqueline Wickens

Dec 6]ELKO, Nev,USA--13-year-old Jacqueline Wickens set a world record for her age group by deadlifting 308 pounds.Now, she's aiming for 400 pounds by the time she's 18.
Not bad for a Spring Creek Middle School eighth-grader who didn't start lifting barbells until June and didn't begin competing until August.

Photo:Spring Creek's Jacqueline Wickens lifts 225 pounds during practice. Wickens' trainer Teddy Gray looks on. (Ryan Hope/Elko Daily Free Press) -
enlarge photo

"This is just the beginning,'' her personal trainer, Teddy Gray, told the Elko Daily Free Press. ``She has just put her foot in the door. She can hold a world record for as long as the wants if she works hard enough. She's just that gifted.''

Wickens set the world record at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters championship in Anaheim, Calif.

She was among 11 competitors in her age group (12-13) and weight class (181 pounds), and most of the others had far more experience.

``I wanted to do one competition and see if I liked it,'' she said. ``I didn't expect to be holding records like I do now.

On her first lift, Wickens hoisted 270 pounds. She added 22 pounds and broke the previous world record of 281 pounds on her second lift. Wickens then lifted 308 pounds, but fell short in her final attempt at 314 pounds.

“I never thought I was athletic enough to do many sports,” Wickens said. “When I found this, it did relieve me to find something I was good at.”

Wickens is also thinking about scholarships and how it might help her achieve her goal of becoming a pediatrician. Participating and doing well in the throwing events of track and field will further help her chances.

Powerlifting, and especially deadlifting, isn't the most engaging sport. It requires a lot of repetition and discipline to do well. Workouts are often done alone and the travel to competitions is long. Music and crossword puzzles help Wickens get through the down time at competitions and while traveling.

The women's WABDL world record is 501.5 pounds set by Kayla Taueli in 2005.

Broderick moves up after competitor fails drug test

http://www.caycompass.com/cgi-bin/CFPnews.cgi?ID=1027008

Agueda Broderick recently represented the Cayman Islands at the WNBF World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship in New York City. She competed in the open lightweight bodybuilding class and reached the finals, placing third. It has now been announced by the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation that the winner of the lightweight class has been disqualified due to her having failed one of their required drug tests. As a result of this, Ms. Broderick has now been awarded the second place position, and the second place athlete has been moved up to first.

“When I was moved up to second place I was completely overwhelmed and speechless.” Broderick said. “I truly felt my efforts were not in vain and that hard work and being a natural competitor does have its rewards at the end. I think the drug testing is a great procedure to have in place as it ensures a fair competition in proving that all competitors are natural in the sport. I feel proud to be a part of an organization that promotes a drug free life style and knowing that I will have a fair chance to show my hard work off and be judged accordingly as a natural competitor. My next championship will be the WNBF Mr. & Ms. Universe Bodybuilding & Figure Championships here in the Cayman Islands on Saturday, April 19, 2008.”

To learn more about the sport of Natural Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness, contact the president of the Cayman Islands Natural Bodybuilding Association at cinba345@hotmail.com or 916–5662.

Agueda Broderick

Andrea retains her Welsh body fitness championship

A HEREFORDSHIRE sports teacher has been crowned the Welsh body fitness champion for the second year in a row.

Andrea Evans won the trained figure class at the UKBFF Welsh Championships in Port Talbot, South Wales.

Thirty-year-old Evans has also just won the trained figure section of the EPF UK Open Championships in Halesowen.

She carried off the title from fellow Herefordshire competitor, Natalie Rouse, who took the runners-up spot.

Evans completed a double at the Halesowen event - she won the best presentation for her posing and fitness routine.

Evans, who is a PE teacher at John Kyrle High School in Ross-on-Wye, said: "Retaining the Welsh title has definitely been the highlight. It meant more to me this time around because I felt I had to prove that I was in a better condition than the previous year. I was thrilled because I was told that I had a nice lean body condition and good body symmetry. I had been training hard for the competition for the past year - and it certainly paid off."

Evans has been weight training for the past 12 years and was the British female powerlifting champion in 2002.

She gave up powerlifting after picking up too many injuries and decided to take up body fitness two years ago.

Evans, who lives in St Weonards, has been given advice on the sport by her brother, Mark Evans, a former Welsh bodybuilding champion.

She is hoping to be part of the English team for April's European Championships in Germany.

Evans keeps in peak condition by training around six times a week at Ross Health and Fitness Centre.

She lifts weights and does cardio work. She keeps her diet high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates and low in fat.

"You have to try to be as lean as you can and you have to be fully focussed on training and diet about 14 weeks out from each competition", explained Evans, originally from Llanelli, South Wales."My partner, Gary Wells, has the patience of a saint - he puts up with everything I put myself through and has been incredibly supportive."

Evans has introduced light resistance fitness classes to the staff at her school and is thrilled that it is having a positive effect.

Evans said: "My overall goal is to see how much I can achieve in the sport over the next two or three years and be a positive role model for the children and staff at the school."

She added: "I am absolutely thrilled with the way things have gone so far because I have entered three competitions - and managed to win each of them."

Natalie Rouse, from Hereford, has announced she will be moving up to the physique class for her next contest.

Rouse entered the body fitness section of the UKBFF Stars of Tomorrow competition in Hayes but was not placed in the top two.

"The judges have recommended that I should move up to the physique class - they thought I was too muscular for the body fitness section," she said.

"I am pleased because I now know what I have to do. I will start doing more weight training and less cardio."

The 24-year-old gym instructor wants to compete in the physique under-65kg section at the UKBFF South Coast event in Portsmouth in April.

12:17pm Thursday 6th December 2007

http://www.herefordtimes.com/misc/print.php?artid=1886116

Pole Dancing Bodybuilder

Jayne's in pole position


7/12/2007

WHEN single mum Jayne Tingle used her love of fitness to become a top bodybuilder she opted for the most extreme exercise she could find - pole dancing.

The 28 year-old mum studied American DVDs for all the latest moves and adapted them to create new routines.

The tough regime of stretching and movement has paid off for the sports science graduate - at the National Amateur Body Building Association championships earlier this year she won the Miss Figure Toned title.

She found she was hooked on her new hobby. So now Jayne, from Brownlow Road, Horwich, Bolton, is taking a year off from bodybuilding competitions to teach other women her own brand of pole dancing, which she calls Polefunk.

"I'd always loved going to the gym," said Jayne, who has a four-year-old son, Kail.

"I got into bodybuilding but was looking for a really good all-round exercise.

"I used to think pole dancing was sleazy, like stripping, until I tried it for myself. It's the ultimate workout because it involves all the muscles."

She also finds that women of all ages enjoy pole dancing. She said: "I've got teenagers and ladies in their 50s in my classes and they all love it."

Jayne runs Polefunk classes at Bolton Arena and Virgin Active in Bolton.
Jayne Tingle

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bodybuilder banned for after drugs test

December 4, 2007 - 12:04PM
Advertisement

A female bodybuilder has been suspended from competition for two years after testing positive to banned diuretics.

Heidi Strohschon, who won the women's master figure category at the national titles last year, was suspended by the International Natural Bodybuilding Association.

Ms Strohschon tested positive for the presence of amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide in a sample collected by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) at the Brisbane Natural Physique Titles in April.

ASADA chairman Richard Ings said the use of diuretics was a very serious offence.

"They can be used to mask the presence of prohibited substances such as anabolic steroids," he said in a statement.

"While there are legitimate medical uses for diuretics, they can also be used as masking agents for other prohibited substances."

Strohschon had no therapeutic use approval for the presence of the banned substances in her sample.

"As a result (she) now faces a two-year sanction from all sporting competition," Mr Ings said.

The sanction, which was backdated to the day the sample was collected, means Strohschon will not be eligible to resume competition until April 30, 2009.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Sport/Bodybuilder-banned-for-after-drugs-test/2007/12/04/1196530637556.html

Encouraging

Here's a clip from a NPC official touching on the topic of steroids and the "sport" of bodybuilding. Word is that once congress and whomever else is has any power finishes with investigaing baseball they'll be turning their focus to pro-wrestling and bodybuilding. WWE has already begun testing and suspendng. Bodybuilding will have a difficult time hiding from the government in the future.

Something really needs to be done as steroids have gotten really out of control. I want there to be female bodybuilders on magazine covers again. It's not going to happen with the latest crop of pros. Even I wouldn't be buying it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Strong Woman

The strength of this woman is unreal. Especially since it would be harder at the end than at the begining obviously.

Nora Girones





Passion for bodybuilding

By CHONG YONG WEI

AT first glance, Kimberley Chai Wan Xian looks just like any other college girl with her bubbly smile and waist-length hair. But her broad build, narrowing into a 25'' waist, and the veins that run up her forearms, are indications that she is the rare female bodybuilder.
The Taylor's University College student, who is also a freelance personal trainer, talks about her passion for bodybuilding.


Q: Bodybuilding is not a common sport among Malaysian youths. How did you first get involved in it?

A: I have always been a huge fan of bodybuilding. Since young, I have always admired muscular men and women, and had hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to join their ranks. I used to be a really chubby child and was constantly teased about that. I wanted to change that too.

At the end of my PMR examinations, I began training at very basic gym near my house, which did not have a fan or air-conditioning. That was three years ago and I have not looked back since.

Q: What is your typical day at the gym like?

A: A typical session for me takes up two hours. I would start off with cardiovascular exercises, usually on the elliptical runner for 20-30 minutes as a warm-up. Next, I would move on to the weights section. I do not train more than one or two muscle groups in a day, so I make sure I give each and every muscle ample attention. I then finish off my routine with sets of abdominal workouts to strengthen my core muscles.

Q: How do you juggle between your A-Levels studies and bodybuilding? A: For me, it is a matter of wanting it badly enough. I do not see a hectic college life and studies as an excuse to cut down or to bring my passion to a halt. Time management is all-important. My gym-bag is usually packed by nighttime. I am usually in college from 8am-3pm. The very minute I reach home, I'd grab my gym bag and cycle off to the gym. I do my assignments and studying at night, right after dinner.

Q: What do your family and friends think about your enthusiasm for bodybuilding?

A: Initially, they objected to my hobby. My friends and family did not understand my need to observe a strict, high-protein diet or why I took supplements like protein powder.

On top of that, there was also the misconception that women who do weight training would end up looking big, muscular and masculine.

In reality, bodybuilding takes a lot of hard work, discipline and dedication.

Today, I have proven that bodybuilding is not merely a hobby but a lifestyle. My parents used to think that bodybuilding was a waste of money but they now support me by paying for my monthly gym fees. Without them, I don't think I would be anywhere today, and I am grateful for their support.

Q: Who are the people or what are the factors that motivate you in this sport?

A: My idols in bodybuilding like Cory Everson and Lenda Murray – women who have made it big in this industry – inspire me because they are women who have put their heart and soul into pursuing what they stand for today, female bodybuilding.

I always believe that if they can have that opportunity, passion and drive to succeed, so can I.

My boyfriend, a fellow bodybuilder, is my best friend and mentor, and is a constant source of help and support. He has been guiding and motivating me along in bodybuilding as well as pushing to extend my limits.

Q: Somehow, there is a lingering perception that bodybuilding, a sport dominated by males, is not suitable for girls. Have you ever encounter problems because of this stereotype?

A: I used to get many funny stares whenever I approach the weights section in my gym, which is frequented by more men than women. It used to make me feel inferior, especially when I was lifting much lighter weights compared to my male counterparts.

Sometimes, there are people who'd come up to me and ask me why I would want to have “big and ugly” muscles! But I believe that beauty is subjective.

Today, I believe being a female bodybuilder and a member of the minority has made me different, and that is something I am proud of.

Q: Would you recommend bodybuilding to Malaysian students, and why?

A: Definitely. Bodybuilding is a sport that builds stamina and encourages a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For me, it has been my escape and refuge from the hassle and stress of the outside world. I always look forward to my workouts after a hard day of studying. It is a great relief for me, especially during the exam season.

Nevertheless, it is a commitment and one must have the right attitude and mindset in pursuing the sport, and this discipline in training principles can also be applied in everyday life.

Bodybuilding has made me a much more confident person and has changed my outlook on life. I am sure it will do the same for any youth.

Q: Are there any problems faced by young Malaysian bodybuilders, and if so, what are they and how we can improve on the situation?

A: It would have to be the lack of information and publicity regarding the sport. There should be more outlets for young Malaysian bodybuilders to get involved in the sport and more effort should be put into promoting bodybuilding such as in the US, where bodybuilding is a fast-growing, popular culture.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about bodybuilding?

A: That training is the only important part of the sport. People believe that as long as you lift heavy weights as much as you can, you will be on the right track to becoming a bodybuilder. In reality, training technique is equally if not more important then the amount of weight carried. More importantly, diet and nutrition play a vital role in constructing a bodybuilder's physique.

Q: What are your other interest besides bodybuilding?

A: I enjoy dancing and aerobic. I've just started to take up long distance running too and it is becoming very addictive! And just like every other girl, I love shopping and makeup.

Q: What would you advise all the budding teenage bodybuilders out there?

A: Never be discouraged or deterred by what others say about what you do or believe in. Always believe in yourself and your potential, for the battle is never lost until you yourself give in. It is only a matter of wanting it badly enough.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mum Natalie heading for top in body fitness

 Natalie Rouse - hoping to take part in international competition.



A HEREFORD gym instructor, who gave birth to her first child just 10 months ago, has finished runner-up in a national body fitness competition.
Natalie Rouse secured second spot in the trained figure section of the EPF UK Open Championships in Halesowen, West Midlands.
Natalie, 24, is a part-time instructor at Hereford Leisure Centre and was delighted with the achievement in only her second competition.
"The judges want the girls to look trim and lean and they consider the muscle symmetry. I am told that my upper body and back were good," she said.
The former Bishop's School pupil took part in her first competition - UKBFF Stars of Tomorrow - in November 2005.
She finished fourth out of four competitors in the body fitness class.
"I was 72kg at the time but the judges thought my bottom half was too chunky. I was hoping to take part in further events after that but I fell pregnant the following February."
During her pregnancy, Natalie's weight soared to 14 stone and she firmly got back on the exercise trail six months after giving birth to her daughter, Athena.
"For the latest competition I got down to 10 stone - which was a stone lighter than in 2005. I looked much better - and I was in a much better condition."
Natalie splits her training regime between lifting weights at Pyramid Fitness and doing cardio in the gym at Hereford Leisure Centre.
The fitness athlete realises that diet and nutrition are key ingredients to success in the sport and takes advice from former Hereford powerlifter Neil Evans.
Natalie's body fat is somewhere between eight and 10 per cent - she lowered it to six per cent for her last show.
"I suppose we train like a bodybuilder but it's not purely aesthetic like a bodybuilder, and women have different categories than the men.
"I have to drink four litres of water a day and in the week before a competition, eat five to six meals a day, which are protein based.
"70 per cent of the look is down to diet - that's the difference between success and failure - and Neil is helping me with this aspect."
Natalie was introduced to the sport by her fiancé, Laurence Rea, whom she met at Sixth Sense Fitness in Hereford.
"He was doing bodybuilding and I found out that I was quite strong for my size," explained Natalie, who lives in Bobblestock.
Natalie is planning to compete next in the body fitness section of the UKBFF Stars of Tomorrow competition at the Beck Theatre, Hayes, on November 25.
"I did my first competition to gain some experience and it helped build up my confidence. I learnt more from the last event so we know where we are."
She added: "After finishing fourth in 2005, I would like to be placed in the top three at Hayes and get an entry into the British Open. If you do well at the British Open event then you can get a Pro Card and it can allow you to compete all over the world."
Her ambition is to compete at the Miss Olympia event in the USA and follow in the footsteps of well-known fitness athlete Monica Brant, whom she admires for her dedication to the sport.
"When I was at school I enjoyed cross country, but I enjoy the training involved in body fitness because it gives me a goal and I have to keep extremely disciplined."

12:47pm Thursday 15th November 2007

http://www.herefordtimes.com/display.var.1836223.0.mum_natalie_heading_for_top_in_body_fitness.php

Grad Student Weightlifts Her Way To National Competition

Brittny Boyd and Jams Duba have both found success weightlifting.


After attempting weightlifting for the first time only six months ago, and in only her second professional competition, Brittny Boyd took second place and earned a shot at national competition. Boyd, a second-year exercise science graduate student in the 63-kilogram (138-pound) weight class, lifted a total of 323 pounds - nearly 2.4 times her own weight."Tell Beijing to look out for Brittny at the next Olympics," said James Duba, fellow weightlifter and close friend.At their latest meet on Oct. 20, Boyd and Duba performed two Olympic-style lifts. The "snatch," where a barbell is lifted in one continuous motion off the ground and held overhead and the "clean and jerk," where the barbell is lifted off the ground, then held across the chest momentarily before lifted overhead. Boyd explained that every competitor has three chances for both lifts, but the lifts must increase consecutively or remain equal for all three.For her snatch, Boyd started off light and worked her way up to a heavier barbell, successfully lifting 70 kilograms (154 pounds). However, for her clean and jerk, Boyd said she got greedy because she figured she could beat her own personal record of 81 kilograms (178 pounds). She started off with 85 kilograms (187 pounds) and failed twice, but on her last try lessened the weight to 77 kilograms (169 pounds) and lifted it successfully."You have to come back from failure over and over again," Boyd said.As a former All-American sprinter and soccer player at The College of New Jersey, Boyd didn't exactly have a weightlifting background. However, on a whim last May, Duba convinced her they should train together in preparation for an upcoming practice meet."I could tell she had potential," Duba said. "I had no clue," Boyd added. Duba, a second-year exercise science graduate student, also had never participated in weightlifting. As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Duba played baseball, volleyball and soccer, but said his friend Kevin Kocos inspired him to attempt weightlifting.Their first meet - which was just for practice - was held at Gary Valentine's garage-turned-gym in Wilton, Conn. in June. Valentine, a 1983 UConn alumni and a world weightlifting champion, heads the Connecticut Weightlifting Club and said he noticed the potential of both Boyd and Duba right away."For the two of them to be doing this sport - to get into meets like this [nationals] and to perform so well - it's phenomenal," Valentine said.Valentine has since coached Boyd and Duba, giving them tips on technique and training. But living 100 miles away from UConn, he said isn't able to help them in person often.After their practice meet, the duo trained together for the entire summer - every week, five days a week - in preparation for their first professional meet in August."It was intense," Boyd said. "It was probably the most mentally tough thing I've ever done, as far as athletic endeavors."At the August competition, Boyd lifted 61 kilograms (134 pounds) in the snatch and 80 kilograms (176 pounds) in the clean and jerk, which earned her first place in her weight class."I did a little better than I expected," Boyd said. "It was the combination of adrenaline and the supportive atmosphere."Duba came in third in his class, lifting 80 kilograms (176 pounds) in the snatch and 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in the clean and jerk.Now, having qualified for nationals in October, Boyd is ranked 16 in the nation and has begun training for her next meet in February."At nationals she's going to do very well," Valentine said. "She has an energy for the sport that just radiates from her."Boyd, however, admitted she was nervous."The stakes are high and there will be a lot of people watching," she said. "The key is to bring it on that day. It's mental, it's about staying focused."

http://media.www.dailycampus.com/media/storage/paper340/news/2007/11/15/News/Grad-Student.Weightlifts.Her.Way.To.National.Competition-3104043.shtml

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Taking on the world

George, Power-George at world powerlifting championship

BY KRYSTA COLBOURNE
The Beacon

PUSH – Gander’s Christa Power-George placed 16th overall in her weight class at the IPF Women’s Powerlifting World Championships in Austria from Oct. 14-20.Gander's husband and wife powerlifting duo, Christa Power-George and Brian George, are no strangers to the provincial, national and international powerlifting scene, however it was a new experience for both last month.

The two local powerlifters experienced the world powerlifting scene for the first time, and they are hoping it will not be the last time the world can see them at the IPF Men's and Women's Powerlifting World Championships.

The duo, who were selected to attend the world championship last year but we're unable to attend, were on the 15-member Canadian team who traveled to Soeldon, Austria to compete from Oct. 14-20, as a result of Power-George winning the national women's championship for the second consecutive year in 2007. George qualified for the world event by taking a bronze at the men's national competition - his third in as many years.

At the worlds, Power-George had a 16th place overall finish out of the 18 competitors in the 123-pound weight class. She came 16th in squat with a lift of 281.1 lbs, 18th in bench press with 144-pound, and 16th in dead lift with 281.1 pounds.

"I pulled my shoulder a couple weeks before, so I have done better, but it was the best I had that day," said Power-George.

Meanwhile, George landed in 14th place overall in the 19-competitor 243-pound weight class, placing 13th with personal best squat of 673 pounds, 17th in the bench press event with 440 pounds, and 15th dead lift with 650 pounds.

George's lifts were affected by the high altitude of Austria, which neither lifter was used to.

"Usually I'm a good dead lifter, probably a top five dead lifter in Canada," George said. "From the altitude, I started getting cramps in my neck and shoulder, so my second and third dead lifts were no lifts because of the severe cramping."

Both athletes said they went to the world championships with an open mind.

"Not that we didn't take it seriously, but we weren't that stressed over it, because it was worlds, and the best in the world is a pretty big title to hold, and as long as we were trying our best, that was really what we expected," said Power-George.

"We enjoyed ourselves and approached it with a good attitude. If it had been in Canada, we would have been stressed. We would have been gunning to win to make it to the worlds, but where you have every country in the world, it's the best of the best that make it to the team, so chances of being the best in the world might take more than your first time. Those who win are there for like five, six, seven, 11 years before they get a medal. So we're coming in just kind of hoping some day we'll get up the ladder and win."

Challenges

Both competitors said there were many challenges they weren't used to at the world event.

"It was really quickly changing from one person to the next," Power-George said. "That's what we found to be the hardest thing about it - how quick it was and how hard it was to recover in between. You had less time, plus you couldn't breath because of the altitude, so it was even harder again. That was by far the biggest challenge I think."

George added the air was thin being 5,000-feet above sea level, which was definitely a challenge, as was the language barrier and the congestion with such a large number of competitions.

"We definitely weren't intimidated," George said, adding there was close to 300 lifters.

George said he found the refereeing to be a bit inconsistent.

"The bigger lifters got more favouritism than the lifters lifting smaller weight," he said. "They were a little bit more sticky with us. There was a little bit of politics, but it's the best in the world. Europeans are genetically strong, not saying that Canadians aren't, but it seems to be that we need to train a bit harder to get to their level."

Training

The duo trained for 12 weeks before the world event, with the first six weeks consisting of high volume work, including more sets and reps with less weight and faster movements.

In the last six weeks, the weight went higher and the amount of reps to gain power.

"There is a lot of intensive training," said Power-George. "A lot of sacrifices - early nights and no weekends."

George said he enjoys training, being able to go to the gym and have goals instead of just going to lift weights.

"We are both very goal-oriented," said George. "It's tough towards the end. You're tired and you're not supposed to lift too much because you don't want to overtrain to the point where your lifts are going to drop. If you get to that point then sometimes it's too late."

Power-George added there is a fine balance between training and over-training, and her husband, who is also her trainer, has a tremendous amount of knowledge of how to train.

"He's always coming up with new programs," she said. "Every one is harder than the last. He is always making it tougher and tougher, and that's why we are excelling."

Power-George said other athletes have a huge advantage going in to the world championship, because some lifters from other countries are paid to be powerlifters.

"That's their job," she said. "They are paid to train, they are selected to win medals. They are given a house, they are given cars, they are given food, their family is taken care of, and long as they go win that gold medal that continues on.

"It's a big incentive for them to train, and they have the means to do it. If you could just eat, sleep and train, you would be the best in the world. Anybody could. For the rest of us who have normal lives and normal jobs, and families and kids, it's a little less of an advantage. This is just something we do extra."

Learning experience

Power-George said they learned techniques from watching other lifters that they can incorporate into their own strategy.

"We learned a tremendous amount from going, and that gives us a little bit more of an edge up," she said. "When we go to nationals this year, we've learned so much that we can incorporate that hopefully guarantees us a spot next year on the world team, which is in Newfoundland.

"You we're lucky if you finished. That's how hard it was."

George added six out of the 15 Team Canada members did not finish the event.

"We took it easy on ourselves and we were nervous and just getting a lot of training advice," George said.

"By the time we left, we knew half the people there. We made some good connections from world-class athletes. They shared a lot of good tips."

Support

George said himself and 9 Wing Gander have done research, and he believes he is the first military member in Canadian military history to go to powerlifting worlds.

"The base is behind me 100 per cent," said George.

They duo said they get a lot of support from 9 Wing Gander and the community of Gander as a whole.

"I had a huge fund-raiser before we left and the amount of support and interest from everybody in the town was phenomenal," Power-George said.

She put together a basket with over $1,000 of items from different business within the community, and sold enough tickets on it to buy her plane ticket.

"It was amazing," she said. "The town really supports us when we go."

Next

Now it's break time for the couple, so Power-George's torn muscle can heal.

"When she gets a good shoulder it's only a matter of time before people recognize her on the world scene," George said of his wife.

The duo has some time before they have to start training for the Canadian Powerlifting Championships, which take place in April in Niagara Falls, Ont.

"We have some time before we have to get serious with that," Power-George said.

"We are really hoping to make the world team, and that depends on what you do in nationals. We have to start training hard after Christmas to guarantee next year's worlds, because, of course, being from Newfoundland, that's ideal. Your families can come so those are our long-term goals to make that team."

Starting young, finishing strong

By JANE NORDBERG, DMG Writer

HOUGHTON — First hour, English. Second hour, math. Third hour, meeting three Olympic athletes.

An atypical day Monday for Houghton middle- and high-school students, who got to hear the inspiring stories of Cheryl Haworth, Natalie Woolfolk and Sheila Taormina’s ascent to the Olympic podium.

“When you look at us, we’re all different sizes,” said heavyweight division weightlifter Haworth with a nod to her colleagues, lightweight division weightlifter Woolfolk and swimmer/triathlete/pentathlete Taormina. “What we have in common is that we share the same dream of being all that we can be.”

The athletes’ visit to Houghton, and that of their counterparts, gymnast Shannon Miller and hockey player Angela Ruggiero, was sponsored by Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center and Michigan Technological University as part of the “Sharing the Dream” tour. Miller and Ruggiero spent Monday morning at Calumet High School, similarly inspiring students on the north end of the peninsula.

Following an introductory videotape detailing the athletes’ success, the three Olympians told the packed Houghton gymnasium how hard they had to work to achieve their individual goals.

“In 1988, I tried out for the Olympics and I didn’t make it. I didn’t make the 1992 Olympics, either,” said Taormina. “By the time 1996 came around, I was hoping I would break my arm or get a terrible illness so I wouldn’t have to compete.”

Fortunately, she didn’t get what she wished for, and went on to win a gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle. Two more Olympics followed, this time on the triathlon team. Next year in Beijing, Taormina hopes to medal in the pentathlon, making her the first athlete ever to compete in a third sport in the Olympic Games.

Woolfolk is also hoping to compete at the Beijing Games and take a medal in the 63kg weightlifting division. At 5-foot 3-inches and 135 pounds, there was an audible gasp from the audience when they learned Woolfolk could lift 260 pounds from the floor over her head.

“What Natalie’s not telling you is that she holds all of the records in her weight class and also the one above hers,” Haworth said.

Haworth, too, impressed the crowd with her accomplishments. The former softball player-turned-heavyweight weightlifter squats 495 pounds, making her the strongest woman in the Western Hemisphere.

Although all three encouraged the students to attend Monday night’s events at the MTU Student Development Complex to learn more about the five athletes and their individual sports, Taormina said their message wasn’t limited to prospective Olympians.

“If you’re not interested in sports, that’s OK,” she said. “Whatever your passion is, whether it’s theater, music, academics, the same thing applies. It takes effort to achieve your dreams.”

After the presentation, students were allowed to ask questions of the athletes, which ranged from how much Haworth and Woolfolk can bench press (they don’t), to the athletes’ nutritional habits (no hydrogenated oils). Taormina got a surprise visit from Wayne Henry, who asked whether she took easy courses in high school, knowing full well he was her advanced placement math teacher downstate before he moved to the Upper Peninsula. “Did I get an ‘A’?” she asked Henry after his identity registered. He answered yes, with an embarrassed Taormina admitting she hadn’t seen him “in about 20 years.”

The trio then posed for photographs and signed autographs for staff and students, including seventh grader Logan Heikkila, who muscled his way through a crowd to get Haworth to sign his arm.

When asked why Haworth and why the arm, Heikkila employed a deadpan grin.

“Dude. Strongest woman in the Western Hemisphere. Hello?”

Starting young, finishing strong

By JANE NORDBERG, DMG Writer

HOUGHTON — First hour, English. Second hour, math. Third hour, meeting three Olympic athletes.

An atypical day Monday for Houghton middle- and high-school students, who got to hear the inspiring stories of Cheryl Haworth, Natalie Woolfolk and Sheila Taormina’s ascent to the Olympic podium.

“When you look at us, we’re all different sizes,” said heavyweight division weightlifter Haworth with a nod to her colleagues, lightweight division weightlifter Woolfolk and swimmer/triathlete/pentathlete Taormina. “What we have in common is that we share the same dream of being all that we can be.”

The athletes’ visit to Houghton, and that of their counterparts, gymnast Shannon Miller and hockey player Angela Ruggiero, was sponsored by Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center and Michigan Technological University as part of the “Sharing the Dream” tour. Miller and Ruggiero spent Monday morning at Calumet High School, similarly inspiring students on the north end of the peninsula.

Following an introductory videotape detailing the athletes’ success, the three Olympians told the packed Houghton gymnasium how hard they had to work to achieve their individual goals.

“In 1988, I tried out for the Olympics and I didn’t make it. I didn’t make the 1992 Olympics, either,” said Taormina. “By the time 1996 came around, I was hoping I would break my arm or get a terrible illness so I wouldn’t have to compete.”

Fortunately, she didn’t get what she wished for, and went on to win a gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle. Two more Olympics followed, this time on the triathlon team. Next year in Beijing, Taormina hopes to medal in the pentathlon, making her the first athlete ever to compete in a third sport in the Olympic Games.

Woolfolk is also hoping to compete at the Beijing Games and take a medal in the 63kg weightlifting division. At 5-foot 3-inches and 135 pounds, there was an audible gasp from the audience when they learned Woolfolk could lift 260 pounds from the floor over her head.

“What Natalie’s not telling you is that she holds all of the records in her weight class and also the one above hers,” Haworth said.

Haworth, too, impressed the crowd with her accomplishments. The former softball player-turned-heavyweight weightlifter squats 495 pounds, making her the strongest woman in the Western Hemisphere.

Although all three encouraged the students to attend Monday night’s events at the MTU Student Development Complex to learn more about the five athletes and their individual sports, Taormina said their message wasn’t limited to prospective Olympians.

“If you’re not interested in sports, that’s OK,” she said. “Whatever your passion is, whether it’s theater, music, academics, the same thing applies. It takes effort to achieve your dreams.”

After the presentation, students were allowed to ask questions of the athletes, which ranged from how much Haworth and Woolfolk can bench press (they don’t), to the athletes’ nutritional habits (no hydrogenated oils). Taormina got a surprise visit from Wayne Henry, who asked whether she took easy courses in high school, knowing full well he was her advanced placement math teacher downstate before he moved to the Upper Peninsula. “Did I get an ‘A’?” she asked Henry after his identity registered. He answered yes, with an embarrassed Taormina admitting she hadn’t seen him “in about 20 years.”

The trio then posed for photographs and signed autographs for staff and students, including seventh grader Logan Heikkila, who muscled his way through a crowd to get Haworth to sign his arm.

When asked why Haworth and why the arm, Heikkila employed a deadpan grin.

“Dude. Strongest woman in the Western Hemisphere. Hello?”

http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=9297

Grad student pursues healthy lifestyle

By Ted Bado




The Colvin Center is a haven for those who look to train their bodies.

The expansive OSU recreational facility is a second home to hundreds of students, whether they are there to enjoy a game of basketball, take a run on a treadmill or lift weights.

On the average day in the Colvin, there are patrons working the free weights, treadmills and machines and a host of students doing a variety of activities.

There is also a Latino woman bench pressing with the men and working as hard as any guy around.

Her name is Marilyn Lopez, and when she isn’t training at the Colvin Center, she’s working as a bouncer at Eskimo Joe’s.

“There have only been four women bouncers since Joe’s started using bouncers, and I’m one of the two that actually worked out,” Lopez said. “They treat me just like the guys and I can definitely hold my own.”

That is just who Marilyn Lopez is: a woman not afraid or intimidated in what seems like a male-dominated world.

Lopez, a graduate student studying international trade and development, said she has been training for six years.

“After I joined a fire department my freshman year in college, they were the ones who wanted me to hit the gym and to hit the weights, so I started doing that,” Lopez said. “I just really fell in love with it, so I took a few weightlifting courses for my undergrad.”

Running is also one of Lopez’s favorite activities.

“I’m running the 12k leg of the Route 66 marathon in Tulsa here in a bit, and I hope to compete in a triathlon this spring,” Lopez said. “I love to swim and cycle as well, so I hope to do that.”

Lopez also said she had a passion for boxing at a younger age.

“I’ve been boxing since I was 17, but I just hit the heavy bag now,” Lopez said. “I got hit pretty good when I was 19, and I decided that I like my face too much and I didn’t want to do that in that way.

“I think a lot of the boys there in the gym are scared of me.”

Brian Whitacre, an assistant professor in agricultural economics who currently employs Lopez as a research assistant, said he had a strong reaction when he first met her.

“I actually met her in the gym, and that’s how we came to know each other and talk about this grant dealing with Hispanics and economics,” Whitacre said. “You can just tell when she is training that she is different from other girls.”

Whitacre, who has been body building for four years, said Lopez’s intensity is what makes her stand out.

“Her intensity level is so high, she trains like a guy,” Whitacre said. “She’s not concerned with looking pretty, she just goes out and trains at a very high level.”

Lopez said men who work out tend to have strong reactions when seeing her work out in the Colvin.

“It’s usually just me and 40 guys, and I get stared at, I’m not going to lie,” Lopez said, laughing. “A lot of them now I see them so much we say ‘hi’ to each other and it’s a friendship/acquaintance type deal, but some of the other guys in there they see me lifting almost as much as they are, and then they see the muscle definition in my body, and they are taken aback. If I go to another gym that I am not familiar with, I get some good stares.”

Other women also have had strong reactions when seeing Lopez.

“They looked scared of me, mostly scared I would say — girls definitely get intimidated,” Lopez said. “Half the time, I want to go up to them and say something if their form isn’t right or they are working the wrong body parts and I can tell.

“I kind of want to say something, but I have this fear of them getting upset or angry, but if your form isn’t right, what is the point of coming to the gym?” she said.

Lopez said she believes a lot of the reactions to her are due to the culture of weightlifting.

“It’s not a culture for a woman to do that, especially sparring,” Lopez said. “A lot of the time it’s like ‘What are you doing?’ and I know what I am doing, so maybe that is what makes them not say anything to me.”

Lopez added that she is always friendly when people do come up to her and ask her questions.

“I’ve had girls and guys come up to me and ask me for advice and I always try to help them out,” Lopez said.

Lopez said her life has changed since she started training.

“It changed my lifestyle completely — about a year and a half ago I lost a tremendous amount of weight,” Lopez said. “I dropped about eight dress sizes or so, and once I realized how much more my body could do if I was eating healthier, I started seeing a tremendous difference.”

Lopez said her muscle mass increased because her body fat was diminishing.

She also said her love life has improved now that she trains her body.

“I have a lot more confidence I think, and I am now in a relationship with someone,” Lopez said. “And it’s not just dating, it’s a real relationship. Guys have definitely come up to me more.”

Lopez also had important advice for anyone looking to better their physical shape.

“I don’t think anyone wants to be out of shape, I just think people are intimidated by the work that goes into it,” Lopez said. “If anything, I’m an example that it’s doable and you can change.”

http://www.ocolly.com/2007/11/08/grad-student-pursues-healthy-lifestyle/

Mr. and Ms. Penn 2007 | Carlin flexes and hams her way to second title

Mr. and Ms. Penn 2007 Carlin flexes and hams her way to second title

By: Mike Kaiser

Posted: 11/7/07

She did it again.

Senior Jesse Carlin won her second consecutive Ms. Penn title and senior Jason Myers took home the title in last night's Mr. & Ms. Penn Bodybuilding Competition.

Carlin's victory marks the first back-to-back Ms. Penn titles since Renata Clay, a judge in this year's competition, won in 1996 and 1997.

Zellerbach Theatre's lower level was filled to capacity as fans donning signs, banners and body paint poured in to support their friends, peers and family. Fans were chanting for their favorite competitors even before MC, organizer and women's track assistant coach Tony Tenisci officially began the competition.

This year's competition had 30 participants, making it the largest in the 16-year history of the event.

Highlights came in the competitors' individual routines. Men's short class second-place Jeremy Hall got the crowd going when he "cranked that 'Soulja Boy'" while flexing in his routine. Women's short class runner-up and best female poser Lea Artis showed off her background in cheer during her routine, pulling off a back flip, a one-armed cartwheel, splits and a one-armed push-up in one of the night's memorable performances.

The contest, an annual fund-raiser for the women's track team, was judged by a variety of Penn affiliates and Philadelphia fitness experts. Among the seven judges were football coach Al Bagnoli, volleyball coach Kerry Carr and three past Ms. & Mr. Penn competitors: Clay, Matt Newcomb and Leexan Hong.

"In 16 years, I don't think we've had a better show," Tenisci said. The competition has become "a real tradition."

Tenisci has run the competition since its inception in an effort to promote fitness and health.

"Ivy kids aren't all brains," he said. "The competitors are very well-rounded students."

Aside from lifting weights, competitors must watch their calorie intake, make sure they sleep enough and do lots of cardiovascular exercise.

"It's a lifestyle," men's short class third-place Anthony Lee said. "It consumes 24 hours of your day."

"Bodybuilding requires dedication," top male poser Anthony Balduzzi said. "Everything has to be regimented."

"If I can do this, everything else will be a piece of cake," women's short class competitor Marissa Martinez said. "No pun intended; I can't eat cake."

The competition is when "all the hard work pays off," Lee said. "The most rewarding thing [was] to have my friends and family there, acknowledging my hard work." http://media.www.dailypennsylvanian.com/media/storage/paper882/news/2007/11/07/Sports/Mr.And.Ms.Penn.2007.Carlin.Flexes.And.Hams.Her.Way.To.Second.Title-3084163.shtml

Body builders muscle up for contest

A Christchurch couple plan to flex their muscles for New Zealand at the world bodybuilding championships.

Annette Gallaher, 40, and her partner, Richard Parnham, 33, are already officially Mr and Mrs New Zealand after their success at the national competition in August. Gallaher and Parnham will compete in individual disciplines at the Universe Championships in Alicante, Spain, as well as the mixed pairs.

"It is a sport that is not well-known," said Gallaher. "We have done so well this time, though, and we are up against the best of the best."

Muscle men and women from all over the world will take part at the competition, which runs from November 23 to 25. They are required to strike different poses individually and in pairs to show off their physiques. "We have been competing for six years," said Gallaher. "We both have really good sporting backgrounds. I used to do a lot of running, but I started going to the gym and doing weights. I suppose we got addicted."

Gallaher, who weighs 55kg, and Parnham, 83kg, a personal trainer, have kept up a punishing routine for the past six months.

"We will arrive in Spain a week before the show and go into decarb, which means eating no carbohydrate," she said.

"At the moment we do one hour of cardio in the gym in the morning, which is cross-training or biking.

"Then we do one and a half hours weight training. In the evening we do another one to one and a half hours cardio."

The couple, who live in Shirley with their four children, have also been on a strict diet.

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First place for area women bodybuilders

Nov 12, 2007 @ 12:27 AM

RRSTAR.COM STAFF REPORTS

ROCKFORD -

A team of six women A team of six women coached by Oregon Park District personal trainer Kim Henry took home a first place trophy at the Natural Mid-States Muscle Classic on Nov. 3 at Guilford High School.

After competing in bodybuilding contests for a few years, Henry, 39, decided to put a team together. She was surprised how easy it was to assemble a team from the Oregon area — all women and all age 39 or older.

Team members included Diana Day, Susan Wiley, Jill Lawrence and Carla Meier-Riviera of Oregon and Carol Atchison of Byron. Two of the six women competed as bodybuilders and four competed in the figure portion of the contest.

The women worked out three times a day in the weeks leading to the competition, some waking as early as 4 a.m. for morning runs.

Their effort paid off, culminating in a 5-foot-tall, first-place team trophy against six other teams. Competitors were drug tested before the competition to make sure none of them were using steroids, Henry said.

“We had a blast,” Henry said. “These women were determined. We all made friendships and had a great time.”



http://www.rrstar.com/homepage/x1375681088

Fitness duo win big in Miami

By CHAD SCARSBROOK



Mindy Karuk, who used to wear size 34 jeans, is proud of the hours she spends pumping iron. (MARCEL CRETAIN/ SUN MEDIA)

Of the over 160 tanned and toned fitness addicts who descended upon Miami last week for the Fitness and Model Expo's annual North American Championship, what are the chances a Winnipegger -- or a couple of Winnipeggers -- would place among the top bodybuilding talent?

Pretty good if their names are Ainsley McSorley and Mindy Karuk.

The buffed duo finished first and third respectively in the FAME pro bikini category, sandwiching American Tammy Blais. McSorley also placed second in the fitness model advanced category while Karuk came in third in the fitness model pro category.

Pack on muscle

"We're representing Winnipeg well," said McSorley, 23, with a laugh earlier this week.

"I think the winter months allow us to buckle down and pack on the muscle, get that competitive edge and bring a great package to the stage and compete at a high level," added Karuk, 26.

Bikini judges look for a softer, fit look while fitness model judges look for a more ripped, harder body, according to Karuk.

McSorley, a rising star on the Canadian fitness scene, had one goal entering the event.

"I wanted to win," McSorley said. "I wanted first place in pro and I'm so happy. I was almost in tears on the stage."

While she usually takes 12 weeks to prepare, university studies got in the way and McSorley could only spare eight weeks to get into competition shape.

"It was a battle," she said.

McSorley was in the gym five or six days a week, twice a day, focusing on legs and lower body. Her cardio of choice was jump squat intervals.

"It's painful doing that three days a week," she said. "After exercising on leg days I was just done and ready for bed."

Karuk, meanwhile, had a bit of juggling herself before going to Miami.

Three jobs, as a card dealer at McPhillips Street Station, a M.A.C makeup artist, and working for a local marketing agency, as well as a little modelling, keeps the former Dauphin resident hopping. But she makes time to exercise.

"I eat, sleep and breathe the gym," said Karuk, who was competing in her second pro show. "Whether I'm going for 20 minutes or an hour and a half. Some pump is better than no pump."

That's a big change from her high school days when Karuk, who in those days was wearing a size 34 jean, would feast on KFC whenever she could. While most women dread getting a year older, Karuk, who takes pride in the amount of time she devotes to fitness, is looking forward to the future.

"I can only imagine what I'm going to look like when I'm 30. I'm actually quite stoked that I'll be exactly where I want to be."

http://winnipegsun.com/Sports/OtherSports/2007/11/12/pf-4649307.html