Monday, April 30, 2007

Figure Girls Primed

BKevin Mitchell
Sports Editor
Apr 29 2007

Victoria Savile will likely stop by the Dairy Queen for a Blizzard sometime today.

It will be a well-deserved treat considering what the 21-year-old Vernon woman went through before gracing the stage Saturday night in the B.C. Figure Competition in Kelowna.

For several months, Savile juggled four jobs, massage therapy school classes and a major training regimen under personal trainer Alexis Chapman at Breakaway Fitness. She lost approximately 15 pounds, cut her body fat by 15 per cent, and gained renewed confidence.

"It definitely lets you know you can do whatever you set your mind to," said Savile. "It gives you lots of empowerment."

At 5-foot-3 and 115 pounds, Savile was entered in the Short class at the provincials. The Williams Lake high school grad credits Chapman's "expertise" and training partner Cailen Lochhead's support with boosting her energy.

"Alexis has told us to go up there and just shine your little face off," laughed Savile, who Chapman calls her "darling brunette."

Chapman, of Nu-Life Fitness, also trained 33-year-old Shauna Slobodin, her "blond beauty,” for the provincials.

Slobodin moved to Castlegar to open a gym a year ago so has kept in contact with Chapman through the Internet.

The 5-foot-7, 139-pound Jasper high school grad was entered in the Tall category at the Kelowna Community Theatre. She lowered her body fat to 11 per cent by following Chapman's program.

"You sort of get this clarity of what you want," said Slobodin. "I just realized I can anything, and I can pass it on to my clients. Everybody has a roadblock in what they want, and it comes down to who goes the extra mile. We've literally worked our asses off."

Slobodin's sacrifices over the past several months will allow her to pretty much eat anything she wants today.

"I love cooking so I'll cook whatever my boyfriend feels like eating."

Jackie Stewart was scheduled to celebrate a milestone birthday by making her debut on stage Saturday night.

Saying she feels fit, 50 and fabulous, Stewart juggled long hours at her esthetician business and training under the guidance of Paulette Barry (Ladies World).

"With the added challenge of living with diabetes type 1, Jackie stayed focused and determined," said Barry, who praised Chapman for being generous with posing lessons and competition dieting tips.

"Weight training, cardio and nutrition were tools she used to sculpt her 5-foot-4 frame. She has inspired women of all ages."

Stewart, who trains out of Breakaway, watched women's bodybuilding on TV in her teens.

"I remember thinking how great it would be to have a fabulous toned body, maybe not quite as big as those girls, but toned," said Stewart, who in her 20s, hired a trainer and got in great shape before having children and "dropped out of the whole being fit thing."

Added Stewart: "I've had to fight my weight my whole life so after my third daughter, I started back at the gym, just to stay in shape. But there was always that thought of competing in the back of my mind."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Samantha Turnbull

Pretty Sporty is a great resource for track photography. Photographer Cheryl Treworgy does a terrific job documenting not just sprinters but really does field athletes justice. As a former field guy myself I thank you.

Here's some links to some of her recent events

Duke Invitational 2007 Hammer Throwers

Duke Invitational 2007 Javelin

2007 Division II NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships - Women's Shot Put

Kristy Hawkins

Every time Kristy Hawkins updates her site with a new picture my jaw drops. She is a tremendous athlete and will be Ms. O...more than once is she keeps up her training. She embodies what the sport is about. Here's a link to a new pic from her last update.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Miss Opportunity

I watched Dr. Keith Ablow's show on Female Bodybuilders. I had a few takeaways. First, Nicole Bass is not a representative of female bodybuilding. She is a Stern Wack Pack member and for that alone destroys her credibilty.

Second, this show would have been a great way for an seriously competitive or up-and-commer bodybuilder to speak; a Kristy Hawkins, Amy Schmid, or a top four or five placer from the Ms.O or Ms. International Show. Someone who would not represent the more sleazy side that Jane and Gayle does now. The only negative aspect of the show was really the women that were picked. They were not a fair represenative of the sport. Ablow didn't seem to want to blaset the women.

Third, the grandmother Rita was great. She looked amazing. Even the doctor seemed impressed with her.

Bodybuilding needs too PR to thrive.

Jill Mills

I miss Jill.


When PILLOW FIGHT LEAGUE ladies rumble, feathers fly in the fiercest of competition

Alexa Stanard / Special to The Detroit News

Trevor Roberts / PFL

Lynn Somnia See full image

The Pillow Fight League

  • Female pillow fighters only. No exceptions.
  • Pillow fights are won via pin-fall, surrender or referee stoppage. If a pillow fight ends at the time limit with no winner, a winner is declared by a three-judge committee. Pillow fighters are judged based on style, stamina and the "eye of the tiger. "
  • No biting, scratching or hair pulling. Malicious intent and blatant disregard of your opponent's safety (or your own) may result in immediate suspension and/or dismissal from the league.
  • Mouth guards, knee pads and elbow pads are mandatory.
  • Most anything goes in a pillow fight, as long as there is a pillow at the point of contact. Preventing your opponent's offense by holding her pillow is not allowed.
  • Pillow fighters must practice good sports-womanship.
  • A pillow is not a weapon. Deliberately compressing the pillow fibers to increase the density of the pillow is not allowed.

    John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

    Sailor Gerri, from left, PFL commissioner Stacey Case, KilKelly, Sarah Bellum and referee Matt Mullen have made a serious event out of a pillow fight. See full image

    Sailor Gerri will face an uphill battle tonight as she takes on strongwoman Champain for the title of Pillow Fight League world champion. But she's ready for the challenge.

  • "Champain is really good at pillow swinging, so I'm just going to go for her knees," says the Sailor. "I'm going to take this whole thing to the mat, and I'm just going to sit on her and hope she can't get up."

    The two pillow brawlers are among 16 women who will swing it out tonight during PFL 8 at the Boom Boom Room, a nightclub in downtown Windsor. The event is the latest for the flying-by-the-seat-of-its-pants league, which got its start in Toronto in May and since has garnered international media attention for its melodramatic flair and deadpan-serious treatment of pillow fighting as a legitimate sport.

    "Pillow fighting -- everybody's done it, everyone knows what it is, but no one's ever created rules and regulations for it," says Stacey Case, league founder and commissioner.

    Fighting like a girl!

    Oversight for those rules falls to league senior official and head referee Matt Mullen. Pillow fighting is a women-only sport, Mullen explains, and any offensive attack is permitted, so long as a pillow is the point of contact.

    A fighter defeats her opponent by making her surrender or by pinning her shoulders to the ground for a 3-second count. The referee can terminate a fight due to timidity, and if no clear winner emerges, a three-judge panel decides the fight, judging fighters on style, stamina and "eye of the tiger," a phrase that rolls off the tongues of those in the league as though its meaning should be obvious to all.

    Eye of the tiger is best defined as "a finesse," says Sailor Gerri. "It's using your style to put on a good show as well as obliterate each other."

    No lewd or lascivious behavior is permitted, Mullen says. Instead, the fights are about "spectacle, athleticism and sport."

    Indeed, spectators hoping to see tarted-up women playfully whack each other as feathers fly will be sorely disappointed. PFL fights are no-holds-barred events.

    The women cultivate bravado-laden costumes and personas -- with names such as Betty Clock'er, Eiffel Power and Lady Die -- to rival WWE wrestlers.

    A fight begins with Mullen asking each woman if she wants to fight. After each shouts her agreement, Mullen commands them to "Fight like a girl!" and the brawl is on. Each fighter darts onto the mat, picks up one of two large, weighty pillows from the center and begins pounding on her opponent.

    The bouts have a 5-minute time limit. The fight is exhausting even to watch. By the time Mullen announces the winner by thrusting her arm into the air, each fighter looks disheveled and drained.

    A whirlwind history

    The league's blend of tongue-in-cheek humor, dedicated fighters and serious organization has taken it from inspired idea to international phenomenon in less than one year.

    Case hatched the plan for PFL while on tour in Austria with his band, the Tijuana Bibles, he says.

    "The vision was to make a pillowcase with a logo and watch two girls have a pillow fight and say we were the Pillow Fight League," he says. "Then it happened."

    The league debuted on May 11 with 14 fighters at a bar in Toronto. The event was "sold out and insane," Case says, but he assumed it was a fluke. But then PFL 2 happened, then PFL 3, and so on, with each event held before ever-larger crowds.

    PFL 6, in Brooklyn, New York, in January, incited a media storm, with TV crews from around the globe packing in for two sold-out shows. The event was "a magical whirlwind of craziness," Case says, and took the league to a new level, bringing in book and TV offers and opportunities to hold events throughout the United States.

    The league's 25 fighters train at least twice a week in its Toronto studio. Fighters must audition, and acceptance into the league means entry into a tight-knit group that leaves its rivalries on the mat.

    "When I tried out I thought it was the most fun I'd ever had," says Kilkelly, a Gaelic football player who sports a jersey and kilt during her fights. "I stay for the women -- we're a community. Plus, I like fighting."

    For women outside Toronto who are itching to pick up a pillow and start swinging, Case and Mullen envision franchising the league, with chapters in major cities throughout North America.

    But for now, it's all about tonight's fight. At a press conference last week, Sailor Gerri, the league's No. 1 contender, brandished her pillow-fighting trophy, flexed her muscles and informed the media that she was looking forward to taking down Champain.

    The world champ, for her part, delivered a taunting message to Gerri via video, promising to protect her championship belt from all challengers.

    "We'll fight to the end for this belt," she sneers. "And I'll keep it."

    Alexa Stanard is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

    Strongwoman Mu vows to break WR

    Updated: 2007-04-27 08:59

    TAI'AN, East China - Chinese No. 1 strongwoman Mu Shuangshuang, who added one kilogram to the women's over 75kg snatch world record at 2006 Doha Asiad, on Thursday vowed to break the jerk and the total records at the world championships.

    China's Mu Shuangshuang competes during the women's over 75kg weightlifting at the Asian Championships in Tai'an of east China's Shandong Province April 26, 2007. [Xinhua]

    After easing to the top podium at the Asian Championships here on Thursday, Mu, 23, said that it was her first gold medal this year but it was a pity that her arch rival Jang Mi-ran from South Korea did not come.

    Today's competition was less intense since Jang was not here. Mu's first attempt in the snatch had been 135kg, but she changed it to 121kg a few seconds before the competition started. Mu made three good lifts breezily at 121kg, 127kg and 132kg.

    Mu lifted 173kg in her last attempt of jerk, 23kg more than the runner-up.

    Mu's best record in the snatch is 139kg achieved in Doha Asian Games, which renewed the previous world record of 138kg set by Jang in May, 2006.

    "I wanted to break the world record before today's competition", said Mu, "but my leg was a little injured."

    "Jang didn't come, so I won easily."

    Talking about the world championships and Olympic Games, Mu is quite confident, "I will beat Jang in world championships. Though I lost to her twice in this event, it was not because I couldn't beat her. I think the refereeing is not always fair."

    "I must beat Jang in the world championships, and I think I will break three world records (snatch, jerk and total) there." Mu added, "I am very confident to win a gold medal in Beijing Olympic Games."

    Ma Wenhui, coach of the Chinese woman's weightlifting team, is quite satisfied with Mu's performance. "Mu Shuangshuang was injured before the game, and her best result during the winter training was only 120kg in the snatch and 152kg in the jerk. She hoisted 132kg in the snatch and 173kg in the jerk in today's competition, which was really good."

    Before the Doha Asian Games, Jang set two world records at the Korea-China-Japan friendship tournament in 2006.

    Though Mu broke Jang's world record of snatch, Jang is still the world record holder in the total of 318kg. The jerk record was set by Chinese Tang Gonghong at 182kg in the Athens Games.

    Jang emerged onto the international competition when she won the silver in Athens. She then took the titles in the world championships in 2005 and 2006 in a row.

    In the last two world championships, Mu and Jang lifted the same weight, but Jang won on both occasions because of her lighter bodyweight.

    How to celebrate her first gold medal in 2007? Mu answered that she would get a haircut immediately after the competition. "I never get my hair cut before competitions. It's a habit. I'll do it right after the competition," She said.

    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    FIBO Coverage

    I'm a big fan of the European Bodybuilding Scene and the biggest event they put on is the Fibo, which took place last weekend.

    Here's some coverage links.

    Men vs. Women in Athletics

    by Peter Giordano

    Posted April 23, 2007

    For centuries, women have been battling for equality with men. Whether they are struggling for equal rights, voting privileges, equal job opportunities or even athletics, women have had to fight for the respect that they deserve since the beginning of time. The battle of equality in male and female athletics has been a problem for years; male sports have been accused of receiving better recognition in the sports they play, having more playing opportunities, receiving higher salaries, and attracting extra media coverage.
    Men are usually recognized more in certain sports than females. When a female says that she is a star athlete, most people assume she is a cheerleader, gymnast, ice skater, or field hockey player. If a male were to say the same thing, then they are thought to be a basketball player, baseball player, football or soccer player. Why is it that society judges the ability of an athlete by their gender? Can’t a woman be just as good of a player as a man? It is a shock when a girl goes to a basketball court or soccer field and asks if she can play with the boys. Many men don’t believe that a girl can meet their standards of playing.

    Men have also been stereotyped as being in better physical shape than women. At my high school, all of the boys’ teams had to be in the weight room at least three days a week during their playing season. The football players even have a year-long weight-lifting program that ran throughout the summer. You see, the girls didn’t experience any of this. Why don’t the girls’ teams have these requirements? Our society doesn’t expect girls to be as physically fit or as muscular as a male athlete. Many times a girl will be called “butch” or “manly” or even a “lesbian” if she is extremely muscular and in good shape. Also, steroids are more commonly used among the male athletes. I recently met a football player who told me that his father would push him as hard as possible to become the best player that he could be. His father made him perform agility drills and lift every day. Even though he always worked his hardest, his father never thought he was good enough, and he eventually resorted to steroids. I can honestly say that I don’t know a single female athlete who has taken steroids to thrive in her sport. Hard work and dedication is all that is needed to pursue in the sport female athletes are working at, but men often have extra pressure to be the biggest and strongest out on the field.
    Even with Title IX playing a role in athletics, men still obtain more playing opportunities than women. According to information on the website that I recently looked at, “Title IX was introduced in 1972 to provide equal opportunities for men and women in collegiate sports. It forced all colleges to offer the same number of sports to males & females.”
    However, men still have far more playing opportunities than women. At my high school, the girls’ basketball coach was also the school’s football coach. If the coach put half the effort into coaching the basketball team as he did for his football players, they could have been state champions. He didn’t have the same enthusiasm coaching the girls’ team as he did the boys’ team. It was almost as though he didn’t have enough confidence in the team because they were only a bunch of girls. The boys’ coach was much more passionate in coaching his players and even provided a summer program that ran three days a week. Because the girls’ coach didn’t offer this program, the dedicated girls had to play with the boys.
    Media support and fan loyalty is also much more common in male sports. Rarely do you see commercials for the WNBA or see the games being aired on ESPN. The NBA has a number of advertising commercials and player coverage. At my high school, almost all the boys’ sports teams had a booster club, but none of the girls’ teams did. Looking at the attendance of the games, the boys’ games are always more full than the girls’ games. Even if the boys’ team has a losing record, the students will still choose to go see a boys’ game over a girls’ game. Many times a female athlete receives media coverage because of her father. For example, Laila Ali is an amazing boxer, but receives extra attention since her father was such a famous boxer. As hard as women work to succeed in the sports they play, the media of today still focus on the male athletes a great deal more than the female athlete.

    Over the past thirty years, the United States has come a long way in trying to make sports equal between men and women, but women still don’t receive all the benefits that men have. Hopefully, within the next ten years, sports will achieve full equality of the genders. With any luck, female coaches and athletes will be receiving equal pay, and receive the respect that they need and deserve when playing the sports they love.

    Evanger third at Emerald Cup

    Staff ReportPublished April 26, 2007

    Bodybuilding newcomer Janice Evanger placed third in the women’s masters division in her first entry in the Emerald Cup in Bellevue, Wash., last Friday and Saturday.
    The 46-year-old mother of five, competing in only her second event, was among five finalists in the division for ages 35-50.

    “I was ecstatic, I thought it was great,” Evanger said Wednesday. “I was real happy because third place was better than I anticipated I would do.”
    The prestigious bodybuilding, figure and fitness competition, which field of participants from around the nation included three women from Fairbanks and three other entries from Alaska, was a little overwhelming for Evanger, who qualified for the Emerald Cup by taking the women’s overall title in her bodybuilding debut at the National Physique Committee Last Frontier Championships in Anchorage on April 7.
    “I was nervous with this one,” Evanger said. “I knew it would be much bigger and probably out of my range because most of the people who go to the Emerald Cup have quite a bit of experience behind them in bodybuilding.”
    Theresa Knoll, co-owner and a trainer at Jungle Gym, where Evanger trains, placed third in the women’s heavyweight bodybuilding division. She was runner-up in the division in 2003.
    Sheila Bratten, who trains at The Alaska Club, placed fifth in the women’s figure division for competitors 5-foot-2 to 5-3. She was among three figure competitors from Alaska, as Sherry Smith of Anchorage earned the runner-up honor in the 5-2 and under category and Heidi Hansen-Carlin of Ketchikan took third place in the over-35 division.
    Anchorage entry Garry Lodoen placed ninth among men’s middleweight bodybuilders.
    Canada fourth
    Canada, which included Alaska Nanooks freshman center Dion Knelsen, lost 8-3 Sunday to Sweden in the bronze medal game of the World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Tampere, Finland.
    Knelsen’s last day in the tournament featured a plus-minus rating of -1 and him receiving the game’s last penalty, a tripping minor with 43 seconds left in the contest.
    Knelsen, the only collegian among 22 players for Canada, had four points in six games of the 12-day tournament, and all of his points came from two goals and two assists in a player-of-the game performance in a 9-1 rout of Latvia on April 14 in Rauma, Finland. The native of Three Hills, Alberta also finished his first international competition with eight shots and a +3 rating.
    Forward Mikael Backlund led Sweden with a hat trick and forward Simon Hjalmarsson scored twice.
    Canada was led by two goals from Angelo Esposito, a forward from the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
    Later Sunday, the United States lost 6-5 to Russia in the gold-medal game.
    Forward James vanRiemsdyk, a University of New Hampshire recruit, led Team USA with a goal and two assists, and forward Colin Wilson, who’s headed to Boston University, contributed a goal and an assist for the silver medalists.
    Forward Evor Averin scored the game-winner with 2:15 left in the third period and fellow forward Dmitry Kugryshev contributed a goal and an assist for the champions.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    TV Alert: Friday Dr. Keith Ablow

    Check your local listings but Dr. Keith gets in Inside the I mean Minds of Female Bodybuilders.

    Like to video

    My new favorite commercial

    Female Olympic hopeful watching her weights

    Female Olympic hopeful watching her weights

    By: RUTH MARVIN WEBSTER - Staff Writer

    Olympic weight lifter. For most of us, a 300-pound Russian or Chinese in red Spandex overalls is the picture that springs to mind. View A VideoBut nothing could be farther from that image than 2008 Olympic hopeful Aimee Anaya, who looks more like she should be modeling bikinis on a beach somewhere in Brazil than lifting 200 pounds over her head.
    One of the top 20 women weight lifters in the country, Fallbrook resident Anaya is training twice a day, five times a week in coach Mike Burgener's Bonsall garage. Burgener, a Rancho Buena Vista High School teacher, has been coaching young weight lifters since 1975, and since 1986, training them in his two-car garage, which he calls Mike's Gym, part of Team Southern California.

    Burgener is a senior international coach with USA Weightlifting, the governing body of the sport. He has trained his two older sons to reach the national level and is now training his daughter Sage, a junior at RBV, with the 30-year-old Anaya."He used to say he'd never train women," said Anaya with a giggle. But now, Burgener admits, he prefers coaching women, because he finds the ones he trains have much less ego and are more willing to listen.Burgener prints out daily training sessions based on their strengths and weaknesses for the two young women, who will compete in the nationals in May. "Every day is a challenge, for we both set goals that aren't even part of the workout," Anaya said of her training."Someday, I want them to clean-and-jerk heavy," said Burgener. "When the frying pan is hot, you go for it."Like the men, women weight lifters have two exercises: the snatch, where the weight is grabbed and lifted from the ground to overhead, and the clean-and-jerk, where the bar is lifted from the ground to the shoulders and then, in a second movement, overhead.Anaya demonstrates the clean-and-jerk: With her muscular legs firmly planted on the mat, she takes a deep breath, her eyes clouded over with steely determination. Then, her diaphragm pushing against the sides of the leather belt cinched tightly around her waist, in one sudden explosion of strength Anaya jerks and pushes the great weighted bar over her head, ponytail swinging behind her. Three or four seconds pass, but the bar only bends under the weights on each end. Then with a flinch, she stands back and allows the weight to drop to the ground, the foundation quivering as it hits the mat.An Olympic sport for women only since 2000, weight lifting and the women athletes who do it come in all shapes and sizes. Women have seven weight classes, from 48 kilos (105 pounds) to 75-plus (165 pounds or more).Perhaps the best-known American woman weight lifter is the 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Cheryl Haworth. In the 75-plus kilo class, and in 2000, she broke both the junior and senior national record when she lifted 319 pounds in the clean-and-jerk.Anaya, who was previously in the 63 kilo category, has recently moved to 69 kilos. Burgener said Anaya was too lean at 63 kilos, and the fact that two of the best American women weight lifters are in the 63 kilo class helped them decide she had a better chance at 69 kilos.Anaya came to Burgener in 1996, when her North County club volleyball coach sent her to Mike's Gym to help her with spiking and jumping. Burgener said many of his athletes, from basketball to football players to gymnasts, benefit from this kind of weight training, as it increases their flexibility and explosiveness off the ground."An 88-pound snatch generates more power than a 300-pound bench press," said Burgener. "Strength comes from the legs; the idea is to create momentum and drive the body under the bar."Four months after she started lifting, he said, Anaya qualified for the national junior squad and went to the country's premier training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. She also silver-medaled in the national junior championships."She got focused and got good and quit before the 2000 (Olympic) trials," said Burgener, with a look of extreme displeasure. "She broke my heart."But, at age 25 and a single mother, Anaya felt she needed to take time off from the sport to finish her undergraduate degree in psychology at Cal State San Marcos and devote more time to her daughter, Jade, now 5.After nearly six years, though, she was back, deciding to return to the gym just for fun. On her first try back, she lifted a whopping 57.5 kilos (126.5 lbs.) right off the mat. Now, she says, retirement has made her stronger and better than ever, recently earning a silver medal at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. That's the first qualifier for the Pan American games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the world championships to be held in Thailand in October 2007."You mature," Anaya said. "And mental strength is really important in this sport. The motivation and the drive that I have now, I never had then."She is also better at managing her nerves. "My first nationals in August last year was a turning point for me," she recalled. "I call them 'freak outs,' and I had one then. I wasn't mentally preparing, so I did reading on visualization and controlling my fear of failure."She said she learned to relax mentally. "I'm a completely different athlete than before," she said. "I was so worried about what other people were thinking."Burgener, who agrees that she is a better, more determined athlete this time around, puts it this way: "You need to be a junkyard dog. Intimidation will knock you down if you're not tenacious."Last week, Anaya was lifting 88 kilos (193 pounds) in the snatch and 108 kilos (237 pounds) in the clean-and-jerk. "But she's much better than that," said Burgener."I'm going to the Olympics," said Anaya with complete and utter certainty.She said she grew up in a difficult home environment in Hemet as a child of drug-addicted parents. She is the only one in the family to graduate from college, she said.Now she is working on a master's degree and does her homework after Jade has fallen asleep at night. She also works as a server at the South Coast Winery in Fallbrook four days a week to pay the bills.It takes a village to raise a world-class athlete. Her boyfriend, Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics in Fallbrook, is her nutritionist; Jade's fraternal grandparents baby-sit, and her chiropractor, Jason Coleman, and physical therapist, Bill Atkins, are good friends.She also has the support not only of her coach, but the entire Burgener family. And though it is sometimes difficult to make ends meet (she calls the two-bedroom apartment she shares with Jade "the storage shed") and find sponsors for events, she relishes each medal. Right now, she couldn't be more thrilled about the purchase of a new massage table.And with that magical mixture of dedication, drive and support, Anaya has a great chance of making the American women's Olympic weight lifting team and putting a new face on the sport of weight lifting, the way Mary Lou Retton inspired young women in gymnastics, Mia Hamm in soccer and Michelle Wie now in women's golf."I think the common misconception about weight lifting is that either I am one of those bodybuilding girls who pose in a bikini, or they think you have to be big and huge," said Anaya. "And yes, there are some ugly women, but there are a lot of pretty girls too. I mean, look at me ---- I can wear a cute skirt and high heels and look feminine. I wish there was a pretty face on weight lifting ---- whether it's mine or someone else's ---- that shows you can be sexy and petite and be a weight lifter."Anaya has the looks, charm and determination to bring her sport mainstream. Who knows? One day, we might all be saying we knew her when.

    From skirts to squats

    Former cheerleader Stephanie Ciarelli is now coach of the U.S. Junior weightlifting team.


    The Orange County Register

    NEWPORT BEACH – That she's a mother wasn't the issue.
    Nor was it that she weighs as much as the average jockey.
    Even the fact she's a she wasn't the concern.
    But a cheerleader? Hey, we all have our skeletons.
    "It took me a few years," Stephanie Ciarelli says, "to let that information out."
    From cheering on to pumping up. From wool skirts to leather weight belts. From "Push 'em back!" to "Squat the rack!"
    Ciarelli isn't what most people would envision when asked to picture a strength coach. But there she is, all right, very much in the picture, along with the rest of the U.S. Junior World Team, the first female to hold such a lofty coaching position in the sport.
    "There might be 70 guys lifting and I'm in there coaching," she says. "It might look odd to some people, but I don't even think about it. This is just what I've always done."
    Ciarelli is in her second year as the strength coach at Newport Harbor High School. Before that, she was at Huntington Beach High for 12 years. She was named national coach last month, a first for USA Weightlifting, one of the sport's governing bodies.
    All this from the rather petite mother of three daughters, a mother who sis-boom-ba'd her way through Santa Ana High, lifting spirits but not barbells; never once, in fact, even entering a weight room.
    After attending Santa Ana College in the early 1970s, Ciarelli moved to be with her future husband, Tony, a track athlete on scholarship at the University of Hawaii. She took a job working behind a desk and soon realized pushing a No. 2 pencil wasn't providing much of a physical outlet.
    "You should try this," Tony finally said, referring to weight lifting. In a short time, Ciarelli was competing as a power lifter, usually the only woman in a gym full of men, typically squatting more than double her body weight of 114 pounds.
    "There was only one other woman we knew of who was power lifting then," Tony says, "and she was on the East Coast."
    The Ciarellis, wanting to be closer to family, moved back to Orange County after they were married and had had their first child, Allison, now 27. After giving birth to Maryn, now 25, and Katelyn, now 21, Ciarelli focused on being a mom.
    One day, Tony was talking to George Pascoe, then the football coach at Huntington Beach High. Pascoe asked for a recommendation on a strength coach.
    "There she is right there," Tony answered, pointing to his wife. "You're not going to find anyone who knows more about lifting."
    So began the coaching career of Ciarelli, who had the resume, the experience and the know-how. But she also had the gender not typically associated with a sport thick with testosterone.
    "I'm sure some of the older kids were saying, 'Who are you?' " Ciarelli says. "But the younger kids bought right in away. Everyone has been very receptive and supportive. I haven't had any problems over the years. Coaching wise, there's nothing women can't do in this sport."
    She works mostly with the football players now at Newport Harbor, monitoring their workouts, demonstrating technique and pushing them toward their goals.
    Ciarelli also promotes lifting to all athletes, particularly girls, many of whom still look at the weight room and see a foreign, frightening land.
    "There's a stigma among girls about the weight room," Ciarelli says. "It always has been a male territory. But girls get in there, and they find out it's athletic and empowering. They get into it. They love it.
    "But it's not a 24-Hour Fitness in there. It isn't all shiny with music blaring. Girls can walk in and say, 'Whoa, what's this?' "
    At Newport Harbor, it's cracked concrete floors, scarred metal weights and well-used bars. The place is a weight room by design but a work room by definition.
    When in full swing, with all 15 stations occupied and teenage grunts and groans bouncing about, the overriding noise is still those giant iron discs clanging together.
    "That's the best music in the world, the best sound in the world," Ciarelli says. "When everything is going at once, that's a very productive sound. I've always loved the ambiance of the weight room."
    Sounds like a true coach, a coach who appreciates the sound of effort and isn't afraid of the smell of sweat.
    Along with offering the typical qualities of a football coach, Ciarelli also brings an element no man could match.
    "I'm a little more motherly than the mean, bad football coaches," she says. "Until they don't do what I want, at least. Then I'll get on them."
    Says Tony, an assistant coach at Newport Harbor, "It's a good thing, especially with the freshmen. The rest of us aren't too soft."
    The strength coach isn't either, really. At least not since she put down her pompoms.

    Girls weightlifter of the year: IHS sophomore third at state

    Girls weightlifter of the year: IHS sophomore third at state
    By Andy Hall

    Kaleigh Tibbs says she’s always liked sports, but high school athletics were new to the Interlachen High School sophomore when she was coaxed into joining the girls weightlifting team.
    Between her fondness for sports and the fact that her sister, Kristen, had lifted for the Rams, she wasn’t hard to convince. And it would be an understatement to suggest that Kaleigh Tibbs’ weightlifting debut was a smashing success.
    Only the fifth girls weightlifter to qualify for the state meet in school history, Tibbs became the first to place. She set a personal record with a 155-pound bench press on her way to a 300-pound total lift that left her in third place in the 183-pound class in the state meet Feb. 10 in New Port Richey. For this achievement, she is honored as the Palatka Daily News Girls Weightlifter of the Year.
    “I wasn’t expecting to do as well as I did,” said Tibbs, who had a 145-pound clean and jerk to go with the 155-pound bench at state. “Probably the encouragement from coach (Wes) Lackey and staying after school and working out are what allowed me to do well.”
    She wasn’t the only one who was surprised.
    “We’ve never had a girl be that successful and we’d never had more than two go (to state in the same year) ever,” Lackey said. In 2007, the Rams qualified three — Lackey, Brittani Whitehurst (199-pound class) and Shevaun McCormick (129).
    Tibbs’ success is a testament to work habits and natural ability.
    “She didn’t lift last year, but this came naturally to her,” said Lackey, who assisted Jack Williams in both the boys and girls programs before taking over this season upon Williams’ retirement. “I asked her if she would come out — she had a sister that lifted for us — so she came out and worked hard.
    “We’d come by every so often and say, ‘Hey, are you going to lift this year?’ and she said yes. And bam, there you go.”
    Again, Tibbs, didn’t need a lot of convincing.
    “I was going to play soccer this year and I got hurt (stress fracture in a leg). It healed in time to do weightlifting,” she said. “And my sister competed last year and she encouraged me. She said she had a lot of fun and it was a good way to meet people from other schools.”
    She met — and defeated — all but two of the 23 competitors in her class at the state meet. Tibbs’ 300-pound total was matched by Adrienne Randel of Gulf Breeze at 300 pounds, but the tiebreaker favored Tibbs, who was six pounds lighter than the Panhandle competitor at weigh-in. Avon Park’s Anachelle Mejias ran away with first with a 380 total that included a state-record 215-pound bench.
    Tibbs would like to replace Mejias atop the winner’s stand next year, but one thing she learned about her new sport this season is that natural strength is only part of the equation. The other part involves the proper stance, positioning of hands and other items that come under especially close scrutiny by state meet judges.
    “I need to work on my technique, especially in the clean and jerk, because there’s more involved,” she said.
    “Definitely,” Lackey said. “(Tibbs’ technique) is still not where it needs to be. But she’s a sophomore and she’s got time. The main thing is that she has the basic strength.”
    And commitment.
    “I’m thinking about soccer next year,” Tibbs said. “But if I do play, weightlifting will come first.”

    Rennhack muscles up

    By TOM KAHL - Sports Editor

    Citizen Staff/James Wold
    Dodgeland's Megan Rennhack, front, ran away from the competition in the hurdles Friday.

    WATERLOO - Why would Dodgeland compete in track meets on consecutive nights in mid-April?

    Because it's precisely the itinerary Megan Rennhack expects to be on in early June at La Crosse.

    "It's kind of like state," said Rennhack, the defending Division 3 champ in the 300 meter hurdles. "It helps prepare me for what it will be like."

    By design, Rennhack is expecting it to be just like last year, with her standing atop the podium. The Trojans' standout junior swept the hurdles, including a new meet record in the 300, and added a win in the 200 dash to take Girls Outstanding Athlete honors at Friday's Daily Citizen Dodge County Invitational in Waterloo.

    "She's a really strong runner," said Mayville freshman Trista Champ, who took two firsts and two seconds, one of which came to Rennhack in the 200. "She's phenomenal."

    Rennhack easily surpassed the previous DCI record in the 300 by Kaycie Merrihew of Columbus with a time of 46.24 (Merrihew's mark was 47.67). A day earlier, she ran a sub-16-second 100 hurdles and hoped for the record in that event as well, also held by Merrihew, a former dual hurdle state champ.

    "She'll be disappointed without getting both," Dodgeland coach Kevin Klueger said. "That's just who she is."

    The awe factor in watching Rennhack blow away her hurdle rivals turned heads all over the track. She needed a convincing performance to top other worthy GOA candidates like Champ or junior Becky Jeanes of meet champion Beaver Dam, who broke DCI marks in the 800 and the 1,600.

    "Any time you run two days in a row it's tough, but Megan did an excellent job again," Klueger said. "We're always looking at records."

    Rennhack has started the outdoor season running times as good or better than last year, including Thursday's school record in the 100 at Princeton and what's now the state's top time in the 300 for all divisions. Rennhack attributes her off-season weightlifting to her success and feels she can improve her times with better starts.

    "I kind of stand up a bit when I start," Rennhack said. "I need to go out gradually and not pop up."

    Still, it's kind of startling to hear Rennhack talk about improving on her times when it's mid-April and she has the state's second-fastest time in the 300 beat by a full second and a half.

    "My legs were a little sore tonight but I can deal with it," Rennhack said. "I don't think about it. It's mind over matter."

    BD girls play D & D

    Depth and distance powered the Beaver Dam girls to a successful DCI title defense. BD finished with 157 points for its ninth title in 15 years while Columbus finished second with 126.5 points for the third straight year and ninth overall.

    Jeanes nudged ahead of the 800 mark set in 2002 by Hartford with her time of 2:27.47. She topped Jessica Bradley of Randolph/Cambria-Friesland's in 2004 (5:34.2) by almost four seconds by clocking in at 5:30.34.

    "Our strength is in our middle-distance to long-distance," Beaver Dam girls coach Jodi Franke said. "That really picked up some points for us.

    "I figured depth would play a part but Becky had a great night."

    Jeanes also teamed with Ericka Wild, Jenna Wise and Emma Dittmann on the 3,200 relay in a time of 10:11.69, which beat the field by almost 26 seconds. Wise claimed the 400 in 1:01.99 while teammate Kat Barkhahn pulled off an unorthodox double with wins in the triple jump (31-10) and the shot put (32-6).

    "I'm very pleased we scored in a lot of events," Franke said. "We have depth other teams don't have.

    "Columbus and Mayville have good teams and I hope for the best for them this year."

    Columbus swept the other three relays with Alicia Miller, Jeanne Price, Bridget Hussey and Kayla Waddell winning the 400 (53.24) and the 800 (1:53.12). Beth Miller and Heidi Welchert joined Hussey and Waddell, whose closing kick took the 1,600 relay in 4:18.57.

    Steph Faber took the 3,200 for Mayville in 12:49.97. The Cards took third largely on the strength of Champ's effort.

    "I did pretty good but the high jump threw me off," Champ said. "I was hoping to get a little higher.

    "Being here as a freshman is kind of hard but I'm getting used to it."

    R/C-F's Brittany Alsum won the discus with a throw of 113-8.

    Dodge County Invitational

    Girls team scores: Beaver Dam 157, Columbus 126.5, Mayville 108, Horicon 77, R/C-F 49.5, CWC 46, Waterloo 45, Waupun 43, Dodgeland 37, Luther Prep 9.

    Big Brother Austrailia

    A former fitness contestant from Australia is on the their version of Big Brother. She lost most of the muscle but does a flex on her bio video at the link below.

    April FBB Rankings

    Just like in College Basketball. I'm going to rank the top ten female bodybuilders and as contests and contestants come and go, I'll re-rank.

    1) Iris Kyle
    2) Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
    3) Heather Policky
    4) Toni Norman
    5) Dayana Cadeau
    6) Lisa Aukland
    7) Annie Riveccio
    8) Betty Pariso
    9) Cathy LeFrancois
    10) Kristy Hawkins

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Shot of Unknown Woman

    I found this shot in TOMOKO KANDA Blog which is great if you know Japanese.

    Who the hell is the bodybuilder with her back to the camera?

    Tomoka's Blog can be found here

    Gunnery sergeant named Female Athlete of the Year

    Lance Cpl. David Rogers

    CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa (April 20, 2007) -- Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Troxel, the mobile maintenance facility coordinator for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, received the 2006 Camp S.D. Butler Female Athlete of the Year award at Gunners Fitness Center April 10.
    The competition was open to any Marine or sailor stationed on Okinawa. Troxel was selected by sports specialists from Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa in part for her participation as a judge and competitor in various fitness competitions. Troxel was also selected based on her volunteer work for MCCS fitness centers, according to Gerald Sharber, a sports specialist for MCCS.

    Among her accomplishments, Troxel holds a five-year island record in the female bench press and is the only active duty female who is a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, Sharber said.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    PMR's female bodybuilders grab gold in Odessa

    Some of Pridnestrovie's women are flexing their muscles - and bringing home gold medals as a result. In the regional bodybuilding finals in Odessa, PMR took first prize for female body fitness. In May, Tiraspol will host an international bodybuilding tournament.By Karen Ryan,


    Strong female participation in international bodybuilding championships is bringing the gold back home to Tiraspol

    TIRASPOL (Tiraspol Times) - Returning home victorious from Odessa, some of PMR's strongest women brought gold medals back with them.
    Local-born female bodybuilders Viktoria "Vicky" Valikova and Nadezhda "Nadia" Gospodar - both from Tiraspol - shared 1st places in the Body Fitness category. The judges found them to be top of their game on 14 April when regional bodybuilding competitions were held in Odessa, Ukraine, under the auspices of the Odessa Open Cup.
    Pridnestrovie, or Transnistria, as it is also known informally, was represented with eight contestants. All of them were selected as representatives of the Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation, and between them, the team took home nine medals: 3 Gold Medals, 4 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.TiraspolStrong female participation in international bodybuilding championships is bringing the gold back home to Tiraspol
    Among all CIS teams, Pridnestrovie finished second overall, putting the small and unrecognized country solidly on the map among followers of this sport.
    " - Not bad for a country with just over 500,000 in population," said Fyodor Volkov, acknowledging that the team was up against much larger countries in the competition.
    Both from Tiraspol: Contestants number 35 and 36 in the Odessa Cup bodybuilding competition.
    The PMR team, named "Tiras" after its hometown Tiraspol, competes in between five to ten different international competitions each year, funded by the local body building federation and private investments.
    First place finish for veteran Semerenko
    The chairman of the Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation (and would-be local politician) Anatoly Semerenko participated on the men's side for Pridnestrovie. In the Veteran's Classics, Semerenko placed first, while he took second place in the 85 kg category.
    Tiraspol-born Vladimir Granevski took second place in the under-100 kg category.In the 75 kg category, PMR's Alexander Evtukhov finished third and Sergey Makalich - also from Pridnestrovie - finished second.
    Now back in Tiraspol, the capital of Pridnestrovie, the team is preparing for two upcoming competitions: The Ukraine Cup and the Eastern European Cup.
    Both events are held from 27 April to 30 April. To show the flag in both places, Pridnestrovie's bodybuilders decided to split the team. Half of them will go to one competition, and the second half to the other. Both of them plan to bring back the gold to their new and emerging country ... again.
    On 8 May 2007, Tiraspol will host the International Tournament of Body-building and Body-fitness “Tiras 2007” with more than a hundred participants and press from all over Eastern Europe. Flexing their muscles at home and abroad, the bodybuilders hope that the international recognition of Pridnestrovie in sports will spill over to the diplomatic field as well. The country declared independence in 1990, during the breakup of the Soviet Union, and is currently seeking international diplomatic recognition of its independent statehood.
    See also:
    » Is Pridnestrovie's Semerenko the next Schwarzenegger?
    The female bodybuilders of the PMR now compete internationally.Backstage, strong girls from PMR's warm up while their male teammates are changing.Earlier performances brought championships to several of PMR's female bodybuilders(Photos: PMR News / Lenta PMR and The Pridnestrovie Body Building Federation)

    Bodybuilder has strength of spirit

    Penfield woman with multiple sclerosis trains for a competition

    Chris SwingleStaff writer

    (April 11, 2007) — Lynn Inzinna of Penfield curls 20-pound hand weights in each hand under the watchful eye of her personal trainer. Her biceps tighten and bulge with each lift.
    "Feels like 50," the petite secretary says of the weight. Her upper arm muscles quiver and she grimaces on the last repetitions in this round. But then she willingly moves to a machine for 48-pound bicep cable curls.
    She completes the 45-minute session for biceps and triceps at Boundaries Gym in Irondequoit and does two hours of cardiovascular exercise. By day's end, she'll have eaten a dozen egg whites and drunk more than a gallon of water, all in preparation for a natural bodybuilding competition this weekend.
    Inzinna will be one of just a dozen female bodybuilders at the competition, which bars steroids and other banned substances, along with about 40 male bodybuilders.
    She is also part of an even smaller group, bodybuilders who have multiple sclerosis.Inzinna has had the chronic, inflammatory disease of the central nervous system for 18 years. At times it has caused severe numbness or double vision. But her main symptom is fatigue. You'd expect heavy exercise to be tiring. But she says the MS brings a different exhaustion.
    "It's like somebody will turn a switch," says Inzinna, 42. "As soon as the switch goes on, you just have to lay down."She bounces back after resting. So the disease hasn't kept her from her love of bodybuilding, of seeing her muscles take shape from hard work. She was first drawn to aerobics classes — leg warmers and all — when that was the rage in the 1980s. She was 19. A few years later, the aerobics studio added a weight room, and Inzinna has been hooked on weightlifting ever since. "I like having that toned look," she says.
    Her neurologist endorses exercise for people with MS, both for physical fitness and mental well-being. Certain activities may be more challenging because people with MS may have more symptoms when overheated, says Dr. Anne Moss, whose practice is affiliated with Rochester General Hospital. "It depends on the person as to how much they can do and what they can do."
    The 5-foot-2-inch Inzinna has slimmed down to 128 pounds for the competition, so it's gotten harder to find a non-muscle spot to inject her daily MS medication.
    In a typical T-shirt and sweatpants, she doesn't look like a bodybuilder. In a tank top and shorts, her muscles show. "There's certain clothes you can't wear or you look like a freak," she says.
    Her friends at the gym encourage her. "She's our muscle bunny," says Dave Nichols of Irondequoit, using the nickname given to Inzinna by the father of the gym's owner. Nichols, 47, an emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter who also has multiple sclerosis, adds, "She's our champ."
    Inzinna is like the Energizer bunny. When she's not at work or working out, she's walking the dog, cleaning the house — rarely sitting down except when she needs a power nap.
    She works three days a week in a social work office at Rochester General. She has a 13-year-old daughter and stepchildren who are 16 and 19. Her husband, Joe Inzinna, was the one who encouraged her to pursue her long-held dream of competing in bodybuilding. Joe is a firefighter and school bus driver who previously competed as a power lifter.
    "I said, 'What are you waiting for?'" he recounts. He says his wife has always looked out for the needs of her family, and he encouraged her to pursue this personal goal as well.
    "On a scale from 1 to 10, she's probably an 11," her husband says of her dedication.A 1983 graduate of Irondequoit High School, Inzinna says she was a shy and quiet teenager and lacked the confidence in her 20s and 30s to compete. It takes guts to hold the required bodybuilding poses before the judges, wearing nothing more than a bikini, then take the stage solo for a 90-second routine to music showing off your muscles.
    Judges look for symmetry and developed, well-defined muscles, says Joe Christiano, promoter of the Rochester event and Inzinna's trainer for the past 16 weeks. (Christiano is not a judge at his event.)
    Inzinna's first competition was four years ago, at Bishop Kearney High School, where she placed fifth. Between then and now, she underwent foot surgery. She thinks she's in better shape now for her second try. Now that she's older than 40, she's in the master's level.
    She misses Cheerios and jelly beans, which are not on her training diet, and finds it hard to fit in all of the exercise, but she does it."It's a lot of work," she says. "You just want to show it off: Hey, look what I've done."
    Christiano says Inzinna follows through on everything he recommends. "I'm not any easier on her than on a male bodybuilder."Women have to work harder than men at bodybuilding because women have less natural testosterone and a harder time losing body fat, Christiano adds.
    After weeks on a strict diet, Inzinna says she's looking forward to jelly beans after the show.