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.

You may not copy, republish or distribute this page or the content from it without

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

Mum the bodybuilder rises above last minute nerves

Mum the bodybuilder.

A Newcastle woman who competed in the doubles section of a body building competition with her son 20 years ago, at the age of 40, has told of how last minute nerves almost ruined the attempt.

And in a dramatic tale that will melt the heart of every mum, Lyn Butterworth told ABC Newcastle listeners how her son Lee Priest's gentle act of holding his mum's hand steadied her nerves enough for the pair to go on and win.

I felt real love within that smile and gentle touch of my son's strong hand

Lyn Butterworth's story was relived recently on the 1233 breakfast program's Song Of Significance segment, where she requested My Friend by Simon Gallagher.

"My 17-year-old son had been competing very successfully in body building competitions for four years," Ms Butterworth said in an email.

"His one ambition in life was to compete in the Mr Olympia, body building's ultimate competition.

"He trained with the tunnel vision required of a champion. All the family became his support team and we followed him to all his competitions, some of which had a doubles competition.

"This meant that you were judged as a couple. Each couple had to go though the muscularity and symmetry rounds as well as put together a routine to the music of their choice.

"Lee's next competition was 10 months away when I asked if I could compete with him in the doubles.

"I must paraphrase his answer as it would not pass censorship, but he agreed if I got in shape, then yes, I could be his partner. He thought that he would never have to worry.

"After all, I was almost 40, never played any sort of sport, and was quite often described as pleasantly plump.

"To cut a very long and grueling story short, my training and dieting had me and Lee in the couples. The impossible had become possible.

We won the competition. . . everyone loved the part where Lee took my hand

"Lee had won his division and came backstage to where I was warming up. I was petrified. I could not believe I had put myself in this situation.

"He has come to reassure me, I thought. 'Don't muck this up on me, Mum,' he said. My heart sank. Our music started and I was on stage.

"Things went fine at first, then I had one of those 'Who am I, what am I doing here?' moments.

"I was gone. Lee saw the look, and with a knowing smile, reached for my hand and continued the routine as if all was well. Yes, there is a God!

"I felt real love within that smile and gentle touch of my son's strong hand. It was a rare moment for a mum, especially rare moment for the mum of a teenage boy."

"We won the competition. Many times we were congratulated on our routine - everyone loved the part where Lee took my hand - Lee went on to live his dream, and is the most successful body builder Australia has ever produced, Lee Priest."

Mum the Bodybuilder. Australian broadcasting corporation

Bodybuilder gains pro status

November 8, 2007
Free Press Staff Report

Colchester bodybuilder Tracy Gamelin continues to move up in the bodybuilding world and has qualified for national pro status in the sport.

Gamelin, 37, took first place in the overall women's division, women's master's division, and women's middleweight division at the New York State Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championship on Saturday in Syracuse, N.Y. She also was awarded women's best poser.

The win in Syracuse elevates Gamelin to pro status, meaning she will compete this weekend at the United States Bodybuilding Federation show in Baltimore.

The win in Syracuse was the third this year for Gamelin, a mother of three, including a set of twins. She said after an April win at a Burlington bodybuilding competition that the sport keeps her healthy, physically and mentally. Gamelin said bodybuilding gives her a shapely figure and boosts her self-confidence.

Gamelin trains at the Hammer Fit Gym and The Athletic Club of Vermont, both in Essex. Her trainer is Sean Sullivan of Massachusetts.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071108/NEWS02/711080308/1007/NEWS02&theme=COLCHESTER

Billings bodybuilder to compete in Greece

By SAM WOMACK
Of The Gazette Staff


Bonnie George is a hairstylist at Nailissimo by day and a 5-foot-4, 127-pound amateur bodybuilder - preparing for the 2007 Natural Olympia - by night.

A little over a year ago, George decided to train with three-time Mr. Universe winner and owner of Evolution Gym, George Hernandez. She attended her first competition in Spokane, Wash., in April, where in spite of her overwhelming nervousness, she walked away with first place.

With continued encouragement from Hernandez, her posing coach Greg Monical, and her husband Tony George, she went on to win the Arizona Classic in June.

That win sent her to the qualifiers in Los Angeles in September, where she again won first place, and a spot on the Women's Open and Ms. Physic Team USA.

"I was just happy I won a trophy because that's all I ever wanted. So it's gone a little farther than I thought," George said.


Headed to Greece
Next week, George and her husband will be on their way to Thessaloniki, Greece, where George will compete against the world's best amateur bodybuilders beginning Nov. 23.

The Natural Olympia is drug-free and sponsored by the Amateur Bodybuilding Association, the International Natural Bodybuilding Association and the Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association.

"If someone had told me nine months ago that I would go from 148 to 127 pounds and be competing Greece, I would have thought they were crazy," George said.

George's recent bodybuilding journey began because of her God-given symmetrical genetics and a nagging feeling that she'd missed out on sports as a kid.

"When I was growing up, I wanted to be in sports, but there was my mom, alone with two kids so we moved around a lot," George said. "I participated in basketball in junior high, but I didn't even know the rules ... I lamented the fact that I'd never competed and then I met my husband."

Always comfortable in a gym, George said people would consistently come up and ask if she competed professionally because of her genetics. "You hear it enough times and you start to think, 'Maybe I should compete professionally,' " George said.

When George and her husband were married, Tony said although he wanted her to have the chance to compete in bodybuilding, "we just didn't have the means for it."

Hernandez said he's known George for about 10 years and in spite of her "pudginess" could see that she has great symmetry.

"She didn't believe she could do it, so I said when you're ready to train and compete, come see me," Hernandez said.

The holdup was financial. "Working with a coach an hour a day, five days a week, that's a huge chunk of money," George said.

George said she was "prayful" about it but didn't realize at the time that what she thought was a "no" from God was actually a "wait."

Her husband received a raise at work, gave the money to her and said go for it. With that money, George was able to budget for a year of training with Hernandez.

This time George met with Hernandez with more of a purpose, "I didn't want to put the time and money into it if I had no chance of ever qualifying," George said.

Of her recent success, George said, "I just found my niche. I tried running a marathon a couple years ago, but that definitely was not my niche."

"This is only her first year," Tony said. "And she's crushing it. I'm really excited for her."

The training and competition have brought George and her husband closer together.

"Had it not been for my husband I'd have given up nine times already. If you just keep doing what you know you need to do, it happens," George said. "It's like that saying where if you look up while you're climbing the mountain you'll get discouraged, but if you take it one step at a time you can accomplish anything."

Tony agreed. "When she's down, which is usually about two to three weeks before a competition, I'm pretty good at getting her back on track ... or least I know I've gotten better at it."


Tough regimen
George is in rigorous training for the Natural Olympia, and her diet is plain and extremely regulated. She's up at 4 a.m. for cardio and weightlifting and when she's not styling hair, she's practicing her poses. And that's still just about half of what it takes to get to Greece.

George meets with Jeff Golini of All-American EFX, chats online with Terry Baldwin about supplements and works on her posing routine with Russ Testo.

"Posing is really the bulk of the competition," George said. "You could have a perfect body, but if you don't know how to show it, then the judges can't score it."

Another lesson bodybuilding has taught George is the importance of friends and family.

"We're really such an independent society, but there's no way I could have done this without people supporting me," George said. "There are so many shoulders to lean on."

George and her husband are members of Faith Chapel and are grateful for the support and encouragement they have received.

"This is way bigger than me just doing a show," George said. "God's got bigger plans."

The expense of competing at this level is substantial, but George has received monetary support from friends and businesses. Arbor Care, Western Pump and Excavation, Watco Pools, Russif Auto Service, Dr. Steve Erickson, and Chiropractic Health Assistance have contributed to George's expenses.

http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2007/11/13/sports/local/18-olympia.txt