Monday, March 31, 2008

The Incredible Bulk: 'Muscles' Madonna shows off her even beefier biceps

I think she looks good for 50., but not everyone does.

Madonna has been working out for two hours, six days a week - and boy does it show.

The pop star unveiled biceps of comic-book proportions as she left the gym following her latest vigorous fitness session in London today.

Dressed in adidas tracksuit pants, a tight Nike vest and a hooded jacket hanging over her head, it was her bulging muscles that really had heads turning.

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Bulky: the pop star flexed her muscle after yet another two hour work out in London today

Madonna, who is famous for her punishing exercise regime, was joined by her pint-sized personal trainer and constant gym companion Tracy Anderson, whom she was referred to by best friend Gwyneth Paltrow.

Of the star, Tracy will say only: "It comes down to whether or not you are a hard worker and someone who puts in 100 per cent.

"I prefer to train with the dedicated and these women aren't afraid to work."

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Coach: Madonna was joined by her personal trainer Tracy Anderson

With her 50th birthday less than five months away, Madonna seems more determined than ever to be in great shape, but her increasingly muscular appearance suggests she may be trying too hard.

Last month there was even speculation the image-concious star had undergone plastic surgery after she was seen with a bruised face and eyes.

The mother of three is currently preparing to embark on a promotional tour for of the release of her new album Hard Candy, which sees her duetting with Justin Timberlake.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Britian's Gladiators about to hit

Teacher Carly to take on TV Gladiators

AN Ayr PE teacher has passed gruelling physical challenges and trials to gain a coveted place as a Gladiator contestants.Image related to story, see caption or article text

Carly Whittle, 22, managed to bag a place on the new version of the show that will be screened in May on Sky with millions expected to tune in.

The Ayr Academy teacher, who lives in Troon, wowed the judges with her fitness and was one of 16 chosen from over 20,000 applicants.

She said: “I’ve managed to get into the last 16 contenders now so I’m really excited but this has all happened so fast it’s hard to really know what I feel.

“My dad is really excited, so are the staff in my base - in fact I think they are more excited than me. Though my dad really thinks this is brilliant, he’s been helping me train and trying to keep my fitness up. He’s actually been on Gladiators and it was him that put me up for this.”

Carly took part in a number of auditions and tough challenges to prove she was up to the task but she’s always been super-fit, running 300m and 400m in the Scottish schools athletic, playing netball for Scotland and playing hockey for Troon ladies. Although she is currently battling through a hamstring injury she suffered before Christmas, she is expected to make a full recovery in time for the show.

With such an impressive sporting background Carly is looking forward to the fast paced games.

She continued: “I always really like the Gauntlet game, because I am great dodging past things because I’m quite fast and agile then they are bettered suited for me.”

Carly is also looking forward to the Duel - the game where two contestants stand on platforms and bater each other with large pugile sticks.

She laughed: “That game should be alright as long as I don’t get put up against some big burly girl, but then if I’m fast and agile enough I might be able to move out the way quicker and hopefully hit her!”

However her success in getting into the programme has meant she suffers from teasing from the pupils.

She added: “It’s really quite funny. They like to slag me off - I still tend to get the Gladiator theme tune sung to me at least five times a day but it’s all good, they’re quite chuffed for me.”

Carly is now waiting to find out when she will go down to London to train and be filmed.

She added: “I don’t know exactly when I fly down it but it will be great fun, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ubly’s Peplinski wins state powerlifting championship, sets record

UBLY — Size isn’t everything. Ubly powerlifter Torrie Peplinski is proof of that.
Standing just 5-feet tall and weighing 110 pounds, Peplinski isn’t what you would picture when thinking of a powerlifter.
Despite that, the senior was recently crowned a state champion after a record-setting performance at the state powerlifting finals.
Lifters compete in three events, with their combined total determining the overall champion.
The events are the bench press, squat and deadlift.
Peplinski’s total was 790 pounds, some 60-plus pounds ahead of the nearest competitor in the 114-pound division.
“Anytime a kid can be called a state champ, I think that’s pretty impressive,” said powerlifting coach Jim Becker.
Perhaps the most impressive 195 pounds of Peplinski’s 790 total was the bench press.
The 195 pounds set a state record by five pounds and moved Peplinski one step closer to his eventual goal.
“I almost lifted double my body weight, that was a goal I set when I was a freshman,” said Peplinski.
Becker put the record-setting lift into perspective.
“To bench 195 pounds, that would be equivalent to a 185-pound guy benching 350. It’s rare, it’s extremely rare,” he said.
“It’s an all upper body lift, so it’s impressive. I can honestly say that will probably never happen here again.”
Peplinski has always done well with the bench press, but the other two areas — the squat and deadlift — have given him trouble.
At the state meet, though, he had very little trouble turning in personal bests with a 265-pound squat and 330-pound deadlift.
“To be able to do 330 pounds at 110 pounds is pretty impressive, so he’s come a long way,” Becker said.
Peplinski’s journey got derailed for a couple of years, though.
In junior high and as a freshman he attempted powerlifting, but said it wasn’t for him.
“I tried a little bit my freshman year. I didn’t do so good, so I didn’t like it a lot,” he said.
As a junior, Peplinski gave it another chance.
It turned out to be the right decision as he placed second at the state meet last year.
Peplinski said weightlifting gives him self confidence.
“It really makes me feel good,” he said.
Becker said the skills Peplinski learned in junior high and as a freshman helped him when it came to becoming a state champion.
“He learned good technique early — and that’s half the battle right there,” he said.
“He’s determined, he’s a tough kid.”
Peplinski is a part of Ubly’s Powerlifting Club, which is a spin off of Becker’s two weightlifting classes, which he began in 2000.
The first class had about 20 to 30 kids, but now, it’s made up of two sessions of 30 kids each.
Becker’s classes attract both athletes and non-athletes.
“They’re kids that just enjoy lifting weights,” he said.
“It builds self confidence, but it’s probably the most beneficial thing you can do for your body.”

Centerville grad shelves putter, pumps iron

Sunday, March 23, 2008

CENTERVILLE — Being longer off the golf tee box would be a bonus for Sarah Potts. What the 2006 Centerville High School grad really hopes to do is flex her newly developed muscle elsewhere.

Potts, 20, groomed her golf game with an outstanding Elks program, playing on the '04 team that placed third at state. But she has since sheathed her sticks for bodybuilding, an indirect result of training for long golf seasons.

The 5-foot-2, 104-pound Wright State student plans on majoring in marketing and acing the INFB Tri-State Bodybuilding and Figure Contest on Saturday, May 17, at the Dayton Convention Center. It's the first time for the event here.

Promoters have billed the contest as "all natural": Competitors must pass a polygraph test assuring they haven't ingested performance-enhancers or any of the IOC-banned over-the-counter substances.

That'll be her first competition since turning serious about training last year. She works out daily at Neo Limits in Centerville.

In her words

"A few people at the gym said they think I have a great work ethic, and they thought I'd be a good candidate to be in a figure competition. I thought, you know, I should give it a shot.

"I typically just work out alone and try to get tips and pointers from different people who have already gone through this experience. I do anywhere from 30-45 minutes of cardio five days a week.

"Diet, that is absolutely huge. There are some days I can definitely go and get the workout in, but following the diet can be rough. It's a lot of lean meat and vegetables, complex carbs. I eat a lot of grilled chicken and white fish, broccoli, asparagus and brown rice. When you're doing something like this, you've really got to watch how much sugar you're taking in, and fruit has a lot of natural sugar. A big part of it is diet and you can't stray.

"I've noticed a huge difference in my legs. It's kind of cool, because as you go on, you see muscles you haven't ever seen before. There are muscles in my back I didn't even know were there. It is a cool process to see the way your body changes and reacts to everything.

Ever use steroids? "I really haven't. I'd almost be scared to. I've heard horror stories about it. I think it's more rewarding to do it naturally. Then, it's all the effort you're putting in are the results you're getting."

"Now, I'm definitely more into working out than playing golf. I haven't played in several months. If anything, it should make it better because I'll be stronger." (And longer off the tee?) "Exactly; that always helps."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tara Kirk

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Farewell to one who beat so many obstacles

(Editors note. Let's retire the Siren name on American Gladiators)

Shelley Beattie was an inspiration to the deaf community, overcoming her disability to become a professional bodybuilder, a television personality and a competitive sailor.

"The only thing I can't do is hear," she used to say.

Beattie could speak clearly, despite losing her hearing as a child after an accidental overdose of aspirin.

Last month she discovered one other thing she couldn't do: live with bipolar disorder. While under a doctor's care during a six-week stay at a psychiatric hospital, she took her own life.

It was a tragic ending for a young woman, just 39, who had achieved so much.

"If it can defeat a strong person like her," said her father, Jack Beattie of Keizer, "it can defeat almost anybody."

People with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, tend to experience extreme mood swings or episodes.

Beattie once described it to her life partner, Julie Moisa, as waking up in the morning and feeling better than she had her whole life, only to be consumed by feelings of rage and darkness within just a few hours.

An estimated 5.7 million adults in the U.S. have bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. As many as 50 percent who suffer from the illness attempt suicide, and as many as 20 percent succeed.

Beattie was diagnosed about 10 years ago, according to her mother, Laura Mitchell of Sublimity. That was about the time Beattie returned to Oregon, leaving her "Hollywood" career behind.

She eventually settled in the Salem area and met Moisa about four years ago, through a mutual friend. They lived together on a farm east of town, a place where Beattie was able to find some peace despite her illness.

She loved her animals, raising turkeys and chickens and bottle-feeding baby calves. She loved her artwork, creating many Native American-style pieces. Though not of Indian heritage, she connected to the Lakota lifestyle and had a passion for playing drums she made with her own hands.

That life was much different than her celebrity life, in a good way.

Some people might know Beattie the bodybuilder. She was the 1990 U.S. champion and placed third in the 1992 Ms. Olympia competition.

I was a sportswriter back then, and just about everyone on our staff was assigned to do a story on her at one time or another. She was a local girl who had made the big-time, according to bodybuilding standards, and graced several magazine covers.

Beattie grew up in Monmouth-Independence and graduated from Central High School in 1985. She enrolled at what was then Western Oregon State College, studying special education and psychology.

More people might know Beattie as Siren on the original "American Gladiators" TV series. She appeared on the show, which matched the gladiators against amateur athletes in contests of strength and agility, from 1992 to 1996.

"When I first met her, I didn't know what a gladiator was," Moisa said. "I had no idea about the magazine covers."

Beattie was never one to boast about her accomplishments, but there was one that she held dear.

She was chosen to be on the history-making all-female America's Cup sailing team, which raced against all-male crews in 1995 and beat some.

"That's what she was most proud of," her mom said.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Her feat of strength

March 3, 2008

At 52, a nationally ranked Sioux Falls weight lifter is in top form

At 5 foot 2 inches and 110 pounds, Diann Nelson can bench press one and a half times her body weight.

At a recent workout at Sanford Power at Sanford Wellness Center, she sets up the weight bar with a red 45-pound weight on each end, lays down quickly and lifts 135 pounds with no clanking, no grimace and no telltale grunt.

"It's pretty impressive," says Jeff Blindauer, a trainer who has worked with Nelson for three years.

Nelson gets a lot of attention in the weight room when she's working out, he says.

Nelson, 52, won the National Bench Pressing Championship in Denver in November by lifting 154.25 pounds, breaking the record of 143 pounds. In April, she will represent the United States, along with 38 others, in an international competition in the Czech Republic.

Nelson, of Sioux Falls, weight trained when she was younger but then quit for nearly 20 years. She's been competing for three years. What's impressive about her lifting ability is that she can bench press more now than when she started as a young woman.

That's rare, experts say.

Self-conscious and uneasy, Nelson kept her upper-body strength under wraps when she was a teenager. "I never wore sleeveless tops. I didn't want anyone to see my arms," she says.

She tried to hide the fact that "I could always beat all the boys."

Now, she's over her embarrassment.

"I am lifting RAW - no assistive devices and especially no steroids," Nelson says.

"She's ranked third in the nation. You don't see too many 52-year-old ladies doing that," says Brad Rilling, senior exercise specialist at Sanford Power and one of Nelson's trainers.

And it all started from carrying buckets of milk.

Growing up on a farm near Viborg cemented her future in weight training. The cows needed milking twice a day. Then there was cleaning out calf pens, pig pens and chicken coops and carrying 5-gallon pails of feed to the cattle. Add in baling hay.

"I have always had upper-body strength," Nelson says, pressing her hands on the firm bulge of her deltoids.

She took advantage of her abilities by playing softball for 30 years. She also ran until her knee gave out. Now she's focused on weight-lifting competitions and works out with trainers three times a week to keep her competitive edge.

But you don't have to compete to benefit from weight training, Blindauer says. Lifting increases your metabolism and muscle mass, which in turn burns more calories.

Lifting works the chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps. It also builds bone mass, Nelson says. That helps combat osteoporosis.

Nelson lifts about an hour to an hour and a half at each session and rounds out her exercise routine by doing aerobics for 30 minutes three or four times a week.

When you combine aerobics with weight training, you're benefiting your heart too, Blindauer says.

Women might be concerned about building up too much muscle, but training for these meets means working on lifting your maximum weight rather than building endurance, Rilling says.

Doing more repetitions with lighter weights will build bigger muscles, but lifting heavier weights fewer times builds strength, he says.

The goal at the meet is to lift the maximum weight for one repetition, even though you get three attempts. The trainers are working closely with Nelson to prepare her, setting up training cycles following a specific schedule.

"There's a science to it," Rilling says. "It's not just coming in and throwing weight around."

Nelson's training not only builds muscles, it stokes her self-esteem. And the challenge is intriguing. "You set goals for yourself, and when you reach them, you set another goal so it's never-ending," she says.

Being raised on a farm taught Nelson what long days were like. It's a theme she has stuck to as an adult. Downtime is a rarity - she puts in 40 hours a week as a legal assistant and another 18 hours on the weekend as a registrar.

Even with those hours, she's at the gym four days a week. "She's very dedicated and doesn't miss a day," Rilling says.

Hard work is her touchstone. A full, physically active life feels normal. Competition is the icing. "Good old-fashioned hard work will get you there," Nelson says.

Here's another benefit.

"I sure sleep good at night."

Skin and veins: Celebrity gym-addicts whose love of exercise is spoiling their looks


The ever conscious world of celebrity appears to have fallen victim to a new addiction, and this time it's not illegal.

Madonna appears to be one of the key members at the forefront of the trend for punishing workout schedules.

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Madonna bony

Bony Madge: Madonna's intense fitness regime has resulted in supremely low body fat revealing every bulging vein and a bony frame

But it appears the results are less than pleasing to the eye, as the singer regularly exhibits intensely veiny hands, and pumped up forearms which would not look out of place on a professional bodybuilder.

The 49-year-old's fear of getting older dictates her vigorous fitness drive. She begins her punishing routine with a three-hour session of Ashtanga yoga, followed by a Pilates session before lunch.

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Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker

Uber-muscular: Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker's exercise regime includes running, climbing stairs and yoga. But she says she'd rather go to a dinner party

She then alternates her third daily session between karate, pumping iron, running, swimming, cycling and occasionally horse-riding. Fitness expert Cornel Chin said: "She clearly works out with weights to define her muscles."

Renee Zellweger drew gasps at the Oscars as the actress famous for her role as curvy fictional heroine Bridget Jones revealed her knobbly shoulders in a strapless evening gown.

Following her role as the big-pant wearing character, 38-year-old Renee shrank to a shocking size zero on a macrobiotic diet of lean fish, rice and vegetables, as well as enduring a gruelling two-hour daily workout with her personal trainer to shed all traces of rotundity.

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Me and my biceps: Tara Palmer-Tompkinson hates her bulging biceps which would put many a man to shame

Renee also did a lot of running, hiking, yoga and swimming. The actress said: "I like fun exercise. But I need physical exertion of the sweating kind. I go for a run. That's my thinking time. That's where I get it out, any frustrations or whatever."

But judging by recent pictures of her, it looks as if she's taken her exercise habit too far.

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Gym bunny: Superfit Nell McAndrew shed 2st by running, cycling and swimming after the birth of her son, even going for a run after her 6.30am feed

Bony: Renee Zellweger, here last year in LA, also has protruding muscles due to extreme exercise

Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker has attempted to downplay her daily exercise timetable claiming she's more inclined to "go to a dinner party than slave away in the gym" but it's clear the mother-of-one doth protest too much.

The actress often reveals her bulging veins and sinewy arms in the designer gowns she loves wear.

Enviable though her slim figure may be in her red carpet frocks, her tough daily exercise regime of running, climbing stairs, yoga and Pilates has left her looking scrawny and leathery, and prematurely aged.

Richard Cormley, a personal trainer in Kensington said: "Sarah has obviously done high-resistance training to get her arms sculpted. She has a low body-fat percentage – you can tell by the definition on her arms – and she has started to develop chest muscles."

The pressure for A-listers to stay extra slim for their starring roles appears to have crossed the Atlantic, as British celebrities fall victim to the over-exercising trend.

Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, 36 has always been naturally slender. Recently though she's displayed uber-defined biceps that she hates but any man would be proud of.

"I tell my friends I'm on the doughnut diet, but I can't put the weight back on. If I went to the gym I'd bulk up. I hate my muscles. They're all very veiny", said the socialite.

Harley Street surgeon Apostolos Gaitainis said: "She may be genetically prone to having large veins, but this appears to be a result of overtraining. There is no fat to disguise them."

And marathon runner Nell McAndrew has been a self-confessed exercise bunny for years. The 34-year-old mother of one admitted: "When I feel blue or things aren't going well for me, I go running or take to the gym.

"I cannot imagine my life without exercise. It helps me to think positively."

Just six months after the birth of her baby boy Devon, Nell shed 2st by cycling, walking and swimming. She even went for a run after her baby's 6.30 morning feed.

Female bodybuilder claims world title
Andy Koen
Colorado Springs Published 1 day(s) ago
National health magazines have ranked Colorado Springs the fittest city in the country and it seems the city now has a new champion in the cause for fitness. Jill Kolivoski was recently named Miss Natural Olympia 2007, a coveted title in bodybuilding world.
Kolivoski first began bodybuilding ten years ago, motivated by a fascination of the body's natural ability to transform itself through building muscle. However, in her quest to become a professional, Jill discovered the dark side of the bodybuilding world.
"There came a point in that league where in order to go anywhere and get your pro card you would have to step across the border and start using drugs and the judges will tell you exactly what they want you to do,” Kolivoski said.
So, she moved away from the traditional muscle scene and set a goal of reaching the top naturally. Using a straight-forward combination of the diet and exercise, the massage therapist transformed herself over the course of a year to compete and win the Miss Natural Olympia competition last November in Greece.
"The only way I'm going to truly be worthy of getting this title on stage is to define what "natural" means to me, and defining that as not only non-steriod, but non-supplementation, non-artificial, completely pure," Kolivoski explained.
Beyond the spotlight of competition, Jill’s real passion is helping people. She is writing a book and making a documentary about her experiences. She even talks of one day opening her own gym to help other women reach their fitness goals.
"If you want to change the world, you do it one person at a time,” Kolivoski said. “And if I can help one person excel and help them realize what they can do with their body, then I'm on the right start."
Jill has also tried out for the NBC reality TV show American Gladiators. She says she has completed all of her interviews and on camera requirements and is now eagerly waiting for the show’s producers to call.