Monday, August 25, 2008
This woman is on everyone’s top three for the Figure Olympia, and this should be of no surprise considering what she has accomplished without reaching the age of 25 yet. She currently reigns as the 2008 Figure International Champion. I know there will never be another Monica Brant, but if I could choose someone who could be the next IFBB icon, it would be Gina. If she keeps this up, she will rank in win after win, photoshoot after photoshoot, recognition after recognition and become arguably THE female face of the entire IFBB, all before the age of 30. I’m not gonna lie, I thought Gina had the Figure O title won last year. Gina is what figure is all about, simple as that. The woman’s got perfect genetics for this sport. She can come hard or soft and still clean house. The way she carries herself on stage, you wouldn’t think that she’s in her early 20s. For the ones that aren’t Gina fans out there (and I’m really baffled at why there would be any body that wouldn’t be a fan of Gina, or at least respect her, assuming there are any out there), you wonder why Gina is held in high regards. She has “it”. I can’t make it any clearer. From this point in her career, the only way to go from here is up.
As much as I love Gina and no disrespect to any other competitor out there competing at the O this year, Jenn is my personal favorite to win the Figure Olympia. She’s another person that I think is on all or most people’s top three list. And after the way she entered the IFBB, who wouldn’t be impressed by this figure enigma? Her rookie year is the stuff of legend. Her passion, determination, and drive are practically unrivaled in the sport, and besides the champ Jenny, Jenn could be the only other woman to match or even surpass Gina bodypart for bodypart, quarter turn for quarter turn. When her and Gina captured the top two spots at the Arnold, everyone thought that it was spot on. Now in only her second Olympia, Jenn will look to do what no mother has done before: win an Olympia title. How big would this win be? Let’s take Tanya Merryman for example. Before the Olympia, she was in the Fitness America Pageant. When she won the title, she not only became the first MOTHER to win a major fitness title, but she became THE face of the promotion for a long time, and still considered the greatest Fitness American champion, ever. Imagine Jenn pulling off such a feat, only on a much bigger stage. “Momma Olympia” may be born in Vegas in September.
Ever since the new figure guidelines have been put to place, one person has been considered the “poster girl” for these new guidelines. And that person is the beautiful Felicia Romero. And why not? She’s only won both contests that she entered in since the guidelines were created and enforced (California Pro and Houston Pro). Being on the cover of Flex Swimsuit 2008 Magazine has further Also she’s been a great spokesperson for the division, by defending the new rules and guidelines in message boards. But like most things “Actions speak louder than words” or in this case…her physique does most of the talking for her. And it has spoken for her quite well over the summer. Last year, she faced Jenny, Gina, and Jenn at the Olympia and fared worse that she had hoped. Something tells me that things are gonna be a tad bit different this time around. Who knows? With those three getting the most attention, Felicia could sneak right past them and score a huge upset. They say that the quiet ones are the ones that you need to watch out for.
Her height ALONE will make her a serious threat to the title. At five foot nine, she will be the tallest competitor in the Figure Olympia, and quite possibly the tallest of ALL the female Olympia competitors period. She won the Pittsburgh Pro this year, the first figure contest under the new guidelines. She also placed third at her first Arnold Classic, only being Gina and Jenn. I don’t know too much about her, but from what I have seen from her, I think she could be a big threat to the Figure Olympia title much sooner rather than later.
In 2006, she became a figure icon when she won the Figure International title, when Jenny had to back out due to sickness. She retain her title in 2007, but placed almost out of the top ten at the Olympia. SAY WHAT?!?! Kinda took me by surprise myself. But from what was said, she didn’t bring her “A” game to the stage because of personal good things, not personally bad things. With her not deciding to defend her Figure International title this year, would the two-time Figure International champion be out of the Olympia. The answer would turn out to be no, and it came in the form of the 2008 Jacksonville Pro. She brought back the old Mary Lado. The one that won her two Figure International titles. The one that placed her in the top six in 2005 and 2006. The one that made her a champion in the first place. If she brings that Mary Lado to the Olympia next month, she could pull a 2008 USA Olympics Men’s Basketball team and become the Redeem Queen of figure.
DEFENDING CHAMPION - Jenny Lynn
This woman is not the face of IFBB figure for nothing. Other than Davana Medina, Jenny Lynn is the first person that pops in your mind when one discusses IFBB figure. So far, she is the only woman to ever win both the Figure International and Figure Olympia titles, and is only a handful of people to win at both the Arnold Classic and the Olympia. Her physique has always been long and slender, with a great balance of muscularity. While she had the Arnold Classic down pat (she was champion for three consecutive years), it was the Olympia that gave her trouble for the longest. She placed third at the first Olympia (the lowest she’s ever placed for a figure contest, for your information) and for two years, she placed runner-up. In 2006, she came looking like a toned Hollywood starlet and finally won the big one. In 2007, she successfully defended her title. However, as good as Jenny is, I don’t see how she’s gonna win this one, despite having the entire year to prepare for this contest. I know she would want to tie Davana’s record of three Figure Olympia titles, but I think that there are others that would want the title more than Jenny wants to retain the title. I could be wrong, though. Jenny could come into the O and blow the competition out of the water and keep the rising youngsters from claiming something each and every figure competitor strives to achieve: Olympia immortality. Jenny better leave it all on the stage to leave Vegas the way she came in. Something tells me that she’s gonna show the world why she’s is figure personified.
WILDCARD - Sonia Adcock
With the high talent that is a part of this year’s Olympia, it was kinda hard to pick a wildcard for figure. After thinking it over for a few minutes, I decided to choose someone who I’ve somewhat criticized quite a bit last year: Sonia Adcock. I think the reason why I gave her some grief is because I’m not used to seeing “thin-like” calves. I guess it’s a pet peeve of mine, I don’t know. But I can say this about her, her upper body is very impressive. Not to mention she has an exotic look about her, which doesn’t hurt her at all. She has placed in the top six in every pro contest she’s entered, but in order for her to keep that streak going, she’s gonna need to bring her “A+” game to the city that never sleeps. There are times that she’s proven me wrong on more than one occasion; I don’t see this year being any different for her.
Ms. Olympia predictions to come shortly…
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Due to Adela’s surgery with her knee earlier this summer, unfortunately she will not be able to defend her title this year, meaning a new champion will be crowned in Vegas. Based on their placings and performances this year, here are the ladies that I think will be in the top six for fitness (Side note: best of luck in your recovery, chica! You’re in the prayers of many!) :
She’s on everyone’s top six list, and after proving the critics wrong and successfully defending her Fitness International title in March, who wouldn’t have her as a frontrunner for the biggest prize in fitness? Her routines are always top-notch, and her physique by many has been called the best in fitness today. For the last three years, she has placed second at the Fitness Olympia. If she plays her cards right and brings the physique and routines many fitness fans have come to know and love, she could very well be on her way to her very first Olympia title.
Much like Adela and Kim, Jenny is fitness personified. She has probably the most entertaining routines of any fitness competitor out there. Her physique has also been on key with her routines. She has tasted Olympia glory before as she won the contest back in 2005. Of course, she would love to be Fitness Olympia champion once again. It’s gonna be hard to stop Jenny when she gets going.
First Palmer, then Shipley-Childs, now Lohre. It’s seems like being a Julie in fitness does wonders to a career. All three of these ladies have placed in the top five at either the Arnold or Olympia at some point in their career, and all three of them hold some pro fitness championship. Julie has some creative routines as well as some crazy abs that are part of her overall physique. She made an impressive Olympia debut last year, and the way things are going for her, things are only gonna get better for this competitor.
She’s got a rock-hard physique and great stage presence with her routines, which were a key factor in placing third at the Fitness International last year, her highest placing to date at either the Arnold or Olympia. With Adela out, this could be the perfect opportunity for Palmer to step up to the plate and show the world that she’s belongs in the elite with Adela, Kim, and Jenny.
What can I say? This woman’s beyond incredible in more ways then one. Her routines are phenomenal. And her muscles…ohh…I’m gonna ask this in the most nicest of ways: Was she a bodybuilder in her past life? I mean, her muscularity and vascularity rival lightweight bodybuilders with ease. This year, she’s been on a roll winning the Houston Pro and the Europa shows, as well as placing in the top five at the Arnold. While all the focus will be on Jenny and Kim, don’t be surprised if Tracey finds the right combination of muscle and athleticism to shock the world and immortalizes her legacy forever on the grandest stage of them all.
Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you the winner for Breakout Fitness Star of 2008…if this was up to me. Her routines have blown people away as of late. And as far as her physique is concerned, she could give Kim and Tracey a run for their money. Joe from HD Physiques said that Erin has the hottest, most perfect, fitness physique he’s ever seen. And with so many great bodies in fitness, that’s quite the complement! Needless to say that Erin’s got a lot to gain at the Olympia. Look for her to establish herself as a major fitness player at this year’s extravaganza; mark my words.
WILDCARD: Heidi Fletcher
I’m choosing Heidi as my wildcard mainly because she has come out of her own as a fitness competitor. Her routines have always been crowd-pleasers. What has kept her from being in the ranks with Kim, Jenny, and Adela in the eyes of the judges and experts has been her physique. In 2007, she took her body to a whole different level. In many people’s eyes, if there was an award for Most Improved Pro Fitness Physique, she would have won it hands down. Apparently she has used 2008 to perfect her physique to go along with her entertaining routines, as she won her very first pro contest this year (2008 New York Pro). I see Heidi turning heads once again, and hopefully see her move up in the rankings at this year’s Olympia.
Next up: My predictions for the Figure Olympia
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
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Sunday, August 17, 2008
Here's the site:
If you would like to be a moderator, shoot me an email. Thanks!
P.S. I've also been on a personal quest to be healther. I've went from being 250 pounds at the beginning of the summer down to 236 pounds today. To say that I'm beyond stoked would be an understatement. Peace out!
Monday, August 4, 2008
Each of the pictures uses for this blog belong to their respective sites. Click pics to enlarge.
Well...there ya go. My "dream list" of competitors for the first pro physique competition. Trust me, this was not easy for me to nail the list down to 25. The amateur list won't be a cakewalk either, but I'll give it my best. Agree or disagree with the list? Leave a comment below, then. For those that were waiting for the pro list (all two of you, LOL), thanks for being patient.
Personal note: If anything was to actually come out of this, I would literally freak out.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
There’s been some interesting talk going on for the last couple of years or so (and has been BUILDING ever since the figure mandate has been established…and actually been put to use) about the possibilities of a physique division? Wait a minute…yet another division for women?! Yes, and to me, this could be the most popular division of them all, if this was to actually come to light. Why? So many unique possibilities could come out of this division.
For one, it would give fitness/figure competitors (especially figure competitors) who are deemed too big for their division to showcase their hard-earned physiques without necessarily going the bodybuilding route, as well as bodybuilders who are deemed too small to compete in bodybuilding to compete in a division where they would be widely accepted without having to go to extreme measures to get the to the top tier of women’s bodybuilding.
Another thing, this could bring back some competitors out of retirement as this division would fit who they are. I mean, I know she has a family now, but someone like Davana Medina (who is surprisingly private regardless to her major success in the female muscle industry) would be a great fit for the physique division. She came in practically shredded in every Olympia she competed in, and guess what? Her look won her the first three Figure Olympia titles (and possibly a fourth one had she not gotten sick in 2006). And don’t even get me started on The Regal One! Valerie Waugaman (Siren on NBC’s American Gladiators) would be one of the main poster girls for this division. I mean, it’s been a year now, but I still can’t get over her look at the 2007 Arnold Classic. Everyone thought that she should have won the competition that year (including yours truly). However, when has the decision of the judges ever agreed with the decision of the fans?
Can’t think of any? None?!?!
Didn’t think so.
Anyways, this is truly something that I would love to see come to the ranks of the IFBB and NPC. Apparently, so do many of you, as last month’s poll showed a near-unanimous agreement to a possible physique/classic bodybuilding division. Although it seems like this is something many people want, like most things, everyone sees their own version/proposal of this division. Dave Palumbo has his vision of the current division, currently on the Muscular Development forum (http://forums.musculardevelopment.com/showthread.php?t=31531). IFBB Pro Lisa Aukland posted a proposal on the FeMuscle board from fellow bodybuilder Betty Pariso(http://femuscle.org/board/showthread.php?t=660). Both of these stars have one major thing I don’t possess, and that’s experience. They’ve seen what works in this industry and what doesn’t work. I have no problem with either of their proposals, as I think both of them would work. My version of a IFBB/NPC physique division would be somewhat of a combination of basic principles of women’s bodybuilding, fitness, and figure. Presentation (hair, makeup, style of suits) would be key as well as physique. BTW, the physique would be more judged on conditioning and flowing of muscle groups. Size would be fine as long as there was some form of balance. Also, since this would be physique, only two-pieces would be used. No thongs or over-the-top bikinis either. The physique should be the top priority.
Here’s my proposal:
There would be four rounds to judge (two preliminary rounds and two final rounds). The first preliminary round would be have each competitor do an introductory quarter-turn pose with heels, exactly like it’s done in fitness and figure. Make sure the muscles are as tense as you can get them. Hey, this IS a PHYSIQUE proposal, after all, right?!? Being hard would be preferred, but those who are soft can excel in this division without any problems. Anyways, after each competitor does their quarter turns by themselves, then they will go three, five or six at a time (depending on the number of competitors) at a time and do it side by side, for comparison reasons. After that is done, the competitors will do another three/five/six person comparison. But this time, posing will be involved.
Each of the competitors will do the following when called to do so (in this order):
- open-palmed bicep pose (one arm or both arms)
- tricep push (similar to NABBA)
- side chest (either FBB, NABBA, or whatever style you want to)
- back/lat pose (however you show off your back is up to you)
- back open-palmed double biceps pose
- legs/abs pose
- open-palmed double bicep pose
- Curtsey, then go back to your original spot.
No most musculars or closed fists poses.
Once that is finished, the judges will tally up the scores. The top ten or twelve scores will go on the finals, where it gets really interesting really quick. The finals would be a combination of fitness and women’s bodybuilding principles. Each competitor would perform a two-minute routine which displays their muscles to the best of their abilities. Heels are optional for the finals. If you happen to be skilled in muscle control (pec bouncing, bicep bouncing, quad shaking, etc.), this would be a good time to bring it out. It’s not required whatsoever, as not all competitors are skilled in this kind of flexing. You MUST incorporate all the preliminary poses in your routine. You miss one, you will be deducted points. For the final (and possibly most crucial) round, all the finalists will go all out at the same time in a one-minute, 30-second (yes, only 90 seconds) posedown to impress the judges (and really get the crowd riled up). All the rules are thrown out the window, just as long as you don’t hurt yourself or others in the process. The scoring would be like the other divisions with the winner being the person with the lowest score, ranging from a low as 5 points for each round to 50 points each round. The winner should have great muscle definition, femininity, and poise. Before a division such as this would exist, there should be some posing seminars that every competitor (pro and amateur) would need to attend to in order to learn how to pose correctly. As a matter of fact, that should be a pre-requisite to compete as a physique competitor. You don’t attend at least ONE seminar, you can’t compete in a physique contest, simply for the fact that you will be lost and will have no clue what the hell you’re doing.
Well, there you have it. If I was a member of the IFBB, this would be the proposal I would bring up at an official meeting. My proposal is simpler that it looks on paper. I wish there was video out there that would show exactly what I’m talking about. The best thing I can think of if you want a visual aid would be to look at some NABBA figure competitions. My proposal would not be the same as those competitions, but it would be somewhat similar.
Do you like my proposal? Do you hate it? Could this actually work? Leave a comment below; I would love to hear what you’ve got to say about this subject.
Side note: Can you believe that the Olympia is only a few weeks away? Man, time passes by so quickly!
Also, my best-wishes go out to Adela Garcia, who suffered a knee injury and will need surgery, thus making her unable to defend her Fitness Olympia title this year. Get better soon, chica. You’ll be better then ever the next time you compete!