Olympia countdown…39 days!

August 21st, 2012

It’s almost that time of year again.  No, not back to school…although yes, sadly that too is around the corner.  But of course, I’m referring to The OLYMPIA in Las Vegas!  This September marks my third Olympia appearance in a row, and although I’m not competing in the Flex Bikini this time I am just as excited to hit the Expo and mingle with some of my all time favorite athletes.  Just incase you haven’t heard, the Expo has opened up the other half of the convention centre and is TWICE the size of previous years.  For anyone that has ever been, you understand how exciting this is, right?!

I definitely plan on spending hours upon hours at the expo and am actually really looking forward to seeing some of the events that I missed out on in previous years because I was backstage.  They have TONS of other competitions scheduled such as  Sumo Wrestling, Grappling Championships, 212 Showdown, The Strongest man Championships, and added to the venue this year, The Ultimate Athlete Challenge which will hold competitions to challenge participants physically and mentally over the 2 day expo to determine this years Ultimate Athlete.  Last year over 30,000 fans came to check out the Olympia Expo and sample the industry’s most popular and newest supplements, and of course bring home TONS of free stuff…you’re going to want to make sure you have extra suitcase room for this weekend.

I can’t forget about the main events at The Olympia – the SHOWS!

Now, qualification for The Olympia is based on a point system.  Competitors placing 2nd – 5th at IFBB Pro shows are awarded points, while the top 5 from the previous years’ Olympia qualify for the current year, and those who place 1st in Pro shows throughout the season.

Based on standings thus far, here are your Olympia 2012 qualified athletes.  Who are your favorites to win?  I’ve been following the Men’s bodybuilding and several of these athletes for years now…a good friend of mine was a Flex Magazine hoarder at work, and it was one of the many influences that got into the sport.  It will most definitely feel like an early Christmas for me while I roam the expo and I can’t wait to mingle with everyone once again! Who knows, maybe we’ll party with Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler again this year…heyo!

Mens Open:

Phil Heath, USA
Jay Cutler, USA
Kai Greene, USA
Victor Martinez, USA
Dexter Jackson, USA
Ronny Rockel, Germany
Lionel Beyeke, France
Branch Warren, USA
Dennis Wolf, Germany
Evan Centopani, USA
Michael Kefalianos, Australia

Womens Bodybuilding:

Iris Kyle, USA
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia, Venezuela
Brigita Brezovac, Slovenia
Debi Laszewski, USA
Alina Popa, Switzerland
Lisa Giesbrecht, Canada
Anna Luise Freitas, Brazil
Monique Jones, USA
Sarah Hayes, USA

Womens Fitness:

Adela Garcia, USA
Tanji Johnson, USA
Myriam Capes, Canada
Tina Durkin, USA
Camala Rodriguez, USA
Jodi Boam, Canada
Ryall Graber-Vasani, Canada
Nicole Duncan, USA
Bethany Cisternino, USA
Regiane Da Silva, Germany
Oksana Grishina, Russia

Womens Figure:

Nicole Wilkins, USA
Erin Stern, USA
Ava Cowan, USA
Candice Keene, USA
Alicia Harris, USA
Gennifer Strobo, USA
Ann Titone, USA
Teresa Anthony, USA
Jelena Abbou, USA
Jami DeBernard, USA
Krissy Chin, USA
Chelsey Mortganstern, USA
Candice John, Trinidad
Heather Dees, USA
Monica Specking, USA
Rosalind Vanterpool, Barbados
Candice Lewis, USA
Alea Suarez, USA

Womens Bikini:

Nicole Nagrani, USA
Nathalia Melo, Brazil
Dianna Dahlgren, USA
Jaime Baird, USA
India Paulino, USA
Vanessa Campbell, USA
Diana Graham, USA
Christina Vargas, USA
Skye Taylor, USA
Nicole Coleman, USA
Amanda Latona, USA
Abigail Burrows, USA
Tiffany Marie Boydston, USA
Tawna Eubanks, USA
Natalie Pennington, USA
Candyce Graham, USA
Nicole Moneer-Guerrero, USA
Tianna Ta, USA
Juliana Daniell, USA
Stacy Alexander, USA
Sonia Gonzales, USA
Jennifer Andrews, USA
Pollianna Moss, USA
Brittany Tacy, USA
Narmin Assria, USA

Happy Peak Week, Henry!

August 13th, 2012

Leading up to North American’s last September, Henry shared his experiences with training and dieting.  He is now training through the final days of his prep for the CBBF Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta this coming weekend and had this to say about his last night on stage.
This is my last year of competing in bodybuilding I’ll be 53 this year and its time to move on to other things, even though I know I will miss it as its been a part of my life as long as I can remember.
I was asked the other day if there was any money given to the winners. I had to explain that no money is awarded and that’s not the reason for me competing. I compete plain and simple because that’s what I love to do; It’s my passion and it’s something no one can take away from me. The shear and utter joy that is felt when you step on stage and know that you have attained the goals that you set for yourself is like no other feeling.
This year Ryan had me focus on my back and I did this by training it 2 times per week. Guess what, it worked!  My back now has more detail and size than ever before and this was done in my fifties. It was a lot of hard work but well worth it because I obtained my goal and that to me is what bodybuilding is about.
Arnold said it best, your like a sculptor but instead of working with clay you use weights to visually create what you want. I also stayed much lighter this year, never above 15 lbs. of contest weight. I managed to have a six pack all year and I think this is what helped me achieve the best condition of my life. I also practiced what I tend to preach that it`s not how much weight that you move which creates new muscle but rather how hard you make the muscle work. Don’t get me wrong, heavy weights do have their place in bodybuilding but not at the expense of strict form and actually feeling the muscle work . We aren’t power lifters nor should we train like one.
I’m hoping to place well but even if I don’t I know in my heart and soul I was the best that I could be.  The only other thing besides competing that I’m looking forward to is some pizza and a nice piece of cheesecake. In closing I’d like to say to anyone reading this blog is just to be patient and you will achieve your goals. Nothing worth anything comes over night. I know this from first hand experience as I have been lifting weights for over 40 years now and will continue working out until I get planted in the ground.

I wanted to add how important it is to have a good trainer in your corner.  Like I said prior to this I’ve been training for 40 years and am pretty knowledgeable regarding training and diet. Having Ryan though takes all the guess work out of your contest prep. We all are human and especially during the last few weeks tend to panic or second guess oneself. With a good trainer like Ryan there is no guessing he knows what to do and how to do it. I used to have sleepless nights worrying about my show wondering if I was doing everything right. I now sleep like a baby because I know that if I do as my trainer tells me nothing can go wrong.

Best Under Pressure…

August 9th, 2012

Call me a procrastinator if you like, but this is just how I do best…always best under pressure.  If it’s not the pressure of an impending assignement it’s the pressure of committing to something, which isn’t always a bad feeling.

I’ve always made a point to tell everyone what my plans were for upcoming shows or possible competitions.  Whether it was my way of holding myself more accountable, or possibly an informal warning to those around me that dieting was just around the corner, I’ve always publically committed to my next challenge.

After Provincials I had several people ask me, “So? Now what are you doing? What’s your next show?”…I honestly had no idea.  Not knowing exactly what I was doing next was rather bittersweet for me.  I had options; the Flex Bikini at the Olympia like I’ve done the past 2 years, take time off to bring up my ASSets even more for Nationals 2013 or take time off to just train without committment to any competition in the near future.  I am starting to get that itch again though and miss the jan tana, heels and stage makeup.  So when Fitness Star announced that they were coming to Winnipeg November 11th, 2012 it definitely caught my attention.  A new organization, a new category and a whole new experience (especially since I may or may not be towing my boss along for the ride <3)  I’ve started to clean my diet right up again and am looking forward to the next few weeks that will determine exactly whether or not I will be doing the Fitness Star Network – Fitness Model competition.  So consider this my “unofficial” competition announcement…pressure’s on!

After dieting down for Provincials I lost some of my strength and set out to gain it all back, and then some.  Well, I can definitely say it’s back with more than I had prior to the show.  I’ve hit new personal bests and am looking forward to making some new ones.  I also set my sights on the Dirty Donkey Mud Run which is actually  next Sunday.  I’ve never done anything like this before, and all I was told was prepare to get DIRTY!  I haven’t exactly been training for this, I’ll admit.  I’m short on hay bails to jump, and muddy ditches to crawl through in preparation but I can definitely handle the 5K run portion – even if it is stop, go, jump, and in my case most likely snap, sprain, cry and bleed.  No, I’m not anticipating the worst…but knowing my luck and lack of agility this is most likely to be my reality next weekend ;) I CANT WAIT!