2014 Arnold Classic Brazil Fitness Results & Review

The second annual Arnold Classic Brasil took place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 in Rio de Janiero. Eleven IFB Fitness pros made the trip to Rio in hopes of qualifying for the Fitness Olympia and shaking Arnold’s hand. The competition had no clear cut favorite heading into the show which made for an exciting competition.

2014 Arnold Fitness Brasil

2014 Arnold Classic Brazil Fitness Results & Review

The first round of competition was the two-piece swimsuit held during the prejudging portion of the show, directly after the men’s competition. It was clear that Bethany Cisternino would be your winner with the most balanced physique and just the right amount of conditioning. Second in the physique round was Whitney Jones who was one of the most muscular competitors in the show and drastically more conditioned than Cisternino. Whitney was tighter from the backside than she has been in previous competitions. She definitely doesn’t need to add any more muscle to her frame. An argument could have been made for Danielle Ruban or Marta Aguilar to be in the second place spot as they weren’t as muscular as Whitney. It was close on the judges score sheets for the first round with Marta in third, Danielle fourth and Regiane da Silva in fifth. A distant sixth was defending champion Ryall Graber who wasn’t as sharp as she needed to be with her conditioning.


ROUTINE ROUND / Final Placings
Bethany Cisternino took top honors on the judges’ score sheets in the routine round. While it wasn’t her cleanest routine but she demonstrated great strength and conditioning throughout the routine. Bethany’s gymnastic background shines when she performs and the consistent routine combined with an on point physique earned her the victory. I had no problem with this decision and how I saw it from the front row as well. It was a well deserved win. Bethany shared with me after the show that she will not be competing again until the Olympia and despite having a few challenges while in Brazil, she was pleased with the outcome.

Regiane Da Silva‘s high energy and high flying routine moved her up into the runner-up position. If she was a bit closer to Bethany in the physique round she may have pushed her for the win but a solid showing in second place. Regiane continues to refine her physique and her routines are always action packed.

Danielle Ruban finished in third after a solid routine. She performs with a smile and always seems like she is having fun. It’s something other competitors should take note on. No one wants to see an angry poser and Danielle is definitely not that. She had a number of strength moves and demonstrated great endurance from start to finish. This was one of Danielle’s best showings and arguably her best as a pro competitor.

Whitney Jones was in a solid second place heading into the routine round however had to settle for fourth. No shame in fourth at the second annual Arnold Classic Brasil. Whitney’s routine didn’t flow quite as well as some of the others but she did have a number of strength moves throughout. If she ditches some of the dancing in the routine and adds a bit more flow to it she should move up. A solid showing from her though.

Ryall Graber had a good routine which helped move her up into 5th. It wasn’t repeat performance she had last year but she still performed a good routine. Missing seemed to be the energy we’ve seen from Ryall in the past and she didn’t appear quite as amped up as usual in her routine round. She has a number of strength moves but they didn’t quite have the snap and crispness she’s capable of. The judges scored her routine the third best in the lineup.

Rounding out the money spots, in sixth place was Marta Aguiar from Uruguay. Marta has the potential to be one of the top competitors in the division. When she refines her physique just a bit and adds a few more strength moves to her routine you’ll see her move up into the top three. I like the look she brought to the stage and the potential she has. An impressive pro debut for Marta after competing as an amateur in this year’s Arnold in Columbus, Ohio.

Another competitor to keep your eye on in the future is Melinda Szabo. She needs a bit of refining on her physique and just a few minor tweaks to her routine’s flow but overall she stands out. I would have had Melinda in the top 6 but she finished in 8th. I like her look, great energy on stage and she has fun.

2014 Arnold Classic Brasil Fitness Results
1. Bethany Cisternino
2. Regiane Da Silva
3. Danielle Ruban
4. Whitney Jones
5. Ryall Graber
6. Marta Aguiar
7. Diana Monteiro
8. Melinda Szabo
9. Amanda Hatfield
10. Tiffany Chandler
11. Babbette Mulford

Updated 2014 Arnold Classic Brasil IFBB Competitor Invitation Lists

The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival Brasil will be held April 25-27, 2014 in Rio de Janerio. After a wildly successful event in 2013, the expo and events are moving to a bigger venue. One of the highlights of the weekend will be the Arnold Fitness Brazil and Arnold Classic Brazil. Ryall Graber will be back to defend her title in the fitness division and three’s been a few changes to the lineup since they were originally announced.

2014 Arnold Classic Brasil IFBB Competitor Invitation Lists

Updated 2014 Arnold Classic Brasil IFBB Competitor Invitation Lists
Myriam Capes is still nursing an injury that forced her to withdraw from the Fitness International last month in Columbus, Ohio. Michelle Blank suffered a broken foot during her Arnold routine and is on the road to recovery which will keep her out of this show. Fiona Harris was also on the original list but will no longer be competing. Added to the Fitness line-up was Tiffany Chandler.

Bethany Cisternino and Regiane DaSilva are the highest ranking fitness competitors in the line-up and will be the biggest threat to Ryall’s title. Don’t sleep on Melinda Szabo after an impressive performance in Columbus.

2014 Arnold Fitness Brasil Competitors
Marta Aguiar
Tiffany Chandler
Bethany Cisternino
Regiane DaSilva
Ryall Graber
Amanda Hatfield
Whitney Jones
Babette Mulford
Diana Monteiro
Danielle Ruban
Melinda Szabo

The Men’s lineup has a few changes as well. Baito Abbaspour, Julio Balestrin and William Bonac have been added to the list since it was announced in February. Roelly Winklaar and Hidetada Yamagishi have been removed from 2014 Arnold Classic Brasil IFBB competitor lists. Roelly suffered a motor cycle accident which forced him out of the Arnold Classic in Columbus and Hidetada made the move down to the 212 division.

2014 Arnold Classic Brasil Competitors
Baito Abbaspour
Julio Balestrin
Lionel Beyeke
William Bonac
Jonathan De LaRosa
Marius Dohne
Toney Freeman
Michael Kefalianos
Martin Kjellstrom
Steve Kuclo
Juan Diesel Morel
Ed Nunn
Ben Pakulski
Robert Piotrkowicz
Fred Smalls

Ana Paula Leal
Savaget Promotions


Bob Lorimer
Arnold Sports Festival


Brent LaLonde


2014 Bikini International Results & Scores

2014 Bikini International results are in and Ashley Kaltwasser took home the victory. This was Ashley’s second major win, the first being the 2013 Bikini Olympia.


COLUMBUS, OH – Ashley Kaltwasser of Akron, Ohio won the 2014 Bikini International competition at the Arnold Sports Festival 2014. Contestants were judged on attractiveness and presentation of their curvier, less muscular physiques.

Kaltwasser received a prize of $7,000 from Jeff Compton of Europa, a trophy from Jason Birney of Hollywood Casino and a Tony Nowak jacket from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

top six in bikiniTop six at the 2014 Bikini International.

For photos from the 2014 Bikini International visit Bodybuilding.com.

Other major prizes awarded in the Bikini International were:
• 2nd place: Yeshaira Robles from the Bronx, NY received $3,000 presented by Kevin DeHaven of BPI and a trophy from Cory Gregory of MusclePharm.
• 3rd place: Amanda Latona of Las Vegas, NV received $2,000 presented by Rich Gaspari of Gaspari Nutrition and a trophy from Mick Skinner of Bodybuilding.com.
• 4th place: Nathalia Melo of Ft. Lauderdale, FL received $1,000, presented by Jay Jacobsen of Optimum Nutrition and a trophy from Mark Garces of MuscleTech.
• 5th place: Stacey Alexander of Las Vegas, NV received $1,000, presented by Truman Leuing of ALLMAX Nutrition and a trophy from Gera Rivkin of 6 Pack Fitness.
• 6th place: India Paulino of Pembrook Pines, FL received $1,000 presented by Edwin Yang of The Columbus Dispatch and a trophy Jay Jacobsen of ABB.

Presenting Sponsor: Europa Sports Products.

Diamond Sponsors: Hollywood Casino Columbus, MHP, Muscle Pharm.

Gold Sponsors: Animal, Bodybuilding.com, bpi Sports, BSN, EAS Abbott Nutrition, Gaspari Nutrition, Gasp & Better Bodies, Optimum Nutrition.

Silver Sponsors: 4 Dimension Nutrition, 6 Pack Fitness, ABB, AEP, ALLMAX Nutrition, American Airlines, BEAST, Body Fortress, Cellucor, Cytosport, Flexicus.com, GAT/World Health Products, Jan Tana, MET-RX, MuscleTech, Nutrex Research, Oh Yeah! Nutrition, ProMera Sports, Pure Protein, Quest Nutrition, Ricart.com, Rogue Fitness,VPX.

Bronze Sponsors: Active Interest Media, Badass, Blender Bottle, Champion Energy, Fitmark, Gear, Gold’s Gym, GT Energy, iSatori, Inc., Liftag Sport, Lone Star Distribution, MRI, MRM, Mutant, N.V.E. Pharmaceuticals, Nationwide Realty, PH9 Generator Bottles, Power Crunch, Probiotica Lab, Rivalus Inc., Scivation, Smartshake, The Columbus Dispatch.

Bikini Score Sheet


2014 Bikini International Results & Scores
1. Ashley Kaltwasser
2. Yeshaira Robles
3. Amanda Latona
4. Nathalia Melo
5. Stacey Alexander
6. India Paulino
7. Courtney King
8. Janet Layug
9. Margret Gnarr
10. Justine Munro
11. Anna Virmajoki
12. Jennifer Andrews
13. Juliana Daniell
14. Jessica Mone
15. Noy Alexander
16. Anna Starodubtseva

For photos from the 2014 Bikini International visit Bodybuilding.com.


2014 Fitness International Results & Scores

2014 Fitness International Results from Columbus, Ohio. Oksana Grishina of North Hollywood, California is the winner of the Fitness International competition at the Arnold Sports Festival. She received $25,000 presented by Jon De La Rosa of MHP, a trophy presented by Jeff Compton of Europa, congratulations and Tony Nowak jacket from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

oksana grishina wins

Other prizes in the Fitness International were:
• 2nd place: Regiane DaSilva of Gudensberg, Germany received $13,000 presented by Gasp & Better Bodies and a trophy from Hollywood Casino.
• 3rd place: Tanji Johnson of Renton,WA received $8,000 presented by Cytosport and a trophy from Flexicus.com.
• 4th place: Bethany Cisternino of Bridgewater, NJ received $5,000 presented by GAT/World Health Products and a trophy from Nutrex Nutrition.
• 5th place: Trish Warren of Copper Canyon, TX received $3,000 presented by Pure Protein and a trophy from Oh Yeah! Nutrition.
• 6th place: Ryall Graber of St. Thomas, Barbados received $2,000 presented by VPX and a trophy from BPI.

View photos from the show here.

2014 Fitness International Results
1. Oksana Grishina
2. Regiane DaSilva
3. Tanji Johnson
4. Bethany Cisternino
5. Trish Warren
6. Ryall Graber-Vasani
7. Melinda Szabo
8. Whitney Jones
9. Michelle Blank
10. Kizzy Vaines
11. Allison Ethier
12. Danielle Ruban
13. Amanda Hatfield
14. Babette Mulford

fitness international

2014 Figure International Results & Scores

The 2014 Figure International Results from Columbus, Ohio. Candice Keene of Maitland, Florida won the Figure International for the 2nd year in a row. She received $16,000 from Jason Birney of Hollywood Casino, a trophy from Jeff Compton of Europa, and a Tony Nowak jacket from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2014 Figure International

Other prizes in the Figure International were:
• 2nd place: Heather Dees of Lehi, UT received $10,000 presented by BPI and a trophy from Gaspari.
• 3rd place:Camala Rodriguez McClure of Morrison, CO received $8,000 presented by Jan Tana and a trophy from Optimum Nutrition.
• 4th place: Ann Titone of St. Louis, MO received $5,000 presented by Body Fortress and a trophy from 6 Pack Fitness.
• 5th place: Candice Lewis of Aurora, CO received $3,000 presented by MuscleTech and a trophy from ALLMAX Nutrition.
• 6th place: Gennifer Strobo, of Lake Mary, FL received $2,000 presented by American Airlines and a trophy from The Columbus Dispatch.

View photos here.

2014 Figure International Results
1. Candice Keene
2. Heather Dees
3. Camala Rodriguez
4. Ann Titone
5. Candice Lewis
6. Gennifer Strobo
7. Alicia Coates
8. Ava Cowan
9. Allison Frahn
10. Amanda Doherty
11. Dana Ambrose
12. Elissa Martis
13. Larissa Reis
14. Karina Grau
15. Giada Simari
16. Natalie Waples
17. Kati Alander

2014 Figure International Scoresheet:

scoresheet figure international

2014 Figure & Fitness International Prejudging Report

The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival is underway in Columbus, Ohio and the IFBB pro women kicked things off this morning. The Figure and Fitness International prejudging took place this morning and the finals will be held at 7pm this evening. You can watch the finals LIVE on Bodybuilding.com’s Free webcast.


The judges have it between defending champion, Candice Keene and last year’s runner-up Heather Dees. Personally, I have Candice Lewis for the win. Candice Keene looked good and since she is the defending champion, I don’t think too many people will baulk at her winning. I’ll be shocked if she’s not crowned the champ for the second year in a row. She presented herself with confidence and had all the details right. Heather Dees came in a bit fuller than last year with a little added size however when she posed she was shaking like a leaf in the Columbus win. I think Heather is a beautiful woman but I wouldn’t have her in the second place spot. Nothing personal, just other physiques that structurally are better and when the little details count, posing should be one.

I am often overly critical of Candice Lewis and it’s because she has so much potential that despite winning numerous shows in 2012 and 2013, it wasn’t until this show that she nailed it. Candice has nice shape, her legs were streamlined and presented a polished look from head to toe. The judges might say her legs are overpowering but I’d disagree on it today. It looks like the judges have her in 4th but it will be close. Camala Rodriquez brought a balance physique and she is strongest from the back. I would have liked to seen her next to Candice Keene for a comparison from behind. It looks like she’ll be in the third place spot. Ann Titone looks good when she stands alone on stage however when you put her next to the other women she starts to fade. She has improved her physique over the years and continues to improve however I think she’ll be in the 5th place spot but could sneak into 4th if the judges favor her to the look Candice Lewis brought.

Gen Strobo brought one of her better physiques to date and I could see her locking in the 6th place spot. She has great delts but her lower body still lacks a bit behind her upper body. Still one of her best showings though and if she snags sixth it would be a score for her.

The rest of the pack. I would have put Elissa Martis a bit higher. I like her look and with a little more stage time she’ll be a contender. Alicia Coates was off her best but will still likely end up in the top ten. Her posing was a bit off, make-up/face didn’t match her physique color and her legs were off from her previous shows. Beautiful girl but not her best showing to date. Ava Cowan will likely be in the 8-10th place range. She’s overcome a lot over the past year and physique wise she was too lean, too muscular and too ripped compared to the other women. It was more of a women’s physique. Look for Allison Frahn, Dana Ambrose and Amanda Doherty to be in the hunt to round out the top ten.

I think the judges will go:
1. Candice Keene
2. Heather Dees
3. Camala Rodriquez
4. Candice Lewis
5. Ann Titone
6. Gen Strobo

I’d have Candice Lewis, Candice Keene and Camala Rodriquez as my top three but it looks like it’s all Candice Keene and then Heather Dees. The tighter race is between Rodiquez, Lewis and Titone for 3-5.

Check out prejudging photos here.

Bethany Cisternino looks poised to win the two-piece round with Tanji in second. This could flip flop but ultimately it will come down to the routine round. Tanji looks like she’s in the driver’s seat to repeat as the champ if she nails her routine. In the third and fourth place spots you have Trish Warren and Regiane DaSilva. Regiane typically doesn’t end up this high in the two-piece and I was a bit surprised to see her in the first callout. I would have liked to see Danielle Ruban and Oksana Grishina in the mix for the top three. Oksana didn’t come in as hard as previous years and downsized her muscle a bit however the judges didn’t seem to favor it to be in the top four. She could be fifth but also 6 or 7th based on comparisons. I like the shape Danielle Ruban presented she could have been a tad tighter but overall I thought it was a top five look. The judges didn’t see it that but she’ll be one to watch in upcoming shows.

A stand-out to me was Michelle Blank. It’s the best presentation she’s put together from her hair to makeup, presentation and her physique. She wasn’t as conditioned as the other women and faded just a bit but overall it was her best look to date and would have her in the top five. She could sneak in there but likely on the bubble and could end up 6-8th. Whitney Jones might be in the top five and will likely be in the 6-8th spot as well. I’d like to see her work on her posing a bit, especially from the back.

Ryall is scratching to get into that mix as well. Her tan was a little light and yellow looking. She had some issues with her posing suit riding up a bit too high and showed some under boob.

Heading into the routine round I think it looks like this…
1. Bethany Cisternino
2. Tanji Johnson
3. Trish Warren
4. Regiane DaSilva
5. Whitney Jones
6. Oksana Grishina
7. Michelle Blank
8. Ryall Graber

Check out prejudging pics here. Follow on twitter or watch the live webcast tonight!

LIVE 2014 Arnold Sports Festival Coverage

We’re in Columbus, Ohio for the 26th Anniversary of the Arnold Classic. You can follow our coverage all weekend long, LIVE from the events. Along with HARDBODY’s twitter coverage we’ve added EVERYONE across the globe using #ASF2014 on twitter. Now you can see what everyone is saying about the Arnold Sports Festival.

The fastest and easiest way to get update is via twitter or bookmark this page to see the info roll in live.

live arnold coverage

Visit Bodybuilding.com all weekend long for photos, videos, the FREE LIVE webcast and more. If using twitter include #asf2014 in your tweets.

Arnold Classic South Africa – Coming in 2016

It’s official. The Arnold Classic is adding another country to its growing list of events. Since 1989 the Arnold Classic has been held in Columbus, Ohio. The Arnold Classic then expanded into Spain and last year into Brasil. Next year the Australia Pro will become the Arnold Australia and in 2016 we’ll see an Arnold Classic South Africa.

arnold south africa

Wayne Price, former strongmen athlete and current President of South Africa National Bodybuilding Federation, made the news official on Facebook this evening.

“It is official, it is big news- Arnold Classic Sport Festival is coming to South Africa – Arnold Classic South Africa, will be hosted in Durban, South Africa 2016! Watch this space for the launch of the Arnold Classic South Africa facebook and webpage! Body Building and Fitness Rocks in South Africa.”

I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne and part of his team while in Columbus for the Arnold Sports Festival and they will be amazing. Look for another world-class event to be held in Durban, South Africa.

Interview with Iceland’s First (and only) IFBB Pro Margret Gnarr

Iceland’s first and only IFBB Pro took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share a bit more about herself. Margret Gnarr will be making her IFBB Pro debut this weekend at the Bikini International in Columbus, Ohio. You may not have heard much about her before but rest assured you will in the coming days. Marget’s hardbody and looks speak for themselves but what you may not have known is that she’s a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. Get to know a bit more about Margret and give her a bit of encouragement as she’s not only competing as a pro for the first time but also representing an entire country.

margret gnarr


Margret Gnarr

Born in:

Currently live in:
Reykjavik, Iceland

Any brothers or sisters?
Yes I have 6 siblings, 3 brothers and 3 sisters

Where do you fall in the ages?
I grew up with two of my siblings to the age of 11 and I was the middle child. My brother is 2 years older than me and my sister is 3 years younger.

Any pets?
I have two dogs. Dolly is a Chihuahua/Cavalier mix and Ronja is a Icelandic sheepdog / Russian sled dog mix.

One food you will NOT eat:
Cucumbers !!! Hate them! Sometimes I say I’m allergic just to avoid eating them! I don’t know what is is with cucumbers. My dad and my younger sister are the same. haha

After my workout I typically eat…
Chicken, sweet potatoes and sweet peppers

Did you play sports growing up?
Yes, I was all over the place growing up! I loved all sports and I was very active from a young age. My favorite class in school was gym-class! I started in gymnastics when I was 6 but I didn’t have a lot of discipline so my parents sent me to Taekwondo for one year. At the age of 8 I went into figure skating and that’s when I started competing in sports and absolutely loved competing! I wanted to be the first figure skating competitor from Iceland to compete at the winter Olympics! At the age of 14 I hurt my ankles and couldn’t handle the landings after the high jumps so I took 6 months off from training and after 6 months my friend asked me about Taekwondo and told me she wanted to try it out. I went with her to our first training and after my first Taekwondo class I was hooked. I stopped figure skating and found another passion. Soon I got in the youth national team in Olympic Taekwondo Sparring and started competing. I have competed several times in Taekwondo and I have the black belt. I have been doing Taekwondo for over 10 years.

margret gnarr world champions winner

How did you get into competing in Bikini?
I have been interested in Bikini fitness since 2008 when it started in Iceland. My friend competed at the IFBB Icelandic Championship and I thought she looked so great. I have always been interested in modeling and I am also a singer so I love to be on stage. When it comes to modeling I was always told I had the face for it but not the body. My body was too athletic for modeling. When I saw the Bikini fitness class for the first time I thought to myself: “that’s perfect for me!” But at that time I had very low self-esteem after years of bullying and I knew I had to work on my self first to be able to handle fitness competitions. In beginning of 2011 I finally had the self-esteem I needed and decided to compete. My first competition was the IFBB Icelandic Cup in November 2011 and after that contest I was hooked!

A singer huh… Who is your favorite singer?
I have so many favorite singers! Can’t pick one:) Here are couple of my absolute favorite: Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Imogen Heap, Hayley Williams and Jonathan Davis.

Will you give us a sample of your singing at the Arnold?
Yes! Of course! Will you play the guitar then?

margret gnarr world champions winner

Yes, totally! (Note to self forget to pack guitar).


Contest history:
IFBB Icelandic Cup 2011 – 3rd place
Arnold Amateur USA 2012 – 4th place
IFBB Icelandic Championhip 2012 – 2nd place
IFBB World Championship 2012 – NP
Arnold Amateur Europe 2012 – 13th place
IFBB Icelandic Cup 2012 – 1st place
IFBB World Championship 2013 – 1st place

How long have you been practicing taekwondo?
– For over 10 years now

Do you still do taekwondo while prepping for a bikini show?
I do Taekwondo in my off seasons but 12 weeks into a bikini show I only train Taekwondo

by myself. The reason is I don’t want to get hurt or bruised on Taekwondo trainings. When I train Taekwondo I do a lot of sparring and you can get hurt and that’s not good when you are prepping for a bikini show. Doesn’t look very good on stage to be bruised. haha

Do you have any foods in Iceland that you won’t find in the USA?
Yes! Icelandic Candy, Icelandic dry fish, Icelandic yogurt skyr.is (You can find Skyr in Wholefoods but its not the same as in Iceland)

margret gnarr world championships contest

What is Icelandic candy like?
– Its heaven! Icelandic chocolate is the BEST! I will bring some Icelandic candy with me for everybody to taste!!

What’s iceland dry fish like or is there nothing like it and it’s super amazing?
Icelandic dry fish is awesome in competition prep. There are 83 grams of protein in 100 grams of dry fish and no carbs. It’s very popular in Iceland and we grow up eating it like candy.

What’s the biggest difference between USA and Iceland that you’ve noticed?
The biggest difference in general is the size and population! There are 320.000 people who live in Iceland! That’s like a small town in the US!

How’s it feel to be the only IFBB Pro from Iceland?
I can’t explain the feeling. I still can’t believe I achieved that dream. Ever since I started competing I wanted to be the first Icelandic fitness competitor to become an IFBB Pro. I am honored to be the first IFBB Pro from Iceland and I hope I will make my country proud.

How long do you prepare for a competition?I’m prepping all year round but I start the competition diet 12 weeks into a competition.

Do you follow the same training you did from a couple years ago?
No, I got a new personal trainer last year and changed a lot. Doing more reps, lighter weights and more cardio.

Do you workout with a trainer?
No my coach lives on the other side of the country so I workout alone but sometimes a have a workout partner.

What tips would you give women who are looking for a trainer – what should they look for?
Always look for a trainer that has the right experience for your goals. I also think it’s really important to feel 100% trust to your trainer.

What are you doing when not measuring food, hitting the gym or hitting pads?
I’m a personal trainer, a posing coach, a spokesmodel and a singer. I barely get any free time! When I have some free time I like to just lay in bed and watch TV shows with my fiancé and my dogs and I also love to go to the spa at my gym, World Class.

I understand you have asthma. How do you overcome having asthma with cardio – any tips for others who suffer from asthma?
The right exercises helped me with my asthma. I barely feel it anymore. The asthma was very bad when I was younger but after I started doing sprints 3 times a week my endurance has never been better!

Do you listen to music while you work out? If so what’s your go to song for this prep?
Yes! I LOVE listening to music! I listen to dupstep and I have the volume very high. Keeps me more focused. Currently I’m listening to Skrillex, Modestep, NERO, Korn, House of Titans, Aviici and more.

What’s your typical breakfast look like?
I always have oatmeal for breakfast and when I’m not 12 weeks out from a bikini show I like to add cashew nuts, green apples and goji berries in my oatmeal.

photo of margret gnarr

Any tips for surviving a long flight?
Get a good sleep! That’s the best thing to do!

Has this prep been different from previous shows?
Yes, I have been doing way more cardio than I’m used to. That was probably the only difference but what matters most to me while prepping for a show is to feel good mentally, physically and emotionally.

How important is it to have a strong support system around you?
I find it very important because it keeps me motivated! That’s why I always surround myself with peop

le who support me.

Any one you’d like to thank?
There are so many people I would like to thank. My family and friends for all of their support. My coach Johann Nordfjord for always being there for me. My Icelandic sponsors: Nings, Harlengingar.is, Jan Tana Iceland, BPro Iceland, WOWair, Fitness Sport, Hamark, NYX Iceland, LG Simar, NIP+FAB Iceland, Fitness Akademian, Mizu beauty salon and Kiss Kringlunni. My American sponsors: BN Shape and Ravish Sands. I am also extremely thankful to the IFBB Pro league for giving me this amazing opportunity to compete at the Arnold Classic, Bikini international. It has been a dream ever since I started competing in Bikini fitness and I am so honored.

What’s the best advice anyone has given you so far in life?
My coach taught me not to take myself too seriously and that has helped me in my competitions and life in general.

Where can people find more info on you?
On my Facebook fan page www.facebook.com/margretgnarr
Twitter account @margretgnarr
Instagram @margretgnarr

What’s your favorite social media outlet?

Thanks for your time Margret and we look forward to seeing you compete at the Bikini International this weekend. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit arnoldsportsfestival.com and be sure to follow us on twitter.com/hardbodynews for updates through out the week.

Behind the scenes video from Marget’s photoshoot.

Photos provided by Margret Gnarr. Photographers Sasha Paleeva & Lalli Sig.

2014 Fitness International Preview, Poll & Predictions

The 2014 Fitness International is upon us once again and it will feature some of the most athletic women in the IFBB Pro League. The competitors have a variety of backgrounds from gymnastics to cheerleading, dance and more. The Fitness International has two round. The two-piece round where the competitors are judged on their physiques and the routine round. The routine round is always a highlight of the weekend as we see incredible feats of strength, endurance, flexibility and entertainment. The competitor list isn’t all that different from the 2013 roster but will the results end up the same? We’ll have to wait until Friday night to find out.

fitness international

Tanji Johnson is back to defend her title and will have her work cut out for her to make it two in a row. She had surgery last spring on her knee but proved it didn’t slow her down when she competed at the Olympia just a few months later. Oksana Grishina is always a crowd favorite and pushes the envelope with her routines. She makes incredibly difficult moves look easy and they are anything but simple. Bethany Cisternino always brings a great physique to the stage and has moved up into title contention with an improved routine.

Myriam Capes withdrew earlier this year due to injury which could open up a top five spot. Look for Regiane DaSilva, Trish Warren, Michelle Blank and Whitney Jones to make a run at the top six. Kizzy Vaines always seems to amaze the crowd with her insane flexibility but has been inconsistent with her performances.


Visit Bodybuilding.com for the complete preview and the skinny on all the athletes you’ll see in Columbus, OH on February 28.

Friday, February 28, 2014

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Arnold Fitness EXPO Stage

7 p.m.

2014 Bikini International Preview, Poll and Predictions

The 2014 Bikini International showcases a competitive field and you’d have better luck picking the lotto numbers than correctly predicting the top ten in exact order. The line-up has defending champion India Paulino in it along with Bikini Olympians Nathalia Melo and Ashley Kaltwasser. Rookie Janet Layug has caught the attention of fans online and hopes to do the same with the judges in her pro debut. Seasoned vets like Amanda Latona, Yeshaira Robles and Justine Munro will be looking to get into the top spots as well. Don’t count out third place at the Olympia, Stacey Alexander who came on strong at the end of 2013.

2014 bikini international

If history repeats itself, we’ll see a new Bikini International champion. Nicole Nagrani won the inaugural event and Sonia Gonzales took top honors the second time around. India Paulino edged out Nathalia Melo for the win last year. Read the skinny on all the competitors at Bodybuilding.com. The preview breaks down each competitor and what we might expect from the women next week in Ohio. One woman to watch who isn’t getting any attention but should is Margret Gnarr. She is Iceland’s only IFBB Pro and not only that but she’s a blackbelt in Taekwondo. Keep your eye on her, she’s good.

Cast your vote for who you think will win the 2014 Bikini International. The event takes place in Columbus, Ohio with the prejudging on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 2pm and the finals to follow later that night. For tickets visit arnoldsportsfestival.com.


2014 Figure International Preview, Poll & Predictions

The 2014 Figure International is one week away and defending champ, Candice Keene is looking to make it two wins in a row. Erin Stern didn’t submit for an invite and three-time Figure International Champ Nicole Wilkins withdrew due to an injury. One might think that would put Keene squarely in the driver’s seat for the victory however a few other women are looking to put the brakes on that.

2014 Arnold Figure International Preview, Poll & Predictions
Heather Dees was the runner-up last year and will bring a fuller look to the stage this year in hopes of moving up into the winner’s circle. Ann Titone has been putting in the work to continue to move up in the ranks and could be in the hunt for the top spot. She’s coming off her best year as a pro and hungry to keep the ball rolling. You can’t count out Camala Rodriquez who made the successful switch from Fitness to Figure and has more than held her own in every Figure competition she’s entered. How will Candice Lewis look? Will she come in conditioned enough in her legs to show off her incredible shape or will she be off the mark like she was at the 2013 Olympia? Those are questions we’ll have answered next week in Columbus.

You can’t overlook rookie Elissa Martis who won the 2013 Overall NPC Figure Nationals title and will be making her pro debut. A confident Alicia Coates has gone undefeated as a pro racking up two wins in her first two shows. Will she be able to hang with a deeper, more competitive line-up and make it three in a row?  Don’t bet against her but it’s far from a sure thing on that wager for another win. Dana Ambrose has quietly positioned herself as a top six contender. These women and others are in pursuit of one goal… shaking Arnold’s hand and being named the 2014 Figure International Champion.

For a full review of every competitor and my top 10 predictions (which are all in good fun and not to be taken personally) visit Bodybuilding.com. Follow HardbodyNews on twitter for more Arnold related news and be sure to use the hashtag #ASF2014 in all your social media posts.




This will be the last Arnold Classic at Veterans Memorial Auditorium

The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival will begin in just one week.  The Arnold Sports Festival is the largest multi-sport event in the United States. The four day event held in Columbus, Ohio plays host to over 18,000 athletes in more than 45 sports. Along with the athletes, the festival attracts more than 175,000 fitness fanatics each year.

Veterans Memorial Auditorium

The main attraction for bodybuilding fans is the Arnold Classic. The invite only event brings the world’s best IFBB Pro Bodybuilders to Columbus. Every year the Arnold Classic prejudging and finals are held at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium however this will be the final year for the event at the historic building.

The Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1955, to honor the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Over the years, the Vets Memorial has played host to a variety of events. One of the most significant events was in 1970. Thousands of fans witnessed Arnold Schwarzenegger being awarded the Mr. World title. In 1989, Arnold returned to Columbus and partnered with Jim Lormier to host the first annual Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic.

“The Arnold”, as it is known locally, makes the auditorium the center of the weightlifting and physical fitness universe every March. Today the event is the largest multi-sport festival in the nation and a bronze statue of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s classic bodybuilding pose is prominently located on the south lawn of Veterans Memorial. 

A report by Columbus Business First confirmed rumors that the Franklin County Veterans Memorial will be demolished. The city of Columbus has decided to redevelop the site and will move forward with what it calls the Scioto Peninsula plan, which includes a new Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum, a Columbus Zoo Indoor Adventure exhibit, mixed-use development and park and recreation space.

proposed vet auditorium A look at the roposed renovations to the existing Vets Memorial Auditorium.

Efforts were made to save the iconic auditorium with a renovation plan. The Veterans Memorial board proposed a $50-million to $60-million renovation plan of their own. The photo above was a proposed look to the auditorium however the efforts were not approved.

Ohio Veterans MemorialThe new Memorial and Museum will be built on the site of the current Franklin County Veterans Memorial.

Earlier this month, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation issued a Request for Qualifications for the construction of the new Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum Project.

Those in attendance for the 2014 Arnold will be part of history. If you haven’t purchased your tickets for the Arnold Classic, Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International, Figure International or Bikini International do so now. This will be your last chance to witness the events in the historic auditorium.

I’m told that the 2015 Arnold Classic events will be held at the convention center however nothing has been finalized as to exactly where. While it will be nice to have all the events in the same location and not have to worry about hailing a cab or finding parking, a little bit of the character will be lost. Like anything in life you have to expect change and embrace the good with the bad. I’ll make a little extra time to savor the events that take place this year in the auditorium. I’d encourage those of you in attendance to do the same and if you’re watching the webcast, know you’ll be witnessing history in the making as the events take place for the last time in the auditorium.



Arnold Amateur Competitor Lists Announced

The Eighth-Annual Arnold Amateur NPC/IFBB International Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini and Men’s Physique Championships will once again include amateur competitors from the NPC and IFBB from around the world. The Amateur competitor lists have been announced!

arnold amateur

Figure Competitors

Figure Competitors will be split into SIX classes (A,B,C,D,E,F) upon check in from the current 4 on this list.

Figure A Class
Olivia Bulls (Blacklick, OH)
Mary Carriedo (Canada)
Nadya Cortes-Spight (Chicago, IL)
Angela Derzapf (Germany)
Jennifer Everson (Pineville, NC)
Janaina Ferreira da Silva (Brasil)
Ekaterina Grima (Ukraine)
Katrina Kocielska (Canada)
Silvia Kovacsova (Australia)
Monica Lopez Jauregui (Mexico)
Nora Raquel Martinez Jara (Paraguay)
Valentina Mazzola (Italy)
Josefina Monsivais (New Lenox, IL)
Olesia Plikus (Russia)
Elda Priscila Segovia Lujan (Mexico)
Dusty Smith (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Chie Terui (Homewood, IL)

Figure B Class
Reem Al-Bareeq (United Kingdom)
Chazz Anderson (USA)
Karolina Botkova (United Kingdom)
Cricel Castillo (Belize)
Jennifer Collum (Kemp)
Alexandria Colmenares (Miami Lakes, FL)
Loreto Del Carmen Soto Nunez (Chile)
Shay Diggs (Baton Rouge, LA)
Macha Douard (Canada)
Kristine Duba (Panama City Beach, FL)
Etzel Dulcarmon Delgado (Panama)
Julia Emanuele (Canada)
Erika Furtado (USA)
Michelle Guest (South Africa)
Mandy Hill (Effingham, IL)
Susse Hougaard (Denmark)
Marsela Ilic (Serbia)
Yo Lazarov (United Kingdom)
Cecilie Lind (Denmark)
Christina Lopez (Des Plaines, IL)
Rosimar Regina Lopes da Silva (Brasil)
Jessica MacMillan (Canada)
Laura Maria Marenco Avalos (El Salvador)
Alicia McDowell (Evansville, IN)
Yaroslava Nikolaeva (Russia)
Melissa Norgart (USA)
Shelagh Paton (Canada)
Karla Plott (Jacksonville, FL)
Adriannie Ponce (Ithaca, NY)
Cristina Romano (Italy)
Nathalia Santoro (Brooklyn, NY)
Nicole Schepp (Canada)
Shameella Simons (Bermuda)
Beth Marie Siracuse (Upper Arlington, OH)
Nichole Stegall (Columbus, OH)
Alessandra Tantari (Italy)
Stina Telhammer (Sweden)
Amber Trapp (USA)
Wagna Vargas Savietto (Brasil)
Marjan Washington (USA)
Margita Zamolova (Czech Republic)

Figure C Class
Ania Anvaryfar (Canada)
Jheaneale Bahadosingh (Bahamas)
Oksana Balnyuk (Lakewood, OH)
Lesley Barents (Netherlands)
LauraLee Bater (Canada)
Sabrina Burgess (Bermuda)
Vanesa Burke (Kent, OH)
Kay Clark (South Africa)
Jaidy Cruz (Dominican Republic)
Elena Cuzuioc (Italy)
Berenice Gonzalez Ulloa (Mexico)
Renata Guaraciaba (Brasil)
Rachel Killam (Canada)
Marla Lepe (Goodyear, AZ)
Jaimy Maktari (Coral Springs, FL)
Sarah Parks (Raleigh, NC)
Eszter Patti (United Kingdom)
Zuleica Rezende (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Andressa Ribeiro (Orlando, FL)
Samantha Sage (Houston, TX)
Jennifer Salinas (Reynoldsburg, OH)
Brand Red Smith (Phoenix, AZ)
Carli Terepka (Medina, OH)
Lucrecia Tolkachier (Argentina)
Katie Wargo (Overland Park, KS)
Canan Yavas (Netherlands)

Figure D Class
Beata Antoninas (Canada)
Mayra Vianey Beaz Miguel (Mexico)_
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole (Australia)
Rebecca Black (Columbus, OH)
Ranae Cann (Bermuda)
Viaura Centeno (U.S. Virgin Islands)
L. Dawn Charlton (Bahamas)
Marcelle Collison (South Africa)
Andy Forbes (Australia)
Sarah Gacsy (USA)
Charlene Gilbert (Canada)
Katherine Glen (Canada)
Amanda Graham (USA)
Rachel Killam (Canada)
Virginia Kinkel (Australia)
Eliyan Lobez (Australia)
Melissa Moen (USA)
Nury Gabriela Perez Rivera (Mexico)
Amber Price (USA)
Rosemarie Roodenburg (Netherlands)
Kristin Russell (Garfield Heights, OH)
Samantha Smith (USA)
Laura Stevenson (Canada)
Solveig Wilhelms (Norway)
Carri Woodgerd (Glouster, OH)

Figure To Be Placed
Jessica Bertha Baldeon Caballeros (Peru)
Marie-Eve Bergeron (Canada)
Jessica Coate (New Zealand)
Corletto Jeaninne (Honduras)
Sonia Marcela Lopez (Honduras)

Figure Masters Short
Nadya Corest-Spight (Chicago, IL)
Loreto Del Carmen Soto Nunez (Chile)
Patrizia Garnero (Italy)
Jennifer Hill (USA)
Linda Jensen (Denmark)
Heidi Jentes (USA)
Donna LaFevers (USA)
Theresa Lombardo (USA)
Jessica MacMillan (USA)
Laura Maria Marenco Avalos (El Salvador)
Josefina Monsivais (USA)
Melissa Norgart (USA)
Nicole Schepp (Canada)
Deb Seyler (USA)
Melitta Simmons (Dublin, OH)
Beth Marie Siracuse (Upper Arlington, OH)
Viviana Smerilli (USA)
Dusty Smith (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Amber Trapp (USA)
Sandy Wilkerson (USA)

Figure Masters Medium
Rosalind Louise Alexander (Singapore)
Ania Anvaryfar (USA)
LauraLee Bater (Canada)
Federica Ghezzi (Italy)
Kim Gramlich (Canada)
Heidi Griffin (Columbus, OH)
Sophie Haddad (Dearborn Heights, MI)
Kristin H. Kristjansdottir (Iceland)
Jaimy Maktari (Coral Springs, FL)
Sarah Parks (USA)
Rosemarie Roodenburg (Netherlands)
Brandy Red Smith (Phoenix, AZ)
Sonia Tavares (Brasil)
Yolanda Tillman (USA)

Figure Masters Tall
Leslie Eason (USA)
Sharon Fillyaw (Boston, MA)
Tina Glass (Little Rock, AK)
Katherine Glen (Canada)
Marta Lepe (Goodyear, AZ)
Zuleica Rezende (Deerfield Beach, FL)

Figure Masters To Be Placed
Sabrina Burgess (Bermuda)
Ranae Cann (Bermuda)
Ursula Maria Domingues Von Randow (Brasil)
Sabine Firmin Guidon (New Caledonia)
Viviana Evangelina Gimenez Guanez (Paraguay)
Jodie Parker (Australia)
Maria Scotland (United Kingdom)
Shameella Simons (Bermuda)
Brigitte Subrin (France)
Melissa Yates (Canada)
Canan Yavas (Netherlands)

Women’s Physique Competitors

Women’s Physique Short
April Dumouchel (Canada)
Brewer Eklund (USA)
Carina Roxana Espinoza (Argentina)
Chanthavivone Gambel (USA)
Federica Gastaldi (Italty)
Rosanna Harte (United Kingdom)
Teresa Heron (Canada)
Karolina Holubcova (Czech Republic)
Yeona Kim (Hong Kong)
Michelle Larrieux (Killeen, TX)
Christina Lopez (Des Plaines, IL)
Giuditta Magazzino (Italy)
Kashma Siana Maharaj (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Silvia Matta (Italy)
Amy Mendez (USA)
Margaret Negrete (El Paso, TX)
Guadalupe Ortiz (Mexico)
Gabriela Quiros (Miami, FL)
Britney Sheehan (Lakeland, FL)
Marisol Solis Vazquez (Mexico)
Marea Warde (United Kingdom)
Toni Wheeler (USA)
Amy Wolf (Ypsilanti, MI)

Women’s Physique Tall
Bianca Antunes Nobrega (Brasil)
Reshanna Boswell (Chicago, IL)
Samantha Bourassa (USA)
Hayley Brylewski (United Kingdom)
Lucy Cerantula (Canada)
Lorena Inarra Duque (Spain)
Robin Eve (Canada)
Julia Fory (Switzerland)
Gwen Fuerte (Beloit, WI)
Anthony Clyde Gibson (Guyana)
Alexandra Heberger (Canada)
Sara Heimis (Iceland)
Christine Henson (USA)
Toni Hill (Austin, TX)
Suzy Kellner (Delray Beach, FL)
Katie Lee (Germantown, MD)
Joan Liew Lee Ting (Singapore)
Camila Mendes de Campos de Silva (Brasil)
Ester Parisi (Italy)
Lada Plihalova (Czech Republic)
Evy Anita Rustad (Norway)
Paola Jaira Sanchez Bonetti (Dominican Republic)
Jennifer Scott (Gilbert, AZ)
Nicole Sill (Dublin, OH)
Iris Swatuk (Canada)
Kristina VanderWaal Shober (Reading, PA_
Luciane Vieira (Brasil)
Jorine Wieringa (Netherlands)
Veronica Young (USA)

Women’s Physique To Be Placed
Jeaneth Saskia Argandona Palomino (Peru)
Veronica Del Carmen Carassai Teran (Peru)

Bikini Competitors

Bikini A Class
Melanie Albert (USA)
Rachel Antal (North Canton, OH)
Romina Marcela Basualdo (Argentina)
Alice Belia (Italy)
Francesca Biondi (Italy)
Clarissa Campos de Oliveira (Brasil)
Aimee Chandara (Pickerington, OH)
Virginia Coffman (Philippines)
Julenoy Dias Vieira (Brasil)
Katalin Egervari (Hungary)
Amanda Fantell (Anchorage, AK)
Zina Figgiani (USA)
Amanda Fils-Aime (Virginia Beach, VA)
Sara Fiorenzo (USA)
Rosalyn Flores (Phillipines)
Joey Guz (USA)
Cydney Herndon (USA)
Marvelyn Iweh (Austin, TX)
Nikki Jenkins Robinsons (United Kingdom)
Virag Kiss (Hungary)
Michelle Kling (Edina, Minn.)
Arlene Oliva (Tampa, Fla.)
Yulia Pudovikova (Russia)
Marissa Rodriguez (Canada)
Nina Ross (United Kingdom)
Carolina Solano Peralta (Dominican Republic)
Julia Souza (Orlando, Fla.)
Kimberly Turner (USA)
Alexis Weber (USA)
Payton Whitt (Point Pleasant, WV)

Bikini B Class
Maddie Abrams (Chicago, IL)
Tumeko Allen (USA)
Angelica Angel-Robert (Westerville, OH)
Amanda Barango (Chicago, IL)
Anita Bekus (United Kingdom)
Heather Cobb (USA)
Megan Divincenzo (Bay Village, OH)
Kiah Douglas (Maumee, OH)
Jennifer Espinoza (USA)
Renee Hagans (USA)
Arlene Hanson (USA)
Karen Meiling Hardy (USA)
Brianna Hogan (Aurora, CO)
Lauren Huddleston (USA)
Alexandra Kazmierczak (Canada)
Angie Mellon (Grove City, OH)
Gabriela Mendieta (USA)
Ericka Morales Jeanette Morgan (Guatemala)
Jolie Mosser (Grand Rapids, MI)
Shannon O’Shea (Fort Worth, TX)
Naylan Pulaski (Houston, TX)
Zinaida Rudenko (Russia)
Maide Salles Nogueira (Brasil)
Naiara Schubert (Brasil)
Agnes Sebestyen (Hungary)
Missraeli Jatziri Serrano Salcido (Mexico)
Ashley Sisko (USA)
Sachie Sonkin (USA)
Elena Christina Spinu (Hollywood, FL)
Antonella Trantaki (Germany)
Brooke Walker (USA)
Je Williams (Tampa, FL)
Marne Wilson (USA)
Christel Yr Johansen (Iceland)

Bikini C Class
Casey Adkins (USA)
Oksana Artemova (Russia)
Lorena Arzate Mendoza (Mexico)
Jessica Bradhurst (Grove City, OH)
Caroline Cadore (Brasil)
Heather Caster (Kansas City, MO)
Chelsea Christene (USA)
Emily Cesefske (USA)
Chelsea Christensen (Denmark)
Jana Costa (Rockville, MD)
Maranda Davis (North Little Rock, AK)
Tess de Wild (Netherlands)
Maizee Demske (Clearwater, Fla.)
Anya Ells (Canada)
Kristina Feduik (Pickerington, OH)
Lindsey Flowers (Willoughby, OH)
Melanie Galles (USA)
Federica Gobbetti (Italy)
Tracy Gramer (Atlanta, GA)
Fernanda Gratton (El Paso, TX)
Ruth Harper (Alexandria, VA)
Chantelle Harvey-Houghton (Canada)
Samantha Hastings (Gulfport, MS)
Heather Hayes (USA)
Gabriela Hosakova (Darien, CT)
Courtney Jacobs (Norfolk, VA)
Yana Kashcheeva (Russia)
Amanda Kurt (Maumee, OH)
Jenna Lightgow (South Africa)
Nicole Massaro (USA)
Brittany McIntyre (Charlotte, NC)
Kadian Mijic (USA)
Olga Helena Olafsdottir (Iceland)
Torrey Peak (USA)
Tiffany Ranalli (Columbus, OH)
Natasha Ray (Canada)
Heather Rickard (Jacksonville, FL)
Irina Rose (Key West, FL)
Julie Royer (Canada)
Cassandra Sarver (Pataskala, OH)
Andrea Secara (Downers Grove, IL)
Brenda Angelica Sosa Popoca (Mexico)
Jill Smetz-Klinker (Attica, NY)
Alina Stepanova (Russia)
Katya Syrkanova (Russia)
Ekaterina Usmanova (Russia)
Stephanie Winter (East Peoria, IL)
April Wintle (Bethesda, MD)

Bikini D Class
Rachel Alker (USA)
Sarah Allen (Australia)
Alane Ayet Adapt (USA)
Cleo Brown (USA)
Ana Rita Contreras (Dominican Republic)
Britainie DeGarbott (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)
MarJeana DeHayes (USA)
Cara Dukes (USA)
Melanie Evans (Champaign, IL)
Phyllis Frempong (USA)
Anna Friske (USA)
Kershawna Griffin (USA)
Kristin Elisabet Gunnarsdottir (Iceland)
Beth Hall (Anderson, IN)
Tiffany Inboden (USA)
Traci Kilgore (USA)
Olivia McIntire (Delaware, OH)
Liudmila Melik-Eganova (USA)
Tayler Parry (North Kansas City, MO)
Cherie Robar (USA)
Tiffany Robertson (USA)
Alzira Isabel Rodriguez Castro (Dominican Republic)
Kathryn Schlake (USA)
Vladyslava Selitbovska (Ukraine)
Allison Solomon (USA)
Gergana Stambolieva (Cincinnati, OH)
Danielle Sudbeck (Lakeland, FL)
Lisa Marie Tydings (Rochester, NY)
Irina Vasilyeva (Russia)
Olga Viazmetinova (Ukraine)
Kathy Williams (Charlotte, NC)
Kenea Yancey (Atlanta, GA)

Bikini E Class
Alesia Chuchkevich (USA)
Lauren D’Errico (USA)
Diana Nataly Delgado Balseca (Ecuador)
Egle Eller-Nabi (Estonia)
Sophie Guidolin (Australia)
Magnea Gunnarsdottir (Iceland)
Kennetha Harris (Canal Winchester, OH)
Chanel Harris-Crawford (USA)
Vivian Hodges (Reynoldsburg, OH)
Audray Hunt (Gilbert, AZ)
Hannade Ibramhim (Valparaiso, OH)
Katalin Jasztrab (Hungary)
Stefanie Juliana (Netherlands)
Kerri Keller (USA)
Leslie Lewis (Naples, FL)
Olivia London (Canada)
Mimi Macias (Las Vegas, NV)
Yitzel Mansour (USA)
Jessica McKenzie (Dover, DE)
Tiffany Morice (Chicago, IL)
Summer Nelson (Batavia, OH)
Ashley Nelson (USA)
Lisa Netherly (Columbus, OH)
Clarissa Powell (USA)
Gabriella Rakoczi (Hungary)
Alaina Ravens (USA)
Edyta Schwartz (USA)
Melissa Simpson (USA)
Lauren Tapp (USA)
Sandra Tavarez (USA)
Ekaterina Timofeeva (Russia)
Victoria Walker (Virginia Beach, VA)
Jill Zaslavsky (Findlay, OH)

Bikini F Class
Jenni Aaskov (Denmark)
Vanessa Albarran (USA)
Amy Bella (Erie, PA)
Jessica Bish (USA)
Deavin Bowser (Kalamazoo, MI)
Brittany Brinkman (Columbus, OH)
Jill Bunny (Canada)
Tyler Dean (College Station, TX)
Andrea DeOrio (Louisville, KY)
Helen Fritsch (Charlotte, NC)
Stephanie Gemmer (Topeka, KS)
Brittany Gill (Beckley, WV)
Nini Gothler (Denmark)
Lacey Hill (USA)
Kathrin Hollman (Germany)
Anna Kiseleva (Russia)
Cassandra Marshall (USA)
Traisha Martin (USA)
Shawna McClosky (Orient, OH)
Liana Moroz (Russia)
Tressia Murphy (Canada)
Alexis Nicole (Dublin, OH)
Alexandra Roane (Bowie, MD)
Nicole Simos (Troy, OH)
Olga Svyrydova (USA)
Shirley van den Box (Netherlands)
Josiane Weber (Brasil)
Carley Wissner (USA)
Alexis Young (Syracuse, NY)
Aoalheiour Yr Olafsdottir (Iceland)

Bikini To Be Placed
Gabrielle Ahmed (Canada)
Holly Baker (Canada)
Lourdes Facunada Cabrejos Vasquez (Peru)
Aimee Chitty (New Zealand)
Marina Diaz (France)
Martine Gauthier (Canada)
Marcia Cristina Goncalves de Souza (Brasil)
Michelle Jager (Canada)
Giannina Lujan-Ripoll Acevedo (Peru)
Sheena Martin (New Zealand)

Fitness Competitors

Fitness Short
Anna-Elise Bowman (Raleigh, NC)
Donnice Christian (USA)
Kristine Duba (Panama City Beach, FL)
Sydney Gilpin (Tulsa, OK)
Cicely Kyle (Mobile, AL)
Amber Parsley (Hilliard, OH)
Kendra Stiffler (Columbus, OH)
Monica Vargas (USA)
Toni Wheeler (USA)

Fitness Tall
Alyssa Gualtieri (Worthington, OH)
Brittany Kanne (Canada)
Samantha Sage (USA)

Women’s Fitness To Be Places
Marta Aguiar (Uruguay)
Olena Chekerda (Italy)
Giorgia Foroni (Italy)
Luidmila Nikitina (Russia)
Oksana Orobets (Ukraine)
Christine Ray (Australia)
Yanina Terragni (Argentina)
Aurika Tyrgale (Russia)

For the men’s list and for more information visit: http://arnoldamateur.com

Six Exercises to Six Pack Abs with Juliana Daniell

NBA cheerleader for the Atlanta Hawks and Arnold Sports competitor, Juliana Daniell shares her six exercises to six pack abs. Juliana has one of the more athletic physiques in the IFBB Pro Bikini division and one of her best body parts are her abs. She breaks down how she keeps her abs in looking tight in six exercises you can perform anywhere.

six pack abs

Give Juliana’s Ab workout a try and let her know how you like it.

Six Exercises to Six Pack Abs with Juliana Daniell.

Do you have a hard floor?

Do you have two hand towels and have a few minutes?

Well, that’s all you’re going to need to complete this ab series and be on your way to a tighter, flatter stomach! I am constantly changing up my ab routine not only because I get bored, but also because my muscles seem to adapt to exercises quickly. I’ve noticed I tend to plateau shortly there after. So by switching it up constantly, targeting ALL the muscles in my mid-section and doing them four to five days a week I am able to keep my midsection in check and where I like it.

Most people think that to get that six pack of abs you just crunch your life away; well news flash, you have four groups of muscles that make up your midsection and you have to target all three groups not just one. And of course your diet is a HUGE factor in our stomach’s appearance, but that’s a whole separate blog for a different day! 😉

I personally like to target more of my transverse abdominals; the muscles that you can’t actually see but lay underneath the muscles that you can see when you have a six-pack. For me this helps with my posture, it helps my back to be stable and secure and most importantly it keeps my stomach pulled in nice and tight even when I don’t have a visible six pack.

Below is an ab series I like to do that targets your transverse abdominals but of course incorporates the other groups, internal and external obliques and rectus abdominis, as well. Remember the key to these exercises is not speed or how many you can do, but how controlled you can be and in touch you can become with all of the muscles that make up your midsection.

Exercise 1: Bridge with a heel pull using towels.
Lie on flat on the floor, arms at your sides; knees in a bent position and feet flat on the floor on top of your towels.

Raise your hips into a bridge position, control your breathing and keep your glutes squeezed nice and tight the entire time.

Alternate legs, and maintain your bridge the entire time, slide one leg out straight using your heel to move the towel and make the letter D with your right foot and a backwards D with your left foot. And then reverse the motion the next set, so instead of going straight down to start, move your foot out to the side to make the curve of the D first and finish the movement but pulling your heel straight up the middle.

Complete 15 repetitions on each leg.

Exercise 2: Plank with knee pull-ins using towels.
Get into a plank position with hands flat on the floor, shoulders are directly above your hands and toes on top of your towels. Side note: if a plank position hurts your wrists or shoulders you can always perform this on your elbows, but it’s just a little bit harder =) and for your wrists you could perform these holding on to two free weights if you have them to allow your hands to not be flat on the floor and wrist in a stressed position.

While in the plank position make sure your booty isn’t too low causing a huge dip in your back or that your booty isn’t popped up too high either. Just be right in the middle. You will then alternate feet and pull one leg into your chest by sliding the towel all the way till your knee is almost tucked underneath you, perform on the other side the same way. Make sure your core is tight at all times, your breathing is normal, and you keep that neutral line so that you are truly using all of your muscles and not just rectus abdominis. This exercise can be performed slowly or with a slight pep in your step if you wanted to make it a little more challenging.

Complete 30 pull-ins on each leg.

Exercise 3: Windshield wipers with straight legs.
Lie flat on your back; arms outstretched making yourself look like the letter T. Raise your feet keeping your legs straight and rock your legs from side to side creating a tick-tock motion. If you want to make this more challenging place something between your feet (a pillow, a book, a can of food anything it doesn’t matter just be sure if its hard that you don’t drop it on your face!!) that you have to squeeze throughout the set. If these are too hard for you to begin with, you can always do them with your knees bent, or go as far to each side as you can and work up to being able to make the full range of motion. Note that your feet should never touch the floor and your abs should be engaged and breathing normal the entire time.

Perform 15 reps per side for a total of 30.

Exercise 4: Straight Leg Crunches
Pretty straight forward exercise. Lay on the floor with legs straight. Perform a basic crunch but make sure you are not pulling on your neck or head and that you breath out at the top of each crunch really contracting those ab muscles. You can also switch it up and put one foot on top of the other and perform the crunch and switch feet half way through.

Complete 20 crunches or 10 per foot on top, for a total of 20.

Exercise 5: Pelvic tilts (one of my favs!!)
This is an exercise where you will get super in tune with the muscles that make up your inner core. Lay flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your feet are not together but placed comfortably apart. I prefer to either have my hands on my hips or on the top of my lower stomach during this exercise and I usually rotate between the two areas throughout the entire set. This exercise is really going to ensure your pelvis is in the right place, rotated correctly and supported and really targets the transverse abominis muscles.

Once you are all set and in position you are going to essentially rotate your hips by trying to pull your spine flat against the floor. The key here is to not allow your abs, the ones you can see in the mirror, or your obliques, the ones on your sides, to do ANY of the work. It is a very small, subtle movement and you might think its not doing anything or a waste of time, but I promise, when done correctly, it proves amazing results. It’s hard, frustrating at times and super challenging, so just work on it and eventually you will be using the right muscle because your stomach won’t raise up or get tight and you will really be able to feel those inner muscles working. And if it helps you, go ahead and watch your stomach while you do it so that you can SEE if it’s actually raising, getting tight, or just remaining flat and unflexed like it’s suppose too. Practice and patience are the keys to success with this exercise!! =)

Hold each repetition for 5 Mississippi’s and repeat 4 times.

Exercise 6: Tummy suck-ins
These can be done in a sitting position and the movement its literally sucking your stomach in as hard as you can; trying to pull your belly button in as far as it can go and really flexing and tensing all the muscles in your core and make sure the lower stomach is doing some work as well.

Hold each suck-in for 5 Mississippi’s and repeat 4-5 times.

You can go through these six exercises 2 or 3 times depending on how you feel. If you need more do more, if you need less do less. Totally up to you and your body!

Hope you enjoy it and I look forward to see those tight flat tummies!! 😉

Follow Juliana on twitter and give her Facebook page a like.


six pack ab training

Yeshaira Robles – Two Weeks Out From The Arnold

Yeshaira Robles gives fans an update via her Youtube channel. She gives a bit of a confessional style video. Yeshaira is prepping for the Bikini International at the same time her significant other, Marco Rivera, is prepping for the inaugural Arnold 212 Bodybuilding.

Yeshaira Robles Road to The Arnold

She ends the video update with a couple samples of her training legs two weeks out from the Arnold. You can subscribe to her YOUTUBE channel here and follow along as she heads into the Arnold.

Follow Yeshaira on twitter @yeshaira.

2014 Arnold Brasil Competitors’ List Announced

Twelve IFBB Fitness Pros and thirteen IFBB male bodybuilders will head to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil in hopes of notching their names in the Arnold history books. The second annual Arnold Classic Brasil will take place on April 25-27, 2014 and the fields are competitive. Ryall Graber will be back to defend her Arnold Brasil Fitness title. She took top honors at the inaugural event held last year.

competitors arnold brazil

Defending her title won’t be easy as top contenders Myriam Capes and Bethany Cisternino are slated to compete. Michelle Blank and Regiane DaSilva have also proven to be contenders in every show they enter. See the entire competitor list and press release below.

Freeman, Young Stars Highlight 2014 Arnold Classic Brasil Field
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Toney Freeman, runner-up at the inaugural Arnold Classic Brasil in 2013, and a host of young stars highlight a deep and talented men’s open professional bodybuilding field at the second-annual Arnold Classic Brasil, set for April 25-27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

The Arnold Classic Brasil and the IFBB Pro League today announced the fields for the Arnold Classic Brasil and the Arnold Fitness Brasil competitions.

Freeman finished second to inaugural Arnold Classic Brasil champion Brandon Curry in April 2013. Freeman finished third in the Arnold Classic and second at the Australian Pro during a successful 2013 season. He will be challenged by upstarts Steve Kuclo (winner of the 2013 Dallas Europa Show), Juan Diesel Morel and Jonathan De La Rosa. Roelly Winklaar and Lionel Beyeke are among the veterans also expected to contend for the title.

In the Arnold Fitness Brasil, Bethany Cisternino and Myriam Capes lead a field of 12 of the IFBB Pro League’s top fitness competitors.

2014 Arnold Classic Brasil Competitor Lists:

Men’s Bodybuilding (13)
Lionel Beyeke
Jonathan De LaRosa
Marius Dohne
Toney Freeman
Michael Kefalianos
Martin Kjellstrom
Steve Kuclo
Juan Diesel Morel
Ed Nunn
Robert Piotrkowicz
Fred Smalls
Roelly Winklaar
Hidetada Yamagishi

Fitness (12)
Marta Aguiar
Michelle Blank
Myriam Capes
Bethany Cisternino
Regiane DaSilva
Ryall Graber
Fiona Harris
Amanda Hatfield
Whitney Jones
Babette Mulford
Danielle Ruban
Diana Monteiro

The Arnold Classic Brasil and Arnold Fitness Brasil are IFBB Pro League competitions that will take place April 26, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Visit www.arnoldclassicbrasil.com.br for more information and ticketsforfun.com.br for ticket information.

Yeshaira Robles’ Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Yeshaira Robles stops by with an update on her Arnold prep. If you’ve ever prepared for a competition with your significant other you know it’s often a roller coaster of emotions. Yeshaira shares a candid conversation she was faced with over cooking fish and shares her go-to recipe for cooking turkey.

Yeshaira Robles Bikini


What’s up Hardbodies?!

3 weeks “Holla”!  My prep is going great and I keep seeing lots of changes every week.  I look like a 12 year old because I’m getting tiny. I haven’t had a cheat meal. I will have one when I deserve one, reason why is becasue I was enjoying it during prep 8, 7 and 6 weeks out. OK, so I had one poptart when I was 5 weeks out but that was it. I’m hoping to reach my target weight by Valentine’s Day so that Marco can take me out for some sushi yum.

Marco and I have been playing around with different recipes. We try to make our food enjoyable rather then say “ugh” and “I have to eat this.”  I have to share this story with you guys. I told Marco the other day to please take out the fish from the fridge so that I can bake it when I get home. When I got home he had already prepared and cooked my fish. The next morning I leave for work with my meals. When its time for me to eat, I go down to the cafeteria and pull out the fish. When I tell you that fish tasted like it was from the sea oh man it did.

Marco came to pick me up from work that day, I told him “babe, Thanks for cooking the fish for me. What did you season it with?”

Marco: “Why?”

Me: “Because it tasted like fish.”

Marco: “It IS fish.”

Me:  “I mean fish like if I fished it out from the sea.”

Marco: “You know what I ain’t never cooking for you again.”

Me: “I mean I’m not saying nothing bad I’m just asking,” LOL. I think its best that I prepare my own food anyways haha.

See some of my prep videos on Youtube.

Soon we will be in Columbus! I can’t wait.

Until next time Keep Training Hard =D

Yeshaira Robles

Follow Yeshaira on twitter @yeshaira and “like” her Facebook fan page. You can keep up to date on Yeshaira’s YOUTUBE channel as well.

Read More on Yeshaira’s Road to The Arnold.


Oksana Grishina’s Road to The Fitness International

Hi Hardbody fans and friends! I’m always happy to share my thoughts with you before the Arnold Classic, so here’s another blog for you!

There are only three weeks to go before the show, and I can’t wait to get on the Arnold stage! My performance is just about ready. Now I’m working on my stamina, to put both parts of my routine together, and be sure I have energy to jump to the pole!

Fitness champion Oksana Grishina - Hardbody Road to the Arnold

Thanks to all of you for your interest in my routine, and your many supportive comments and shared videos. I really hope you like this new performance but, of course, this is still Fitness, so my focus is on completing strong and clean Fitness elements in my routine. I am very thankful to X-Pole for making this performance possible. I am grateful, also, to SAN Nutrition and Six Pack Bags for their constant support over the year. SAN supplements and my Six Pack bag both help me keep my energy up, while staying on my diet, day in and day out.

Fitness is a tough sport. Even as we work hard to perfect our routines, we must stay on a strict diet that challenges our energy reserves, and train hard in the gym to maintain muscle mass, tone, and definition to present a great shape on stage. We fight through pain and small injuries all the time, but sometimes it’s more than a body can take. Injuries are always a risk, and I am sad to see great athletes like Myriam Capes unable to make it to the stage. I know she’s a fierce competitor, so I expect to see her again at the Olympia. For the next three weeks, my goal is to keep my body as safe as possible, while finishing my prep.

Working with the pole has been a completely new workout and set of movements for me. I started from scratch, never having used a pole before, and it’s been really cool to experience the learning process from the beginning. It’s such a great workout for the whole body—arms, abs, back, legs! I am always working with my body weight, and I can see gains in size and strength in my arms from just the last few months. It’s hard work, but great fun, so give it a try. Of course, be ready for some bumps and bruises at the beginning, lol. But with experience, you’ll find your way more gently :).

As some of you may know, I’ve had a documentary film team following me around for a few months. Fall Guy Productions will continue to follow my prep and the competition at the Arnold, and I’m really excited to share some behind-the-scenes views of Fitness! I’ve never had to go through my prep in front of a film crew before, so this will mean some extra work for me, but it’s a new experience and I want to share my Fitness prep with fans. It’s a great opportunity to see what Fitness competition and the life of a Fitness athlete is like. I hope this gives fans, people in other parts of our business, and the broader public, a better understanding of what a Fitness competition is.

Thanks, again, for all the support you’ve been giving me online, through Facebook and Twitter. I will continue to post my pole workout videos, leading up to the Arnold. I hope some of you will give pole fitness a try. To all my sister competitors: stay safe, stay strong, keep motivating others, and good luck on the Arnold stage!!

With love,


Myriam Capes Withdraws from Fitness International Due to Injury

Myriam “Mimi” Capes, one of Canada’s top Fitness pros, announced that she will be withdrawing from the 2014 Fitness International due to an injury. Myriam is a top five contender in every shows she enters and over the years has refined her physique to be a threat for the top spots. She always bring an entertaining routine with powerful moves. She was certainly a contender for the top spots in this year’s event once again and will be missed in the line-up. She shared the news on her Facebook page expressing her disappointment.

myriam capes out


I’m very disappointed to announce that I won’t be able to participate at the Arnold festival this year due an old back injurie that came back last week while practising routine. Fitness is a hard sport for the body and we all go trow the same things. I had a tuff week last week being on intense treatments and medicine to get rid of the pain but my body seem to need a brake to heal and recover completely. I will take the time my body needs to get back stronger for the OLYMPIA.

Would like to thanks my team Behind me who support and believe in me my coreographer Brigitte Korak, my trainer Kim Kim Oddo, my main sponser HTN, Véronique Pro Circuit , Arnold festival as well as my family, friends and fans.

We wish Myriam a speedy recovering and look forward to seeing her back on stage soon. See some of Myriam’s contest photos and history here.

Hardbody Road to The Arnold – Fit and Healthy with Jess

Top IFBB Bikini Pro, Jessica Mone updates us on her prep for the 2014 Arnold. Jessica will be competing at the Bikini International and has been kind enough to share her journey with Hardbody. Jess shares, “to the spectators you look like the epitome of health, but are you really?” Read on…

jessica mone blog


Fit and Healthy…?
It’s the day of the show, the moment you have been prepping for for weeks! All of the blood sweat and tears you have poured over the stepmill and 5 billion meals of fish sweet potatoes and asparagus have SO been worth it, right?!

You look amazing on stage. To the spectators you look like the epitome of health, but are you really?

We all know what it takes to get in show shape and many of us would say that we feel the furthest thing from healthy on those days leading up to the show.

We have all heard about some of the damaging things people are doing to get ready for these shows, not knowing how bad they are really hurting their bodies.

That is why last year going into the Arnold I made the goal of getting into the best shape (mentally physically and emotionally) of my life. This was one of the best decisions I could have ever made!

I wanted to share with y’all what has continued to make my show prep, and more important, my every day life so much healthier!

My husband and I make a daily “green drink” that is truly an anti inflammatory, alkalizing,  immune system boosting, toxic removing, disease fighting, energy cranking, skin glowing, internal deodorant, bowel cleaning DREAM!!! 🙂 lol.

I could go through and list what each ingredient specifically does, but this blog would be never ending. I figured that little description would peak your interest and you would do your own research, like I did, and learn some amazing holistic ways to help better your health!

Sure, you can add some fruits in with this to try and make it taste better, but honestly we just chug it down bc the benefits far out way the need for it to taste good for me :).

See our “GREEN DRINK” ingredients / recipe here.

I can promise you, you won’t regret adding this into your health and fitness routine. Especially for us competitors that can tend to feel a little run down as the show gets closer.

I notice a definite increase in energy, less sickness, my skin has never looked better and I always suffered from issues with IBS (TMI sorry!) and I can’t believe how that has cleared up!. The amazing part is reading about the long term health and disease (etc) fighting benefits!!! They are endless!

We are 5 weeks away from the Arnold! I hope to bring a great look to the stage, but  I KNOW for sure I will be bringing a HEALTHY from the inside out look:) and to me that is truly WINNING!

Thanks for reading! God bless!

Please write to me in the comments or tweet me at @JessFit with some suggestions on topics you would like for me to write about in future blogs.

Read my first blog of the year here.


Free Webcast of 2014 Arnold Classic

Bodybuilding.com Announces Exclusive 2014 Arnold Webcast
Boise, ID – January 23, 2014 – Bodybuilding.com, the Internet’s most-visited fitness website and largest online retailer of nutritional supplements, will offer a free worldwide webcast of the 2014 Arnold Classic, presented by Optimum Nutrition, BSN, and Cellucor.

free arnold webcast
The 2014 Arnold Classic is a must-see event for all fans of physique competition. Thanks to this live webcast, everyone can tune in—for free! The live HD webcast, as well as post-event video-on-demand replays, will stream on the Bodybuilding.com website, the Livestream Chromecast app & Roku channel for those watching on smart TVs, the Livestream mobile app, and on a special webcast tab on the Bodybuilding.com Facebook page.

The webcast will commence with the live IFBB pro events on Friday night, February 28 from Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST (3:30 p.m. PST). The Friday night webcast will feature the finals for the inaugural Men’s 212 division (men weighing 212 lbs or less), as well as the beautiful women of the Fitness International and Figure International competitions.

On Saturday, March 1, the webcast coverage will continue at 1:30 p.m. EST, before culminating with the Saturday night show at 6:30 p.m. EST. Saturday coverage will feature the men’s Arnold Classic competition, as well as the fan-favorite Bikini International, and plenty of pre-show discussion and post-show analysis and interviews. It will also include the annual Fan’s Choice Award, where fans get to vote for their favorite athlete. As always, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself will be on hand to congratulate the winners and interview them after their victories.

2014 Arnold Classic Webcast player
Each live segment will kick off with with an insightful pre-show discussion hosted by veteran sports broadcaster Dave Farra (SyFy, Fox Sports, NBC), who will also provide play-by-play coverage of the competition. Farra will be joined by a panel of leading experts including Larry Pepe (Fox Sports), one of the most trusted voices in bodybuilding. Top female physique competitors Felicia Romero and Kathleen Tesori will provide valuable insight into the women’s figure, fitness, and bikini competitions.

Stay tuned for details and more 2014 Arnold Sports Festival coverage available soon at Bodybuilding.com!

Bodybuilding.com helps more than 10 million people every month achieve their health, fitness, and appearance goals by offering over 13,000 health and fitness supplements and accessories. It also offers more than 35,000 pages of FREE information, including more than 20,000 articles and videos, expert online trainers, and new content added daily!

Hardbody PROfile: Elissa Martis – Doctor of Physical Therapy

The 2014 Figure International is just a few weeks away and the competition will be fierce. While much of the chatter is on the seasoned veterans for the top spot, one Florida competitor is quietly training for an upset. Elissa Martis has a smile that will light up the darkest room and a physique that will stop traffic at the busiest intersection. It’s a honor to be selected to compete at the Arnold and to do so as a rookie, in your pro debut is promising.

Elissa Hardbody Profile

She was the 2013 NPC Figure National overall champion and she’s put together an impressive competitive resume in a short amount of time. When you learn what she’s gone through to get there, you’ll admire her accomplishments event more. We caught up with Elissa as she preps for her trip to Columbus and compete against some of the world’s best physiques.


elissa abs dan ray photo

Full Name:
Elissa Leandra Martis

Born in:West Palm Beach, FL

Currently live in:
Jupiter, FL

Any siblings?
1 brother, Ricardo Martis 29

Are you older or younger than your bro?
I’m the oldest by 11 months

Did you get in trouble for stuff your brother did?
Haha, no. If anything, he got in trouble for stuff I did.

Did you play any sports growing up?
Volleyball in High School

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Does your job give you more insight into competing?
Currently, my job does not relate directly to competing because I work mainly with children in the hospital. My education provides me great insight into training, recovery and understanding our physiology and body mechanics.

How did you get started in competing?
I re-tore my ACL along with MCL and bilateral meniscus in my Right knee in June 2012 and required 2 knee surgeries to repair. The latter of them being the end of August 2012. I was in the gym twice a day rehabilitating my knee and training. I gave myself the goal of getting my quad size symmetrical and then I would begin the prep for competing. In early February, I contacted my coach, 6 weeks later I was in my first show, placing 2nd. And I’ve been addicted since.

How did you tear your ACL and MCL?
My first ACL tear was in 2000 playing volleyball in high school. My most recent injury (don’t laugh) occurred while I was playing in an adult kickball league. I fatigued my muscles performing a Crossfit WOD immediately before our game, combine that with the existing instability from my previous injury, my knee gave out. Definitely not my proudest moment and should have gone with my better judgement. I just couldn’t give up on my team.  I required two surgeries within 4 months and was out of work for 5 months. Looking back now, the incident was a huge blessing in disguise in many ways.

What was the biggest challenge you face with your first show?
I was only 6 months out from ACL repair and my stability and balance in heels, let alone on stage was questionable. Throw nerves on top of that, I was incredibly fearful of tripping or forgetting my poses. I also was self conscious about the size difference in my legs. It was more apparent to me than to others because I was working hard to regain size and strength so every minute flaw I noticed. But once I stepped foot on stage, all fears left and I was immediately in love.

IF you could go back and give some advice to the version of you for the fist show, what would you tell her?
I would tell myself to forget about flaws and fears, focus on the hard work and dedication endured to get to that point and be proud of the package I was bringing.elissa npc nationals winner

Contest History:
• Battle on the Beach, Daytona Beach, FL March 2013- 2nd place Figure D
• NPC Southeast Classic, Hollywood FL, 2nd place Figure D
• Jr USA’s, Charleston, SC 1st place Figure Class E
• Team Universe, Teaneck, NJ 7th place Figure Class E
• NPC Nationals, Ft Lauderdale, FL Overall Figure and 1st Place Figure Class E

What did you do different to come back and win the overall after a 7th place finish?
I truly believe the difference was allowing my body to rest. Team Universe was my 4th show in 4 months. Competition prep is very taxing on my body and I did not allow myself time to rest. I had about a 2 month off season that allowed me to mentally, physically and emotionally recuperate.

What body part do you enjoy training the most?
I love training shoulders and Back

Body part least enjoy training?

You enjoy fastest cardio in the morning, why is that?
It wakes you up, gets your heart rate and metabolism going and makes the day feel very productive. Missing a day of fasted cardio makes me feel guilty and sluggish all day!

What’s for breakfast?
Oats!! We make oatmeal pancakes with muscle egg egg whites, oats, stevia, cinnamon, cocoa! Accompanied by an egg white omelet with onions and spinach. It’s my favorite meal of the day!

Do you work with a trainer?
Yes. Catherine Holland. She is also an IFBB Figure Pro. She has done an amazing job and has really been able to tune into my body as well as help me learn more about what body likes/dislikes.

How did you meet up and work with Cat?
My boyfriend, Jordan Zabriskie, introduced Me to Cat. He also is a competitor and was working with her for his physique shows. She ended up being a great fit for me, and has gained a good understanding of my body in the last year.

How much do you fluctuate from a contest to a show?
Off season I’m normally 134 and show day I’m usually 125-127lbs. Every off season I’ve gained more and more muscle so I’ve been fuller yet still staying lean. It’s a learning and growing experience with each off season I encounter.

How many weeks prep is best for you?
I find that 6-8 weeks is when I really make changes. Keeping a clean and healthy diet all year long really helps keep my prep efficient and on the shorter side.

Favorite food when prepping?
I love oats!! And flank. And sweet potatoes. And the occasional allowed almond butter!!

Wow you are an Oats Super Fan… Any particular kind / brand of oats? 
Good old fashioned oats. While we normally live on an organic, hormone free, gluten free diet as much as possible, we have found it difficult to afford that with two competitors in the house.

Least favorite food during a prep?
Tilapia. I’ve never been much a fish person. And having to prep and reheat fish just feels wrong. I prefer my fish to be fresh.

Any tips on how to make tilapia taste better? 
I douse it in lemon juice, and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic. We occasionally use Walden farms products and the sesame ginger taste great with it.

Do you take a cheat meal / day? If so what do you have?
I generally do one a week. Usually it’s Sunday. Closer to comp week I usually do filet and baked potato. But when I have some leeway I love our homemade buffalo burgers with sweet potato fries or a burrito.

Biggest support system is?
God has truly guided me through some hard times the last few years and helped me overcome my knee surgeries and personal setbacks. My boyfriend, Jordan Zabriskie, is my heart and soul. He also competes with me, despite his heavy work schedule as a chiropractor and business owner. Having the two of us maintain a clean diet has really been crucial to my success. It also has been a blessing to have friends and family who understand and appreciate the sport that support me and motivate me when I need it most.

What advice would you give other women just getting into weight training?
My biggest piece of advice is to not be afraid of lifting heavy. Muscles are sexy and healthy, And the key to seeing change in your body is diet. No matter how many hours of training or cardio you do, without a healthy sustainable diet, you won’t see the results you crave and strive for. Don’t let your hardwork go to waste by eating processed sugary foods and making poor meal choices.

elissa photo by dan ray

You’ll make your pr debut at the Arnold. How did you decide on it for your first show?
After winning overall, one of the popular questions I received was when I would make my Pro debut. At that point, all I could think of was going to Disney (seriously!) I did not expect to win nor did I anticipate the overall. I was focused on that show alone and the future was a distant thought. At the photoshoot the next morning with J.M. Mannion, he looked at me and told me that I had a really good possibility of being invited if I applied. At that moment, I knew I had to apply.

What changes are you focused on heading into the show?
My goals are to improve my V taper and build my glut and hamstrings. Coming off the surgeries, I’ve been at a disadvantage with the inability to do plyos and intense interval sessions. Now that my knee is stronger, I’m praying to make some great changes in the coming year.

Long term goals in and out of fitness?
Make it to the Olympia. Make an impact and be a positive influence to women and girls who struggle with body image and health. I want to start a family and juggle all of life’s challenges while still making an imprint in the fitness industry.

Favorite quote:
It’s a biblical scripture that pulls me through difficult times: Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’.

Any supplements or protein you include in your training?
I love Isopure protein. It’s delicious and low carb. BCAA’s are delicious and help with muscle recovery.

Favorite fitness accessory:
Absolutely my iPod. Put in my headphones and get work done. I’m in the zone during my workouts.

Ever carry a gallon jug around?
I like to carry a large water bottle (64 oz) and measure my water that way. Being a physical therapist in a hospital, I’m not able to carry around a gallon jug.

Where can people find more info on ya?
Facebook: IFBB pro Elissa Martis
Instagram: elissa621

Any eeps you’d like to thank?
Id like to thank God for guiding me through challenges abs blessing me immensely. My boyfriend for being my biggest supporter, my Coach Cat Holland for her impeccable guidance, my posing partner Maximus ( our dog) for helping me with my back pose;), and my family for their continual support and love. A special thank you to the following; J.M. Mannion for the opportunity to compete, CJs’ Elite Competition Wear for providing a beautiful competition suit, Juan Hernandez for posing guidance and instruction , Isaac Hinds for taking the time to show interest in my fitness journey and amazing photography , and Dan Ray for being an awesome photographer/friend.

Thanks and we’ll see ya in Columbus!

Photos Courtesy of Dan Ray


Nicole Wilkins OUT of the 2014 Arnold – Figure International

Nicole Wilkins broke the news that she will not be competing in this year’s Figure International. Nicole sat out last year’s competition for a long overdue break but was thought to be the one to beat after her Figure Olympia victory. Nicole is a three-time winner of the event.

nicole wilkins out of arnold with injury

We wish Nicole a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her on stage again soon.

Nicole Wilkins via Facebook
I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be able to compete at this year’s Arnold Sports Festival due to a shoulder injury that will prevent me from training for the next 4-6 weeks. I originally suffered the injury in October and had to stop training most upper body movements for a little over a month. I was able to resume training about a week before the Figure International applications were due, and at that time I decided I was going to do everything in my power to get on stage in Columbus. Unfortunately, I never gave the injury enough time to heal, and it is at the point where I can no longer train like I need to in order to continue my prep. I expect to be fully recovered in order to resume training and defend my Figure Olympia title in September. I would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding during this difficult time, including Jim and Bob Lormier, my manager JM Manion, Fitness Management Group, the IFBB Pro League and my sponsors MET-Rx, 6 Pack Fitness and FitnessRx for Women Magazine. Most of all, thank you to my friends, family, and all of the fans for your continued support of me and all of the great athletes who will be competing at this year’s Arnold Sports Festival. I will still be in Columbus working the Met-Rx booth, so please stop by and say hello if you are attending this year.

Follow Nicole on Facebook and twitter. The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival takes place next month in Columbus, Ohio. Follow Arnold Sports on twitter and Facebook for more info.

Road to The Arnold with Yeshaira Robles – 6 Weeks out

Top IFBB Bikini Pro Yeshaira Robles checks in with an update on her road to the Arnold. She’s currently six weeks out from the Bikini International and this time around she’s dieting with her significant other. The fit duo has a fun, light-hearted relationship where they keep each other in check. Check out what’s up with Yeshaira.


What’s Up Hardbodies?!!!

What have I been up to? Hmm… well, I’m six weeks out from the Bikini International yayy. I’m looking forward to a few things; Seeing everyone, wearing my bikini, having my hair and make up done and posing on stage. I don’t normally get all dolled up, so that’s why I look forward to competing. When I go to the gym I wear sweats and a tank top. I admire some of the girls I see wearing booty shorts and sports bras they look amazing. I told Marco (my fiancé also prepping for the Arnold) the other day that when I get really close to show time I’m going to wear those type of clothes to the gym. He looked at me and said ” Well if you’re doing a shoot yes, but not to work out.” LOL

Training has been going very well. At first I was sore all over, I had to roll out of bed. Now nothing hurts. Food has been more like fuel for my body. That’s how I think of it.

I can’t go food shopping with Marco. I like to add 100 calorie treats to the cart, but when we get to the cash register oooooo it’s a different story. He picks it up and says “Really Yeshaira? Is this what you’re going to eat”. I tell him, “It’s just for some in between snacks” he says “No put it back”. Now the lady at the cash register looks at me and looks at him. Here I am looking thin. I could just imagine what she’s thinking haha. (Damm he doesn’t let her eat nothing). So now I go food shopping by myself as well sometimes hehe.

Here’s another funny story with Marco. Last night I turned off the heat at home since it was warm. He gets out the shower and tells me “Did you turn off the heat?” I say ” Yes it’s hot in here”. He says “Hell no its cold!! Its because you’re fat”. LOL he’s the worst.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for reading and until next time Keep Training Hard!

You Guys Rock “Peace”!
Yeshaira Robles

Follow Yeshaira on twitter @yeshaira and “like” her Facebook fan page. You can keep up to date on Yeshaira’s YOUTUBE channel as well.

Read More on Yeshaira’s Road to The Arnold.

The Pole Fitness National Championship at the Arnold

For the First Time, the Sport of Pole Fitness Will Be Featured at The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio as The Pole Fitness National Championship Comes to The Arnold on February 27th, 2014.

On opening night, Thursday, February 27th at LC Pavilion, The Pole Fitness National Championship at The Arnold (the 2014 Pole Championship Series Championship) will make its debut.

pole championships

Lindsey Kimura, Director of Marketing at X-Pole noted, “The 2014 PCS Championship is a must-see production and the biggest event in Pole Fitness! We’re thrilled to have the Arnold Sports Festival include Pole Fitness as an Official Sport and host The Pole Fitness National Championship at The Arnold. X-Pole is proud to bring pole fitness to the Arnold and to introduce the sport to the mainstream.”

The sport of Pole Fitness is exploding internationally. With thousands of pole fitness studios and gyms opening worldwide, Pole Fitness is one of the world’s fastest growing sports and fitness driven activities. On Thursday, February 27th from 9-11 pm, X-Pole, The Worldwide Leader in Pole and Aerial Fitness, will present The Pole Fitness National Championship at the Arnold. The Arnold Sports Festival hosts the World’s Top Pole Fitness athletes as they compete for the title of 2014 PCS Champion. The event includes the Pole Championship along with special guest performances by the world’s top pole fitness artists and aerial stars.

The Pole Championship Series (PCS) is a compilation of the most recognized and respected pole competitions throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. The pole competitions selected to be a part of the PCS are carefully chosen based on their presentation, experience in prior years, and overall success. Taking part in this annual competition is the highest honor for an elite level pole athlete in North America. The overall winner of The Female Professional Division of each Official Event listed in the Pole Championship Series is invited to compete in the annual PCS Championship. The PCS Championship occurs once a year and is comprised of pole champions from the prior year’s PCS events. Those who win titles in 2013 will subsequently compete in the 2014 championship.

The 2014 PCS Championship is sponsored by X-POLE, The Worldwide Leader in Pole and Aerial Fitness. Through initiating or sponsoring major events and programs in the industry such as The Pole Fitness National Championship at the Arnold, X-Pole demonstrates its ongoing commitment to expand the pole and aerial communities. X-Pole encompasses all that has to do with aerial fitness and athletics. As the #1 pole manufacturer in the world, X-Pole is “The Official Pole” of virtually all pole oriented events and shows.

In addition to The Championship, check out Pole Fitness at the Arnold Sports Festival:

Friday, February 28th – Sunday March 2nd: Pole Fitness at the Arnold EXPO
Exciting pole fitness demonstrations, performances, giveaways, fun contests and more at the X-Pole Fitness Booth; Arnold Fitness EXPO. Additional performances in the concourse.

Friday, February 28th – Saturday, March 1st: Pole Fitness 101 Workshops

30-minute Introduction to Pole Fitness classes (first-timers welcome)! Register at www.studiorougecolumbus.com. All classes FREE with paid EXPO admission.

Follow @XPoleUS and @pcschampionship on Twitter.
Visit www.xpoleus.com and www.polechampionshipseries.com. “Like” the official Pole Championship Series Facebook page.

Thursday, February 27, 2014
The Pole Fitness National Championship at the Arnold
Doors open at 8 p.m.
Competition at 9 p.m.

Friday, February 28-Sunday March 2, 2014
Pole Fitness at the Arnold EXPO
Exciting pole fitness demonstrations, performances, giveaways, fun contests and more at the X-Pole Fitness Booth; Arnold Fitness EXPO. Additional performances in the concourse

Friday, February 28-Saturday, March 1, 2014
Pole Fitness 101 Workshops
30-minute Introduction to Pole Fitness classes (first-timers welcome)!
Register at www.studiorougecolumbus.com
All classes FREE with Daily EXPO Ticket.


2014 Competitors
Christina Aguchi
Ember Ashe (Texas)
Becca Buck (Ohio)
Nicole Landkas (Florida)
Sasja Lee (California)
Jessalynn Medairy (Washington D.C.)
Nadyne Moldowan (Canada)
Monica Ochoa (Mexico)
Rachele Ribera (Oklahoma)
Amanda Rose (California)
Samantha Star (Massachusetts)
Charlee Wagner (Utah)

Visit arnoldsportsfestival.com for more information and events.

Arnold Sports Festival 2014 IFBB Events & Expo Schedule

The 2014 Arnold Sports Festival is quickly approaching and this year will be jam packed with events over the course of four days. Visit harnoldsportsfestival.com for the complete schedule and information on all the events. We’ll see you in Columbus!

Arnold IFBB Schedule 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Meet & Greet With IFBB Pros - 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
VIP TICKET HOLDERS, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Arnold Fitness EXPO - 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Open To General Public

Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International and Figure International Prejudging
Arnold Fitness EXPO STAGE
Noon – 2 p.m.

Arnold Classic 212, Fitness International and Figure International Finals
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
7 p.m.
RESERVED SEATING — $50 and $75

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Arnold Fitness EXPO - 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Open To General Public

Arnold Classic and Bikini International Prejudging
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Arnold Classic, Bikini International and Arnold Strongman Classic Finals
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
RESERVED SEATING — $50 and $100

Arnold Party With The Pros - Official After-Party of the Arnold Classic
Hollywood Casino
9 p.m. – 2 a.m.


Sunday, March 1, 2014

Arnold Fitness EXPO - 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Open To General Public

Ticket And Other Information

EXPO Tickets. Adults: $10 per day in advance; $15 per day at the door. 10 years and under FREE if accompanied by an adult.

•  Tickets available at www.ticketmaster.com/arnold
• Tickets available at Greater Columbus Convention Center Feb. 28-March 3
•  Tickets available at Veterans Memorial March Feb. 28-March 3


Road to The Arnold with Yeshaira Robles

Yeshaira Robles is embarking on her return to the Arnold stage. In just a few short weeks, the New York momma will be competing in the Bikini International. She’s keeping us updated on her journey and what’s happening along the way. This year is extra special because she’s prepping with her fiancé, Marco Rivera. How is it prepping for a show together? See below and check out Yeshaira’s video on how she cooks the always popular tilapia.

Yeshaira Robles Road to The Arnold

Happy New Year Hardbodies! =D

Hope everyone enjoyed their Holidays, I sure did. I had one Christmas/Birthday wish that I was soooo hoping for… My biggest wish was for Marco Rivera (my fiancé) to get an invitation to compete at the 2014 Arnold Classic 212. When I found out the news I was jumping for joy. Especially knowing that we will be competing together at this amazing show. I got the privilege to compete there last year, and it was an incredible experience. We are 8 weeks out to the show and I literally just started my prep for it. Marco has been prepping since December.

How is it for us prepping together? Well it’s not that bad.I stay out of his way and he stays out of mine. It’s actually much more easier when we diet together. We both eat the same protein, carbs, vegetables etc. It’s more difficult when one is dieting while the other is not. There was an incident when I ordered pizza and the delivery guy came at the same time that Marco did from the gym. I was like “oh man he came early from the gym” he was pissed I thought my pizza was going to be tossed out the window LOL. My pizza days are behind me. It’s time to bring my best to the stage. I am very excited for this prep, and I’m looking forward to stepping on the Arnold stage again.

Let the prepping begin! Until next time keep training hard!

** Peace**


Follow Yeshaira on twitter @yeshaira and “like” her Facebook fan page. You can keep up to date on Yeshaira’s YOUTUBE channel as well.

Oksana Grishina’s Hardbody Road to The Arnold

It’s a new year and with that comes new competitions. We’re excited to bring the first of many HARDBODY ROAD TO THE ARNOLD blogs with some of your favorite competitors. Who better to kick things off than one of the fans favorite fitness competitors… Oksana Grishina. Oksana continues to raise the bar with her routines and last year she brought the crowd to their feet with her JOKER themed performance. She’s kind enough to share her journey back to Columbus here with all of you. Check it out!

Fitness champion Oksana Grishina - Hardbody Road to the Arnold

Hi Hardbody Fans!

I hope you all had a great holiday with family and friends. I wish you all a Happy New Year! May all your dreams come true!!

Each new season of competition means a new performance for me. And, for me, each season begins with the Arnold Classic, the show where I debut my newest performance. Of course, at the end of each year, I never know what to expect. Without an idea that touches my heart and soul, and moves me to create, I’m not likely to compete. But I’ve been fortunate to have experiences and ideas that surprise and inspire me.

When I first had this new idea, it seemed impossible to do, but I did not give up, and everything is now coming together well. As a Fitness professional, I have always been impressed by girls who do pole dancing. I think it’s important for those of us who live and work in the world of Fitness to see and know all different forms and practices. Pole Dancing is a beautiful combination of art and fitness, and I am interested and enthusiastic about the growth of Pole Dancing classes and competition. Of course, some people just see it as a form of striptease, but it’s really totally different, and so much more than that, and this is what I like. It’s a difficult sport, but still accessible to people without a strong background in dance or gymnastics. Like anything else, it takes hard work and practice.

Of course, Pole Dancing is new to me, so I had to try it! I went to my first class and… couldn’t do a thing, lol. Despite my strength and background in sport, I was surprised to find how very hard it was. Still, like all sports, technique is the key. I am starting from scratch, but there is no giving up. I decided to get a pole of my own to work with at home. They are pretty expensive, so I am so happy to have the sponsorship of X-Pole, the leader in pole fitness equipment! With their help, and some expert training, it looks like all is good!

With a pole at home, I’m working out as much as I can. Of course, this is another workout to add to my schedule, on top of weight training, acrobatics, and cardio. It’s a lot of time and work, but I love it!! The pole work has been painful—for my arms and my skin everywhere! I’m getting lots of good advice and making progress every day. As I am a Fitness competitor first, the pole is just a part of my performance. But, I hope that by incorporating Pole Dance into my Fitness routine, I can share Fitness competition with the growing Pole Fitness movement, and expose the pole arts to the broader fitness community.

As always, I plan to give you my best at the Arnold Classic. This new routine is challenging, exciting and interesting for me, so I believe it will be something the fans will like as well. I’ll keep posting videos to Youtube as I train, so you can see my progress on the poleJ. Many thanks to X-Pole and the Arnold Classic team for making this performance possible!

In addition to the Arnold Classic and X-Pole, my sincere thanks go to my sponsors SAN Nutrition and SixPack Bags, both who help me to stay fit and in shape, in a healthy way, all year long, despite a busy competition and travel schedule!

2014 is the year of the Horse… my year! Work as hard as a horse, believe in yourself and your crazy ideas, and you’ll be blessed with success!

Until next time Hardbody,

Oksana Grishina
IFBB Fitness Pro Champion

Follow Oksana twitter @OksanaGrishina and “like” her Facebook page. Oksana also keeps fans updated on her SAN Nutrition blog. Visit arnoldsportsfestival.com for more information and use #ASF2014 in all your social media when talking about this year’s event.

2014 Arnold Competitors Lists & Early Show Preview

One of the few IFBB events that are by invite only has become one of the most prestigious events of the year. The 26th Annual Arnold Classic will be held Feb. 28 – March 1, 2014. New this year will be the Arnold Classic 212 division. Absent from the line-up will be the Ms. International. The fields in the Fitness, Figure and Bikini International contests are some of the strongest you’ll see all year.

arnold competitors
Leading the way in Fitness is defending champion, Tanji Johnson. She’ll look to fend off top contenders like Oksana Grishina and Bethany Cisternino. One of Canada’s brightest Fitness Stars, Myriam Capes will also be back looking to take top honors. The all-time winningest fitness pro, Adela Garcia will not be in the line-up for the second year in a row.

Nicole Wilkins is back after sitting out the Figure International. She’ll look to reclaim the title currently held by Candice Keene. Look for Keene and Wilkins to be your front-runners in the event. Heather Dees, Camala Rodriquez and Ann Titone will also be strong contenders for the top five. Keep an eye on newcomers Alicia Coates who won her first two pro shows and the NPC National Figure Champ, Elissa Martis. Fan favorites, Larissa Reis and Ava Cowan will look to get back into the top spots. Mallory Haldeman and Erin Stern both finished in the top six last year however opted out of the show this year.

The leading ladies from the Bikini Olympia will be on stage in Columbus and good luck trying to predict who will win this one. Ashley Kaltwasser was tenth at this show last year but finished the year the new Olympia champion. Yeshaira Robles and Stacey Alexander had their best finishes in Vegas by going second and third and will look to be in the mix again at this event. Juliana Daniell has one the the most athletic physiques and returns to the stage after sitting out last year. Look for her to mix things up in the top spots. Courtney King will make a run at the top five in her Arnold debut. The champ, India Paulino is back to defend her title but as you can see will have her work cut out for her to hold onto the crown. Nathalia Melo is on the path to redemption after finishing second here last year and going the year without a win. Look for her to be at her all-time best. Amanda Latona will try to shake things up in the top spots along with seasoned vet Jessica Mone (formerly Paxson). Janet Layug will be making her pro debut and talk about jumping into the deep end of the pro pool. Will see if she sinks or swims with this line-up. Of course you can’t count out Canada’s Justine Munro who has come into her own the last year and a half.

If you’re a gambler, don’t bet on Bikini. The only sure thing is that you’ll lose trying to predict the top spots in order on that one.

The Men’s line up is stacked this year with Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden, Victor Martinez, Brandon Curry, Roelly Winklaar, Dennis Wolf and others. The 212 Arnold Classic will likely end up being a duel between Olympia champ Flex Lewis and runner-up David Henry. Jose Raymond will look to get back into the top spots after finishing the season on a low note.

Congratulations to all who were selected and best of luck in your prep. It’s never easy dieting through the holidays and in the winter months but the sacrifice will be worth it if you’re the one shaking Arnold’s hand after a victory.

Fitness International (15)
Michelle Blank
Myriam Capes
Bethany Cisternino
Regiane DaSilva
Allison Ethier
Ryall Graber
Oksana Grishina
Amanda Hatfield
Tanji Johnson
Whitney Jones
Babette Mulford
Danielle Ruban
Kizzy Vaines
Trish Warren
Melinda Szabo

Figure International (17)
Kati Alander
Dana Ambrose
Alicia Coates
Ava Cowan
Heather Dees
Amanda Doherty
Allison Frahn
Candice Keene
Candice Lewis
Elissa Martis
Larissa Reis
Camala Rodriguez-McClure
Giadi Simari
Gennifer Strobo
Ann Titone
Natalie Waples
Nicole Wilkins

Bikini International (16)
Noy Alexander
Stacey Alexander
Jennifer Andrews
Juliana Daniell
Margret Gnarr
Ashley Kaltwasser
Courtney King
Amanda Latona
Janet Layug
Nathalia Melo
Jessica Mone
Justine Munro
India Paulino
Yeshaira Robles
Anna Starodubtseva
Anna Virmajoki

Arnold Classic (13)
Evan Centopani
Brandon Curry
Toney Freeman
Cedric MacMillan
Victor Martinez
Edward Nunn
Ben Pakulski
Shawn Rhoden
Fred Smalls
Branch Warren
Roelly Winklaar
Dennis Wolf
Hidetada Yamagish

Arnold Classic 212 (10)
Aaron Clark
Charles Dixon
David Henry
Richard “Tricky” Jackson
James “Flex” Lewis
Stan McQuay
Jose Raymond
Marco Rivera
Angel Rangel Vargas
Quincy Winklaar

The events will take place at Veteran Memorial and the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Visit www.ticketmaster.com/arnold or 800-745-3000 for ticket information.VIP Ticket Packages and individual event tickets are available. Daily EXPO tickets are available for $10 in advance (plus service charge) or $15 at the door of all Arnold Sports Festival venues. Children 10 and under free.

Follow us on twitter with current updates and when mentioning the 2014 Arnold use the hashtag #asf2014. Check out @arnoldsports on twitter as well.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.