WWE Diva Kaitlyn Talks Olympia & Thanks Chuck Norris

Our resident body-slamm’n bad ass, Kaitlyn checks in on the heels of the 2011 Olympia. We’re stoked that Gaspari has brought her on board to host their Live Olympia coverage and will be giving fans a chance to meet the rising WWE star. She checks in with her latest blogskie and breaks down what’s up.


Dear Vegas,

Hi. It’s been a while. I see you’ve been doing well. Sorry I haven’t called. I’ve… just been busy. I’ll be seeing you again very soon. I hope we can work it out. I really don’t think I want my mattress to end up on the roof and I certainly don’t want any more tattoos. Please take it easy on me.

With love,

Ps. If anyone ends up in the trunk… I’m blaming hardbody.

It’s that time of year again! The countdown to the 2011 Olympia weekend begins! I am so excited to be going to the Olympia this year. I can’t wait to breathe in the excitement of the Olympia expo, to be amongst the world’s most incredible athletes and to return to my roots!

I’ve always loved fitness and bodybuilding. I fell in love with it when I was just a kid. I attribute part of my love for fitness to Chuck Norris. He’s a true Hardbody. Plus, his Nordic Track infomercials really did a number on me! When I was fourteen, I remember asking mom for a weight bench and set of plates and dumbbells to put in my room as an early Christmas present. Apparently, this is not “normal” behavior for a young teenage girl, but I think I turned out just fine. I went from the NPC figure stage straight to the the WWE. Look at me now ma! I’m a professional wrestler! ( Makin’ Mom proud since 1986).

So, besides getting to represent the WWE at the fitness industry’s most prestigious event, What makes this Olympia extra special for me? I’ll be making my debut as the host of Gaspari TV! This is a first-time-ever, never-been-done, holy-moly-this-is-awesome moment!

I will be interviewing Gaspari‘s elite athletes, some of the most important people in the industry today, many enthusiastic fitness fanatics and Rich Gaspari himself. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to represent Gaspari Nutrition and the WWE in such a exciting and innovative way.

There are so many things running through my mind. What should I wear? Should I also be tanned and oiled? Do I break the ice with bathroom humor? Ahh, I’m so nervous. Without a doubt, the 2011 Olympia weekend with Gaspari Nutrition and friends will be filled with excitement, shenanigans and certainly many unexpected and memorable moments.

I’ll see you there!


Fans stop by the Gasapari Nutrition Booth at the Olympia and get this autograph card. Follow her on twitter.com/kaitylnWWE and give her a HARDBODY hello.




Hardbody Style’n – Sporty Inspiration with The Sports Stylist®, Cindy Whitehead

Our kick ass style’n guru, Cindy Whitehead aka The Sports Stylist® has some a sweet contribution this week. Check out her new “sporty inspiration”  looks that will help you stay hardbody in and out of the gym.
I’ve always thought that the most stylish girl at the gym was the one whose look was street inspired/workout rather than a full on typical “gym look”. I am a huge fan of layering the shit out of your outfit and mixing what you already have in your “everyday” closet with your workout wear (and this goes both ways). I also firmly believe that adding an awesome pop of color makes that 6 mile run on the treadmill go a bit faster. At least in my twisted little mind it does.
Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com for more kick ass style’n tips and ideas. She’s also one to follow on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist). How bad ass is she?

Figure Champ Nicole Wilkins Answers Your Questions

IFBB Figure Pro Nicole Wilkins checks in with her latest Hardbody blog and answers your questions. Nicole will compete in the 2011 IFBB Tournament of Champions Figure contest and then attempt to regain her title of Figure Olympia Champion. She will then head to India to compete in the Sheru Classic. Check out what Nicole has been up to (besides prepping for three shows in a row) and she answers some of your questions.

Hey Hardbodies! It’s been a while! I am now in the heart of my prep for 3 shows in a row… what was I thinking!? I am going to do the Tournament of Champions in Culver City Sept 10, then stay out in California before making the drive to Vegas for the Figure Olympia 6 days later and then finally off to the Sheru Classic in Mumbai, India the weekend after that. I am feeling fantastic and ready to rock and roll!

So since I have written last, I have made my rounds with Met-RX to just about every national show and met a lot of you, promoted the 2nd annual NPC Nicole Wilkins and Natural Michigan Championships, redid my website www.nicolewilkins.com and, of course, begun my prep. Life is good!

Here are some of the questions you have submitted to me through my website or facebook:

1. How do you deal with food cravings?

I get cravings almost every day, especially around 4pm and/or right before I go to bed. The afternoon is easier to deal with since most days I just keep myself busy at work. Nighttime is the hardest for me since I am sitting for once and the kitchen is within reach! What helps me at those times is drinking hot tea (Vanilla Chai is my favorite) with vanilla liquid Stevia, snacking on a few raw peppers or cucumbers, chugging water, reading a book, working on the computer, or closing my bedroom door and going to bed early! It also helps to eat solid meals every 2-3 hrs through the day beginning with breakfast each day. If you are really hungry at night, you may not be eating enough earlier in the day.

2. My loved ones are resisting my clean eating efforts. How can I get them to join me?
Once you have seen results from eating clean foods, it is natural to want everyone to join in. But undoing years of poor eating isn’t easy and you will probably experience a lot of resistance at first. You can’t make someone eat a certain way, especially if they are not ready to make a lifestyle change, but these things may help:

– Let them know what you are doing and why it is important to you.
– Have them pick out a healthy recipe and cook it together.
– Be gentle, quiet and persistent, don’t bug them about not eating clean. Remember they will only do it when they are ready.
– Go to the gym together. This may motivate them to eat healthier.

3. Is there a piece of advice that overlooked at first, but eventually became something you ended up incorporating into your daily or weekly routine?
Mindless snacking is a huge one.Every extra bite adds up through out the day, so if you think that one piece of candy (5x during the day) or the extra scoop or two of peanut butter isn’t going to matter, before you know it you have eaten en extra 500 calories that day.

As far as training, developing the mind-muscle connection is so important. Don’t rush. Concentrate on the muscle you are working and understand how to work muscles from all angles. Mix it up and try new exercises. I still struggle at times with the mind-muscle connection on my arm training days. It is not my favorite to do and I can easily lose focus and just try to rush to get it done. I am really trying to slow the reps down and focus on the range of motion, on stretching, flexing and squeezing the muscle. Weight doesn’t matter to me for the most part – I of course want to push myself, but what is most important is proper form and making sure I am keeping continuous tension on the muscle I am working, throughout the range of motion.

4. What is one kitchen appliance you couldn’t live without?

My grill pan 🙂 I use this to grill my veggies, chicken and turkey patties.

5. Who inspires you?
My parents. They are my absolute favorite people in this entire world. They have instilled hard work eithic and support me 100% in all I do. I obviously would not be here or where I am not without them in my life. Not to sound cheesy but, aside from them – YOU guys inspire me, as does everyone who lives to better them self and embark on a healthy lifestyle. Keep following your dreams!!

Please be sure to check out my facebook page at www.facebook.com/nicolewilkins01 and let me know of any questions you would like me to answer in future hardbody blogs. Wishing you all my best. Until next time…


WWE Diva Kaitlyn’s Corner – Spread Some Positive Juju

Our favorite WWE Diva, Kaitlyn checks in with her newest blogsky. Despite being on the road, or in the air, non-stop she’s live’n and love’n life. It can be easy to get caught up in all the annoying little things in life but in this installment she reminds us all that being polite and positive can go a long way to creating a happy place.

From Kaitlyn:
So here I am. Seat 8C, on a flight to Los Angeles, CA. I’ve had a crazy week of travel. East coast to West coast, West coast to East coast, Midwest to middle earth somewhere… My body is tired and my mind… Well, I lost it going through security at Houston’s Bush International airport.

Kaitlyn hit Muscle Beach while in LA. She’s looking HARDBODY!

I boarded the plane really early, got comfy and sat back to watch everyone find their way to their seat. Ok, I didn’t actually “sit back” because for some reason most airlines think it’s funny to make the seats so uncomfortable that it feels as though you are actually leaning forward. Anyways, back to the action.

First, I watched the ridiculously uptight flight attendant controlling the flow of traffic at the the front of the plane. If her lips were pursed any tighter, she would look like the “bitter beer face” guy. She was in no mood for shenanigans. Annnnd since “Shenanigans” is my middle name, I decided that I wouldn’t be bothering her at any point during this three hour tour. She was barking orders at passengers, acting so inconvenienced to have to help anyone put their bags away. I’m pretty sure she eats babies on her lunch break. I covered my mouth and nose in order to prevent myself from catching her contagious negativity.

Bitter Beer Face guy.

Next, I got eyes on the very overweight man squeezing into his window seat, nearly crushing the pelvis of the terrified man in the middle seat. Come on man, let the guy get up to let you by. He didn’t ask for a lap dance… To spite how erotic that may have been. Then this jumbo jerk had the balls to rudely get the flight attendant’s attention by snapping his fingers. What possibly could have been so important you ask??? He needed a seat belt extender!! Ugh, have you no shame!?

Now we get to the super jacked guy lugging his bags in one hand and balancing a fast food bag, a 30 oz soda, and some sort of man purse in the other hand. By the way, I’m not knocking the man purse. It’s sort of looks like my new satchel… you know like Indiana Jones, but cooler. Anyway so this guy struggles on past me with all of his belongings and then realizes he’s supposed to be in first class. Wow. So he turns around shoving through people still trying to make it to their seats. Plowing through women, children, cute puppies. (ok, there weren’t any puppies). He clearly has his mind set on the double McHeartAttack sammich in his hand.

All three of these characters, in the ongoing situational comedy that is my life, have one thing in common. They all have very little manners and had little or regard for others. Many other people were effected by these jackasses and their actions. The flight attendant was rude and belittled undeserving passengers. The heavy mouth breather guy nearly crushed the man next to him and possibly molested him. He also showed very little respect to the innocent flight attendant. The big muscle head pushed people out of the way and felt it was his right for one reason or another. Maybe he felt this way because he was chiseled like a Greek God or maybe just because his mama didn’t teach him any manners. Who’s to say that everyone who was directly effected doesn’t do the same thing to someone else just because they had a bad experience and it dampened their day?

I guess what I realized is that having a bad attitude and little regard for people around you is like having the flu and spreading your germs to everyone around you. I know I don’t want your bad attitude bird flu germs.

Thumbs up during the WWE Summer Slam.

The point is that if negative energy spreads like wild fire, imagine what a little positive juju could do. I strongly believe that doing nice things, smiling and even just having some manners goes a long way. It’s also makes you feel good about yourself. This flight was A little reminder to myself that no matter how little sleep I’ve had, how achy my feet are from uncomfortable shoes or how bad my face hurts from the wrath of feisty female wrestlers, being positive and polite goes along way. Spread the love peeps. It will probably make your day a little happier, your workout a little better, and your overall outlook a little brighter.

Follow her on twitter.com/kaitylnWWE and give her a HARDBODY hello.

No Kaitlyn on WWE RAW? We Got Ya Covered

If you’re a WWE fan you likely watched WWE RAW tonight. We did and while there were some entertaining matches we were hoping to see our resident hardbody Kaitlyn. It wasn’t meant to be but hey we’re here to help ya with your Kaitlyn fix.

Here’s a peek at Kaitlyn from her LIFTstudios photo shoot a few weeks ago. She was just getting started on her Caveman Diet when these were shot.

Fitness fans will get the opportunity to meet Kaitlyn at the 2011 Olympia in Las Vegas next month. Stay tuned for more details on that. In the mean time enjoy this Kaitlyn photo and follow her on twitter @KaitlynWWE – give her a Hardbody hello.

©Photo by Isaac Hinds – LIFTstudios.com – 2011.

Hardbody Style’n With Cindy – Fuel for Photo Shoots

Cindy Whitehead aka The SportsStylist® works with a variety of models every years. She styles shoots for Muscle & Fitness HERS, Nike, Wrangler and tons more. That being said she’s seen a number of things throughout the years of what to do and not do related to photo shoots. She has a simple but important tip on eating.


In a previous tip I touched on moderation and eating your face off on a shoot. On the other side of eating was the girl who had starved all week, came to set with no energy and almost fainted 3 times under the hot lights. So once again – everything in moderation. Eat foods that fuel you with out bloat, know what things will give you long lasting energy and perk you up for a few hours. This makes the day go so much smoother for you and the crew and your shots will look gorgeous since you are not tired and hungry.

Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. She’s also one to follow on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist).

Kaitlyn’s Corner: WWE Diva Sheds 10 Pounds Like A Caveman

Our favorite WWE Diva, Kaitlyn is back for another round and this time she shares a bit about her diet and how she’s recently shed 10 pounds. Kaitlyn keeps it real and breaks down how she went from a figure competitor to a “blobish” wannabe wrestler. Now she’s stoked to share how she’s looking hardbdy as a WWE Diva. You have to love her honesty and sense of humor and if you don’t, well then you better watch out. She might just deliver a kick to your grill.

Kaitlyn’s Corner:

Alright girls, let’s talk Cavemen! Loin cloths, over abundance of body hair and loud grunting as a means of communication! Well… Not exactly. Ever heard of the “Caveman Diet”? It’s also referred to as the Paleo or Warrior Diet. To sum it up… The Paleolithic diet consists mainly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Ok, We will get back to specifics of it later on. First, I would like to explain why I ventured into this different approach to “dieting”.

I spent a few years competing in figure/bodybuilding and had many successes and failures with various diets. I’ve tried ketosis diets, carb cycling diets, and everything in between. In my experience, most of the time, I would diet very extreme and then rebound like crazy after a competition and then struggle to find a healthy balance in my off season. This is no way to live!!! I had my “in season” jeans and my “off season ” jeans… aka my fat pants… aka anything with stretch.

When I got signed by the WWE, I was training for a bodybuilding show. My life changed drastically as far as my work schedule, workouts, sleep patterns and stress levels. I was searching for balance. So after only about a month of training in the developmental program for WWE, I was pulled up as a last minute replacement on the WWE reality based show NXT.

September 7th, 2010 was my official tv debut.. And the last time I can remember being sane, until now.

My schedule was non-stop. I was traveling so much I couldn’t remember what city/state I was leaving or heading to. When I would return home, I would have to go straight to practice, shows, or training for the developmental program, which I’m currently still a part of. I was getting 4-5 hours of sleep and even went 3 months straight without a day off. This was the “oh sh*t” method of learning how to be a WWE superstar on the fast-track. Looking back, I wouldn’t change one thing. Well… Except the blobish shape that my body had transformed into.

Seriously, I went from strict routine to utter chaos in no time and my body was the evidence. I tried some of the diets that had worked for me in the past but nothing was effective because there wasn’t much time for morning cardio and strict routine. I lost a sense of who I was.

After I ended up winning season 3 of NXT, my life regained a small sense of order. I was put on the Smackdown roster and began to try to find some consistency. Constantly traveling isn’t ideal for staying in great shape but this is my new way of life! I have always taken pride in being strong, muscular and in shape. And this blobish “shape” didn’t cut it.

Have you ever heard that doing the same thing over and over with the same unsatisfactory result is the definition of insanity? True… So very painstakingly true. So I looked in the mirror at where my abs had once been and said, “You’re better than this, McFatty”.

So I decided to tried the “caveman diet”. It’s different than anything I had ever done before. Basically, I started eating everything fresh. I started taking in way more fresh/raw veggies and even added fruit in 2-3 times a day. Now, if you have ever dieted strictly, you know that fruit is mostly “forbidden” due to it’s high sugar content. So eating fruit was glorious.

Next, I began eating whole eggs, tuna, salmon and nuts as my means of protein. Bye-bye red meat, chicken and beloved turkey patties. Basically, I stopped eating carbs “intentionally” and got them from fruit and fibrous veggies. I also ended up eating about 15-20 grams of fat per meal.

Whhhhhat!? Yep.

There are many ways to follow the Paleolithic diet. There’s tons of information on the internet and number of great books on it. I believe there are many variations and you have to find what works for you.
Welllll… Are you dying to know how effective it is? Yea, thought so. Let’s put it this way… I lost 10 lbs of pure body fat and gained 4 lbs of lean muscle in just 4 weeks. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t have to kill myself with cardio. (we will talk about that next time) Suck it, fat jeans!!


Before and After The Caveman Diet.

So here is the best part… Other than being a HARDBODY once again and being proud of the way I look, I actually FEEL good all the time! It has really become a way of life for me. I’m done fluctuating up and down and constantly trying to find balance. Plus, this diet is easy to maintain when I’m on the road. Veggies, fruits, nuts, tuna and boiled eggs are always in my lunch box. Yes, I DO get teased for carrying a lunch box. In my defense, it’s very fashionable.

Hey…. It’s so easy.. A caveman can do it! Zzzzziiiiinnnng!

Stay tuned Hardbodies, I’ll be back with another blogskie soon.


The main point here is to make eating healthy a way of life and try to avoid dieting extremes. Follow Kaitlyn on twitter at kaitlynWWE and become a fan on her official Facebook Fan page. Tweet her & give her a HARDBODY hello. She’s currently rock’n over 50,000 followers. BAM!

Photo Credits: Lead Photos by Isaac Hinds / LIFTstudios.com. Before & After photos courtesy of Kaitlyn.


Cindy Whitehead’s Hardbody Style’n Tip: Be On Time

The Cinster checks in with a great tip. I can’t tell you how important this one is and it should be an obvious one. Check out what The Sports Stylist®, Cindy has to share about being punctual.


The Sports Stylist® Tip:
Be on time.

Sounds easy right? Sometimes you travel to other cities for shoots and they may rent you a car or expect you to take a taxi to the location. If you “think” it will take 30 minutes to get there, add 30 on top of that. Be on time or even 10 minutes early. It’s always appreciated. Tardiness is not. An entire crew is waiting on you and you don’t want to keep them from the tasks at hand.

Arrive at the location way too early? Go get a Starbucks and chill for a few minutes – better to be relaxed and early than stressed and late.


This holds true when you shooting at shows or on location for your own portfolio work as well. Many times photographers have multiple shoots lined up and if you’re late it screws the entire schedule up for others. If you’re going to be late for whatever reason, communicate with the photographer or your client contact. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control but as Cindy mentioned, it’s best to give yourself plenty of time especially in cities you’re new to and don’t know your way around. Also remember GOOGLE MAPS LIE – yes, I’ve had it happen that it showed my route should take 15 minutes when in fact there’s roads closed, construction or even a parade that will change your schedule and route.

If you’re THAT model who is late, the client, photographer and crew will remember it and it could be a determining factor on if you’re booked again or not.

Cindy has been doing some really cool stuff lately. Check out her blog (cindywhitehead.blogspot.com) to see the styling she did for a new NIKE campaign. She’s such a bad ass, we love her! Follow her on twitter.com (@sportstylist) to see what she’s up to next.


Ms. Melanie’s Fitness Model Tip: Water Before A Photo Shoot

NPC Bikini competitor and experienced model, Melanie Tillbrook is back with a helpful tip regarding water and how she prepares for a big photo shoot.

Melanie’s Tip:
The week before a big shoot, I drink a lot of water. You should always be drinking water but it’s extra important before a photo shoot. Typically, I’m having 4-5 liters of water a day  and this helps flush out the toxins in my skin and keeps me fully hydrated. The last couple days before a shoot I taper off the water. The day before a shoot I will typically drink 1 liter and not much the morning of a shoot. After the shoot is over, I’m back to drinking water as usual. Staying hydrated helps to avoid wrinkles, clogged skin and overeating.

HARDBODY Insight: Melanie’s tip is helpful for models wanting to look their best. One thing as a photographer I will note, please do NOT deplete yourself to the point of looking unhealthy. I’ve had models show up on shoots looking like they are getting ready for a bodybuilding contest and are so dehydrated they cramp up and can’t move. This is NOT a good look and one that isn’t healthy. You have nothing to gain by taking diuretics or going to the extremes. Follow Melanie’s tip and remember to stay hydrated!

Melanie will be competing in a couple of weeks at the NPC USA contest in Las Vegas. Follow her on twitter @msmelaniet as she looks to earn her IFBB pro card in the NPC bikini division. She’s also been doing a number of runway projects. See what it’s like to be a model on the runway!


Hardbody Style’n with Cindy Whitehead – Go With The Flow

The Cinster aka The Sports Stylist® aka the baddest style’n guru in the land shares her latest hardbody style’n tip for models. She sheds some light on what it’s like to be a stylist on a project and the model is asked what they think of the outfit. Some of you might think, well if you don’t want to know don’t ask me, which I won’t argue with however in this case sometimes it’s best to do as Cindy suggests, just go with the flow.

So what do you think of this outfit? Sometimes a model will get asked that question, either by the stylist, client or even the photographer. That’s a hard one. I liken this question to “how is your day?” – it’s a general question and perhaps not much more than that it’s best to smile and defer to the experts who are there to help. The stylist may know that a certain designer or color needs to be featured in this issue and knows that you are the girl that can pull this look off – so if you say “I never wear pink” tha next thing you know 5 people in the room have all decided they know what’s best and the whole team is back to square one. You know you look amazing and can pull anything off (that’s why you were chosen to model right?) so go with the flow and be happy to rock any look they give you.

Visit Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist). Give her a HARDBODY shout out.


WWE Diva Kaitlyn Joins Hardbody

I’m stoked to announce our newest Hardbody contributor, NPC Figure competitor turned World  WWE Diva Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn will be sharing her tales from the road, how she trains and look behind the scenes as a WWE Diva. She has the looks and the personality to match, making her one of the hottest new female stars in the WWE.

Kaitlyn’s Corner:

Well here I am… Dripping sweat, starving and about to wet my pants in seat 7A…. Headed to Harrisburg, PA.

I guess I should explain myself. I don’t normally wet my pants, in case that’s what you were thinking. I’m flying to Harrisburg to tape an episode of Friday night SMACKDOWN. I am currently one of the newest Divas on the roster.

So I arrived at Tampa international Airport to catch my flight, as I do EVERY week and my flight is delayed. Sweet. So half an hour later, I board my flight and just as I pass a screaming baby and think to myself, “I dodged a bullet there, glad I’m not sitting next ‘Stinky McTantrum'”. As I find my row, I’m thankful to have a window seat. Ok, the man in the middle seat seems normal. He looks a little like a hill-billy but who am I to judge? I sit down, put my seat belt on and HOLY FEBREEZE!! What is that smell?? If a donkey and gingivitis had a baby… This is what it would smell like.

This man, who I nick-named “Halitosis Harry (ass)” has clearly missed his monthly bath and most likely uses manure as tooth paste.

So I remind myself that things could be worse (not likely), but I always try to stay positive. It’s only an hour and forty minutes. As the plane went into descent and only 10 minutes to go, I was very thankful that we had a safe flight and that I was able to mask some of the odor by eating an entire pack of Orbitz sweet mint gum (which will undoubtedly give me gas later).

So the plane touched down and I turn on my phone while trying to think of something dumb to post on Twitter.

“Crap”. (that’s not actually what I said… But it’s close enough). It was 5:29 and my connection was going to take off at 5:52! When we got to the gate, I jumped up frantically trying to get to the front. Hey, I don’t care, I’ll push a baby! Especially if he was crying the whole flight. I was not going to get stuck in Charlotte, NC for the night. That means that I would have to fly to Harrisburg in the morning on a TV day.

TV days are ridiculously long and not to mention hella stressful. Plus my bags would be going to Harrisburg without me. That means my clothes, hair products and my cooler with all my food, (of course I bring my food on the road. Once a fitness girl, always a fitness girl), would be out of touch until the next morning.

So, I grabbed my carry-on and held on to my low-rise jeans and sprinted from gate B7 to gate E25! I made it in just enough time to have the yellow strap pulled in front of me and the gate door closed. The lady at the desk wasn’t bothered in the least that I had embarrassing pit stains and was pretty much completely out of breathe.

Man, I do interval sprints! Why the EFF was I struggling to breath? Whatever.

So I begged and pleaded and she let me on and she couldn’t have been more disgusted with the idea of actually helping someone out.

So that brings us up to now. I am so grateful to be sitting next to this clean elderly gentleman, who is quietly reading and smelling very pleasant. I am grateful even though I didn’t get to eat or use the bathroom and now I’M the one that smells like a hill-billy.

My life as a Diva is amazing, exhausting, rewarding, challenging and the best job in the world, but it is most definitely NOT glamorous. I have had the most incredible, (good and bad) experiences and I’ve only been with the WWE for just short of one, whirl-wind year.

My luggage didn’t arrive until 3:00 am… So I did what any HARDBODY would do… And worked out in my wrestling boots at the hotel gym. The first thing I learned about flying: always have your gear, wrestling boots, one dress, a set of workout clothes, make up and undies in your carry on bag for occasions such as this.

That’s all until next time Hardbody peeps!

Follow Kaitlyn on twitter at kaitlynWWE and become a fan on her official Facebook Fan page. Give Kaitlyn a shout and tell her you saw her on HARBDODY. She has a HUGE following on twitter and always good for a few laughs.


Hardbody Style’n With Cindy: A Smile is Contagious

Cindy aka The Sports Sylist Whitehead has a simple but helpful reminder for those of you doing photo shoots. As a photographer, I 110% agree with The Cinster on this tip. Something as simple as a smile can make things cruise along during a long day of shooting. Cindy is one of the best stylists in the biz, when she talks people listen.

The Sports Stylist® TIP:
It’s a photo shoot – have fun!  We all love what we do and it’s our pleasure to dress you and make you look your best. So enjoy the day and smile, take it all in, ask us to take photos of you (if you like).  Your excitement rubs off on all of us. Nothing better than spending the day with a smiling and “happy to be there” model!

Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. Also make sure you follow her on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist).


Hardbody Style’n – Models, You’re Not the Boss

The resident Hardbody.com Style’n guru, Cindy aka The Sports Stylist® has a great tip this week. Cindy works on some of the biggest photo shoots in the sports & fitness industry and has seen more than her fair share of divas on sets. No one enjoys working with a difficult person on a photo shoot. I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable a shoot with go if the model is easy to work with. That said check out what Cindy has to say about models and their ‘tude.

I have seen people treat my assistant like their own personal servant or argue with the photographer about lighting, and even tell the hair and make-up person how it “should” be done. My advice is if this is a test shoot you are paying for – do whatever you want (but be aware you may be throwing good money away by not listening to the experts you hire) but on a magazine or advertising shoot you need to realize that from top to bottom, this crew has respect for one another and if you are a diva word gets around and your reputation will proceed you – it’s a small industry.

Women, take this to heart. If you’re being paid you’re not the boss, you’re the talent. If you don’t like how your hair or make up is done, fake it. Don’t like the outfit you’re wearing? Pretend it’s something else. Successful models know how to work through any situation they are placed in and know how to make it work. That’s why they are professionals and more likely to get booked again.

Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. Also make sure you follow her on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist).

Hardbody Style’n Tip – “Everything in Moderation”

Our resident style’n guru Cindy Whitehead aka The Sports Stylist® usually shares some insight on clothing but this week she’s mixing it up a bit. She gives some great style’n advice about eating on a shoot. Ladies take this to heart. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you’re chowing down like it’s your last supper on a shoot, the client may not invite you back. I know it’s happened. Don’t be THAT model.

Eating Part 1:
No one expects you to be perfect. But clients also do not expect you to have 3 donuts and a slice of cake at lunch when you are shooting swimwear or workout wear that day. One of the fitness models told me something that is great advice: “everything in moderation” she said this as she had one scrumptious bite of mud pie at lunch. That same weekend went on to win her division at a show. We all got an email on Monday (after her win) saying “remember what I said, everything in moderation”. Such great advice.

Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. She’s also one to follow on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist).

Hardbody Style’n Tip: A Magazine Shoot isn’t A Shopping Spree

Our resident Hardbody Style’n genius, Cindy “The Sports Stylist®” Whitehead has a helpful tip this week for those of you who do photo shoots. Most women who are into modeling have a goal of being in a magazine. Magazine photo shoots are different than portfolio shoots. Typically a magazine shoot will be quite a production, complete with hair, make-up, styling and more.

If you haven’t been on a magazine shoot you may or may not know that the clothing is usually provided. Top stylists like Cindy often spend hours finding a variety of clothes for the shoot. The clothing must fit properly and not have a dated look by the time the magazine runs. Most photo shoots happen months before you see it hit the final product. Many times the clothing provided on these types of shoots aren’t in stores yet. All that considered, check out Cindy’s tip on those killer clothes.

You know that rack of amazing clothes you see at your magazine shoot and wish you could take it all home with you? The stylist and her team have spent weeks calling manufacturers and PR firms pulling in workout wear or swimsuits from many different manufacturers. Stylists usually have things in a set order on the rack and are responsible financially for getting each and every piece back to the manufacturer it came from. So always ask before you grab something that catches your eye – while it may look like the best “store” you have ever seen, with everything in your size, its filled with one of a kind pieces, product that is under wraps until it’s launched and everything in a specific order. You don’t want to give the stylist (who is going to make you look amazing) a heart attack!


Check out Cindy’s blog at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. Cindy has been traveling all over the globe on killer photo shoots so be sure to follow her adventures on  twitter.com (@sportsStylist).

Hardbody Hook Up with The Sports Stylist – FREE APPAREL

Check this out Hardbody peeps! Thanks to our Hardbody style’n gurus, Cindy Whitehead aka The Sports Stylist® you have a chance at a Hardbody Hook up.


Here’s the skinny…

photo by Ian Logan

NUX clothing is giving one lucky HARDBODY the entire 3 piece outfit Cindy featured in the photo above – all in your size of course!

To enter visit the Nux website and check out all the cool apparel, then in the comments field on Cindy’s Blog write…


“I’m a hardbody and my favorite NUX item is _____________ because _________ . Thanks for the hook up Cindy!”

Must enter by May 31, 2011 – midnight PST. The contest is open to USA residents only. Cindy will announce the winner on June 1 – Good Luck!

** Skateboard and waist pouch are not included in the giveaway. 🙂


Figure Champion Nicole Wilkins Answers YOUR Questions

The two-time Figure International Champion, Nicole Wilkins updates us with what she’s been up to lately. She definitely has a whirlwind travel schedule as being the champ. Nicole has been kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer questions from fans across the globe that she receives via her facebook fan page.  Check it out!

Hey! I’m in the middle of another busy travel month. After a relatively slow April things are picking up again. Earlier this month, I ventured down to Florida for a photo shoot for our new Met-Rx calendar. Last Saturday, I flew into Pittsburgh for Jim Manion’s Pittsburgh Pro to work the Met-Rx booth and see a lot of people in the industry I haven’t seen in a while. I’m glad I’m getting most of my travel out of the way in May, because I’ll be starting my prep again pretty soon as we are about 18 weeks out from the Tournament of Champions and 19 weeks from the Olympia. It’s going to be here before we all know it!

Last week I released my DVD!!! I am sooo excited that after almost a year putting this together it is finally complete!! It is only available on my website right now at www.nicolewilkins.com. The DVD goes in detail about everything I did gearing up for the 2010 IFBB Figure Olympia so if you’re interested, please check it out and let me know what you think. You can see the trailer here:

Here is another round of questions for all you Hardbody readers that I received through facebook or by email. Let me know if one of these was yours!

1. What do you do in your free time when you’re not training or getting ready for a competition?
When I am not training myself, I personal train clients one-on-one (Mon-Thurs) as well as online all throughout the week. In between clients, I am writing out programs, responding to emails, doing interviews, appearances, modeling, traveling for Met-Rx, competing, hosting and promoting seminars (July 2nd) as well as my show (NPC Nicole Wilkins and Natural Michigan Bodybuilding Championships in July), cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping etc. You know… the usual 🙂 I love to be busy and am definitely a type A personality. I am traveling almost every weekend until the end of July, however in April I was home a majority of the time so I had a great time catching up with old friends and going on movie dates.

2. How many minutes of cardio do you do and how often in your off-season?
In the off-season I do anywhere from 30 min to an hour and a half 6 days a week depending on how I feel. I love doing cardio. It is MY time to focus on ME. It is very therapeutic.

3. What are your thoughts on sugar free gum and sweetners like Splenda when getting ready for a show?
I am a gum addict! Gum does have a ton of artificial sweeteners and if taken in overabundance, can cause painful stomach cramps as well as water retention. Splenda I only use on occasion- I have switched over to Stevia. I love liquid cinnamon Stevia. Typically, I cut gum and all sweetners out about 2 weeks from a show.

4. I recently competed and gained a lot of weight the week after the contest, and now I feel horrible. How do you avoid post contest rebounds?
A rebound occurs after a contest or diet when a person has a huge amount of calories for multiple days in a row – especially if they are foods your body is not used to having (i.e. cookies, candy, chips, pizza etc). Think about it – you haven’t had anything processed for weeks on end. When you eat foods like this all of a sudden your body is in total shock, yet you don’t just have one meal, you have days of these meals. You are going to get bloated, swollen, lethargic and put back on a lot of the weight you worked so hard to drop.

I did this early in my competitive career too, but after a while I realized it just wasn’t smart, and it definitely wasn’t fun. I recommend having a cheat meal or two after the show, then getting right back on a clean-eating plan. That’s what I do, I just increase portion sizes a little bit at times. Healthy foods make you feel great, give you tons of energy, so you’ll feel a lot better and have a lot more energy for your workouts.

5. I recently read a Facebook post from another pro figure where she said that treadmills weren’t good for sprinting. I live in Pennsylvania, so I can’t always get outside for my cardio work, especially during the winter. I notice you do sprints on a treadmill and was wondering what are your thoughts on this?
Being that I live in Michigan – somewhere where the weather is cold and snowy for over half the year as well – I do all of my running indoors on the treadmill, including sprints, when I’m prepping for shows like the Figure International. I can’t get outside during those months, and it wouldn’t be smart for me to go run on icy roads and risk injury. It’s been well documented that high intensity interval training is better for burning fat than slow and steady cardio, so if someone is faced with the option of doing HIIT cardio on a treadmill or not at all, I recommend doing it on a treadmill.

During the summer I do most of my sprint and cardio workouts outside, but I will still use the treadmill on occasion when I’m pressed for time. Sometimes I have up to 8 clients a day. Between that, training clients online and whatever else I may have to do, there are days when I don’t have time to drive to a track or go somewhere I can do my HIIT work outside – I may have to fit in my training between 2 and 3 before training clients from 4 to 9, then do my cardio after that and still get home, eat and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe if someone doesn’t work a full time job they can do that, but there are a lot of women like me who don’t have that luxury. I can only imagine how hard that would be for someone who has two kids at home!

So basically no, I don’t agree with that statement. It depends on the individual and what works best for their body, their schedule and their lifestyle. There are way too many variables involved to definitively say that.

I hope this helped some of you who asked or had the same questions. If you have any more, check out my site at www.nicolewilkins.com and contact me there or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/nicolewilkins01. See you next time!

The Sports Stylist® Tip: Get a Face Mask

Cindy Whitehead travels all over the globe and works with some of the biggest names in sports. She’s kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to share a tip. This week’s tip involves not jack’n up your make up when changing clothes for a photo shoot. What’s the solution? A face mask. HUH?


Worried about putting on that tight workout wear over a perfect make-up job? Ask the stylist to help by pulling neckline of the top away from your face when putting it on. You can also carry a mesh type “face mask” with you which helps. It goes over your face, zips in the back and looks really pretty (kidding). I carry one in my kit but not everyone does. You can usually find them for under $15 at your local department store lingerie department.

Cindy has some sweet new info on her blog check it out at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on various shoot via her  twitter.com (@sportsStylist). The newest issue of Muscle & Fitness HERS has a cool feature on shoes compliments of the The Cinster, check it out too!


Figure Champion Nicole Wilkins Answers Often Asked Questions

IFBB Figure Champion Nicole Wilkins added two more victories to her resume this year. The champ has a number of things she’s busy with but was kind enough to take the time to share another guest blog here. As you can imagine being one of the top figure competitors in the world, Nicole is often asked the same questions over and over. She answers some of them here.


Long time no blog! Thank you Isaac for asking me to continue to write for hardbody.com. I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of spring. I know I am loving the 60 degree weather and sunshine. Spring is the best for outdoor activities and after such a long winter, the sunshine brightens up everyone’s mood around here.

I decided that I am going to use this blog to answer common questions I’m often asked. If you can think of any that I didn’t answer, please send me an email at nicole@nicolewilkins.com or visit my facebook page at www.facebook.com/nicolewilkins01 and post them there. I will do my best to answer as many as I can.

1. Do you ever struggle with your diet while prepping for a contest? If so how do you overcome it?
Of course. There are times where I am very hungry and would love to have a cookie or a jar of peanut butter lol, but then I think of how far I have come, how hard my fellow competitors are training at that moment and how I would feel after if I ate myself into comatose. Then, I stop and have some hot tea 🙂 I think this sport is one of, if not the hardest, because not only do you have to train regularly, but you have to be ON 24/7 with your diet. If it was easy, everyone would be in great shape!

2. What advice would you give for makeup, hair and tanning for stage? How do you get the perfect tan?
Makeup and hair: I recommend getting this done professionally for your competition. You have trained for months gearing up for this show. The last thing you need is your hair or makeup affecting your placement. I do recommend natural looking hair- avoid the prom updo’s and for makeup, don’t forget the fake eyelashes!

For the tan: Be sure to exfoliate all week gearing up to get rid of all dead skin. If you don’t, your tan may get a little muddy looking. Do not use lotion the day or two before you tan and absolutely no deodorant the day of (it will turn lime green!). Once sprayed, wear loose clothes, do not get any water on your skin and do not sweat. Stay in a cool place.

3. I’m thinking about entering a competiton. Where can I find information on contests in my area?
Two of the most important sites to know are:

For individual states, I would google the state I am interested in to see what their National Physique Committee (NPC) show schedule for that year is. Here are a few:
In Texas: http://www.thompsonmusclecontest.com
On the East coast: http://www.bevfrancis.com
On the West coast & Mountain regions: http://www.lindsayproductions.com
http://www.jefftaylor.com & www.npcutah.com.
In the midwest: http://www.michiganfitnessshows.com (check out my show July 16th 😉

I know I missed soooo many, so please leave your state and site in the comments below.

4. What is your daily diet when you are not preparing for a competition? Do you indulge in sweets, alcohol, etc and if so how often?
My offseason diet looks pretty much the same as my in-season diet. I like to eat clean and healthy but, yes I do like the occasional glass of red wine and dessert! I don’t drink much at all though, maybe three times a year if that lol. I also don’t go crazy with food either because I can pack on the lbs pretty easy!

5. What are some do’s and don’ts for someone looking to compete?
DO: Hire a trainer- have someone else keep an eye on you so you don’t drive yourself crazy with ‘should I do more of this, less of this, eat more of this, not enough of that….’

DON’T: Worry about what everyone else is doing. Focus on what you need to do to bring in the best YOU.

DO: Ask questions and attend a show before you compete in one.

DON’T: Think you can get a way with ‘a bite or two won’t hurt’.

DO: Listen to only one person’s advice – everyone has their own methods and there is no right or wrong way. Every body is different.

DON’T: Get pissed onstage if you are not in the first callout – take it as a learning experience and do better next time.

DO: Have fun! You are competing because you love to train and live a healthy lifestyle, and competing helps give you a goal to strive for and extra motivation. It is not all about winning and losing. Enjoy the experience and appreciate the journey.


I hope this helps you out! Have a question? Post it in the comments below or on my facebook page.

Hardbody Style’n with The Sports Stylist® – Social Disaster

Our resident Hardbody Stylist, Cindy Whitehead has another tip for you but this time it’s related to client agreements. Check out what The Sports Stylist has to share this week. Good stuff!


Social Disaster:
Most of us love to tweet, facebook and perhaps even have a blog. But you have to be careful what and when you share when involved in a paid shoot. Sometimes the client will ask you to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement), which makes things very clear as to when you can “talk”. If not, ask before you share. They may not want the world to know yet that you will be gracing the pages of their magazine or starring in their upcoming ad. Or maybe they will – you never know until, you ask.


Cindy continues to rock on her blog check it out at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. She’s also scoot’n across the country and you can keep up with her on twitter.com (@sportsStylist).

Melanie Tillbrook’s Model Confessions – Stay Hydrated

Ms. Melanie provides a great reminder to the hardbody women who are doing photo shoots. This one is VERY important and one that you should be following, unless you’re a female bodybuilder.


The week before a big shoot, I’ll drink a lot of water the days leading up to a shoot. When I’m  4-7 days out I’m having 4-5 liters of water a day flushing out the toxins in my skin and keeping myself fully hydrated. I won’t have quite that much the day before a shoot but it’s important to stay hydrated with water to avoid wrinkles, clogged skin and it helps you as to not overeat.

I also watch how much caffeine I’m drinking closer to the shoot date, sometimes coffee causes unwanted bloating and water in the tummy area. You don’t want to cover up those pretty abs you’ve worked so hard for.

Thanks for reading!

Melanie Tillbrook

Melanie is keeping herself busy with runway jobs, modeling assignments and spokesmodel gigs across the globe. Follow her on twitter to see where she’ll be next.


The Sports Stylist® Says Get a Mani/Pedi

When Cindy Whitehead speaks, people listen and if they don’t list while on a set they will. Cindy aka The Sports Stylist® has another Hardbody tip related to you hands and feet. Simple but worth remembering.



Doing a shoot? Show up with clear or very sheer pink nails on your hands and feet. The reason being is it’s not distracting or competing with you or the apparel. And if  someone says don’t worry about your feet – worry! You never know when the photographer or creative team will decide to do something barefoot – and you don’t want to be sporting that bright blue polish you just had to try last week!


Cindy was recently on assignment in Dallas, Texas. Check out her blog, cindywhitehead.blogspot.com, for updates on this and other trips and while you’re at it follow her on twitter.com (@sportsStylist). Show her some Hardbody love.

A Simple Thank You Goes a Long Way

Our resident Sports Stylist® Cindy Whitehead has a great tip and this time it’s a social style. We’re all busy and we tend to get caught up in ourselves from time to time but remember this simple tip from Cindy. It goes a long way.



Thank You.

I don’t think its an absolute necessity in any way but I always find it a nice gesture when I receive (or the whole team receives) a email note from one of the models saying what a great day she had or some other positive note about the shoot. Sometimes we get these after the shoot is published which is nice too. We are always happy to hear you had a great time and loved the way you looked!

I’ll add one thing from my experience as a photographer and columnist for Muscle & Fitness HERS… A simple text or email saying thanks leaves a lasting impression. The ones who stood out even more were individuals who took the time to write a note and send it via “snail mai”l. Is it necessary? No, but it certainly puts you in front of someone who was a pain in the butt and didn’t bother to say thank you.

Cindy is heat’n things up on her blog check it out at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. Follow her on twitter.com (@sportsStylist) for more great tips and a little entertainment.

Ms Melanie’s Model Confessions: Don’t Feel Pressured

Melanie Tillbrook is a NPC Bikini competitor and rising star in the modeling world. She checks in with a tip for models related to being pressured. Remember, no one forces you to do anything. Communicate open and honestly with the photographer, the client hiring you for the job or your manager about the shoot.


Don’t jeopardize your beliefs. A number of girls early on in their career get pressured by crappy photographers to take off their clothes and pushed because they are new to the industry. I’ve learn to never let anyone pressure you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Nudity is NOT required. It’s better to speak up than to regret photos years from now. Do what you feel comfortable with and what fits with YOUR beliefs. Remember sexy can still be classy.

Melanie Tillbrook

Cindy’s Hardbody Style’n Tip: Photo Shoot Prep

Our resident Hardbody Style’n expert, Cindy Whitehead aka The Sports Stylist® has a great tip this week related to photo shoots. As a photographer I agree with Cindy 100% on this week’s tip. She’s right on the money.

Photo Shoot Hair & Make-up:
Come to the shoot completely bare faced and with either clean hair or unwashed hair depending on your hair texture. If you are not sure – call the hair & make-up artist the day before and ask what she prefers. I hear some H&M people say that unwashed hair holds curl better and some prefer freshly washed. It may feel weird to go on set with a bare face but it’s much better for the team to not have to remove everything you just put on. And so much better for your skin!

Cindy has been a busy bee and has a lot of great stuff on her blog check it out at cindywhitehead.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on twitter.com (@sportsStylist) to see what she’s up to next.

Teresa Anthony Bounces Back

IFBB Figure Pro Teresa Anthony narrowly missed out on a top six spot at the 2011 Figure International. She’s packing her suit and headed to St. Louis this weekend in hopes of moving into a top spot. She certainly has the potential to do so. Ms. Anthony gives us an update on her Arnold experience and her goal for this weekend’s competition.



The Arnold has come and gone, now back to the craziness of my real life. Overall my first experience at the AC was a great one, I felt extremely honored to be part of the weekend. I enjoyed gracing the stage and especially enjoyed spending time with some friends I haven’t seen in a while. As I had a week to reflect about that weekend I realize that I should be very proud of my accomplishment of 7th place. Now I would be telling a lie if I didn’t say that I had some disappointment about missing out of the top 6, but it was a competitive show and that is the breaks. I don’t look at the my Arnold placing as a failure, I look at it is a another wonderful experience that will make me work harder to get better. When things didn’t work out according to my plan, Mom always reminds me that it wasn’t in God’s plan, so with that said it is time to move on to the next venture.

I was going to take a break until later this summer, however, since I am still in shape and feeling very competitive, I have decided to compete in St. Louis. My expectation is to come in tighter and work on my stage presence more. I enjoyed a couple of cheat meals in Columbus after the show, however, I did cardio and drank a lot of water to ensure I would not get bloated from the goodies. I kicked my diet into full swing when I returned home on Sunday, so I am feeling good and ready to rock and roll.

See you in the St. Louis!!

Teresa N. Anthony

Follow Teresa on twitter @FitTeresaNicole.

Bikini International Preview

This Saturday marks the beginning of a new international event. The inaugural Bikini International will showcase some of the hottest, hardbody bikini competitors in the world. Get the skinny on the competition by visiting Bodybuilding.com. Can Sonia repeat her performance at the Olympia and take home the crown or will someone else?



Check out the Bikini International Preview here.


Teresa Anthony’s Final Preparations: Taking in the Moment

IFBB Figure Pro Teresa Anthony checks in with just a couple days left before she takes the Figure International stage.

It is 3 days until the Figure International and I am completely honored to finally be apart of such a wonderful show.  The last two days have been hectic with work, training/dieting and just overall preparing for the travel.  Packing for a trip I am not a fan of, I wish sometimes I could just get on the plane with my pocketbook and buy clothes, food and necessities when I arrive at my destinations.  Well wishful thinking but not practical on my part. This weekend I tried to help myself eliminate as much stress as possible, so I prepared the meals and did 85% of my clothes packing, but of course I am sure I will be adding more in the eleventh hour.  I tend to over pack and never really wear half of the clothes I bring on my trips…go figure!! Most of the ladies times are spent competing, working booths and photoshoots.  So in the past I have found myself wearing sweats most of the weekend, unless you go out on the town…and that I plan on doing.

As I sit and process in my mind that I will be competing in the AC, I think about how much hardwork it takes to get us here and that we have to physically and mentally tough to endure structure a discipline and structured lifestyle.  I have been competing since 2003 and every year I learn more and more about my as person and a competitor.  Striving for improvements is what has been driving me the last year and I am loving every moment of it.  Late at night when I can’t sleep and want to dip my spoon in peanut butter or almond butter, I tell myself, “the other competitors are not cheating.”  That has worked for me most of the time…but most of all it is was me asking God to take the cravings away is what got me through the diet this early in the season.  Don’t laugh….I am so serious. 🙂

All in all I am feeling great, inspired and ready to head to C-Bus.  I would like to wish all the competitors safe travels and let’s have a blast this weekend.  Peace out.


Follow Teresa on twitter @FitTeresaNicole. Give her a shout and tell her you saw her on Hardbody.

Tina Durkin’s Long Road to the Arnold 2011

IFBB Fitness Pro, Tina Durkin shares what the last few months have been like for her as she prepares for the Fitness International. Tina’s husband was deployed and she faced a few challenges along the way.



The Long Road to the Arnold 2011
By Tina Durkin

Last May when my husband told me he was being deployed to Afghanistan I just about lost it. We have been together almost 13 years and he had never gone overseas. I thought I was going to be sick. Not only the fact that my husband was going to a war zone, but the fact was I was going to be ALONE.  Some might say that a strong woman (like myself 😉 ) shouldn’t have any problems holding down the fort for awhile while the hubby is gone.  But, to be honest, my husband Matt is a angel. When they say that family is suppose to be a team and be there for each other, we really take that to heart! He has ALWAYS helped me prepare my meals, pack my lunches, help with laundry, and most of all take care of my little girl Evelyn.  Bottom line is that he makes my life easier.

So as you can imagine my life drastically changed in June. I had to take on many roles in my house:

1. Mom
2. Dad
3. IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete
4. PT at Golds
5. Fitness Instructor at WSC
6. Zumba Instructor at Fitness First
7. Carpool Mom
8. Taxi for my daughter

It truly seemed to never end.  You never realize how much your partner helps until you have to do it all yourself.  I would often drive over 100 miles a day and had many 12 hour days with at least 4 of those in the car (I live in DC).

Before he left, he stressed that he wanted me to keep my normal life as much as possible, meaning that I should still focus on competing and working.  I truly thought that was the right decision too.  So I decided to compete basically the whole time he was gone, to keep my mind occupied.  Although the Olympia prep was overwhelming, I made it thought! After that, Ft. Lauderdale was a little easier.  So now it brings me to the Arnold!!!

The week of the Ft. Lauderdale Pro, I was lifting shoulders (never miss a shoulder workout 😉 ) and the next day I could barely lift my arm over my head. I took Advil to get though the pain for the show but after I returned home it just got worse.  I made an appointment with the Sports Medicine clinic on base and they said I had “tendinitis” and gave me a cortisone shot and referred me to physical therapy.  They also suggested I stay off lifting for 2-3 weeks. Mind you, we are in the middle of December by this time. When I went to the PT, even after the 3 weeks, he said NO lifting.  Hmmmmm…. didn’t like that answer so in January I decided I would start seeing my chiropractor that specializes in ART (Active Release Tech).

Because of that injury, I basically didn’t lift (at all) for about 6 weeks. I did the normal light cardio but nothing crazy.  So 9 weeks from the Arnold, I started my diet and working out again.  That shoulder just didn’t want to heal.  I was going to the Chiropractor 1-2 times a weeks and I just couldn’t pick up more than 5 bls over my head. I was a disaster.  I remember going to Mike’s (Davies) to train one weekend and he was like “what the h*** happened with your a**”….not really what you want to hear from your trainer.

I really felt that my workouts were not at the intensity that they need to be to get ready for a show.  I wasn’t seeing many results and I really started to doubt myself.  I actually waited until the last possible minute to send in my contract just in case my shoulder did not heal.

After starting to feel better, my chiropractor thought I could trying lifting normal again. So of course, I pick up my weights and did a killer workout the next day. OHHHHH, it felt good. Unfortunately, the next day, I couldn’t move my arm AGAIN… UGHHHHHH.  I went back to the chirpactor that week, and he said that maybe my body just needed a break.  Knowing that I’m an athlete, he knew that really wasn’t an option for me. But I put my head down and said “maybe your right….I’m not sure I can do this anymore”. I just wondered if I needed to make the decision to pull out… at what point? It was the last week in January, so I told him I’d give it until the end of the week, if he couldn’t fix me, I’d take a break. I guess the lord heard my prayers because be the end of the week the pain had gotten less and less.  Now, I was not pain free but good enough to move forward. Finally things were looking up.

Now it’s Feb 1ish,my hubby is SUPPOSE to be coming home, and to be honest, I have not stressed ONE time about the Arnold. Even during the whole shoulder issue. All I cared about is Matt coming home. I’s like all my emotions where tied up in the home coming of my BEST FRIEND.  Nothing else mattered. He finally told me that he was coming home Feb 6. Oh thank god!  Feb 6 came and went. The flights where just not coming, I had to wait another week.  My heart sank.

Finally Feb 13th, a flight from Germany to BWI landed at about 3:30pm.  At that point, nothing else matter. He was home! It was like a weight was lifted from my shouldered. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.

During this journey, I’ve realized that family is the most important thing you will ever have. None of my success would be possible without the help of my family. Getting ready for a show is never a one man show though. There is always an entourage of people that contribute, like my trainer (Mike Davies), my gymnastics coach at Youth Sports, my choreographer and friend (IFBB Pro Nicole Duncan), my suit maker (Maggie Blanchard), my music guy, the PT, the chiropractor….I mean the list could go on and on. So, in my family we do this together. Evelyn goes to routine practice with me EVERY time. Matt helps with the food prep. Then I actually do the workouts….haha

Only days away from the Arnold, I’m actually feeling great.  My body finally did whats its suppose to do, my routine game together quite nicely, and my FAMILY will be there to support me. I am so excited to share this experience with them. I love competing but I love my FAMILY more… alleluia…we are together again!!!!!

Thanks! See ya in Columbus!

Tina Durkin, CPT

Justine Munro Camps Out Before The Arnold

Current Muscle & Fitness Hers cover girl Justine Munro updates us one last time before the Bikini International. She’s been camping out in Florida for a few days. Read why she’s migrated south for the winter.

The countdown is on and the Arnold Classic is just days away. I can’t believe that I will be in Ohio within 72 hours!!! There is a part of me that is a little nervous, but deep inside I am so excited!

The last two weeks have been absolutely amazing! The past ten days I have spent in Florida with my team ” Team Bombshell”. It was the best decision I have ever made, as it has brought me closer to my dream.

I read this statement, “coaching with a professional coach, is the practice of supporting an individual through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result”. My coaches Shannon and Rob have been amazing and have provided me with unconditional support. They pushed me to step up when I needed to step up and they encouraged me the entire way. Working with my entire Bombshell sista’s has motivated me as well and made me even more proud of being on such a great team of amazing individuals. This past week I had the chance of getting to know Jessica Jesse—She is a great person. We did everything together; cardio, training and even shopping! She is truly my partner in crime! (Love you girl xo)

I never realized how important it is to be part of a team. We go through good and bad times, happy and sad times, but always pulling together and staying strong. I have learned a great deal about myself; my strengths, my weaknesses and at times pushing me to my limit. But, what makes me feel good inside is knowing that no matter what, they accept me for who I am, understand the journey that I have chosen and continue to support me along the way. Thank you to Team Bombshell for everything! Love you lots!

Finally, I am honored to be on the front cover of Muscle Fitness and Hers Magazine for the March/April. Thank you to everyone for believing in me and allowing me to represent such a great magazine. I am truly honored and will make you proud!

Along every journey you meet a number of amazing people and at times must face a number of difficult situations and/or decisions that one must make. But I must say, my journey has been truly a great experience and I owe this to everyone who has traveled along with me. Thank you!

If I don’t get the chance to write again before the Arnold, “Good luck everyone! Thanks for a great journey!”


“Success is a journey, not a destination”- Ben Sweetland

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