Tawna Eubanks vs The Scale: One Day At A Time

Tawna Eubanks is preparing for her first trip to the Arnold and she’s facing the roller coaster of emotions that often come with preparing for a show. In her latest Hardbody Road to The Arnold, she shares her recent freak out with her scale weight and how it helped her take a second look at everything in her diet. Find out how obsessing with the scale helped Tawna make a needed adjustment to her nutrition plan.

Tawna Eubanks – 2013 Bikini International Contender
So, this week has been battle of the scales. When I started my prep for the Arnold I was dropping pounds like nobody’s business! Nothing like waking up to a nice low number on that S.O.B… I think most of you would agree with me calling it that. Then out of nowhere, BOOM, up 4 pounds. What the hell?! No matter how many times I’ve done this, how much I know my weight is going to fluctuate. It pisses me off beyond belief! What a let down, I feel so discouraged and frustrated. I have been sticking to my diet, hitting it hard every workout, every cardio session. What could it possibly be? I mean it can’t be just water weight it was 4 pounds not a couple! I started stressing out thinking of all the possibilities, running through every single one of meals down to the ounces, over and over and over again. You can forget me being amped up in the gym; my motivation is well I have none at this point. It’s all I can think about, I was totally letting it take over.

After a day or so of beating myself up, literally obsessing over the number, jumping on the scale after every restroom break, and annoying my poor trainer and boyfriend about how I don’t understand! I was mixing my carbs that I drink during my workout, when I realized I put in a whole scoop. “Whoops, I do half a scoop… OOOOO crap!!!” I had added an additional 25 grams of carbs to the 25 grams I was already supposed to use, so over the course of the week I had almost 300 extra carbs! We changed my diet for a couple of days, and I got after it in the gym and on my cardio. I got back on the scale 2 days later and my weight was lower than it was before the added weight.

OK, so I had a blonde/dieting moment. The moral of the story for me and anyone else who has had the same “catastrophe”, is don’t freak out when the scale sends you a wild card! There are SO many variables that can cause your weight to fluctuate and the only thing you can count on is the fact that it WILL fluctuate. I do have to say though that the scale is a powerful tool when used correctly. Had I not monitored my weight I never would have seen the increase and I never would have figured out the extra carbohydrates I was using in my workout. Use the scale to you advantage and know that it is a “guide” not the end-all-be-all to your success and your progress!

Taking it one day at time,

Tawna Eubanks
Follow Tawna on twitter at @TawnaEubanks and like her Facebook page. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com.

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Editor’s Note: This is from Tawna directly and she shared what works for her. It may or may not work for you.


No Excuses: Trish Warren’s Baby Weighted Workouts

Hardbody Mom, Trish Warren checks in with an update on her Fitness International preparation at the half-way mark. Trish has an active 11 month old daughter, Faith, that keeps her busy along with running a business, being a wife and preparing for her return to the stage. The Texas Fitness Star also shares some fun photos of how she includes her daughter in her workouts. Check out Trish’s Hardbody Road to The Arnold.


Trish Warren – 2013 Fitness International Contender

The half-way mark is here! With only 6 weeks to go, I am feeling good about my progression to date. I am a little nervous to see where I end up placing after sitting last year out. I am fully aware of my competition, and I know that I have to bring my “A” game to keep up with their awesomeness! This is a challenge that I have accepted, and am working way harder than normal to be fully prepared. I take every second of my training seriously and have really thought outside the box as far as routine to bring a unique performance that fits my personality. I am working with my good friends Audrey Steinle and Amanda Morris to help me step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am also working with Sheilahe Brown who helps me take what Audrey, Amanda and I have come up with to a whole new level. Let’s just say we make the steps, and Sheilahe puts the pep in the steps! I am also a little, scared of Sheilahe who brings her beating stick to every practice! I don’t dare tell her I can’t do something! I know my body doesn’t move like hers, but I sure try to make it look like it does LOL!

 friendsTrish & her friends working out together.

Now that I feel like my routine is shaping up to be the best one I have done, I can focus more on refining my physique. My training is definitely different than in the past. I have decided to bring Faith (my daughter) along with me to the gym. I love the aspect that Faith gets to enjoy her training time too! She get’s so excited when we pull up to the gym. Instead of picking up a 20lb dumbbell to do ball squats or walking lunges, I just pick up Faith! I know most women would have a hard time getting in a good workout with their baby hanging around, but I am lucky that Faith enjoys our training time and makes herself part of the group. Let’s face it, when you are a mom, wife, business owner, and getting ready to compete, sometimes I have to improvise and train at home utilizing Faith as my weight, all the while keeping her entertained. I have learned to become very creative when it comes to training and keeping a curious baby content.

My husband, Branch and I have both learned that a happy baby is a happy home.

Fun workout photos with Trish & Faith.

Now that I have somewhat of a normal routine, and training schedule, I have to figure out a time to fit in my cardio. This has not been an easy thing to do with a very active 11 month old! I have had to resort to late night cardio sessions. I am not thrilled about this but have no other options. Faith usually goes to sleep between 8:30 and 9:00pm, and then I mosey into the garage to finish out my day. If we put her to bed any earlier she will be up at 4:00am, and I am not a morning person! I like to use my cardio time to peruse through my routine sessions and envision how I can make it better!

I end my day with a hot soaking Epson bath, prayer time, and a good night of sleep! I am very thankful for the many blessings the good Lord has given me!

Until Next Time… Love Life and God Bless,

Trish Warren

Check out Trish’s contest photos and competition history. Follow her on twitter @trishwarren and on facebook. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Photos courtesy of Trish Warren for HardbodyNews.

Seven Ways to Find Balance in Your Week with Candice Keene

Candice Keene is juggling college classes and preparing for the 2013 Figure International. She checks in this week to share her top seven ways to find balance. She shares what works for her and how you can implement them into your daily routine.


This week demanded extra thought, preparation, and being sure to sticking to my planned schedule. This is where to-do lists are extremely handy! This is the second week of classes so everything is on the up and up. Last week was course overview, add/drop etc. This gave me a little room to run those extra errands that I’ve been meaning to do, or write up a few more game plans to conquer over the next 5/6 weeks, and hustle some ProCakez. I am taking two on-campus classes and two online classes. As much as the online classes seem convenient, they can actually bite the dust if you’re not on top of it! Previous semesters I have crashed and burned with the online courses… thinking, “Oh I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I’ll catch up the past few weeks this weekend.” Ummmm… NO! Lol ..talk about pulling your hair out! And the closer a show approaches, forget about it!

I started going back to school the same time I started competing, so I’ve been able to juggle and balance it all pretty well..but man, it can be a biotch! Lol 
So, by creating a weekly schedule that you HAVE to be disciplined enough to follow, creating detailed to-do lists (detailed because when you are taking 4 classes, the brain tends to forget a lot especially when the carbs drop lol), and creating a repetitive habitual daily practice, this just makes life a hell of a lot easier. By not stressing as much, you are able to keep your cortisol levels in check, which we all know how detrimental high cortisol levels can be to fat loss!

Also, just as important as external balance is, internal balance is just as important if not more so. If there is internal chaos mentally, spiritually, emotionally… you can never perform optimally in what you are trying to do in your external life. It’s all about BALANCE. 
So to sum up my balance mechanisms and then some, here are my top seven ways to achieve all over homeostasis:

1. Prepare -  Have one day in the week (preferably Sunday) to prepare bulk quantities of food to last through the week.

2. Set aside a quiet hour for you to brainstorm and reflect on what you need to do for the week ahead (school, job, training, misc errands etc). Then create a daily schedule with daily to-do’s within them.

3. Listen to positive audio or read self-help books at least one hour a day to keep your mind in check.

4. Visualize your end goal everyday as a constant reminder to yourself to not slack with your schedule and your to-do’s. Remember, consistency is key.

5. Have a little girl time with the gals. Even if it’s a weekly track workout, you still have that communication and support from your besties.

6. Find time for weekly yoga and massage. These will ensure a calm state of mind.

7. And finally, practice Gratitude.

Have a great booty kicking week everyone!! 
 Until next time!


Follow Candice on twitter at @candicekeene, Instagram @candicekeene and like her facebook page. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Lead image courtesy of Candice Keene.




Fiona Harris “No Regrets” – Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Last year this time, Canadian Fitness Competitor Fiona Harris was preparing for the Arnold Amateur competition. This year, she’ll be heading to Columbus once again however it will be as an IFBB Pro. Fiona made an immediate impact in the top spots in 2012 and went from amateur to Olympia competitor all in her rookie year. She joins us in her journey to the Fitness International. Check out what Fiona has to say in what was a whirlwind rookie year and why she lives by the motto, “no regrets”.


Fiona Harris, 2013 Fitness International Contender

Wow, what a difference a year can make. This time last year I was prepping to compete as an amateur at the Arnold Classic and this year I will step on stage as an IFBB Pro. To say these past 12 months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. I’ve been extremely blessed and provided with opportunities many competitive fitness/figure athletes would only dream of. Since earning my IFBB pro card at the IFBB World Championship Qualifier in April 2012, it has been an amazing ride of back to back shows taking me to new and amazing places.

One week after earning my pro card, I stepped on stage for my debut at the Pittsburgh Pro Show.  There was definitely some fear and trepidation in joining the pro circuit so quickly, but my coaches had all the confidence in the world in me. And thank goodness they did! I walked away from my first pro show with a 3rd place finish and a bucket full of confidence. Following another 3rd place finish at the Toronto Pro Show in June, I solidified enough points to compete at prestigious Olympia. This had only been a distant dream six months earlier and now I would be having the opportunity to stand on stage with the top fitness competitors in the world.  And what an amazing experience it was.  It truly lived up to my every expectation!

Two weeks following the Olympia, I once again boarded the plane, this time to compete at the Arnold Europe in Madrid, Spain. Having the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful country and compete in the sport I love so much was another fantastic opportunity. As if four shows in six months weren’t enough, I decided to stay the course and compete in two more shows, the Fort Lauderdale Cup and Miami Pro, in order to try and earn points for the 2013 Olympia.  With the new qualifying system, each fitness competitor is anxious to solidify their spot for the coveted event. My approach is to do everything I can possibly do to make that happen, so that if the chips don’t fall in my favor, I can honestly look myself in the eye and know I had no regrets! That is and will continue to always be my philosophy in life – “No Regrets”.  Train as hard as I can, give 110% effort in and out of the gym, show my passion and love for my sport and be proud of what I accomplish each time I step on stage.

Everyone always comments on how hard I train, how much I compete, how dedicated I am to the sport. And they ask me why I put myself through it? My answer is simple – I love it!  It is a privilege to compete with the best in the world in a sport that requires such self-discipline, focus, hard work and athleticism. I am as focused and determined as ever for the upcoming Fitness International.  To be 1 of 10 fitness competitors provided with the opportunity to step onto the Fitness International stage is a privilege in itself.  I plan to continue training as hard as possible to bring the best physique and routine I possibly can, so that I know I can step off that stage at the end of the day and say I had “No Regrets”.

Fiona Harris

Follow Fiona on twitter at @fionaharrisfit, like her Facebook page and visit her website www.fionaharrisfitness.com. Check out Fiona’s competition photos here. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Lead image courtesy of fionaharrisfitness.com

Nicole Duncan “Keeping It Real” – Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Nicole Duncan is a veteran to the Fitness scene and will be making her fourth appearance at the Arnold Sports Festival. She has some of the best gymnastic moves in the IFBB Pro League and is know for her high flying routines. You can always count on Nicole to mix in some dance moves and get the crowd excited with her routines. The former NFL cheerleader joins us en route to the Fitness International. She chats about the Fitness sisterhood, what it’s like to prepare for a show during the winter months and more.


Nicole Duncan, 2013 Fitness International Contender

Keeping It Real
Nicole Duncan here, checking in from Oxford, GA. I actually grew up here and my neighbors have horses in their yard. There are cows, guard llamas, goats and even chickens at various yards in either direction with in a 5 mile radius. This is home where I was born and raised. Everyone here knows me as the “Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader” but most have no idea what a fitness competitor is. They think Olympics when I say Olympia. I got my pro card in 2006 and have been competing in competitions since 2002.  This will be my 4th appearance at the Arnold and I am truly honored to be representing such a unique and exhilarating division. The fitness girls share a bond like no other. It’s a true sisterhood of hardcore, hardbody women both amateur and pro. You have to be a bad ass to do fitness – I’m just saying.

Prepping for the Arnold is never easy.  My body and health does all sorts of wacky things during the winter months. I can’t recall ever getting ready for this show and not being sick. Oddly enough, embracing that and accepting the challenge has made prep just a little more bearable. I’ve somewhat changed my mindset as well. Six years ago when I started prepping for my first pro show, my only focus was winning. Now, I have quite a few goals in mind that keep me motivated.

1.  Focusing on Being the Best Me – This industry ain’t no joke (pardon my grammar).  If you get so focused on winning it will chew you up and spit you out. There are politics in everything but who cares! When I finish my career as a fitness competitor, no one will remember exactly where I placed and when, but they will remember my routines, how much fun I was back stage & that I hung in there and improved year after year. I started competing because it was fun and allowed me to express myself in a unique and rewarding way. Fitness is the fountain of youth. Competing keeps me young & healthy. And if I look like I’m having a blast during my routines, it’s because I AM!

2. Maintaining My Professional Career – Competing can be a full time job. In the past I’ve put everything on the back burner during competition time. I’ve recently been hired to work at a new fitness club in my area plus I continue to coach gymnastics & choreograph routines for fitness competitors. This time I’m working around the clock to keep my business and finances in check, working smarter so that my foundation is set.  It’s right back to work when the show is over. I’m getting older and realizing that I want other things in life too! It’s time to put my big girl panties on and set a foundation for my future.

3. Keeping IFBB Fitness Alive! – I got into this because of competitors like Nicole Rollolazo, Jenn Hendershot and Carol Semple. They had the skill and the personality and totally put on show for the crowd. I hope to encourage other women to go for their dreams and compete in fitness regardless of where the trend may go. I coach young gymnasts, dancers & cheerleaders. I hope that one day they will have this avenue to continue their skills as healthy adults. Fitness has totally shaped my life. I’d be sad if that option wasn’t available for others.

So, there you have it.  It’s been quite a tough week but God is good and I will manage.

Fitfully Yours,
Nicole Duncan

Follow Nicole on twitter at @fitnicinc, like her Facebook page and visit her website www.fitnicole.com. Check out Nicole’s competition photos here. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Candice Lewis’ Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Candice Lewis is coming off one of the best years of any IFBB Pro. She made history by winning five shows in 2012, a record that she now shares with Erin Stern and Nicole Wilkins. Candice has her sights set on the Figure International title and working hard in Arizona to reach the top spot. Candice opens up about being a little freaked out and what she’s working on en route to her first trip to the Arnold stage.



Candice Lewis -  2013 Figure International Contender
My name is Candice Lewis and I am a proud native of Chandler, Arizona. The last few years have been exciting times since the 2011 Jr. Nationals, where I won overall Figure Title. This will be my first trip to The Arnold Classic. It is such an honor and dream come true of mine to be invited to such a prestigious event. The excitement is driving me crazy!

I have been working my butt off from the start of my pro debut in October 2011 to December 2012. I have competed in a total of 10 shows so I’ve been a busy lady. If someone would’ve said “you’re going to diet all year long and like it”, I probably would have complained and confessed that I needed to have my daily fix of froyo and cupcakes to survive. With hard work and having a BIG dream, I’ve  manage to win five pro shows, making history along with Erin Stern and Nicole Wilkins. Wow, freaking amazing!!!! Not many people have the opportunity in their life to achieve their goals and to inspire others. That’s what motivates and drives me.

My Arnold prep is completely different from any other show I’ve done which makes me a little uneasy. Ok-ok, I’m freaking out but in a good way only because I trust my trainer Damian Segovia 120%! He is proven and knows his stuff. The only person that needs work is me. I call this chapter in my show prep, me vs me. The first me is the physical me and she is on point. The second me is my state of mind. She is a work in progress but we’re getting there, slowly but surely, baby steps. I’m looking forward to this prep and being the best I can possibly be. I have to know and believe with all my heart that I will be a contender on the Arnold stage as long as I put in the work! Even after five pro wins, finding my confidence is my biggest challenge but deep down I know that confidence come from hard work, sacrifice and dedication. If I can incorporate this in my prep, I know I will step on stage and look my best and that’s what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading. In my Arnold voice “I’ll be back!”… Next week

Candice Lewis

Follow Candice on twitter @icandylewis and become a fan on Facebook. Check out some of her contest photos here. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Meal Preparation Tips from Fit Mom Yeshaira Robles

Yeshaira Robles shares her tips to preparing meals and making sure she stays on track with her busy schedule. Check out what her day is like with work, working out, being a mom and preparing for the Bikini International. Yeshaira also shares some fun photos of herself with Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler. You can’t help but cheer for her every time you see her smile.


Yeshaira Robles, 2013 Bikini International Contender

Wow what a week!! My body is starting to feel back to normal, I love all the sore muscles. I trained every day last week Sun-Thurs Holllaaa. I did my cardio and kept my food semi-clean. It usually takes me a week to get back in action, so by the 2nd week its on. I’m starting to have the crazy competition dreams: no tanner on, my hair a mess, missing my shoes etc Ha.

I like to prepare all my meals for the week on my day off, that way I don’t have to worry about getting a meal in when I have a busy schedule. My suggestions to you guys is to cook everything in one shot: chicken, fish, sweet potatoes, rice etc.

• Weigh them out and put them in small baggies
• Take your meals for each day and put them in a large freezer bag and freeze them
• The night before take out one bag and put in the refrigerator, that way it thaws out over-night

I always cook my breakfast in the morning :)  (can’t eat frozen eggs and oatmeal lol)

This is how I start my day when I’m not working:
* morning cardio on an empty stomach.
* breakfast and get my daughter ready for school.
* back home to sleep for 2 hours
* eat my 2nd meal
* gym time weights and 2nd cardio
* house duties and answer emails
* pick my daughter up from school. We always go for ice cream or a cupcake. (if I’m dieting I don’t have any, If I’m not dieting I do)
* homework, playtime, dinner and movie of choice then bed time for her
* my alone time, I like to watch TV

Every day it changes around because I also work full-time.

yeshaira2Yeshaira with Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler while pregnant & after getting her abs back.


Last week I wrote about how I gained 67 pounds during my pregnancy. I was huge.  I was determined to go back to my normal weight it didn’t happen as fast as I thought it would, but I made sure that I was consistent each day. Some moms out there find it difficult to drop weight and it all comes from within. You have to want it. People called it baby weight, no it wasn’t baby weight because the baby came out and I was still heavy!

If there are any new moms out there reading this never give up! Trust me, anything is possible, and I’ve made so many of my dreams come true. I’m sure you can too..Always remember that it’s not going to happen overnight, in a week or in a month. But it will Happen!

Ladies feel free to email me if you have any questions 🙂 yeshaira@gmail.com.

Until Next Time,

Train hard and Rock on!

Follow Yeshaira on twitter at @yeshaira and like her Facebook page. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Candice “Trini” John’s Road To The Arnold

Candice John joins us in her journey to the 2013 Figure International. Candice has steadily risen in the pro league ranks and has positioned herself to be a contender in her first Arnold appearance. She’s the first IFBB Figure Pro from the Caribbean and had to make her own path to the top. Candice hasn’t always been in the top spots though. She shares how she found her inner confidence and writing down goals has helped her take things to another level


Candice John – 2013 Fitgure International Contender

Hi Hardbody readers, my name is Candice John, better known on the competitive circuit as “Trini”. I’m from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and I’ve been competing as an IFBB pro figure athlete for 7 years. This will be my very first time competing at the Arnold, so it seems fitting that my topic of discussion is ‘Allow Yourself to Dream’. It sounds cliche, right?? Well, I am living proof that one must dream big and set goals, even if they might sound crazy to others. I got my IFBB pro card from the Caribbean and Central-American Championship. As the first IFBB figure pro from the Caribbean, there was no road map for me to follow.

Let’s just say I had a very challenging start to my pro career. It was only within the last couple years that I began to understand what it really took to compete on this level.

Last year was a great competitive season for me. Three years ago, I wrote down two goals. One was to win a pro show and the other was to get a placing at the Olympia. Do you know what was extra special about my first pro win? Two years earlier I competed at the same show, the Pittsburgh Pro, and did not place. Yup, those two letters (NP), short for “not placed”, were placed next to my name at the bottom of the list of competitors who actually got a numerical placing. I felt like I got a one way ticket to an emotional abyss. I felt extremely disappointed. I was so confused. My biggest question was, “why should I continue if I’m not good enough to even get a placing at a pro show?” But, there is one thing I can truly say about myself… I have a CRAZY fighter spirit. Seemingly unreachable goals serve as great motivation for me.

In 2012, I knew I wanted an opportunity to compete in the Figure International, so what did I do? I acted as if I was already invited. I had not even sent in my request, but I started prepping as though I had already been selected. Faith and belief in myself were always followed by action. But, to be honest, there is often a time lag before I actually get the ball rolling. I once heard that courage is not the absence of fear, but the management of fear. I had to first get the inner confidence, so I consulted with my coach and she told me “Hell yeah, go for it!”

I have to act on my beliefs in order for my dreams to materialize. In 2010, after my result in Pittsburgh, I re-calibrated my emotions and got crazier. I actually booked a ticket to Las Vegas to compete at the Olympia which I had not even qualified for. It so happened that I failed to qualify for Olympia that year. But, delays are not denials! I eventually qualified in 2011 by placing second at the Toronto Pro Show.

Stay on the grind
I cannot allow myself to be distracted by the noise from naysayers. I know where I’m at, and I’m still not close to where I want to be, but I know I must be the one working while others sleep. It has always been like that for me, at least. A true story is that at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, my parents called me to wish me Happy New Year and I was on my stepper training. I knew I wanted to bring in the New Year exactly how I wanted the rest of the year to continue… productive and on my grind. Now mind you, let’s be honest, all this doesn’t guarantee a top placing, but it set a work ethic and spirit inside me that brings me closer to realizing my dreams.

Till next week. See you guys.

Candice “Trini” John

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

A “Typical” Day with Fitness Pro Bethany Cisternino – The Balancing Act

Bethany Cisternino has one of the top physiques in the Pro Fitness ranks and as her routines continue to improve so do her placings. She’s coming off a runner-up finish at the Ft. Lauderdale Cup at the end of 2012 and has positioned herself as a leading lady heading into the 2013 Fitness International. She joins us on her Hardbody Road to the Arnold and shares what a “typical day” is like. As you can see her day is anything but “typical” to most but she gets it done!



Bethany Cisternino – 2013 Fitness International Contender

Balancing Act
Hello Hardbodies! Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it is a short 7 weeks until I step on stage at the 25th Anniversary of the Arnold Classic! This will be my fourth appearance and it is still a huge honor and blessing to represent IFBB Pro Fitness. I remember competing in my first Fitness International feeling so lost and overwhelmed. It was so nerve racking to be up against the best and being judged by the best. To top it off (no pun intended) I had a costume malfunction and didn’t get to finish my routine! Needless to say I have improved in my performance at the Arnold and I have learned to focus that nervous energy into a fierce focus that has helped me in the gym and on the stage!

In 2012 I competed in five shows! I ended my season placing 6th at the Olympia and 2nd at the Fort Lauderdale Cup in October. In fitness the two-piece round counts for 1/3 and the routine round counts for 2/3 of the total score. My goal in the two-piece round this year is maintaining a fuller look and keeping the same conditioning I have in the past. Therefore, after my last competition I took a 6 week hiatus from the gym to let my mind and muscles recover. My goal in the routine round is to bring a faster more explosive routine that the audience can get into.  Sometimes the audience is so quiet during our routines; I hope I have picked a theme and songs the crowd will like!

Every year my biggest challenge is finding time to fit in all my training without becoming mean, short-tempered, emotional, and overly tired (I’m sure the list could go on). The Arnold is always the first week of March, which means I am teaching and full into coaching indoor track. Time is precious so I stick the same routine every day.

A typical Weekday (7 weeks out)

6:15am – alarm
7:00am – walk my dog Roxy
7:10am – leave for work
7:35am – school starts (I teach high school Biology, Anatomy, and Biomedical Science)
9:00am – meal 1
1:00pm – meal 2
3:00pm – track practice begins
5:15pm – home / meal 3
6:15pm – train and 55 min cardio
8:30pm – meal 4
9-11:30 – shower, lesson plans, grading, emails, tweet, instagram, laundry, prep meals, etc
11:30 – meal 5
12:00 – bed

Each week I look forward to sharing with you news about my training, my diet, and how I am achieving my goals for this year. Stay tuned for my experiences with massage therapy and ART as I incorporate those into my training!

Follow Bethany on twitter at @BFitness80. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Texas Tawna’s Road to The Arnold

Tawna Eubanks is a rising star in the IFBB Bikini division. She’s steadily moved up in the ranks and positioned herself as a contender in every show she enters. She joins us in our Hardbody Road to The Arnold coverage and shares a bit about herself. They say “everything is bigger in Texa”s and when you see Tawna on stage her smile and energy reinforces that. Follow what the first time Arnold competitor has to say en route to her first trip to the Bikini International stage.


Tawna Eubanks – 2013 Biini International Contender

Hey Y’all! Tawna Eubanks here!

First I have to warn you, I’m not much of a writer and this happens to be my very first blog…ever! So bare with me please!  If you couldn’t already tell from the first two words, I’m Texas born and currently residing in Dallas, TX. I was raised in Waco, Texas… no David Koresh was not my uncle. For whatever reason everyone seems to think that if you’re from Waco your related. Anyways!  I currently train clients of all shapes and sizes out of Metroflex Gym of Plano, and I really enjoy the work. I also keep a pretty busy schedule teaching bikini competitors to pose! Texas has a great group of competitors and it’s fun to give back to the sport and help all these girls make the most of their time on stage!

I’ve been competing right at 3 years. It was a passion from the get go! I grew up competing in beauty pageants, dance, ballet, cheer-leading; I LOVED being on stage and still do, it has always felt like second nature to me. Last year was actually my first time to go to the Arnold; I was working a booth for Muscle Nutrition. Little did I know that working a booth at the Arnold would be so INTENSE! GEEZE that’s a lot of people in one spot. It’s a really cool atmosphere and it’s always really fun to meet all the fitness fans and like minded people.  The expo is where I spent most my time but I was able to escape to the stage to watch the bikini prejudging and finals. What a great contest… from Men’s Bodybuilding, the Strongman and seeing Arnold is always inspiring. After a great experience inside Veterans Memorial I left pointing to the stage saying “Next year…”

So, here I am prepping for THE 2013 Bikini International Arnold Classic, and I am just tinkled pink! As my first year being on the Arnold stage I am really looking forward to soaking up the moment and taking it all in. Sometimes I get caught up in preparation, training, dieting, traveling and everything else to get ready for a show. I forget to take a step back and realize WHAT I am prepping for, WHERE am I at, WHO I’m next to! Ha! I’ve been working hard on keeping my diet clean and getting to the gym through the Holidays so that I could bring my best package for the Arnold. It wasn’t easy being home with the family where I have a mom AND a step mom who are both Betty Crocker’s. But I managed and I am very excited and super anxious to step out on that stage! It’s really such an honor to be invited to this show and I still can’t believe that I am going to be part of it!

My last show was the Sacramento Pro in November so I am still fresh off stage. This was my second year at the SAC show placing second (Thanks AMANDA love ya girl ;), and THAT was motivation enough for me to prepare for the Arnold. I always want to strive for better on and off stage. Being that the Arnold is the first show of the year and coming off of a top spot in my last show I am more than amped to prep! I am undder 7 weeks out, training 6 days a week and cardio 6 days a week. I am really glad to share with y’all my journey to the Arnold stage.

Taking it one day at time!

Follow Tawna on twitter at @TawnaEubanks and like her Facebook page. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Mallory Haldeman Meal Plans & More

Mallory Haldeman checks in en route to her first trip to the Arnold stage in Columbus, Ohio. Mallory and her boyfriend, Chris, have been very busy with opening a new GNC store and in the midst of opening a new gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mallory shares what her meal plan looks like after getting the flu and what her favorite protein shake is. Check out how the rookie is proving to be a seasoned vet when it comes to show prep.


Mallory Haldeman – 2013 Figure International Contender

Today marks 7 weeks until I will step onto the Arnold stage for the very first time. So far, I have had a tough time even being able to stop and think about it all.

My boyfriend, Chris, and I  are opening a gym, Edge Fitness here in town (Las Vegas) in two weeks. We have been planning for some time now and it finally looks like we are about to be complete. I usually tend to work better while being busier and under more pressure, but this has been intense. I am still working 6-7 days a week with my current clients at another  gym in town until we get our gym open. On Sundays,  I cover the hours at our GNC franchise store that we also recently opened here in Las Vegas.

Most days, I wake at 5:30am, do my morning cardio and prep all my meals. After, I have my morning clients until around 12pm. The middle of the day consists  of checking in on progress at Edge Fitness and completing tasks to get us open for business, as well as  doing my own training and more cardio. Late afternoon I head back to work for my evening clients. By the time I reach my house at night I am exhausted!  Even though your daily  schedule may not look the same as mine, we all have a million things that keep us busy and wear us out during the day. I KNOW its hard to get those work outs in, especially when your dieting and you are dreading hitting the gym for that second bout of cardio. Keep your mind on the prize. I know there is no way I will step foot on that stage and know I didn’t do every single thing I could to look my best. I won’t skip a training session because I am sore, sleep through my morning cardio because I am so incredibly tired ( And I am!!!!!) , or give in to my cravings because that Orange Roughy I just ate didn’t even close to satisfy my hunger.

Right after I started my prep, I got the flu really bad and actually GAINED weight, so after recovering I had to play around with my diet a bit.  My coach, Tracey Greenwood, is back on the East Coast (where I lived before Vegas). So, when I have issues on my prep it is tough sometimes being as she can’t be  right here with me. We had to switch things up a bit in order for me to catch up. I normally prefer to keep my fish as low as possible in my diet to keep me from losing weight too fast and to keep my body fuller. This way, if needed I can always put it in there to speed things up.

For the next week or two, my meals look pretty much like this: *NOTE this is just an example and NOT exact each day, every body is different and this is NOT what I eat all contest prep. It’s just an idea of what a contest day can look like. This is not going to work for everyone nor should you follow this every day for 12 weeks*

  • MEAL 1: Egg whites & oats
  • MEAL 2: Fish & brocoli
  • MEAL 3: Tuna & green beans w/ almonds
  • MEAL 4: Chicken & asparagus w/ yam
  • MEAL 5:  Egg whites & chicken w/ spinach
  • MEAL 6: Fish & asparagus

I also ALWAYS have my protein shake post training. Yes, this is the highlight of my day. Right now, I can’t get enough of Optimum’s new Toasted coconut chocolate. Anyone else have this yet? OMG….

While this is much more fish than I usually like to have, it will assure I am on track to look my very best in Columbus. Arnold 2012 here I come!!!

Until next time ,

Follow Mallory on twitter at @MalloryIFBB and like her Facebook page. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com.  For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Follow Hardbody Candice Keene’s Road to the Arnold

Candice Keene grew up in Phoenix, Arizona but she currently calls Orlando home. The IFBB Figure pro has steadily improved her physique since turning pro in 2008 and has positioned herself as one of the top contenders in every show she enters. This year’s trip to the Figure International will be her third and she’s got her eye on the top spot. Candice hits on maintaining balance during her prep, something every competitor can relate to. Follow Candice’s Road to The Arnold here on Hardbody.



Candice Keene – 2013 Figure International Contender
Hello Everyone!! My name is Candice and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona and currently reside in Orlando, Florida. I have been competing for a little over four years with my first show being in November 2008. I have competed in four full seasons as a pro and 2013 will be my 5th! This year will be my third consecutive year competing at the Figure International and super excited! I love everything about the Arnold. It’s an exciting weekend full of awesome energy. It’s always within days of my birthday, but this year it falls ON my birthday!!:-)

My last show of the 2012 season was the Arnold Classic Spain in Madrid. What a beautiful city Madrid is! Before that were the Olympia and the Sheru Classic. What keeps me motivated for the first show of the year is just that… The first show of the season. I strive to be better than I was at the end of my previous season. If I know I improve each year with my personal best, to me that’s constant success. 🙂

The big weekend is 7 weeks away, and like always… they will go fast! My main challenge I usually face with typically all my show preps is BALANCE. Balance is very important for any success. I balance going to school full time, training and dieting, as well as keeping up with my business. I make ProCakez, which are protein meal replacement cakes (which are amazing!) I have a pretty consistent demand for them in my gym, so by making sure I am able to balance all these aspects, helps me tremendously with not getting overwhelmed.

Each week I will keep you all posted as to how my prep is going, how well i am able to balance everything, and how sane I am remaining lol. 😛
But most importantly, by keeping a clear head, remain optimistic even on those challenging days, and surround yourself in a healthy environment… becoming a Wonder Woman gets a little easier each day. 😉

Until next time!! Xoxo

Follow Candice on twitter at @candicekeene, Instagram @candicekeene and like her facebook page. Check out her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com.

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Alea Suarez – Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Alea Suarez joins us as she shares her journey to the 2013 Figure International. Alea turned pro in the Bikini division but her body craved muscle so she made the switch to the Figure division and it paid off. She’s been in the winner’s circle and on the Olympia stage. Now she’s writing another chapter in her competitive career as she heads to her first trip to the Arnold. Check out what this Hardbody mom has to say on her Road To The Arnold.



Alea Suarez – 2013 Figure International Contender
Hey Hardbody peeps! My name is Alea Suarez. I was born & raised in San Diego, CA and have lived in the Austin, TX area for the past 6 years. I started competing in 2009. I started off my pro status in Bikini & switched to Figure in 2011 with my best placing and first pro win at the IFBB 2012 Dallas Europa Supershow. My last competition was the 2012 Olympia placing 13th.

I’m about 7 weeks out from the Arnold! I have worked at the Arnold expo every year for the last 3 years but I am especially excited about this Arnold because it will be my first time competing there!

I have danced & performed all my life & taking the Arnold stage is what I look forward to most. All of the hours, days, weeks & months of hard work, discipline, juggling schedules, preparation, blood, sweat & tears come down to about 30 minutes on stage tanned, sparkling & glamorously showcasing the result with a big smile & lots of bling. Lol!

My contest prep can be especially challenging, mainly because I homes school my children part-time while running my business Eye of the Tigress LLC. Time management, planning ahead & preparation are crucial for my success. I would not recommend this for the faint-hearted & weak. (No wimps allowed! Just kidding) It makes it all that much more rewarding when I get on that stage. No matter where I place, I know I have climbed a mountain to get there and that is so rewarding in itself. I know I tend to take on a lot but that’s how I roll… BOOM! heheh, There are reasons for that we may get into, but in another blog.

I have a lot of respect for Arnold competitors. For those fortunate enough to get an invitation to this prestigious competition, I have found how challenging it is to eat clean through the holidays and venture out into the freezing cold to get to the gym when you just want to stay home in your comfy clothes! Everyone is shoving cookies & pies in your face and inviting you to holiday parties where there is delicious homemade food galore & you’re pumping more sanitizer than ever in hopes of avoiding the flu that’s going around. ‘Tis the season for the Arnold prep!

Happy New Year Hardbodies! IFBB 2013 Arnold Ms. Figure International competition, here I come!

Alea Suarez


alea-suarezMotivational Series with Alea.

Follow Alea on twitter at @AleaTigress and like her facebook page. You can see her competition photos on Bodybuilding.com. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Momma Mamba, Trish Warren Returns to the Fitness Stage

Trish Warren was at the top of her game in 2011. She had positioned herself as one of the top women in Fitness after years of putting in the work. Her routines drastically improved and her physique was on point. Then her and her husband Branch (2x Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Champion) received the most exciting news of their lives… They were expecting their first child.

Trish was kind enough to share her story and a few photos with us. She shares what few knew about her delivery until now. Join us in welcoming Trish back to the stage and enjoy her journey to the 2013 Fitness International. She’s a huge inspiration to women every where and proving that you can have children and still be fit and healthy.

trish-preggoTrish hit the gym during her pregnancy.

Trish Warren – 2013 Fitness International Contender

Happy New Year Hardbodies,

I’m back!!!! I was very excited to see my name on the Fitness International list again. I have mixed emotions about the Arnold this year, I am ecstatic to be on that stage again, yet bummed that I won’t be cheering my husband Branch on to his 3rd victory! The last time I stepped on stage was at the 2011 Fitness International where I placed my all-time best… 3rd! Shortly after I found out that I was pregnant, and Branch and I were so excited to finally become parents. Faith brings us so much joy and happiness, she completes our marriage! Tooter Maroo (Branch’s nickname for her) has been my sidekick since day one. I never let having a baby stop me from doing what I love, I just pack her up and bring her along! I don’t think she would have it any other way. She tries to dance, lunge, and squat with us, it is so stinking cute! It’s funny how a little 18 pounder can bring a smile to your face every time you look at her!


All that being said, I had a great pregnancy only gaining about 20 lbs. I continued to workout which I had hoped would make my delivery super easy. Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned. I wanted so badly to have a natural birth, but my body had other plans. I was 1 week past my due date and still not dilating. My doctor Rebecca Robert scheduled me to be induced and ordered me to arrive the night before for cervical treatments to help start the process. This was the second time I would go through this, the first time did not work and I went home for a few days before trying a much stronger treatment. When I woke I had dilated to a 2 and Dr. Robert immediately began the induction process.

I labored until 4:45 that afternoon and with every contraction Faith’s heartbeat dropped drastically, the nurses were getting very concerned which was beginning to stress Branch and I out as well. Dr Robert came in and told us that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and she didn’t think she would make it much longer. At this point I was dilated to an 8 and still did not have an epidural, not because I didn’t want one, but they forgot about it with all the concern over Faith’s declining heart rate. Pain or no pain, I didn’t care what had to be done, I just wanted Faith to arrive safe. An emergency C-section was how I ended up bringing our little angel into the world. Branch barely had time to put on his scrubs before they began the process, it all happened so fast, but it was the right decision. I was later told that Faith would not be here if I had had her naturally! Life is truly a miracle from God! Now Faith is almost a year old, and I have somewhat snapped back to my pre-pregnancy self. I will admit that it hasn’t been as easy as I thought. My body went through the ringer a time or two and I am having to overcome a major surgery to step back on stage.

With only 7 weeks until the Arnold Classic, I can finally say that I am beginning to see my old self again. Everyday gives me more and more confidence that I will be as good or better than before. I continued to drill routine stuff in hopes to make it back on stage in 2012, but ultimately decided to hold off until this year. I have been competing now for 13 years, and the rest has been very good for me. I feel like my body is responding to dieting very well, and I am not having to kill myself with cardio! I am once again working with Dr. Mike Feulner, he is so knowledgeable in nutrition, and has helped me achieve my best physique to date. I am very happy how I am looking at this point, and would venture to say that I am ahead of schedule. He helped me with my pre and post pregnancy nutrition plan, which has been monumental to how my body has responded to contest dieting.

I have no expectations going into this contest. It took me a long time to work my way to the top, and I am doing everything in my power to make sure I am better than my last appearance. My goal is to prove that I still have what it takes to be a good pro, and to encourage women that nothing is impossible.

Until Next Time…

Love Life and God Bless,

Trish Warren

baby-weight-crunches1No Excuses! Faith goes to the gym with Trish. Momma making it fun for all!


Check out Trish’s contest photos and competition history. Follow her on twitter @trishwarren and on facebook. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Bikini International Jessica Paxson’s Road To The Arnold

Jessica Paxson has been a figure in the IFBB for nearly a decade. She turned pro at the age of 21 in the Figure division and made the transition into Bikini. This will be her third Bikini International competition and she’s ready to give it all she’s got in Columbus. Jessica joins us to shed a little light on what she’s been up and shares some advice to other women. Enjoy Jessica’s journey to the 2013 Arnold.



Jessica Paxson – 2013 Bikini International Contender

Hey Hardbody Readers!

My name is Jessica Paxson and I am from Dayton Ohio. 2013 Marks my ninth year competing! I can’t believe I turned Pro at 21 and will be celebrating my 30th birthday the weekend after I compete in my third Bikini International competition at the Arnold Classic!

I have to say that the Arnold Classic is my absolute favorite show to compete in! The athletes are treated so well and taken great care of, and the show is run so smoothly! I love that we have pre-judging and finals all on Friday, so I can spend the rest of the weekend working the Optimum Nutrition and American Bodybuilding booth at the expo, and I LOVE that I get to drive a short hour and a half to compete in my home state in front of tons of friends and family!

The last show I competed in was the Sheru Classic in India last October. That was my second time visiting India and it was another amazing experience! I really enjoyed it because all of the athletes got to spend  time together which doesn’t always happen at every show. It really felt like we were a team. We got to experience the culture together and were treated wonderfully! I would love to compete in that show again.

I knew that for my next show, I wanted to request an invite to the 2013 Arnold Classic, but I thought I would have a little bit of down time before I had to start gearing up for show prep. I have to confess, I am not one of those anal competitors that is OCD and just LOVES prepping my food and staying on schedule etc.. I honestly wish I were a little more type A. The diet part of competing has always been a struggle for me, which is kind of crazy since my whole career involves the health and fitness industry. I am a personal trainer, sponsored athlete, competitor, and fitness model.

So, I have had to learn the hard way, quite a few times, how important it is to eat clean year round… I am so happy to say that I feel I FINALLY got it after nine years of competing! lol!.

I was enjoying my down time (a little too much : /) when I received a call from Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine saying they wanted to shoot me. I was thrilled to get a chance to shoot with them again! I thought we would schedule a shoot right around the Arnold, like I always schedule my shoots. Nope, they wanted to shoot the first week in January! At first I was thinking… aw man, I don’t get to really enjoy my Thanksgiving and Christmas… then I had a reality check. HELLO!!! Most competitors would kill for an opportunity to shoot for a magazine like Hers!

It was time to REALLY start practicing what I preach. Year round clean eating and a healthy fitness lifestyle! This was the first Holiday season that I didn’t over indulge and you know what? I felt great!!!  This all seems so simple, but it really was a hard lesson for me to learn. It’s also hard to admit because as a competitor and fitness model I have women that follow and support my career. I don’t want to have people writing me or telling me they look up to me, when I really don’t follow the lifestyle I preach!

I feel it’s important to talk about these things because women look at the magazines or the competitors on stage and compare themselves to what they feel is perfection…when in all reality a lot of us women struggle with different types of issues in regards to our diet.

I am looking forward to a nice meal after my shoot and getting right back on track with my show prep for the Arnold. It’s all about balance!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and blessed New Year!


Follow Jessica on twitter at @JessFit.

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Oksana Grishina’s Hardbody Road To The Arnold

Oksana Grishina has become a fan favorite over the years. She makes difficult moves look simple and if you dare try one of them you’d likely land on your head. It hasn’t always been roses and victory parties for Oksana. She’s had to “pay her dues” as the saying goes and she’s delivered every step of the way. She tied for 16th in her IFBB Pro debut at the 2007 Dallas Europa. Last year, she did something most never thought was possible. She finished ahead of the most decorated IFBB Fitness Pro in the history books, Adela Garcia, at the Arnold Spain competition. Oksana has established herself as one of the top contenders to this year’s Fitness International title. She joins us in her journey to back to Columbus.


Oksana Grishina – 2013 Fitness International Contender

Hello guys!! My name is Oksana Grishina. I’m from Kaliningrad, a small city in Russia. I came to the USA 6 years ago to test myself as a Pro Fitness athlete. To get my Pro card I had to win both the European Championship in 2005, and the World Amateur Overall Fitness Championship in 2006. I have been competing as an IFBB Fitness Pro since 2007, and I’m looking forward to my sixth appearance on the Arnold Classic Stage in Columbus, the 25th Anniversary Arnold Classic show!

I’m really excited as I prepare my new performance for the Arnold Classic stage. This is a very creative performance. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but I was not ready to take on this character. I am so ready now, and I’m working hard to make it perfect for the fans. I am spending many hours on gymnastics and dance training, new moves, choreography, music, makeup, and costumes, all in a concerted effort to create something to wow the judges and excite the fans. I want to give everyone something to remember and talk about, good or bad.

People always ask me what placing I expect. Guys, from my experience in fitness, each time you prep a new routine, it’s like starting from scratch, and it’s hard to know how your work will be accepted or judged. All I can say is that I am going to do my best. Any other thoughts get in the way. I choose to compete with a positive attitude. I try not to think about my placing, because it is a distraction from doing my best. I am committed to doing something creative and entertaining. If you love to compete, and you love what you’re doing, will your placing change anything? Do what you love to do with all your heart, and be happy with it. I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be on stage, to create something, to entertain, and to be appreciated.

When training for a Fitness competition you must prep both your body and your performance. This can be a challenge, but I’ve found a balance that works for me. I never mix performance training and weight training on the same day. I alternate weight training and performance workout days, training 6 days a week, with two additional cardio sessions each day—including on my “day off”.

The gym is my home, and I do all of this because I love it. I focus on doing my best. I want to give the fans something that will surprise them and thrill them. I love fitness, I love to create, and I love to be on stage. So, I’m already happy.


oksana-avatar1Oksana on the Olympia stage making difficult moves look easy.


Follow Oksana on twitter at @OksanaGrishina and like her Facebook page.

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Mallory Haldeman’s Road to The Arnold

Malllory Haldeman will be heading to her first Arnold in just her third year of competing (amateur and pro combined). She shot to the top of the pro ranks after achieving pro status at the 2012 NPC Jr. Nationals. In reality, Mallory has only been an IFBB Pro for a few months but she’s considered a top five contender by many at this year’s Figure International. She’ll be sharing her journey with us here on Hardbody along the way.

Mallory Haldeman – 2013 Figure International Contender

For a few years now, I have wanted to attend the Arnold but never got the chance. It doesn’t quite seem real that my first time there will be on the stage! I am really looking forward to getting on stage with all of these top competitors again. I am most excited to see the changes I have made to my physique during my off season and get the chance to be compared to girls that for so long have been my idols!

I have to admit that the first few weeks of prep are really hard for me. It takes a while for my body to start responding to all the hard work I am putting into it. Unfortunately I am not blessed with the best metabolism, SO my diet HAS to be spot on. And I can’t get away with skipping any of my cardio or conditioning. Once I start to see the changes though, I get much more excited for my gym time! It is also easier to eat the around 1300 calories I get knowing I am where I need to be. 🙂 The first show is also where you get to see all the hard work from the off season shine through and this year, at the Arnold, I am even more excited to see the changes!

I’ll be sharing more soon. Thanks!

Mallory Haldeman

Follow Mallory on twitter at @MalloryIFBB and like her Facebook page.


For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.

Nicole Nagrani’s Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Nicole Nagrani was the inaugural Bikini International Champion in 2011 and is determined to shake Arnold’s hand once again in the winner’s circle. The champ is back to share her journey to Arnold and what keeps her motivated. She asks herself,”How bad do you want it?” She’s coming off a win at the Sheru Classic in INDIA and is determined to move up from her third place finish at the Arnold last year. Find out what keeps this full-time college student on pace en route to her third trip to Columbus.


Nicole Nagrani – 2013 Bikini International Contender

Hi! I’m Nicole Nagrani from Daytona Beach, Florida. This will be my seventh year competing. YES SEVEN! This will be my fourth year competing in the Bikini division. I can’t believe this is my third trip to the Arnold!!

I can’t wait to step foot on that Arnold stage this year! After winning the Inaugural Bikini International in 2011, and taking third this past year, I am definitely going back to regain my title! Taking third last year was really hard on me after winning both the Arnold and Olympia the previous year.. even though I know that might sound crazy. Believe me, I know what an honor it is to even take the stage at the Arnold, let alone be ranked as one of the top competitors in the sport, but its such an ego blow when you feel as if you’re untouchable and you find out otherwise. I needed that though, I needed to realize that I was taking my success in the sport for granted. But most importantly, I realized that my position as an icon for women around the world is the most important part about this sport. Titles come and go, there’s always going to be someone that ends up being better than the last, but the impact you have on someone’s life by inspiring and motivating them to accomplish their own fitness goals, is by far the most rewarding. So this year, when I go back, no matter what place I take, I want to be my best. I say this every show, but I think I accomplish this every show. I’m happier and happier with my physique every time I take the stage. And I hope that this year when I take the stage, I am still considered an inspiration to competitors around the world and lead by example that achieving your goals is possible!

The Sheru Classic in India was my last show. Just one week after the Olympia, I flew to India and won the IFBB Bikini division! I am half Indian, so winning in this country was really great! The Indian fans were really rooting for me and I think I was able to show them that no matter your background, ethnicity, or race, anyone can eat healthy and train hard to obtain their ideal physique. People in America definitely don’t realize how easy it is to have access to the education and accessories necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. In India, fitness is really starting to catch on, especially with the women, but the idea of exercising and watching your diet is foreign to most. I’m glad that our group of competitors could travel to India and have an influence on the people to workout and become healthier. Not only did we influence the Indian people, but everyone on that trip embraced the culture and wanted to learn about the people. We wore the traditional Indian dresses, the sari, and we traveled to local markets and temples to really get a sense of what life was like in a foreign country. It truly was an incredible experience and the memories I have will forever be very special to me.

What keeps me motivated for the first show of the year? Well, I think this question all boils down to… HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? When I train for a show, it’s like this switch is turned on in my head and I don’t focus on anything else besides my goals. Most of you know I am a full-time student, but I recently graduated from Stetson University and I have gotten a job doing research in the meantime until I hear back from medical schools. Among this and many other personal things, my life has changed drastically in the past few months. I’m trying to get my life straight because I feel like my head is everywhere, but when I hear the word Arnold, its like nothing could possibly stop me from dominating this show prep. We all have excuses as to why we aren’t motivated, how there’s so much going on in our lives, how we have no time and this list goes on and on. But when you really want something, when you are passionate about achieving a specific goal, you will do it. I know for me, its not like I know what motivates me, the way I look at it is that their is no other option than to be motivated. I am already motivated, and something must really go sour for me to choose the option of being unmotivated.

And C’mon… its the ARNOLD were talking about here!!!!! Who wouldn’t be motivated?!?!?

Until next time,

Nicole Nagrani

Follow Nicole on twitter at @NicoleNagrani and like her Facebook page.

For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


Hardbody Road To The Arnold – Yeshaira Robles’ Journey

Yeshaira Robles is prepping for her first trip to the Bikini International and she shares her journey with us. Follow her Road to the Arnold and read how a mom with  four year old daughter and full-time job juggles it all. Yeshaira is like many of us and she loves food. Will it knock her off the road to the top? Don’t bet against her, she’s proven she can be a leading lady at any show she enters and will be looking for a top spot in Columbus.


Yeshaira Robles, 2013 Bikini International Contender:

Hi Everyone!

My name is Yeshaira Robles and I’m an IFBB Bikini Pro. I’m a mom to a 4 year old girl. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I was a model/actress for the entertainment industry. I was pretty much average but once I got pregnant in 2007 I went from 110 to 176. After birth in 2008 I thought I would drop at least 20lbs, wrong. Ha Ha I only dropped 1 pound. After the birth of my daughter, I still went on auditions and landed a lead role for a music video. When I tell you I dropped 40lbs in 3 months I did. I ate clean, small portions every 2 to 3 hours and doing tons of cardio. I trained at home since I had a little one with me all the time. I would do lots of plyometrics at home and circuit training with 5lbs and 10lbs kettle bells. Eventually I got tired of the auditioning and long hours at video and movie shoots so I decided to take a break and get into NPC bikini competitions.

This will be my 3rd year competing. I started in 2010 and turned pro in 2011. I had a great season in 2012 and I will start 2013 off with the Bikini International.  This is my first trip ever to the Arnold and I’m soooooo excited.  Getting invited to the Bikini International was one of my goals/dreams besides the Olympia and winning a show 🙂

Today, I am 7 weeks out and I have officially started my diet and training for this show. I took time off from the gym and diet since my last show, well not completely off just on and off. Ha… I told myself,  “Yeshaira you have to really come in great for this show, its the Arnold and you got Invited”. Honestly sometimes I do get lazy.

I prepped all my meals this morning, all in baggies and ready to go. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I enjoy my egg whites, oatmeal and a good cup of coffee. Keeping a clean diet is always so difficult for me cause I love FOOD! When it was time for me to eat meal number two, I was like “oh man” Fish and Asparagus. HA!

Once I was done with work I went straight to the gym to start off my first workout of the year “Quads and Glutes” My fav… I had a really good workout I know I’m going to feel it in the morning. After the gym I went home to prep more meals for the next day. I cooked for my little girl and big man lol. I’m not going to lie but I made pepperoni flat bread pizza for my daughter and I had a bite. Food temptation is the worse LOL.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m ready!

Thanks for reading and until next time,
Yeshaira Robles
Follow Yeshaira on twitter at @yeshaira and like her Facebook page. For more information on the Arnold Sports Festival visit www.arnoldsportsfestival.com and use #ASF2013 in all your tweets.


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