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

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

margret gnarr


Margret Gnarr

Born in:

Currently live in:
Reykjavik, Iceland

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

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

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

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

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

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

margret gnarr world champions winner

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

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

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

margret gnarr world champions winner

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


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

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

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

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

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

margret gnarr world championships contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo of margret gnarr

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

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

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

le who support me.

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

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

Where can people find more info on you?
On my Facebook fan page
Twitter account @margretgnarr
Instagram @margretgnarr

What’s your favorite social media outlet?

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

Behind the scenes video from Marget’s photoshoot.

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

Jessica Mone’s Road to The Arnold… Live in the Moment

We are days away from the Arnold Classic and that has had me reflecting quite a bit on my competitive career. My 31st bday is creeping up on me (March 7th!… I will, however, accept early birthday presents at the Arnold 😉 ha!

jessica mone blog

I realized that in May it will be the 10 year anniversary of when I first stepped on stage! I’ve included pics from that first show below.

My first show was the prestigious Pittsburgh Pro/Am. Yes, that would be Mr. Jim Manion’s show! Talk about pressure! Lol. As you can see I was too busy freaking out being star struck taking pics backstage! There I am with my awesome trainer Mike Davies, my good friend Misty who I credit for getting me into competing, Michelle Adams (who I met attending my very first MD bootcamp weekend), THEE Dexter Jackson, Kelly Ryan and the absolutely gorgeous inside and out Elaine Goodlad! Elaine has become a friend and has done my makeup for shows and shoots over the years.

I ended up placing 10th at my first show, but I didn’t care… I was hooked!

I went on to win the overall at the next two shows, turned pro and made my pro debut at the Pittsburgh Pro placing 3rd in Figure! Talk about coming full circle!

I feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this industry for 10 years! I wouldn’t change a thing about my career in this industry. The good, the bad and the downright ugly. I claim it all!

If we don’t get so caught up in the wins and losses I’m sure each and every one of us can tell stories about how we have grown and learned throughout the competitive process.

Make sure you live in the moment, enjoy yourself and let it all soak in… Because in the blink of an eye 10 years will pass and it won’t matter which show you won or lost. It will be the memories and milestones that truly stick with you! I promise.

So as I step on the Bikini International stage I will have a huge smile on my face… Remembering that timid 21 year old girl first discovering one of her passions in life… And I will be thankful for the lessons and blessings I have received throughout my career.

God bless and thank y’all for following my “Road To The Arnold”!

@jessfit on Twitter.

jessica mone competing

2014 Bikini International Preview, Poll and Predictions

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

2014 bikini international

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

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


2013 NPC Gold Coast Muscle Classic Photos & Results

The National Physique Committee’s (NPC) season is underway and from the looks of things it should be another stellar year. Ron Avidan was in attendance covering the NPC event for and shares complete coverage on and off the stage. Visit for photos from the weekend’s show in Culver City, California.

Congratulations to the 2013 NPC Gold Coast Muscle Classic overall Bikini winner RaeAnn Vega-Camacho. RaeAnn is a Personal Trainer in California. You can keep up with her on twitter at @onerae2fit, instagram at @oneraeoranother, and on her website Visit for complete photo coverage and results


RaeAnn Vega-Camacho with her sword. Photo by Ron Avidan –


What Hardbody Female Would Make a Good Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model?

It’s that time of year again. The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is out and once again it features Kate Upton. While we’re not hating on Kate, we’re left wondering why her again and why such a lackluster cover. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has turned into a brand of its own. It’s one of the few issues of any magazine that has millions of people talking.


Last year we posted a poll and over 2,400 of you voted. Brittany Tacy, Dianna Dahlgren & Amanda Laton lead the way. So we figured let’s do it again and see who might be the favorite this year or will we yield the same results? There are hundreds of hardbody women who we feel would make a better cover model and again it’s no knock on Kate. She’s a beautiful woman and all the props to her for the continued success.

kate-upton-siPhoto via Sports Illustrated. Kate Upton cover model.

We want to know who would YOU like to see on the cover. It can be any female athlete or competitor who you think has the kind of body that not only men but also women would appreciate. Let’s be honest we’ll probably never see a hardbody on the cover of the SI Swimsuit issue but hey we can dream right? Cast your vote for who you think would make a good cover model. If you don’t see your favorite already listed feel free to add them below.


Jessica Paxson Fitness Confessions – Hardbody Road to The Arnold

Jessica Paxson checks in to give us the latest on her road to the Arnold. Jessica talks about ditching excuses and instead of just looking like she’s in shape, she really is in shape. Jessica is just a few weeks out from the Bikini International in Columbus, Ohio.


Jessica Paxson – 2013 Bikini International Contender

“Don’t just look like you’re in shape, BE in shape!!!!”. Ah, I can still hear the words of my trainer Mike Davies being yelled at me as he would put a going through one of his brutal boot camp workouts. I have to confess, it’s been a long time since I have trained with that motto in mind. I started out in this industry as a fresh faced 21 year old. I came from a competitive dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics background. I was up for and ready for the challenge of training hard and busting my butt to get in shape for shows and challenging myself with new and different training styles. I think somewhere along the way I got lazy.

Of course you cannot be that lazy to get your body in shape for a show, but I stopped really challenging myself with my training, and kind of lost that excitement and passion I had when I trained in the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I pushed myself and had great workouts, but it just wasn’t the same. I would attempt a few boot camp style workouts and my joints would hurt, I would be winded and pissed off I wasn’t at the top of my game anymore. So, I never stayed consistent with it.

After getting tired of making excuses, I am happy to say… I don’t just look like I’m in shape, I AM in shape! I have added one boot camp class a week (starting with two this week) and my training has changed to more giant sets, plyos, and circuit style workouts. I pushed through the aches and pains, and I feel GREAT! I am loving the challenge and I have that fire and passion back! I love the group of women (and sometimes men) that take my fiance and I’s boot camp class. We all have a love hate relationship with the class and push and encourage each other. It’s a total rush! If you are a competitor, you know that show prep can get draining and repetitive. So, challenge yourself! Do something different with your training and enjoy the process! Nobody is making you do this and what is the point of getting stage ready if you are miserable while doing it?!

Happy training to y’all! Stay fit and God bless!


*If you live in or around the Centerville Ohio area, join Blair Mone and I for a boot camp class Thursdays at 7pm and Saturdays at 11:30 am at Club 51 Fitness (51 E. Spring Valley Pike Centerville Ohio 45458). Email me at for details!

Follow Jessica on twitter at @JessFit.

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

2013 Rockstar Bikini Contest

The 2013 Rockstar Bikini Contest is being held once again and the deadline is quickly approaching. The winner of this competition will receive quite the prize package. See the details below on how to enter and get a chance at being on the cover of a magazine. The event is held in conjunction with the 2013 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.


The Official World’s Leading Online Bikini Contest of the Arnold Sports Festival, Rock Star Bikini℠ presented by Muscular Development and FitnessRX is looking for the next generation of fitness superstars. This contest has drawn hundreds of competitors from across the world. Each competitor will enter the online contest and submit their photos in a bikini front and back shoot. (Deadline 1/31/2013) Rock Star Bikini Contest℠ will choose 12 finalists, as chosen by its celebrity panel of judges representing entertainment, bodybuilding, and the fan. The winner will be announced at 2013 Arnold Amateur Bikini Championships.

Our team creates winners and provides our superstars with an awesome experience and maximum exposure to over 50,000 media outlets, interviews, magazine covers, press releases, modeling agencies, red carpet events and much more to advance their career.


Grand Prize
– $16,000 Prize Package
Cover of Muscular Development or FitnessRX
Multiple page spread in either magazine
Photo & Lunch w/Arnold Schwarzenegger
Professional Photo Shoot
RSB Swimwear Bikini
Keepsake Flowers
Gift Bags
Two VIP Passes to Arnold Party with The Pros
Arnold classic tickets and recognition on stage Saturday night
Limo Access to Private events, Kick off and after parties

Betancourt Nutrition 6 month sponsorship deal for the winner that includes:
• 6 months of free promotions, through pictures & videos provided by athlete, then edited and promoted by us
• $200 wholesale monthly allowance of supplements
• Paid IFBB dues for 1 year- estimated $200
• Advertising Campaign (online & possibly print)
• Free Betancourt gear
• *Possible Booth/Event work (promo work is subject to area)

RIO2LA Clothing Co.
Official $1,000.00 Clothing Sponsor to the Overall Winner!

Runner -Ups
Two VIP Passes to Arnold Party with The Pros
Arnold classic tickets and recognition on stage Saturday night
Limo Access to Private events, Kick off and after parties
RSB Swimwear Tees
Keepsake Flowers
Gift Bags
Opportunity to work as a booth girl at the 2013 Arnold Fitness EXPO

Click here to enter.

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


Video Series: Amanda Latona Turning Heads – Pushups

Team BSN athlete and popular fitness model Amanda Latona has a video series that is appropriately named, “Turning Heads”. In this 14 part series Amanda shares a variety of tips for your workouts. She also shares some of the BSN supplements she uses when she’s prepping for a contest. Check out Amanda gets hardbody with pushups.


Season One: Episode 9. Amanda Latona // Team BSN “Turning Heads” // PUSHUPS

Get BSN supplements here and follow Amanda Latona on twitter @amandaLatona.

Results: IFBB Pro World Bikini Championships

IFBB Bikini Pro, India Paulino keeps hip-popp’n her way to the top. The sassy Floridian notched another pro win to her bikini belt at the 2012 IFBB Pro Wold Championships held in Miami, Florida. India won in unanimous fashion, at least on the judges’ score sheets, over a competitive line-up.

bikini-pro-world india wins

Second place went to Lacey DeLuca who edged out new-comer Yarelis Gonzales by two points. Personally, I had Yarelis winning the show. She was the most relaxed, confident and poised on stage during the pre-judging rounds. She also had nice balance of being tight and toned. Lacey presented in a polished manner and many people often comment on her nice hair. I wouldn’t place her as high she does simply because of her lower half. I’d like to see a much tighter backside to finish in the top spots. Just my opinion and the judges obviously see things differently than me. It’s no knock on Lacey and a second place finish in this line-up is an accomplishment for her. The always classy Yeshaira finished in fourth. I would have had her in the top three but she’s had an impressive 2012 season and is consistently a threat to the top spots. Rounding out the top five was Aly Veneno in her pro debut. Aly could continue to be in the mix of each show if she shows up in similar fashion. Monique Gantt was just outside the top five and presented her best look as a pro to date.

Visit for photos.

IFBB Pro World Bikini Results:
1. India Paulino
2. Lacey DeLuca
3. Yarelis Gonzalez
4. Yeshaira Robles
5. Aly Veneno
6. Monique Gantt
7. Gigi Amurao
8. Ashley Wade
9. Talia Terese
10. Nicole Moneer-Guerrero
11. Nikola Weiterova
12. Janet West
13. Brittney Young
14. Stefanie Bambrough
15. Jessica Fletcher
16. Adrienne Crenshaw
16. Bernadett Matassa
16. Jennifer Dawn
16. Maria Annunziata
16. Trina Goosby

Which Veronique Morin Cover is better?

Covers are a fitness model’s dream. Oxygen Magazine is often on the bucket-list of a hardbody to appear in and a cover would be a dream come true. There are only twelve covers a year for Oxygen and half of that for Muscle and Fitness HERS. HERS is published every other month so your chances of landing a cover are few and far between. Magazines are fighting for slumping sales and a great cover can help on newsstands.

veronique morin


Consider the odds of landing one cover much less two AT THE SAME TIME. It’s rare to see the same model a cover of two different magazines at the same time but this month IFBB Bikini Pro Veronique Morin did it. She is wearing workout attire on both. Oxygen went with a NIKE top while HERS opted for an Addidas top. Veronique looks significantly more muscular on HERS an sports curly hair.

We’re throwing it out to you Hardbody Nation, which cover did it better?

Which Cover is Better? Click for larger view


Valenti Gold Cup Results & Photos

The inaugural IFBB Valenti Gold Cup is in the books and it was one for the history books. Erin Stern took top honors in the Figure division en route to the Olympia where she’ll look to reclaim the title she held in 2010. Yeshaira Robles won the bikini division, the first in her IFBB competitive career. Karina Nascimento solidified her position as one of the top women in the new Women’s Physique Division by taking home top honors. Myriam Capes unveiled a refined physique and new routine which earned her the win in Sarasota.



Visit for complete results and photos from the show.

Jaime Baird Bikini Olympia Interview – “Fitness fuels life success.”

IFBB Bikini Pro Jaime Baird continues to refine her physique and has positioned herself as one of the leading ladies in the division. She will be heading to the Olympia once again this month and as with most competitors plans on bringing her best look to date. caught up with the always professional Jaime for an interview where she talks about a busy schedule, staying focused and more.

Judging by your professional resume, you appear to juggle many interests at once. How do you balance your competitive aspirations with other important areas of your life?
It can definitely be a challenge. However, I feel that fitness has made me more effective in all areas of my life. I like to say: “Fitness fuels life success.” That said, time and energy are limited resources. For me, making good use of the early morning hours is a key to fitting it all in. I accomplish so much between the hours of 5-and-9 a.m. (there are fewer demands on my time early in the morning). Also, I’ve had to become extremely scheduled—accounting for every minute in a day. If I want to add something, I must delete something. So, I’ve had to become comfortable with saying “no” and prioritizing. Although to be honest, I still struggle with both from time to time. Sigh. Please send any tips and tricks my way.

Read the entire interview here.


Bikini Olympia Interview: Sonia Gonzales‘s David Robinson caught up with 2010 Bikini Olympia champion Sonia Gonzales. Sonia is heading to her third Olympia in hopes for repeating her 2010 finish. She dropped to 5th at last year’s show however has two wins under her heels this year, including the Bikini International. Sonia tells Robinson she’s been working on her glutes and bringing in a rounder booty to the show.


How do you handle the pressure associated with competing in a major event such as the Olympia?
I pray and I know God has put me in this event for a reason; it’s all his plan and that’s truly what I believe. It’s not an accident that I’m there. I believe it’s truly a gift from God.

Where do you feel you will land at the 2012 Olympia, and why? Do you see yourself as a favorite to win?
I am going to bring my best shape ever. Let the best woman win. It’s God’s plan, and he will put me where he thinks I need to be!

Read the entire interview here.

ME vs ME: Challenge Yourself to Get Hardbody

We’re fans of hard work and a hard body. In order to achieve a hard body, one must start with a hardbody mindset. You have to commitment to yourself and the dedication it will take not only get there but also stay there.  Did you do everything you could have done in the gym? Did you eat all of your meals? Did you cheat on your contest prep? At the end of the day, the one person you’ll always have to answer to is yourself.

We’ll be sharing motivational images of hardbody women showcasing “ME vs ME” on the site, on our facebook page, pinterest page and twitter account. If you’re on any of those and/or instagram we encourage you to join in the fun. Just tag your posts with #HARDBODY and #MEvsME. Each week we’ll share some of your images here. If you’re not on any of those pages (you really should be on at least one of them) you can email your MEvsME photo to info @ with the subject line “Me vs. Me”.

Our lead image and kick off motivation is from 2011 NPC TEXAS State Overall Bikini Champion, Siliana Gaspard. She’s a working mother who takes time to train and embodies the mindset of ME vs ME. If you want to stay HARDBODY you can’t worry what everyone else is doing… you have to focus and challenge yourself.

Siliana Gaspard – MetroFLEX Houston – photo by

We’ll leave you with this poem by Dale Wimbrow written in 1934.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts the most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and Chisel a plum
And you think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.




Hardbody Preview: 2012 NPC USA Championships

Over 800 competitors will take the stage this weekend at the 2012 NPC USA Bodybuilding, Bikini, Figure and Physique Championships. This will be the biggest turnout in the show’s 30-year history. The action starts at high noon on Friday, July 27th at UNLV’s Artemis Hall in Las Vegas, NV.

npc usa preview las vegas

A record number of pro cards (53) for this event will be awarded on Saturday night. Prejudging for Friday will start with Men’s Bodybuilding followed by Women’s Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique and ending on Bikini. Saturday’s prejudging will showcase Men’s Physique and Figure at 9am. The finals begin 5:30pm for all events.

Last year Wendy Fortino took home top honors in the Figure division and Talia Terese was the leading lady in the bikini division. This will be the second year that the NPC USAs features Women’s Physique. Last year’s overall winners have yet to make an impact in the pro ranks however other pro card winners have made their mark. Brittany Tacy, winner of the C class last year, won her first bikini pro show at the Greater Gulf States earlier this year and will head to the Olympia in September. Jami DeBenard will also be competing in the Olympia this year in the Figure division. She was last year’s D class winner.

Who will be the ones to watch this year? There are a number of women who could turn pro. I like Kalani Barber’s look and chances at a win in Figure. She was second to Tamara Montoya last year and one to watch this year. Another Figure competitor who has a winning look is Phannary Pen from Modesto, California. Dawn Hinz has consistently been in the top spots in the Figure F class and another who should make her mark this weekend. The Colorado State Figure Champion, Stephanie Spencer has a chance to leave a pro if she comes in just a bit tighter than her overall win earlier this month in Denver, Colorado. California State Champ, Francine Sablan has a nice look and should also be in the mix. Dani Freitas Ronquilio has been close a number of times to a pro card but comes up just short. Look for her to be a contender for a pro card.

In the Bikini division it is up in the air as so many of these women have won a show and done very well on the regional level. Who will step up to the plate at this Pro Qualifier? Look for Noy Alexander to take home gold in her backyard. The current Vegas resident has come close a number of times and many felt could have won her class at the JR. Nationals with no one complaining about it. Ashley Cronley LeBlanc has been on the way up and coming off an overall win at the Greater Gulf States. She has a good look and the potential to win not only her class but the overall here. Amy Allen and Shannon Martinez are two who could take home pro cards. They’ve held their own on the national stage before and will have a solid chance at leaving pros. Former NFL cheerleader, Lisa Perry could be in the hunt if she brings better conditioning then she displayed at the Jr. Nationals. The 2012 Emerald Cup overall Bikini winner Paola Terry will look to move back into the winner’s circle and could do so here. She showed potential at the Team Universe event earlier this month.

Keep an eye on Laura Gutilla and Jill Rudison to make some noise in the Women’s Physique division. If Antonia Perdikakis can dial in her legs a bit tighter she could be in the hunt for the top spots in her class. LaDawn McDay and Alyssa Stroud could battle it out in the heavyweight division of female bodybuilding with the winner likely leaving the overall champ. If Christine Sabo comes in a bit tighter than her last outing she too could leave with IFBB Pro Status.

Top 2 Placers in the Overall of Women’s Bodybuilding (4 Weight Classes)
Open Figure the Top 2 in each Height Class (6 Height Classes)
Open Bikini the Top 2 in each Height Class (6 Height Classes)
Women’s Physique the Top 2 in each Height Class (4 Height Classes)

If you’re following the action on twitter use #NPCUSAs as the hashtag. MusclePhone, GetbigNews, RonAvidan and NPCNEWSonline will be your best sources for twitter coverage throughout the weekend. Official NPC USA stage photos available at:


IFBB Greater Gulf Championships Preview

The women of the IFBB are on stage once again and this time it’s in Metaire, Louisiana. The competition on stage will surpass the scorching temps outside and for y’all wondering – that’s hot. Nearly 250 NPC competitors will also take the stage at NPC Greater Gulf States, a National Qualifier since 1983. Take a look at the Hardbody breakdown of this weekend’s IFBB Bikini & Women’s Physique competition.


1. Stacey Alexander Stacey will return to the Nawlins show once again, only this time as a pro. Stacey took home top honors as a NPC Bikini competitor and will look to repeat as an IFBB pro. She’s the only woman in the line-up qualified for the Olympia however she’s been beaten by a couple of women in this line-up since her Phoenix Pro win. This is her third pro show and will look to finish in the top spots once again.

2. Jessica Arevalo This will be Jessica’s second pro show since achieving the title of IFBB Pro at the 2011 NPC Nationals.  Jessica finished 8th at a very competitive New York Pro last month and should move up from that finish here.

3. Narmin Assria Narmin might be the smallest competitor on stage but don’t let her pint size stature fool you. She’s the mighty mouse of the Bikini division and is looking to head to her first Olympia. She’s in the mix with the new Olympia Qualification Series but a pro win is what every competitor is after. Narmin has the potential to do so and should be in the mix once again here. She’s coming off a third place finish at the Muscle Contest Pro.

4. Jennifer Chapman Jennifer will look to continue her hot streak this weekend. She’s coming off a second place finish at the Toronto Pro and has yet to finish out of the top three this year. Jennifer leads the Olympia qualification series, so even if she doesn’t win the show she could secure more points for an Olympia invite.

5. Christy Cook If the name throws you off, don’t worry it did us too. Prior to this year, she competed as Christy Merritt. Christy burst onto the scene when she took home the 2011 NPC JR USA overall crown. She followed it up with a second place finish in her pro debut and earned and Olympia spot. Since then, she’s struggled to find the top five. This will be her first time on stage this year and with a switch in training camps she’ll be bringing a new look to the stage. We’ll see if the changes put her back in contention for the Olympia

6. Marisa Lee This Georgia peach has a great look. This will be her third pro show since achieve pro status at the 2011 Team Universe event. Marisa just needed to bring her quads down a bit to match her upper body. She was 8th at this year’s IFBB Pittsburgh Pro and will look to move back into the top 5. Marisa finished third at the 2011 Jacksonville Pro, her pro debut.

7. Dayna Maleton Dayna is coming off her highest finish as an IFBB Pro, 4th at the Toronto Super show. She found success in a relatively short time in the NPC ranks but struggled to find her groove in the pro ranks. Dayna’s biggest issue was her presentation but at the Toronto Pro that wasn’t an issue. Dayna has a rock’n physique with a bit more muscle than some but that shouldn’t hold her back from a strong showing here.

8. Christie Marquez Christie has been up and down in her pro placings and will look to crack the top five here. She’s placed 4th on two occasions and has her sights set on moving into the money spots this time out. If she can pose with poise and stay relaxed she has what it takes to do so. At this level of competition it comes down to little details and if she’s refined those she’ll be in the mix.

9. Justine Munro Justine is coming off a slightly disappointing finish in her homeland. She finished sixth at the Toronto pro, a placing that doesn’t reflect what she brought to the stage. If she brings the same presentation and physique to this stage she’ll be in the hunt for the win. Justine has one of the best booties in the game and if her legs are tight she’ll be top three without a doubt, at least on our score sheet.

10. Brittany Tacy Brittany might be one of the most underrated pros in the league today. She has a kick ass physique and one that can hang with the top women in the division. Brittany’s highest finish to date was 4th at the Titans Grand Prix. She’ll have her work cut out for her to match it but she certainly has the potential to surpass it.

11. Summer White Miss White will be making her IFBB Pro debut and will be the dark horse in this line up. She exudes sexiness on stage and if she can harness that and pose with confidence, she’ll be in the mix. Summer turned pro at the 2011 NPC Nationals and many had her winning the overall. Can she make a splash in the top spots her first time out? Don’t bet against it.


1. Tracy Bodner Tracy will return to the stage once again and will look to find her groove in the pro ranks. She took a step back at the St. Louis Pro show when she showed up way too light with her tan. If she comes in how she likes instead of playing a guessing game of what the judges want, she’ll fair better. Tracy is at her best when she’s confident as it shows on stage.

2. La’Drissa Bonivel La’Drissa turned pro at the 2011 NPC USA, a show that rewarded more muscular physiques. The division has shown that women resembling female bodybuilders tend to not fair well. That said, La’Drissa will need to have brought her muscularity down from what we saw in St. Louis if she hopes to crack a top spot here. This will be her third show and will look to improve upon the 9th place finish her last time out.

3. Gloria Faulls Gloria is coming off an 8th place finish at the Toronto Pro show (her pro debut) and should finish better here. She’ll need to watch not being overly vascular when she takes the stage but balance it with her legs tight. It’ll be a balancing act for this Jersey girl but one she should be able to do with the first time jitters out of the way.

4. Karin Kimura Karin will look to continue her winning streak in this her second pro show. Karin successfully made the switch to Physique from Figure and took home top honors at the 2011 NPC Nationals. She followed it up with a close win over Sara Hurrle at the Governor’s Cup in her pro debut. She’s the one to beat at this show however you never know how it will go with a different panel of judges. We got a sneak peek at her one day out and can say she has nothing to worry about, she’s done her homework and looks great.

5. Tamee Marie Tamee will be making her debut in the Women’s Physique division and it should suit her well. She faired well in the NPC ranks as a Figure competitor however turned pro as a Fitness competitor and has yet to find the top five. Tamee is a taller competitor and needs muscle on her frame to not look “stringy” or “skinny”. This division is a good fit for her structure and could be the one she does the best at. Look for her to be in the top call-out if she’s not too hard in her conditioning.

6. Jennifer Robinson Jennifer hasn’t finished out of the top five in over 2 years. She was a leading lady in the NPC Figure ranks and has successfully made the switch to the Women’s Physique division. If she has refined her posing and brings a similar look to that of the St. Louis Pro she’ll be in the hunt for her first win. Jennifer found success on this stage as an amateur figure competitor when she took top honors in 2010. Can she repeat her efforts as a pro? The magic 8-ball says things look promising.

7. Joele Smith Joele has a nice look and placed consistently in the top spots as a pro. Her highest finish was 4th at the Orlando Pro and look for her to be in the mix for a top three here. Joele turned pro at the 2011 NPC Nationals and will be one to watch in this line-up. Joele is coming off a fifth place finish at the New York Pro.

8. Mikaila Soto Mikaila has been to hell and back off stage. While she may not place as well as she likes, she shows that simply taking the stage can be rewarding. Last year, Mikaila suffered an asthma attack and was later diagnosed with pneumonia. She gained nearly 40 pounds due to the medication but proved that a powerful mind can overcome adversity. If she’s able to bring in a physique similar to her Figure days she’ll move up in her final placings.

9. Gina Trochiano – This will be Gina’s debut in the Women’s Physique Division. She fared well as a Figure competitor and made it to the Olympia in 2010. It will be interesting to see what look she brings to the stage in this new division. She could be the dark horse to shake things up in the top spots.

When asked where the must see action of New Orleans is at (besides the on-stage competition of course) Louisiana State Chairman and show promoter Luke L. Tesvich III shared this with us..

You must see Jackson Square, (since 1700’s), St. Louis Cathedral, (behind the Square, also since the 1700’s and the oldest Basilica in the U.S.) the Pontalba Apartments that run along both sides of the Square are the oldest apartment buildings in the U.S. (since the 1700’s) and have Cafe au Lait and Beignets at the corner across from the Square at Cafe du Monde… that is the heart of the French Quarter… within a 3 block radius of the Jackson Square is a multitude of shops, restaurants, Jazz bars, etc…etc.. and Bourbon Street!”

Looks like we’ll have our hands full on and off stage. Follow all the action here on and for live coverage via twitter follow the hashtag #GR8GULF.

Best Western Landmark Hotel Ballroom
2601 Severn Avenue Metairie, LA

Pro Meeting / Check-in: 5pm
Prejudging: 7pm

Finals: 6:30pm

More Information & complete NPC Schedule:


2012 IFBB New York Pro Bikini Competitor Lists & Hardbody Preview

Twenty hardbody bikini women will take the stage at the New York Pro Championships this Saturday at the Tribecca Performing Arts Center. Looking at the line-up it is one of the toughest we’ve seen. The competition certainly doesn’t get any easier in the bikini division and I wouldn’t want to be a judge at this show. The top five at this competition will be one of the best we’ve seen just short of the Olympia and Bikini International. Let’s break down the field and go out on a limb with a few predictions.


1. Jessica Arevalo – Tracey, California
This is Jessica’s pro debut. She took the B Class at the 2011 NPC Nationals and will have a tough time in her first IFBB show. Can she hang? Ya but it won’t be easy in this line-up. If she cracks the top ten she should consider it a success.

2. Sandy Avelar – British Columbia, Canada
Sandy will also be making her pro debut and nothing like jumping into the deep end of the pool, right? We’ll see how she fairs in one of the toughest shows of the year. She will be able to use this as a good tune-up before the Toronto Pro show in a couple weeks.

3. Jaime Baird – Orlando, Florida
Jaime will undoubtedly be in the first call-out. She’s positioned herself as a top bikini pro and don’t look for that to change any time soon. She didn’t seem quite herself at the Pittsburgh Pro but look for her to be on point here and in the hunt for the win. If she’s calm, cool and in her zone she could win it. I also like her make-up less dark around her eyes as it didn’t seem to fit her look at the PA Pro.

4. Abigail Burrows – Las Vegas, Nevada
Miss Abigail. The big question is which Abbie will show up to the Big Apple. When she’s got her sh*t together she’s a top contender. If she’s distracted with the things happening away from the stage it takes its toll on what she brings to the stage. She was clearly way off her best at the Bikini International. If she’s collected herself and regrouped from that showing she’ll be in the mix here, if not she’ll be on the outside looking in.

5. Juliana Daniell – Atlanta, Georgia
JD has my favorite physique in this line-up and one of my top 3 in the entire Pro Bikini division. I like the athletic look she brings to the stage and if she brings a look similar to what we saw here last year and at the Bikini International she’ll be in the top spots. Juliana’s biggest challenge is relaxing and just doing her thing. If it’s not broke don’t fix it, right? Let’s hope she brings what she did in Columbus.

6. Tawna Eubanks – Dallas, Texas
Tawna was on the outside of the top spots at the PA Pro earlier this month and will be looking for a bit of redemption. This line-up is tougher than the one we saw in Pittsburgh so if she can climb up from her 7th place finish it will be a success.

7. Diana Graham – Duvall, Washington OUT DUE TO ILLNESS
Diana will likely be in one of the top spots at this show. I don’t see her finishing higher than third but don’t count her out of a the top five. I’ve been critical of her distracting boobs and it’s a sentiment that judges have shared with me. If she can find a way to not make them a talking point and focus on her physique she’ll be in the hunt.  The boys at highly praise Diana for being one of the curviest competitors on the stage and always welcome her.

8. Janet Harding – Yardley, Pennsylvania
Janet is a persistent competitor. Her biggest challenge are the little details like her tanning and hair. When her hair is too big and curly it’s distracting. She’s almost never dark enough with her tan when on stage. If she can tweak those little details she’ll move up from the bottom of the pack.

9. Melinda Janiszewski – Atlanta, Georgia
Melinda had a respectable showing at the Pittsburgh Pro. If she can crack the top ten here it will be a success. She’s definitely improved her physique from what we saw in her pro debut at this show, two years ago.

10. Tabitha Klausen Leandri – Clinton, Connecticut Tabitha has withdrawn due to injury.
Tabitha can move up from her Pittsburgh 14th place finish if she takes the stage with confidence. When she presented in Pittsburgh she didn’t seem confident and she has every reason to be confident. I’d like to see her take the stage like a Victoria Secret’s Runway model. Tabitha is one of the taller competitors and she has a long torso, so for her it’s all in how she presents it. Improved presentation = improved placing for Tabitha.

11. Kristal Martin – Gaithersburg, Maryland
Kristal was at the bottom pack in her pro debut. Now that she got the first time pro jitters out of the way and knows what she needs to improve upon, look for her to present a better package. She needs a different colored suit than Pittsburgh and her physique needs to be a bit fuller. If she changes that she’ll move up.

12. Bernadett Matassa – Hungary
Bernadett rocks short blonde hair and I’m not sure it works for her. She used to have some goofy poses but she learned to leave those behind. I’d like to see her with longer hair, more relaxed posing and a bit softer in the upper body. Will we see any of that in New York? Not likely.

13. Taylor Matheny – Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Taylor has a rock’n physique and is adorable. She still struggles with her posing and in order to crack the top spots she’ll need to improve her posing. She was third at the St. Louis Pro which was a great finish for her. Placing that high her won’t be as easy. I’d like to see her tan a little darker as well. I like her look and if she can relax and polish her posing she’ll be in the hunt.

14. Heather Nappi – Novi, Michigan
Heather is coming off a 13th place finish at the Pittsburgh Pro and if she can crack the top ten here she’ll be doing good. She’s been as high as fifth but given the line up here it will be a tough placing to match. I like the look she brought to the Florida Pro to close out 2011.

15. Cecile Palacios – New York, New York
Cecile will be making her pro debut after winning the F class at the 2011 NPC Nationals. She will have to pose her body in a curvy manner as one of the taller women in the show. This will be a great test for her because if she can crack the top 10 here it will be a success.

16. India Paulino – Pembroke Pines, Florida
India has momentum on her side and the odds on favorite to two in a row. She was runner-up at the Bikini International and brought a winning look to Pittsburgh. I swear the girl is going to break a hip with her little shimmy shake she does at the end of her individual posing presentation. She can get away with it because it fits her sassy personality. Count on her to wear a yellow bikini suit because it works. India’s “assets” can also be distracting if just looking at photos but when you see her present, her attitude and presentation make you focus on her physique and not her boobs.

17. Kristy Robbins – Palm Harbor, Florida
Kristy looked good in Pittsburgh and I would have placed her higher than 9th. I would like to see her compared to the top women if she brings the same look to the stage as she did in Pittsburgh. Look for her in the top ten here and if she struts he stuff and catches the eye of the judges in the individual presentation look for her to be in the hunt.

18. Yeshaira Robles – Bronx, New York
Yeshaira has the best energy. In some poses she’s smiling and cute but then she’ll flip a switch and give you a sexy diva look. I dig it. She has the physique of a top contender, a tight booty and positioning herself as one of the leading ladies in bikini. I look for her to be in the top spots once again here.

19. Skye Taylor – Las Vegas, Nevada
Skye looked her best at the Houston Pro where she finished second. She’ll have her work cut out for her to crack the top five here but look for to be in contention if she brings a similar look.

20. Talia Terese – Vallejo, California
Talia oh Talia, which Talia will we see in New York? If the Talia we saw at the 2011 NPC USA shows up she’s top five no question. If she shows up like she did in her pro debut she won’t be in the top 10. Talia is one of the most beautiful women in the division but she has yet to find her groove as a pro. She finished in fourth at the 2011 Sacramento Pro and will have a tough time placing higher than that here but without question she can do it if she brings the USA look.

So who wins? Who finishes in the top five? As you can see the judges will have a VERY difficult time sorting this one out. It will come down to the little details like tanning, hair, posing and presentation. If everyone was 100% and presented their best physique to date I’d go with Juliana Daniell for the win however I doubt the judges will agree with me.

1. Jaime Baird
2. India Paulino
3. Juliana Daniell
4. Yeshaira Robles
5. Talia Terese

1. India Paulino
2. Jaime Baird
3. Yeshaira Robles
4. Abigail Burrows
5. Talia Terese


Who do you like for the win? Post your comments below and when tweeting about the show use #NYPRO. Our West Coast correspondent Ron Avidan will be in attendance covering all the action. You can also check out, and for coverage.

Saturday – May 19, 2012

Tribecca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers Street
New York, NY

Prejudging: 11am EST
Finals: 6pm EST

More info:

Note that all competitor meetings will be held at the venue site, the Tribecca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY at the following times:
9:00 am: Bikini
9:15 am: Open Bodybuilding
9:30 am: Figure
9:45 am: 212
10:00 am: Women’s Physique

Photographic Coverage of the 2012 Arnold Sports Festival

The 2012 Arnold Sports Festival is in full swing and it’s already been one to remember. The IFBB pro competitors were treated to a rare encounter when Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up at their meeting. Typically Arnold arrives in Columbus on Friday however this year a larger than life statue is being unveiled in his honor.


photos from the arnold classic


There were a number of hardcore juggers at the meet the pros meeting. The Arnold Amateur competitors took the stage last night and there were a number of awesome hardbody women from across the globe. Ron Avidan and Isaac Hinds were there to capture all the action for and NPC NEWS. Check out the photos here.



LIVE COVERAGE from the Arnold Sports Festival

The 2012 Arnold Sports Festival has arrive and we’re in Columbus, Ohio covering the epic fitness event. Things get started today and will be going non-stop until the end of Sunday. Lots of amazing athletes of various disciplines will be competing this weekend. While we’ll primarily be focused on the women’s events you can follow all the action here.

If you’re on twitter, you can see the live updates via,, and Joining in the coverage? Use the hashtag #asf2012 for the event in all your tweets. You can see what everyone is tweet’n about with that tag by checking out

Visit throughout the weekend for photographic coverage.

Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the weekend. Good luck to everyone competing this weekend.

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