Saturday, January 19, 2013

Figure Universe Natural Pro Jessica Rinaldi maintains one of the most consistent regimens for a competitive fitness woman. Since the holidays, she has bumped up her training, nutrition and overall lifestyle. Jessica explains, "I have been mixing up my workouts and cardio since the holidays and it has given me the push I have needed to keep myself motivated and to keep making progress. I am currently doing a split similar to this." Mon - Glutes heavy cardio stairs Tues - Back and chest cardio run interval Wed - Shoulders heavy cardio stairs Thurs - Legs isolation cardio endurance run Friday - Arms cardio sprint intervals Sat - Cardio full body circuit Sun - Off day "I am keeping my cardio to about 45 min as well as my resistance training but I don't rest much in between sets. I use super sets or giant sets throughout most of my routines. This is a great way to keep your time in the gym to a min and get a lot accomplished. My goal is to stay within six weeks of my competition body all year long, so far so good. Get it!" Jessica says she's training hard preparing for her Figure Universe Natural Pro debut in Miami Beach this June. She's also promoting her website with friend and '12 Model Universe Champion CARA OVIA. Finally, Jessica is running a non-profit organization that gives fitness scholarships to at risk children.
With just two shows in her short career, Stacie Venagroturned natural fitness upside down. The 27 year old dancer instructor swept both the '12 Fitness Boston (her first show) and '12 Fitness America and surprised the veteran competitors and media with her one two punch. Stacey says, "I grew up as a dancer and have been in the competitive world for 25 years now. My strongest subject is in acrobatics. I played basketball during high school and ran cross country. After high school I became involved played softball. I like to keep active!" But with all of Stacey's athletic endeavors, she admits that one is the foundation of her rapid fitness successes. "I love keeping active with anything that involves physical activity!," she says. "But dancing is my passion and I've turned that passion towards fitness as I have gotten older." Now Stacie faces an even greater test of her fitness prowess with a move up to the new Fitness Universe Natural Pro Division. It all begins in Miami Beach in June and Stacie will bump up her game.
As one of the most energetic fitness competitors on the natural circuit today, Fitness Universe Pro Jackie Briggs has always brought an intensity to the stage that forced everyone else to bumped their game. She's hot off her Fitness America Championships, 3rd Place finish and gave an feverish chase to 2nd, Nikki Bongiovanni and 1st Stacie Venagro. Jackie's drive and competitiveness comes from years of cheer competitions. She explains, "I am a professional cheerleading choreographer and have also worked for the National Cheerleaders Association for 9 years as a camp counselor and head instructor." But even with all of her experiences, Jackie credits a constant schedule of training and competitions is what keeps her focused. "For me, being busy keeps me on track. I enjoy the jobs that I have so much that I don’t look at them as daunting or in the way of my fitness career. I worked so hard to get to where I am today and am happy to even have these jobs, that I make it a point to make them my priority. I make the time for competing in between my busy schedule through my determination. Instead of coming home after work and sitting on the couch before my next job, I go get my training in. I find that this year I was actually a more pro-active and a better coach to my athletes when I got my workouts in before our practice because I was motivated. I never make my fitness competing more important than my other jobs, because I do fitness for fun. I took my team to College Nationals this year two weeks out from a competition that I was scheduled to compete at. I did not let fitness training stop me from coaching these kids to a 2nd place finish. I balanced it out with eating healthy while I was there but also allowing myself to enjoy a team celebration dinner etc… It is all about balance. I do all of my food prep on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and store them for the week. I eat my meals during teaching, and the kids I teach actually understand it. I think it is a great modeling example for them to see me eating so much food. A lot of people will automatically assume since I am thin that I don’t eat much, but the kids and other professionals I work with will always comment on how it is funny how they see me eating so much during the day. I make it work because this is a fun hobby for me." Jackie will bring her intensity to Miami Beach in June where she'll make her Fitness Universe Championships Pro debut.
Fitness star Stephanie Brewster is looking hotter than ever! The Las Vegas dancer and casino show entertainer is an incredible performer. Stephanie has consistently been a national level star and always among the Top 10 Finalists. She says, "I began competing in fitness competitions in 2008 and beginning two years ago, I've playing football for the Las Vegas Sin. In the midst of all this, I have been able to become a NASM-CPT and teach circuit training classes at Phase 1 Sports in Las Vegas." There really is no one on the Fitness America stage who dances like Stephanie. Maybe this season her skills will trump everyone for the title.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Texas bred Sharon Pasquel-Diaz has attracted a lot of attention since she started competing. But the 40 year old mother of 4 and independent business owner has a varied lifestyle and interests. Sharon won both the '11 Ms. Bikini Lone Star and Space City Classic Divisions and recently was a Top 10 Finalist at Ms. Bikini America in Las Vegas. She's also competes in triathlons and plays tennis, boxes, martial arts and dances. Sharon sings opera, Broadway, contemporary gospel and all the while says she's a soccer mom and fan. Professionally, she is costume designer and artist. Sharon says, "I love making my own bikini competition wear." Sharon has been married for 13 years and is mother to 4 children. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Allied Science in Physical Therapy. Certainly for Sharon, diversity provides for happiness.
Former Ms. Bikini America Mari Kasvi was a popular competitor at the '12 Ms. Bikini Europe in Paris. The Finnish advertising account manager says, "I love the theme costume round and competing with Team Finland. At the end of 2008, I said that I could never enter a fitness competition, But as I just started training, I figured that anyone can do this. Since my first competition I decided that this is for me. I could see myself coming back on stage even when I'm 60 years old!"
Massach- usetts fitness fanatic Carine Duval set out to accomplish a goal and won the recent Ms. Bikini Boston! Just when she was thrown setbacks in almost every aspect of her life, it started to turn around when Carine started hitting the stage a couple years ago. She has been competing for 2 years and moved up to the Ms. Bikini America in Las Vegas! Carine is a marathon runner and has always been into fitness but never thought she could compete until one day a friend of her's suggested she give it a try. Carine’s been having fun and placing ever since.
'12 Model America Champions Kloe Rignaud & Tavi Castro were completely new to the sports model scene and yet won the show in their first year of competing. Both are college students and have breached the model scene after seeing what serious fitness training transformed their bodies and overall physical appearance. Says Tavi, "I have been studying aeronautical engineering in Holland, where I live. But, I caught myself sitting in class and day dreaming about doing something different. Well, not quiting school, but the courses are so boring and I just needed some diversity to my life. Well, here I am and who would have know." With over 150 sports models on stage, the victory for both Kloe and Tavi was amazing experience.
Fitness Florida last weekend in Miami Beach featured many of the Sunshine State's best natural fitness women and sports models Czine Szilina from Hungary who won both Figure and Fitness Florida, Veronica Ostarly as Model Florida Champion and Jina Chavis taking Ms. Bikini Florida. More photos andcomplete results will be posted soon
Florida dancer Tracy Pryor is as comfortable on stage as any other performer. But the 5'2", 110 lbs., 32 year old is also a dance instructor and choreographer and for the past 7 years as a dancer for Royal Caribbean cruises. Tracy will competed at Fitness Florida in Miami Beach on November 4 and bring her career long experience to the stage
12 Model Universe Champion and '11 Ms. Bikini America Cara Ovis says she's staying very busy in school this semester at the University of New Mexico and training hard in the gym. "I'm in the process of choosing my next show and setting big goals for my future," Cara explains. One of her recent endeavors is the launch of introduced with a lot of fun and informative video blogs of great competitions, diet and training tips.

Team Aussie is pumped for the Fitness America Weekend in Las Vegas next month. Among the big Australia squad is Team Natural Bodz Magazine with 14 qualified competitors from Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide & Perth. Also, MM Pro Sasho Ognenovski will be making hisdebut against the world's best naturals
Model America Champion Angelina Mullins continues to exhume incredible, multi dimensionally talents. The New Jersey native recently did a shoot for Dance Spirit Magazine because she is currently in the Ensemble of the NBC television show SMASH (seen Monday nights at 10 PM)! Angela will return to Las Vegas next month but as a Fitness America Weekend host next weekend in Las Vegas.
Model Superbody Champion Simone Sziksai has been a competitive athlete since high school. The 36 year old writer and clinical medicine researcher has appeared in numerous music videos and independent SAG films. The wife and mother was a high school varsity athlete in basketball, tennis, softball and track and Junior Olympics gymnast. Her next goal is Model America in Las Vegas.
Cruising into Atlantic City, Keishawna Griffin was looking forward to a fun weekend. But, two days later, she was driving home with a lot more including the Ms. Bikini Superbody crown. As first time competitor, Keishawna did not know what to expect but says her training was focused om winning. "I really was just expecting to have a lot of fun," she says. The 5'5", 120 lbs., 26 year old construction project manager is a NFL Baltimore Ravens cheerleader.
They call her "Peanut" because of her 5 foot height, 110 lbs. But 30 year old, Bethany Nelson, stood tall in her moments at Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami. With her sassy, pin-up fitness routine, she was able to move closer to a Top 5 Finalist in the Fitness Division. But, it was a last minute decision to compete in Figure Division, too, in which she won 1st Place in the Short Class! Bethany says, "I am most proud of being one of the first Figure Universe Pros!" She will be showing off her powerful "Beyonce" Fitness routine as a guest performer at the Fitness Midwest Championships on September 22 in Chicago and she is working hard on a brand new routine for the Fitness America Championships in Vegas. Bethany says, "I won't stop until I go Pro in Fitness, too!
Fitness superstar Nikki Bong- iovanni slammed the Superbody Championships last weekend in Atlantic City. The former Penn State University and US National Gymnast brought to the stage an incredibly athletic and dynamic routine mixed with dance, acrobatics and gymnastics which earned her a near perfect score. The 5'2", 110 lbs., 32 year old fitness and wellness trainer has been a Fitness America and Universe Championships Top 5 Finalist, so the Las Vegas extravaganza may be next on Nikki's competitive calendar.
As an US Army officer wife, she's lived around the world. But last weekend, Kristin Vermillion made Atlantic City home base and captured the Figure Superbody Championship title. The 36 year old speech language pathologist has been an active fitness trainer for years and competed in cycling and running events. Kristin also won the '11 Figure Carolina Championships. She says, "Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle everyone can love and achieve."

Taking the Short Class and winning Ms. Bikini Superbody last weekend was Amy Guerin. The 27 year old law enforcement officer played 4 years of college field hockey at Universe of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Amy says, "I come from a large but very close family who loves watching me compete. They encourage me to push myself at each show." And, no doubt that family support played a big role in Amy taking the stage and taking home the title.
The Superbody Champions brought a zeal to the stage that helped make the show one of the most exciting ever! Ms. Bikini Amy Guerin, Fitness Nikki Bongiovanni, FigureKristin Vermillion and Model Simone Sziksai (L-R) were among nearly 100 amazing competitors. Next on the Fitness Universe Tour in the Northeast are the Boston and New York shows (Sep 29 and Oct 27, respectively). Visit for the complete show schedule -

The Superbody Natural Championships took place last weekend on the Jersey Shore. Nearly 100 of the region's best natural athletes competed in the Musclemania®, Ms. Bikini, Fitness, Figure and Model Divisions. The Golden Nugget Hotel Showroom was a spectacular venue with incredible lighting, sound and staging making every competitor feel like a star and day long excitement for the audience. Compete photo gallery is available at and video highlights will be posted soon.