Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama To Get Body-Building Help From Arnold Schwarzenegger

Barack Obama to get body-building help from Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Tom Leonard
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 24/11/2008

Barack Obama: mainly free weights, 50lb overhead dumbbell extensions, 80lb calf rises, 45-minute gym sessions six days a week. Michelle Obama: cross-training, a mix of strength and cardio exercises usually involving weights, treadmill and stair-stepper, 90-minute sessions three times a week.

The President-Elect gyms six times a week

How do we know? Because the intimidating details of the First Couple-Elect's workout schedules have been dug out by an admiring US media and relayed to a similarly impressed nation.

I worry that the consensus among American and European fans about the Obamas' wonderfulness may not survive the increasingly lurid revelations about their devotion to the gym.

In London, such behaviour would generally be regarded as borderline sociopathic. A British politician need only be photographed on a bicycle to denote a man of action.

Over here, a newspaper can report that Obama has a resting pulse of 60 and not feel that it needs to tell readers whether that is good or bad. Few need to be told what such gym-honed body adjectives as "ripped", "pumped" and "buffed" mean either.

And now Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed that he and Obama have been talking serious weights and possible job opportunities.

The California governor and former bodybuilding champion's jibes during the campaign about "scrawny" Obama seem to have struck home. Arnie says the President-Elect intends to build a huge gym in the White House and wants his help in "bulking up".

No more skinny Mr Nice Guy, just two ripped dudes with troops to pull out and bad guys still to nail in Afghanistan. The boys on the weights machines may be whooping, but it sounds ominous.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Aurora Resident Wins 1st Place In Bodybuilding

Stephanie Spencer, 26, was the overall Women's Figure winner of the 2008 NPC Cyto Charge Rocky Mountian Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Competition "The Rocky", put on by The Rocky Mountain National Physique Committee competition on Nov. 15, 2008 at East High School in Denver .

NPC is the largest and most prestigious amateur body building, fitness and figure organization in the USA . It also is the only avenue to the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) - the ultimate in professional bodybuilding, fitness and figure competitions. Colorado is the home to 10 IFBB pros!

Spencer was among 41competitors from six area states to present her amazing physique with specific poses and great stage presents in the 1 piece and the 2 piece suite rounds.

Spencer prepared for the meet with two first place wins earlier this year. She won first place in her height class in the figure competition at the Axis Labs Northern Colorado Bodybuilding, Fitness Show at the Boulder Theatre in April 5. She also won first place in the overall inMarch at the Mountain States Peak Performance Competition at Grandview High School in Aurora.

She has been working out for about two years at Ambrust Pro Gym, Arvada, and the Colorado Athletic Club, downtown Denver.

A new civil engineer, Spencer is a 2008 honors graduate of the University of Colorado-Denver. At graduation, Spencer won top student awards from both the Colorado Engineering Council and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She is employed as a Stuctural Engineer TITLE at MWH Global company name, Denver.

Wish Stephanie well at the NCP in Las Vegas next June!

Cheering for her at her competitions are her parents, her mother and stepfather Cathy and Joe Kandalec of Denver and her boyfriend Scott Reed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

John Hansen a Natural for Bodybuilding Hall of Fame

On November 8th, Mr. Natural Olympia and host of John Hansen was inducted into the Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. It was the first such event to induct members, and was held on the night of the Natural Olympia Championships. Both events took place in San Francisco. John Hansen is an Optimum Nutrition (ON) Athlete and regularly appears at the company’s booth during major bodybuilding events.

“I am happy to announce that Denny Kakos, president of the INBA, and his wife Diana selected me to be among the first inductees to the Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame,” John Hansen said in a statement. “The fact that this honor occurred on the night of the Natural Olympia competition makes it all the more special to me.” John Hansen won the Mr. Natural Olympia Professional title in 1998, and was twice crowned Natural Mr. Universe (1992 and 1996).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Tribute to Extraordinary Courage

...a tribute to extraordinary courage

Mr Manipur Kh. Pradipkumar Singh
Based on a true story, Aribam Syam Sarma’s Mr Manipur is a tribute to Kh. Pradipkumar Singh — a household name in the state — who has won a bodybuilding title and is living a life of dignity despite being diagnosed with HIV eight years ago.

The 22-minute documentary begins with a few close and mid-close shots of a muscleman doing various exercises in the gym, followed by night shots of a bodybuilding competition.

Soon, the results are out announcing Pradipkumar as the winner.

Sarma then goes on to unravel the extraordinary story behind the seemingly ordinary feat.

Newspaper clippings scroll to reveal that Pradipkumar is HIV positive, a fact corroborated by the champion himself at a gathering of eminent personalities: “I am a HIV-positive person and I came to know that in 2000. Since then I am undergoing anti-retroviral therapy. I appeal to the persons with HIV to accept their status.….”

He is made brand ambassador of the Manipur AIDS Control Society and is conferred the honour by the Manipur health minister at a glittering function.

The director’s use of interviews instead of background narration to enlighten the viewers has made the documentary interesting. His drug addiction, contracting the dreaded disease and then going on to win two championships in Pradipkumar’s own passionate but restrained words have lent the documentary a personal touch.

So have his parents’ interviews.

Equally impressive is his doctor’s statement about the process of treatment and his unmatched mental courage and conviction to recover from the disease.

In another interview, he comes across a “miracle man” who has become an inspiration to people living with HIV.

The documentary has been selected for the prestigious 7th MIAAC Film Festival in New York to be held under the auspices of the Indo-American Arts Council from November 5.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Science Behind Bodybuilding

WORLAND, Wyo. - There may not be a sport where the disparity between preparation and performance is wider.

Consider up to 20 years of muscle building, a year or more of intense cardiovascular training, and, arguably the most difficult part, 17 to 20 weeks on a designer diet, developed to maximize calorie deficit and protein intake in order to decrease body fat to below 3 percent.

All this preparation for what amounts to just a few minutes on stage. Welcome to the world of competition body building.

Considering the amount of necessary preparation, the sport is relatively new to Matt Jordan. And after an extended break to attend to business and family, the sport is new again for Marc Bennett.

The two workout partners took a trip to the Rocky Mountain Body Building Championships in Denver last year. The televised competition is a national qualifier and attracts around 200 body builders from several states. Bennett had competed in the event two times before, the last time being nine years ago.

"I wanted to see what it was like," said Jordan. "We thought it would be fun to try and compete in it this year."

So after a year of intense training, the duo will hit the highway to compete in the high-profile competition this weekend.

Competing in athletics isn't new to either Worland resident. Bennett, who owns Worland Health Club with wife Jodi Bennett and turned 38 just last Friday, was a collegiate wrestling standout. Jordan also competed as a high school wrestler.

Bennett never lost the competitive spirit of his wrestling days and has been body building off and on for the past 15 years, including five competitions. For Jordan, 33, staying in shape has always been a priority. This will be his first body building competition.

Although the training requirements for body building may be very specific to the sport, the wrestling experience has helped both competitors get used to the intense program. The biggest similarity is weight control.

Bennett said that while the age of 38 may not be described with terms like "spring chicken" in many sports, body building's top professionals are typically in their mid-30s to mid-40s.

He said it can take 20 years to develop the proper muscle mass. Whereas a person could healthily lose a pound of fat a week, it can be quite a task to build three pounds of muscle in a year, he said.

The diet and cardiovascular portions of preparation are necessary to bring the muscle mass to the surface.

"The whole object is to display as much muscle as you can and as little body fat as possible, because that's what allows you to see the muscle," said Bennett.

Body builders do this by creating a calorie deficit through diet and low-intensity, high fat-burning cardio workouts.

This portion of preparation generally takes 17-20 weeks in advance of a competition. This is also the period of time when the athlete begins to feel the physical effects of their sport. Simply put, with less energy from the calorie deficiency and extremely low body-fat percentage, the athlete becomes tired, hungry and _ yes _ grumpy.

According to Bennett and Jordan, this is the most difficult part of their sport.

"When they're hungry all the time, just like anyone else, they tend to lose patience a little quicker," Jodi Bennett said.

Jordan said the calorie deficit and muscle building is truly a delicate balancing act.

"I'm eating six times a day," he said. "Now, those meals don't fill me up as much as I would like. In order to lose the fat during the 17-20 week prep period, you can't starve yourself. You'll lose all the muscle. You have to work hard to maintain the muscle while the fat comes off slowly."

Jodi Bennett said the body builders' commitment to competing without performance-enhancing substances serves as an example for others.

"It can be done, and they can win (without performance enhancers)," she said. "They can do fantastic and have a great time and still be a role model. It's important that this is how they represent Worland and themselves."

The athletes don't dwell on the fact they may be competing against other body builders using performance enhancers.

"It is important to a point," said Jordan. "It's not something that I even worry about. If there was a magic pill, then everybody would be taking it. The magic pill is hard work, it's in the gym every day. It's keeping to your diet and not cheating."

Bennett previously qualified for the national competition but declined to participate because of business and family responsibilities at the time. This time, however, his ultimate goal is to finish in the top five in his weight class at the national competition.

Jordan said he's looking for fun in his first competition.

Both athletes have bigger priorities immediately following this weekend's show. For Bennett _ spicy enchiladas and zucchini bread. For Jordan _ anything as long as there is a lot of it.

Information from: Northern Wyoming Daily News,

By Bob Vines