Issue #1


by HardFitness

Thyroid Disorders
by Sandra del Vecchio

The Ins and Outs of a Fitness Routine
by Kristi Willis

Best Shape of your Life
by Julie Lohre

Women and Strength Training
by Holly Geersen

Video Interviews featuring Julie Lohre and Sandra Wickham

Pictorials featuring Amy Peters, Holly Geersen, Julie Lohre, Erica Davidson and Mimi Jabalee

Things to Pack for Contest Day by Amy Peters

A week prior to a show (an article about carb/water depletion)
by Tanya Pennington

Thermogenics by Sandra Del Vecchio

Upcoming shows in '05
by HardFitness

Antioxidants by Holly Geersen

Picture Perfect get the Right Contest Color by Deborah Denio

Easy Lasagna by Amy Peters

Bethany Howlett book by Bethany Howlett

Some facts of Life
by Holly Geersen

Beyond the Plateau
by Shelly Pinkerton

by Juan Carlos Lopez

Welcome to the first issue of HardFitness Online Magazine. My journey into fitness, figure and female bodybuilding came about thru sports' photography. Being from Mexico and being a great fan of soccer I always went to soccer games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Always took my Nikon N60 and longest lens I had to the stadium. All I did during the games was to snap photos, rolls and rolls (before digital) of high speed film.

As studied my B.S. in Electrical Engineering in San Antonio, TX I once browsed the internet and found photos of Monica Brant. I was really impressed with her physique and thought all women should look like that. I have always played soccer at an amateur level and loved playing it but the weight training aspect always seemed boring to me. After playing a very long soccer game in Mexico I noticed days after that I had no feeling in certain part of my left foot. Being in my early 20's I didn't really care and let it go. While in college I had been in serious pains in my glutes and upper left hamstring. At some point I was playing a game and wasn't even able to run. I left in the middle of the game and thought "enough is enough".

I went to one of the best doctors in Guadalajara (he was the doctor for a professional soccer team), he immediately knew the problem prescribed Vioxx and some exercises. I used the gym in my apartments' complex and slowly rehabilitated my leg. The women in fitness, figure and bodybuilding were an inspiration to me. Of course their physiques were attractive, but what motivated me was how much work and dedication they had to put together. The weaker sex, women? I don't think so. Adding on muscle is not easy and bodybuilding for women is even harder. So I said to myself "I have no excuse, I should be working out and eating better". And so I have done. Currently I workout 5 times per week and play soccer 3 times per week. My body is that of a soccer player and so is my metabolism. Most competitors would be jealous of me as I can eat pizza, hot dogs and just about anything a not gain a pound. But for that same reason I have trouble increasing my muscle mass and weight even when I eat 6 times a day.

For the love of being fit I decided I to photograph the best bodies in the world. Fitness routines being my favorite of course during a competition. Also the training behind all of this is very interesting and just how much your body can change with the right advice. I have also met great people and made many friends in this industry. Shooting at shows and meeting many competitors I decided that it would be interesting to build up an archive of tips and advice for these women. There might be something in someone else's experience that might help you in your contest prep or their story might just motivate you.

My biggest problem were print magazines. I always bought a bunch of magazines such as Ironman, Flex, Musclemag and yes always wanted to look like Arnold, Ferrigno, Gunther and others. You saw all these training programs (which I followed); "how to get pumpkin delts"; "build super sized arms", etc... While it was okay I was already photographing women so my curiosity grew as to how women did their training. Specially those women who really had the bodies I thought were the best. I never really found any information anywhere. Magazines such as Oxygen, Muscle Fitness and hers were just marketing aids in selling "you can look like me if you buy this magazine, follow the training programs, follow the diet and take the supplements in the ads and you will look great". At some degree it's true but there is more to it than that. But the worst was the girls in the magazines, just fitness models with no muscle tone just pretty faces. I would photograph all these beautiful women with better bodies but they would never grace a magazine cover because they weren't the top in their industry. But still they had achieved better physiques and had at least competed. Bottom line. Almost all National level NPC athletes have better physiques than most girls on these mainstream magazines. Symmetry, muscle tone and in my opinion, just better overall.

This is why I decided to create HardFitness online magazine. Because the trainers and competitors know better than anyone else from their own experiences on how to achieve these physiques. Also to give exposure to the real athletes not just a marketing image or regular models. To show real information without censorship, views of the sport from the eye of an athlete, opinions even if they create discussions. Please enjoy HardFitness Magazine and hope that every one will like it. Feedback is always welcome.

And of course would like to thank all models/competitors/people who contributed to this publication. Thank you all, you know who you are and are deeply appreciated by me.

Juan Carlos Lopez - Editor/Photographer

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