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

A Week Prior to a Show
by Tanya Pennigton

Preparing for a show can take anywhere from eight to sixteen weeks depending where you are starting from. However, the most important part is what you do in the last week before the show. Your consumption of carbohydrates, sodium and water play the largest role in the results you can achieve before walking on stage.
After doing a few shows and trying different methods each time, I have found what works best for me. Whether I am dieting for a show or am off-season, I always keep a moderate amount of sodium in my diet. This way my body is used to ingesting it and getting rid of it.

Monday through Wednesday
I make sure and drink two to three gallons of water each day. I eat five meals consisting of chicken and asparagus, and make sure to keep ingesting the same amount of sodium. By not taking in any carbohydrates your muscles start to appear “flat.” The goal is to get all of your stored glycogen out of your muscles. When you add carbs back in at the end of the week, you have dropped most of your water and those new carbs will fill your muscles back up without the extra water giving you that defined look.

I will drop my water intake to one gallon. I continue with the five meals of chicken and asparagus, however, stop taking in any sodium. This sodium manipulation is probably the most important part of how you will look on Saturday. I will also begin taking Dandelion Root today, three pills, three times daily. Dandelion Root is a natural and effective diuretic to help shed the excess water under your skin so your muscle shows through nicely.

I drop my water intake to ½ gallon. I continue taking the Dandelion Root to keep pushing the water out. I continue with my five meals of chicken and asparagus, and again, no sodium at all. In the evening I will bring back in carbohydrates. Starting at about 5pm I will eat ½ cup of sweet potatoes, then again at 7pm and again at 9pm.

It's show time! Today I will sip water making sure not to take in more than 16oz. I will continue with the same meals, no sodium, and continue with the dandelion root. Upon rising at 5am I will eat ½ cup of sweet potatoes, then again at 7am and again at 9am. Depending on what time I am going to walk on stage I may take in another ½ cup of sweet potatoes. If it is after 11am I make sure to eat more with a goal of keeping my full look. Then, walk on stage proud of everything you have accomplished!

Many people ask about the use of diuretics with the desire to drop as much water as possible. While there are potassium sparing diuretics out there, I prefer to drop my water throughout the week and then use natural diuretics. There are too many mistakes that can be made with diuretics, and yes, I have seen people pass out while on stage! It would be horrible to give everything you have to this show for 12 weeks and then not be able to compete that day because of one mistake. Be safe, be smart and most importantly believe in yourself.

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About the Author...

Tanya Pennington

Being a competitive cheerleader for ten years and running track for three, I have always been interested in fitness and health conscious. I began working out at 24 hour fitness as a sophomore in high school in 1997. Upon graduating, I became a personal trainer and loved assisting people attaining their fitness goals and changing their lives. I admired Monica Brant and Kelly Ryan and made the goal of walking on stage one day.

In 2002 I got serious about competing and began to train and diet for the San Jose show. After 12 hard weeks, I placed 3rd and was so happy to accomplish that goal. That was only the beginning; I caught the competition bug and have competed in six shows since then. I recently took 2nd at the Sacramento show and 1st and overall at the San Francisco show. My next step is the USA’s in July. My goal of becoming an IFBB Pro is one I strive for everyday.

I am currently working toward a degree in Kinesiology at Sacramento State University. I love what I do and most importantly, I love my support system. I believe a support system is just as important as your training and your diet. My boyfriend Armando, my mom Lorenza, my aunt Elbs and uncle Victor have never missed a show believe it or not. In state or out of state, they are always there. My dad is also a huge support and they are the reason I am able to be so successful in this sport!
…Always remember, believe and you will…

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