Canadian Figure & Femsport Athlete Debuts

•December 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

An updated version of my earlier post on Canadian figure competitor Michelle Krack, revised with photos from her shoot posted today. Enjoy!

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Girl: Dazzling figure competitor Michelle Krack poses by the fountain.

On her website, Canadian Michelle Krack details a longtime passion for athletics covering sports from softball and soccer to track & field and rugby. It’s a passion that grew into a lifestyle and career and today the 33-year-old has a degree in Physics and Kinesiology, works as a personal trainer and continues to educate about health & fitness.

Meanwhile, the 5-foot-9, 140-pound blonde is a national level figure competitor with polished stage presence to go with striking abs and very shapely biceps. Today’s update features Michelle over the summer during her competition at the North Americans.

In this snapshot, Wendy Lindquist looks on as her statuesque friend and fellow British Columbia native gets ready to show her stuff at the Femsport Strength and Fitness Challenge in Western Canada. The very pretty Michelle is definitely a girl with many talents.

Patty Zariello Joins Monica Brant for Weekend Fitness Camp

•December 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Figure All-Star: Patty teams up with Monica Brant this weekend at the Vision Sports Club Fitness Expo in New York.

Lucky fitness enthusiasts in the Tri-State area this weekend are in for a treat as the Vision Sports Club in Pearl River, New York just north of Manhattan prepares to host a Fitness Expo & Workshop coming up on Saturday, December 11th. Headlining the festivities, reigning WBFF figure champ Monica Brant teams up with local personal trainer and competitor Patty Zariello to provide expert tips on training and nutrition.

And that’s just for starters. There’s enough planned during the exciting all-day event — including meet and greets, Q&As, a workout targeting legs and abs, a poise and presentation practicum, and sponsors like BNRG on hand with prizes and giveaways — to leave everybody from beginners to seasoned competitors recharged and focused on their fitness goals.

Many thanks to the always charming and amiable Patty for giving me the scoop on this weekend’s proceedings, as well as a few notes on what’s been going on behind the scenes with one our brightest and most engaging figure stars.

“Off season has been great for me,” Patty said. “I love off season because that’s when all the ‘good stuff’ happens. I’m working hard to put a little size on my legs and bring out my v-taper. I’m very determined to come in at my best in 2011 and I love the challenge.”

The beautiful personal trainer, nutrition coach and busy New Jersey mom strikes a pose during her studio shoot.

Patty just completed a promising year that included a pair of sixth-place finishes, most recently in the tall class at the NPC Eastern USA in downtown New York. Earlier, the striking 5-foot-6 blonde was very impressive in placing sixth in a deep class across the river at Team Universe.

As far as next year’s contest calendar, pencil in the classy New Jersey lassie for a return to her home state show and perhaps a few more. “I haven’t finalized my plans for the year yet but I’m starting to look at the schedule and map it out now,” Patty explained. “I’m thinking Jr. USAs, Jr. Nationals, and definitely Team Universe again.”

Fans can also stop by and visit Patty working the BNRG booth at the Arnold Expo in March. Meanwhile, be sure to pick up a copy of the upcoming February issue of Oxygen magazine, which features Patty in a training article!

Monica Brant

But first, it’s a day surrounded by fitness friends on Saturday with Monica. “In conjunction with the workshop,” Patty shares, “there will be a small fitness expo taking place at the gym that day so it’s really going to be different and a lot of fun!”

Talk about heartwarming postscripts. Attending a similar fitness camp led by Monica back in March of 2009 is actually what inspired Patty to start competing. Two months later, she was on stage and taking second-place at the NPC California State Figure Championships. Now a rising star herself, she’s working front and center and side by side with one of the sport’s all-time legends.

Longtime Fitness Icon Returns to Stage

•December 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Back in Action: Deidre Pagnanelli placed fourth in figure tall at the NPC Excalibur on Saturday.

Deidre Pagnanelli, celebrity of the fitness and bodybuilding scene throughout much of the 1990s, made a surprise return to the figure stage on Saturday at the Excalibur in Culver City, California. And while her footage here on the studio proved she can still work it for the camera, placing fourth in the tall class at the NPC season finale — flashing a radiant smile and mingling classy with a hint of sassy — declared the 41-year-old competitor and coach hasn’t lost a step in front of a live audience either.

As many longtime fans will remember, numerous television appearances and magazine features turned the exquisitely sculpted, blazingly feminine and exceptionally photogenic Deidre into a household name during the early days of Fitness America and Miss Galaxy events. The athletic former track star was even a professional cheerleader for the NFL’s Rams when the franchise was still located in Los Angeles.

She's Got Game: Deidre prepares to show off some athletic prowess during her shoot this summer.

She stepped away from the spotlight the last several years and is now the proud mother of four children. But clearly the challenging vicissitudes of raising a family haven’t stopped Deidre from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which actually is a theme in a series of YouTube clips she created for busy parents struggling to find time to stay in shape.

The Trainer to the Moms’ motto for working out — “A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.” Welcome back and congrats, Deidre!

More news and notes from the Excalibur coming up later.

Quick Takes

•December 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Go Figure or Physique: Strapping Lisa Shanklin could turn heads in the new division.

Tall and athletic Lisa Shanklin was a veritable overnight success on the figure stage this year, achieving national-level status in her debut at the Northern Kentucky last March. The 38-year-old mother of two went on to a top ten finish at the Masters Nationals, and later was runner-up in her class at North Americans in the 35-and-over category.

Originally from Wisconsin, the 5-foot-7, 145-pound former high school and college volleyball, basketball and track star now works as the lead personal trainer for Anytime Fitness in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Here’s a highlight from Lisa’s contest-shape shoot in Atlanta this past fall, where she showed off a very well-developed frame — impressive shoulder caps, rippling abs, sweeping quads and amazing vascularity — that could make the striking brunette another good fit for the approaching physique division.

Encore Shoots Part II

•November 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Double Take: Tiffany is back and looking better than ever!

Another pair of sophomore shoots on the studio beginning with figure girl Tiffany Whitmore, who took the stage recently in her home state of Florida and placed ninth in her class at the NPC Ft. Lauderdale. She also competed at the Dexter Jackson Classic in Jacksonville last summer.

Tiffany was in sharp, midseason form during her latest shoot captured over Olympia weekend, with this new video highlight revealing noticeable improvements to the sexy personal trainer’s impressive upper body, including chiseled biceps and outstanding razor-sharp triceps.

* * *

Also to come, more of iron belle Mary Simmons, who missed the finals in her first turn at NPC Nationals but suddenly is an ideal candidate to flourish in the widely anticipated new physique division starting next season. Is a crossover in the works for the muscular Montana mom? Stay tuned.

Epic Disproportions

•November 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Long and Short of it: Wendy and Laurie light up the night.

Today a quick look at an all-new Sisters in Arms just in time for its dual premiere (photo and video) on the studio. The latest tandem features ever playful Wendy Lindquist and her colossal friend, 6-foot-1 figure competitor Laurie Ljubinicovic, who works out at the same gym in Western Canada.

Some dramatic size comparisons and wacky moments with the always charming bodybuilder mixing things up with the towering figgie. Muscle measurements and lift & carry, plus more solo action still to come with tireless Wendy showing off some dazzling tricks leftover from her days as a gymnast. She’s a superstar.

Just a side note, lots of stuff going on behind the scenes these days. More fresh faces to talk about and hopefully some exciting new interviews ahead on the blog on the other side of the holiday. Until then, enjoy the freebies and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Second Chances

•November 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Kelly Rodrigues

Looking back for a moment, check out a scene from a shoot during Olympia weekend in 2009 with figure competitor and personal trainer Kelly Rodrigues. The adorable 5-foot-3, 130-pound former teen champion shows off a little bit of everything — abs, biceps, calves and even a quad shake — from a curvy physique that defined the engaging South Florida resident as rising star in the sport.

Much has happened to her since then. Ten months ago, Kelly sustained severe injuries in a car accident that left her sedentary for three months. During a long, tumultuous and painful rehab, the 24-year-old questioned whether life would ever be the same much less if she could bounce back enough to resume competing.

Fortunately for Kelly — thanks to plenty of grit, determination, friends, faith and an absolute unwillingness to surrender — bounce back is exactly what she’s done. Tomorrow, she takes the stage again at the Ft. Lauderdale Cup before a cheering hometown crowd in the culmination of a dramatic return that promises to be equal parts exciting and highly emotional.

Indeed, everyone will be pulling for Kelly to sweeten her comeback by finishing first in her class or winning the overall. And while that certainly would be thrilling for the irresistibly wild and crazy muscle blonde, scores and placings are really irrelevant this time.

Just by virtue of never giving up, she’s already a winner.


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