We’ve got the stunning Erin Duggin in the spotlight for Flex Friday this week, posing in pics from her recent debut shoot at the North Americans in Pittsburgh, where the 45-year-old former bodybuilder won her pro card competing in the masters physique division. Since making the shift to physique, Erin has steadily climbed the ranks and now looks poised to do some damage on the pro stage. Check out some video of her doing an interview backstage — talking about her love of cupcakes before shows — at the IFPA Gaspari Nutrition Pro back in 2013, and rocking her routine at the East Coast Cup in 2014. Gotta love this girl’s sweet personality and feminine charm along with that awesome muscle.
Our coverage of the latest Olympia wrapped up on Monday and it was a highly productive weekend for the Studio this year. We’ve got 8 new shoots from Las Vegas on the way, including new faces, new pros and another exciting ‘Sisters in Arms’ tandem. Here’s the recap.
Derina Wilson – This talented 5-foot-1, 110-pound Long Islander is small in stature but has quickly emerged as one of the hottest new stars in the fitness division. Derina began her competitive journey only last year with a win at the Garden States Championships before winning a pro card at Team Universe, her first national show and just second show overall. This year, she collected top IFBB finishes and earned her way to the Olympia stage. The 36-year-old is a longtime yoga and pilates instructor, gymnastics coach, and holds a degree in physical education from Queens College.
Derina Wilson and Lauren Fogle – Fitness meets football in our latest ‘Sisters in Arms’ double feature. Derina, our lovely new pro fitness star joins Lauren, who plays safety for the Omaha Heart of the Legends (formerly Lingerie) Football League. A curvy, blonde bombshell, Lauren brings covergirl worthy looks and a strong 5-foot-4, 135-pound package of athletic and feminine muscle that certainly packs a punch.
Vicki Diaz – University of Oklahoma grad and current resident of Dallas, Vicki brings an accomplished and lengthy athletic background to the mix. In addition to being a high school volleyball player and competitive gymnast for 12 years, Vicki was a nationally ranked high school cheerleader and went on to be an instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association. She’s now a personal trainer and an IFBB pro physique competitor.
Lise Ha Pham – Adding an international touch to the lineup is Lise, an exquisite blend of muscle and beauty born in France and now living in Los Angeles. The 38-year-old mom of two started competing in 2014 and won her WNBF pro card at the L.A. Championships. She’s getting ready for her pro debut at the WNBF Pro Intercontinental in Edmonton coming up on October 22, and her striking physique is looking on point.
Natalie Newhart – This young powerhouse and gym owner out of Colorado is a fixture on the CrossFit scene, where the best competitors demonstrate gasping feats of strength and stamina. Also leaving you breathless is Natalie’s long list of sports and activities she’s participated in – gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, skateboarding, snowboarding, rock climbing, motocross. She’s got the look but hasn’t tried the stage yet; could a debut in physique or maybe the fitness division be her next challenge?
Nell Wilks – Nell made her debut on the site all the way back in ’09, but you’ll see right away that our Filipino beauty turned SoCal starlet has still got it. Not at all surprising, considering the 44-year-old has been around the gym her entire life and fell in love with the figure look after seeing her first contest back in the day. A reprise was long overdue and now we have it.
Jessica Reyes Padilla – Jessica made some history by becoming the first Puerto Rican born competitor to qualify for the Figure Olympia. The exotic beauty made her Olympia debut count, standing her ground on stage with the best in the world and showing off great muscle and conditioning. Away from competitions, the 39-year-old is an expert in advanced martial arts and also works as a Hollywood stunt double in action pictures. You’ll be able to see Jessica flexing in action when she makes her debut.
Patricia Vazquez – Finally we have our latest ageless muscle girl and an IFBB physique pro who competed at the 2015 Wings of Strength Texas pro. Before she turned to the stage, Patricia was so formidable in the sport of kickboxing that her opponents could be women or men. We’re talking about a lady with muscle and some punishing skills to go with it.
The spotlight today is for lovely and athletic Ashley Puida, a former Miss Hawaiian Tropic model turned up and coming IFBB bikini pro. The long and lean brunette from San Diego has made terrific strides since beginning her competitive journey just over a year ago. She won her pro card in her first national level show, then made the top ten at the Sacramento Pro in 2015. Ashley has the physique to move up in the ranks, but sometimes struggles to keep her nerves in check on stage during her posing. If she can overcome those flaws, she’s got a great chance to qualify for the Olympia next year.
The dramatically muscled Lynn Blachman Caron takes center stage for Flex Friday this week, posing for our cameras and exciting throngs of passerby during her debut shoot at Station Square in Pittsburgh. Her husband is a competitive bodybuilder, and with the size the New Jerseyan put on display at the recent Masters Nationals, Lynn herself wouldn’t have been out of place flexing with the big girls.
In the spotlight for Throwback Thursday is Avis Ware, showing off the impressively chiseled, contest-shape look that made her a top national level physique athlete during this shoot along Miami beach back in 2011. These days, Avis is a very popular and highly respected fitness coach and personal trainer out on the West Coast. Her own gym, No Distractions Fitness in Los Angeles, gets glowing reviews from clients.
The Studio had some magic going on at the latest NPC North Americans show from Pittsburgh, Pa. In a neat aligning of the stars, three of the models we worked with over the weekend would go on to win pro cards in a show that was once again packed with talented national level hopefuls looking to take the next step. We’ve got those new pros to talk about plus four more for a total of seven lucky shoots in all. Here’s a list of who you’ll see in the days and weeks ahead.
Angela Kegler – We’re so happy for this longtime favorite out of Ohio, who decidedly found her niche in bikini after years in figure. Not just that, Angela has worked her tail off lately in pushing to make improvements the judges wanted. It finally paid off as she captured her pro card, winning the overall in the bikini masters over 45 division. We’ll get to see the freshly minted new champ flexing those hard-earned gains in a brand new shoot.
Abby Ball – This striking brunette bikini standout has been on our radar, so it’s nice to get her into the fold. A personal trainer from Chicago’s far northern suburbs, Abby will bring her shapely, contest shape look to her own individual shoot plus a new Sisters in Arms combo with her sexy friend, the fellow competitor Kendra Newlon. Speaking of Kendra…
Kendra Newlon – Kendra, in addition to showing off her stuff in a hot, bikini double-feature with Abby Ball, also makes her debut in a new solo shoot. Kendra has a long, lean look that comes from her days as a track athlete, and impressive biceps from her time spent as a high school gymnast. She’s now a rising star on the national bikini stage and won the tall class at the competitive NPC Midwest Championships in 2015.
Erin Duggan – Shifting to the physique division, Erin kicked off the shoots over the weekend and then kicked butt on stage, earning a pro card in her masters physique class. This amazing 45-year-old mom of four could make an immediate impact in the IFBB ranks; she’s a prototypical physique competitor with rippling back and shoulder muscles, outstanding abs and mesmerizing, baseball biceps. Lots of feminine charms and gorgeous too, you’ll want to keep an eye on Erin.
Amanda Smith – Amanda was a top national level Canadian physique athlete before shooting with us at North Americans. Now, she’s an IFBB pro after taking the stage and wowing the judges and audience as a standout in the open women’s physique D class. The striking young Ontario native, who works as a hair stylist when she’s not pushing iron, looks to be another promising new addition to the pro class.
Natalie Graziano – Natalie is another newcomer to the Studio, but thanks to her accomplished resume as a longtime elite fitness pro, she’s no stranger to fans of the sport. This year, the former gymnast and cheerleader decided to dip her fitness toes into the physique division. If history is any indication, it won’t take long for her to establish herself as a force in the division. A stunning debut shoot flexing in a little, chic white dress is just the ticket to welcome this class act to the roster.
Rachel Leigh Thorpe – Capping things off with Rachel is like a closer striking out the side in the ninth inning. As the 22-year-old finishes up her schooling at the University of Florida, she’s beginning to make waves in the tall class on the national figure stage. The rising star nearly won her class at the North Americans, finishing second, and looks like she will be earning a pro card in short order. Rachel’s background as a ballerina lends exquisite beauty and poise to a stage presence that already includes stunning good looks and dazzling feminine muscle. Stay tuned.
The Flex Friday spotlight shines this week on Carmen Lonborg, our latest update, appearing in photos from her debut shoot at this year’s NPC Masters Nats. This striking figure newcomer has put together a string of top finishes in the hotly competitive Northwest region, where she resides. And now that she’s moved onto the national stage, she’s proving that she’s someone to keep an eye on.