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About LOUIS ZWICK

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So far LOUIS ZWICK has created 7 blog entries.

Spirit Trumps it all

No matter what our personal best in the gym is, one of our biggest strengths is that good ‘ol woman’s intuition. Sometimes the plan that we have made or the vision that we have created isn’t exactly the plan meant for you.  I personally confirmed that once again at Fitness America last weekend.

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I am a very spiritual person and use it to guide me through my big and small decisions on a daily basis. I try to be organized and have a plan, but the spirit trumps it all.  That was no different last weekend when I made my game time decision to compete in Figure (After Bikini and Sports Model, I was exhausted to say the least.) Being an athlete my entire life and coming from a family of football and basketball players, I am just naturally more muscular than average.  When I started competing 2 years ago everyone said I should do Figure, but I really just enjoyed Bikini, mostly because of my ability to get creative with fun costumes and the style of modeling.  I figured one day I would eventually give it a shot, but after I quickly got my Pro card in Bikini, I figured I would stick to that.

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The night before Fitness America started, I popped up in the middle of the night with “that feeling” and knew I HAD to do Figure now!  Did I have a figure suit?  Nope.  Did I know how to pose?  By the looks of my pictures, obviously not.  I did not plan for it, train for it or even think about it, but somehow it came together at the very last minute. Figure Pros, Allanna Anstaett generously loaned me her extra suit and Ruby Carter-Pikes gave me a quick 5 minute crash course right before I had to walk on stage.  They needed to get themselves ready, but were awesome enough to help me out.  (Side note: Another reason I love being a part of this organization; the people are absolutely amazing! Fellow competitors have your back and support you and your crazy decisions, and for that I am grateful.)

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I had no expectations, but had to at least see what it was like and how it would go.  I really didn’t have much to lose, except for maybe a little pride.  It all came together at the last second and I still ended up placing 4th.  That was crazy.  That, along with a 3rd place finish in Sports Model, I was pretty happy with the weekend.  However, of all the times I have won or placed over the past 2 years, this Figure one ranks right up there in epicness along with last summer when I got my Bikini pro card at Fitness Universe and me winning at Muscle Mania India (another of my acts of randomness). Who knows what I will do in my next show.  Sports Model? Bikini? Just focus on becoming a Figure Pro?  All of the above?  I am still debating.  Either way, there is never a dull moment and it’s always a good time. Always stay open to possibilities and new challenges and don’t underestimate the power or your intuition, even when it makes no sense.  You never know, things may actually fall into place, even if it is 5 minutes before you have to go on an international stage 😉

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Life is a Beach

Life is a Beach when fitness is more than skin deep

Ms. Bikini Universe™ Pro Brittany Williams is a self-proclaimed busy body, and has been a lifelong athlete.  Brittany says "Although I focused on track and field in college, I have and still do everything from basketball to ballet, Spartan Races to softball.  I am even a want- to-be yogi and have incorporated a lot of meditation and yoga practices into my daily life. Being involved in the bodybuilding industry for the past year and a half, I find it even more important to incorporate variety into my routine.  While most people equate fasted cardio and heavy weight training to show prep, my body craves variety and focus on balance…in the body, mind, and spirit.

As I have been more heavily involved in competing, I am asked for advice for getting in shape from people from a variety of fitness levels.  As being fit seems to be the new “thing,” I have so many conversations about health and getting a bikini body.  I have found that many people, competitor or not, are worried more about the aesthetics and looking good- by any means necessary.  Sure, that is what the world sees at the first glance, and on stage, that is what is judged, but the part we can’t see, the inside is equal if not more important to maintaining the aesthetic, overall body function and health.  That’s something that we can’t forget in this quest for greatness.  There is an abundance of pills and potions on the market to pop to get our desired result, unfortunately, people have asked me more about fat burners than about detoxing and taking care of ourselves from the inside out.  While the benefits versus the dangers of some cleanses are up for debate, the fact is that detoxing is important.

Being a junkie for any new way to move my body, and the fact that I get bored very easily, I am always open to trying new exercises and fitness technology.  As a former arena football player and body builder, Hot Box Detox creator, and Planet Beach CEO, Stephen Smith has been through a few tough workouts himself.  Even before the Hot Box Detox was completed and launched, he had me sold. Over more than a year after first learning about it, the first Hot Box Detox sauna was installed in my local Henderson, NV Planet Beach and is now a regular part of my workout routine.  You may even see me as a virtual instructor leading a couple of workouts on the monitor in the sauna, which is cool and awkward at the same time.Screen-Shot-2016-03-24-at-10

As I prepare for Fitness Universe, I still do my weights and cardio, but I may have also become slightly obsessed with the HBX.  In a semi-private infrared sauna experience, with just a 30-minute flight of isometric postures in about 120 degrees, I can burn up to 800 calories.  Isometric postures may sound and look easy, but don’t get it twisted.  Looks can be deceiving.  It is quite a challenge and is another technique to help build strength and cardio endurance.  While I drip sweat and literally feel the toxins being released from my body onto the mat, but the clarity of mind and revitalization that I feel, despite completing such a challenging workout is what has me hooked.  I am more than ready for the next challenge of the day and the next workout.

A fusion of old proven methods of exercise along with new technology, I am a fan of HBX for many reasons.  Especially after hard training days, particularly leg days, reduction of inflammation and recovery time is essential.  Unfortunately, I am very guilty of cutting my stretching time short (I know, I am bad) the postures and stretching help with flexibility, too.  By absorbing the radiant heat to the core, there are so many other benefits.  Fat burn, cellulite reduction, detoxification, collagen repair and rejuvenation from the inside out, there is so much more to this sauna than meets the eye.  And that is precisely what I believe that we should be as competitors and industry leaders, more than a pretty picture."

 

 

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Bikini & Figure Prep Vlogging

MS Bikini Universe Pro Chanel Collette has started her competition prep for the Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami Beach and she will be Vlogging her journey on youtube. Chanel says " As of right now I am planning to compete in both the Bikini Pro division and Figure amateur. I am excited to open the YoutTube world up to Fitness Universe and use my channel to share with more women about the federation."

Follow her Journey at YouTube

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Figure Debut

Ms.Bikini Universe Pro Chanel Collette shares her experience in competing in the Figure Universe division for the very first time. Chanel says "The figure suit, borrowed from a fellow competitor, sat in my closet for 8 weeks prior to Fitness America weekend. I tried it on once after it showed up in the mail; but I was extremely discourage how my physique looked. The bikini division swim wear always suited my physique and this figure suit was not very forgiving at all.

I remember another figure competitor once telling me that figure suits typically only look good the day you present on stage, but I didn't want to think that was the whole truth at the time. Discouraged I took a couple selfies of me in the suit and decided the division was probably a bit far fetched for me. The suit sat in the same spot for the remaining 8 weeks leading up to Fitness America weekend.

Knowing I would be able to return the figure suit to it's owner at Fitness America weekend, I packed it safely in my carry on. During peak week I was extremely satisfied with where my physique was heading and part of me started re-thinking the whole figure division. My upper back and shoulders gained significant size during my training in the past year, and I was able to reach a level of leanness I had never obtained for the stage. I was beginning to think that if I was going to tackle the figure division - this was my chance. As a bikini pro I have limited shows in the states to compete in so I knew I needed to make it happen this year.

The night prior to figure registration I tried on the suit just one more time. I recruited some much needed posing help from the owner of the figure suit and she graciously helped me turn my stiff presentation into something a bit more graceful for the stage. I really can't thank this competitor enough for loaning me her suit and convincing me try out this division.

The morning of registration I went for it. Now I was Chanel Collette Bikini Pro & Figure competitor, and from what I know regarding the history of Fitness Universe, that particular title has not been used yet.

Competition day rolls around and I think I was more nervous for my figure debut than the Bikini Pro division. The bikini division is like second-nature to me. There aren't those first time jitters and the adrenaline rush is just a little less each time I compete now. Don't get me wrong; I love being a seasoned competitor and I love being a bikini pro. But every competitor can agree there is just something about the first time you compete and standing back stage thinking about my figure debut gave me all those "first timer" jitters again.

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Immediately after I got off stage for the bikini round I didn't hesitate to jump into the figure suit. After getting settled back stage I knew my husband would be looking for me to come out at this point. Instead of being dressed and ready to go celebrate my 3rd place win in the bikini division he saw me for the first time in the figure suit. I think a part of him knew I would eventually want to tackle this so with a little eye roll he gave me a hug and said, "Go for it. Looks like you're ready."

Surprisingly, I was very relaxed backstage. My fellow figure competitors were very welcoming and helped me learn a little bit about the pre-stage pump up routines. I was nervous for sure but I just kept repeating to myself, "You've got nothing to lose." And I truly didn't. I came to Vegas looking to place in the Bikini Pro division for the first and I have already accomplished what I came for. Now it was just time to have fun and try something new.

I enjoyed every moment of my posing routine and really took it all in. I can say it wasn't a blur - I remember every foot step, every arm movement, & every smile I presented to the judges. The figure posing was much more routine and methodical in comparison to my Bikini presentation; which is part of what I like best about being a Figure competitor.

Awards line-up rolls around, and like most competitors underestimating themselves, I zoned out after 4th and 5th place were announced because I didn't even think I would place - let alone get 2nd!! I think anyone who was watching would have seen the shock on my face. I remember even making eye contact with my friend from the stage while awards were starting and mouthing to her 'No way' but not because I was disappointed but I was trying to be realistic with myself.

My figure debut was just the icing on the cake to an incredible weekend in Vegas for me. In all the years I have competed I had not placed on the Fitness America stage and that weekend I left voted twice as the Most Aesthetic Physique and with a 3rd place and 2nd place finish. It was a experience that will be hard to live up and it may never happen again in my career.

We all reach milestones in this sport but what keeps me coming back to the stage every year is pushing myself just a little harder than I think I am capable of. Now I just have to work towards being the first woman in Fitness Universe history to earn 2 Pro Cards. "

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Going with the flow

Brittany Williams earned her Ms. Bikini Pro status this past June at the Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami. Soon after winning her Pro card she embarked on her annual Vegas Youth Ambassadors trip to an Orphanage in Sri Lanka which lead to her winning this years Musclemania India Model Championships. Brittany says "I am heavily involved with nonprofits in Las Vegas. One organization, of which I am a founding board member is Vegas Youth Ambassadors. About a week after Fitness Universe was done, I came home and got ready for our 2nd service trip to the Fridsro Orphanage in Sri Lanka. We traveled with 6 Las Vegas youth to this orphanage to live and work with the children there as well as other projects in villages surrounding the orphanage. We were there for about a month. This leads me to India where I have always wanted to go for some reason (I never knew why). As Sri Lanka is just a little island south of India, I was so close and just had to go.

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The rest of the group came back home and I went to visit a yogi friend of mine in Mumbai. A trip that was planned to last about 5 days ended up lasting about 5 weeks. Letting go and being spontaneous is something that I have been working on, so when another friend in New Delhi suggested that there was no way that I could come that close and not visit. I "got sick" (wink wink) and cancelled my return flight home. Instead, I was on a flight north to visit Delhi. Still without much of a plan, I went with it because my intuition told me that I needed to be there as there was something deeper there for me than just a vacation. I took that time to disconnect from the world, social media, etc and spend lots of time reflecting, meditating, writing and working out. Before I totally disconnected, I found out that the MuscleMania India Tour was just about to begin. As crazy as it was, the first competition was in Gurgoan, a town right outside of Delhi that just happened to be 10 minutes from where I was staying. So I took that as a sign. Coincidence? I think not. 2 weeks later I ended up winning the first Model India competition of the India tour. Clearly, it was not planned and I was by no means being a good girl on my normal competition prep diet...I was traveling and eating all kinds of good India, Thai and Sri Lankan food all summer. But I did focus for 2 weeks to try to look decent for the competition. I was nowhere near my best physically, but I mentally... that was on a whole different level. For me, that is what this is about...not just looking a certain way on stage, but using this as a platform for so much more.

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This whole summer - from becoming a pro at Fitness Universe, to the orphanage, to being in India and allowing myself to "go with the flow" was one of my most interesting, exciting and rewarding few months of my entire life for personal growth and major transitions. Since being back home for about a month, so many things have changed and many new opportunities have been presented, sometimes I find it hard to believe, yet I know it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Of all of my other personal accomplishments, fitness - particularly being a part of Fitness Universe has been a major catalyst for me moving forward and exceeding my expectations. A lot of people do not realize how much more this is than just getting on stage and competing. There is so much camaraderie and love for fellow athletes as well as so much potential for growth as an individual in health/fitness and life as a whole. The 2015 Fitness America Weekend will mark a year that I have been involved and I don't see an end in sight. I am excited and anxious to compete for the first time as a pro!"

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First Time Passions

Ms. Bikini New England Classic competitor Stacy Newman may not have competed ever before, but the 5'3", 108 lbs. housewife says it has only driven to aspire. "Getting on stage for the first time is why I am so passionate about this later in life. It goes to prove you can do anything you set your mind." The 42 year old mother says she's a self proclaimed chef who loves to take naughty comfort food and experIment with clean healthier options. "I have turned my weak, undernourished body into a powerhouse. Getting ready to compete has been an amazing journey. This is just the beginning." Stacy will be on stage in Hartford with nearly 200 other ladies from throughout the Northeast in the biggest natural show of the spring season.

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Experience on Stage

As a 3x Figure Universe competitor, Wimberly Smith could be considered seasoned to the world class show. However, this year as a new Figure Universe Natural Pro, the she is bumping up her game, moving into a special league of ladies and taking on the world's best. Wimberly says, "I can not tell you how excited I am to compete in the Figure Universe again this year. I have no doubt the experience will be even better this year with the knowledge I have gained from previous year's shows. My teammates, clients, friends and family will be there pulling for me and showing support along with all of the energy that is apparent at every aspect of the show." Wimberly lives in Naples, Florida and says she's the very fortunate mother of 4 amazing boys, ages 7, 9, 11 & 13. "In addition to being a good mom and wife, I run a taxi service, homework service, cooking and cleaning service and caring for the the boys (along with my husband). Plus, I am a CPA and certified personal trainer and nutritionist." What doesn't this lady do?! Well, no doubt Wimberly will be taking all her life experiences and applying herself on stage at Figure Universe next month in Miami / Ft. Lauderdale. 

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