Figure Universe Pro and Personal Trainer, Lauren Stogner, has a passion for fitness and helping others improve. She says, “My clients keep me motivated. Knowing that they look to me for guidance and that I make a difference in their lives keeps me going on days I struggle”. But most importantly, know that “...if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
Owner of an in-home Preschool, Heather Holland, is a very ambitious woman. Aside from raising two very respectful children, she has also urged herself to set goals for her fit lifestyle. She says, “As for ambitions for myself, would be to take care of myself and to share my love of health and fitness with everyone!” Heather is currently preparing to compete at Fitness Rocky Mountain on April 24.
The extremely passionate and goal-oriented Danica Scales strives to be her best. At a young age, Danica discovered her profound love for physical activity and ventured into the world of competitive cheerleading and pole vaulting for track. With these sports under her belt, she was able to push herself, gain physical strength and skills that would lay a foundation for a fit lifestyle and hopefully allow her to earn a scholarship. Unfortunately, that dream came to an end when she unexpectedly tore her ACL. However, this did not stop her from engaging in fitness after her recovery. She began training countless hours hoping to gain endurance and strength once again. Danica says firmly, “there is more meaning and challenge in building than maintaining”, which brings her to this point in her life, taking on Fitness and Bikini Divisions in San Diego, CA on April 2nd.
United States Navy Sailor Celeste “Nani” Jimenez is all about reaching her full potential. Growing up she was very active in both cross country and track. After many years of running and a minor knee injury, she turned to heavy weight lifting and instantaneously felt a passion towards this new lifestyle. Celeste is now preparing to compete in San Diego on April 2. She says,"...this level of fitness and training is one I would have never imagined myself doing, but it is a great way for me to measure my potential in the realm of the unknown."
At 5 years old Tatyana Serrano saw herself being in front of a crowd, on a platform doing something great, but she was too terrified to try it. The 2015 Figure Universe Champion says "When I reached my senior year of High School, I realized I hadn't done anything or scratched the surface of my dream, so I enrolled in softball. 2.5 weeks later, a girl at try outs said to me that she couldn't wait for the entire stadium to be filled with friends and family.I never returned to try outs! In 2014, after a lot of convincing and encouragement from my fellow gym goers, I decided that I was going to compete! It was an effortless idea, because *I* was ready. I competed in the modeling division... I had stage-fright because of my lack of experience, but, I had to face the terror; it was finally time, yet, I didn't reach my goal. Then, in 2015 I competed in the Fitness Universe Weekend in the Model division but I did not get a top 10 finish. My friends encouraged me to try the figure division so I had registered For Figure as well. Not having a clue as to what I was doing. I just knew I wasn't done, Yet." Tatyana went on to win her class and then the Overall Title. She says "It took that much time for me to realize where on the stage I would belong, and clicked! Thought still terrified as ever, It.Felt.Right to me! I just knew, that this time, I was there to win!"
2015 Model America Champion Brieanna Denman and Runner-up Jordan Candelaria embrace each other in pure joy, showing us the beauty of comradery! The New Mexico friends, both driven and vibrant, have many exciting endeavors they are working on. Supporting each other and working hard... these phenomenal women are expected to make quite a splash at the Fitness Universe Weekend & Fitness America Weekend in 2016!
Fit mom, Liva Rivera, is all about helping as many women and mothers as possible. She believes entering motherhood is when you realize that life is just beginning. Liva says, “I am a mom of 3 who lost 65 pounds and gained a whole new perspective on life, health, and fitness as a result.” She is planning to compete at Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami Beach, Florida. Most importantly, Liva is making her health and fitness a priority.
Julianne Estrada is all about showing others how to become more empowered through diet and exercise! The single mother of 2 says "I feel so grateful that I get to motivate countless people on a daily basis, and be a positive part of their lives. I am owner and operator of JCE Fitness in Morris County NJ, where I build complete exercise programs for my clients to help them build their dream body! I take great pride in the fact that I am a strong role model in their lives. My favorite boding moments are when I get to show them how to workout in the weight room. Watching them light up with confidence is more verification that I am fulfilling my life’s calling." Julianne Is currently training to compete at the Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami Beach.
German Personal Trainer, Jen Joyner, has not had an easy journey trying to obtain her fitness goals. Although dancing has been one of her passions, she was forced to give it up in order to study and work. Her education and job soon became extremely overwhelming, causing her to face gain weight struggles and depression. She then signed up at a gym, hoping to better herself and transform her body. She began lifting heavier weights and transformed her diet to achieve her fitness goals. Jen is currently preparing to compete at the San Diego show on April 7 and happily says, “..only by being healthy and fit you can find true happiness!”
Coach Andi Martin continues this week’s Fitness Universe feature on how to keep your stage presentation classy! Welcome Andi Martin!
“Posing and stage presentation have evolved over the years, but one thing the Fitness Universe organization has always prioritized, is keeping the shows classy and family friendly. I have always felt comfortable inviting friends, colleagues and family to my shows, knowing that no overly provocative displays would not be tolerated. Yes, some competitors have pushed the limits, but the organization has put rules in place to deduct points or even disqualify competitors who conduct themselves in an overly sexual manner.”
“What makes the FUP unique and classy…NO OPEN LEGGED POSING! You have seen photos from other federations who allow an open legged front pose and the popular, yet unflattering, back pose, or as I like to call it, the horse’s a** pose. Yes, I said it! But, enough about that…”
“Let’s get to what is expected on the FUP stage…..”
• Depending on the show you are doing, you may do a Spotlight walk or a 5 point walk (sometimes called a T-walk). Most larger shows will use the Spotlight walk, but check with the promoter to see which walk you will be doing. See diagram here, www.fitnessuniverse.com/forms/2013/stage-walk-diagram.pdf
• Present a feminine, fluid, relaxed walk in between poses.
• During your individual presentation, hit your poses at each stopping point, whether it is a front pose only, or front and back.
• During group comparisons, bikini, model, and fitness competitors will do half turns, while figure competitors will perform quarter turns.
• For bikini and theme wear posing, competitors must keep a connection at the feet. NO OPEN LEGGED POSING! This rule is in effect for all divisions! Deductions will be made, and repeated offenses will lead to disqualification.
• Have fun and connect with the audience and judges!
So how do you go about achieving that perfect posing and stage walk?
• Find a reputable coach who is familiar with FUP posing and stage walks. Keep in mind there is a big difference with posing in each federation, so do your homework, and make sure you are learning the correct techniques.
• Connect with the promoter before the show, to know white stage walk you will be doing, and pay very close attention at the competitor meeting in case anything changes. You may even ask for a demonstration at the meeting.
• Watch videos from past FUP shows to see what is expected.
• Create a “routine” so that you know exactly what you are doing when you go on stage.
• PRACTICE!!! Do not wait until show day to put your Cinderella shoes on! Wear them around the house. Practice in front of the mirror. Videotape yourself walking and posing, and have a coach evaluate your performance. Your “routine” should be automatic by show day.
“Your stage walk and posing are just as important as the package you are presenting, so be sure to spend time perfecting both. Use your time wisely on stage to show confidence, feminine strength and total CLASS!”
“See you all next week!”