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Protein Peanut Butter Balls

7 Jul

Just ran across this recipe from

Weekend Cheat Food: Protein Peanut Butter Balls This has got to be one of the best weekend cheat foods on the planet!  Protein peanut butter balls are quick and easy to make, extremely nutritious and will pack on muscle power like almost nothing else! Just think, melted peanut butter with whey and oats in the oven and the yummy smell perforating throughout your home….seriously…. Need I say more?

Protein Peanut Butter Balls Recipe: 2 scoops chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder (Try Optimum Platinum HydroWhey which is lactose free) 1/4 cup honey 3/4 cup raw oats 1 cup peanut butter.

Protein Peanut Butter Balls Directions: Mix all these ingredients in a large bowl. Powder your hands with some flour (to prevent stickiness). Form into small 1″ balls and place on a bake sheet. Place in oven at 375 degrees for 5-10 minutes. This should make a serving which will last you at least a couple weeks. Store remainder in a tupperware container in the fridge…yes they are good cold too! Remember this is a weekend cheat food, these peanut butter balls are rich in calories but the whey gives you high quality protein, the oats give you fiber and low glycemic carbs, the honey will help boost your immune system and the peanut butter will provide you with healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants.  

Another idea is to freeze them and have them as a killer treat.  So next time you’re working out think of this as your motivator and go extra hard!  – See more at: 

Protein 101

5 Jul

Chip Sigmon recently wrote an article for Europa Sports regarding protein, which answers questions to the everyday questions people ask about protein.  The facts presented are straight from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) and its CEO, Dr. Jose Antonio.

Why does Protein intake vary by activity level?  In prior articles, Dr. Antonio has stated that most adults need to consume around 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Of course, highly active adults and athletes have increased protein needs.  In fact, athletes who consistently perform strength-training exercise should consume about 0.7 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  Endurance athletes should consume 0.6 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day.

How much protein can the body digest and absorb in one hour?  It’s almost impossible to determine exactly how much protein a person can use and digest in one hour.  It’s commonly believed that 10 grams of an average protein (whey) can be digested in approximately one hour.  However, everyone’s digestive system is different and it largely depends on the health, function, and even the age of the individual.

What is the best way to satisfy protein requirements?  Most research states that eating between 20 and 30 grams of protein should be the optimum range.  Keeping in mind that it takes approximately one hour to digest 10 grams of protein, its going to take approximately 2 to 3 hours to digest the ideal range of 20-30 grams of protein.  Eating small meals throughout the day is the best way to satisfy your protein requirements.

Is it possible to take in too much protein?  According to the ISSN’s book, “The Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements,” it is their belief that aside from dehydration, the reported effects (potential damage to the liver and kidneys, plus an increased risk of cardiovascular disease) have been exaggerated. Additionally, the National Academy of Sciences and the Harvard School of Public Health have concluded that high protein diets do not increase the risk for coronary heart disease.  The ISSN goes on to state that no study has ever reported liver or kidney damage in healthy subjects consuming a high protein diet… Unless an individual has a known kidney disease or is predisposed to kidney disorders, there seems to be little reason to consume less protein than is recommended by the ISSN.

What are the benefits of protein?  Besides helping build muscle mass and aiding in recovery, protein also helps in speeding up metabolic rate, helps increase growth hormones, mobilizes fat stores for energy, and decreases the risk of heart disease, plus increases the chance for weight loss. 

Written by Chip Sigmon, Europa Sports Summer Catalog 2013.  Republished with permission of Europa Sports Products.



Organization Rules & Regulations

3 Jul

Once you decide to compete and begin doing your homework, you will soon realize that there are numerous organizations and each have their own set of rules. has put together a comprehensive list of organizations with links to their websites.

Click on the link or see their list below:

IFBB Info  


The IFBB was created in 1964 by Ben and Joe Weider! For more information click here.
IFBB Pro Rules Book
NPC Info

NPC Info

The NPC is the amateur league for the IFBB, en route to becoming an IFBB Pro the NPC is one of the few amateur routes you can achieve an IFBB Pro Card!
NPC Rules and Regulations



The CBBF is Canada’s only federally recognized governing body for amateur bodybuilding, fitness, figure, and bikini competitions.
CBBF Bikini Rules CBBF Bodybuilding, Fitness & Figure Class Rules

NGA Info

NGA Info

In 1986 the NGA sanctioned the first all “natural” bodybuilding contests in the U.S, which has grown to become the largest, promoter nationally!
NGA Judging Outline NGA Amateur TIER System NGA Pro TIER System

Muscle Mania Info

Muscle Mania Info

Musclemania is a series of natural bodybuilding competitions featuring the best physiques from around the world.
Muscle Mania Event Info Muscle Mania Figure Info



The IFPA is the pro division of the OCB, to learn more click here!
IFPA Pro Guidelines



The WBFF was created by an athlete, for the athletes!  It features pro and amateur bodybuilding, male/female fitness model/male muscle model, and women’s figure. To learn more click here!
WBFF Competition Categories & Judging Criteria

OCB Info

OCB Info

The OCB is an amature stage for natural competitors to compete for their IFPA pro cards, for more information click here.
OCB Guidelines



The North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation was founded with a goal to promote drug tested body building shows.
NANBF Homepage NANBF Banned Substances



REAL is a platform for all natural/drug free competitors to show off their athleticism and physique! For more information click here.
REAL Athlete Info



The FAME World Tour is a series of international physique competition showcase events. For more information click here.
FAME Competition Info



Founded in 2000, the INBF is the non-profit amateur affiliate of the WNBF. For more information click here.
INBF Rules & Regulations



The UNBA promotes health and wellness through physical fitness and nutrition. For more information click here.
UNBA Rules & Regulations



The INBA sponsors natural bodybuilding competitions and is affiliated with ABA & PNBA. For more information click here.
INBA Rules & Regulations

NPA Info

NPA Info

The Natural Physique Association (NPA) is an independent organization which promotes sanctioned drug-free amateur competitions.
NPA Fitness/Figure Rules

Choosing the right Bikini Competition Suit

30 Jun

When your next NPC event is on the horizon, your mind will undoubtedly be racing with all the competition prep to be done. If you aren’t happy with the look of your deltoids or the tautness of your glutes, for example, what last minute tweaks can you make to your regular workout to enhance these areas?

But, while it is of course essential that you take to the stage with a perfectly muscular physique, there is another element of your presentation that should go overlooked: your posing suit.

Before selecting your suit, be sure to look over the specifications for your competition. These can typically be found on the official event website. For instance, if you are taking part in an NPC-sponsored bikini competition, you are (obviously) required to wear a two-piece posing suit. In addition, the federation stipulates that your outfit must be “in good taste” – so no thongs allowed – and should have V-cut bottoms. The NPC even reserves the right to turn away contestants in inappropriate attire, so, to prevent this, be sure to pack a spare suit just in case.

Once you understand the basic requirements, it’s up to you how far you want to go in terms of embellishments. Do you want a posing suit covered in crystal details, for example? These models are typically more expensive, but they certainly make your presence felt on stage. Of course, you can always opt for a pop of color to create that extra impact, particularly if you won’t be dripping in Swarovski.

Whatever style you go for, be sure to make this decision well ahead of time. The NPC allows contestants to wear off-the-rack suits in their bikini division, but you still may be tempted to get something custom made, especially if you have a specific idea in mind. That means you’ll need at least a month to make sure that your ensemble is as stunning as you intended.

One way sports drinks can enhance an intense workout

27 Jun

Ever wonder if popular sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are all they’re cracked up to be? Given the rise of overly processed, sugar-laden foods it’s good to have a healthy suspicion about any food-based product you can pick up at a local 7/11. And, if you’re currently training for a fitness, figure or bikini-competition, then you’re probably paying particularly close attention to what you put in your body.

Nutritionists have gone back and forth about the merits of sports drinks for years, with some touting the benefits of electrolytes while others argue that a simple bottle of water provides all the hydration you need. Recently, though, a professor of physiology and kinesiology has produced a whole new argument in support of the enhanced option.

According to professor W. Larry Kenney, sports drinks are a better option for more intense workouts that last for 45 minutes or more because, unlike water, these beverages keep athletes going back for more until they’re completely rehydrated.

“If you drink plain water until you no longer feel thirsty, you’ve most likely not replenished all lost fluids,” says Kenney, pointing out that some athletes can shed as much as three pounds of body weight via sweat in a workout.

Sports drinks have come under fire because of their sodium content. But, as this blog documented in a recent post, ardent athletes have a very different relationship with this mineral than the general population. While most people consume far too much salt, body competition entrants and other active individuals need to take in more sodium because they lose so much of it through sweat.

Remember, though an excess amount of sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and other health issues, your body needs it to maintain appropriate levels of liquid within your cells. So, if you’re headed to the gym for an hour or two of intense bikini or figure competition training, don’t think twice about grabbing a sports drink.

New study reveals the best times to drink that protein shake

25 Jun

Most people know that protein is essential for muscle growth, and is therefore a must for any bikini, bodybuilding or figure competition diet. However, one thing competitors may not be so sure about is when they should time their daily protein shakes to get the most out of a workout. Is it better to load up on this compound in preparation for an intense workout, or should you grab a power bar afterward to help your body recover?

Earlier this month, researchers from Northern Illinois decided to get to the bottom of this issue by reviewing past studies on the subject in search of “conclusive evidence” about the impact of protein timing on weight training.  The final report was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

“In general, protein supplementation pre- and post-workout increases physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy and strength. Specific gains differ however, based on protein type and amounts,” the study abstract states.

For example, the researchers found evidence that drinking fat-free milk after an intense round of weight-lifting helped build up strength, as well as lean muscle mass and hypertrophy – i.e. an increase in cell size that can make them look more pronounced. Doing so also leads to a decrease in body fat, the source notes.

The study authors also write that bodybuilding or figure competition supplements containing whey protein are best after resistance training – particularly in combination with glucose or maltodextrin – for the best results in terms of strength and muscle mass.  Meanwhile, supplements with essential amino acids and dextrose are reportedly more beneficial before a workout.

So, if studies have shown that most protein sources are best after a training session, what should you fuel up on beforehand? WebMD recommends meals that are familiar to your system, are moisture-rich and have low amounts of fiber and fat.


Amanda Latona Wins

24 Jun

Amanda Latona Wins

1st Place at the greater gulf #IFBB Pro Bikini competition.

The benefits of a competition coach

19 Jun

When you step on stage to show your stuff in a bikini, physique or figure competition, the judges will be evaluating every inch of your body to determine your placement. Since IFBB and NPC judges are so thorough in their work, you have to approach your training with the same degree of dedication.

However, unless you are a personal trainer and licensed nutritionist, it’s all too easy to neglect certain parts of your frame, or miss out on essential nutrients that would further fuel your workout routine. That’s why, if you have the means to do so, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a professional.

If your coach has experience in bikini or fitness competition training, they’ll know exactly how discerning the judges can be, and will also be familiar with the physical and emotional strain that this arena can take – especially on new competitors.

IFBB Pro Victor Prisk recently extolled the virtues of a good competition coach in a piece for NPCNewsOnline.

“The role of a good coach is to keep you positive and on the right track – to prevent your emotions from messing it all up,” writes Prisk, adding that an experienced trainer can keep you from making impulsive decisions about your diet and training that may sabotage your performance mere weeks before an event.

We all have moments where we doubt our own strength – not to mention exercises that we just don’t like doing – but a professional coach can help overcome these obstacles and keep you focused on the bigger picture.

But, fitness competitor, nutritionist and motivational speaker Olesya Novik warns that it’s important to keep your expectations under control. Many people think that working with a coach for a couple of weeks will make them competition-ready, she writes on her website, However, depending on your shape when you start, it typically takes at least a month or two of determination to obtain the toned look you need.

Bikini and Figure Competition tanning

19 Jun

In recent posts, we’ve been guiding you through one of the most surprisingly finicky aspect of bikini competition prep: Achieving the perfect tan. Once you’ve properly exfoliated your skin and gotten rid of all that pesky body hair, it is up to you whether to use competition tanning products at home or leave it to the professionals.

There are plenty of these items to choose from, and a few benefits of the DIY approach are that it is generally less costly and you have plenty of time to perfect your technique. Plus, you are in complete control of the end result, so you don’t have to worry about a last minute mistake by a technician.

If you aren’t particularly confident in your application technique, though, you can always consult fellow contestants about local tanning salons that could tackle the job. Of course, should you take this route before your next NPC bikini competition, make sure that the salon you go to specializes in competition tanning. That’s because, according to experienced IFBB competitor Julie Lohre, the ideal tan for an official event is radically different from the coverage an average tanning salon customer requests.

“Understanding the chemistry of how tanning products work and how competition diets affect competitors’ body chemistry is the responsibility of the spray tanning technician,” Lohre writes on her website. “Those that are serious about what they do will have this knowledge and training to work with competitors in this very specialist sport.”

A deep uniform tan is a great way to emphasize the muscles you’ve developed over the last few months and really make that posing suit pop, so don’t leave this all-important step. 

Jamie Eason: “The World’s Fittest Model”

18 Jun

There are few people in the world of fitness competitions who haven’t heard the inspiring story of Jamie Eason, who, just seven years after stepping on stage for the first time, has become one of the most prominent models and writers in the industry.

Eason has been an athlete for most of her life, and was even a professional cheerleader for the NFL’s Houston Texans. However, CBS reports that her cheerleading career came to an end when Eason was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she ultimately got the all-clear from her doctors, she had to leave behind the Houston Texans because of her numerous treatments.

After a few years of working office jobs and making unhealthy lifestyle choices, Eason knew she had to regain control of her life – and particularly, her health. To do so, she enlisted the help of a professional nutritionist and personal trainer, and in 2005 she began training for a figure competition in her home state of Texas.

And that is where the fairytale begins. Eason won and received a pro card that very day, and was even spotted by a fitness model scout. By the following year, she had a WNBF Figure Pro and WNSO Fitness Model Pro card under her belt, as well as the coveted title of World’s Fittest Model.

“I felt physically fit and emotionally, I had a true sense of accomplishment and well-being,” Eason told CBS of her decision to begin fitness model training. “I realized I had found a path for my life.”

Eason’s accomplishments are all the more inspiring due to the fact that she a has a mild form of the complex spinal disorder spina bifida – a condition that, though often unnoticeable, can be incredibly painful when aggravated. Yet, Eason has not let this diagnosis, or any other obstacle stop for from accomplishing her goals and bringing new meaning to her life and those of others as a fitness model.