Thursday, October 6, 2016

Adriana Gee, Elbows, Air Canada and The Olympia

Nothing like being trapped in a window seat surrounded by people that you really don't want to be around. Behind me, a woman seemingly obsessed with seeing how deep she could bury the point of her shoe into the bottom of my seat. Resting in my lap, the person in front of me, reclined back as far as possible, all the while ensuring the futility of working on my laptop. But that wasn't the worst of it.

Riding shotgun beside me, a somewhat disheveled young woman who clearly had too much Vegas and not enough sleep. But even then, how bothersome could she be, fast asleep as she was?

The answer to my question came quickly in the form of a sharp elbow delivered in a manner that would make her the envy of most any NHL power forward patrolling the wing on one of thirty teams. In rapid succession, more elbows came flying my way.

Was she really sleeping, or just carving out some extra space for herself? Fast forward to the final leg of the trip, closing in on Vancouver, and a groggy voice comes from my right: "Can I borrow your pen?" On the heels of that, a sheepish apology acknowledging that perhaps a few elbows might have been thrown my way. From there, we started to converse. In short order and to my surprise, it turned out that my seatmate happened to be a Facebook friend. And no mere mortal Facebook friend either. When not throwing elbows, my seatmate turned out to be none other than Vancouver fitness star Adriana Gee, first-place Arnold amateur winner, Bikini E, at the prestigious 2016 Arnold Classic.




You worked a booth for the Olympia weekend. What's the name of your company and how long have you been with them?

I'm sponsored by the supplement GAT Sport and I've been with them for about two years. Busiest day for you, Friday or Saturday?

I would say Saturday, because Sadik came off of the stage and straight to the booth so people had been waiting for him. As well, Big Ramy, who was also competing that day. But our booth is always super packed because we also have Jon "Bones" Jones, Janet Layug, Rebecca Ferrari, as well as Zac Aynsley, who was visiting Las Vegas for the first time since he's from New Castle, UK. Favorite moments or highlights from your weekend?

Probably when Sadik came to the team and we were all so happy and proud of him since he switched categories this year (from physique to classic physique) and he did phenomenally! We took a team picture and we all were together and surrounding one another.

Our team has a very close bond with one another, so I believe the highlight of the trip was actually just BEING THERE! GAT has many brand ambassadors around their own country, but the fact that they fly me out all the way from Canada for all the large expos really makes me feel special, of value, and just grateful to be a part of such a supportive and loving group of people.

I miss them always since we're so far, but every time we get together, it's like we've never been separated and we start right where we left off. Did you meet any industry celebrities?

Yes I met many fitness celebrities over the weekend! Too many to name and to be honest, I always see them at every Expo, so the novelty of seeing "celebrities" is running thin, whereas now they are just like any everyday person in my field (and I mean that in the utmost respect).

It was pretty cool to see Dwayne Johnson there though! I didn't get to meet him personally, but I know he hit the hearts of many spectators. Favorite thing to do/see in Las Vegas?

Talk to all the people. I'm a people person and I love connecting with our fans and followers at any moment, whether it's at the booth or when you're simply walking through a hotel and someone comments on your physique, which leads to engaging conversations about fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness.

We rise by uplifting others, right, so the times that I get to have personal conversations and give advice really makes my heart warm.

My favourite activity would be to hit the pool parties!!! Olympia weekend is filled with the best physiques in the world, so when you're at a pool party, you see so much hard work and dedication in the form of the human body. Also super cool swimwear and fashion and everyone is letting loose and having a good time! Your best advice to survive Olympia weekend in Vegas?

Take it slooowww. It's a three-day event starting on Thursday, ending Saturday, but people usually stay and enjoy the Sunday since no one is working anymore. If you go too hard on Thursday or Friday, then you're setting yourself up for a short-lived vacation.

I actually go to the gym and try to get an early night's rest (if I can) Thursday and Friday because I can not even fathom the thought of being hungover all day at the booth. I save my partying for Saturday night and Sunday.

And of course, stay hydrated! Remember, you're staying in a desert! When is your next show?
The 2017 Arnold March 2-5. I'm currently going through a building phase and will continue to build until late December/early January and then start my 10-week prep. Where can we see more of you? Instagram Facebook

Also my website - you can go on it and sign up for my free 6 week #MyBestBody Challenge starting this October!



Monday, October 3, 2016

Young Gunz - Kelsey DeCamillis

This is the second in our series of "Young Gunz" features where we shine the spotlight on up and coming competitors. At 31, you might not think of Kelsey DeCamillis as part of the Young Gunz posse, but as she's never competed before, she makes for a great fit. 

What are your stats?

Age 31, height 5-5, current weight around 151 pounds. Stage weight is hard to say! Haven't had a specific goal weight but my guess is in the lower end of the 140's.


What was your weight when you were throwing?

Averaged about 180 pounds and 195 pounds at my heaviest.


Can you give a brief chronology of your athletic history leading up to the present?

As a kid I tried gymnastics/trampoline, and even took a few taekwondo lessons, skied every winter up until about age 11 and also played some softball. Throughout all those years mainly I did a lot of ice skating and figure skated until I transitioned over to hockey. I played from ages 12-17 and my position was defense. 


Throughout high school along with hockey I played volleyball, basketball, field hockey, (I even did one season of cross country running just to stay in shape for my upcoming senior year high school season of track & field), and of course the throwing events in track and field (javelin, discus, shot put). I started with javelin when my PE teacher saw me throw a volleyball across the entire gym and encouraged me to try javelin. 

That progressed into throwing in all three events and I recognized my strongest potential in the shot put for after high school. I then threw shot put for the Vancouver Thunderbirds and the UBC Track and Field Team from 2003-2005. In 2005, I started transitioning over to hammer throw and moved to Kamloops to train there.


Kelsey DeCamillis - Physique Competitor

How and why did you make the transition from throwing to physique?

Competing in physique has meant reclaiming my identity as an athlete. Training gives me the most life. I feel alive when I lift and train.


I moved to Kamloops in 2005 to begin training in the hammer throw under a world renowned coach with a group of other elite throwers. At the time, I was really struggling with some things going on in my personal life, and the circumstances ended what was just the beginning of a very promising throwing career. I barely set foot in a gym for about 2 years after that and I continued to struggle personally. 

Looking back now, although it would have taken some years of training, there is no doubt in my mind that I could have developed into a world class hammer thrower given my body type and gift of brute strength and athletic ability. 

I moved back to Vancouver in 2007 to work and try and figure out my life and spent my entire 20's trying to go back to school to finish my degree, and then after getting rejected from applying to nursing school in 2014 and still just very unhappy, I asked myself if I had it my way, if I could be doing anything right now, what would it be? My answer was that I'd still be throwing and training.

Right then and there I decided to start training full time on my own, learn as much as I can and see how my body responds now and then see about competing in a bodybuilding show. I did as much as I could on my own for two full years before hiring a coach to help take me to the next level and guide me through my first physique competition, and here I am.

How different is training for physique versus training as a thrower?

Physique training is different in that it is less sport-specific and involves targeting every muscle group and using high volume, heavy lifting and techniques to build and sculpt while creating and maintaining balance and symmetry for an aesthetically pleasing look. I love how physique training includes the powerlifts for continuing to build and maintain my foundation of muscle and strength.


Training as a thrower was more sport-specific and incorporated more power movements with lifting and focused more on strength training, not so much isolating and sculpting movements, and with training phases changing as the outdoor competitive season approached each year, and definitely no cardio!! 

There would be a variety of training that included time spent in the weight room, but also lots of technical work in the circle, tempo runs and sprints, Olympic lifting as well as powerlifting, plyos for both upper and lower body, and overall just centered around a lot of power and speed training.

Does your throwing background perhaps make you a bit stronger than most physique competitors?

I’m not sure that I'm necessarily stronger because of throwing, but deciding to carry on with throwing allowed me to discover my strength in the weight room. I think I do possess above average strength and was born with this gift. 


I discovered how strong I was when I started formal track and field training for shot put where we learned all the big lifts, including all the powerlifting movements and the Olympic lifts. The first time I did a 1RM test for the squat, I squatted 265 pounds. That would have been about 6 weeks or less of formal training at the time in the fall of 2003. Throwing certainly helped build my foundation of muscle and strength.

What are some of your best lifts?

I’m not sure what my current 1 rep maxes are for these lifts as I've been doing high volume work with these big lifts:


Conventional deadlifts: 225-245 lbs x 12-15 reps

Sumo deadlifts: 275 lbs x 12-15 reps

Squats: 225 x 10-12 (last time I tried a one rep max was 275 lbs)

Bench: 135 x 10-12 (last time I tried a one rep max was 175 lbs)

My favorite and best lifts are deadlifts because I can move the most weight on these lifts and there is something so satisfying about moving heavy weight.

What's a typical day like for you?

Right now in contest prep, I'm up at 4 am to get to the gym for a 5 am cardio party, then I work 8-4 at UBC, and then head back to the gym after work for another few hours of training and typically home late. On weekends, I'm in the gym twice a day still and in between training sessions is where I find the time to cook and meal prep and take care of other errands etc. The days are long and sometimes 20 hours a day for days in a row, but nothing good comes easy and I'm so excited to see how everything turns out for my first show.


What are your goals as a competitor?

The ultimate goal from this first show is to qualify for BC Provincials, then qualify for nationals, and then see how far I can take this. I believe I found the right coach to help guide me there: Darren Toma – Custombuilt Training.


I always thought I'd be a professional athlete even as a young kid and it was always the sport that I was excelling at the time: first figure skating, then I thought maybe hockey, and then settled nicely into track and field. Of course hammer throw was going to be my best chance at that. However, things did not work out the way I thought and that has always been a huge sore spot in my life. I have unfinished athletic business, so here I am and I'm going for it, full force.

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

I love my back. I also think my legs are a very strong part of my physique.



Kelsey DeCamillis - Impressive back!

What inspired you to start competing?

I got back into training full time for the sake of saving myself from myself. Also, that time in my life when track ended abruptly has always been a sore spot in my life and I thought if certain things didn't happen, I probably could have made it pretty far in hammer throw. For me, having unfinished athletic business has inspired me to give myself a second chance at fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a professional athlete.


It has been a thought to do a bodybuilding show for at least four years now, when my interest was sparked to do so by a co-worker at the time who was prepping for a figure show. That's when I started considering this as something I could excel at now.

What is your profession?

I currently work for Vancouver Coastal Health at UBC Hospital as an administrative secretary for a provincial psychiatric program. I also recently earned my personal training certification as I think a fitness related career is the direction I'm headed. I just love being in the gym; it's my happy place.


What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

I don't own or use a hair brush! But maybe I should…


If you were on American Idol, what would you sing?

I have no idea. I'd probably freak out and just flex.


Your home is burning down. Family and pets have all made it to safety. You have one chance to go back in and save just one item. What do you save?

An opal necklace.


What three words best describe you?

Strong, sensitive, funny.

Where can we see more of you?


Kelsey slideshow on YouTube

Instagram

I'm on Facebook as well. I think everyone will be seeing a lot more of me after this competition.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Krystia Petrossie - Physique Competitor

Let's start with stats. 

I'm 30, 5-1, my stage weight is 125 lbs and my off-season weight is between 135-140 lbs.

Do you like showing off your muscles in public or do you prefer covering up?

I like showing off my muscles cause I work so hard for it. However, sometimes it can be a bit mental when I get a lot of stares when walking through public places, but I take it as a compliment for all my hard work and dedication. 

How did you get started lifting weights and training? 

I started lifting weights as a pastime and just missed the feeling of being competitive and reaching a goal. That's when I decided to hire a coach and compete in my first figure competition. After competing in figure, I realized my heart was into physique. The routines really caught my eye. 



Krystia Petrossie


What inspired you to start competing?

I actually had a few friends who competed for years and they inspired me to compete. I loved the look of lean muscle. Nutrition is really where I needed to focus to change my body composition. 

Do you like to lift heavy and what are some of your best lifts?

I love lifting heavy weights especially in a gym where I can lift heavier than most people in the gym (especially some of the guys haha). It makes me feel so empowered as a woman. Some of my best lifts are bench press, leg press and squats. 

How old were you when you did your first show? 

I was 26, so I'm fairly new to the sport. 

What's your athletic background?

At age 10 I was a highland dancer world champion. Then I gave up dancing to play basketball and soccer in high school at a division 1 level. I became athlete of the year two years consecutively and ranked top three in Nova Scotia for shot put in track and field. 

I continued my athletic career in university soccer for three years, then decided to move to Alberta after receiving my degree in kinesiology. That's when I started my personal training and nutrition company with my partner Laura Borchuk. Now we're coaching clients in competitions as well. We just recently had a client turn pro this weekend at the WBFF Worlds Toronto show. 

What are your goals as a competitor?

To look better each time I step on stage. Ultimately I want people in and out of the industry to look up to me as a great role model. I want to ensure anyone, whether it be weight loss or competing, that they can achieve anything they put their mind to as long as they're living a healthy lifestyle. 

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

My legs. After 10 years of highland dancing and soccer training, I would say my legs are definitely my strongest attribute. 

If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

I wouldn't change a thing. I love how I look and feel. I think it's important as a competitor that you're training to achieve the look you want, not trying to achieve the look someone else wants. Stay true to yourself. 

With the growth of physique, do you think women's bodybuilding will survive and does it have a future? 

I truly believe female bodybuilding will start to decrease more and more as women's physique continues to grow. 



Krystia Petrossie


Favorite female competitor and why?

Juliana Malacarne. She has an amazing overall physique - very symmetrical and feminine. From the time she hits the stage, she is just amazing to watch. 

What's your favorite cheat meal? 

Five guys and fries :) and then a small cotton candy ice cream for dessert. 

What is your profession?

I am the owner of Kustom Lifestyle and Fitness, a personal training and lifestyle coaching company. We provide exercise and nutritional programs to our clients within Canada. 

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know? 

I have a big heart and old soul for everyone around me. I always put everyone else before myself. I love helping people. 

What three words best describe you?

Passionate, competitive and energetic. 

If you could be on just one magazine cover, what's your choice and why?

Women's health and fitness because I feel like I could be an incredible role model to the fitness industry. Not only do I display the bodybuilding look of lean muscle, but I also help people on a regular basis achieve their fitness goals.

Where can we see more of you?

Facebook

Personal Instagram

Company Instagram

www.kustomlifestylefitness.com

See Krystia's YouTube video.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Young Gunz - Shannon Thompson

This is our first feature in a series we're calling Young Gunz that will put up and coming competitors in the spotlight. To kick things off, 19-year-old figure competitor Shannon Thompson.

"Hi. My name is Shannon Thompson and you should follow me because I want to inspire other young women to overcome their weaknesses and follow their dreams and passions."


Let's start with your stats.


I'm 19, 5-8, 135 pounds competition and 150 pounds off-season.


How did you get started lifting weights and training?


I struggled with anorexia in my early to mid-teens and became an avid runner to burn massive amounts of calories, but I was much too weak to run the distances I was running and an injury stopped me from running when I was 16.


I began lifting weights to build up strength so I could run again and I fell in love with the weight room and have never looked back. 


How long have you been training? 


I've been training for almost four years, but I've only really decided to become serious about bodybuilding in the last year or so. 


How old were you when you did your first show? 


I was 17 for my first competition. 




Shannon Thompson


What inspired you to start competing?


I admired the drive and dedication of other competitors I followed on social media and I wanted to see what my body was capable of. 


If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?


Either a wider back or leaner legs.


What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?


Definitely my shoulders. I'm very proud of this as they used to be one of my weakest points. 


What is your profession?


I'm currently unemployed, but I'll be going to college in September for a bachelor of  sports and fitness leadership.




Shannon Thompson


You have all your expenses covered to spend your perfect day. What would you do?


I would spend the day in New York with my mom shopping, eating tons of interesting food and seeing a Broadway play. 


Your home is burning down. Family and pets have all made it to safety. You have one chance to go back in and save just one item. What do you save?


I feel kind stupid saying this, but I would save my cell phone. 


If you could look into the future and see yourself at age 50, what would you want to see?


I hope to be an IFBB figure pro, an inspiration to many people with a happy family and a beautiful home somewhere in British Columbia. 


Where can we see more of you?


Instagram


Model Mayhem 


See Shannon on You Tube


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Emma-Lee Thomas - Legends Football League

Emma-Lee Thomas is a football player with the Austin Acoustic of the Legends Football League

What are your stats? 

Height 5-4; weight 138 pounds; age 29.

What is your athletic background?

I have competed at a high level in a range of sports but predominantly gymnastics and full kit gridiron.

How did you get involved playing football?

I used to watch a lot of NFL on TV and saw an advertisement in the local newspaper back home for tryouts for a women's team. I showed up and made the cut and I've been addicted ever since!


Emma-Lee Thomas

You started your football career in Australia and then came to the US. Can you fill out the timeline?

I played full kit from 2011, LFL Australia Season 1 from 2013/2014 and arrived in Texas to play for the Austin Acoustic in March 2016. 

What made you decide to leave Australia to play in the US?

Gridiron in America is a national sport. I was interested to see the level of competition, training and coaching that was provided over here in the States. I've had a great experience so far.

What's the difference between playing in Australia versus the US? 

The athleticism and skill level were very similar I think. We have a lot of rugby players in Australia, which requires many of the same skill set to play gridiron. I did notice a huge difference in the level of knowledge and intricacies of the game. Being America's national sport, the level of game awareness, in general, is much higher here than in Australia. 

Is there any difference between how the league and the players are viewed between the two countries?

I think the introduction of gridiron alone is something very new to Australian shores. I know that it is definitely growing in popularity back home due to the injection of Jarryd Hayne (one of Australia's top rugby league players) into the San Francisco 49ers team. 

What position do you play and what are your primary responsibilities on the field?

My primary position is offensive line, either tight end or centre, and secondary is defensive end. Centre is to snap the ball and provide direction to the offensive line. Both offensive positions require either run or pass blocking and occasionally receiving the ball, although in LFL everyone is eligible. 

What strengths as a football player do you bring to your team?

I usually pick up blocking schemes and play books quite quickly and am able to help out my other teammates with the installation of blocking schemes and play book. I'm also a very hard worker on and off the field.

What areas do you feel you need to improve on? 

At this stage I'm looking to improve my overall strength and agility. But also my speed. I've been doing sprint sessions and a lot of extras outside football to try and work on these areas.

What do you do for a living? 

Civil Engineer.

How many hours of training do you do per week off the field?

I'd probably say an extra 10 hrs of personal development outside of football training.

How many hours of training do you do per week on the field? 

At the moment we do nine hours of physical training and between one to two hours of film review.

Do you have a favorite LFL player?

My favourite LFL player would have to be Ashley Salerno. She's such a versatile player and so aggressive on the field. I think she's one of the greats.

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

My age.

Where can we see more of you?

Instagram

Facebook

Emma-Lee Thomas








Thursday, May 26, 2016

Emerald Cup 2016 - Samy Monteiro

Competing for just her first time, Samy walked away with third-place in a competitive Bikini H class. Not a bad way to make your debut.

Let's start with your stats.

I'm 5-9; competition weight 145-148 lbs @ 5% body fat; off-season weight 158-160 lbs; and I'm 24.


This Emerald Cup was your first show. What did you experience stepping on stage for your first time?


Being on stage was the most incredible experience ever! I looked the best I ever have in my whole life and I loved showing off all my hard work! I was instantly addicted! I was definitely really nervous and super excited at the same time! But I walked out there with confidence and let my personality shine through!


What's the best tip you could give someone competing for the first time?


Get on the right team; follow your meal plan; do your cardio; always have a winning attitude; and most of all, trust the plan and BELIEVE in yourself.
How long have you been training?


I started light weight training when I was 20 and intensive on and off training when I turned 23. I joined Construction Zone in Issaquah, WA in October of 2015 so that I could get trained by a professional. I ended up working with Pete Grubbs.


Samy Monteiro

How did you get your start lifting weights and training?


My fiancé has always trained so he got me started weightlifting. Back in October I decided to start training with Pete to get in great shape for my wedding on June 30, 2016. Since I was already dieting and training, my trainer Pete suggested that I should compete at Emerald Cup and despite how intimidating that sounded, I decided to say yes. I have always loved challenging myself so I thought, why not! But I had no idea what I had just gotten myself into! Haha.



Were you athletic growing up?


Yes, I've always had an athletic build and played sports such as volleyball and dance team growing up. But bodybuilding is the first sport I've actually fallen in love with and felt like I actually fit in.


What are your goals as a competitor?


With me placing for Nationals, I have definitely been considering a future with many more competitions in it. My goal is to only keep getting better and better with every competition. I want to take my body to the next level, make less mistakes each time, and become mentally and emotionally stronger.


What inspired you to start competing?
It actually took me a couple months to agree to compete, and during that time I watched other people's experiences and was fascinated by the results that I someday could possibly achieve as well. I'm a very competitive person in general, so I naturally craved the challenge that I had just come across. I thought that if I could accomplish this, then I would be able to accomplish anything I set my mind to.


What is your profession?


I am a lash-extension stylist and an airbrush tanning technician.


What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?


I speak three languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and English. And...well I'm a total rocker chick! People look at me and think I'm super girly (because I wear pink and I'm obsessed with Michael Kors) so they would never guess that my favorite band in the entire world is Deftones! Ha!


Where can we see more of you?
Facebook 

Instagram

For more information on the Emerald Cup visit www.craigproductions.com


Samy Monteiro

Samy Monteiro






Saturday, May 14, 2016

Emerald Cup 2016 - Crystal Steffler

When IFBB Women's Historian and expert on all things female muscle Steve Wennerstrom comments that you have "Lots of potential for the future," you know you're doing something right.

Such is the case for 23-year-old Crystal Steffler, bikini competitor and fitness model. 

Crystal walked away with Bikini C honors at the 2016 Emerald Cup. Displaying an outstanding physique and an even stronger stage presence, the registered nurse by trade appears ready to make her mark on the muscle world.

What is your height, competition weight and off-season weight?

5-3, 122 pounds and 135 pounds.


How did you get started lifting weights and training?

I met a girl who was in amazing shape and she told me that she was working with a trainer to compete in a fitness competition. I then became interested in achieving that level of fitness which led me to lifting weights.


What inspired you to start competing?

I met my trainer Jeremiah Glasenapp and he encouraged me to compete.


How long have you been training?

I have been training since the fall of 2013.


How old were you when you did your first show?

Twenty-one.


Were you athletic growing up?

Yes, I have always enjoyed exercise. I was a cheerleader all throughout grade school. I ran the 800-meter relay in track and field and was on the cross-country team in high school. I've ran four half-marathons as well.


If you could change one thing about your physique, what would it be?

I want to work on gaining more ab definition and continue to grow my glutes.


What are your goals as a competitor?

My dream is to get my IFBB pro card and compete as a professional bikini athlete.


What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

My triceps are very full and defined naturally, which I love.


Do you enjoy performing onstage?

I absolutely love getting on stage. It's an adrenalin rush like nothing else that I have experienced!


I'm sure you get noticed in public because of your physique. What is the strangest question someone has asked you or the strangest incident you've experienced?

I was asked if I do crossfit from a random person at Walmart the other day. It's not that strange of a question, but he was wanting to know how I got in such good shape, which was a nice compliment.


Tell us what a typical day is like for you.

I workout twice a day, I grocery shop, hangout with family, and try to relax on my days off. I only make it to the gym once a day during my work week. I work three, 12-hour night shifts in a row. On those days if I’m not at work or at the gym, I’m sleeping.


What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

One of my favorite things about training is cardio. I was a distance runner so I love the endurance and the anxiety relief that I get from it. Most competitors dread cardio. I think this gives me an advantage in my contest prep.


Where can we see more of you?




See Crystal's video clip on YouTube and second clip on YouTube2.



Crystal Steffler - Bikini C Champ

Crystal Steffler


The Emerald Cup continues its tradition of excellence year after year. Visit the Craig Productions website for Emerald Cup results and information on upcoming events.

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