Monday, May 9, 2011

2011 Pittsburgh Recap

This past weekend, J and I headed up to what's becoming our annual trip to the Pittsburgh bodybuilding show. As I've mentioned before, J and I first met at the show two years ago, so the show holds special significance for us. We also have friends who live in Pittsburgh, and it was fun to get to see them again too.

After minimal sleep on Friday evening (3 hours for me and 10 minutes for J), I got up at 3:30 am on Saturday morning to do cardio before we hit the road at 5:30 am. Operation Pro doesn't allow for missing any cardio sessions. We made the trip in 3.5 hours and headed straight to Soldiers and Sailors for pre-judging. We'd missed a couple bodybuilding classes, but managed to catch our friend, Mario Tarquinio, on stage in the Middleweight class.

As always, the quality of the show was great! And there was a very high number of bodybuilders - some classes had up to 21 competitors! I've never seen a non-National level show with classes that large before. Also as always, the lighting of the show left much to be desired. Competitors were actually much more conditioned than they appeared on stage, where they looked smoothed out.

Like last year, I paid special attention to the Pro Figure portion of the show. J and I discussed conditioning, symmetry, suit design, and posing. We've decided to work on my posing and may be making a few minor changes to my stage presentation. Cheryl Brown brought her signature look, and took home top honors. Her conditioning was even overall, and had a fine balance between hard and soft.

Pro Figure Winner - Cheryl Brown
Bringing a harder conditioning was Heather Dees, who nabbed second. Kristin Nagrani edged out Gennifer Strobo this week for the 3rd place spot. Last weekend at the Europa Orlando, Strobo finished ahead of Nagrani. Candice John repeated her Europa 5th place finish, and Alea Suarez made her Bikini-to-Figure debut with a 6th place finish.

Pro Figure Lineup
Pro Bikini brought a different lineup than last year, and a couple of the placings baffled us. All of the ladies brought their best, and J and I agreed that the judges had a tough job. Perpetual bridesmail finisher Jaime Baird finally snagged a 1st place win with great stage presence and a slightly leaner physique than in the past.

Pro Bikini Winner - Jaime Baird
I noticed a couple things about the Bikini lineup. I have to admit that I've seen Jessica Jessie in better condition than she was at this show. She brought her trademark spunk to the stage, but wasn't as tight as she's been in the past. I would've liked to have seen Justine Munro place higher. She's got a smooth stage presentation, and brought an overall conditioned look to the stage.

The amateur Figure division seemed to favor a slightly harder conditioning again this year, which is rather disappointing to me. Don't get me wrong - the winners looks amazing! But (unlike many Figure girls), I'd been hoping that Figure conditioning will get a bit softer this year, with the introduction of the Women's Physique division. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of Jr. USA's in two weeks, which is the inaugural show for WPD.

Figure Overall Champion - Kristina Curci
I predict that the overall winner, Kristina Curci, will win her Pro card this year. She swept both the Masters and Open classes with overall victories in both.

Another new division, Men's Physique, was also rather interesting to watch. Men's Physique is similar to the Male Fitness Model division in other federations. The men aren't as big or as conditioned as the bodybuilders, and they wear board shorts on stage. Abs and calves are a must for this division!

Men's Physique
Not only was the show fun to watch, we also met up with several of our friends. A couple of ladies from the DC area were competing, so we chatted with them before they took the stage. Shanan Maynard, Christina Makosy, and Stephanie Kelley all looked beautiful on stage! I have to admit, I was so flattered when Stephanie recognized me from my blog! It was so wonderful to meet you, girl!

Stephanie and me
We hung out with our friend, Kevin Levrone, who even took J backstage to chat with some of the Pro bodybuilders who were there to guest pose.

After the show, we headed over to the host hotel with Kevin, where many of the competitors and media were mingling.

J and me at the host hotel after the show
Before we headed back to Maryland on Sunday morning, J taped some interviews with Kevin for his documentary we've been filming. Here's a sneak peak of one of the interviews, which J posted on his site: BioS3 Training.

Overall, it was a great weekend for both of us! We got to watch a great show, get re-motivated for prep, visit with friends, and make some contacts. I'm going back over the notes I took while watching Pro Figure, and am ready to rock the stage at Team Universe in 9 weeks!


  1. MAN..i sure wish i were there!! That many guest posers for men's BB..AWESOME!!
    I'm not sure what to think about women in Amateur Figure being harder. When i was shooting to compete in Figure i wanted the women to be harder, now that WP is here..and i no longer have the desire to do Figure..i dont know..i'm kind of mixed, but i think you're right..they should get softer.

  2. I CANNOT wait to see you take Team U! You are going to take it no problem!! :D

  3. I am with Lacey! I cannot wait to see you on stage!! I want to be there in person! :)

  4. I'm from Pittsburgh, I would have loved to have gone! Looks like a really great show!