New Training Video and Interview

/ Posted 08.22.2011

I had my friend Rick Schaff film a back and biceps workout that I did at the Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa about a month ago. It was posted today on RX Muscle.com. Check it all out here:

John Hansen trains back and biceps at Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa!

 

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Photo Shoots

/ Posted 08.19.2011

Bodybuilders and other physique athletes spend a lot of time and effort getting their bodies into shape. Anyone who has prepared for a competition or photo shoot knows how much effort is involved to make the physique camera or stage ready. Unfortunately, so much work is spent getting into shape that many bodybuilders don’t take advantage of that peak condition. Usually, all their effort is spent getting ready to compete and, after the contest is over, it’s time to pig out and eat everything that they have been denying themselves for the last few months. After a couple of days of splurging, that physique they worked so hard for is gone.

After I spent several months dieting and training hard for my photo shoot with Ironman Magazine, I took advantage of my peak condition and made several appointments for photo shoots. This was actually something new for me, I have to admit. In the past, I had done photo shoots but it was usually just one photo shoot after a competition and it was normally with one photographer. After the photo shoot was finished, it was time to go eat and my condition was soon a thing of the past.

The new diet I followed this year made it easy to stay on my diet. With the increased carbs, I didn’t have the cravings that I normally had when on a diet. As a result, it was much easier to stay lean. I didn’t want to pig out for weeks like after my typical pre-contest diet. Don’t get me wrong, I would have a couple cheat meals here and there and enjoy some restaurant meals (with dessert, of course) but it was no problem getting back on my regular diet and staying on it after my little binge.

I did my first photo shoot with famed Ironman Magazine photographer Michael Neveux on May 12 in California. I was overjoyed that Mike was happy with my condition because I know he has a very discerning eye and he doesn’t impress easily. At only 190 pounds and with my waist at nearly 32 inches, I knew I had achieved peak condition. Mike and I shot a lot of exercise shots (including chest movements that will be a part of a chest training article coming soon in Ironman Magazine) as well as the cover shot. I was very happy with this photo shoot because I knew I achieved my goal of reaching peak condition.

The day after shooting with Mike, Angela Segovia and I (we are featured on the cover of the September issue of IronMan Magazine) drove from Los Angeles, California to Palm Springs to shoot with Ian Sitren. Ian is a very good photographer who is a frequent contributor to Ironman Magazine also. Angela and I shot with Ian at his home in beautiful Palm Springs. We shot in his backyard on a platform that Ian uses for his photo shoots. I was impressed with Ian’s easy going style of shooting and his photos were very impressive and artistic. In fact, I want to hang a couple of his shots on the wall in my house.

After my California photo shoots, I took a little time off. One month later, however, I was ready for my next shoot. I was traveling back to my hometown of Chicago to attend the NPC Jr. Nationals contest to work for my sponsor Optimum Nutrition. While I was in town, I made an appointment with Tony Mitchell of OAMG. Tony does a different type of photo shoot than what I was used to. It’s more “modeling” type shots and not the typical bodybuilding and working out pictures. I enjoyed this different type of photo shoot and Tony really took some cool pics. My condition for this photo shoot was almost identical for my California photo shoot. My waist was maybe a quarter of an inch bigger but I was still in really good shape.

Before I left for Chicago, my friend Rick Schaff wanted to do a photo shoot with me at our gym in Tampa, Florida. We train at the Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa and the owners actually encourage Rick to shoot as many people as possible. Rick is an excellent photographer, one of the best in the business, and he was using a new lighting set-up where he had lights coming at me from two different directions. The result was awesome. Check out the lighting in Rick’s shots. He definitely knows what he is doing!

After this photo shoot, I didn’t have any more photo shoots planned. I knew I was going to Las Vegas to work the Olympia Expo for Optimum Nutrition and American Bodybuilding so I thought I might plan some photo shoots while I was there but that was still about 3 months away. I stayed on my diet during the month of July but I was allowing myself a few restaurant meals now and again. I was still keeping everything under control and not getting too far out of shape but it was also nice to eat some more calories and fill out a little more. My weight at this point was in the high 190’s.

I promoted my second bodybuilding and figure competition in August and I was going to have photographer Don Bersano take pictures of the competitors in my contest. I had seen some of Don’s work on his Facebook page and I was very impressed. Don and I made plans to do a quick photo shoot while I was in Chicago. My schedule was very tight because I have a million things to do in the days leading up to a contest and Don was also very busy but we were able to agree on shooting for a couple of hours on Thursday morning.

Don decided to do a photo shoot in an old, rusty chop shop. It was a very authentic setting and it added to the gritty feel of the black and white photos. I was also impressed with Don’s shots and we got a few really great ones that I loved. I am looking forward to shooting with Don again in the future. My condition for this shoot was not the same as it was for the previous photo shoots. I was definitely a little off with my weight up about 8 pounds more and my waist a good inch bigger than when I did my shoots in May and June.

Right now, I am back on my diet to get ready for Vegas and the Olympia Expo. I am going to do a short video shoot with Wayne Gallasch of GMV Productions. I will also be doing the interviews for Wayne and his crew at the Meet the Olympians event on the Thursday night before the Olympia weekend. I may have some other photo shoots set up by the time that weekend arrives so I plan on being in “Ironman Magazine photo shoot shape” by then. After that, who knows? The bottom line is that I am going to take advantage of this peak condition I am in by shooting with as many talented photographers in the business this year. I’ll keep you up to date on any new photo shoots in the near future.

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Bill Pearl and the Natural North America Contest!

/ Posted 08.15.2011

I have been promoting Natural Bodybuilding competitions for the last 5 years.  I started with the ABA Natural North America contest in August of 2007, approximately 3 years after I stopped competing. I promote contests for the ABA/INBA organization, the same organization that promotes the Natural Mr. Universe and Natural Mr. Olympia contests that I won during my competitive career.

This year’s competition was held on Saturday, August 13th, 2011 in Bolingbrook, Illinois. It was a great show, not only because of the incredible natural bodybuilders, figure and bikini competitors that showed up to compete but also because of a special guest I had at the show.

Last year, I started the John Hansen Natural Bodybuilding Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring an individual who has lived the Bodybuilding lifestyle and has inspired and motivated others through their lifetime of work and dedication. In 2010, I presented the award to Murrell Hall, a 70 year old lifetime natural bodybuilder who is in incredible shape and has competed in over 100 contests since 1979. Murrell recently won the 70 and over division at the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, earning his IFBB Pro Card in the process.

This year, I was overjoyed to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Bill Pearl. Bill is a 4 Time Mr. Universe winner who is one of the true legends in the sport. He is also a classy individual who gives to the sport and is very humble and respectful in the process. To have Bill and his wife Judy come out to the show so I could present this award to him was a real honor to me.

Below is the link to the video of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill Pearl and my interview with Bill on RX Muscle.

Bill Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award

 

As for the contest itself, we had almost 70 competitors show up to compete in the men’s and women’s bodybuilding, figure and bikini divisions. The competition among these competitors was really top notch and it was tough just to make the top five in some of the divisions. Congratulations to 23 year old Connor LaVallie who won the men’s open overall title with an incredibly ripped physique. Toni Ballard beat out some tough competition in the Figure division to win the medium height class and the overall. Brian Noe showed great improvements in winning the Novice Men’s overall division. Katie Miller beat out a large group of Bikini competitors to win the overall Bikini Diva title. The awesome 50 year old Ed Castillo beat out the younger guys to win the overall Masters Men title. The beautiful Jessica Richmond was the winner of the Model Search division wearing a stunning white gown. Pam Tvaroh won the Masters Figure overall trophy and Cathleen Kronemer was the women’s bodybuilding overall winner.

 

For my guest posers, I had two awesome bodybuilders perform for a very appreciative audience. Patricia Beckman, one of the best female bodybuilders in the world, displayed her sexy but buffed physique for two different posing routines. Patricia has only been competing for two years but she is undefeated in her career and won the overall at the Yorton’s Cup in 2010.

My second guest poser was the incredible Murrell Hall. At 70 years old, Murrell has one of the most impressive Masters physiques in the world. I doubt if there is another 70 year old bodybuilder alive with abs like Murrell. He gave us a great routine where he was brought out in a wheelchair wearing a hospital gown from the “Old Folks Home”. He initially trys to lift a 3 pound dumbbell but drops the weight. When his sexy nurse bends over to pick up the dumbbell, Murrell gets a burst of energy and jumps out of his chair and whips off his hospital gown to reveal a ripped, muscular physique. The crowd gave Murrell a standing ovation for his awesome routine and physique!

I want to thank all the judges and expediters who helped me out so much with the show. I also want to thank my sponsors including Optimum Nutrition and ABB as well as IronMan Magazine. IronMan Magazine owner John Balik made the long trip from California to Chicago to interview Bill Pearl and support Natural Bodybuilding. What a special night and a great contest! I can’t wait to do it again next year!!

 

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IronMan Magazine Cover!

/ Posted 08.04.2011

Wow, it’s finally here! After literally 10 years of trying to get on the cover of my favorite magazine, I finally achieved my dream of making the cover of IronMan Magazine. The September 2011 issue has finally hit the book stores out here in Tampa, Florida so it’s now official.

The story inside the magazine details the training and nutrition programs that I used to get into top shape this year so I won’t repeat it all here. Needless to say, I was very motivated this year to finally achieve the best shape that I’ve been in in a long time and I did it by bringing my weight down to 190 pounds. I credit the new diet I used which consisted of only moderate amounts of protein and low fat with more complex carbs. This diet helped me to keep my energy up, my muscles fuller and my skin tighter.

I also used a new training program that involved forced negative repetitions after completing eight regular reps. This was a great training program to use when I was dieting because my strength was lower due to my lower bodyfat and less calories. The HRT (Hell Raiser Training) helped me to get a great pump because of the extended sets which forced more blood into the muscles.

I want to thank Mike Neveux for taking the awesome pictures in the magazine. Mike is definitely one of the best photographers in the business and it’s always an honor to work with him. This was the first time Mike was really impressed with my condition and I know he doesn’t impress easily so I knew I finally achieved peak condition when he complimented me at the beginning of the photo shoot.

I also want to thank John Balik and Steve Holman for their continued support. John and Steve have always been in my corner since I started writing my column Naturally Huge for IronMan Magazine in January of 2000. John was at the photo shoot this time so it was great he took the time out of his busy schedule to be at the shoot. Steve was the one who emailed me the very next day to tell me the good news that I made the cover. I think Steve was almost as excited as I was that I finally made it.

I was training at a great gym this year as I prepared for the photo shoot. The Powerhouse Gym in downtown Tampa is one of the best gyms I have ever trained at. The owners, Matt, Eddy and Johnny, welcomed me into the gym with open arms from the first day I visited the gym last year. In this age of corporate owned gyms, it’s so nice to be at a gym where the owners appreciate what I have done in the sport. I’m glad I was able to share the joy of this cover with them because they have been so supportive.

Now that I have achieved this great condition, I am going to continue to do photo shoots and possibly even compete later in the year. I’ve taken some great photos this year and I want to continue with the streak and keep going strong in 2011. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

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