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Bits and Pieces for the Fourth

Just call these the ramblings of an editor who could use a holiday weekend…

• I thought it was just me, but I checked the dates. The lo-o-o-ng lull in the 2010 IFBB pro season still has a week to go, with the New York Pro Figure—and NPC Team Universe Championships plus Fitness Nationals—coming up on July 10 and 11 in Hackensack, New Jersey. Not that bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini have been on hold since the Cal Pro Figure at the end of May. The amateur season has been chugging along (thank you very much), most recently here in Southern California at Lonnie Teper’s West Coast Classic, which I attended last Saturday.

This weekend we’ve got the Mr. and Ms. Muscle Beach Bodybuilding, Figure and Bikini Championships at the Venice Recreational Center on July 4. Nothing like an old-fashioned day of sun, sand and bodybuilding at the beach. The newly revamped amphitheater next to the famous Venice weight pen makes for the kind of a physique show folks don’t often get to experience these days—it’s outdoors—and admission is free. For more information click here. And don’t forget the sunscreen.

• Also this weekend (well, yesterday) the August IRON MAN hits newsstands. For me, as part of the magazine-production team, it is barely a memory. We are busy finalizing the September issue for the printer. So when the new edition lands in my mailbox, as happens every month, it’s a big Oh, wow, especially when I get to Pump & Circumstance, which is headlined by a hot photo of bikini sensation Nathalia Melo. It also features Roland Balik’s stellar contest photography from the New York Pro Women’s Bodybuilding and Bikini events, held in early May, and some pithy comments, if I do say so myself, about the meaning of sass.

My point here is that readers who are not familiar with the actually IRON MAN magazine might want to check it out. It’s the best package of real bodybuilding and training and nutrition information out there, in addition to the fun stuff like Pump and News & Views (and I’ve always said that, even when I worked for another bodybuilding publisher).

The August cover features a classic Gene Mozée shot of the soon-to-be-ex governor of California towering over the desert. I use the  phrase “soon-to-be-ex” not to knock Governor Schwarzenegger but to point out the way time flies. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Arnold was running for reelection? And on an even shorter continuum, wasn’t it yesterday that I was doing a photo-edit of the pictures from New York?

Time flies, but when an image is immortalized on the printed page—as are Roland’s contest photos and Mozée‘s iconic images of Arnold in the August IM—there’s nothing like it. Bet they’ll look really cool on an iPad.

To get the August ’10 IRON MAN click here.

• Re the amateur season. July brings one big pro-qualifying contest after another, starting with the T.U. and then a couple of weeks later, on July 23 and 24, the Master’s Nationals in Pittsburgh, followed by the USA in Las Vegas on July 30 and 31.

I make no predictions except one: There will be a lot more bikini contenders at the Masters Nationals than the five who showed up in Pittsburgh last year. A lot.

• Figure farewell. According to an advisory notice from the IFBB Professional League issued in June, an old friend is going by the wayside after the the ’10 Olympia. Beginning with the Houston Pro Figure on October 23, the one-piece swimsuit round will be a thing of the past.

Raise your hand if you’re shocked at this development. When the one-piece was eased out of fitness a short while back—and out of NPC competition—you had to know it was only a matter of time before it got the ax in pro figure. As one who has whined about the one-piecers over the years, I won’t be sorry to see them go, although, as always, I hate to see the women get less time onstage.

• Re predicting the pro qualifiers. With hundreds of competitors expecting to quarter-turn and model-walk their way through those three big NPC shows mentioned above, it pays to keep track of the gals who do well at some of the tune-up event that are scheduled before them—like, say, the big Los Angeles Championships, which takes place a week before the USA.

With i’s new national-qualifier status L.T.’s West Coast Classic, formerly the Junior Cal, moved into that category, attracting a bountiful bevy of pro-card-hungry figure and bikini contenders from the Golden State and beyond.

Several teams came from Arizona, including some women brought by figure pro Felicia Rodriguez and her honey, Damian Segovia, who took home some serious hardware. Find Darice Castro, Natalie Vanderham and Elizabeth DeFalco in the photo at the top of  this entry—and don’t be shocked, (shocked) if their names come up again during the next few weeks.

Photos (from top):

Arizona talent (from left): Natalie Vanderham, Darice Castro and Elizabeth DeFalco (with Felicia Rodriguez) took home class gold from the West Coast Classic Figure competition. Darice won the overall.

Arnold on the IM August ’10 cover.

Pump & Circumstance.

Nicole Wilkins-Lee makes a one-piece suit look good at the ’10 Figure International.

Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk

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