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Postexpo Facto

That had to have been the best L.A. Fit Expo ever. I must have done a dozen video interviews (fun for me) with various exhibitors and physique- and strength-world celebs, not to mention my first rock star. With a pair of Olympia champs, namely  Adela Garcia and Sonia Gonzales, and one recently defeated Olympia champ, Nicole Wilkins-Lee, in the house, there was lots to catch up on.

Adela and Sonia were, as usual, lighting up the GNC booth. Nicole was starring at the Met-Rx display. All three were in training for their respective International competitions at the Arnold Sports Festival five weeks hence (4 1/2 now).

I asked Nicole, who’s the defending Figure International champ, if she was feeling extra pressure after her loss to Erin Stern at the O. The answer was no.

“I’m just focused on Nicole,” she said, pointing out that the pressure is off her.
“Everyone’s looking to beat Erin now.”

Sunday was particularly lively at the IRON MAN magazine booth. To begin with, Danny Hester and Monique Maffei were on hand, as they’d been all weekend, demonstrating the new G Flex, an ingenious portable gym that you can use anywhere. It is very cool and very affordable, and everyone who visited the booth just had to try it, including yours truly.

Then there was my rock star moment. Def Leppard guitarist and lead singer Phil Collen, who as it happens is a major fitness enthusiast and muay Thai kickboxing trainee, was interviewed by photographer Ian Sitren in the January ’11 IRON MAN. He and his trainer, European champion kickboxer Jean Carillo, made an appearance at the IM booth on Sunday and were kind enough to submit to my microphone.

What a kick! At 52, that Phil has more energy than Amanda Latona. He’s charming too—but is he fit and strong? Based on his turn at the G Flex, I’d say, Oh, yeah.

As for Amanda, who I also met for the first time at the L.A. Fit Expo (can you say ball of fire?), she and Alicia Marie were tearing up the BSN booth to the delight of fans and photographers alike. Amanda and I got to play a quick round of Pittsburgh geography as trusty videographer Brad Seng turned the camera on the three of us. Then it was, well, let’s just say it’s not difficult to draw these ladies out.

All the interviews done by this reporter and IRON MAN’s Lonnie Teper at the ’11 Los Angeles Fitness Expo will be appearing shortly at

Photos (from top):

Nicole Wilkins Lee was cool and confident at the Mex-Rx booth.

Adela Garcia gets a lesson on the G Flex from Danny Hester

Amanda Latona looks good in BSN.

Sonia Gonzales gets a photo op with Iron Man publisher John Balik.

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