2007 Women's Arnold Classic Preview.

The women’s lists are out for the 2007 Arnold Classic and they are stacked! Let's breakdown the lineups... Here are my top six picks for each category. See if you agree!

Santa visited a little early this 2006 holiday season to a few IFBB female pros. The lists are out for the 2007 Arnold Classic and they are stacked! Let's breakdown the lineups and make a few predictions.


Ms. International

The female bodybuilders are in limbo as to what the judges are going to reward. There will be one show prior to the Arnold a week prior to the show. Perhaps that will provide some insight on the look the IFBB wants the female bodybuilders to bring to the stage.

Iris Kyle:

    We'll keep a close on the IFBB Sacramento show a week out from the Arnold. Last year's winner was a clear champ in Iris Kyle. Iris went on to win the Olympia title later in the year.


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Iris Kyle At The 2006 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics From The 2006 Arnold Classic Here.

    Can anyone beat this x-framed champ? Sure. She's been beaten before but I don't see it happening in the Ms. International. She is now going by the name Iris Kyle-Floyd, different name but expect the same package and her to repeat as champ.


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Ms. Olympia Iris Kyle.
View More Pics From The 2006 Ms. Olympia Finals Here.

Dayana Cadeau:

    Who will challenge Iris for the top spot and find themselves in a qualifying spot for the Olympia? The front-runner has to be Dayana Cadeau. Dayana brings a pleasing physique to the stage and has found herself runner-up to Iris multiple times.


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Dayana Cadeau At The 2006 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics From The 2006 Arnold Classic Here.

    She placed second last year at this show and found herself in the brides-maid spot at the Olympia. We'll see if she can overcome and steal the spotlight from Iris.

RELATED ARTICLE
2006 Ms. Olympia Runner-Up, Dayana Cadeau. 2006 Ms. Olympia Runner-Up, Dayana Cadeau.
Get the latest Post-Olympia Interview right here. Read on and see what Ms. Olympia Runner-Up Dayana Cadeau thinks about the outcome of the contest and more... Do you think she should have won?
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia:

    Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia may have something to say about Dayana and Iris being picked as the two battling it out for the title. Yaxeni was on top of her game in 2005 winning this show and the Ms. Olympia title.

Yaxeni Oriquen
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Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia At The 2005 Olympia.
View More Pics From The 2005 Olympia Here.

    Yaxeni was in third at this show last year and dropped to a disappointing seventh place at the Olympia. If she comes in on top of her game, she has a chance at the title as she proved in '05. If she is off she will find herself on the outside looking in. She is a legitimate challenger for the title and don't count her out.

Denise Masino:

    Absent from the Ms. International stage the last two years, Denise Masino finds herself back to challenge for the title. She was behind Dayana Cadeau in 2004 and Cathy LeFrancois in 2003. Mind you this was in the lightweight divisions, when the Ms. International had two weight classes.

    Both women will be in this line up and she will look to overtake them this time around. Denise has been known to display a provocative routine and I'm sure this year will be no different. Look for her in the top 5.

Challengers For The Top Five:

    One of the bigger surprises of 2006 was the coming out party of Annie Rivieccio, Bonny Priest and Lisa Aukland. These three women looked their best at the 2006 Ms. Olympia and finished 3,4 and fifth. These women finished in the top ten at the Ms. International last year but greatly improved on their showing at the Olympia.


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Dayana Cadeau, Annie Rivieccio & Iris Kyle.
View More Pics From The 2006 Ms. Olympia Finals Here.

    Can they maintain the momentum they had to finish out 2006 or will dieting this close to a show hurt them? I look for all three to challenge for a top five spot but which it will be is up in the air.


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Bonnie Priest, Lisa Aukland & Betty Pariso.
View More Pics From The 2006 Ms. Olympia Finals Here.

Cathy LeFrancois:

    Ron Avidan from Getbig.com and my partner in crime on the site Hardbody.com recently spoke with fan favorite, Cathy LeFrancois. Visit here for the full interview with her but here is a bit of what she had to say.

      "Honestly, I was worried about being invited, you never know if they will accept, but now that I know that I will be back, I am happy and relieved. I am at 141 pounds right now, and I want to be 135 pounds hard for the Arnold Classic.

      I am happy to be able to compete there, but hopefully, I can do great, like I did the last time I competed there as a bodybuilder. It will be more difficult, as the last time, there were two classes, but now there is only one."


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Cathy LeFrancois At The 2006 Junior Cal.
View More Pics From The 2006 Junior Cal Here.

    She tried her hand at figure for a bit but decided to come back to the bodybuilding stage. She is what female bodybuilding should be about, in my opinion. She has a great physique, very beautiful and her look is marketable. I'm predicting Cathy to find herself in a top 3 spot.

Betty Pariso:

    Seasoned veteran, Betty Pariso will take the stage again and will be the oldest competitor gracing the International stage. Don't let her age fool you, she always finds a way to be in the top ten and finished off her 2006 season with an eighth place at the Ms. Olympia. She was fifth in this contest last year but it will be tough to match that with this year's lineup.

Betty Pariso
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Betty Pariso & Ben Weider.
Betty Was Named The 2006 Female Athlete Of The Year At The Flex Awards.

Heather Policky:

    Probably the most highly anticipated Ms. International debut will be Heather Policky. Heather battled it out in the NPC ranks for a few years and many feel she could hold her own on the pro stage years ago. She has some of the best wheels you'll see and she looked great when she won at USAs.

    As of the writing of this piece, Heather will be making her IFBB pro debut at the Sacramento show. If Heather can put it all together, look for her to be in the top 5 at her debut.

RELATED ARTICLE
Heather Policky Interview! Heather Policky Interview!
Heather started bodybuilding fairly early only just two years ago did she win her weight class and the overall crown and then preceded to win every local and regional show that she entered from that day forward.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Kim Perez & Antoinette Norman:

    Two competitors whose physique I like and think should place better than they do are Kim Perez and Antoinette Norman. They both have very pleasing lines and show up in shape every time I've seen them. Toni was tenth at this show last year and Kim's best showing in '06 was at the Europa Supershow with 6th. Many in attendance were baffled and thought she should have been higher. We'll see how she fairs at this years show.

Colette Nelson:

    Also making her Ms. International debut will be Colette Nelson. Colette is one of the fans favorites and brings an x-frame to the stage like none other aside from reigning champ, Iris Kyle. Colette needs a bit more balanced physique to break into the top 5 here but she will be a crowd pleaser with her evening routine.

RELATED ARTICLE
The Ultimate Arms: Pro Training Secrets! The Ultimate Arms! By: Colette Nelson
If you want fabulous arms you have to combine proper training techniques and a healthy diet. It is that simple. Learn the tricep and bicep exercises, diet tips, and much more here!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Lora Ottenad:

    The 2006 NPC National Champ Lora Ottenad will also make her IFBB Pro Debut. She's battled it out in the NPC ranks for a while and bested the National class to take the overall in Miami.

Lora Ottenad
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Lora Ottenad At The 2006 NPC Nationals.
View More Pics Of The 2006 NPC Nationals Here.

My Top 6 Predictions:

  1. Iris Kyle
  2. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
  3. Kathy Le Francois
  4. Dayana Cadeau
  5. Annie Rivieccio
  6. Heather Policky

RELATED POLL
Who Do You Think Will Win The 2007 Ms. International?

Iris Kyle.
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia.
Kathy Le Francois.
Dayana Cadeau.
Annie Rivieccio.
Heather Policky.
Other.

    What's your top? Think I'm full of it, did I leave some one out or think there should be a new champ this year? Let's hear what you have to say on our message boards.


2007 Ms. Fitness International

Adela Garcia:

    2006 proved to be the year of the chica. The Latin sensation, Adela Garcia was back on top of her game and out to be the new dynasty of the fitness world. She's on the fast track to matching Susie Curry's fitness titles. Can Adela be beat? Sure, when she isn't focused as she was in the 2005 seasoned she can be beaten but I don't see it happening in 2007.


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Adela Garcia-Friedmansky.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Fitness Pre-Judging Here.

    Like every one on stage they want to win, Adela is no different. She is determined to repeat as the Ms. Fitness International champ and I believe she will. I had the chance to speak with Adela about her contest prep and she's assured me it's going well and will be bringing a new routine to the stage.

RELATED ARTICLE
2006 Fitness Olympia Winner, Adela Garcia-Friedmansky. 2006 Fitness Olympia Winner, Adela Garcia-Friedmansky.
Winning is something Adela has become accustomed to in recent years and should maintain her hold on fitness competition into the 2007 season. In the following interview she shares her 2006 Olympia experience.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Known for her Latin flare this routine will include that but aside from that she tells me the fans will have to come to the show and see. Rarely one to disappoint, Adela is my pick to win the Fitness crown.

Adela Garcia
Adela Garcia Wallpaper
Winner, 2006 Fitness Olympia.
Photo By SecondFocus.
Week #31 - 10/10/2006
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Jen Hendershott & Kim Klein:

    There are a few people who will disagree with me and two of them in particular have been nipping on her heels for years. Jen Hendershott and Kim Klein have both beaten Adela and will be looking to do so again this year.

    Hendershott always brings the hometown crowd which adds to the volume level whenever she takes the stage. Hendershott is the new queen of routines and always brings something interesting to the stage. It's always fun to see Jen perform and I look for her to give Adela a run for her money in her own backyard.


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Jen At The 2005 Fitness Olympia.
View More Pics From The 2005 Olympia Here.

    Kim Klein finished ahead of Hendershott at the 2006 Fitness Olympia and was six points behind Adela. Kim's routines have improved and she has a strong gymnastics background that shines during her routines.


Kim Klein At The 2006 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics From The 2006 Arnold Classic Here.

Challengers For The Top Three:

    Jen, Adela, and Kim (J.A.K.) have become the impenetrable top three in the last couple of years. As long as these three are in a show, I don't see anyone beating them until one of them retires. They trade places within the top three but you'll be hard pressed to see someone leap past one of them.

    Tanji Johnson, Tracey Greenwood, Julie Palmer and Julie Shipley-Childs all feel differently. This group has improved greatly over the last couple of years and inch closer to breaking into the top three at the Fitness International and The Olympia.

    They've won some of the smaller shows and done well when J.A.K. were absent but they're looking to change things in '07. Tracey injured her thumb before the 2006 Olympia but still managed a fifth place showing.

    Tracey Greenwood
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    Tracey Greenwood.

    Tanji Johnson turned things on in 2006 and finished out her stellar season with a 4th place finish at the Olympia.


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    Tanji Johnson.

    Julie Palmer finished her 2006 season off with a title at the IFBB West Palm Beach show. Julie continues to improve her routines and is always a threat to the top five.

    Julie Palmer
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    Julie Palmer.

    Julie Childs had been told her upper body needs to match her lower body in regards to muscle balance. She's worked hard at doing that and the results are starting to show. She finished fifth at the Olympia and is looking to move up this year.

    Julie
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    Julie Shipley-Childs.

    On paper it seems pretty boring to have the same 6-7 women always in that mix. All the competitors who are invited are worthy of being on the stage and shouldn't be discounted as great IFBB fitness pros. The fitness competition is my favorite of all the women competitions. The fitness routines are hands down the most exciting thing on an IFBB stage.

Challengers For Top 6:

    Others looking to improve and hope to crack the top 6... Angela Monteleone-Semsch finished second to Julie Palmer at the Palm Beach Pro show and always has an entertaining routine. She has lots of energy and strength moves in her routines and fun to watch.

Angie Semsch Angie Semsch
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Angie Semsch During Fitness Routine.

    Mindi O'Brien and Amy Haddad finished their '06 fitness season with a top five finish but seem to come up short at the bigger shows. Debbie Czempinski has a great physique and always has a strong routine. She is one competitor who many feel should place higher and I'd have to agree.

Mindi Mindi
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Mindi O'Brien.
Photos From www.mindiobrien.com.

    Debbie is happy to be moving to the United States with her family and a top five finish in Columbus would be the type of welcoming gift she'd enjoy.


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Debbie Czempinski.

    Heidi Fletcher finished off her season with an improved look in West Palm Beach and if she can nail her conditioning she will find herself in the mix. Heidi has one of the more energetic routines out there and always fun to photograph.

Heidi Fletcher
Heidi Fletcher Wallpaper
2006 Fitness Olympia Competitor.
Photo By SecondFocus.

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    Bethany Gainey, Hollie Stewart and Amy Villa-Nelson all are making their Fitness International debuts. They'll have their work cut out for them in this lineup but all can hold their own on the pro stage.

My Top 7 Picks:

  1. Adela Garcia
  2. Jen Hendershott
  3. Kim Klein
  4. Julie Palmer
  5. Tanji Johnson
  6. Julie Shipley-Childs
  7. Tracey Greenwood

RELATED POLL
Who Do You Think Will Win The 2007 Ms. Fitness International?

Adela Garcia.
Jen Hendershott.
Kim Klein.
Julie Palmer.
Tanji Johnson.
Julie Shipley-Childs.
Tracey Greenwood.
Other.

    What are your thoughts on the Fitness lineups? Who do you think should have been invited? Do you think Adela will repeat and will anyone break into the top three other then the J.A.K. group? Voice your opinions on the forums.


2007 Figure International

Monica Brant:

    This year's Figure International should be an interesting one. Absent from this year's lineup is the fan's champ, Monica Brant. I asked Monica why her name was absent from the list and she informed me she needed a break. Who can blame her for wanting to enjoy the holidays and not have to diet through Christmas and the New Year.

THE FIT SHOW
Monica Brant's Fem Camp.
Date: 01/03/2007

Check out this great episode featuring Monica Brant's Fem Camp, Charles Glass training Mascha Tieken and a back and shoulder routine.
Video Show 50

    Monica will be at the BSN booth and you can stop by and see her there.

Jenny Lynn:

    Also missing from the lineup is the reigning Ms. Figure Olympia champ, Jenny Lynn. Jenny fell ill before the 2006 Figure International and missed out on the chance to defend her title.

THE FIT SHOW
Jenny Lynn Charles Glass Trains Jenny Lynn.
Date: 9/21/2006

Today on the Fit Show, Charles Glass trains legs with Jenny Lynn. Jenny goes through a very fast pace workout as she prepares for the 2006 Figure Olympia.
Video Show 40

    She went on to claim the Olympia title and is sitting the Figure International out due to a recent move and wanting to take some time off before defending her Olympia title in '07.

Christine Pomponio-Pate:

    Another top contender, Christine Pomponio-Pate needed some time off and will be sitting this one out as well.

Christine Pomponio-Pate
Christine Pomponio-Pate Wallpaper
Winner, 2006 IFBB California State Pro Figure!

Week #12 - 5/30/2006
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    We've seen her in the past and she finished the year with a title under her belt, Amber Littlejohn has also hung up posing. When I spoke to her in West Palm Beach she told me it would be her last show. This lineup leaves the top four at the Olympia out of the mix. Which opens the door for a few others to turn things out for the title.

Mary Elizabeth Lado:

    Defending champ, Mary Elizabeth Lado will be back to defend her title. She won last year with a controversial call over Monica Brant. Mary is looking to come back and silence the critics that she was given a gift in 2006. She placed a surprising 5th at the Olympia when she came in less then her best.


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Mary Elizabeth Lado At The 2006 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics From The 2006 Arnold Classic Here.

    Mary is the odds on favorite to win but if she isn't on the top of her game, the door is open for a few others to surpass her for the title. Mary looks her best when she comes in full and not as dieted down as she was at the Olympia.

Challengers:

    Who will present the biggest threat to Mary's title? There are a few names that could be thrown into the mix. Three of the biggest threats are Gina Aliotti, Amanda Jo Savell and Valerie Waugaman. It's a flip of a coin who wins in the head to head match of Aliotti and Savell.

    Gina is the rookie of the year in the IFBB ranks and finished her season off in second to Amber Littlejohn in West Palm Beach. She started her season off at the Colorado Pro and hasn't looked back since. She's already won one IFBB show and is looking to add another to the resume in March.

THE FIT SHOW
Tournament of Champions! Tournament of Champions!
Date: 12/19/2006

Exclusive footage from the 2006 Tournament of Champions. Plus, TOC winner Gina Aliotti shows us her specialized leg workout.
Video Show 48

    Gina is one of the younger competitors in the IFBB and has a lot going for her. She'll do well at her Figure International debut. Amanda Jo is coming into her own in the figure ranks. She is gorgeous on stage and has a very pleasing physique. She won the Europa Supershow but slipped a bit in her placings at the Olympia.

Amanda Savell Amanda Savell
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Amanda Savell.

    I had the chance to talk with Amanda Jo after the lineups were announced and she offered this to her Hardbody.com interview:

      "I just got home and received a phone call from Kim Oddo (my trainer) telling me about the invite. I was so excited about it, because after being in it last year I came away with two goals obtained, first being invited and second getting top three.

      I have already started my diet in hopes I would be back, I am even more determined then ever before!! I welcome being on stage with new competitors, it always adds more motivation (if that is possible)!!! "

    A fan favorite and definitely one of the most genetically gifted competitors in the mix, Valerie Waugaman will take the stage looking to find herself in the winner's circle again. She found the right combination in Denver at the Colorado Pro show, but has struggled to match it.

Valerie Waugaman Valerie Waugaman
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Valerie Waugaman.

    Val's "figure routine" at the Olympia left a number of people scratching their heads and others applauding her. What will Val bring to the stage in 2007? Will she have another creative way to present her physique?

    When Valerie let's her physique do the talking she is at her best and it's my hope that she does in Ohio. If she brought the same physique and presentation as she did in Colorado, we'd be looking at the new Figure Internationals champ.

Valerie Waugaman Valerie Waugaman
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Valerie Waugaman.

    One competitor who often gets overlooked and is absolutely stunning on stage is Latisha Wilder. Latisha has flawless skin, perfect hair and make-up and a great physique. She is one of the shorter competitors and often gets over-shadowed by the taller women.

    I look for this to be the show she finally gets her due. I'll be interviewing Latisha before the Figure International and if you have a question you'd like to ask her, email me and I'll be sure to include it in the piece.

    Gina Camacho is coming off her victory in Sacramento and will look to keep that momentum into 2007. She brings a great physique to the stage and should find herself in the mix of the top five.


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Gina Camacho At The 2006 San Francisco Pro.
View More Pics From The 2006 San Francisco Pro Here.

    Chastity Slone had her best showing at the 2006 International with a fourth place finish and is looking to match and improve on that. I personally thought she was too hard last year but the judges didn't agree and hence why I am not a judge.


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Chastity Slone At The 2006 San Francisco Pro.
View More Pics From The 2006 San Francisco Pro Here.

Other Contenders For Top 10:

    Other top contenders for the top 10 are newcomer Sonia Adcock. Sonia placed third in her first IFBB show and has the ingredients to mix it up at her first Figure International. Jane Awad does well at this show and looks to do so again this year.

Sonia Adcock
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Sonia Adcock.


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Jane Awad.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Figure Finals Here.

    The Figure International seems to be the show where she does best when it comes to the bigger shows. Inga Neverauskaite is a stunning competitor who seemed to get better and better as the 2006 season progressed. She should find herself in the top 10 at this show.

    A physique that is worthy of a top callout every time, in my opinion, is Julie "DJ" Wallis. She has one of the most balanced and pleasing physiques in the industry. She's always poised and presents herself well. Her placings are all over the board depending on which show you look at.

    Christine Wan came into her own at the end of the year and is in the top five at the smaller shows, the question is will she find herself in one of the bigger shows? She has what it takes to be in the callouts but will the judges see it that way? We'll see come show time.


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Christine Wan.

    Our friend to the north, Deborah Leung is back to show how they do it Canadian style. Debbie made the transition from bodybuilding to figure and is starting to streamline her physique to what the judges are looking for. If she can get her conditioning right she'll be in the top 10.

    Zhanna Rotar is still searching for the right combination in conditioning to help land herself in a higher position and we'll see what she brings to the Columbus stage.

IFBB Pro Zhanna Rotar
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Zhanna Taking 4th Place
At The 2006 San Fran Pro.

    Rookies Briana Tindell and Corry Matthews received their Arnold invites and will take the IFBB pro stage for the first time. Corry competed as an amateur mainly as a fitness competitor; we'll see how she matches up in the figure lineups. Briana won the NPC North American overall title and will make her IFBB debut as well.

My Top 6 Picks:

  1. Mary Elizabeth Lado
  2. Amanda Savell
  3. Gina Aliotti
  4. Latisha Wilder
  5. Valerie Waugaman
  6. Gina Camacho

RELATED POLL
Who Do You Think Will Win The 2007 Figure International?

Mary Elizabeth Lado.
Amanda Savell.
Gina Aliotti.
Latisha Wilder.
Valerie Waugaman.
Gina Camacho.
Other.

    Agree with my top 6? What's your top picks for the show? Voice your opinion on the forums.