Monthly Archives: August 2011

Leigh Brandt – IFBB Pro

Leigh Brandt an IFBB Pro and accomplished Female Fitness Model. She’s a well known and respected Fitness Ambassador…a true “All-Star”!

She may look familiar to you simply because she’s in the limelight quite a bit! Don’t simply scan through this interview if you’re an aspiring female looking to make it BIG in the Fitness Industry!

She’s also a Whey Gourmet/LegareWear Sponsored Athlete and a Personal Trainer.

Our very own, Trish Lavender had the pleasure of interviewing Leigh Brandt. Here’s what Leigh had to share with….

1. Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc.)?

I graduated in 2002, worked a full-time job in accounting for the past 10 years and decided to venture off and follow my passion in the fitness industry and become a personal trainer, which i have been doing now for the past few years.

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

I am inspired by many people in the fitness industry, but who inspired me most was my hubby….for his passion and helping me to achieve a level of conditioning I didn’t think I could achieve.

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

  • Canadian Nationals 2009 – pro card win & overall
  • Muscle contest 2010-10th
  • Sacramento pro 2010-6th
  • Muscle Contest 2011-7th
  • Toronto Supershow 2011-7th

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I will be competing at the Titan Grand Prix Oct 22nd in Culver City California

5. Where can fans find out more about you (website, published magazines, etc.)?

Personal Site:
Facebook Page: Search for Leigh Brandt IFBB Pro
Twitter: LeighBrandt

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Eryn Strickland – Figure Athlete

Eryn Strickland

Erin is a pro in the making, and no one should be surprised if she achieved her pro card by the end of the year.

She has the muscle and the awesome attitude for a figure pro, not to mention her great dedication to help people with health and fitness.

1. Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc.)?

For starters I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I LOVE the spirit of competition and any opportunity for me to excel and grow as a person.

I was a NCAA scholarship lacrosse player in college, where I also earned my BSN in Nursing. I am currently a Registered Nurse, specializing in Emergency Room/Trauma.

I’m also a personal trainer, figure competitor and aspiring health/fitness personality I work super hard everyday whether its in the gym with my clients, or in the hospital taking care of my patients, or among my amazing online fitness community, to bring people a positive and empowering message that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

I have been competing in figure for almost 4 years now. I absolutely LOVE it and am now a proud new member of the WBFF.

I am currently working on a bunch of exciting new projects this year that will really put me as a health/fitness personality on the map. My goal is to use my story to make a positive impact on the world as I bring together my love for life, faith, health, and fitness. Stay tuned!

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

I always have looked up to the amazing Monica Brant. She has inspired me the most out of everyone. Not only was she a true pioneer for women’s fitness as a sport, but she has also stood the test of time with a phenomenally unbeatable physique and unmatched grace every time she steps on stage.

More importantly she has ALWAYS stayed true to herself and stands up for what she believes in. She has faced so much adversity, criticisms & personal struggles, and always seems to come out of it with her feet firmly planted on the ground with a self-confidence and faith that I can only hope to emulate in my own life. She is my hero.

I also completely admire and adore Ava Cowan. I will always respect her drive and determination. She has so much fire inside of her to prove herself and she certainly has done that time and time again.  Our stories are very similar and so I feel a strong connection to her passion for greatness and to silence all those who may doubt her. She is as real as it gets. That can be very hard to find in this industry. What you see is what you get and with her its 100% authentic hard work that’s payed off. YOU GO AVA!

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

  • 2008 – OCB Yorton Cup, Figure Short – 3rd Place
  • 2009 – NPC Maryland State/East Coast Classic – 1st Place & Overall
  • 2010 – Team Universe – Figure B – 14th…I think lol

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I’m proud to say my next show will be November 5th, 2011 in Rhode Island. Its the WBFF’s New England Championship. I will be competing in Figure and couldn’t be happier to join this organization. The WBFF is one class act. They do so much to support and nurture their athletes. Paul & Allison Dillett have done such a wonderful job bringing their shows to the US. I am so very honored to be a part of the WBFF.

5. Where can fans find out more about you (website, published magazines, etc.)?

To find out more about me and to follow my journey please go to my website:

I love connecting with my readers, clients, and fans through my site and my blog. Please feel free to also add me on Facebook or twitter @pumpinironeryn!

Eryn Strickland, BSN, RN, CFT
“The Fitness RN”
Registered Nurse / Personal Trainer
WBFF Figure Competitor &
Fitness Model

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Susie Willerth – Figure Athlete

Susie Willerth – Figure Athlete

MuscleBombshell had the pleasure to chat with Susie, who has been training for a long time but new to the competition world. She has all the right attributes to be a great competitor.

Here is more about Susie…

1. Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc)?

I am currently enrolled in my fourth year of the nursing program at UBC Okanagan.  I have recently found my passion besides fitness competitions, and that is to work in the Operating room.  I also like to sing and dance, as well as work out as much as I can on my free time.

In January I am planning on going to Africa for a nursing practicum.

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

I never even thought about competing, I have just been into working out for many years.  It wasn’t until November of 2010 that Angelique put fitness shows in my head. Seeing her success as a fitness competitor and how proud of it she was I decided to give it everything I had and work towards being in my first fitness show.  Angelique has success and determination and she has inspired me the most towards my fitness goals.

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

I was in a figure competition May of this year, the Western Canadians in Kelowna that is affiliated with the CBBF.  It was a great experience, I was very nervous and probably the smallest girl in the masters category and believe I placed 9th out of 18.  I enjoyed every minute of it and am
now working at building muscle for my next competition.

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I plan to go into the Western Canadians in Kelowna, May 2012 again and am up in the air about whether I’ll do figure or bikini.  I’ll make the decision with Angelique closer to the show.

5. Where can fans find out more about you? (Websites, Magazines, etc.)

You can find me on Facebook or on under contest round up 2011 Western Canadians.

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Jenny Passe Grothe – Figure Athlete

Jenny Passe Grothe – Figure Athlete

Jenny is an amazing all around fitness guru that has accomplished a lot in the fitness industry. She is well respected by many and a huge inspiration.

Please read Jenny’s amazing journey through fitness!

1. Briefly share with us your background(Education, Interests, etc.)?

I have a degree is Business with an emphasis in Marketing. I climbed the corporate ladder and spent 7 years in Sales and Consulting at Franklin Covey – living 6 months of that in Europe.

I then worked as a sole-proprietor in Publishing for an additional 10 years for several national magazines. My focus was Advertising – again sales.

Once I retired from the corporate setting and focused more on my home and family, is when I decided to gain control of my life, my weight, and my happiness.

Upon losing my weight, I knew I had much to share (and wanted to), so I am still obtaining certifications where relevant. I need to renew my AFAA certification, but I do have my NGA Nutrition Certification, am in the process of acquiring my AFPA Sports Nutrition Certification, and in 2 weeks will have my CrossFit Certification. It won’t end there. I consider it an ongoing study which I enjoy thoroughly.

My other interests include running, cooking, and traveling. I have a mind that never stops. It’s very difficult for me to sit still. Right now I have 17 very exciting and fun projects in the works that revolve around cooking and fitness.

My first cookbook, “75 Ways to Love Your Oatmeal” is in its 2nd printing, and we’ll soon be released the ebook for it, and we’ll be releasing my next cookbook, “75 Snacks to Tide You Over” this November.

In addition to lifting and competing, I’ve recently taken up CrossFit and absolutely love it. Thus the certification. I love the Olympic Lifting element of it and the muscle confusion. I never know what the workout is going to be, and that excites me. Not to mention, I love the team atmosphere in our little box every morning. Everyone is there to work hard, and we all motivate and push each other.

I also love to run. This connects me to my Dad like bodybuilding does to my Mom. I’ve run several races and 3 full marathons – most recently running the Boston marathon earlier this year. I plan on registering (if I can get in) next month.

I love giving back. My Facebook Fan Page “Recipes for Gals in Figure & Bodybuilding” has been a huge blessing. It’s everything I could want it to be and more. I only wish I had more time to devote to it. I wanted a positive community where EVERYONE was welcome. I feel we’ve accomplished that. It’s growing like wildfire. As of this morning we reached 32,000. Not bad.

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

That’s a tough one. Initially it was my mom. In the late 80’s she broke out of her shy comfort zone and listened to a trainer who encouraged her to compete in lightweight bodybuilding.

Now, if you knew my mom, you would know that in settings where she knows everyone she is extremely outgoing. But, in setting where she is in front of literally hundreds of people wearing next to nothing (and the bodybuilding suits back then were even smaller than our Figure suits), she was very much outside her comfort zone.

As a teenager I looked up to her. She was MY mom, and she was **hot**. I was so proud of her. That image and those memories were never far from me. As I gained my weight in my 30s, I continually went back to how my mom was in her prime at 40. She’d never struggled with weight – always ranging from a size 2 to a size 4. But she looked her best at 40. She inspired me.

Once I got a taste for competing and knew what being “fit” felt like and what “muscular” looked like, I gained some of my inspiration from that rush. It was that rush that kept me going. Still does.

That’s why I try to stay relatively lean even during the off season. I don’t ever want to risk the chance of going back to where I was 4 years ago – a size 14 and 170 lbs. No thanks. *smile*

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

I’ve competed in 7 total shows and have brought home 5 trophies. Here they are:

  • 2008 NGA Northern States Bodybuilding & Figure Championship – Figure Short – 2nd Place (my first show)
  • 2008 NPC Utah Golds Classic – Figure Medium – 4th Place
  • 2009 NPC Utah Open – Figure Medium – 3rd Place
  • 2010 NPC Utah Topform Nutrition Classic – Figure Masters – 5th Place
  • 2010 NPC Utah Topform Nutrition Classic – Figure Medium – 4th Place
  • 2009 and 2010 Emerald Cup – did not place

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I’m toying with the idea of doing a show this fall. I’ve had some medical issues that I’m dealing with right now, but should the doc give me the green light, I plan to give it another whirl. If not this fall most definitely next.

I’ll be competing in the Masters’ class as well as the medium class in Figure.

5. Where can fans find out more about you(website, published magazines, etc.)?

My Facebook Fan Page: Recipes for Gals in Figure & Bodybuilding:

My Facebook Author Page: Jenny Grothe:

My Fitness and Recipe Blog: Jen-Fit’s Playground:

My Cookbook(s):

I’ve had 2 feature articles run in Muscle & Fitness Hers: Jul/Aug 2011 and Sep/Oct 2011 and have another one slated for Nov/Dec 2011.

My cookbook and one of my recipes is being featured in the November 2011 issue of Oxygen.

I write for Voskos and for Max Muscle. I am a sponsored athlete (I use that term loosely) with WOD Love, Perfect Foods Bar, Gym Gems, and P28. Als my transformation story was Featured in the March 2009 issue of Oxygen as well as on Bodyspace.

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Kari Keenan – Figure Athlete

Kari Keenan – Figure Athlete

MuscleBombshell had a chance to chat with Kari Keenan.

This blonde beauty is no amateur when it comes to the Figure world! Definitely a Pro in the making!

1. Briefly share with us your background (Education, Interests, etc.)?

My background is in English language and literature. I was a software technical writer for several years before transitioning into training and development. I currently write online training courses for several government social programs.

I have always been an athlete. I played tennis and softball, and was in cheerleading and danceline in school. My first introduction to the weight room was in college, when the entire cheer team was required to weight train. Ever since I saw a tiny bicep peaking out of my shirt, I’ve been hooked on weight training.

When people in the gym kept asking me if I competed, I looked at some photos of Figure competitors, and decided to see if I, too, could look like them. It turns out, I could! The moment I stepped on stage for the first time, I was hooked on competing!

2. Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

There hasn’t been one single person who’s been an inspiration to me; instead, it’s the women who strive day in and day out to reach for their dreams. When I hear and read stories of women who have made drastic lifestyle changes or who are just starting to compete, I’m inspired to
continue doing my best to achieve my goals.

3. What competitions have you made appearances in? From these, what were your placements (titles won)?

  • 2006 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA Tied for 4th place Figure Class A
  • 2007 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA, 8th place Figure Class A
  • 2008 Emerald Cup, Seattle, WA, 8th place Figure Class A
  • 2008 Contra Costa Championships, Hayward, CA, 1st place Figure Class A, OVERALL
    winner (I won the coolest prize ever: a SWORD!)
  • 2008 California State Championships, Culver City, CA, 1st Place Figure Class B
  • 2009 Pittsburgh Championships, Pittsburgh, PA, 7th place Figure Class A
  • 2009 Jr. Nationals, Chicago, IL, 15th place, Figure Class B
  • 2010 Arnold Amateur, Columbus, OH, 4th place Figure Class B
  • 2010 Lehigh Valley Championships, Allentown, PA, 1st place Figure Class A
  • 2011 Team Universe, Teaneck, NJ, 16th place Figure Class B

4. When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I just finished a long prep, so at this point I’m just relaxing and working on building up my physique. I’ll compete in NPC Figure at some point again next year after the 2012 schedule is released.

5. Where can fans find out more about you (website, published magazines, etc.)?

Please feel free to contact me on my website, or on Facebook (Kari Keenan) or Twitter (@babytatten).

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