Folsom Middle School’s auditorium glistened with rhinestones, spray-on tans and hard bodies Saturday evening.
More than 20 men and women entered the eighth annual All-Natural National Gym Association (NGA) Mr./Ms. California Fitness Extravaganza to determine who will go on to compete in NGA’s pro national competitions.
Johnny "The Motivator" Carrero, owner of Sacramento’s Fitness in Mind, hosted the annual event where local and national athletes competed in 10 different divisions for what he calls "pro status." Winners of Saturday’s competitions received a Pro Card, which enables them to compete for any NGA competitions.
Emceed by April Cabrera, who is a fitness industry professional, the competition opened with Carrero singing the national anthem and inviting his wife onstage, who he calls the "Real Ms. California" to receive a bouqet of roses. Carrero said that besides fitness, his children are his life.
Following his touching opening, competitors flexed their toned bodies in a series of posedowns and routines with music for close to two hours while the panel of nine judges looked on and decided the hopefuls’ fates.
Each competitor was given a polygraph test the day before the competition to ensure that he or she has been clean from drugs for at least seven years. If the polygraph showed otherwise, the competitor would need to take a urine test at his or her own expense.
Carrero, an advocate for natural fitness and a former steroid user himself, has dedicated his life to helping athletes get in shape without using substances or drugs to enhance or speed up results. He has been in the industry for more than 20 years and began hosting all-natural bodybuilding competitions in 1993.
In a speech to the audience, Carrero told the audience that while each competitor was tested before the event there is no way to guarantee that all of the bodybuilders are 100 percent drug-free from the substances banned by the NGA.
"Even if they win today’s competitions, they are losers," Carrero said in a message to anyone that might have tried to fool the polygraph test.
All competitors were given either medals, roses or trophies in the closing awards ceremony where pro-qualifiers Ms. California (April Witt) and Mr. California (Jeff Alberts) were announced along with the other division winners (see list).
After the competition, the competitors and their friends and families headed over to Folsom’s Hacienda Del Rio, one of the event’s sponsors, for the official Fitness Extravaganza after party.
For information about next year’s competition, visit fitnessinmind.com
Winners from each division
Teens: Bryan Fowler
Men’s Masters (40 and up): Dave Blumgold
Women’s Masters Figure (40 and up): Mary Loeffler
Men’s Novice: Vincenzo Coriloni
Women’s Open: Kelly Carlson
Men’s Open/Middle: Jeff Alberts
Men’s Open/Light heavy: Dave Blumgold
Men’s Overall/Mr. California: Jeff Alberts
Women’s Figure Open (short class): Linh Nguyen
Women’s Figure Open (tall class):April Witt
Women’s Overall/Ms. California: April Witt
Ms Physique: Brendin Barbour
All photos taken by Paula Aguirre