Battle of the Bulge | Sports/Outdoors | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Battle of the Bulge

FRI 8/6

Our friend, a fitness director, was talking about a hard-core female bodybuilder he'd seen. "She looks like one big catastrophic vein. She's gotta be hard on some people's eyes, you know?" We know. But one man's idea of a catastrophic vein is another's idea of hotness. And it's for those others that the 2004 NPC Southern States Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships comes to Fort Lauderdale August 6 and 7.

This marks the 25th year of the amateur contest, during which Myoplex-addled gym rats strut their rock-hard stuff in the 0 percent-body-fat zone surrounding the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The agenda includes showdowns in 20 divisions, from teenage women to men over 70. There is a distinction between the bodybuilding competitions -- which are all about the bulk -- and the fitness and figure competitions, which require contestants to perform fitness routines to music. (Sorry, "due to the danger of slipping, no body oil is allowed.") Fitness competitors must also pass the crucial test of walking around in high heels and a bathing suit. Judges will be looking for strength moves, athletic coordination, and that favorite criterion of all pageants -- personality.

What fun would it be without some marquee names posing their asses off? Superhulks on site include 300-pound German beefencaken Günter Schlierkamp, Muscle & Fitness cover boy Richard "Magic" Jones, former exotic dancer Toney Freeman, and muscle mama Kelly Ryan. Craig Titus, known for his "Titus Talks" columns that offer glimpses into the brain of a pro bodybuilder, will also be there. These celebrity guests will share their beauty regimens ("The Olympic competition sunless tanner," Titus says, "is a beautiful bronze tone with absolutely no green or yellowish tints to it once it touches the skin. Other athletes are constantly asking, 'What type of stain are you wearing?'"). And their insecurities (Freeman worries about his calves). And the perks of the job. Freeman, for one, says he enjoys being stared at: "I am trying to be a freak, so I want to be treated like a freak." So bring it on. Tickets cost $15 to $25. Call 877-877-7677, or visit --Deirdra Funcheon

Beach Battle

You'll Get Served

SAT 8/7

In the mood for some sand, sunshine, bikinis, and a bit of volleyball? The Florida Beach Volleyball Tour makes its Hollywood stop this weekend, August 7 and 8. The tour brings together some of the top players, male and female, from around the state. Each day of the Hollywood event, sponsored by Ocean Alley Bar and Restaurant, begins with registration at 7:30 a.m., followed by tournament play from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Twelve skill divisions in all will compete during the weekend, with the heavy hitters in the men's and women's open pro-am being the cream of the crop. But don't fret -- if you're not the next Karch Kiraly, there are also coed play and juniors' divisions for boys and girls. First through third places in all divisions win prizes like volleyball equipment -- but the pros compete for cash. Registration costs $50 in advance, $60 on the day of the event. Fans can attend free by pulling up a chair or a beach towel. The volleyball courts are located on the east side of the Hollywood Broadwalk, at the corner of A1A and Indian Street. Call 954-316-6642, or visit --Russ Evans

In the Wet

Summer adventures for sissies

SUN 8/8

OK, couch potatoes, up off your duffs! If August in Florida sounds like an excuse to remain shuttered indoors with the AC on turbo cool and a freezer full of iced martinis, Outdoor Adventures Klub founder Jordan London is here to tell you that a little fresh air and sunshine never killed anybody. No matter how klutzy or ill-equipped you are, OAK has an outdoor adventure for every fitness level and personal phobia: The Klub organizes bike rides, camping, backpacking, walks, sails, canoe trips, snorkeling, and tree plantings. Members' yearly dues ($25) pay for enough equipment to share with neophytes (borrow a bike, canoe, or snorkel; let adventure leaders fiddle with the folding cook stoves). This weekend's OAK excursion combats our infernal weather: a cool catamaran sail leaves from Deerfield Beach on Sunday, August 8. Nonmembers can hop aboard for $52 -- just make reservations. Call Tom Fierros at 954-242-1437, or visit --Gail Shepherd

Did the Valedictorian Become the Bogeyman?

SAT 8/7

Is anything more pathetic than your run-of-the-mill, garden variety high school reunion? The affair, which most likely includes a stuffy ball with dinner and cheesy music, turns every well-adjusted yuppie into a shy, nervous wreck. Even the most self-respecting among us becomes curious about who looks best, who became a success, and who's fallen off the face of the Earth. The Stoneman Douglas High class of '94 is doing things a bit differently for its ten-year gala, sponsoring the Reunion Golf Tournament and Douglas Eagle Stadium Fund Benefit at TPC Heron Bay (11801 Heron Bay Blvd., Coral Springs) on Saturday, August 7. All proceeds go toward the stadium fund's goal of building bleachers and a scoreboard for the 14-year-old school. Registration costs $75 per person. The shotgun start is at 8:30 a.m., with a buffet luncheon and charity auction to follow. Call 954-695-6432. --Russ Evans

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