Mark Samara

Doing duty at Fitness America Weekend last month, Mark Samara won both the Model America - Short Class and Musclemania® America - BW Class. The fact that he even enter entered both events was surprise enough, but to win shocked event him. Recently, we asked Mark about his decision to train for and compete in both competitions.

"After the Model Universe Championships this past June, I decided to have some fun and try my hand at bodybuilding. Then, after 5 months of consistent training to add some muscle and a lot of posing practice I felt ready for the big show in Vegas."

"Stepping onto the stage as a bodybuilder for the first time, I wasn't sure what to expect. Weighing in at 145 I just barely made the Bantamweight Class. I tried not to worry about the competition and just focus on doing my personal best and having the most fun of anyone out there! It must have worked because I was able to edge out the competition for a win!"

"Now I know I have a LOT of work to do if I want to step on stage with the big guys, so after a little time off to rehab some nagging injuries it will be back to heavy training to gain some muscle. I'd like to take 6-12 months to really make some progress before I hit the stage again. But I know it will go by quickly and I'll be in a posedown before I know it!"

Next stop, Musclemania® Universe!

Nick Bateman

He was just 17 years old and was a martial arts performer at the 2004 Universe Weekend in Miami.  But on a whim and with some prodding from his friends, he jumped into the 2004 Model Universe Championships and finished in the Top 5!  Just a high school kid and never having even considered professional or competitive modeling, Nick Bateman beat out over 60 other models that day.  Well sitting in the audience was fashion guru Calvin Klein himself who was immediately struck by Nick's fresh, natural and athletic look and scheduled a test shoot the next day.  Fast forward three months, and Nick left his native Ontario, Canada, and was signed for a modeling campaign in Milan, Italy, and then another in Paris.  Within six months, he had appeared in Seventeen, Teen Prom, YMM, AMX and many other magazines.  Today, Nick is back at college but during weekends, breaks and vacations, he travels to London, Paris, Milan, New York, Toronto, Tokyo and many other fashion centers for fashion photo campaigns and live shows.  Says Nick, "All this stuff is like a dream.  I still keep my footing, a clear head and will finish college.  But to think it all started at Model Universe when I was there just for a karate demo!"