With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
On the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Tour, Michelle More and Suzanne Stonebarger are collectively known as Team Gorgeous. Perhaps never in the history of sports has there been a more appropriate team moniker. Doubt us? Just look at the pics.
To some people, their team name may seem arrogant. But they didn’t choose it as much as they embraced it. The name started as a joke among tournament staff before catching fire with the media and fans. “I think it’s because they forgot our names and wanted to be nice,” More says. “But we don’t take it seriously. It’s just for fun.”
Now, we could wax philosophical on great genetics and heaven-sent beauty, but the physiques you see on these pages were earned. More than a decade of patrolling the hardwood, followed by another handful of years in the sand, have built two of the best bods on the AVP Tour. And that’s saying something, since volleyball players are among the leanest, most explosive athletes on the planet.
Team Gorgeous isn’t all fun, though; they mean business when the ball is put in play. In 2007, More and Stonebarger finished 11th in total points, an impressive feat when you consider they’ve played on the Tour together for only four seasons. Their next major goal? To pass, set and swing their way into the top five.
Birthdate: June 12, 1981
Birthplace: Torrance, California
Current residence: Redondo Beach, California
Occupation: Realtor and loan broker
Weight: 145 pounds
To contact: morestonebarger.com
M&F: So we’ll assume that your body is no accident. What’s a typical week of training like for you?
MM: You have to be in the best shape of your life to compete at this level. An average week usually consists of 45 volleyball workouts for at least 21⁄2 hours each, lifting weights twice a week, Pilates or yoga, sprints on the track once a week, a sand footwork and plyometrics workout on the beach, and at least a 30-minute sand run. In beach volleyball, it’s vital to be lean and strongyou don’t want too much bulk holding you downso I focus a lot on being quick and explosive.
M&F: Since you’re a performance athlete, I’m sure nutrition is key. When you’re being good, what types of foods do you focus on?
MM: I focus on lean proteins, such as skinless chicken breast, turkey and fish. It’s hard to get enough protein in my diet, so I usually rely on protein smoothies as well. I definitely do not agree with cutting carbs completely because they’re too important when you work out as much as we do.
M&F: What are some of your favorite “guilty” foods or drinks?
MM: I usually treat myself to homemade brownies or chocolate-chip cookies a couple of times a month. It all has to do with moderation. I try to be very strict during the week, but I’m a little more relaxed on the weekends. If you work out really hard and eat healthy, a couple of brownies won’t kill you!
M&F: Is it weird or off-putting at all to be seen as a sex symbol?
MM: I think all the women who play on the Tour are sex symbols in some regard. We all work really hard to stay in shape and play in little bikinis, so it’s a natural progression. It doesn’t bother me at all. I think a strong and fit body is a beautiful and sexy thing, so why not embrace it?
M&F: Since we’re talking physiques, is there anything you want to say about Suzanne’s?
MM: I would have to say Suzanne has a great butt and abs. No matter how many sit-ups or lunges I did, my abs and butt would never look like that.
Birthdate: Aug. 4, 1980
Birthplace: Stockton, California
Current residence: Hermosa Beach, California
Occupation: Makeup artist and skin-care entrepreneur
Weight: 135 pounds
To contact: morestonebarger.com, suzanne23.com
M&F: So is beach volleyball really as tough as people say it is?
SS: Volleyball is a physically intense game that requires superior conditioning, especially in the sand. I learned this the hard way my first year out on Tour. What you do off the court is just as important as what you do on it. My off-court training includes a mix of cardio and plyometrics, yoga and Pilates, weight training and practice with my coach. I train 56 days a week, up to four hours a day. But, as my coach Danalee Corso would say, your rest day is the most important day. Don’t overtrain!
M&F: Michelle says diet plays a huge part in your performance, but do you use any vitamins or supplements to help you stay in top shape?
SS: My nutritionist from New Performance suggests I take vitamins year-round. In the morning, I take a multivitamin and mineral complex and one krill oil capsule. At night, I take two calcium/magnesium/zinc complex tablets.
M&F: How do you explain the growth in popularity of the AVP over the last 510 years, particularly with the women?
SS: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh have played a huge role in the growth and popularity of the AVP. They truly are the best women’s team in the world, and that draws fans. Once fans get a taste of beach volleyball, they’re fans for life. AVP television exposure is expected to reach 100 million viewers through the 2008 season; TV ratings have increased 72% since 2003. With our television contracts and sponsors on board, the sport will continue to grow rapidly.
M&F: Do you enjoy playing in a bikini? Is there anything you’d rather play in?
SS: My suits are custom-made so they fit perfectly. There’s nothing else I’d rather play in than a bikini! The body is a beautiful thing.
M&F: Any thoughts on your teammate’s bod?
SS: Michelle’s physique is long, lean and beautiful! M&F
For more pics from our Los Angeles photo shoot with Team Gorgeous, click here.
For a complete schedule of the 2008 AVP Tour, visit avp.com.