Bob Bell and Tina Smith were already a couple and had established themselves as professional bodybuilders respectively when they ventured into promoting physique competition. Now, with more than decade of successful events behind them, they are among the finest contest promoters on the West Coast through their promotional medium, California Natural Muscle advancing natural bodybuilding through the amateur North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation (NANBF) and professional International Fitness & Physique Association (IFPA). Their most recent contest in Sacramento – the IFPA Pro USA and NANBF California Natural Muscle Mayhem Bodybuilding and Figure Championships – was a huge success.
Perhaps more important than their promotional efforts, however, is their unwavering dedication to drug-free athletics. Both are lifetime natural athletes and educators – Bob is an Adapted Physical Education Specialist and Tina is a school Psychologist – in the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento County, California, and for years the couple has been providing educational seminars to local high school classes about the dangers of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs while, at the same time, teaching students about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. “We do everything we can to eschew others for endorsing the use of performance enhancing drugs!” says Tina.
Each 42, they grew up in Northern California – Bob in Eureka where he graduated from Eureka High School and Tina in Auburn where she graduated from Placer High School where they both played sports. Both played sports in college (where they met) too, and both started lifting weights when they were teens. Bodybuilding came along later when Tina entered her first competition in 1996 going on to win the 1997 NGA Pacific Coast overall championship and finishing in the top 10 in the WNBF Worlds from 1998-2000, among others. Bob jumped on board the natural bandwagon soon after competing in several NGA and INBF events from 1998-2000 and earning his WNBF pro card in Canada.
Contest promotion has taken precedence lately over individual competition for this dynamic duo. In the meantime, they both stay in tip-top shape training at Powerhouse Gym in nearby Sacramento just in case they feel the urge again.
Despite their many similarities (and despite the fact that married couples tend to look alike the longer they are together – well, sort of), Bob and Tina are NOT congenital twins. However, they DO, in fact, have their own twins – Bobby and Tyra, 4 ½. Future bodybuilders?
“We’ve met great people from all over the world!” says Tina. “Before the kids came along, we would travel all over to judge contests and spend time with other promoter friends. We’ve had lots and lots of great times, and we’ve been able to develop life-long friendships.” Now, many of those friends are having families too, and the friendships endure.
“Natural bodybuilding is a wonderful way to set a high personal goal for yourself,” explains Tina. “It’s not easy, but the rewards of achieving that goal are incredible. Reaching your own personal best physique and being able to show yourself on stage to friends and family who know how hard you worked is an immeasurable accomplishment. Everyone has their own journey in bodybuilding, and we always tell them to enjoy the experience!”