Never Too Late: Tara Chandler Makes IFBB Debut Seven Years After Earning Pro Card

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When one competes in the National Physique Committee (NPC) in hopes to one day becoming a pro in the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), what usually happens is when one gets an IFBB Pro card, they usually Compete within a year after earning their pro cards, maybe even just a few weeks after. However, it does not mean you HAVE to be in a rush to compete in the pro rankings. Sometimes, it's best to wait it out and see when is the best time to test yourself among the best in the industry.

Left: Tara at the 2007 Nationals. Right: Tara at the 2014 Emerald Cup. Welcome to the IFBB, Tara!
Photo credit: Muscular Development (put together on Picmonkey)

Tara Chandler won her pro card at the 2007 NPC Nationals in the figure division. During that time, Gina Alotti, Jennifer Gates, and Jenny Lynn were at the top of the pro rankings. The one-piece swimsuit round was also part of the figure division as well. Fast forward seven years later, Nicole Wilkins, Erin Stern, Candice Keene, and Camala Rodriquez-McClure are the top names in pro figure and the one-piece swimsuit round is a thing of the past. Tara made ​​her pro debut at the 2014 Emerald Cup, a competition she competed in as an amateur figure competitor. Placing despite lower than many hoped, it was clear to all that saw her that day that Tara could be a major part of the figure division. Her Physique was complete, great shape, size, and conditioning that fits right in (in my honest opinion) with today's top pros. Whatever her flaws and her team saw were worked out at her next show, the New York Pro, where she came in with Physique an even more refined than what she had at the Emerald Cup. 

To us, it's only a matter of time before Tara is up there with the top stars in the division, especially if she keeps bring a similar package to what she's brought in her first two shows as a pro. A wise man once said, " Good things comes to those who wait. " We at FitGems Nation think Tara Chandler is a perfect example of that. We look forward to seeing more of her in competition in the near future. Good luck in the IFBB, Tara!

Tara @ 2014 New York Pro. What's next? We'll soon find out!
Photo credit: Muscular Development

2014 Arnold Classic Brazil Fitness Competitors Announced

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Today, the list of those competing in the 2014 Arnold Sports Brazil was announced. Ryall Graber will be defending her title against some strong competition. Michelle Blank, Whitney Jones, and Amanda Hatfield will look to build off of successful runs from last season. Myriam Capes is also on the list, but we're unsure if she will be compete as she's nursing an injury that's keeping her out of the 2014 Fitness International in a couple of weeks. Our congrats to everyone that made the 2014 Arnold Classic Brazil field!

The 2014 Arnold Sports Brazil will take place April 25-27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

List of competitors:

Marta Aguiar

Michelle Blank

Myriam Capes

Bethany Cisternino

Regiane DaSilva

Ryall Graber

Fiona Harris

Amanda Hatfield

Whitney Jones

Babette Mulford

Danielle Ruban

Diana Monteiro

Kaitlyn Gone from WWE

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

She will always be known as "The Hybrid Diva"!


Former NPC figure competitor Celeste Bonin aka Kaitlyn is (as of today) no longer under contract to WWE. If you think about it, this shouldn't come as a surprise to a lot of people based off the news of her being engaged to PJ Braun. No, we are in no ways saying that her engagement has anything to do with her departure. But this isn't the first time a Diva has left the company shortly after getting engaged. Eve Torres did this one year ago around the same time, and in 2006, Trish Stratus left the company. Both ladies were able to leave on their own terms: Trish retired with the title and Eve put over Kaitlyn in her home state of Texas.

Kaitlyn's departure will be no different, as she will be taking on her best friend in real life, AJ Lee on ION Television tonight. Usually when one does right in the eyes of WWE, you are able to have your own moment as sort of a "thank you" gesture and not be embarrassed, and it looks like Kaitlyn will get that "thank you" gesture tonight.  Besides her engagement, apparently she is working on something big according to PJ. We can't wait to see what the former Divas Champion and NXT Season 3winner has in store for everyone now that she's not a part of WWE. We hope to have something posted about it once we get word on it.

On behalf of FitGems Nation, we would like to say "Thank You" for everything you did during NXT Season Three and during your time as a WWE Diva. We look forward to seeing what's next in your life!

Miss WWE Fitness Diva Tournament (Big Cross-Promotion Event)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Which past/present WWE Diva will be crowned Miss WWE Fitness Diva less than a week before Wrestlemania 30?! Photo credit to the original photographers. Put together on Picmonkey.


WWE will be celebrating a milestone this year, as it will be hosting the 30th Anniversary of Wrestlemania on April 6th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. To celebrate this historic mark in sports-entertainment history, Diva Physique, Fit Model TV, and FitGems Nation are teaming up to host a special event: the 1st-ever Miss WWE Fitness Diva Tournament! Beginning on Monday, January 6th, you get to vote for who you feel is the fittest WWE Diva of all time! 16 women from WWE's past and present have been selected based on their incredible physiques, from the most muscular to the leanest to the most out-of-this-world figures, these woman did their parts in being above and beyond awesome when it comes to having Diva bodies in pro wrestling.

The women are (in no order):
Eve Torres
Chyna
Beth Phoenix
Victoria
Natalya
Trish Stratus
Ivory
Mickie James
Torrie Wilson
Michelle McCool
Tori
Jamie Keyes
Jazz
Sable
Jacqueline
Kaitlyn

First round of voting begins on January 6th and end on January 26th. The eight women who get the most votes will go to to the next round, which will begin on January 27th and will end on February 16th. Final Four voting will begin on February 17th and will end on March 9th. On March 10th, the Miss WWE Fitness Diva Championship round will begin and voting will conclude on March 31st. Miss WWE Fitness Diva will be announced on April 2nd. Tiebreakers will be done as needed during the end of each round, and they will be one-day tiebreakers. 

BOOKMARK THIS LINK: http://www.misterpoll.com/polls/587645/. You won't be able to access the ballot until Monday, though. 

Best of luck to everyone. May the fittest prevail!

For more on the sites that are hosting this event, check out the links to their main sites and social media links below:

Diva Physique

Fit Model TV

FitGems Nation

Tracy Meinhart: Newest Featured Contributor for FitGems Nation

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remember this name...Tracy Meinhart. While most of you are not familiar with her right now, I have a feeling you will be by the time the 2014 Jr. USAs roll around. 

Her first show: Complete. domination.
Photo credit: Tracy herself.

Tracy Meinhart is a NPC figure competitor, originally in Florida and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. She first competed in 2013, and in all honesty, you couldn't have asked for a better first year in the amateur rankings. She won the Overall Open and Masters figure titles at the 2013 Hub City Fitness Quest, her show debut. It was my first show to attend, and I can tell you from personal experience, mouths were dropped when she stepped on stage. It was almost unfair to the rest of the competitors, and she was clearly heads and shoulders about everyone else who competed with her that day. She would end up following her big debut by competing in the 2013 NPC Tennessee State Show a few months later. She would win Overall Masters Figure and would take 1st place in the Open Figure Medium class, just barely missing the overall. The scary thing about that...she wasn't at her best at the NPC TN show and she did that good.  To say that 2013 was a heck of a year for the figure newcomer would be an understatement. 

Tracy now looks to the future with aims to become a IFBB Pro Figure competitor, as she will compete in her first National-level show at the 2014 Jr. USAs. Chances are high, but it won't be easy. We at FitGems are happy to announce that Tracy will be a featured contributor for our blog in the weeks and months ahead as she gets ready to compete once again. She will be posting photos and write-ups on this blog from time to time. We hope to have the first one from her soon. 

Look for this woman to do damage in the National figure scene next year!
Credit: Tracy


For more on Tracy, check out her new fan page at https://www.facebook.com/tracysteelemeinhart

What Monica Means to the Fitness Industry...In Their Own Words (As Well as Ours)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Here are some of what you wrote to FitGems about Monica Brant, who went out on top winning the 2013 WBFF Pro Figure title in Las Vegas:

Photo from WBFF Facebook fan page


(Comments have been edited for clarity)

Trish Barchuk: Monica is one of my favorite athletes. (She) has inspired me to stay in the sport. (I) have attended two of her FEM camps and had a great time at both.

Christina Carcamo: I was one of Jan Tana's top tan artists. I was backstage fixing her suit and glazing her before stage at her last Arnold. She is truly a classy and admirable woman and athlete.

Viko Newman (Fitcrazy): She's one of my Favs!!!

Credit to original owner


RH of Norway: I just want to say that I have been a huge fan of Monica Brant for 18 years. When I saw a picture of her for the first time, back in 1995, I just couldn't believe what I saw. She was the most beautiful, gorgeous and sexy woman I had ever seen. Her muscular body, and perfect female curves, really took the breath out of me. I thought to myself that this woman will become a huge star within fitness...and my prediction came true. As every Monica-fan know, she has become a living legend.

As the time went by, I followed her career closely, and watched many interviews of her. From the interviews I noticed that she wasn't only a woman to admire physically...she also had the most incredible and glowing personality, so charming, nice and down-to-earth. Her beautiful smile and eyes were sooo captivating. 

Monica has made a huge impact in my life, and has inspired me so much when it comes to how I have lived my life. Her healthy and fit lifestyle have inspired people all over the world. She's the kind of woman most girls want to be like, and most men see as their dream woman.

13 years ago I thought to myself that she deserved to have a website, where fans could show their appreciation and support to her, so I made a Tribute Site to Monica on the internet:

http://monicabrant.homestead.com/home.html

To all fans of Monica: Feel free to visit my Tribute Site, and leave a message for Monica to read, in my guestbook!

Since I saw a photo of her for the first time, I have never seen any woman being even close to having such a perfect body, looks and personality as she has. In my eyes Monica Brant is a true Goddess, and I worship her more than words can describe.

If you read this Monica: You still look as beautiful, stunning and breathtaking, as you always have! You will always be my number one!

Rod McConnell (Vice President of MidWestern Fitness): We have gotten to know Monica over the last year, and although it has been a short period of time, I can honestly say she should give lessons on how to be a professional.  She not only is one of the best fitness competitors to ever get on the stage, she is an even better person.

I have been in the industry for some years now, and have followed bodybuilding my entire adult life.  I can honestly say, not one person, or athlete I have ever dealt with has the standing in my book as Monica does.  She's motivational, inspiring, friendly, knowledgeable, fun and extremely professional.  I can't imagine knowing her for the short time I have, how much more impressed I will be after years of her friendship.  I'm taking a little leap calling her a friend, because of our short time knowing each other, but it's such a honor to be classed as a friend, I can't help myself.  Congrats Monica on all success, well deserved!! 

I can go on and on and on about how much Monica means to the industry, but I think it's obvious to so many people that she is more than just a competitor, more than just a champion. She represents what the fitness industry should be all about. She will be greatly missed on stage by so many, but her fitness journey is far from over as she will be transitioning into track and field full-time. This isn't "Good-Bye", just simply "Thank You" and "Good luck in your new adventures!"

Thanks for everything, Monica!!!! :)
Credit to original owner

To keep up with everything Monica, like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/monicabrantfanpage and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Monica_Brant. And, of course, check out her website at http://www.monicabrant.com/!


Celebrate "Monica Brant Week" Next Week on FitGems Nation!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This time of the year is always big, as we are closer and closer to the Olympia, the biggest show of the year for this sport. This year, in addition to what is looking to be one of the most competitive Olympias in years, a legend steps on stage for the final time on a show that's widely gaining a lot of popularity. On August 23-24, the WBFF (World Beauty Fitness & Fashion) Finals will take place in Las Vegas, and Monica Brant, who many look at as arguably the top physique competitor of all time, will step on stage for the final time in her illustrious career.

Monica Brant in 2010 WBFF Worlds. 


In honor of her swan song and her career, FitGems Nation is proud to announce that we will be dedicating all of next week to Monica Brant, beginning on Monday and ending on Saturday. Photos, videos, and testimonials from fellow competitors and fans will be posted throughout the entire FitGems network (our main website, Facebook, Twitter, possibly Youtube and even the revamped MySpace). If you have any photos or videos of Monica that you would like to share with us, or if you have any words that you like to share about your experience with competing with Monica or want to talk about how she has influenced you as a person, please email us at admin@fitgemsnation.net, placing Monica Brant Week in the subject line. Also, for those using Facebook and Twitter, we will be using the hashtag #MonicaBrantWeek , and we encourage you to use this all week long next week if you can.

Hope you join us in celebrating the career of one of the best competitors to ever step on stage!

Diva Physique: First Wrestling Website Dedicated to Wrestling's Fittest Women

Friday, June 14, 2013

The FitGems Network continues to evolve with each passing year, it seems. A few months ago, I had this crazy idea in my head about a website dedicated to the best female physiques in professional wrestling history. For those that know me, you know how big of a wrestling fan I am, so it only seemed right that I open a site like that. In fact, there's not a site like it in the wrestling fansite world today, which makes it all the more unique. The name of the site is Diva Physique.

Part of our upcoming banner!

As a wrestler, you have to be in pretty good shape to deliver moves and take moves. But there are times where you can't help but notices how toned and fit a decent amount of them are. That's where Diva Physique comes in.

The site has been opened for a few months and already there have been photos of past and present female wrestlers from WWE, WCW, ECW, and TNA such as Miss Tessmacher, Torrie Wilson, Trish Stratus, Ivory, Jamie Keyes, Eve Torres, Madison Rayne, and more, with plenty of more ladies to be postedas the site progresses. So yeah, this site is FAR from being done, and the best part is, that in time it will continue to evolve with new wrestlers and former wrestlers possible getting in better shape than when they were wrestling. In time, we hope to have some past and present WWE Divas, TNA Knockouts, independent wrestlers, and wrestlers from past organizations such as WCW and ECW to provide fitness tips and stories, and maybe even some fitness secrets that that would like to share with the wrestling fanbase and fitness fanbase alike.

Check Diva Physique out at http://www.divaphysique.com. Diva Physique is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/divaphysique), Twitter (https://twitter.com/DivaPhysique) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/divaphysique). If you have any suggestions, comments, concerns, or if you would like to join the Diva Physique staff (we are currently accepting members, BTW), you can email us at divaphysique@hotmail.com.

If you're a wrestling fan, this is a site you must check out!

Fox Sports One and the Bodybuilding/Fitness World...Could It Happen?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

For those that are sports fanatics, a new multi-sports channel called Fox Sports One will be launched on August 17 of this year. This is a big thing as it will give sports-news juggernaut ESPN a run for their money. Currently, the main sports that will be part of Fox Sports One are college basketball and football, MLB (in 2014), NASCAR, NFL (ancillary programs), soccer and UFC.

Photo credit: Fox Sports MSN website


On that note, FitGems was thinking...can Fox Sports One eventually be a future home for our sport? ESPN used to be the home of bodybuilding events. A lot of you can recall the days that the Fitness America Pageant was broadcast on ESPN2 and for some, it launched their careers in a big way. I owe them a reason  for me even FINDING OUT about the sport of bodybuilding. But sadly, that's no longer the case on ESPN and I highly doubt they will ever show events like that again...not at long as spelling bees and hot dog eating contests are telecast on there. That, and more OPINIONATED material rather than actual sports news and sporting events.

Fox Sports One has the opportunity to truly become an alternative to ESPN by broadcasting some of the events of the bodybuilding world such as the Arnold, Olympia, and Nationals. The market seems to be out there. I mean, people watch "crap" (and I'm using it the nicest way I humanly can) such as Honey Boo Boo and the Kardashians on a weekly basis, so why not? There are crazier things on TV...things that get big ratings, BTW. And if it can't be a cable network, maybe make it an online channel for apps or something. It seems like with the emergence of divisions that are less about size and more about a more attainable look (bikini division, I'm looking right at you) now would be a great time to truly take this sport to a mainstream level in terms of exposure.

What do you think? Should Fox Sports One look into having bodybuilding (and by that, I mean all the divisions) on their upcoming channel, or even with the more "mainstream-look" divisions, the sport is too "cult-like" for mainstream television? Comment below or leave a comment at our Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/fitgemsnation.

WWE Divas Division Adding Some Muscle...Literally!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

There were plans that Paul Levesque aka Triple H was going to rebuild the Divas division via development, and it looks like based off today's news, the rumors appear to be true. Announced by various wrestling sites, IFBB bikini competitors Lexi Kaufman and Christina Vargas have signed WWE development deals.

Get ready, WWE Universe! They are coming to take over the Divas division!
Credit: Christina Vargas's Facebook


While most wrestling fans are just now finding out about this, we at FitGems Nation (as well as our good friends over at Fit Model TV)have known about this for months. In fact, fans of Lexi and Christina have known about this for months if they have followed them on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. To say we are proud of these ladies would be an understatement. The WWE Divas division is in need of some serious muscle right now, and WWE has LITERALLY added that with these two ladies on the scene. 

The hardcore wrestling fans (aka marks and the IWC, which stands for internet wrestling community) are gonna be hard to please because they didn't come from the indies, but if they knew what we know, they have nothing to worry about. Both ladies have put in hard work for years to attain their physiques, and they will put in the effort to entertain you as WWE Divas. We hope they will make it far and take WWE by storm. We're rooting for you both!

Check out the links below for more on WWE's newest developmental divas:

Lexi Kaufman

Christina Vargas: