Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sharing a TenSpot with...Rosa-Marie Romero

G'day, mate!

This Sharing a TenSpot has got some international flavor as I interviewed Austraila's top IFBB figure competitor Rosa-Marie Romero. In a couple of contest last year, she put her own twists on the figure quarter-turns by adding some (I'm assuming) NABBA posing to them. 2007 seemed to be her year to compete as often as needed to get her name across, and I think she more then accomplished that. Now she is looking to do more than get her name across; she wants to establish herself as a force in the IFBB Figure division. And to be quite honest with you, I don't see anyone or anything that can stop her from become arguably the biggest Austrailan muscle star since the immortal AR-NOLD.

(From Muscular Developement)

FitGems: State your name and profession (fitness/figure/female bodybuilding/other).
Rosa-Marie Romero: Rosa-Maria Romero, IFBB Pro Figure & NPFC/IFBB Judge

FitGems: How many years have you competed?
Rosa: I lifted my first set of weights in April 2003 after the birth of my two boys Dylan & Jaime. I competed that same year for the first time in the WNSO/ANB Nationals and took out the Australian overall Title! I have not looked back since.

FitGems: What are your best lifts in the gym (that you are most proud of)?
Rosa: I don’t measure – sorry

FitGems: You have competed in both The U.S. and Australia. What differences (positive and/or negative) are noticeable in IFBB Australian figure and IFBB American figure?
Rosa: Competition in Australia is quite different to the States. The girls are a lot harder and muscular down under. I guess this look is preferred, but I love competing in the US. I have competed in 6 shows so far since turning Pro and let me assure you my best is yet to come! 2008 will be my year that is for sure. Right now I am looking my best ever and I am 6 weeks out of the New York Pro Figure. I can’t wait to get back on stage and show the judges exactly what this little ‘Aussie Gal’ has got!

FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about your profession?
Rosa: Nothing. I love what I do and I honestly cannot see myself ever letting go.

FitGems: Although it isn’t much, do you like the positive mainstream exposure of female muscle so far?
Rosa: Absolutely. Muscles are sexy. The more female exposure we get the better. I am extremely proud of my latest cover “Aussie Hardcore Muscle”. I am shown holding a barbell and my abs are quite intense in the shot. I think it’s healthy for women to train with weights and be proud of their body whatever their shape and size.

FitGems: Who do you look up to the most for your inspiration?
Rosa: I look up to my mum who has inspired and supported me since day one. Everything I know I learnt from her and I could never thank her enough – Thanks mum…..x

FitGems: You have never competed in either the Arnold or Olympia. Do you see yourself in one of both of those competitions in the near future?
Rosa: 100% yes. I will be competing in both those shows in the next year. Just wait and see!

FitGems: If there was any celebrity that would be a perfect fit in a fitness/figure/female bodybuilding competition, if giving time to be able to condition themselves?
Rosa: I have never thought about this but it would great to see Cameron Diaz strutting her stuff on the Figure stage. Not only does she have the body but the personality to light up any stage.

FitGems: What are your future plans in the female muscle industry?
Rosa: 1. To qualify for the 2008 or 2009 Olympia
2. To compete at the 2009 Figure International
3. To continue inspiring others to lead a healthy lifestyle
4. Promote the sport world wide

Fans can reach Rosa at or visit her website,

Due to her being from Austraila, I have to end this blog entry this way: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, OY OY OI! :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My thoughts on the state of women's bodybuilding

Well…I’ve talked about my personal state on fitness and figure. Now it’s time for me to talk about the oldest and arguably the most prestige of the female muscle divisions: Women’s bodybuilding. I discovered this after I found out about women’s fitness. This category is basically a toss-up; either you love it or you don’t, plain and simple. I personally LOVE it. The dedication of these women to take their bodies and put it to unbelievable limits is unlike anything else in the world. You must be dedicated and motivated and be prepared to make sacrifices in order to achieve your ultimate goal. The sacrifices that are made differ for each female, but the ending result remains the same: to achieve the best possible physique you can, and by best I mean the body YOU want.

The first female bodybuilder I looked at and instantly loved was Cory Everson, which turned out to be one of the pioneers of the sport and someone that I believe 95% of all female competitors today (regardless of category) respect. Her and the first Olympia champion Rachel McLish put the sport on the map. Both are in their late 40s-early 50s now, and they continue to practice what they preach and look absolutely fantastic. For anyone that wants to look amazing long after their competition days are over, take their advice seriously. They know the sport like the back of their hand. I mean, they aren’t hall-of-famers for nothing, ya know.

Back in their prime, their bodies would be what most bodies of fitness/figure athletes are considered now. Boy, have times changed. As the sport got bigger, so did the bodies. What decreased though was the attendance of the Ms. Olympia competition. At one point, the physiques got so big, according to IFBB standards, that they was thinking about getting rid of the Ms. Olympia contest altogether. Ouch! But that didn’t happen; instead, it got moved to the Expo part of the show back in 2002-2003 (someone correct me on this, please), which is obviously a far cry from the main stage. But hey, having the show at a expo hall is better then not having the show at all, or at least that’s how I see it.

After the 2004 Olympia, a new rule was put into play: The 20% rule. This meant that the women had to decrease their muscularity by 20 percent. (This rule applied for female bodybuilding, fitness, and figure). This was supposedly created for safety reasons for the women. But…if that were the case, wouldn’t the men be applied this same rule as well? I know men and women are made differently, but still. Basically, most fans of the female muscle athletes saw this as IFBB’s way of saying to the fans, “We know you better than you know yourselves”. I’m just calling it like I see it; my words are not law, remember?!?

Anywho, according to what I’ve seen on the boards and judging from the competitions in the past, the support amongst the competitors of this sport has never been stronger. Every way they can, you see the competitors and fans finding simple ways to keep the sport alive. There are shirts made that say “Support Women’s Bodybuilding”. Some competitors have found ways to get on mainstream television to promote the sport, more mainstream than ever before. Colette Nelson, for example, has become quite the mainstream “leader”, sorta speak. She, along with Vicki Nixon, Sheri Owens, and Nicole Bass were part of the Montell Williams show on July 4. Colette also teamed with Jamie Reed, Lena Squarciafico, & Antonia Schmitt for “Flex and the City”, a parody of the widely popular series and movie “Sex and the City”. And most recently, Collette was part a very popular campaign video supporting Republican presidential nominee John McClain as she portrayed Incredbile McCain Girl, which also promoted the very successful summer movie “The Incredible Hulk”, which has close to 2 million hits so far on Youtube. Speaking of Youtube, this has seemed to become a female bodybuilder’s best friend. Female bodybuilding clips are among the most popular clips on the Internet video website. I’m not kidding; I can’t go to the top favorites section without seeing at least one FBB clip in the top 100. Yep, it looks to me like as long as there’s support from the true fans and women who are willing to go the distance, I don’t see women’s bodybuilding going away anytime soon.

I’ll end this blog with a great quote I saw on Siouxcountry’s board (a board that I’m begging you to join!). This is on side of his board, but I’d thought I’d share this with you as I thought this sums up my entire blog about this division (I’m just posting this, I take no credit for coming up with this at all):

Bodybuilding is an art

Of the body

Designed by

Yourself in time and it is

Beautiful because you are

Using your body as a sculpture

In a pure state of

Living for a

Dream from within and

Inside your heart and soul it is

Never to be compromised, because there is no

Greater feeling then that moment

Well, I’ve covered my state on all the current female muscle divisions (fitness, figure, and women’s bodybuilding). Coming soon: my proposal for a possible physique/classic bodybuilding division, and the women who I think would be perfect for it(some of the names might surprise you). One last thing: Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog. This means more to me than you know.

By the way, good luck to everyone competing at the NPC USAs this weekend!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sharing a TenSpot with...Jennifer Gates

Ok...gotta be honest; if I had to root for just ONE figure competitor to win this year's Olympia out of everyone that's qualified so would be none other than Jenn Gates. Why? She has this "it" factor that can't be explained. She's a hardworking mother and nurse who has big plans for the figure division. So far in the span of less than two years as a pro, she has placed third in her first contest, won a contest a month after that, placed fourth at the Olympia, and getting runner-up honors at the Figure International. Some even had her WINNING the Figure International and becoming Olympia champion in her first YEAR!!! How crazy is that?!?! Not that much if you how dedicated of a woman she it. As we speak, she's preparing for the Olympia in hopes of becoming the first mother to win the Olympia. This of course will be no easy feat, as the level of competition gets harder and harder each year. But if anyone can bring it home for the "shorties" and mommies everywhere, it's the Jenn-ster!

Here's a pic...

(photo from FTVideo)

Now on to the questions:
FitGems:State your name and profession (fitness/figure/female bodybuilding/other).
Jenn Gates: Jenn Gates, IFBB Pro, Figure

FitGems:How many years have you competed?
Jenn: 5 years in figure

FitGems:What is/was one heavy lift that you did or have done in the past that you are most proud of?
Jenn: Squat 120 lbs….back in the day. No need for big lifts anymore….most proud of my 3 a week 5 mile runs for the Arnold this year!!! Conditioning baby!!

FitGems:What made you choose your profession in the first place?
Jenn: I started in bodybuilding in 2001, won my first show….The overall for the Indiana. had no plans to do anything else with it….until I saw figure in 2002 and fell in love with the look!!!

FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about your profession?
Jenn: I would like to see figure athletes used in more mainstreamed areas…ie Television, Magazines (besides fitness type magazines)

FitGems: If you weren’t in figure, what would be the most likely thing you’d be doing right now that is NOT fitness or women’s bodybuilding?
Jenn: I’d probably be learning how to fight…kickboxing, sparring, boxing….or president of the PTA for my kid’s school.

FitGems: Who or whom do you look up to the most for your inspiration?
Jenn: First, my husband Derek and two kiddos Peyton and Adelyn, and my dad Dave…they all make me want to do better!!! Also, all of my fellow competitors. We all work hard…it takes so much discipline and determination.

FitGems: Career-wise, you are much like WWE superstar John Cena. By that, I mean that you’ve become such an elite star in what would take most people years to get to. Can you explain the success?
Jenn: I spent years as an amateur finding what works for me….I finally found it turned Pro and have been rewarded for it. I have worked just as hard as any figure competitor though. Now I am just tweeking it and perfecting it!!
FitGems: You look like someone who would a great fit in Hollywood. What would be your dream role if giving the opportunity one day?
Jenn: Any role that would costar with Matthew McConaughey or Brad Pitt…shh…or a role of a vampire heroine with my favorite Kate Bekinsale from Underworld!!

FitGems: What are your future plans in the female muscle industry?
Jenn: I have many dreams and goals. I want to motivate as many women as possible…especially mothers. Dreams do come true….you have to live them!! I hope to break more history in the IFBB and be the first MOM to win a big title….Olympia or Arnold!!!

Being the sweetheart she is, she told me thanks. I say, you're welcome. Give them hell at the Olympia, Jenn!!

For more of her, check out the following links:
Her Yahoo! fan club (created by me):

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"A Fitting Review"

Here's a new segment called "A Fitting Review" I know, how original, dumba$$. Anyways, what I do is review female muscle message boards, female competitor/model sites, DVD, etc. and so on that I like (or dislike) for one reason or another. Not that these are just OPINIONS. Whatever I say on here is not to be carved in stone, as I am a fan first, expert never. With that being said let's get started.

As most of you might know I’m a member of WAY too many message boards, and do my absolute best to be a positive supporter for the female muscle community. But if there was one board I could recommend to any pro competitor, amateur competitor, fan or someone who wants to learn and understand about the world of female muscle without being chastised for their believes, then I’d check out and join Siouxcountry’s board. Personally, I don’t think there’s another board out there that is as welcome or as positive as Sioux’s board. In less than six months, he has brought in more people in that length amount of time than others who’ve been in the game for years. As of this writing, he has over 1,800 members on his board (and still growing). That include pros and amateurs from many federations, judges, fans, promoters, and eight of the most beautiful (inside and out) moderators anyone can ask for? I know deep within my heart that all eight of them represent the pro elite of this business.

So what’s his secret? He’s honest. He loves the sport and the competitors and fans who contribute to the sport, as do I.

Ya know what…I could tell you how awesome this board is, but that wouldn’t do it justice. How about you check it out yourselves? Click on the banner below to visit the board. After checking it out, join it! Trust won't be disappointed.

More "Fitting Reviews" to come!

Also thanks to all of you that voted on the thoughts of Trish and Gina facing off at Wrestlemaina 25. If if were up to most of you, that match will take place at the Showcase of the Immortals next year. This month's question is "Should there be a physique/classic female bodybuilding division in the IFBB/NPC?" I'll give my thoughts on this highly debated topic in the days to come.