Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-Bye 2009, Hello 2010!!!

Well...the year 2009 has come to a close, and the year 2010 is here with infinite possibilities. But if you were to have told me that 2009 would have seen the inauguration of the first-ever black President of the United States, the deaths of many entertainments icons (including the Original Angel Farrah Fawcett and the irreplaceable King of Pop, Michael Jackson), the re-emergence of the Yankees to World Series supremacy (boo..LOL), Kanye West acting like a jackass to a nice person like Taylor Swift WHILE she was accepting her first-ever Moonman, and Chris Brown and Tiger Woods destroying their careers over stupid stuff, I would have thought you were crazy. But, no...that all actually happened this year.

I also would have called you crazy if you were to have told me that there would be a bikini division in the NPC and IFBB, a top IFBB figure champion (Zivile Raudoniene) would be heading to the WWE, the top name of figure since its inception (Jenny Lynn) would retire, IFBB fitness would no longer have the 45-second mandatory moves round and one-piece swimsuit round, and a 25-year old female by the name of Nicole Wilkins-Lee would be the 2009 Figure Olympia champion. But guess what? That all happened in 2009.

And that's not even mentioning what the FitGems Nation did in 2009:

Over the course of the past year, this site has grown through leaps and bounds in ways I never expected, over 300 members strong, including IFBB Pros and top members of the industry (including Siouxcountry, HDPhysiques, and Kriv Studios). This site gave hosted a special Mother's Day contest where this site gave money to a deserving mother in the industry, this site helped in providing a little money for two sponsorships, and this site now has a sponsorship of its own. FitChat also began here and enjoyed pretty good success. FitGems got the chance to interview top stars in the industry. Heck, this site even was featured on a top ten list and on an online newspaper!! Above all else, FitGems became something that female competitors and their fans could be a part of. It's not the first, and it's FAR from the best (and man, have there been some emotional times in 09 where I thought this site just wasn't worth it) but it's something that I'm proud to say that it exists, and I'm happy that the female competitors appreciate what this site is trying to do.

To the moderators, the members, the female competitors, and even those that just stop by for a brief visit...thank you for everything you've done for this site. I couldn't have done this without all of your support and knowledge.

2009 was one heck of a year, and I'm hoping 2010 will bring great things to each and everyone of you reading this. May God be with you all as you make your journeys, and may the FitGems Nation continue to be a positive and encouraging place for female competitors all over the world and their fans to come and be a part of. The fun has just begun!!! :)

FitGems Awards (Nomination Selection EXTENDED UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT)

I mentioned that I would stop taking nominations at noon today, but I've decided to extend the deadline until tonight when the ball drops in New York City at Midnight! Here are the categories again for you. Reminder, you can nominate up to 5 for each category, with the top five nominations going on the ballot. You can even nominate yourself! :)

The categories are:
NPC Show of the Year
IFBB Show of the Year
Female Physique Site of the Year (non-competitor) (NOTE: FitGems is NOT eligible due the fact that FitGems is running the contest)
Female Competitor Blog of the Year
Photographer of the Year
Blogger of the Year
Industry Blog of the Year (by a fan, industry member, company, etc.)
Supporter of the Year (through shows, message boards, donations to competitors, etc.)
Supplement Company of the Year
Supplement of the Year
Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
International FBB of the Year
International Fitness Competitor of the Year
International Figure Competitor of the Year
International Bikini Competitor of the Year
Female Competitor Site of the Year
Breakout Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Breakout Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Breakout Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Breakout Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
Competitor Who You Would Love to See Return To the Stage in 2010

One to Watch in 2010:
Pro Female Bodybuilders
Pro Figure Competitors
Pro Fitness Competitors
Amateur Female Bodybuilders
Amateur Figure Competitors
Amateur Fitness Competitors
Amateur Bikini Competitors

You can send me the nominations through Twitter (, email (, or leaving a comment on the post. Voting will take place sometime tomorrow!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2010 Arnold Selection FitChat

Hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday! 

As you all know, the 2010 Arnold list was posted this past Monday, giving many IFBB competitors a great Christmas present. I know there are those that have their own thoughts (and complaints) about who got invited, who didn't get invited, who should or should have NOT got invited, etc. So...I'm going to have an open forum to discuss all that. On Januray 8th at 12 Noon Eastern Time, I'll be hosting a 2010 Arnold Selection FitChat, where we'll be discussing those things, as well as everyone's picks for the division. If this FitChat is anything like the one that was held earlier this month regarding the 2009 Year in Review, there's no telling how this one will turn out to be! :)

Hope to see you at the FitChat in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Song of the Week (Special Holiday Special)

I never get tired of hearing this song during the holidays:

And so I'm offering this simple wish
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times,
Many ways
Merry Christmas to you

IFBB Advisory Notice regarding Non-Sanctioned Events

Heads up to the IFBB Pros! You might want to look at this and read it...CAREFULLY...

In other words, if you want to do something that is not affiliated with IFBB, you might want to check with the head honchos first, or else, you're gonna pay big time for any goof-ups. Just thought I'd help pass the word around to ya. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Arnold 2010...The Invites are IN!

Yep, told ya I was gonna be a tad late. I know you've seen the list elsewhere, but for those that haven''s the list for the ladies:

Ms. International

Heather Armbrust
Lisa Aukland
Dayana Cadeau
Iris Kyle
Debi Laszewski
Zoa Linsey
Mah-Ann Mendoza
Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia
Jeannie Paparone
Betty Pariso
Alina Popa
Brenda Raganot
Elena Shportun-Willemer
Dena Westerfield

Fitness International
Myriam Capes
Regiane Da Silva
Nicole Duncan
Tina Durkin
Allison Ethier
Adela Garcia
Tracey Greenwood
Oksana Grishina
Jennifer Hendershott
Tanji Johnson
Julie Palmer
Kayde Puckett
Camala Rodriguez
Sylvia Tremblay
Kizzy Vaines
Trish Warren

Figure International
Monica Brant
Krissy Chin
Alicia Harris
Candice Houston
Heather Mae French
Monica Mark-Escalante
Angela Mraz
Jessica Putnam
Larissa Reis
Kristal Richardson - withdrew her name due to hernia surgery
Felicia Romero
Rosa-Maria Romero
Sherlyn Roy
Mindi Smith
Erin Stern
Kristina Tauti
Kim Tilden
Andrea Watson
Latisha Wilder
Nicole Wilkins Lee

And for the men:

Arnold Classic
Melvin Anthony
Tarek Elsetouhi
Toney Freeman
Kai Greene
Phil Heath
Dexter Jackson
Johnnie Jackson
Robert Piotrkowicz
Ronny Rockel
Silvio Samuel
Sergey Shelestov
Branch Warren
Roelly Winklaar
Hidetada Yamagishi

Some veterans and some newbies as expected, with some surprising people (to me at least) NOT on the list. Over time, I'll reveal my thoughts on the 2010 Arnold. Congrats to everyone that made the list!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Arnold 2010...The Time's Upon Us

I retweeted this news a few hours ago, and thought I'd post it here as well. According to ArnoldSports's Twitter, the Arnold 2010 Invite list will be out very shortly, as early as tomorrow even!

For IFBB competitors, THIS is their Santa list. I'll be in and out tomorrow, so more than likely I won't be able to update you all right then on who got invited to the 2010 Arnold. HOWEVER...I CAN give you links to a few places that I know for sure will have the list posted before I do.

Hardbody News
and of course, the official Arnold site.

Yes, I know there's more, but I know for SURE that these sites will provide the news ASAP should I not be near a computer when the news breaks out. To everyone that sent an Arnold invite, best of luck to you! SOME of you are going to have a very Merry Christmas!!! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FitChat (2009 Year in Review) Recap

Wow...what a FitChat that took place! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone that participated in this special event. Click on the box below to view what took place this afternoon:

We will have another one sometime in 2010, regarding the 2010 Arnold. I'll let you know a date closer to time. Look for it to be early January.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

FitChat Tomorrow (2009 Year in Review)

I apologize for this being on short notice, but I was trying to find a day for this to work out, with the holidays approaching. For those interested, there will be a FitChat tomorrow afternoon at 12 Noon/11 Central, discussing the 2009 competitve season (including the new bikini division), events that changed the world besides just the muscle industry (and trust me, there was a LOT going on in 2009), who could have a breakout year in 2010, etc.

The chat will be about one hour (but judging by what has happened in 2009, don't be surprised if it goes a little longer), but you can come and go as you please. Unlike the failed Olympia FitChat, this one will go on the entire time, whether there is one person in the FitChat or one hundred people.

Hope to see many of you at the FitChat tomorrow!

Monday, December 14, 2009

FitGems Sponsorship Update

As first announced on Twitter this morning, I mentioned something about a update regarding the 2010 FitGems Sponsorship.

I mentioned that the pot would increase as time goes by. I'd thought I'd be the first one to make that move. So, as of today, the pot has been increased from $151 to $200. Yes, no less that $200 will be awarded to the winner of the sponsorship contest.

In addition to the pot being increased, Eldor, the founder of Eldor Female Bodybuilding Network (EFBBN), has partnered with FitGems in ensuring that competitors get the recognition they deserve during the sponsorship contest and beyond. He will be making a personal Yahoo fan club for EVERY competitor that enters the sponsorship contest, whether you win it or not. Like FitGems, Eldor wants to help positively promote the sport to the best of his ability. Just let him know how you want it to look like, and he'll take care of the rest. A great way for established, breakout, and new stars to get easy and free publicity. For an example of his work, here's a group he made for Julie Bourassa:

To those that want to donate to the FitGems Sponsorship pot, it's not too late. You have until Febuary 28 to donate. And for those that want to compete, it's not too late to enter. You have until January 31st to enter. If you have any questions, please email me at Good luck to you all!

Song of the Week-Alexx Calise "Pull It (Bullet)"

Here's is another song from Miss Calise. This one is entitied "Pull It (Bullet)".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Gina Aliotti to Skip 2010 Figure International

The 2010 Arnold list hasn't been released, and already there's guaranteed of a major shake-up in one of the divisions. Flex Online broke the news today that Gina Aliotti, 2008 Figure International Champion and one of the elite IFBB figure competitors, has decided to skip out on competing in the 2010 Figure International.

To say that is big news for IFBB Figure would be a heck of an understatement. With Gina taking a break from the stage, and Zivile (the reigning Figure International Champion) trading in her figure high heels for wrestling boots, not to mention that the other Figure International champions (Mary Lado and Jenny Lynn) have retired from competition, it's all but confirmed that a new Figure International champion will be crowned in March.

I'll make this one thing clear. DON'T look as this as a retirement, because it's not. The business is more than just competing in contests. For those that want to be successful, you have to take risks and implement your figure lifestyle to business, whether is be producing your own healthy cookbook, running your own gym, being a personal trainer, having a clothing get the point. Gina, at 25, is doing many of those things, as well as maintaining her newly-improved website (which is the December Site of the Month for FitGems, by the way). Her days on stage are not over by a long shot. So for those that feared Gina, they can breath easily...for now. If and WHEN she returns to stage, whether it be late 2010 for the Olympia or later on down the line, you can be sure she will be an immediate threat in the competition she enters next.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kiana's Back!

Yep, you read that right. Kiana Tom, one of the top fitness personalities in the world, is on the show business again. For those that are unfamiliar, Kiana was part of Bodyshaping on ESPN in the early 90s. She then went on to host her own show called Kiana's Flex Appeal, and as they say in Hollywood, the rest is history. She became beyond just a fitness icon; she became a household phenonenon. She wasn't THE one that made women having muscles acceptable, but you'd be lying to yourself if you said that she didn't have SOME part to it.

Well, now the woman that revolutionized the fitness industry will be making her return, but for a different type of audience. She will be focusing on mothers, as she is one herself. Plus the show is online, which is a smart move in today's world. Her new project is called Fit Mom TV, and will launch on January, 1 2010.

Here is what the
official Fit Mom TV website says about the new online show:

“Kiana’s Fit Mom TV” is a brand new, 1st of it’s kind, fitness series on the web – just for moms. Kiana Tom, founder and host of Kiana’s Fit Mom TV makes fitness simple and highly doable for moms to incorporate exercise into their busy lives.

Internationally renowned fitness expert, Kiana Tom, leads moms through exercises that can be done at home or in the gym, using hand weights and household items. Workout routines are demonstrated to target common trouble areas for women such as the tummy, hips, thighs, butt and arms. Kiana Tom, mother of 2 young children, will share her personal fitness tips and tricks to getting back in shape quickly after having a baby and staying in shape with as little as 30 minutes per day, which can be accomplished in doable 10 minute increments.

Kiana’s Fit Mom TV is brought to you by the producers of the #1 rated fitness series on ESPN, “Kiana’s Flex Appeal” and takes the proven, successful format and tailors it just for moms! Kiana’s Fit Mom TV features workouts that can be done around a busy moms schedule, multi tasking exercises to get more done in less time, problem solving exercises to fix women’s common trouble areas, workouts for the gym and home, healthy recipes, tips, motivation and interviews with some of the most inspiring, fittest moms in the country. Fit Mom TV is for all moms who share the passion for health and fitness – all around the world.

“Kiana’s Fit Mom TV” will officially launch on, on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2010, just in time for those New Year’s Resolutions. Visitors to the site before January 1, 2010 can sign up for the Fit Mom TV email list to get Mom specific exercises delivered to their inbox and get a chance to win Kiana’s Fit Mom TV swag.

“Fit Mom TV fills the need for quality fitness programming to help busy moms get into shape while balancing family, children, work, household and daily demands. Moms are the center of the family unit – if we are fit, healthy and feeling good about ourselves, everyone is much happier. We receive thousands of emails from around the world – from India, Germany, Italy, Dubai, soldiers in the middle east, moms who are marines – all over the USA – you name it. The common concerns for busy moms are “time and energy limitations and not knowing what to do.” Fit Mom TV will answer all of those concerns. The Internet is the perfect vehicle to reach millions of moms – 24/7. As a busy mom of 2 young children, I don’t have time to watch television, but I can access the Internet anytime that is convenient for me according to my schedule,” explains Kiana Tom, Founder, Host and mother of 2.

I'm not one to tell anyone what to do, but I would suggest for all mothers out there to check this out and see how this could help you. As a fan of Kiana and a regular watcher of Flex Appeal, I can assure you this will be a good thing. Who knows, maybe this will be the birth of more fitness shows across the internet for everyone. I mean, the internet is THE place to go these days for pratcially everything. Just a thought.

Be that as it may, We at FitGems Nation wish Kiana the best of luck in her new venture and hopes lives are forever changed in a good way! :)

For more info, go to

Song of the Week-Alexx Calise "Falling"

Continuing with our featured Artist, Alexx Calise (who I will get to writing something about her before the month ends, I PROMISE!!) here's a slow song from her called, Falling.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Driven Divas DVD Hot off the Press!!!

What do you get when you put a two-time Figure Olympia champion and a elite IFBB Fitness competitor together with a camera?'s not what you're probably thinking...(pervs) :)

I'm talking about the new DVD released called Driven Divas.

The DVD chronicles workout partners, Jenny Lynn and Trish Warren, throughout their contest prep for the 2009 Fitness and Figure Olympia. This documentary shows everything that went into their contest prep including workouts, plyometrics, posing practice, routine practice and an informative Q&A with Jenny and Trish about their contest preps and being veteran IFBB Pro athletes.

This was just release, so I have no clue how it looks. But if it's anything like Jenny's past DVD "The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get", then I think fans will be in for quite a treat. I expect this DVD to be a best-seller in the industry, without question.

This would make the perfect stocking stuffer for any female that is either wanting to become a fitness/figure competitor or those that are competing and want (and/or need) the advice from two top IFBB stars.

The DVD is on sale now for $39.99 and can be purchase through Jenny's website at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Song of the Week-Alexx Calise "Good Enough"

This month is a very special month for many reasons (Christmas, end of school year, football that REALLY matters (aka the playoffs and college football bowl games), etc.). Now this month will mark something I've never done before. I'm going to feature an artist for the entire month of December!!!

A few weeks ago, I had Halestorm as Song of the Week, and an up-and-coming artist by the name of Alexx Calise took noticed. She wanted her songs featured on this site, and I was happy to obligue. Long story short, I'll be featuring Alexx's material all month long, starting with this pretty cool song called "Good Enough". It's got a good beat to it, and would be good for cardio.

Later on this week, I'll give you an inside look into FitGems Nation's first-ever Featured Artist. She has ties with a major IFBB bodybuilder and happens to be a fitness enthusiast as well as a singer. Consider this my Christmas treat to you. Hope you enjoy her music! :)

2009 FitGems Awards

I tried to do this last year, and I came unprepared. This time, everything is set and ready to go. This is the first OFFICIAL FitGems Awards! Awards season is fastly approaching, so I'd thought I'd do something for all of you out there. I've created several categories in which you will nominate all month long your favories from each category.

The categories are:
NPC Show of the Year
IFBB Show of the Year
Female Physique Site of the Year (non-competitor) (NOTE: FitGems is NOT eligible due the fact that FitGems is running the contest)
Female Competitor Blog of the Year
Photographer of the Year
Blogger of the Year
Industry Blog of the Year (by a fan, industry member, company, etc.)
Supporter of the Year (through shows, message boards, donations to competitors, etc.)
Supplement Company of the Year
Supplement of the Year
Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
International FBB of the Year
International Fitness Competitor of the Year
International Figure Competitor of the Year
International Bikini Competitor of the Year
Female Competitor Site of the Year
Breakout Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Breakout Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Breakout Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Breakout Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Breakout Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
Competitor Who You Would Love to See Return To the Stage in 2010
One to Watch in 2010:
Pro Female Bodybuilders
Pro Figure Competitors
Pro Fitness Competitors
Amateur Female Bodybuilders
Amateur Figure Competitors
Amateur Fitness Competitors
Amateur Bikini Competitors

Yep, that's a lot to categories, but on the bright side, that means a lot of chances for you or one of your favorites to be nominated. You can nominate up to five people for each category. You can either send in your nominations through the official site, email, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or leave a commment below this blog post with your nominations. Nominations will end on December 31st at noon Eastern/11 Central. After the nominees are in, beginning on January 1, 2010, you will then vote for who you think should win what category. Each winner will be notified sometime in February.

Everything (the winners AND nominees) are decided by YOU, so if you don't get involved and make your voices heard, you can't complain.

Good luck to everyone!! :)

Poll Results for November and New Poll for December

Thanks to everyone that voted on last month's Poll. I asked: Would YOU like to see an Arnold Selection Show. For the first time since I began the Poll of the Month, EVERYONE voted yes. Not a single person voted "No". We'll see if this happens again. Maybe as early as this month.

The last poll question of 2009 has to do with two IFBB pros in the wrestling world right now: Who do you think will have a better career in pro wrestling? Zivile Raudoniene in WWE or Kristal Lashley (Marshall) in TNA? Time will tell, and there's no guarantee they will have major television time. Then again, both could redefined their respective companies's women's division, for better or worse.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Elite: Ava Cowan

Last weekend, the NPC crowned several new IFBB Pros. Of everyone that became a pro, perhaps there was no name bigger in any division than the one of Ava Cowan. Ava is one of the most recognizable competitors in IFBB Figure, and she hasn't even stepped on a IFBB stage yet. Her participation in various federations prior to the IFBB, as well as her many television appearances, have made her quite the star these days.

At the beginning of her career, she competed in the NPC in hopes of becoming an IFBB Pro, and things didn't go as she hoped and things just...well, erupted, to put it nicely. She then decided to go to the FAME organization, and things began to click for her. She took over FAME and the Fitness Universe organization like it was no big deal. She also went on to be in several television appearances, including MTV's Made and Lifetimes The Balancing Act.

Earlier this year, Ava revealed that she was planning on reentering the NPC again after putting her demons aside. She didn't have a long stay in the NPC thought, but for great reason. Within a matter of literally a couple of contests, she won her pro card and fulfilled her dream of becoming an IFBB Figure Pro. With her dominance in every federation she's ever been a part of so far, it's only a matter of time before she brings that kind of drive and determination to the IFBB. Look for Ava to shine bright in 2010 and beyond, and possible go down as one of the top figure competitors of all time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Song of the Week-Pitbull "Shut It Down"

This Song of the Week was requested by Stacy via email, and it's becoming a big track across the States. It's from Pitbull, and it's called "Shut it Down". I think it's hard to find a song by Pitbull that you CAN'T groove to in the gym.

Don't forget to either Twit me or email me YOUR choice for Song of the Week. You have two more chances to have your song chosen as Song of the Week. Next month, I'm hoping to have a special treat for all of you regarding the Songs of the Week for December.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Song of the Week-Fabulous Ft. Ne-Yo "Make Me Better"

This week's Song of the Week comes from NPC Bikini competitor Rebecca Staggs via Twitter. The song is by F-a-b-o-l-o-u-s featuring Ne-Yo, titled "Make Me Better." I could see this song being a part of the cool-down process after a grueling workout for the ladies. Thanks for the suggestion, Rebecca!

Next week, I'll have another Song of the Week chosen by you, the readers. So remember to
Twit or e-mail me your song suggestions for the entire month of November!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Zivile's FCW Name Is...

Well, as announced on Diva Dirt today, the wrestling name for IFBB Figure Pro Zivile Raudoniene will be Aksana, at least that's what it will be for her in Flordia Championship Wrestling (FCW), which is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s developmental territory. I prefer this name than her previous name, Olga. That screamed EPIC FAIL!! But I can definitely live with Aksana.

Here's her profile pic curteousy of FCW's official website:

From what I've gathered, she's supposed to make her FCW debut sometime next month. There are a few pics out from the taping right now, but since the show hasn't aired yet, I won't actually post a pic from the tapings. I can though give you the link to some pics I found of her FCW debut if you click here for them. I think she looks great, and if you were to have told me a few months ago that the current IFBB Figure International champion would be heading to the biggest sports-entertainment company on Earth (WWE), I would have though you were crazy. But now, it seems like Zivile is well on her way to being a television star.

I'm pulling for Aksana to do well in FCW and eventually WWE. I hope she follows the paths of other fitness stars such as Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, and Lisa Maria Varon (Victoria in WWE, currently Tara in TNA) and become a big star in wrestling.

From the FitGems Nation...Kick some a$$, Aksana!!!! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poll Results for October and New Poll for November

Thanks to everyone that answered the October Poll of the Month. I asked last month, With the elimination of the 45 second mandatories and one-piece swimsuit round, will this help or hurt the fitness division? 50% of you said that it was too early to tell at this point (which I agree), 33% said that this would help the division, while 16% said that this would hurt the division. I think we'll get a better grasp of the changes during the 2010 season.

This month's question has to do with something I blogged earlier, regarding having a
Arnold selection show. Check out the link to see what I'm talking about.

My question for you is: Would YOU like to see an Arnold Classic Selection Show in the future? Yes or No?

New Elite: Natalie Ariel

Nataile Rae Ariel began her career in the fitness industry as a figure competitor. In 2006, she competed at the Jr. Nationals. The following year, under the direction of new IFBB Pro Elena Seiple, she made an amazing transformation on her body, and many people began to notice, especially Joe Bayer of HDPhysiques. He saw a star and arrange an awesome photo/video shoot that has made her among the most popular models on the site. She is not only built like a tank, but she's very strong as well. She isn't called the "A-Train" for nothing. Her strength and ability to grow muscle fast, as well as the new figure guidelines, played a key role in her switch to bodybuilding.

Many were anticipating her arrival in the bodybuilding world, and she did not disappoint whatsoever. She made her bodybuilding debut at the 2009 NPC Western Michigan and won the middleweight class and overall women's bodybuilding title. Apparently, Natalie made the right decision in crossing over from figure to bodybuilding. Next up for her is the 2009 Ironman in Chicago this Saturday. If this keeps up, look for her to do some serious damage in the IFBB when (not if) she earns her pro card in the years (by that I mean, two, three at the most) to come.

For more on Natalie, visit her website at

Fitting Review: Hardbody News

Okay, okay...

Some of you are probably going to be thinking, why the deuce is this moron promoting a blog other than his own. Long story short, it's my blog, and I'll promote whatever I damn well please, that's all! >:)

I kid, I kid!!! LOL... :)

The real reason I'm doing this blog is because this is arguably my favorite of the blogs I read every day. The founder of Hardbody News is the one and only Issac Hinds. I've not met the guy yet (hopefully that will change sooner than later), but he (more times than not) knows what he's talking about. What I like about him is that he doesn't beat around the bush about things; he says what he thinks and feels and lets it be the end of it. If you don't like it, too bad, so sad. Am I saying he's right all the time? Hell to the N-O! But go back and check some of his blog posts and compare his predictions to the actual results of contests. Heck, Hardbody News was the first site that actually shed light on the new bikini division for the NPC and IFBB.

On his blog, he interviews competitors, promotes contests, and post up-to-date pictures and coverage of events that are happening right now. Since he's also a photographer, he also shares his work on his blog as well. Yes, he wears quite a bit of hats in the industry.

If you want to understand the ever-changing things about the fitness industry, your best bet would be for you to check out Hardbody News. Click on the logo below to check out his site:

Hardbody News

The direct link is You can also follow Hardbody News on Twitter.

Song of the Week-Skillet "Hero"

As mentioned earlier, for all of November, the Song of the Week would be chosen by YOU, the readers, supporters, and followers of FitGems. IFBB Pro Angela Mraz chose this song via Twitter. The song is called "Hero" by Skillet, and it's a great song for the gym.

Twit me, email me, or leave a comment below of a song that you want to be featured as Song of the Week.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Elite: Wendy Fortino

(Photo courtesy of Muscular Development)

One of the rising new faces of figure, Wendy Fortino is fastly becoming a top name in NPC figure and, if 2009 was any indication, is well on her way to becoming an IFBB figure competitor. From what she has told me in the past, she is aiming to have a Monica Brant-like physique (as Monica is (like many competitors) her role model. Judging by what she has brought to the table so far in regional competitions, she's on the right track. Speaking of the word "track", she actually competing in track and field prior to getting involved in fitness and figure competitions. Believe it or now, she was RIPPED then...without touching a single weight! Don't believe me, I'd go check out this Kriv Studios blog post and see for yourself.

In every competition she's entered in prior to her first major NPC National show (The USAs, where she placed 6th in Figure Class A), she has won her class, as well as the overall title on more than one occasion. Something tells me a pro card is imminent in the future of Miss Fortino. :)

I can see it now..."It's WAY better than regular figure physiques...It's Wendy's" LOL...sorry, had to throw that in there. I believe her next competition will be the 2010 Jr. USAs.

For more on Wendy, check her out on MySpace, Facebook, Hardfitness, and a slew of other sites.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BodySportTV: Open for Business!

The great folks of BodySport (Terry Goodlad and Ana Tigre) have launched their own version of YouTube, but it's more tailored to the fitness community. The video sharing service is called BodySportTV.

According to Ana Tigre on
Siouxcountry, you can register for free and upload your own videos of training, interviews, photoshoots, or anything else you would like to share. For those that want to make a name for themselves, I would definitely recommend checking out BodySportTV. I mean, YouTube has launched the carrers of many people in entertainment, imagine what BodySportTV can do for the fitness industry.

Check out BodySportTV at

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Elite: Carla Gutierrez

What's the New Elite? I just find female bodybuilders, fitness, and figure competitors that I feel will be the next big thing in this industry. I'm kicking it off with a Canadian who has all the tools to make it in the IFBB figure if and WHEN she becomes a pro. I'm talking about the Canadian Chica, Carla Gutierrez!

(Picture courtesy of TwixPix)

In such a short amount of time, Carla is looked upon as one of the top figure competitors in Canada and future IFBB figure pro. She's also an accomplished model in various publications, including Playboy.

In addition to being a figure competitor, She is also on HerBicepsCam, and it has been told that she blows the roof off the place. In 2009, she entered her first National competition and placed third in her class, which is a great debut for anyone who enters their first National competition. Look for this Latina Canadian to make more waves in the coming years as she aims to become an IFBB Figure Pro.

She is on
Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and FitGems Nation. You can also visit her upcoming website at

If there's a star in the making that you want me to spotlight in the future, Twit me ( or Email me ( a suggestion, and I'll feature them here on this blog.

Song of the Week-T.I. feat. Usher "My Life Your Entertainment"

If there was ever a rap song that describes the relationship of a competitve bodybuilder (male and female), fitness, figure, or bikini competitor and their fans, this song is it.

My life, your entertainment
You watch it while I live it (live it)
I walk they follow (ay)
I talk they holla (ay)
Just here for your amusement
My life, your entertainment
You watch it while I live it (live it)
You waitin' for me to lose it
I guess I'm just here for your amusement

Beginning next week, and all November long, YOU, the FitGems Nation, will determine the Song of the Week. Twit your song choice to me (, email me your song choice (, or leave a comment below.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Idea for Arnold Selection Show

I know that the Arnold is announced on the Internet by a mere list. But I was thinking...since the Arnold is a selection process, why not it be shown as a webcast, beginning next year? What I mean by that is treat it like a draft, ala NBA or NFL draft. I actually got the idea from watching the WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 Roster Reveal show on the GameSpot website. It's also available on YouTube if you want to check it out as well.

The Arnold Selection Show would be broadcast on, as they provide major coverage of the event every year. The rounds would go as followed:

  • Round 1 would be the 2010 Ms. International competitors
  • Round 2 would be the 2010 Fitness International competitors
  • Round 3 would be the 2010 Figure International competitors
  • Round 4 would be the Arnold Classic Men 202 and Under competitors (that is new this year)
  • Round 5 would be the Arnold Classic male competitors
After each round, a few of the competitors would be called to get their reactions on being selected to participate in the 2010 Arnold, and those that host the show would provide their reactions and comments to the selections this year. After the show is over, THEN the list can be posted on the Arnold website. It won't have to be a week long thing; this can be about 30 minutes, no more than an hour. It would make the Arnold that much more prestigious and special to the industry.

Go to the links below to see what I'm trying to explain:

WWE SVR 2010 Draft Pt. 1
WWE SVR 2010 Draft Pt. 2
WWE SVR 2010 Draft Pt. 3
WWE SVR 2010 Draft Pt. 4

What are your thoughts about this? Keep in mind, this is merely something I thought of, and in no way represents how the Arnold committee will reveal the participants.

Another IFBB Pro in Wrestling?!

Apparently Zivile Raudoniene isn't the only IFBB pro competitor looking to be a part of the wrestling business. From what I've gather through various wrestling news websites, it looks like IFBB Pro Bikini competitor Kristal Lashley (formerly Kristal Marshall) will be returning to her wrestling roots, only this time joining the TNA roster.

(TNA's Newest Knockout?)

She was part of Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (TNA)'s biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound for Glory this past weekend, when her husband MMA Star "The Boss" Bobby Lashley took on and defeated Samoa Joe. She was also on last night's TNA iMPACT broadcast during the Matt Morgan vs Scott Steiner match. She is set to become a permanent character in the weeks to come, possibly being the manager of her husband.

So now, both major wrestling companies have an IFBB competitor a piece, one being a top figure champion and one that could make history in the pro bikini division. It will be interesting to see how this could affect the divisions in terms of marketing, promotion, and exposure, not to mention the ladies themselves. Best of luck to both of them in their respective compaines!! :)

Update on Sue Upson

A couple of days ago, Sue Upson went into surgery to remove a brain tumor. I'm happy to report that the tumor was removed from the brain entirely and successfully. The surgury took about 10 hours long, according to Sue's husband, who posted a detailed update on Siouxcountry. Thank God she's fine now. However, now it's time for the recovery process, so don't stop with the prayers. Keep them coming! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Please Pray for Sue Upson

Today, one of the newest IFBB pros, Sue Upson, is having surgery to remove a tumor in her brain. The surgery will be a 6hr surgery, and recovery time will be 6-8 weeks. She shared her discovery first on Siouxcountry.

(Picture from North Carolina Official NPC Site)

From The FitGems Nation, and beyond, we with you a safe surgery and recovery, Sue!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2010 IFBB Schedule of Events

Today, the IFBB released the 2010 Schedule of Events. Here's how the events will go down as far as numbers are concerned.

  • Women's Bodybuilding will have 6 contests
  • Fitness will have 7 contests
  • Figure will have 15 contests
  • The new pro bikini division will have 6 contests for its inaugural year

Women's Bodybuilding, Figure, and Fitness will begin 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona at the new Phoenix Pro-Am show. It was mentioned that the new IFBB Pro Bikini division will start at the Arnold Classic, but according to, the debut will take place a few weeks after the Arnold, at the Max Muscle Pro Bikini Show on March 27 in Culver City, California. Also, there's no Bikini Olympia...yet. That might very well change, but we'll see. I fully expect a Bikini International AND Bikini Olympia in 2011, without question.Also, expect the number of events for ALL divisions to possibly change, as there could be some contests added or cancelled at a moment's notice.

Time to plan for the new year! Have fun! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Song of the Week-Skillet "Monster"

I HIGHLY recommend you to have this song as a workout track, especially during a hellacious workout! SKILLET!!!!!!!

Yes, some of you might recognize this song from WWE Hell in a Cell PPV and the new Smackdown vs Raw 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Song of the Week-Drake feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem "Forever (Remix)"

This song might be one of the craziest remixes I've heard in quite some time. I'm obsessed with this song! :-)

Next month, every Song of the Week will be chosen by YOU! I already have one suggestion thus far. If you have any suggestions for Song of the Week, leave a comment below, twit your suggestions to me (, or email your suggestion to me at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Song of the Week-Halestorm "I Get Off"

Dang it! Almost forget the song of the week this week. It's by a up-and-coming rock group called Halestorm with the song "I Get Off". Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if this song were to end up in a WWE event soon.

Trust me, I've got some CRAZY songs of the week for October! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Poll Results and New Poll For October

Thanks to everyone that voted on the September Poll of the Month. I asked the question: If it were up to you, where would you host the Olympia? 73% of you chose to hold it at a different city each year, 26% said to hold it in Madison Square Garden, and not a single one of you chose to keep it in Las Vegas. WOW...didn't see that coming!

This month's question is: With the elimination of the 45 second mandatories and one-piece swimsuit round, will this help or hurt the fitness division? Your choices are
  • Help the division
  • Hurt the division
  • Too early to tell right now

Have a great October, everyone!

Zivile/WWE Update

Remember how I mentioned that the 2008 Figure International Champion Zivile Raudoniene was possibly heading to the WWE, hence skipping out on competing in the Figure Olympia? Well, if you don't, click here to revist what I wrote about it. Apparently, things are now moving forward in her quest in possibly becoming a WWE Diva. RxMuscle's Dave Palumbo and John Romano caught up with Zivile over the weekend and informed them on her progress and transition from the figure stage to the squared circle.

Click on the picture below to go to the video:

Judging by the video alone, I personally think she would make a great WWE Diva. I thought it was interesting for her to say that she was one of the bigger girls in the Flordia Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory. Interesting as she is one of the smaller girls in figure. Like any wrestling personality (or in her case, wrestling personality-to-be), there were going to be some "mock wrestling holds." And she mentioned that her delivery of speech is improving, which is a must in WWE, as they are very big on promos.

I won't mention much else, as I'll let you view the video for herself, but from what I gathered from it, Zivile could very well be a great asset to the WWE family. She's got the look, the personality, and she's eagar to learn. I'm just hoping her wrestling skills are up to par and decent when and if she goes on TV. Today's fans (especially those internet marks, smarks, and critics that THINK they know everything about the business and it revolved around THEM because THEY say so) are more crucial to a female wrestler's skills now more than ever before. I mean, they don't mind mention that this woman is hot, but at the same time, they won't hesitate for a second to say that she doesn't belong in the wrestling world. I believe that if Zivile wants it bad enough, she will make something out herself in the WWE. And when that is realized and the WWE and fans get that Zivile is for real, the sky's the limit for this future blonde superstar.

As things progress with Zivile and WWE, I'll try to keep you posted as much as I can. Good luck Zivile. The FitGems Nation supports you all the way!!! :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2010 FitGems Sponsorship

It's been a long time coming, but FINALLY, all the pieces are put together. FitGems is proud to announce that in 2010, we will be sponsoring someone for the 2010 season! Believe it or not, I understand how hard it is to compete, with the purchasing of suits, tickets, hotel rooms, etc. Yep, it's more to it than training day in and day out. You have to take care of your business getting to the stage, before you take care of your business ON the stage.

This sponsorship will take care of most or all of your expenses for the contest of your choice (depending on how much money is raised) Depending on how big the fund gets, more than one sponsorship award may be given away next year. The FitGems sponsorship will be awarded during Arnold Weekend 2010 to a deserving individual chosen by a secret panel. To be fair, I will NOT be on the panel.


1. Participants must be a member of the site by no later than January 31, 2010 to be eligible for the sponsorship. Once you join the site, either send me a PM (private message) or leave a comment on my page saying that you are submitting your name into the competition. When I reply to you via PM, you are officially entered into the contest.

2. The competition the participants are competing in sometime within the 2010 season, between the Arnold 2010 and Olympia 2010.

3. Participants can be either pro or amateur competitors, and they can compete in any division and any federation. This is not limited to just IFBB and/or NPC competitors.
4. Participants must provide a MINIMUM of an introduction Journal Entry, (which can be posted on the blogs), and at least two more entries, chronicling their contest journey. for a total of three entries that the participants MUST have for the contest. The winner will then need to post a blog entry on the final week before the contest, and a Aftershow blog entry. All particiants are more than welcome to do so, but the winner HAS to do this.
5. Participants are encourage to be as active over the entire site as they can, whether it be to post content, engage in various discussions,invite members to check out FitGems Nation, etc.
6. The winner will be awarded via PayPal. If there are other parts to the sponsorship that need to be awarded to the winner, it will be mailed on Arnold Weekend, and the winner should receive their other winnings (hopefully) no later then 4-6 weeks after the contest has ended.

The fund as of September 27th, 2009 is at $151 USD (United States Dollars), begun by Carl Burkins (dallas3 on FitGems, and various boards) and myself. If you would like to contribute to the FitGems Sponsorship Fund, click on the donate button on the right side of the blog. If you have any questions about the sponsorship and how your site/company/organization can get involved, email me at and put FitGems Sponsorship on the subject line of your email. Donations (money, photoshoots opportunities, products, etc.) will be accepted until February 28, 2010.
Thank you in advance for participating in the first of hopefully many sponsorship opportunities from the FitGems Nation!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Song of the Week-Queen "We Are the Champions"

This Song of the Week is dedicated to every competitor that stepped on the Olympia stage this past weekend. Regardless of your placing, you made it on the biggest stage of them all.

No time for losers, cause YOU are the champions....OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My 2009 Olympia Predictions

We are mere hours away from the start of prejugding, and all the women (Fitness, Figure, Ms. Olympia) will be performing today, with the Fitness Olympia and Ms. Olympia finals being tonight. I'm about as lost as a needle in a haystack when it comes to predictions, but I'll post them anyways:

Ms. Olympia

1. Iris Kyle
2. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
3. Heather Armbrust
4. Betty Adkins
5. Dayana Cadeau
6. Lisa Aukland

Fitness Olympia

1. Adela Garcia
2. Tracey Greenwood
3. Julie Palmer
4. Tina Durkin
5. Shannon Meteraud
6. Trish Warren

Figure Olympia

1. Gina Aliotti
2. Jenny Lynn
3. Heather Mae French
4. Kristal Richardson
5. Jessica Putnam
6. Felicia Romero

I would absoultely flip out if I had one of the categories right. Don't see it happening though, but we'll shall soon see. Best of luck to everyone this weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is it worth it?


Today I was planning on having this FitChat dedicated to the Olympia. I had the format down, and sent word about it to several people over the last few days, as early as last week to be honest with you. Apparently, this turned into that, and well..due to multiple circumstances, The Olympia FitChat was stopped and will not be rescheduled. But I'm not writing this blog piece mainly because of the failure of the FitChat (I can live with that), but more on the lines of something I've realize lately.

I'm beginning to think I'm not well-liked, even hated...and I don't understand why.

I've done what I can with the limited resouces I have to help make this sport better. I've been a fan ever since middle school (I'm a college graduate student now, so do the math). I've seen the sport evolve so much since then. Yet it seems like, I feel as of lately, there's a circle, and I'm not part of the loop. I try to get involved however I can, whether it's giving out money that I needed (not wanted) for myself to help with a sponsorship (I've done it twice), give money to a mother who's providing an example for not only her fellow competitors but all mothers out there (done that this year, will do it again next year), give those that ask me advice for bettering themselves or a fellow competitor (recently done that)... Okay, I think you get the point.

I'm hoping I'm not coming across as a baby, but I'm...I'm just really confused as to what I'm doing wrong that I feel like I'm a hated individual. Is it because I'm black? No, doubt it, as I know of several supporters who are my color and they are respected individuals. Is it because I don't look like a bodybuilder. No, doubt it's that either, as there are those that are no where NEAR the bodybuilder-type look and they are respected individuals. It is my age? Well...I DO think my age is a part of why people might not like me. See, being a 22-year-old competitor is different from being a 22 year-old fan/supporter. The competitor is viewed as the future of the sport, with limitless potential, while the fan/supporter is more likely viewed as a creep. Young boys/men have that stereotype on them, like all black people listen and like rap. Trust me, not all of them don't. Some like a good country song. :)

All I'm saying to all of you is if I'm doing something wrong, if I'm coming across as something uncomfortable, let me know. I know this may sound crazy, but I'm not an awful human being. I care for and respect the sport of female muscle and want to see if flourish. I want to one day be a voice that leads the next generation of message board leaders, contest promoters, website designers, fans/supporters, etc.

So yes, I do feel like I have a hate target on me by a few, I feel at times that all my work means nothing. So it worth it?

You bet it does...

Monday, September 21, 2009

2009 Olympia FitChat Reminder

Just a reminder that TOMORROW AFTERNOON, FitGems will be hosting an Olympia FitChat at Noon Eastern/11 Central. This chat is to get everyone amped up for what is looking to be an historic event. Look for the event to last about an hour to an hour and a half, two hours at the most, as I know most of you have others things to do.

So what will be discuss? Here's a general look at what will be brought up:

  • Breakdown of every female competitor in each division
  • Favorites for Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia, and Figure Olympia
  • Who could be "dark horses" in each division
  • Possiblities of hosting the Olympia in a different location
  • The possiblity of recording the Olympia with HD technology
  • Whether or not the Olympia should be broadcasted on PPV or a TV network in the future, and much more.
I can't make any promised, but I'm hoping to have someone from the Olympia past and present as a special guest on the FitChat.

Any questions about the Olympia that we can ask during the FitChat, please email me at

Here's the link to the Olympia FitChat
    Spread the word around, and I'll (hopefully) see you on the FitChat tomorrow afternoon at 12PM Eastern/11 AM Central! :)

    Song of the Week-John Cena "The Time is Now"

    In a mere few days, one man (Ms. Olympia) and three women (Ms. Olympia, Figure Olympia, Fitness Olympia) will say...THE CHAMP IS HEERRRRRRRRRRREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your time is up, my time is now
    You can't see me, my time is now
    It's the franchise, boy I'm shinin' now
    You can't see me, my time is now!

    Whose franchise will be shining this weekend?!

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    The 2009 Olympia is set!

    For those that are unsure about who's competing, here's the FINAL list of competitors from the biggest event of the year:

    Ms. Olympia
    Iris Floyd Kyle (defending champion)
    Betty Adkins
    Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
    Lisa Aukland
    Dayana Cadeau
    Debi Laszewski
    Heather Armbrust
    Betty Pariso
    Rosemary Jennings
    Gale Frankie
    Tina Chandler
    Nicole Ball
    Kristy Hawkins

    Fitness Olympia
    Tracey Greenwood
    Julie Palmer
    Tanji Johnson
    Regaine Da Silva
    Tina Durkin
    Shannon Meteraud
    Trish Warren
    Mindi O'Brien
    Myriam Capes
    Adela Garcia
    Nicole Duncan
    Bethany Wagner

    Figure Olympia
    Gina Aliotti
    Jenny Lynn
    Sonia Gonzales
    Brenda Smith
    Teresa Anthony
    Huong Arcinas
    April Roundtree
    Felicia Romero
    Monica Brant
    Kristal Richardson
    Nicole Wilkins-Lee
    Heather Mae French
    Kristi Tauti
    Jessica Putnam
    Erin Stern
    Krissy Chin
    Meriza DeGuzman
    Amy Fry
    Patricia Mello
    Larissa Reis
    Alicia Harris
    Sherlyn Roy

    Who will make history and become a legend this weekend? We shall soon see, won't we!?

    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Follow HDPhysiques on Twitter!

    Yep, HDPhysiques is now in the Twitter universe!

    For everything up-to-date on everything that's a part of the HDP world (,, and the official blog, as well as exclusive content and sneak peaks of upcoming HDP models for Twitter followers only), follow them here: Relaunched...Whole new look!!!

    For those that are unaware, I take part in more message boards and sites about female muscle than I dare to even talk about right now. One of my favorites is It was a social network site, like FitGems Nation, created using Ning in order to help support the sport of female muscle. Mark, the founder of, was very influential in molding what my site is today, and I thank him for that.

    The site was down for a while to make changes to better suit the female muscle community. I'm happy to say that the site is back, and it's better than ever! now has an forum, gallery, video section (coming soon), calender of events, and tons more materia exclusive to membersl. I highly recommend you check out the site when you get the chance. It's run by a great person who believes in the sport and wants it to flourish.

    Here's the link to the NEW

    Hope you enjoy it! :)

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Olympia FitChat set for Next Tuesday

    I'm aware that many people will be boarding the planes or driving to Viva Las Vegas probably Tuesday night or sometime Wednsday (depending on your location), so next Tuesday, FitGems will be hosting an Olympia FitChat at Noon Eastern/11 Central. For those that were part of the FitGems Q and A Chat last month, it will be similar to that, but this time, it's strickly Olympia talk. We'll discuss topics such as:

    • Breakdown of every female competitor in each division
    • Favorites for Ms. Olympia, Fitness Olympia, and Figure Olympia
    • Who could be "dark horses"
    • Hosting the Olympia in a different location
    • The possiblity of recording the Olympia with HD technology
    • Whether the Olympia should be broadcasted on PPV or a TV network
    • And more...
    I'm in the process of talking to a few past Olympia competitors, and hoping they will join us as special guests.

    Any questions about the Olympia that we can ask during the FitChat, please email me at

    Here's the link to the Olympia FitChat:

    Hope to see many of you on the FitChat next week!

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Song of the Week-Taylor Swift "You're Not Sorry"

    I'm not gonna front, I chose this song as a big old "F*CK YOU" to the little boy by the name of Kanye West. Taylor Swift, you are awesome, and Beyonce, you're a class act. I'm now an eternal fan of yours.

    And for you, Kanye...this is for you:

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    2009 Olympia Webcast

    You probably know this by now, but the Olympia will be shown this year via webcast. I've already done this, but for those that won't be in Vegas, bookmark the following link and tune in on Friday for the Fitness and Ms. Olympia Finals, and the Mr. Olympia Prejudging. Saturday night will be the Figure and Mr. Olympia finals.

    I haven't made up my mind yet about hosting a live chat DURING the Olympia, but if I do, I'll let you all know. If that happens, as opposed to having the chat on the official website, it will be held on the blog.

    In my honest opinion, if I could recommend one website to go to for great live coverage, it would be Siouxcountry, hands down. Their coverage of the North Americans was arguably the BEST coverage of an event I've ever witnessed. I seriously felt like I was there myself. It was that good.

    To think we were months away from the Olympia, now we're merely two weeks away. It's insane! :)

    FitGems Olympia Interview: Meriza DeGuzman

    One of the smallest yet most complete figure competitors out there today, Meriza DeGuzman will be entering her second Olympia contest after competing in her first one in 2007. With her recent top five placings this year, not to mention Jenn Gates (current Figure Olympia champion) and Zivile Raudoniene (current Figure International champion) are not in the show, there will be a new Figure Olympia champion crowned, as well as a different look in the top six. Meriza took time from her extremely busy schedule to do this interview for FitGems, and I thank her for that.

    All pictures belong to their respective sites and/or companies.

    FitGems: State your name and profession (fitness/figure/female bodybuilding/bikini/other).
    Meriza DeGuzman: Meriza B Deguzman IFBB Figure Pro
    FitGems: How many years have you competed?
    Meriza: 2 years amateur NPC figure and 2 years Pro IFBB figure
    FitGems: I’ve heard from a particular favorite site of mine and yours (
    Siouxcountry) that for your size, you can lift some crazy weight around. May you share with us how strong you really are?
    Meriza: Although I have not trained this way lately, last year I squatted pretty heavy to build more shape to my legs. I have front-squatted 225lbs for 10 reps and I have been known to lunge the parking lot here at World gym with a 100lb bar on my back! Lol! One-arm dumbbell rows with 80lbs 15 reps used to be easy for me…
    FitGems: What are the advantages/disadvantages of competing at your height?
    Meriza: Honestly, I have always thought being a shorter competitor in the PRO ranks sucks! Lol! I stand out like the sore thumb besides Erin Stern! Standing alone, I believe I have pretty good flowing lines, shape and symmetry, but standing right beside a taller competitor that has longer lines, can make me look more muscular…which has always been my downfall since I love having a bit more muscle on me! Advantage? Shorter competitors are cuter on stage! Lol! Just like female shoes in a department store, they always have size 6 on display not size 10! Lol!
    FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about your profession?
    Meriza: If you are referring to my figure profession, I would love to see a little bit more muscle and conditioning on stage…I believe that women can be strong- looking and still look sexy and feminine, if they are careful with their development…regarding my other profession, I am a professional fitness trainer/coach and I LOVE what I do with a passion! I LOVE to see all my clients evolve into healthier, sexier, more confident women! And that is such a great feeling!

    FitGems: With the addition of the bikini division, what do you see will happen with the evolution of figure, which is to many still an unsolved puzzle in terms of consistency within the NPC and IFBB?
    Meriza: Hopefully the introduction of bikini will allow figure athletes to get back to training again…I know both myself and I know a bunch of other figure athletes that have downsized their training time because of being too muscular.
    FitGems: Who do you look up to the most for your inspiration, whether competing or in life in general?
    Meriza: Inspirational people in my life: 1: Peter Ciccone ( National Level NPC BB) my fiance’ he always inspires me to work harder in life…2: my daughter Alexis ( 13 years now) for inspiring me to be a better mom and to live my life by example; 3: all my clients that inspire me to be a better role model for them!
    FitGems: For those that just don’t see figure in the same league in respect and dedication as fitness and women’s bodybuilding, what would you say to them to try and change their mind…or at the very least, let them see it from your prospective?
    Meriza: I know that the other girls may think we “just stand there” when we are being judged, or say that we “don’t really do anything.” The truth is, Figure may be even tougher than the other two sports in the sense that in Figure, we don’t have a posing routine to present, or mandatory poses to show to the judges. With Fitness, the routine is a huge part of your overall score. In bodybuilding, the women can tweak their poses to best suit their structure and development. But, in Figure, you have NOTHING to present except your body. You present your physique and the way that you have shaped and tightened it after months or years of hard work - using the same tools as these other athletes – months and months of cardio, careful weight training and meticulous nutrition. We have very limited variation to our posing and presentation – which I believe makes Figure just as challenging, or even possibly harder in some ways, than Bodybuilding or Fitness.
    FitGems: If there was any celebrity that would be a perfect fit in female physique competition, if giving time to be able to condition themselves? Along those lines, what division could you see her competing in?
    Meriza:Jessica Simpson! Definitely bikini! Fergie has a great body. She could do Figure, I think, in about 2 years tops!
    FitGems: The Figure Olympia is looking to be a very competitive one, with Jenny Lynn coming back in form, and Jennifer Gates and Zivile Raudoniene out of the show. What do you expect coming out of this year’s event for you personally?
    Meriza: For any one of us stepping on that O stage, everyone wants to be #1! Lol! But realistically, I am praying for TOP 10! I did not place at the 2007 Olympia (it was only my 2nd Pro show)…I was just happy to be there. But this time my goal is to make at least TOP 10!

    (Meriza @ 2007 Olympia)

    FitGems: What are you doing differently now to prepare for the show than what you’ve did in your first Olympia show in 2007?
    Meriza: For 2008, I put on size and muscle that did not do well for me! Lol! So for 2009, I had to really finesse my training to refine my body…and thankfully, it seems like the judges like it better! Lol! So for 2009 Olympia, I am planning to be on my A game and to have longer lines but still curvy. I plan on still have great conditioning! I can’t be on stage looking “chunky”! loll!
    FitGems: What’s your goal for this year’s event?
    Meriza: see # 10 answer! (go two questions up from this question, and that's your answer)
    FitGems: If you could improve the Olympia in any aspect, what would you do and why?
    Meriza: Better venue/host hotel! Orleans too smoky for me! Microwave and refrigerator in the rooms…
    FitGems: What are your future plans in this industry, short-term and long-term?
    Meriza: I am currently working with my sponsor MAN Sports…we’ve got some really exciting projects coming out in 2010 - I will make sure to keep you in the loop! I plan on growing my FIGURE posing and presentation clinics…we scheduled 6 full clinics this year, and so far, they have been e a huge success! We plan on running at least as many next year. I will continue competing as long as my body will allow! Lol!
    FitGems: Do you have any final words for your fans before you compete in the 2009 Figure Olympia?
    Meriza: Thanks for all the support, thanks for all the positive energy and love! And mostly, thank you for believing in me! xoxoxoxoxoxo

    For more on Meriza, visit her website at

    September 11, 2001...Eight Years Ago

    We will never forget...

    United we stand...united we survive...united we will live on.

    May God Bless America, and may He bless the world as well.

    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    FitGems Olympia Interview: Trish Warren

    Trish Warren, aka the Black Mamba is among the top stars in IFBB fitness today. Last year, she made her Olympia debut and placed in the top ten. With the major shake-ups going on in the fitness division, Trish is looking to be a part of the elite stars in IFBB fitness. The Black Mamba was gracious enough to take some time out of her Olympia prep to do this interview.

    ALL pictures were provided by Trish herself. Click on the pictures to view them in their original size.

    State your name and profession (fitness/figure/female bodybuilding/bikini/other).
    Trish Warren: IFBB Fitness Pro Trish Warren

    FitGems: How many years have you competed?
    Trish: This is my 10th year. My first show was May of 1999
    FitGems: You and 2-time Figure Olympia Champion Jenny Lynn have become quite the Dynamic Duo. How did this partnership began, and how has this both affected your performances on stage and training routines for competitions?
    Trish: Jenny and I met at the Olympia last year, and hit it off. She moved to Texas for a new beginning after placing fourth last year. I have always trained intense and this is what she needed to get her title back. From there we came up with idea to promote camps, and have our own exclusive clothing line “The Heaven Sent” Collection. It has been a great venture for me because I now have a dedicated business and training partner.

    FitGems:I don’t know if you train for strength, but if you could, may you share with FitGems some of your best lifts in the gym?
    Trish: Squat – 300 lbs for a set of 6
    Deadlift- 275 lbs for a set of 4
    These are the only 2 that I have gone super heavy on
    FitGems: What (if anything) would you change about your profession?
    Trish:MORE MONEY, I think every competitor should walk away with something if you make it to the Olympia Stage!
    FitGems: Your physique is absolutely amazing, and personally, I think you have the ideal fitness physique. That being said (this may be a tough question to answer) what do you think represents the ideal fitness competitor, as far as physique and routines are concerned.
    Trish: Thank you for the Awesome compliment! I think you need to have a perfect balance of beauty, conditioning, and symmetry, without being too hard for the physique rounds. For the routines you need a clean and crisp 45second routine where all your mandatory strength, and flexibility moves are solid! Seal the deal with a fun and entertaining 2-minute where the crowd remembers your routine! I think I have accomplished all of this for the Olympia!
    FitGems:I know you and Branch are SUPER BUSY when you are not competing. What is it that you both do, and how are you able to balance that and training for competitions?
    Trish: We own and operate a logistics company “Maximum Logistics,” where we forward freight for our customers all over the world. We travel almost every weekend for guest appearances! Branch is filming a couple TV shows to total 26 episodes. We host camps, the NPC Branch Warren Classic, and our own clothing lines! Of course you can’t forget we both compete! Now on top of all of this our 14 yr. old nephew moved in with us so now we have football, school work, and parental responsibilities! It is a very challenging lifestyle, but not so much that we can’t handle it all! I just thank God everyday for the drive and determination he has given both of us! We work very well together and one day will be sitting in our rocking chairs on our large front porch watching our grandchildren play! That’s our motivation!

    (Branch and Trish at the NPC Muscular Development and Muscle Tech Branch Warren Classic)

    FitGems: With talent such as Ariel Kadar and Victoria Larvie (teenage superstars) emerging as the future of this sport, do you think a fitness boom will occur soon?
    Trish: I hope so, fitness at the NPC level is dying! It’s always nice to see new faces and keep fitness alive!
    FitGems: If there was any celebrity that would be a perfect fit in female physique competition, if giving time to be able to condition themselves? Along those lines, what division could you see her competing in?
    Trish: I think Fergie would make a great Fitness competitor!

    FitGems: You’re competing in your 2nd Olympia. With Kim Scheideler and Jenny Hendershott not in the show, what are your expectations heading into this event? Trish: It’s pretty clear that there’s going to be a new look in the top six.
    Trish: I pray that I am one of the lucky top 6! I have taken an aggressive approach to training for this year’s Olympia and hope and pray it all pays off for me!
    FitGems: What are you doing differently now to prepare for the show than what you’ve did in your first Olympia show last year?
    Trish: I began training for this show right after I placed 2nd at the NY Pro. I knew that I needed new powerful routines so I hired Jenny Hendershott and Lisha Dean to help me come up with a great 2- minute! I worked with Dr. Mike Feulner throughout my off-season something that I have never done before, and he has my physique the absolute best it has ever been!
    FitGems: What’s your goal for the Fitness Olympia (as if I don’t already know…LOL) ?
    Trish: I would love to Win, but would be satisfied with top 5
    FitGems:If you could improve the Olympia in any aspect, what would you do and why?
    Trish: To give all the athletes a pay check. After all, it is the Super Bowl of the IFBB and we are all pros! Have the expo and finals in one location, so we aren’t all running around like chickens with our heads cut off to make it to pre-judging.
    FitGems: What are your future plans in this industry, short-term and long-term?
    Trish: Short term- To become one of the top 5 in the industry
    Long term- To win the Olympia, and make a name for myself so I can continue to grow my camps, clothing line, and our NPC show!
    FitGems:Do you have any final words for your fans before you compete in the 2009 Fitness Olympia?
    Trish: Thanks for interviewing me, God Bless you all and see you in 2 weeks!

    Oh yeah Don’t forget about the Rock Star Fitness Camp Oct. 10 near DFW. For more information please contact Jenny Lynn or myself at or