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 (http://twitter.com/fitgemsnation), email (admin@fitgemsnation.net), 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! :)

http://www.fitgemsnation.net/page/fitchat-2010-arnold-selection

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't...here'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
Siouxcountry
IFBB Pro
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.

http://www.fitgemsnation.net/page/fitchat-2009-year-in-review

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:

http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Julie_Bourassa_EFBBN/

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 admin@fitgemsnation.net. 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.




http://www.flexonline.com/ifbb_figure_gina_aliotti/news/1051

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 line...you 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 www.fitmomtv.com, 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
http://www.fitmomtv.com.

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?

NO...it'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 http://www.jennylynnfitness.com/.

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.

video

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.