Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FitGems FitMom winner to be featured on Sports After Dark on May 10!

This year's FitGems FitMom winner is getting a little something extra to add to the money she will earn. In addition to winning $200 to spend as she sees fit to, the winner of the 2010 FitGems FitMom contest will be a special guest on Siouxcountry's Sports After Dark on May 10, which will be dedicated to all the mothers in our industry!

I was approached by Eryn (who's a true sweetheart, by the way) about having the winner tell her story on the show on May 10, the day after Mothers Day. She told me that the show will take a slightly different turn from previous shows in the past, in honor of all the mothers out there in our industry. I also have it under good authority...that you will be joined by a very special guest. I won't reveal who it is, but my sources tell me that this person is a nice one and more than thrilled to be a part of this special edition of Sports After Dark.

So there you go. This year, not only do you have a chance to win some money, but you get to be a part of something special and share to the world why you are a FitMom! :)

Future of FitGems Nation's main site

I've been talking and chatting with Ning creators who pay premium services like I do. Apparently, I was under the impression that members would have to pay to join a Ning site. Apparently that's not the case. Ning will just stop providing their free service. This does NOT mean the only way to join a site is to pay. With that said, FitGems Nation, for now, will remain with the Ning service. I will keep the SocialGo website as an emergency back-up, so that will not go away.

However...with the changes in prices, I am asking for help. Ever since I began this in 2008, I've done this with my own money and will continue to use my money to keep FitGems Nation flowing. Some people have asked how they can become site sponsors. Everything you need to know about site sponsorship is on this link here:

Not only will will you give something, you GET a heck of a lot in return.

That's where things stand. If you would like to get in contact with me about helping to sponsor FitGems Nation, email me at

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Uncovering the Myths #1: Bikini Girls Don't Work Hard (by Lizzy Ostro)

Since being introduced to NPC, bikini has gotten a mixed reaction from all types of competitors and spectators.

First of all, many figure girls(not all of them) really look down at the bikini division. They think it is the "easy" way to compete and that it isn't a real sport. Alternatively, there are many girls that saw the bikini division open up and just think "oh I want to do that!!" These girls entered without really being into fitness. They had pretty good genetics and wanted to get on stage in a bikini and flaunt their asses around.(Hey, I'm just being honest.) The bikini "look" is a fit, toned body, that isn't as dried out as a figure girl. YES, you should have some muscle and YES you should be lean, but you just don't want to have as much muscle as the figure girls or be quite as lean. I truly think the division should be called fitness model, because bikini gives the impression that I am going to step on stage in a white t-shirt and have a hose spraying me while I pretend I just realized I forgot to rub all my lotion in and, what better time than now?

THESE are the girls that give the sport a bad rap. These are the girls that don't train much, and don't really follow the healthy lifestyle. They walk on stage and stick their boobs and ass out as far as possible, hoping to swoon the judges. No wonder there are so many haters on bikini! What really makes me angry is when these girls actually PLACE. But that topic is for another day....

I'm here to give you an inside view of a REAL bikini girl. The kind of bikini competitor that this division was made for. The girl that works her ASS off and lives the true fitness lifestyle. The girl that gives up drinking and makes sure to get her 8 hours of sleep per night. A girl that says no to happy hour because she has her 4 oz of chicken and broccoli waiting for her. Let me take you through the life of a real bikini competitor. There are MANY of them out there, but it's the one's who play a stripper on stage that ruin the name for everyone.

-The alarm clock goes off at 5:30AM. I don't have to be at work until noon, but it's time to start the day off right. I cook my egg whites and chow down on my oats. After all, I'm starving when I wake up. I throw on my work out clothes, check e-mail and head to the gym. It's time to train!!

-I get to the gym and hop on the treadmill to warm up a little bit. It's back day, so while I'm warming up, I imagine my workout and what exercises I'm going to do. I think about the rep count. Supersets today? Maybe drop sets? What about both? Sounds good to me.

After a 5-10 minute warm up, I glove up and get my head in the zone. I head to the Lat Pulldowns. I do a few warm up sets and then get to work. 10 reps. I can barely get the last two, but I groan and push through them. Drop the weight by a third and do 6-8 more reps. I'm already out of breath. A quick sip of water and I'm ready for cable rows. 4 sets of the super set and I'm ready for the next.

-After I finish, usually about an hour, it's time for cardio. I walk right past the elliptical and onto the stair mill. Set it up at level 9-10 and I'm ready to camp out for about 45 minutes. Ipod is doing it's job, and I'm pushing myself mentally. Mantras and quotes are buzzing through my head and I'm thinking about what I'm going to eat after my workout. More egg whites? Chicken? Lean ground turkey? What veggies do I want? Nuts or avocado?

-The rest of the day I just have to focus on nutrition. The workout is done and now I just have to make sure I eat at the right times and that I'm eating the right foods/amounts. For some, the workout is the hardest part. For others, like myself, the diet is the hardest part. I'm dieting down for a show, so I'm not eating for energy. I'm eating to get leaner. This equates to HUNGER. I do my best to combat the hunger. Extra veggies, lots of water, gum. If that doesn't work, I go through competitor pictures and imagine what I will look like come show time.

Before I know it, I'm leaving work and ready to go home to eat my last meal of the day, do more work and finally get to bed. It's Friday night and my friends are all going out tonight. Sometimes I might say yes, but I have an early workout tomorrow and I need my sleep. I turn them down, drink my protein shake and get ready for bed. It's 9pm, and this day is done. I am one day closer to my goals. "You can do this," I tell myself and slip into dreamland.

If I hear one more person tell me that a bikini girl doesn't work hard, I might just have to challenge them to a push up contest. I'm not someone that likes to argue with people, I'd rather just prove them wrong. I'm here to prove to all of you that think that REAL bikini girls don't work hard, that you are so very wrong. There are hundreds of bikini competitors just like me that work their butts off, and it's time that we are made known. After all, WE are who this division is about.

Let's keep it classy ladies, we've got a division to represent.

Uhh...Jillian?! Babies DON'T ruin bodies...Just ask OUR ladies! :)

I was going through the news on Yahoo like I usually do, and I came upon an article about some controversial comments made by Jillian Michaels. For those that don't know who I'm talking about (if you have a TV, how could you not?!), she's known as TV's Toughest Trainer for NBC's The Biggest Loser. The thing that made it controversial was the fact that she didn't want children because of what it would do to her body. I won't quote what she said; I'll let you look at the link for yourself.

Uhh...I will never know how having a baby will affect your figure (I'm male, for those that don't know), but I can say from some of my fitness friends that childhood is NOT the end of your body. You CAN get your figure back. Heck, some seem to thrive better AFTER having a child. There's a lot of examples out there, here's a few that come to mind.

IFBB Figure Pro Christine Pomponio-Pate became pregnant with her first child in 2007, and gave birth to Riley sometime after Christmas that year. Nearly two months later, she lost all of her baby weight (and btw, she didn't have much to lose thanks to her eating habits and workout routine...during labor.) She has went on to do big things, and will go on to even bigger things, if you've all been paying attention to the recent FitGems posts on Christine.

Last year's FitGems FitMom winner, Niki DelGrosso, is a mother of TRIPLETS and is competing her heart out even to this day of one day achieving her pro card.

And don't even get me started on Tanya Merryman and Jennifer Gates. Both women have children and have worked hard to hold top honors in their organizations. Tanya became the first mother to win the Fitness America overall title, and Jennifer became the first mother to win an Olympia championship (from ANY division). Yeah, to me, I think this is one of those times that I think Jillian MIGHT have put her foot in her mouth. For those wondering, this is NOT a diss at her whatsoever, just my own personal take on the matter.

So, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with what Jillian had to say? Sound off in the comments below.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FitGems is MOVING!

I have a MAJOR announcement regarding the future of the main FitGems site:

Ning is undergoing a big change, and one of those changes is that Ning will no longer be a free service. You can read it for yourself here:

Changes is coming to Ning, and I don't like it one bit, and I bet after reading that, you probably don't either. I could keep the site here and make you all pay just to use this, but that's not fair to any of you. I'm looking for sponsorships, but I'll be damned if I make any of you actually pay just to be a member here. Not gonna happen.

What I began to do yesterday is to transfer many of the things on this site to another site. I would highly recommend you to go to the new official website for FitGems Nation.

Ning has made it virtually impossible (as of this writing) to convert the material here to any new site, so I'm doing it manually. It will take some time to move everything. I plan to have a grand reopening of FitGems sometime this summer. If you have ANY questions, please email me as If you have people that would like to join FitGems Nation, tell them to join it at the link above, NOT (or at least not yet, anyways). Once everything is settled, I will let you know when the URL is linked up to the right site.

Again, my deepest apologize to anyone and everyone on the news. But, as the old saying goes...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And trust me, when this is all said and done, FitGems will be stronger than ever before; I guarantee it!

Everything else related to FitGems Nation (blog, MySpace, Facebook fan page, and Twitter) will still be up and running like normal. Once again, my apologizes to all of you here.


FitGems Nation
NEW main site:
Facebook Fan Page:!/pages/FitGems-Nation/172803974346?ref=ts
Ask FitGems Anything:
Save Women's Fitness Now Blog:
Save Women's Fitness Now Twitter:

Monday, April 19, 2010

FitGems Nation Facebook Fan Page...I GAVE IN!!! LOL

Yep, you read that correctly. I've finally broke down and gave in to the fan page movement. I've seen what a fan page has done to many of my friends and readers on here, so I was like, what the heck? I'll give it a try and see what happens.

Everything I do on the FitGems Nation blog and website will be updated on the fan page. That includes any updates from the HDPhysiques blog, as well as the Save Fitness Now blog. Of course, like the site itself, it's interactive, so feel free to begin discussions, post pictures, videos, etc. My fan page is your fan page. Me casa es su casa.

To join the fan page, go to!/pages/FitGems-Nation/172803974346?ref=ts.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Introducing FitGems Blog Contributer for Bikini...Lizzy Ostro!

FitGems Nation is thrilled to announced that Lizzy Ostro has joined the FitGems blog family as a blog contributor for the bikini division! Here's an introduction from Lizzy herself:

First I would like to say hello to all of the FitGems Nation fans!! I am so excited to be contributing to this website. I have a huge passion for all things fitness, and this website happens to be one of my favorites on that front.

So by now I’m sure you’re wondering, who am I? My name is Lizzy Ostro, some may know me as Fit Lizzio. I was born and raised in Arizona and although the summers can be brutal, I love this state.

Growing up, I was definitely a tom boy. Sports have always been a part of my life. I dabbled in volleyball, soccer, and basketball, but baseball (yes, baseball, not softball) and flag football were my favorites. I was always the only girl on the team for both sports, and the first practice of every season was always the same. I got weird looks from my teammates and their parents. “A girl?!?! What is she doing here?!?!” By the time the first practice was over, the questions were gone. I had proven to them that I wasn’t your typical girly girl and that I could keep up with the boys with no problem. From age 11-14 I was the quarterback for my flag football teams, and from age 11-16 I was the starting first basemen on my baseball teams. I played with the same baseball team for 3 of those years and we became a family. We travelled together, had pool parties, and practiced our hearts out. Baseball was our life and it gave me a lot of the qualities that I still carry with me to this day. Many people will say that baseball is a lazy sport, but that wasn’t the case for me. I took practices just as seriously as games, and put my heart and soul into the sport. At the age of 15, I started high school and tried out for our nationally ranked baseball team. I made first cuts and was finally released as the very last cut. The team just didn’t know what to do with a girl as far as locker rooms, and travelling. I had the talent, but politics beat me. For the 3 days of tryouts, I can honestly say that was the hardest I have ever worked in my life. I didn’t want them to think I couldn’t keep up with the boys, so my 5’2, 98 pounds frame did EVERYTHING that all of the high school boys did. This includes 30 diamond pushups that I vividly remember. Previously I had barely been able to perform 10 of them, but I wouldn’t let myself give up and to this day, I remember the feeling in my arms and body. The effort I put into those tryouts was purely my heart’s desire.

So what does any of this have to do with a fitness website?? Well it brings me to today. After quitting baseball, competing in high jump on my high school’s track team, and eventually giving up sports all together after high school, I found myself as a lazy person. Fast food was a twice daily occurrence, and I didn’t know what to do in the gym. I tried to go every once in a while my freshman year of college, but looking back, the workouts were ridiculous. Treating myself to Coldstone and sushi after my half-ass elliptical sessions also didn’t do much for me. ;-) Luckily I had a fast metabolism and I managed to stay skinny, but it was more of a “skinny-fat.”

In the summer of 2007, I walked into a studio called Lifts and met my first personal trainer, Bret Contreras(The Glute Guy.) Bret changed my life. His belief was that women can lift weights, and they can lift heavy. He taught me how to deadlift and squat and I had finally found my inner athlete again. I never missed a workout, and 3 years later, I am now a bikini competitor, healthy living coach and advocate, and working my way into the fitness modeling industry.

December 2008, I had been working out for over a year, but wasn’t eating quite right. I ate a lot of processed foods and my physique wasn’t looking the way I wanted it to despite the workouts that I put in. I decided that I wanted to compete and immediately began eating clean and in better proportions. July 2009, I competed in my first bikini competition and placed 2nd in my class. It qualified me for a national show, and made me fall in love with the sport. The things I gave up and the work that I put in was HARD. For 6 months I worked out 6-7 days a week, ate completely clean, and completely transformed my body. When I stepped on stage on July 18, 2009, I knew that all of my hard work was worth it. I have never had a happier feeling in my entire LIFE than I did on that day.

I’m excited to share my journey to the national stage with all of you. I spent my off season putting on some quality muscle, and am now shedding the winter weight to reveal my new physique. I am now 15 weeks away from my first national competition and excited to see the fruits of my labor!

I am going to show you all that the bikini division is NOT “easy.” The division gets a pretty bad reputation from both those who don’t take it seriously and also those who take it a little too far with their “stage presence”, making it look like a T&A show. The serious and dedicated bikini competitors work JUST as hard as the figure and bodybuilding girls and I am determined to prove that to those who doubt it.

Please feel free to comment and share your opinions! If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I will be sure to answer them all.

I hope you are all looking forward to her posts about the bikini division. For those with Twitter, you can follow her at Also visit her website at and her blog at You can also view her FitGems Nation profile page at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Site is Back Up!

Whoops! Forgot to mention that the main site ( is back up after getting rid of spammer files and keeping spam accounts from coming in.

Thank you all for being patient. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

2010 Post-Arnold Poll Results and New Poll for April 2010

Thank you to everyone that voted in the 2010 Post-Arnold polls. I asked "Do you agree with the placings" for each of the pro categories (Ms. International, Fitness International, Figure International)

For Ms. International, 55% said No, while 45% said Yes. For proof of voting, click here:

For Fitness International, an overwhelming 75% of you said NO, while 25% said Yes. To view the poll yourself, click here:

For Figure International, much like Fitness International, an overwhelming of you (71%) said no, while only 29% said Yes. To view proof of voting, click here:

While the voting is over, you can still post your comments on the links I provided you, or leave a comment below.

For this month, the poll is How do you feel about IFBB Pro Bikini, with its first couple of shows in the books? Your choices are:

  • I think it's a great addition to the IFBB
  • I need to see the rest of this year's shows to make an opinion
  • Just another T and A division for the IFBB

Results to be revealed at the end of the month.

Main Site Offline This Weekend

Hey everyone.

For the next 48 hours or so, the main FitGems Nation website will be offline for maintenance and spam checking. I kid you not, I've had to delete at least one spam account a day for the last week or so. I don't know how and why it started. Maybe having the site down for a couple of days will help things out.

The remaining parts of FitGems Nation (this blog, MySpace page, Facebook group, Twitter account) will be running.

So remember, you will NOT be able to access the main FitGems Nation website at all this weekend. Should all things go right, the site will be back up and running sometime late Monday afternoon. I apologize for any inconveniences this might have caused you.

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!