Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sabrina Taylor, one of IFBB's Best-Kept Secrets?

It's no secret that there are those competitors who don't get the callouts many people feel they deserve, despite doing everything by the book, and changing things to appease to what the judges are looking for at that time. Like everything else, hardcore fans seem to support the ones the company/federation don't. I guess it's a rebel thing in people, I guess, to follow a different path. They develop somewhat of a "cult following". You're definitely seeing this a lot on message boards these days. Arguably the biggest following among the boards and those I've talked to is Juliana Malacarne (more about her in a future post. Stay tuned). Someone who's gaining some steam in that kind of following is that of IFBB athlete (big emphasis on ATHLETE) Sabrina Taylor.

Sabrina @ 2011 Pittsburgh Pro (Photo credit: FitnessRx)

Sabrina isn't your typical figure competitor. She got in gymnastics as the tender age of three. She did that for a while, and then joined the Air Force for a while. She competed in a few NABBA competitions before making the NPC/IFBB her home. She would win the overall Emerald Cup fitness title and shortly after that, she would win her first national show, the NPC USAs in Fitness, and win her pro card, making her part of the IFBB. She would compete in a few competition in 2005 before taking a hiatus from competition. In 2009, she returned to the IFBB in 2009, but this time as a figure competitor. Physique wise, she's one of the most respected among her peers, although the judges have told her that her conditioning (especially in the upper body) is a bit too much for today's figure. She has done her best to give the look that is desired these days, but for some reason or another, it isn't enough. When you have been in what she's done throughout her lifetime, it's kinda hard to get really soft when you have her kind of muscle maturity. It's a gift and a curse, like Spider-Man. There are those that would like to see Sabrina try her luck in IFBB women's physique next year. But for the moment, she is sticking with figure. In fact, her next show (as far as I know) will be on September 24-25 in India (yes, I said INDIA) during the Sheru Classic. She's also currently with ALR Industries, thanks to her boo, Louis Uridel, aka The Big Sexy (his words, not mine. I swear!! LOL. :-) )

When she's not competing herself, Sabrina's leading others into battle on the stage as coach of the Camp Pendleton bodybuilding and powerlifting teams, specifically Team Iron. To make a long story short somewhat, she's basically leads by example. Another reason Sabrina's not your typical run-of-the-mill figure competitor is that she's one INSANELY strong female. During her time in the Air Force, she competed in powerlifting events, setting a lot of records and winning many awards for her weight class. Obviously, she doesn't train like that anymore, but I've been told she is among the strongest figure competitors out there. If strength was a big part of figure competitions, she would be among the top of the heap, without question. Her strength goes beyond just the weight room, though, as shown in this clip from the 2011 Arnold Classic, as she needed to hang for 70 seconds at the US Marine booth. Not gonna spoil the video for you, but I think you will be mighty impressed with how well she does here:

Bottom line, with her unique combination of athleticism, beauty, muscularity, and strength, Sabrina is among the best talents IFBB has...but has yet to capitalize on it. Hopefully things will turn around, and Sabrina gets the respect from the federation she deserves. She's an amazing talent, and speaking on behalf of FitGems Nation, I think the best for her is yet to come in her career.

For more on Sabrina, visit her fan page at, and you can add her as a friend on Facebook under the name Ifbb pro Sabrina Taylor.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interview with Kimmie Morgan

Earlier this year, I highlighted Kimmie Morgan as a New Elite, as I felt she was going to be a big star soon. Fast forward to now, I'm more confident than ever that she's got a chance to shine and get that pro card with the new women's physique division shaping up. Perfect feminine curves and amazing muscularity are major reasons why she's quickly becoming a favorite. Don't be surprised if you hear more about her in the very near future.

All photos are from Kimmie herself and has given FitGems permission to use them in the interview

The first of hopefully MANY trophies for Kimmie.

FitGems Nation: Let’s kick this off by telling us a bit about yourself.
Kimmie Morgan: Hmmm…let’s see, I’m 34, been married to my hubby, Scott, 5 years and we have a kick ass 2 yr old little girl named Kennedy. I don’t take myself seriously; as a matter of fact, I don’t take anyone too seriously to be honest with ya. I’m a daddy’s girl and I’m hoping that my daughter is the exact opposite and that she can’t get enough of ME because I’m totally obsessed with her!

FitGems: When did you first start competing?
Kimmie: I should start out by saying that I’ve been training since I was 15 years old! That’s crazy, right? I did my first fitness show in my early 20’s and quickly realized that wasn’t for me. I didn’t compete again until 2010 in Figure. I did 4 shows last year.

FitGems: What is your strategy when you head to the gym? Is it mostly weight-training, mostly cardio, a balanced mixture of the two, or something else?
Kimmie: Well, last year I trained with weights at the beginning of the year but once the season started up I had to go strictly cardio and ply metrics. It was pretty miserable I have to say. I’m a “weights” kinda girl! I’m a shorty and I gained muscle pretty quickly which is why I had to put the weights down for Figure. But I’m all about the weights this season going into Physique.

FitGems: Due to your muscularity, has anyone mistaken you for being in something OTHER than physique competitions (MMA fighter, boxer, pro wrestler, track and field runner, etc?)
Kimmie: Funny! Yes, a pro wrestler! It’s pretty darn funny too….I like to roll with it though, ya know, take pictures with the fans, sign autographs…. HAHAHAHA! Pretend like I’m “somebody”. My husband is big and bald, so he often gets mistaken for Goldberg which makes it even more believable that we could actually be pro wrestlers.

Kimmie and Scott...WWE's next power couple. LOL. :)

FitGems: With women’s physique and figure now a part of the NPC and IFBB, do you feel that there’s now a division for every female who wants to compete?
Kimmie: Absolutely. I’m waiting on them to come out with a Toddlers division so that I can sign Kennedy up. Smile!

FitGems: Along those same lines, where do you personally see the direction of figure in the long haul? Do you think it will remain in a “soft” state where there are those that say that it’s dangerously close to drawing a line between figure and bikini, or do you see it going back to a somewhat harder look, like when Davana Medina was queen of figure during its birth?
Kimmie: It’ll be interesting to see if we’ll now be able to see a distinct difference between the divisions. This is just me, like I know anything, right? I would hope that bikini would soften up a little…”fit”. And Figure would be geared more towards an extremely athletic look which would allow Physique competitors to be more defined with a harder and leaner look. That’d leave Women Bodybuilders the ability to pack on the major mass. We’ll see what happens….

FitGems: If you weren’t a part of the female physique world, what would you be doing right now as your profession?
Kimmie: I’d have about 3 or 4 more kids, um, and that’d be AFTER I won the lottery, of course. I’d also take up competitive eating. I’m not really into hotdogs but I can throw down in a fried pickles eating contest!

FitGems: Which competitor (past or present) do you look up to the most for your inspiration?
Kimmie: Here’s a flashback: Lenda Murray, Cathy LeFrancois, Laurie Donnelly, Laura Mak, and Monica Brant were the first women I was inspired by. I can remember reading about them in the bodybuilding magazines back in the day. I remember thinking I could never look like them, be like them, or do what they do. After all, I was 1 of only 3 chicks working out at Dino’s Gym in Warner Robins, Ga. back then. I mean, I didn’t know that girls could look like that! Now-a-days, I’m amazed by Ava (Cowan), Trish (Warren) and, as always, Monica (Brant) is the JAM!

FitGems: What are your future plans heading into 2011 and beyond, and where do you see your career after you’re done competing?
Kimmie: Hmm. Well, let’s see, I’d like to NOT place dead last in my class in 2011….HAHAHA! I joke! I LOVE this sport and I can’t imagine not being involved somewhere in the industry. We’ll see.

I believe she will be making her Women's Physique debut at the North Americans later on this year, if I'm not mistaken from the last time I talked to her. We at FitGems Nation wish her nothing but the best of luck to her! If you want to add her on Facebook, she is under the name Kimmie Cooper Morgan. 

Women's Physique...are you ready for Kimmie?!

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 Jr. Nationals Figure...We Are All Witnesses

A truly historic moment in our sport. (Photo credit: RxMuscle)

Date: Saturday June 18, 2011
Place: Chicago, Illinois

The title said it all, we are all witnesses. On this night in the Windy City, the unheard-of took place at the Jr. Nationals, six women won their figure classes and four of them became pros. Although that was a great moment in itself (winning your class and joining the pro ranks), it's WHO won them that made it special. All six figure winners were of African-American decent. NEVER in the history of this sport have anything like this took place. SIX black women out-shined every other competitor to win their classes, and four of them would become IFBB Pros.  Those six women are Gloria Keplinger (Class A), Vicki Counts (Class B), Tambra Johnson (Class C), Candice Lewis (Class D and overall champion), Chaya Boone (Class E) and Tiffany Archer (Class F)! They will forever be known as the First Black Ladies Class of NPC/IFBB. And isn't it a bit ironic that this took place at the hometown of the current United States President (who is also a man of color, the first in U.S. history to hold the office)?

I witnessed this historic moment of the figure ladies being crowned on Siouxcountry, and the reaction blew me away. The positive vibes and overjoy of many members was truly unbelievable. And reading the comments and even typing this blog post, as a man of color himself, I couldn't help but shed tears over this amazing news. We as a people have come a long way, and the Jr. Nationals was a prime example of that.

If you were to have told me that this would happen, you would have been called crazy by yours truly.I'm no history buff and I'm no racist person by any means, but it seems like one group of individuals seem to get everything and it makes it hard on everyone else. If we were all meant to be the same, God would have made us all the same. But did he? NO! He made us all different, and I'm glad He did. Besides if everyone was exactly the same, life would be a bit boring, don't ya think?

These wins the ladies earned this past weekend are bigger than most realized, because it's showing that diversity is a GOOD thing. I wish we were at the point where race didn't matter, but sadly, we're far away from that. I'll admit, things have gotten a bit better over time, but we're far from that point, but we're getting closer and closer to that promise land. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by their character." While there are still those that judged from the outside rather than the inside (that's in life in general), it was evident that the figure winners at the Jr. Nationals were judged based on the outside AND inside.  Here's hoping their careers in the IFBB will go far.

Make no mistake, this was not a victory for ONLY black competitors, nor was it a just a historic moment for figure in general, or just an historic moment for the NPC and IFBB, but it was an important moment in American history, showing the aspiring competitors that you CAN accomplish your dreams despite the obstacles society throws at you. Throw it back at them with success. These six ladies did it, and this will hopefully inspire others who have doubted themselves (regardless of color) to take adversity head-on and thrive. On behalf of FitGems Nation and every single competitor that's ever stepped on stage, you gave a lot of us reason to believe again. Thanks for just stepping on stage and proving that you CAN make a difference. All you gotta go is make that first step, and the rest will follow. Gloria, Vicki, Tiffany, and Candice Lewis, welcome to the IFBB, ladies! You've earned it. Tambra and Chaya, your time is coming! Grab that pro card!.

To ALL six of you, and everyone reading this blog, keep on reaching for the stars. Move all obstacles out of your way, and shatter any glass ceilings you come across. I'll leave you with this quote from Arthur C.Clarke, "He only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fit Model TV: The Fitness Model Media Blog

There are sites all around that support the female competitors in terms of competition, sponsorships, financial advice, etc. But there are VERY few sites that have to do with the modeling side of the industry. For many, modeling is a major part of their career.

New blog Fit Model TV, created by dallas3, hopes to spread the news about fitness photographers and fitness models, as well as when competitors do modeling as well. Already, the blog has featured work from photographers such as David Ford, Isaac Hinds, Marc Thyssen, and more, along with videos and photos of models/competitors such as Monica Brant, Ava Cowan, Alicia Harris, Mandy Blank, and the Vitrix Model Team, among others.

You can view modeling contests, get info on photographers, see modeling photos/videos, and more! This site is just starting, but from what is on there so far, it is looking to become one of the top sites in this industry, especially in terms of size and importance to the models, athletes, and photographers.

To visit Fit Model TV, go to

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Interview with Tracey MacDonald

Tracey MacDonald is one of the top competitors in Canada, although she now resides in California. A long-time supporter of FitGems Nation, she was gracious enough to take time out of her busy schedule to do an interview with FitGems. Tracey is currently prepping for the CBFF Nationals in about six weeks.

Photo credit: Muscular Develpment

FitGems Nation: If you could, may you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tracey MacDonald: I'm 39 years old. Live in California, and a Canadian citizen. Ive been competing since 2000, and am currently getting ready for my 18th show (I think!!) (NOTE: Since the completing of this interview, she competed in the the CBBF Natural and placed 4TH in short figure and 3 weeks later did the Atlantics (Eastern Canada) and won masters, short figure, and the overall title in figure)

FitGems: What was the moment that made you decide that, “I’m going to compete”?
Tracey: I can't remember. I was 102 pounds and I was sitting in the audience at my first show, still trying to convince my friend who helped me prepare, we should go home!! I won my first fitness contest much to my dismay and was hooked ever since!

FitGems: Who inspired you to compete?
Tracey: Kelly Ryan…

FitGems: What is your approach when you train? More focus on weight-training, cardio, etc?
Tracey: I cross train, hitting each body part 1x a week, usually 5 days a week and then when contest season comes around, I incorporate cardio drills into my daily routine as well.

FitGems: Have people mistaken you for something else due to your physique, such as a MMA fighter, wrestler, boxer, runner, etc?
Tracey: no not really.

FitGems: What do you do when you DON’T compete (as in, do you have a job or hobby besides fitness competitions)?
Tracey: I part time personal train. I teach seasonal boot camps here in my town from spring thru fall. I am a retired junior high special education school teacher. I have a masters degree in mild/moderate disabilities.

FitGems: You’ve competed for a while, but what contest did you think was the best you ever looked (as your best is yet to come…)?
Tracey: I really liked how I looked my 2nd year at figure nationals in Canada, although I placed 3rd…

FitGems: Not including yourself, who do you think had or has THE ideal muscular female look?
Tracey: I like lots of people, of course, Monica comes to mind, esp in her transition to the WBFF at her first contest there. I also love Julie Palmer- she is always in shape 365…. Another is Myriam Capes, we competed together at our first nationals and we kind of bonded there- she was amazing then, and she has gone on to be more amazing every contest.

FitGems: You’ve competed in Canada and the U.S., where the looks are different. Is it just me, or does it seem like muscle is a bit more accepted in Canada then in the United States, in terms of the federation and judges and not the fans (as the fans seem to like the more muscular look on fitness/figure competitors)?
Tracey: Yes, I'd agree… although it can very from class to class and from year to year. I cant seem to figure Canadian judging out. They say look at the overall winner from the year before, Ive come in similar to that look and did terrible in my last contest in 09.

FitGems: You have competed in women’s bodybuilding, fitness, and figure. May you give us your opinion on the divisions?
Tracey: Fitness is awesome, if I had the skill set and back for it, Id be doing that. Figure Is my better choice for the above mentioned reasons. I did try bodybuilding, but after a year of building and “trying” it, I didn’t like the look FOR ME and I didn’t enjoy the stage experience. I really do like the glitz, glamour and more feminine look of the figure and fitness girls. (I hated being barefoot on stage!!)

FitGems: I heard that the bodybuilding contest you did, despite doing well in it, would be your last time to compete in women’s bodybuilding. May you explain to us why do decided “never again” when it comes to women’s bodybuilding?
Tracey: Think I answered that above. It was too extreme for me, I cant put on the size I'd need to be competitive on a national level. I don’t have a perfectly symmetrical body (I have a severe pinched nerve in my upper back that has altered my upper trap development and I ve always had a problem building the sweep on my left leg in comparison to my right). I also just didn’t like the social stigma that went along with the “bodybuilding” look- I was always being asked why I was “trying” to look like a man, being asked to arm wrestle, I felt very self conscious with the extra size on my short frame. I totally appreciate it on others, but realized that it is simply just not for me!!

FitGems: The fitness numbers are pretty low, despite the talent being pretty good. As a former fitness competitor, what do you think needs to be done in order to get fitness back to a decent number again?
Tracey: I have NO idea… Fitness is a HARD sport. I have complete admiration for those girls. Having muddled through some routines myself, I can say, even the “poor” routines (as mine probably was…) are extremely hard. And I would say out of every category, fitness competitors work harder than them all!

FitGems: Bikini has taken off in a great way with big numbers, but there are still those that don’t see it as a legit division and have no place in NPC and IFBB whatsoever. Do you agree, and if not, how would you attempt to change their minds?
Tracey: People can think whatever they want. I do not agree with that, I think that at the professional level especially those girls are total athletes and I give them a lot of credit- every body has a body type, and I know I could never look like that and I could certainly not present myself like that on stage. They are sexy bombshells!! I say GO girls!!

FitGems: Along those lines, many people think the new softer look that’s being rewarded in figure is no different than the bikini division. Do you think figure and bikini are getting dangerously close to being unrecognizable?
Tracey: YES , after just attending my LAST local figure show, I left half way through the contest. Very disappointing in my opinion.

FitGems: As you know, the NPC/IFBB are opening a new division called women’s physique. What are your opinions on it, and what are your expectations of the new division?
Tracey: I think it will be a great division for people who are caught between being too muscular for figure and not a bodybuilder… (maybe like I had looked last year)- I personally decided not to pursue it because the Canadian federation has decided to deny us permission to compete at a national level at the North Americans.

FitGems: Will we see you compete in this new division this year, or sometime in the near future?
Tracey: Doubtful. I am 39 this year and have decided to play the figure game one more time and tentatively plan on hitting all three Canadian nationals in figure.

FitGems: Some people think that eventually women’s physique will replace women’s bodybuilding going forward. Do you see that happening, or do you see the division remain separate for the time being?
Tracey: You know, I think every category has a competitor. I don’t think one is going to overtake another, because there will always be “bodybuilders”, “bikini” models and “figure”… When someone is passionate about their training, which all competitors are, they aren’t going to quit because their category isn’t as popular as it used to be. There will always be bodybuilding.

FitGems: With women’s physique and bikini added to women’s bodybuilding, fitness, and figure, do you think every woman who wants to compete FINALLY has a division to their liking now?
Tracey: Absolutely. I think there is a stage for every athlete. (Much more than there was when I started… Figure hadn’t even been invented!! ) you either did fitness or bodybuilding!! I kinda laugh when I hear figure girls making fun of the bikini girls back stage at contests… Because I think back to when the first figure competitors came around.. Both the bodybuilders and fitness girls were laughing at them!!

FitGems: The World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (WBFF) has been picking up serious steam ever since Monica Brant joined their organization. Others are following her footsteps, it seems. Could we see you join the rankings?
Tracey: NO.

FitGems: What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you?
Tracey: I am teased for being a “holly homemaker”. I love to cook, be at home, entertain friends, be creative and decorate.

FitGems: If you were not competing, what would you be doing right now?
Tracey: Maybe teaching. I complete to validate myself and what I do for my clients and myself. To me, it is completely a hobby; competing that is. I try to not take it too serious as far as how I place. I know a pro card, although the goal, will NOT change my life. I truly do it because I love the personal satisfaction and challenge of pushing myself. I have never even back when gotten into the whole self promotion thing, chasing magazine shoots or a name for myself. I show up, I try to be in shape and then I go home. To me what is really a passion of mine is teaching people how to be healthier, change their lives through physically being fit and healthy.

FitGems: How would you convince people to give female muscle competitions a shot?
Tracey: ???? (Guess to say, that comment)

FitGems: What is the one thing you want people to remember you for when you’re gone?
Tracey: Honestly, I don’t think I am that memorable!! I want to be remembered as a consistent competitor, always bringing my A game.

FitGems: How can people contact you if they want to know your upcoming plans and/or sponsor you in the near future?
Tracey: My website,

Again, we thank Tracey MacDonald for taking the time to conduct this interview with us. We at FitGems Nation want to wish Tracey best of luck in the rest of her competitions this year!

New Elite: Sherrie Carnicle

Photo credit: Muscular Development

There are those that look better with a lot of muscle, there are those that look better with a little less. There are those who look better harder and more conditioned, and there are those that look better softer and less conditioned. And then...there are those that look amazing no matter how big, small, hard, or soft they look. Sherrie Carnicle is one of those competitors.

I became a fan of hers during her first year of National competition in 2007 in figure. People were amazing at how awesome she looked. At the time, she was streamlined and not that muscular, but everything flowed well. A year later, she remained in figure, and it was clear as day that she packed a bit more muscle to her frame, and I can't tell you the amount of compliments she got from the message boards. Off-the-charts crazy. Then bikini came along, and she decided to give the bikini division a try. So obviously, she took off some muscle, but the flow in her physique was just as good during her figure days, if not better. After her overall bikini win at the Sacramento Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships, many were convinced she would be a future IFBB Bikini Pro. If she were to have competed in the National scene in bikini last year, I would guarantee you she would have walked away with a pro card last year.

Sherrie will be returning to National competitions at the Jr. Nationals this weekend. I don't know who all if competing, but I'm going to say this..I will be one shocked person if Sherrie does NOT take home a pro card this weekend. Call it bias, but I'm only calling it like I see it. If she doesn't get a pro card at the Jr. Nationals, I definitely see a pro card in her future. Her physique now is what I was hoping for when the bikini division was created. With her National bikini debut mere days away, it might be only a matter of time before Sherrie takes her rightful place among the IFBB athletes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sharing a TenSpot with...Alicia McBride

Alicia McBride is a friend (or protege if you will) of Sandy Rowe Wiedmeyer. She competes in the NGA (National Gym Association) and INBF (International Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation), two great drug-free organizations. She's been competing just this year, but prior to that, she's has some serious life journies, as described in this interview.

Photo provided by Alicia herself

FitGems Nation: Let’s kick this off by telling us a bit about yourself.
Alicia McBride: I am 24 years old and grew up in Wisconsin. I started lifting when I was about 14, and then really got into it when I joined the military and went overseas. I served four years in the Navy, got out and am now working as a Correctional Officer in Wisconsin.

FitGems: When did you first start competing?
Alicia: I just started competing this year. I competed in the 2011 Fords Gym Wisconsin Natural Bodybuilding, Fit Body & Figure Championships and took 1st in Tall Figure, and I competed in the 2011 NGA Heart of America Natural Classic where I did not place.

FitGems: What is your strategy when you head to the gym? Is it mostly weight-training, mostly cardio, a balanced mixture of the two, or something else?
Alicia: When I am in competition prep I do a mixture of the two. I shed the body fat fairly easy so I don’t have to do a ton of cardio. In the off season I mainly do weights and I keep the cardio to a minimum.

FitGems: Due to your muscularity, has anyone mistaken you for being in something OTHER than physique competitions (MMA fighter, boxer, pro wrestler, track and field runner, etc?)
Alicia: Yes, everyone asks me if I play basketball or if I’m training for a race.

FitGems: You compete in the INBF and NGA. For those unaware of what those federations are, may you explain a little bit more about it?
Alicia: They are natural organizations that are drug tested and require competitors to be drug free for seven years. They drug test by use of polygraph and/or urine sample.

FitGems: Even though figure is a subjective sport and consistency is not the best when it comes to how federations “stick with it” over the year, how do YOU personally think figure should be judged?
Alicia: Who has the “full package”, not just who has the best shoulders. I think maybe it would help if the judges had a checklist type paper and gave each competitor a score on each section, such as; shoulders, lat spread, symmetry, ect and tallied points up that way.

FitGems: If you weren’t a part of the female physique world, what would you be doing right now as your profession?
Alicia: I would still be a Correctional Officer, but would probably be more dedicated to running races, and I would still be dedicated to lifting weights and trying to improve myself.

FitGems: Which competitor (past or present) you look up to the most for your inspiration?
Alicia: I have always looked up to Ava Cowan and Jamie Easton, and basically any female competitor that gets on that stage because they all put a lot of work and dedication into training and preparing for the competition.

FitGems: If there’s one piece of advice that you could give to someone who’s on the fence about competing, what would it be?
Alicia: Go talk to a trainer and ask some questions, go see a competition, and read up about it online.

FitGems: What are your future plans heading into 2011 and beyond, and where do you see your career after you’re done competing?
Alicia: I plan to compete in the fall of 2011; I plan on doing the Fords Gym INBF competition again in October, and the NANBF Natural Badger Classic.

For more on Alicia, visit her BodySpace page at and her page on FitGems Nation at Best of luck to you Alicia on your career! :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

BrittanyBFit on FitGems Nation: Tabata Exercises

How would you like to do four minutes of training and get the same benefits, aerobically, as someone who completes 45 minutes, on the treadmill, at a steady pace?? Yep, you read this correct….FOUR minutes, with the right amount of intensity, and you will turn your body into a fat-obliterating machine!!

What is this!?! “It is a form of High Intesity Interval Training (HIIT) which is a a method of aerobic exercise that uses short workouts but super high intensity to accelerate fat loss. Tabata used a 2 to 1 ratio of intense activity and recovery period that increase aerobic capacity AND improved anaerobic capacity to some degree. The best of both worlds!

How does it work? Most of the time we perform either aerobic (cardio) OR anaerobic (strength training). The problem is that just doing cardio doesn’t help our strength and just strength training doesn’t help our aerobic capabilities. Tabata training gives a big boost in our aerobic capacity and also benefits us anaerobic. That’s right! It is SOOO hard that both systems are impacted! So get ready for some of the toughest exercises you will EVER do!

I am excited to walk you through this intense protocol with an EXCLUSIVE workout video for members. I have named it the “ultimate Tabata workout”, and I can not WAIT to share it with you and hear your feedback!

Together we can be SEXY, STRONG, and UNSTOPPABLE!
<3 Brittany Beede <3

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sharing a TenSpot with...Meriza DeGuzman (Interviewed by dallas3)

Dallas3 interviewed one of the top IFBB Figure Athletes in the sport today, Meriza DeGuzman. She is sponsored by MAN Sports, who won the Supplement Company of the Year award at the 2nd Annual FitGems Awards. Meriza just recently competed in the California Pro, where she placed in the top ten.

DALLAS3: What made you want to make a career out of fitness?
MERIZA DEGUZMAN: I love the lifestyle of fitness – being able to share healthy living and teach the things I’ve learned through my own quest to be healthier is a blessing. I’ve learned alot on my own journey to be a better, healthier me-the benefits are so many- I’m even more thankful that I have been able to make a career out of sharing my passion with others.

DALLAS3: Best advice you’ve received in the industry?
MERIZA: As a competitor, don’t take your placings personally, and don’t worry about the supposed politics; Be yourself! I try to be a good role model to others because I as new athlete, I was influenced in a positive way by a few “big names” who were super nice to me, (namely Tanji and Adela , who are so sweet!)

DALLAS3: Advice for women wanting to make a career in the industry?
MERIZA: Learn as much as you can, keep your skills sharp, and always be nice to everybody – pay things forward because we’re blessed to be involved in this career…appreciate that fact!

DALLAS3: What would you like to do in the industry that you haven’t done yet?
MERIZA: I would like to compete at the Arnold before I retire; I would like to continue to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle by leading by example.

DALLAS3: Best way you’ve found in getting sponsorship, booth work, in print ads, photo shoots, etc?
MERIZA: Stay in shape all year, so you’re always marketable. Be friendly and nice to everyone (not fake, sincere); and stay humble…

DALLAS3: Go out and seek potential sponsors or build yourself up first then go ask?
MERIZA: Build yourself up first, make a name for yourself so you have something to offer. Then, actively seek out sponsorship. Stay in shape, and always work to add to your portfolio and resume.

DALLAS3: Which do you like better, modeling or competing?
MERIZA: Hmmm…Competing…it’s the thrill of being on stage!

DALLAS3:  Anyone you model your career after?
MERIZA: No, I’m just me… I love what I do and I’m appreciative – I work very hard to super-service my clients as a trainer, coach and physique specialist, and I keep my skills sharp.

DALLAS3: Best way you’ve saved on costs?
MERIZA: Competing is expensive; share rooms with other competitors, learn to apply your own make up and hair when necessary, refurbish your suits…choose contests wisely, to make the most marketing and career “bang” for your buck…

DALLAS3:  Finish the sentence. In 5 years…..
MERIZA: I want to become established as a role model for women…I have alot of experience locally helping women of all experience levels get into their best shape ever; I love what I do and have a real passion for contributing to the quality of living of my clients. I love them all!! I hope in 5 years to be able to influence women on a much larger scale, because the fitness lifestyle has been so positive for me, I firmly believe I can help show more women how to lead healthier, more powerful and more fulfilled, happier lives!

Here's a bit about MAN Sports from Meriza: "They have several “high-performance” products for athletes, including a unique performance product created for hard-training females – FIGURE FUEL! learn more about Figure Fuel and how to achieve your own Fit and Lean body at"

For more on Meriza, visit her website at

Sharing a TenSpot with...Stacy Wright (Interviewed by dallas3)

For those that know me, you might know dallas3, one of my best friends in this industry. For those unaware, he has closed his site Iron Bizz and will be incorporating a good deal of the site material to the main FitGems site. In addition, he did two interviews which I will post on the blog (with his full permission). The first interview from dallas3 is of IFBB Fitness Pro and 2011 FitGems Sponsored Athlete Stacy Wright! In addition to being sponsored by FitGems, she is also sponsored by Labrada and ABSolute Fitness. (NOTE: This interview was done prior to her stepping on stage for the first time at the New York Pro Fitness)
Stacy's Pro Debut in New York
Photo credit:

What made you want to make a career out of fitness?
STACY WRIGHT: While I would love to say this is my career, it is not. It doesn’t pay my bills in that aspect. I’m actually a full time registered nurse and independent personal trainer.
As for competing…I love to perform and I love to compete. The combination of muscle and balanced symmetry along with the fitness routine just fits ‘me’! I love everything about it!

DALLAS3: Best advice you’ve received in the industry?
STACY: Be patient and work to improve “YOU” each and every time you step on stage. Worry about the things you have control over, like your diet and training. Never about things you have no control over, like your placing in a show.

DALLAS3: Advice for women wanting to make a career in the industry?
STACY: It’s more than what you do on stage. It’s about networking, being a positive role model. Never sell yourself short of who you truly are. Then when you DO have a career in the fitness industry, it’s something you can truly be proud of!

DALLAS3:What would you like to do in the industry that you haven’t done yet?
STACY: Step on that pro stage! I need to make a name for myself within the IFBB. The goal is not necessarily to win #1. I know that’s not realistic. My goal is to be one they say- WOW! Now she is something. And remember my name when they leave.

DALLAS3: Best way you’ve found in getting sponsorship, booth work, in print ads, photo shoots, etc?
STACY: Be yourself and network. This is a pretty small industry so it’s easy to get in contact with people. It’s all about working your way up the ladder!

DALLAS3: Go out and seek potential sponsors or build yourself up first then go ask?
STACY: A little bit of both. You have to have something to offer, so building yourself up a bit gives you the confidence and knowledge to seek those sponsors. Do your research always before you jump the gun.

DALLAS3: Which do you like better, modeling or competing?
STACY: Competing! Although I do love getting some pretty photos in the process. If modeling would take off, I would be open to that option along with my competitions.

DALLAS3: Anyone you model your career after?
STACY: I’ve taken advice from many people and parts of their careers, but I have to be me and do what I think is best in representing myself. I’ve learned the hard way on a few things, and we all live and learn. I now am okay with not being the best or the most well known.. as long as I am staying true to myself!

DALLAS3: Best way you’ve saved on costs?
STACY: Sponsorships. Hand-me-downs. Wearing the same suits to shows throughout each year. Consignment stores. Choreographing my own routine and doing my own training and diet with my husband. There are many ways to go about saving in such an expensive sport.

DALLAS3:Finish the sentence….In 5 years I want to….
STACY: qualify for and compete at the Olympia. =) That was an easy one.

For more on Stacy and her sponsors, check out the following links:
Endimanche Designs :

Jenny Worth Returns to Her Roots

For those attending the NPC Southern States Championships on July 8-9 are in for one heck of a treat. Jenny Worth will be guest performing at the show! For the first time since having her child, she will be back on stage to perform a fitness routine.

According to Jenny, she's doing it for the love of the sport that's made her a star in the first place, women's fitness, and with this performance, she hopes to put women's fitness back on the map and hope to get people talking about Jenny again. During her interview with us earlier this year, she did mentioned that she wouldn't mind returning to compete when the time was right. Could this guest appearance be the beginning of a comeback for the 2001 Fitness International champion? I wouldn't put it past her, as many say she's among the best to never win the Fitness Olympia title. That will remain to be see whether she returns to competition, but it will be great for those attending the Southern States to see an IFBB Fitness legend on stage.

We at FitGems Nation wish her best of luck as she prepare to return to the stage for a guest appearance fans will never forget. :)