Friday, July 28, 2017

Super League: Our Candid Thoughts

All photos belong to Super League's Facebook page.



This Saturday, there will be an event that potentially could change the course of bodybuilding forever, if the creators have it there way. In Las Vegas (coincidently where the NPC USAs will be taking place as well over the weekend), there is a league called the Super League. This was created by Dorian Yates, a 6x Mr. Olympia, with Gal Ferreira and Stan Efferding as league officials. It's being sponsored by Nike and Bodybuilding.com, which will be broadcasting the event LIVE from their site as well as YouTube. Their focus is Men and Women with SUPERHUMAN form and SUPERHUMAN function. They don't view themselves as a pageant contest. Rather a contest where bodybuilding meets powerlifting. Your look DOES matter, but leave the baby oil and tanning at home for this. The inaugural event will feature Mike O'Hearn and Team LA against Toney Freeman and Team ATL this Saturday. Celebrity Guest Athletes include Mike and Toney, as well as Rich Piana, Kris Geithin, Iris Kyle, and maybe CT Fletcher (he recently had heart transplant surgery, so I highly doubt he will participate, but I could be wrong on that).

Rather than tell you what the Super League is about, I'll post the link to the site for you to check it out for yourself: http://superleague.live/. Looking at the Super League at face value...it has potential. I truly think it can be something special. My problem is I don't think it was publicized enough to truly prepare for the event. Yes, word of mouth is a powerful thing (trust me, I know this from experience), but no one is gonna give two craps about it if you don't PUBLICIZE it. You can have the greatest event in the world, but no one is gonna care if you don't let people know about it and let them know about it often. I say this because their Youtube channel has just 553 subscribers and a little over 17,000 total video views on YouTube (they have posted interviews with a few of the competitors). I would hope there would be more, especially to get this truly up and running. Their Facebook page has a little less than 2,000 likes. Now they did step it up a tad the last couple of weeks but I think should have been pushed to the moon WAY before now, but this is just one guy's opinion here.

With that being said, let me be clear on this...I HOPE the Super League succeeds. The idea and concept of this is awesome. It shows that bodybuilders are just as much athletes as any other athlete in sports. They are seemingly wanting to bring actual fitness back to the forefront in this age of social media where looking hot and sexy is the norm moreso than the actual destination and journey (more on that in a future post). It will be interesting to see how the inaugural show goes this weekend and how they will follow it up in Vegas during Olympia weekend. Super League 2 will take place on September 16 in the Las Vegas Arena, where the best of the United States will take on Brazil's finest. Like we said, we're rooting for the Super League to succeed. Any platform that can give bodybuilders a chance to showcase their talents get the o-kay from us. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one over the weekend. Best of luck to everyone involved where competing or putting it together. Here's hoping this truly IS the new era of bodybuilding they claim it's supposed to be.



For more on Super League, check out their website at http://superleague.live/. Also, you can view the event LIVE this Saturday on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mg7a7Rj_F4. Follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/superleague.bodybuilding and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/superleague.live and https://www.instagram.com/superleagueathletes.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Interview with Lauren Rutan

As we've stated in our write-up about her, Lauren Rutan is in a league of her own when it comes to muscle athletes. We were fortunate to interview her during her extremely busy schedule. If you don't appreciate what kind of woman (or should we say SUPERWOMAN) Lauren is...you will after this! 

NOTE: Parts of the interview were edited for clarity purposes only. Photos used belong to their respective owners. 





FitGems Nation (FN): Thank you for wanting to be interviewed by us, Lauren! Can't tell you how excited we are to finally talk to you after hearing so much about you. But for those that don't know, please tell us a little bit about yourself (occupation/how long you've been in the fitness industry, etc.)
Lauren Rutan (LR): I grew up a competitive gymnast, then went on to do cheerleading where I cheered at Kent State University in Ohio.  I started my first prep for my first fitness show in 2003. I competed for 4 years in fitness and figure then went on to get married and have 4 children :) During Kids I found crossfit, then went on to compete nationally in weightlifting, and lastly found powerlifting at a weightlifting meet I was at. 

FG: How did you get involved in the fitness industry in the first place?
LR: While growing up, my father was a Pro bodybuilder.

FG: What do you enjoy most about competing and/or modeling?
LR: I love competing in anything really.  I'm very competitive. :) I do love watching the body change and morph into an amazing physique. 

FG: Based off your history, I probably know the answer to this question, but I'll ask anyway. Which do you feel is your greatest strength while training: cardio or weight-training?
LR: weight-training, but I do love some cardio !!

FG: What is the hardest thing you have had to deal with when it comes to the fitness industry?
LR: Just body image overall, I guess. You see yourself so shredded and want to be that all the time, but I know it's not healthy, and no one can stay like that forever. 

FG: You mentioned on your Instagram (rutan422) that you competed in figure in 2007. Looking back, a lot of talent from both National shows you did (Jr. Nationals and North Americans) went on to become pros and even Olympia champions. What made you decide to step away from the figure stage until recently?
LR: I competed for 4 years straight in 2003-2007 so i needed a long break and I got married in 2006 and knew we wanted to have kids right away so that was basically it!

FG: During your hiatus from the stage, you went on to do powerlifting, weightlifting, and CrossFit, and excel at all of them. What made you decided to take on all of them, not just one of them?
LR: I started in CrossFit and then I really enjoyed do the lifts (snatch and clean & jerk) and we found out I would be pretty competitive in my weight class so I gave it a try and then qualified for nationals in my 2nd meet and the rest was history  :).  I then was getting a little burned out on weightlifting. I did it for a couple years but every day for a long time. I was at a weightlifting meet that also had powerlifting and I watched and fell in love.  I love to squat and bench, deadlift is just ok:) so that next week I started training for a powerlifting meet and the rest again is history :)



FG: You decided to return to the physique stage in 2017, winning the overall NPC Mid Atlantic Cup and taking a top ten spot at the Jr. Nationals. What drove you to return to physique competitions?
LR: I have thought about it and contemplated it for the last couple years but I was scared because of the kids being so young, and there's so much kid food around here, I wanted to wait a little bit until they got older.  And with this being the 10 year anniversary since I've been on stage, I knew I had to do it this year. 

FG: Getting ready for a physique show is one thing. Getting ready for a powerlifting meet is a different monster in itself. Yet you prepped for the Mid-Atlantic and Jr. Nationals WHILE also getting ready to compete in the USPA Nationals in a few weeks (Editor's Note: She smoked the USPA Nationals and qualified for the International Powerlifting League (IPL) Worlds in November) Seriously...how did you find the balance to prep for two intensely-straining yet different forms of competition AT THE SAME TIME?!
LR: I'm not sure! LOL. I just know I put my mind to something and it gets done.  But it wasn't that hard until after Jr Nationals getting ready for USPA Nationals . The transition in that small 3 week window was pretty tough. The heavy weights really took a hit on my body.  But leading up to that it was all good. I still did powerlifting twice a week but not too much volume and then bodybuilding the rest of the days.

FG: In addition to bring a NPC Competitor, Crossfit athlete, and top powerlifter and weightlifter, you are also a wife and mother to four childern. How in the world are you able to balance all of that (home life, work life, competition life)?!
LR: HAHAHA. Yeah, I'm insane, but really it's all about schedule and having one and sticking to it! We are all on a schedule and kids like it.  When we don't have anything to do, the kids are like "what's going on?!' :) But it.s how we have always lived and it works for us.



FG: With the rise of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), how important do you feel it is for people in the fitness industry to participate in it?
LR: I think it's very important IF you have a job relating to it.  As in a personal trainer and/or online coach.  It's free advertising!! It costs nothing and people get to see you and how you work out and your clients' results. 

FG: Who (living or dead) do you look up to for inspiration, whether they are part of the fitness industry or not?
LR: I'd say Dana Linn Bailey or Jennifer McMillian. 

FG: I know everyone wants to be the first "them" (as it should be), but is there any competitor (past or present) that you look at and say, "Okay...that's what I'm aiming for"? However, let's be honest...I don't think there has EVER been a competitor quite like you, though!
LR: AHAHAH thank you but I'd say again Dana Linn Bailey.

FG: If you weren’t part of the fitness industry in any way, shape, or form, what would you be doing now?
LR: OMG I have no clue really. I've been in it so long I don't know what I'd do not doing it. 

FG: What (if anything) would you change about the fitness industry as a whole (NOT just about the division you compete in)?
LR: Politics. Knowing someone that knows someone. (Editor's Note: And let the church say AMEN!)

FG: What goal or goals do you hope to accomplish before it's all said and done?
LR: PRO CARD. End of story. And then get invited to the Arnold and/or competing at the Olympia



FG: After your competition days are completed, how do you plan on give back to the fitness industry?
LR: I love coaching people and helping them with their workout and/or nutrition needs.  After that, I'd love to judge and work for NPC. 

FG: Being the multi-sport athlete you are, what advice do you give to people who want to do all they can but are told that it's impossible, or to those that want to pursue one thing but are told they don't have what it takes to succeed?
LR: DONT LISTEN to anyone!!!! SOOOOOO many people told me I couldn't do what I do or it would be a mistake!! Try it! Who cares if you fail, or it doesn't work out, at least you tried and you know what it takes. 

FG: Any closing words for your fans and supporters? Just a huge thank you for all the support and love!!
LR: We bringing the HEAT in November!!! (Editor's Note, Lauren is competing in the IPL Worlds and MAYBE step back on stage in the NPC Nationals as a women's physique competitor. Stay tuned!)

FG: Again, thank you so much for doing this interview with us, Lauren! For those that want to keep up on your future competitions and other plans, how can fans contact you? (Facebook fan page, Twitter, Instagram, email, website, blog, other social media outlet, etc.) Also, if there's anything you want to plug in, you are more than welcome to do so.
LR: Instagram is where i post most of my stuff- rutan422.  Email is rutan422@gmail.com, and just started a YouTube page. First video should be up this week under Lauren Rutan!!!

Lauren has written quite the book thus far in the story of her life, and from what we've seen just the last few months along, her story is far from done. November looks to be a big month for the Super Athlete. We at FitGems Nation wish her all the success in the world and keep being an inspiration to others around the world. Once it's all said and done, Lauren can definitely say she left her mark in the fitness industry as one of the greatest muscle athletes this industry has ever seen!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jenny Worth Is BACK!!!

DISCLAIMER: We own none of these photos. All photos belong to their respective owners.  

The Return of The Queen! 
Tampa, hope you're ready! 


If you have paid attention to us during our existence, we are HUGE fans of Jennifer (Jenny) Worth. If you don't know who she is, you need to brush up on your memory, but we'll give you a small dose on who she is:

Jenny is a former Fitness International Champion, multiple Fitness Olympia competitor (runner-up in 2001)...long story short, she is considered by many fitness fans as one of the best to ever compete in the industry. We feel she is the best to never win the Fitness Olympia title. Jenny's last show was the 2003 Fitness Olympia, where she placed 10th with a decent routine but her physique was FAR from what many expected out of her. The reason for that was she got injured which drastically changed how she had to prepare for the show. Jenny would end up retiring after that and would have her first son Dominic. While she bring a healthy child into the world, her pregnancy and thyroid issues would cause her to gain 80 pounds. With hard work, perseverance, and faith, she would take the weight off and over time brought her competition look back. She moved to California in 2010 with her son to start a new life as a trainer rather than an athlete, creating the Worth It brand and developing top competitors from all divisions in the NPC and IFBB. She has also went on to do some guest performances to the delight of fans all over the country.

Old-school photo of Jenny


In recent months, Jenny has showcased her physique via Instagram and Facebook in a way that many people (including yours truly) were wondering if a possible return to the stage was in the works. She has teased the idea a few times on social media, but nothing was set in stone...until now. Word got out that Jenny signed a athlete's contract to compete in the 2017 Tampa Pro as a fitness competitor. And on Facebook and Instagram, Jenny made it officially known...she was coming out of retirement! We can't stress how excited we are to see one of the best of all time compete in the division she holds near and dear to her heart.

The Tampa Show is one of the biggest shows of the year not named the Arnold or Olympia, but Jenny's return now makes this a must-see event. Seriously, how cool is it going to be to see this living legend competed with some of today's top fitness stars, including the returning Myriam Capes (who is one of the current top ladies in fitness and will be making a comeback of her own after an injury sidelined her for several months). And how awesome would it be to see Jenny WIN the Tampa Show and punch her ticket to to Olympia for the first time in 2003! Regardless of the outcome, Jenny is a winner for even returning to the stage in the first place. If I were competing in Tampa in two weeks as a fitness competitor, I would make sure to watch her routine like a student and take notes. While Oksana came to the industry and brought a style the likes the fitness world has never seen before, to me, Jenny is one of the first TRUE artists of the fitness division. It wasn't just routines she did. They all mean something to her, even her guest routines she's done for the past few years.

Of all people, Jenny has what it takes to pull off the comeback of a lifetime. You tell her it's impossible, she'll tell you "watch her". She has made a career out of proving people wrong, and in 2 weeks at the Tampa Pro, Jenny will do it again. She will prove that no matter what age you are or what obstacles come your way in life, you can do anything you set your mind to, but you have to put in the work to do it. Good Luck to fitness's Jenny from the Block!

She's still got it! 


For more on Jenny, check her out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WorthItFitness/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/WorthItFitness/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/WorthItFitness/).