Friday, May 10, 2019

Juliana Malacarne...IFBB Wellness Pro?!

As most of you know by now, the NPC and IFBB will be bringing the wellness division in 2020. This is a popular division internationally that has produced some incredible physiques that are not seen as much in the United States. Now with the division coming to the States next year, it would not be surprising to see competitors searching for wellness competitors overseas for possible looks. I'm going to assume the look for the NPC/IFBB will be similar to what is overseas, but don't quote me on it right now as nothing has been said as of this article. But when they do get everything set, we'll post our thoughts on it.

Most wellness divisions in other federations have their competitors to have a muscular physique without much separation that appear athletic and aesthetic. Despite nothing set in stone as far as the look that will be rewarded in the NPC and IFBB, it has not stop people from guessing who will be the IT look for the division..including us. In fact, if the division is in need of an example already in the IFBB, we know someone...Juliana Malacarne.

Muscular, shapely, athletic, asthetic, non-shredded or dry...exactly what Juliana is now, and exactly what the wellness division could be?! We'll see!
Photo credit: Juliana herself


I know you are probably thinking..."Wait...this site is seriously suggesting that a 4x Miss Physique Olympia be the measuring stick of the new wellness division?" Yes, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M SUGGESTING! Especially the way Juliana looks now. Look no further than her recent post. She still trains hard despite not stepping on stage since 2017 (remember, she said she was taking a break, she NEVER said she was completely retired yet), and she looks downright amazing these days: a muscular, shapely, athletic, aesthetic, and healthy look that isn't shredded or dry...exactly how the wellness divisions across other federations are. Juliana has stated that she would love to return to the stage if it seemed she could do it without sacrificing her femininity, and the wellness could be just that. There are a few more we would like to see do wellness, but based off how she is not, Juliana is at the top of the list.

She defined women's physique...and if she chooses to, could defined IFBB Wellness!


So what do you think? Does Juliana have the wellness look? Who do YOU think has what YOU believe to be the ideal wellness look for the IFBB? Comment below or let us know via our social media platforms.

Don't forget to follow Juliana on her social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julesfit10/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/julesfit10
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julesfit10

Friday, March 8, 2019

Dana Brooke's Instagram Story Q and A Recap

It's no secret to anyone who has followed us for a while that we are huge fans/supporters of WWE Superstar Dana Brooke. With no disrespect to anyone else in the WWE women's division on Raw and Smackdown Live, we feel that Dana just might be the most underrated woman in WWE right now. For some reason, WWE hasn't pulled the trigger on letting Dana get to be the star we feel she can be. We don't expect any wrestling media to have her back, so we feel being part of the family that gave her a break in the first place (the fitness family), we want to show our support however we can, especially via out social media platforms. While we are aware of the trolls that comment on our stuff saying things like "she is no good", "she sucks", "why don't WWE release her already" and other crap like that, we are thankful for her fans who back her up while not necessarily are fans of OUR industry. Much respect to all the Dana Brooke fans out there.


Photo credit: Dana's Instagram



On March 5th, Dana did a Q and A (question and answer) for her followers on Instagram and she brought up some things we knew and some things we didn't know, so we decided to do a recap of her impromptu Q and A. This is her fifth year as a WWE Superstar (combining both NXT and WWE runs). She was blessed to have a great childhood with her parents and sisters, and the support has been with her ever since. BTW, she loves herself some chocolate. As a kid, she used to wrestle with her dad and stuff animals. Her dad and uncle had wrestling on at the time (wasn't on the Q and A, but I believe she mentioned at one point that Goldberg is one of her favorites. Dana can correct us if we're wrong on that). She was approached to join WWE and doesn't want any "what ifs" in her life, and she feels joining WWE has brought her closer to her dad. Her current favorite moments (memories) thus far is being the first person (male or female) under WWE contract to compete at the Arnold (and doing it twice), Triple H asking her to be Asuka's first opponent in NXT, dressing up at Ric Flair at Extreme Rules 2015, and last year's historic Evolution PPV, the first all-female PPV put on by WWE. Like many NXT alumni, she does miss the brand for the memories she made there, for the late, great Dusty Rhodes, and for simply being "a total badass there". She also would love to compete in the Arnold again and one day step on the Olympia stage. But as of now, her focus is on WWE and hoping to make a name for herself there. Speaking of making a name for herself, she was ask when she would get a shot at the Raw Women's Championship (currently held by Ronda Rousey). She jokingly (but not entirely joking, unfortunately) said that you would need to play as her in a video game (might we suggest WWE 2K19) for her to win it. But she is "hoping and praying after Wrestlemania doors open for her" or she'll "knock them down." (Personally, we hope she goes to Smackdown next month in the Superstar Shakeup and be in the Smackdown Women's title picture. We think she would thrive on Smackdown Live because she is going nowhere on Raw right now with Ronda, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch taking all the spotlight).

Her inspiration was (and we believe still is) Natalya. On Natalya, she said that she's "her biggest inspiration coming into WWE", someone that "always portrayed someone strong and humble". In fact, her first (and favorite) attire (black and pink), was inspired by Natalya and Trish Stratus, another person she looks up to. Trish felt honored when she found that out and give Dana a seal of approval on her Instagram. If Dana had the choice to face anyone at this year's Wrestlemania, it would be current Smackdown Women's Champion Asuka, mainly because she hasn't had her rematch from NXT: Takeover: Respect (yeah, we're not going to mention THAT one time from a couple of years ago that...well, can we even call that a match?!). Prior to WWE, she was a gymnast for 18 years, a diver for 2 years, and a pro fitness competitor for 8 years. She still talks to Tenille Dashwood (her former WWE tag partner Emma) quite a bit. According to Dana, she will always have a special place in her heart. As a matter of fact, she was beside her when she got the news that her boyfriend at the time, Dallas McCarver, passed away. Nice to hear that they still have a tight relationship even after Emma was let go from WWE.

Speaking of Dallas, his passing apparently did affect her more than just the obvious sorrow. She revealed for the first time that she has dealt with body-related self-esteem issues. As mentioned before, she has competed in the fitness division for nearly a decade, and one of the downsides to competing for several people is never feeling good enough. Her end to her fitness competition journey (for the time being, anyways) and the passing of Dallas was too much for her to take, and she did put on weight as a result. She wasn't feeling comfortable in her own skin despite being her heart and soul being the same and her caring for others the same as well. Obviously, she has found herself again as far as fitness is concerned and is looking the best she's had in a long time. Mentally, she has gotten better as well. She was a routine freak (and with her past, you can't really blame her). But she has now adjusted herself to be open for anything and be ready on the fly. She has also found love again, in the form of current NBA star (and aspiring WWE Superstar) Enes Kanter of the Portland Trail Blazers. She enjoys Turkish food and admires his faith, which is something she is deep on herself. In addition to that, they love to workout, do fun sporting activities, eat at healthy restaurants, lay in bed and laugh at silly jokes.


Photo credit: Enes's Instagram
She was asked for advice to give a new wrestler, and she said, "Always try new things! Think of the physiology behind things and story telling of the match! Make the moves mean something" (BTW, she is absolutely correct. Anyone can do a lot of power moves or endless flips, but if they don't push the objective of the storyline, then what's the point?! Make the fans give a damn about what you are going in the ring.) Also she gave advice to those that WANT to be wrestlers: make sure to get an education, which is something she still implements in WWE, especially for training.

What you see with Dana Brooke is what you get with her real-life persona, Ashley Sebera. Strong as they come, mentally and physically with "never ever stop trying" attitudes. The best things that have happened to her have been her toughest moments in life because of what she has learned about herself. In her own words: "Losing someone but learning how strong I was to overcome it! Then giving the strongest love I have in my soul to someone knowing it's ended, but feeling so happy doing it! Being so passionate about a job that sometimes doesn't go your way, but learning perseverance". She was asked in closing "Deep down are you happy" and her response was "I am extremely happy! I'm healthy, I have the best support & living the live God gives me, as long as He wakes me up, we will get through it!"

The fact she has this kind of spirit despite EVERYTHING shows what kind of woman she is and why have no problem supporting her. We do hope that wrestling fans get to know Dana like the fitness world has gotten to know her. To any wrestling sites, if you plan on using any of this article, please credit Dana's Instagram story, not us. We just put it together.



Photo credit: kimberlasskick on Instagram





Don't forget to follow Dana on the following links:

Her WWE Superstars page: http://www.wwe.com/superstars/dana-brooke
Dana's WWE-ran Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWEDanaBrooke/
Her Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaBrookeWWE
Her Instagram: https://instagram.com/ashasebera_danabrooke
Her Snapchat: Asha_danabrooke

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Arnold 2019 Predictions

Photo credit: Arnold Sports Festival website


It's time for the biggest weekend that is NOT the Olympia...the Arnold Sports Festival! Also known as the "kickoff" to the competition season, some of the best in women's physique, fitness, figure, and bikini (as well as the men's divisions) take over Columbus, Ohio, and one of the most simple cities in America becomes the muscle capital of the world for one weekend. There's a very good chance I butchered my predictions here (wouldn't be the first time. LMAO), but here are my predictions for how I think the weekend will play out:


WOMEN'S PHYSIQUE INTERNATIONAL (PREJUDGING AND FINALS FRIDAY)


The Women's Physique International has never had a repeat champion since the contest's debut in 2015. That trend will continue this year as last year's winner and current Ms. Physique Olympia Shanique Grant will not be defending her title. After an amazing year last year for Natalia Coelho, she is considered by many to be the odds-on favorite to win her first major title. People have seemed to forgotten how good Natalia really is despite her success in the industry thus far, but I have a feeling people are going to get a very good reminder of just how amazing of a competitor Natalia really is. Her biggest competitor in my eyes might be a surprise to a lot of you: I have Lauren Rutan challenging her for the title. Lauren is one of the most incredible muscle athletes of all time and her IFBB career has barely begun. She has competed in powerlifting, weightlifting, and CrossFit at the Arnold, and with her competing in women's physique, she will enter a class of her own being the only person (male or female) to compete in the Arnold in four different events. I can't think of any other person that has done this feat. If it indeed comes down to Lauren and Natalia, we are in for a treat. The rest of the field is kinda a toss-up to me. I have Sheronica in 3rd, Valentine in 4th, Antoniette in 5th, and Margita rounding out the top 6. My dark horse for this event is Diana Schnaidt, one of the most underrated competitors in women's physique. Maybe 2019 will be the year she shakes things up there!

My Women's Physique International predictions:

1. Natalia Coelho
2. Lauren Rutan
3. Sheronica Henton
4. Valentina Mishina
5. Antoinette Downie
6. Margita Zamolova
DARK HORSE FOR THE TOP SIX: Diana Schnaidt


FITNESS INTERNATIONAL (PREJUDGING AND FINALS FRIDAY)


2018 saw the post-Oksana Grishina era of the fitness division begin with a bang with Whitney Jones winning 2018 Fitness International title (with a torn ACL!) as well as the 2018 Fitness Olympia, making her the new Queen of Fitness. This weekend, Whitney will be defending her title against some great competition, however there will be no Ariel Khadr (injury) or Myriam Capes (business ordeals) in this year's events. Looking at the field, I expect Whitney to repeat as champion. Ryall Graber, who was the 2018 Fitness Olympia runner-up, to me is her top competitor. I also predict Missy to have her best finish at the Arnold to date. Kate Errington came out of nowhere last year and was the 2018 Fitness International runner-up. I have her finishing 4th because of how good Ryall has been and how improved Missy has become. Definitely not a knock on Kate, mind you. I have Sara and Allison rounding out the top six, with Tiffany Chandler as my dark horse pick.

My Fitness International predictions:

1. Whitney Jones
2. Ryall Graber
3. Missy Farell
4. Kate Errington
5. Sara Kovach
6. Allison Ethier
DARK HORSE FOR THE TOP SIX: Tiffany Chandler


FIGURE INTERNATIONAL (PREJUDGING AND FINALS FRIDAY)


The figure division just gets deeper and deeper each year, with Candice Lewis-Carter and Cydney Gillon running things in 2018 winning the Figure International and Figure Olympia titles respectively. Candice will not be stepping on stage for the foreseeable future and Latorya Watts is still hoping to return sometime this year (still recovering from last year's injury/surgery) as well as no Heather Dees or Ivana Ivusic this time around, leaving Cydney as the odds-on favorite to win her first Figure International title. I see her biggest competition being Nadia Wyatt, who came from almost out of nowhere last year and placed 3rd at the 2018 Figure International. She definitely looked great alongside Cydney and could potentially upset Cydney and win her first major title. Jessica, Sandra, Bojana, and Maria all finished well at the 2018 Olympia, and I personally expect nothing less from them and see them rounding out the top six. One person who I think could shake things up is Wendy Fortino, who will be making her long-overdue Figure International debut. If anyone can make the top six, it's her.


My Figure International Predictions:

1. Cydney Gillon
2. Nadia Wyatt
3. Jessica Reyes Padilla
4. Sandra Grajales
5. Bojana Vasiljevic
6. Maria Luisa Baeza Diaz
DARK HORSE FOR THE TOP 6: Wendy Fortino



BIKINI INTERNATIONAL (PREJUDGING AND FINALS SATURDAY)


For the last couple of years, Angelica Teixeria has ruled the bikini division, but she will not be defending her Bikini International title this year. I feel Janet Layng is long overdue for her first major title, and I do think she has a chance to win this weekend, but because the Arnold is in Columbus and hometown folks do everything in their power to come in at their best in front of their family and friends, I'm going to go with Ashley Kaltwasser to win another Bikini International title. I see Ashley as a SLIGHT favorite but not by much. This might be the tightest contest of the night when it comes to the difference between 1st and 2nd place, but I could be wrong here. Rounding out my top 6 are Elisa, Marcia, Camile, and Frida, who I feel on the verge of a breakout in the bikini division. My dark horse pick is Ashley Jenelle. (NOTE: I had India Paulino on my top 6, but I was informed that she is not competing this weekend. My apologies)

My Bikini International predictions:

1. Ashley Kaltwasser
2. Janet Layng
3. Elisa Pecini
4. Marcia Goncalves
5. Camile Periat
6. Frida Paulsen Stern
DARK HORSE FOR THE TOP SIX: Ashley Jenelle


This is shaping up to be quite the event. For those that are not in Columbus, Ohio this weekend, you can view the festivities at this link: https://www.arnoldsportsfestival.com/visitor-info/asftv/19-asf-livestream/. REDCON1 will be providing over 70 hours of LIVE coverage of all the big events of the Arnold Sports Festival. And we will do our best to keep you all updated on the pro events via our social media platforms. Best of luck to all the competitors this weekend!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

10th Annual FitGems Awards Winners

Thank you all for once again shattering record voting in the 10th Annual FitGems Awards! Here's the full list of the winners and runner-ups for each category, as well as the top ten finishers of the 2018 FitGems Nation Woman of the Year. Check out our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to view photos of the winners and the top 10 Woman of the Year vote-getters. Once again, congrats to all the winners, runner-ups, and the nominees!


PRO CATEGORIES

Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Alina Popa
Margie Martin (runner-up)

Pro Women's Physique Competitor of the Year
Shanique Grant
Natalia Coelho (runner-up)

Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Whitney Jones
Jennifer Worth (runner-up)

Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Candice Lewis-Carter
Cydney Gillon (runner-up)

Pro Bikini Competitor of the Year
Elisa Pecini
Angelica Teixeria (runner-up)

Most Improved Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Silvia Matta
Jacqueline Fuchs (runner-up)

Most Improved Pro Women's Physique Competitor of the Year
Autumn Swansen
Mayla Ash (runner-up)

Most Improved Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Veronic Comtois
Giorgia Foroni (runner-up)

Most Improved Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Natalia Soltero
Stacy Fujarski (runner-up)

Most Improved Pro Bikini Competitor of the Year
Ashley Jenelle
Marcia Goncalves (runner-up)

Rookie Pro Women's Bodybuilder of the Year
Susanna Jacobs
Nicole Janveaux (runner-up)

Rookie Pro Women's Physique Competitor of the Year
Sammica Cash
Sarah Villegas (runner-up)

Rookie Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Jaclyn Baker
Minna Pajulahti (runner-up)

Rookie Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Alexis Sullivan
Julia Waring (runner-up)

Rookie Pro Bikini Competitor of the Year
Jasmine Adams
Jennifer Dorie (runner-up)

Most Underrated Pro Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Pauline Nelson
Jennifer Palazzo (runner-up)

Most Underrated Pro Women's Physique Competitor of the Year
Jill Blondin
Felecia Murray (runner-up)

Most Underrated Pro Fitness Competitor of the Year
Nicole Neargarder
Stacy Wright (runner-up)

Most Underrated Pro Figure Competitor of the Year
Ashley Soto
Amanda Carr (runner-up)

Most Underrated Pro Bikini Competitor of the Year
Eli Fernandez
Kerryne Henich (runner-up)


AMATEUR CATEGORIES


Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Akemy Jones
Kelly Lynn Nauyokas (runner-up)

Amateur Women's Physique Competitor of the Year
Ashlynn Richardson
Jessica Williams (runner-up)

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Katarina Vovolka
Ashley Pickard (runner-up)

Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Sarah Grace
Ashley Sparks (runner-up)

Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
Jessica Telesco
Skylar Lanier and Shannon Lane (runner-ups)

Breakout Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Lacey Pruitt
Amy Sutter (runner-up)

Breakout Amateur Women’s Physique Competitor of the Year
Traci Rugged
Kelly Lynn Nauyokas (runner-up)

Breakout Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Anna Adams
Vanessa Bousquet (runner-up)

Breakout Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Ashley Jones
Alicia Bell (runner-up)

Breakout Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
Ciara Houston
Amanda Aguzzi (Runner-up)

Most Underrated Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year
Karen Holliday
Gina Cavaliero (runner-up)

Most Underrated Amateur Women’s Physique Competitor of the Year
Farrah Faulkner
Tamara Gourley (runner-up)

Most Underrated Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Year
Shayla Jacobs
Brandy Norris and Sarah Koubek (runner-ups)

Most Underrated Amateur Figure Competitor of the Year
Tawny Davis
Meghan Cassidy (runner-up)

Most Underrated Amateur Bikini Competitor of the Year
Sheila Roberts
Samantha Mcintyre (runner-up)


MISC. CATEGORIES


Fitness Model of the Year
Wendy Fortino
Tina Nguyen (Runner-up)

Fitness Ambassador of the Year
Nicole Wilkins
Juliana Malacarne (Runner-up)

Social Media Star of the Year (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat, etc.)
Wendy Fortino
Tina Nguyen (Runner-up)

Moment of the Year
Shanique Grant becoming the youngest Ms. Women's Physique Olympia in history
Ashley Kaltwasser returning to competition for the first time in over a year at the 2018 Mile High Pro (Runner-up)

Photographer of the Year
Dan Ray
J.M. Manion (Runner-up)

Fit Celebrity of the Year
Charly Caruso
Jenna Wolfe and Teresa Guidance (Runner-ups)

Female Sports Athlete of the Year
Simone Biles
Alex Morgan (Runner-up)

Female Crossfit Athlete of the Year
Tia-Clair Toomey
Katrin Tania Thorisdottir (Runner-up)

Female Strength Athlete of the Year
Stefanie Cohen
Jen Thompson (Runner-up)

Female Super League Athlete of the Year
Kristen Graham
Jamie Filer (Runner-up)

Fittest Female WWE Superstar of the Year (Raw/Smackdown Live)
Sasha Banks
Mandy Rose (Runner-up)

Fittest Female NXT Superstar of the Year
Candice LeRae
Bianca Belair (Runner-up)

Fittest Female Wrestler of the Year
Tessa Blanchard
Toni Storm (Runner-up)

Physique Paysite of the Year
HerBiceps
HDPhysiques/Preminum Physiques (Runner-ups)

Physique Paysite Model of the Year
Sandra Grajales
Maria Garcia (Runner-up)

Promoter of the Year
Tim Gardner
Branch and Trish Warren (Runner-ups)

Fitness Clothing Line of the Year
Flag Nor Fail
Booty Queen Apparel (Runner-up)

Team of the Year
Underrated Muscle
Fitness Mafia (Runner-up)

Male Trainer of the Year
Dave Palumbo
Matt Allen (Runner-up)

Female Trainer of the Year
Wendy Fortino
Natalia Coelho (Runner-Up)


FitGems Nation Woman of the Year Top 10

  1. Cydney Gillon
  2. Shanique Grant
  3. Candice Lewis-Carter
  4. Angelica Teixeria
  5. Jennifer Worth
  6. Ronda Rousey
  7. Bojana Vasiljevic
  8. Alina Popa
  9. Whitney Jones and Juliana Malacarne (tied)