For the first time in our Awards history, we have a three-way tie. Kayla Brucen, Sarah Christopher, and Christyn Bisson each received 19% of the total votes. We left it up to you on Instagram to see what we need to do and by a majority vote of 59% to 41%, we will be doing a one-day runoff! Vote for either of these three in the poll below to determine who wins 2020 Breakout Amateur Female Bodybuilder of the Year. Good luck ladies!
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
2020 was quite the year. Some good, a lot bad, and a WHOLE LOT of WTF. but we made it through (THANK GOD), and now it's time to FINALLY vote in the 12th Annual FitGems Awards! You will be able to vote daily until February 1st with results annnounced at some point afterwards. A few categories have been modified and some have been omitted due to everything that happened this year. A big category I left out this year is Promoter of the Year because if you were able to do a show in 2020, consider yourself a winner no matter what! You can say this for a lot of things but the fact that promoters even dediced to even HAVE shows in 2020 despite everything going on should be commended for that.
Also this year, I've dediced to take a page from our good friends over at Promoting Real Woman and do a Competitor's Choice for 2020. Send the name of your favorite competitor from 2020 and a show they competed in (for verification purposes) to email@example.com. YOU MUST BE A CURRENT COMPETITOR TO VOTE AND I'LL BE ACCEPTING VOTES BY EMAIL ONLY AND YOU CAN ONLY VOTE ONCE (NOT ONCE A DAY...JUST ONCE). When you vote, please provide your name and a show you competed in for 2020 so I can verify that you are a competitor. If I can't verify your vote, YOUR VOTE WILL NOT COUNT.
Here's the following Competitor's Choice categories:
Pro Female Bodybuilder
Pro Women's Physique Competitor
Pro Fitness Competitor
Pro Figure Competitor
Pro Bikini Competitor
Pro Wellness Competitor
Amateur Female Bodybuilder
Amateur Women's Physique Competitor
Amateur Fitness Competitot
Amateur Figure Competitor
Amateur Bikini Competitor
Amateur Wellness Competitor
Here's the regular ballot for everything else!
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Friday, December 18, 2020
|We're here at last! |
Photo credit to the original owner
This year has been crazy, but somehow...someway, we are getting an Olympia. By the time this weekend is over, we will crown the best of the muscle world. Obviously, since this is a female muscle site, we will be focusing on the female muscle side of things. The big story without a doubt is the return of Ms. Olympia, but all the divisions are loaded. Will we see new champions crowned? Will returning favorites return to glory? Will any new faces shock the world? Chcck out our predictions on what many are calling the biggest Olympia...EVER.
Women's Physique Olympia
For the last couple of years, Shanique Grant has dominated women's physique with an iron fist. Other than Juliana Malacarne, no one has owned the divison quite like Shanique. She might be on her way to being the best to ever do it, and a win this weekend will definitely strenthen her case as the GOAT. I feel Natalia Coelho is in the same boat as Shanique but is not talked about NEARLY enough despite being a 2x (and current) Women's Physique International Champion, but I'll in a future blog post after the holidays. Sarah suprised me with her runner-up placing last year, which she will do her best to show everyone that that runner-up placing was no fluke and she's legit. Valentina brings a great physique at the biggest shows and after what she felt was a disappointment in an earlier show this year, she will look to rebound from it with a big showing at the biggest show of the year. Rulying Bian brought an incredibe physique in Arizona, and I think she will carry that momentum to Orlando in her Olympia debut. Tanya Chartrand came from the same group of competitors as Shanique and Natalia in crossing over from figure to women's physique and having immediate success. I think with a full year of women's physique training under her belt, Tanya is going to do SERIOUS damage in the women's physique division, and we will get a nice taste of that at this year's O. As far as a wildcard is concerned, I'm going to go with Laura Richards on this one. I feel she has what it takes to crack the top 6 if she comes in nicely.
WOMEN'S PHYSIQUE OLYMPIA TOP 6 PREDICTIONS AND WILDCARD:
1. Shanique Grant
2. Natalia Coelho
3. Sarah Villegas
4. Valentina Mishina
5. Rulying Bian
6. Tanya Chartrand
WILDCARD Laura Richards
There have been stacked line-ups, and honestly, I feel this is the most stacked Fitness Olympia lineup EVER, and this is despite not having Adela Garcia in the mix. She was originally scheduled to come out of retirement, however she didn't feel she was up to par with how she wanted to present herself, the fitness division, and the IFBB as a whole. With that being said, she opted to hold off on coming out of retirement for now, be we hope to see her return at some point. It doesn't make this year's event any less epic, though. Whitney Jones, the defending champion, is in for the defesne of her career and one of the rare times I will call her an underdog. The fact that I feel she's an underdog this year speaks volumnes on the competition she has this year. Ariel Khadr is under new training and is coming in crazier than ever before in her career. Missy Truscott has been WOWing folks with that many are calling her best physique ever (and that's saying something considering she has brought one of the best physiques in the fitness division the last few years) and she has promised a routine that is going to WOW the audience this year. If they both click like they have in the past, we could see a new champion. And oh yeah...OKSANA FREAKING GRISHINA IS BAAAAAAACCCCCCK!!!! From 2014-2017, she ran the fitness diviison with an iron fist, with many considering the best pure athlete to ever compete in the fitness division. Her routines were works of art, and there's no telling how she's going to grace us in her return, but if it's anything like her previous performances...we are in for a SHOW this weekend! I see Tiffany Chandler and Derina Wilson having Top 6 perforamces with my wildcard being Minna Pajulahti.
FITNESS OLYMPIA TOP 6 PREDICTIONS AND WILDCARD:
1. Missy Truscott
2. Oksana Grishina
3. Whitney Jones
4. Ariel Khadr
5. Tiffany Chandler
6. Derina Wilson
WILDCARD: Minna Pajulahti
History is on the line for the current Figure Olympia champion Cydney Gillon. She currently has 3 titles. If she wins this weekend, she will tie with Nicole Wilkins, who has the most Figure Olympia titles with four. If Cydney wins, it's time to put her in the conversation of GOAT in the figure division. But it won't be easy. Latorya Watts is a former Miss Figure Olympia in her own right and she looked she could have potentially beatedn Cydney last year. Nadia has showned that she is just a big of a threat to a major title as anyone and I can see her right in the mix. Bojana is another one who is hard to ignore and I feel she has one of the best shapes of any woman in the figure division. I personally don't know what else she needs to do to get over the hump but I think if she continues to bring it, it's going to be downright impossible to ignore her. Jessica is in the same boat to me as Bojana in terms of shape and conditioning. Jessica has that hard-to-ignore look about her that has made her a top figure competitor. BTW, how cool would it be to be crowned Miss Figure Olympia ON HER BIRTHDAY?! (Yes, her birthday is the same day as this year's Figure Olympia). I also see the current Figure International champion Natalia Soltero making some noise in this year's event. The rest of the field looks pretty awesome, but the newcomer I have my eye on is Samantha Jerring. She has developed quite the following for a couple of years and in one weekend, she competed for a pro card and won the right to compete in the Olympia. She might be new to the States as a competitor (her first show in the United States will be the freaking Olympia) but her physique could be too good to ignore. We predict Samantha is going to be someone folks are gonna talk about a LOT when this weekend is over.
FIGURE OLYMPIA TOP 6 PREDICTIONS AND WILDCARD:
1. Cydney Gillon
2. Latorya Watts
3. Nadia Wyatt
4. Bojana Vasiljevic
5. Jessica Reyes Padilla
6. Natalia Soltero
WILDCARD: Samantha Jerring
This division is never easy to predict for me. It definitely wasn't until Ashley Kaltwasser became champion in 2013. She would go on a 3-year winning streak until she was dethroned by Courtney King in 2016. Angelica Teixeria would win the title in 2017 and 2018 and Elisa Pecini won last year. Three of the last four champions are competing which right there makes one of the toughest divisions to judges even tougher. And oh yeah...this is without a doubt the biggest line-up in ANY division this year. There was nearly 45 QUALIFIED competitors, which is more than double of most other divisions! Now, you can argue that is a BIG too many for the most prestigious show of the year, but we'll talk about that another day if anyone wishes to hear about it. But it doesn't change the fact that this is a deep division that is one of the hardest to judge. The crowning of this year's champion is very important because of the imcoming Wellness Olympia next year, so the look of the Bikini Olympia needs to remain as far apart of the inargual Wellness Olympia look as possible. I know Elisa is the defending champion, but Ashley has been on an absoulte hot streak this year, officially cementing herself as the most winningest bikini champion of all time. Despite it being a bit since she's won the Bikini Olympia title, I'm going with Ashley to win her first Bikini Olympia title since 2015, followed by Elisa, Angelica, Janet, Jennifer R., and Monica. And honestly, I'm just choosing at random for a wild card here, so I'm going with Jennifer Dorie.
BIKINI OLYMPIA TOP 6 PREDICTIONS AND WILDCARD:
1. Ashley Kaltwasser
2. Elisa Pecini
3. Angelica Teixeira
4. Janet Layug
5. Jennifer Ronzitti
6. Monica Ellis
WILD CARD: Jennifer Dorie
We have not has a Ms. Olympia since 2014, which is a damn shame in our book because this was the reason there are even any female Olympias in the first place in any division. But with new ownership, a big wrong was righted and the Ms. Olympia is finally back, as we will embark on a new era in the sport with the crowning of the first Ms. Olympia since 2014. I have no idea what direction they are going to go with as far as who will be the new face of women's bodybuilding, but my guess will be that it will be someone who has done well in shows post-2014 like Margie Martin and Helle Trevino. Yaxeni Oriquen is a former Ms. Olympia so that automatically makes her an instant contender. Iris Kyle is arguably the most dominating female bodybuilder of all time with 10 Ms. Olympia titles (2004, 2006-2014). That ALONE makes her a favorite to kick off the new era as Ms. Olympia. However, I feel they will go with a different look to kick off the new era and it HAS been a minute since Iris has stepped on stage, otherwise I would have her winning this weekend. (Same reason why I don't have Oksana winning the Fitness Olympia as well). With that being said, I'm doing with Margie Martin to usher in the new era of women's bodybuilding as the new Ms. Olympia with Iris taking 2nd place, followed by Helle, Monique, Asha, and Andrea, with Theresa as my wildcard. Either way, the real winners this weekend are fans of women's bodybuilding because the Ms. Olympia competition is BACK! Now we need to get the Ms. International to return in 2021. Your move, Arnold...
MS. OLYMPIA TOP 6 PREDICTIONS AND WILD CARD:
1. Margie Martin
2. Iris Kyle
3. Helle Trevino
4. Monique Jones
5. Asha Hadley
6. Andrea Shaw
WILDCARD: Theresa Ivancik
This weekend will be one to remember for so many reasons, and you can view it all via pay-per-view. Go to OlympiaProductions.com for more on how to order the PPV, which you can watch on any device, as well as watch some free content from this weekend. To everyone that was able to get this together despite how this year has went, my hats off to all of you. To everyone that is competing and were able to get it done despite how this year has went, my hats off to you as well. Here to one hell of a weekend for everyone, whether you are in Orlando or watching from the comforts of home.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of returns in the female muscle world: Oksana Grishina, Jenny Worth, Adela Garcia possibly in 2021 (it was aimed to be 2020 but she has put off the comeback to make sure she represents the fitness division the right way), Monica Brant made a comeback a few years ago (competing in the PCA and NABBA), and Yarishna Ayala became an IFBB Pro again a few years after leaving the sport to pursue different opportunities elsewhere. At the 2020 Arizona Pro, Melissa Teich returned to the IFBB stage after a four-year break and ended up winning the women's physique title. This year is the much-anticipated bthe return of the female Olympia event that started it all for the women: Ms. Olympia. In this industry these days, you just never say never. And based off what little we've seen of one of our number-one supporters, we would love to see Christine Pomponio, one of the first ladies of the figure division, make a comeback at some point.
|If we were to tell you how far apart these photos are, you wouldn't believe us. |
Credit to the original owners
Christine used to go by a slightly different name during her competition days, but things have changed in her life for reasons that we will not discuss here. But something that hasn't changed that much in her life is her dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, as evident in local commercials she does for Granite Depot in Denver. She last stepped on stage at the 2006 Figure Olympia, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her these days, as she seems like she would not be out of place at all in today's competiting world. In fact, she did a couple of photoshoots with Marc Thyssen back in 2010 and 2011 that made people wonder THEN if she was going to come back competing. Oh yeah...this was not too long after giving birth, a couple of years or so. She also did a few shoots here and there after giving twins and much like after giving birth the first time, she bounced back pretty quickly.
If it were up to us, if she were to ever come out of retirement, we would love to see her make a return to the stage in late 2021 or early 2022. We say those time periods because from all the time we've known Christine, she is someone who prides herself in doing things right and never wanting to jump into anything without a solid gameplan. While figure posing in relatively easier that most, it STILL requires a lot of practice to nail every transisition, making sure every muscle fiber is flexed correctly during each pose to highly a complete physique. Christine was known for bringing a physique that was well-conditiioned (especially in the delts and quads) yet at the same time full in order to contend with the taller competitors. In fact, her competition resume (which included Top-6 Arnold and Olympia placings) helped paved the way for competitors of her height to achieve success in the figure division, which has historically favored medium-to-tall competitors.
With big returns happening almost a yearly thing now, it would be great to see the figure division have one of their top first stars return for one final run, and based off how Christine looks these days, the only reason that Christine Pomponio will never step on stage again is because Christine Pomponio doesn't want to. But she has mentioned to me personally to "never say never". If Christine ever does return and it's anything similar to how others have returned to the stage in recent years, figure fans and those that compete in the figure division are in for a treat.
|She. Does. NOT. Age. At. All!|
For more on Christine, check out her Facebook and Instagram pages: https://www.facebook.com/christinepomponio and https://www.instagram.com/christinepomponio. For anyone interested in working with Christine for commercial ads, photoshoots, print ads, and/or Covid safe appearances, etc., contact talent mgmt. Brett Myles at firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Dozier at email@example.com. If you want to read our blog about Christine from a couple of years, click here.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE IS BASED OFF THE OPINIONS OF THE OWNER OF FITGEMS NATION AND DOES NOT REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF FITGEMS NATION AS A WHOLE.
Call us crazy, but I feel that when you put the work in, one should reap the benefits from it at some point. For this article, I'm going to focus on wrestling, or more specially WWE, and even MORE specifically a certain WWE Superstar. If you have followed us enough, you probably have a good guess on who that is. As a long-time fan of pro wrestling, I know that every woman in WWE has put in the time, effort, dedication, and hard work to make themselves better, the women's division better, and in general, their company better. While I don't doubt the hard work of any woman in WWE, I truly feel Dana Brooke (real name Ashley Sebera) is among the hardest working women (or person in general) in WWE that has not gotten her due in the company yet, whether by fans, her coworkers, legends, or the company itself. While FitGems Nation loves to talk about Dana as much as we can (especially on our social media accounts), we should NOT be the ones writing this particular article. This should be done by wrestling journalists because wrestling fans are the ones that need to see this more than the fitness world does. But Dana came from the fitness world, where unlike the wrestling world right now, we KNOW her hard work. We RESPECT her hard work. So it's only right that the world gets to understand who Dana is from people that know her best outside of her immediate family, and right now...it sure as hell isn't the world of professional wrestling.
|Five Years of Flex Appeal...and counting! |
Photo credit: Dana's Instagram
We will be the first to admit Dana didn't exactly set the world on fire during her debut on NXT over five years ago (we actually mentioned that on our blog before). But like every single person who's ever stepped into a wrestling ring, it takes time to mature and evolve. Not one wrestler gets it right the first time. Seriously, check every wrestler's first year (and yes, wrestling fans, we're definitely talking about your favs as well) and tell us just how perfect they were the very first time they stepped in a ring. Most of you couldn't do it. Despite that, today's wrestling fans seemed like they had already made up their mind about how to approach Dana no matter what. She didn't come from a wrestling background, wasn't from the independent wrestling circuit, nor was she international. She entered pro wrestling from a fitness background, which included..yes, modeling. Today's wrestling fans HATE women that come from modeling backgrounds of any kind, despite them putting in the work to try and shatter that overplayed stereotype. I've seen it time and time again over my years being a fan of professional wrestling and it absoultely sucks.
We want to make this very clear to everyone. We know Dana isn't the best performer in the women's division. We know in-ring wise, she is below the talent of the Four Horsewomen (Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Bayley). We know there are those outside the 4HW in WWE that are better than Dana in the ring. However...it doesn't change the fact that she constantly works on her craft, whether it's her in-ring gear, her moveset, interacting with the crowd (when WWE was actually in front of crowds). I mean, there's no way in hell you can watch Dana over the last couple of years of her career and NOT see her progression, unless you are totally blind or you have THAT deep of a hatred towards her. In no way are we saying that Dana should be the ace of WWE's women's division, but it would be nice to put her in a position in WWE where folks can see what those in the fitness division already know about her...Ashley Sebera the person is special, and the same can be said about the wrestler Dana Brooke.
|No matter where she goes, whether mainstream, behind-the-scenes, or somewhere in between...Dana always finds a way to make an impact!|
Photo credit: Dana's Instagram
Want proof? I got some proof for you all. Take a look at this year's Money in the Bank. Who were people talking about the most during that match? Who was the MVP of that match? Who had folks entertained more than anyone else, male or female? DANA BROOKE. Her comedic antics stole the show, especially the Money in the Bank fake-out. It got folks hoping that she could take a more comedic approach to her persona. How about last year's build to Wrestlemania? Dana got to show her real self to the fans with a passionate promo against then-Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and got a title match with her the following week (which honestly was nothing more than a sham to make Ronda credible for Mania...like she needed that. We will never forgive Vince McMahon for that). At Wrestlemania 35, she competed in the Wrestlemania Women's Battle Royal and got one of the biggest reactions of the night with folks chanting her name and actually going nuts when she eliminated 2/3rd of the Riott Squad by herself before getting elimnated by Mandy Rose, which didn't set well with the fans in attendance, FYI. When Dana was dropped by Charlotte Flair before Wrestlemania 33, Dana went on a ranpage whooping Charlotte's ass with the entire crowd chanting her name without it feeling forced. The next week, they had a match and Charlotte beat her like it was nothing and they dropped it like a bad habit.
If Dana actually was blowing her moments, we wouldn't be having this discussion. But she kills it each time she is given a chance to shine, but WWE for whatever reason or another refuses to follow up on anything she does. Which is why we can't help but have our worries for her new tag-team partnership with fellow fitness star and WWE Superstar Mandy Rose (someone else we think highly of on here). Thus far, their tag team is working and things are clicking so well, but anyone who has followed WWE for a while knows that they have a tendency to drop stuff on the fly without any explanation. And with their track record thoughout Dana's career ALONE, we can't help but be worried for Dana's current direction in the company right now. But maybe for once, they will let this follow through and potentially taste gold for the first time in her career in the form of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship and maybe eventually the Raw or Smackdown Women's Championship down the line.
|Future WWE Women's Tag Team Champions?!|
Photo credit: Mandy's Instagram
She's far from the only person that has suffered from on/off booking in WWE and she definitely won't be the last, but for someone who represents less than 1% of the world's population as an IFBB Fitness Pro, she should be shown in a far better light than what she's currently been given. Dana/Ashley loves WWE, otherwise she wouldn't have signed a five-year extention with them last year rather than explore other options (and trust us, there's a LOT more options now. WWE isn't the only game in town anymore, despite what some in the company wants you to believe). It's time for WWE to love her back. Put her in, folks. Let Dana earn your trust...and this goes to the wrestling fans and critics just as much as it does the company itself.
LET. DANA. FLEX.
|We've known her greatness for years now. Time for the wrestling world to know it as well.|
Photo credit: WWE's InstaStory
Make sure to follow Dana on her social media accounts:
Her WWE-run Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WWEDanaBrooke/
Saturday, August 15, 2020
All summer long, we hosted a tournament with 64 of the fittest women to ever grace WWE. Ranging from the most muscular to the comic-book heroine looks, from Crossfitters to fitness champions, it was an amazing tournament from start to finish with surprising upsets throughout in the quest to crown the Fittest Female WWE Superstar of All Time.
After weeks and weeks of voting, we have finally been able to crown a winner. Congratulations to Lita on winning our tournament and being named the Fittest Female WWE Superstar of All Time! She beat Mandy Rose by ONE VOTE. When one looks at her physique and focuses on her fitness level, it's not hard to see why. To do what she had done in WWE, you have to have an extreme level of fitness to pull off her moveset, including her world famous moonsaults. In the consoulation round (which was just as tight), Chyna defeated Naomi to claim third place.
So the final results are as followed:
Runner-up: Mandy Rose
3rd Place: Chyna
4th Place: Naomi
Congrats to Lita, Mandy, Chyna (R.I.P), and Naomi on making it as far as you did and to all the women that made the tournament, thank you all for inspiring the WWE Universe and beyond, not just in the ring but in the gym as well. We hope to do more fun tournaments like this down the line. Hope you all enjoyed this one!
Monday, August 10, 2020
Earlier this summer, we began a tournament to crown the Fittest Female WWE Superstar of All Time. It was hard but we were able to select who we felt were the 64 fittest women in WWE history (thus far). There were some suprises and upsets throughout the tournament, but now we have made it to the Finals of our tournament.
On one side, you have Mandy Rose, a former WBFF Bikini World Champion who has brought a physique to WWE that is not only pleasing to the eyes of many in the WWE Universe but has a lot of power behind it that most men WISHED they had. On the other side, you have Lita, who is known for her rebel style and attitude in the ring, but behind her in-ring attire lies a strong, asthetic physique in her own right that wowed fans in various bikini productions in WWE. One of these two will be crowned the Fittest Female WWE Superstar of All Time. Old school vs new school. The Queen of Xtreme vs God's Greatest Creation. Who takes the title?!
Both polls will go on until Midnight Eastern time this Friday. To everyone that has voted and been part of this event, we can't thank you enough for your support. We hope to do more things like this in the future. Best of luck to the remaining competitors!
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
|Despite her placing, she stole the show at the Tampa Pro over the weekend|
Photo credit: NPC News Online
|2018 NPC Jr. Nationals Figure Class F Winner|
Photo Credit: NPC News Online
|Juliana Malacarne...Shanique Grant...Natalia Coelho...Meghan Santa Barbara?! We shall soon see!|
Photo credit: Her Instagram