This is a list of some of the most influential people in fitness today. I want to thank everyone who directly and indirectly shaped and molded me into the person I have become, for your support, articles and books I’ve read and ultimately just for being awesome! Everybody on this list has positively influenced me and helped shape me into who I am today. You have no idea how the little things you do influence and affect those around you. This is MY list of Top Fitness Professionals, Models and Authors that have changed my life for good.
Mandy Blank: It was 1998, Mandy Blank was in a Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine and it was the very first fitness magazine I’d ever picked up. I read that mag from cover to cover trying to figure out what these girls eat and do to look this good? I remember my sister and I started doing crunches on the floor right away as we didn’t have any equipment or clue what we were doing. Over the years I’ve seen Mandy countless times in and on covers of leading fitness magazines like Muscle and Fitness, his and hers, and Oxygen magazine to name a few. Mandy was the first fitness model I’d EVER read about and in a sense I have her to thank for how far I’ve come. I was inspired by her and wanted to keep learning more and more. Mandy is a Hydroxycut Max model and just a few months ago I shot for a Hydroxycut add that will be featured in a whole bunch of magazines all over Canada and the USA. For more on Mandy http://mandyblank.com/
Annette Milbers: In 2006, I picked up an Oxygen magazine and Annette was on the cover. I was planning on competing and was looking for a trainer so I tracked her down and we began training right away….the rest is history. She is one of my favorite fitness models and I feel lucky to call her a friend. I owe it to Annette for teaching me the RIGHT way to train and how to stay healthy and fit all year around. Annette is such an inspiration to me and many other women because 1. She’s a mother of 4. 2. She’s an Oxygen Cover Model and 3. Because Milbers Rocks (have you seen those abs??) http://www.annettemilbers.com/
Paul Dillet: Paul is a BIG Dude! He is the founder of the WBFF or World Body Building and Fitness Federation. We all owe Paul a big thank you for starting this organization. Because of the WBFF, we have these great shows that bring us together. Paul paved the way because of his fitness organization. Competing gave me a goal to reach “Pro” status and I did in 2011 when I won my Pro Card as a Bikini Model. The WBFF is the best organization to compete with in my opinion because it’s more glamorous than other fitness shows. So why would you compete anywhere else? Are you ready for worlds next year?? http://wbffshows.com/
Lyzabeth Lopez: If you thought J Lo started the trend to have a nice booty, you were mistaken it was actually LYZABETH that started that. Lyzabeth was a judge at my very first fitness competition in 2008 with Fame. It was the first time I’d seen her and since then she’s popped up all over the scene. 2 years ago she won 1st place in Inside Fitness “Hot N Fit 100”. I was also in the “hot n fit 100” list and I have to admit it’s flattering to be featured along side other models like this girl here. She’s the founder of the Hour Glass workout, Cover Model, personal trainer and nutritionist. She has really got a great hourglass body. Check her out at http://www.lyzabethlopez.com/ or http://www.hourglassworkout.com/
Claire Rae: TCR (The Claire Rae) is one of my best friends so of course I added her to my list. If it weren’t for Claire I wouldn’t have made it this far. Claire has been in tons of fitness magazines like Oxygen, Fit n Firm, Fitness Gurls, and Inside Fitness. She’s also done several covers for Fitness Gurls, Womens Health and Fitness, and Fit N Firm magazine. She stays in great shape all year around. This girl is unreal. If it weren’t for a little healthy competition between us I wouldn’t have pushed myself this far. Claire and I met by fate and just wait because you haven’t seen the end of us. http://www.clairerae.com/
Bill Phillips: This guy wrote one of the first Bodybuilding cookbooks I’ve ever read. I read “Body For Life” and then his cookbook “Eating for Life” in 1999 about 2 years after I started lifting. I was a sponge looking for information on how I could build a killer body. I was fairly fit but wanted more rounded muscles like the girls in fitness magazines. His books are great and full of really good bodybuilding information. They lead me to more learning about how food combining really works. Check him out. I highly recommend his books and training methods. http://www.transformation.com/
Julie Marseland: I remember the first time I read an article about this beautiful tall fit model. (who btw I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with in the Dominican Republic on a Shoot at Paul Buceta’s pool party.) The article said she was a flight attendant and gave a description of her daily meal plans and how she worked it around her busy travel schedule. This really appealed to ME because I was a new pilot for work and I was always traveling… and let me tell you it’s hard to stay fit on the road. Have you been to Texas? Everything is bigger in Texas including their serving sizes HOLY! Julie is a Cover model, fitness model and personal trainer. For more on Julie http://juliemarsland.com/
Jamie Eason: Jamie is a huge inspiration for me. She has been in fitness for many years and is pretty much everywhere. You can find her at Bodybuilding.com or in all the leading fitness magazines like oxygen magazine, muscle mag you name it she’s in it. I remember the first time I read about her it was a cover article for Oxygen magazine and it said she’d recently recovered from breast cancer. This blew my mind. Jamie definitely paved the way for myself and many other fitness models aspiring to be in this kind of shape. Although we haven’t officially met yet I did see her at the Olympia Expo 2 years ago, she’s just a tiny girl about 5’ tall and looks exactly like her pics in real life. Gorgeous! She has a huge fan page and she interacts often with her fans check it out at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJamieEason
Paul Anthony Neil: Paul was my personal trainer and diet coach. Paul is a World Natural Bodybuilding Champion and it’s no wonder why. Have you tried one of his workouts? Its hard core. I learned a lot from training with Paul, mostly that you can train your mind to push through intense exercise by setting higher goals than you ever thought imaginable. I stole Pauls saying “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. It’s a quote I say to myself and my clients regularly. You absolutely must have your meals ready when you are. Paul lives in Calgary and is a personal trainer and life coach at Worlds Health Club Downtown. For more on Paul and his workouts you can find him at http://paulanthony.ca/Home
Francisca Dennis: I first read about her in an Oxygen magazine when I was training for my first show in 2006. This fit mom has 6 children. I thought,wow amazing! If she can do this with 6 kids I should be able to do it with none. I remember a question she was asked from an interview in oxygen “What book is on your bed stand”. Hers was “The Secret” and I went out to get this book right away. It did shape and change the direction of my life and my thinking in a positive way. I can’t tell you how many things happened after I read this book…but that’s a whole other story. Not only is she a mother and cover model but she’s also a business owner, author and does lifestyle consulting and training online. Check her out at http://fdlifestyle.com/
Tosca Reno: Tosca came out with her first book “The Eat Clean Diet” right around the same time I was in the very beginning phases of my own cookbook. I of course own every one of her books now and I recommend them often to people who ask me about what they should be eating. Tosca is a cover model for Oxygen magazine and was married to the recently deceased Robert Kennedy from Robert Kennedy Publishing. I follow oxygen and I read their magazines religiously so when you hear news like this about people you’ve grown to know and love its very sad. My heart goes out to Tosca and her family. Tosca over the years has come out with several other cookbooks. You can check them all out here http://www.eatcleandiet.com/ or http://www.toscareno.com/
Arnold Schwartzenneger: Arnold is a classic. I don’t know how many movies I’ve seen him in but I’ve always been fascinated by his physique. After watching “Pumping Iron” (one of Arnolds greatest movies ever) I had a new appreciation for old Arny. This movie was my first window into what a competition lifestyle looks like. (Minus the smoking pot part.) Every guy I know in fitness has a copy of Arnolds Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. I still don’t have a copy but I think its time I look into this book because Arnold clearly has it going on. http://www.schwarzenegger.com/
Suzanne Somers: You may remember this blond Bombshell from “Three’s Company” the sitcom from the late 70’s early 80’s. She plays the ditsy blond in the show but this blond bombshell has since become a leading a health and fitness Icon. I must have been in high school when I first read a cookbook by Suzanne Somers. It was when low carb diets were becoming big and I tried several of her recipes and they are really good. She is such an inspiration to me and other women because well lets face it she looks DAMN good for her age. I was always intrigued by her healthy habits to stay in such great shape. http://www.suzannesomers.com/
Tanya Lee: Tanya is from my hometown. I always loved to cook and I heard Tanya had created her own cookbook “Body Art Cookbook” which really intrigued me about her. She is a top figure competitor and is currently focusing on dance-yoga, posture therapy, and body transformations. She’s now offers a program called ”Foxy Finish” – it’s a sexy spy academy that focuses on cultivating femininity and grace for the bikini model or tomboys alike… mastering high heel strut, attitude, body-image, camera/stage work, etc. She will be running the program out of a new club in Calgary called: Fierce Girl Fitness. She was one of the first people to write a bodybuilding cookbook in the industry. I was especially inspired by Tanya’s cookie recipes and developed a few of my own using some of her techniques as a foundation. Check her book out here http://bodyartcookbook.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/BodyArt-Motion/143481302347622
Mark Anthony W: Also known as Mark “Flex” Anthony. He was my diet coach and trainer for the competition where I won my Pro Status as a Bikini Model. I owe a big thank you to Mark for teaching me the ins and outs of a competitive diet plan. Mark had faith in me and he had a way of coaching that helped me to believe in myself. He is a positive and motivating person and had a huge impact on my success. Mark is an IFBB Pro, All Max sponsored athlete and Cover model. For more on Mark check him out here http://www.markanthonyw.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/MarkAnthonyVerified
Monica Brant: Monica is the one of biggest female fitness ikons and has done over 100 covers. She won World Champions in 2010 in Figure Pro division with the WBFF.
I met Monica in person a few days after the championships in Las Vegas and ended up going out for dinner with her. I was super pumped about this considering I’d only been reading about her and seeing her on covers for over 15 years.
She’s a super down to earth girl and I love her especially because she also has a Daschound (I love my weiner dog) and who doesn’t think that’s awesome? Monica is a huge inspiration for me and many other women because,well just look at her. Check her out here http://www.monicabrant.com/
Miryah Jade Scott: Miryah and I have been competing together since 2009. She won first place Fitness Model at her very first Competition. A couple months later she won the WBFF Pro Division in Fitness Modeling and was Crowned the WBFF Fitness Model World Champion at her second show. The next two years in a row she won again and kept her title as a first place champion with the WBFF. This a gorgeous girl with incredible confidence it’s no wonder she has placed so well. Miryah most certainly paved the way for myself and other fitness models who strive to live a healthy lifestyle all year around. She’s a cover model for Oxygen magazine and Inside Fitness. Her story is a remarkable one. For more on Miryah http://miryahscott.ca/
Franco Columbu: I love this guy. He was a big star in the movie “Pumping Iron” and one of Arnolds best friends. Franco Columbu was a Chiropractor and also the author of a great book I read called “ The Bodybuilders Nutrition Book” that was written in the early 1980’s. Good read. He touches on supplementation using vitamins that I found especially interesting. Check him out at http://www.columbu.com/
Marisa Miller: This Victoria Secret Model is one of my favorite bikini models of all time. Whenever I flip through a catalog I always end up buying bikini’s she’s modeling in. She’s got the best body out of all the Victoria Secret models in my opinion because she’s got nice lean muscles and a naturally beautiful look about her. Check her out here: http://www.marisamiller.com/
Zuzana Light: Zuzana was the original Body Rock girl and has one of the hardest bodies in fitness. Her workouts are short and very intense which is great when you are short on time and the cool part is you can do the workouts from home. I love watching her because she’s super cute and genuine. She’s also got the best abs in fitness.Check her out here: http://zuzkalight.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ZuzkaLight?ref=ts&fref=ts
Greg Plitt: This guy is one of my most favorite male fitness models. The first time I read about Greg it was 2003 in a Muscle and Fitness magazine on an Army Issue. They had a bunch fit Army guys and a schpeel about each of them. Then the next month Greg was on the Cover. He stood out to me because, well he’s a smoke show! I recently became a member online at http://www.gregplitt.com/ to see how this guy stays fit all year around. And let me tell you I’m training like a dude right now and its hard stuff but super fun. I never get bored of watching Greg and you’ll see why!
Jennifer Nicole Lee: She’s also known as JNL, and probably the biggest name in Fitness modeling. If you don’t know who she is you should. She’s written many books including The JLN Fitness Model Diet, The mind, Body & Soul Diet and The JNL Fun Fit Foodie Cookbook. She’s a mother of two and incredibly fit. I saw JNL at the WBFF show in 2009 and competed in the Bikini Model Category right along with her. She’s an inspirational woman and clearly a very smart in business. Her book the Fitness Model Diet is a great read for anyone that’s a competitor or just looking to get into great shape. http://jennifernicolelee.com/
Timea Majorava: Timea has been in the game for a long time. I remember seeing this fit model in magazines over 10 years ago and she hasn’t aged at all. This is what always fascinated me about fitness models and lead me to becoming one. She’s been competing and modeling for nearly 20 years winning titles and gracing many Covers of magazines. She’s one of the first fitness models I remember reading about. I used to read muscle and Fitness magazine avidly back in the 90’s Timea was always in there somewhere and she still pops up all the time. She has a great bikini body and such a unique look. Check her out at http://www.timeamajorova.com/
David Ford: Dave was the very first photographer I ever shot with. It was over 4 years ago now and I will never forget that day because when i look back at those photos it’s funny how awkward I was when this all began. It was 2 weeks before my first competition and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Dave is a great guy and I’m happy to call him a friend He’s the executive editor and director of photography for Status Fitness Magazine. He also has his own photography business which you can check out here. http://www.davidfordpictures.com/ He does great work and has shot everybody from bikini models like JNL to George St Pierre.
Ocean Bloom: I met Ocean at my very first fitness competition with the WBFF. I’d already seen her in a recent calendar put out by Status Fitness Magazine so when I met her in person I was a little star struck. She was super down to earth and a genuinely cool chick. Ocean has appeared on the covers of and has been featured in numerous fitness and lifestyle magazines including: Impact, Oxygen, Status Fitness, Body Talk, Flex, American Curves, Ironman, Musclemag, FAME Fitness and Lifestyle, Natural Bodybuilding Magazine, and Planet Muscle. I had heard that she’d competed and done very well in every category Fitness Model, Bikini, Physique and this always fascinated me about her for her ability to pose and transform herself into whatever she wanted. For more on Ocean: http://www.oceanbloom.com/
Ashley Harrison: A few months before I met Ashley in person, I’d seen her on the cover of Oxygen. We ended up competing at many of the same shows. It was really motivating for us girls to see that a girl who was not yet a “Pro” fitness model was getting covers of magazines and in the issues as well. In some way I’d say that Ashley indirectly influenced and motivated me to keep competing because of this and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. She’s just as gorgeous in person as she is in magazines. Check her out here: http://wbffshows.com/athletes/divas/ashley-harrison/
Jelena Abbou: Jelena Abbou is an IFBB Figure Pro and Fitness Bikini Model. You may have seen her recently on the cover of Oxygen magazine. I remember the first time I read about Jelena it was 2003 and she was on the cover of a Muscle and Fitness magazine. What drew me to her was (to be totally honest) how much we look alike. I was like “I could be this girl?” On some level it pushed me forward to keep training and eventually enter in my first fitness competition. She’s a personal trainer, model and TV personality. For more on Jelena: http://www.jelenafit.net/#/home/
Maggie Diabaldo: Maggie is one of my most favorite fitness models. She has such a natural look and the most amazing abs I’ve ever seen. She was on the cover of Oxygen again this last year and she’s done a total of 8 Oxygen Covers. I noticed Maggie in the fitness scene when I was about to compete in my first show in about 2006. She really motivated me because she has the greatest abs EVER! When I was competing I’d stick a photo of her on my fridge to remind myself why I’m eating the way that I do. She’s such an inspiration to me, you just can’t help but love her. Maggie is a Personal Trainer in Toronto and also accepts clients online at http://www.maggied.com/
Kristal Richardson: I met Kristal about 2 years ago in Florida in a pilot for a reality TV show, it’s a long story. The short of it, we worked together for the day and she’s an amazing woman who’s as beautiful inside and out. I’ve seen her in many fitness publications and it was a pleasure working alongside with her on the set on the Miami beach. It’s always been a goal of mine to be featured in Status Fitness. Meeting and mingling with the cover models really motivates me to keep pushing along. Kristal is the Co founder of Top Secret Nutrition and is an IFBB Pro Figure Competitor. Watch out because she has Tight Curves check her site out here: http://www.kristalrichardson.com/
Tannis Miller: Tannis and I started competing the same year. I remember when I first saw Tannis on the scene, she’s a little blond cutie and has a really adorable look. We nicknamed her “Princess” because well she’s very princessy. (Sorry buddy we love you.) We must have competed at over 5 events together. Oxygen magazine, Inside Fitness and Status Fitness has featured her. We were at Paul Bucetas pool party together and had a chance to get to know each other more and do a couple of shoots there together. Tannis paved the way for me I guess because she was a year ahead of me at the WBFF Pro stage. We both won our PRO cards at the WBFF Prairie Show in Calgary and I watched as she really blew up into a little Diva. What a journey it has been. She’s a personal trainer and does online training, fit camps as well as makeup artisty. Check out Miss Miller here: http://tannismiller.com/Home
Ronnie coleman: Ronnie was one of the first male fitness competitors I read about and took an interest in. I believe it was this magazine here that I read all those years ago. The article was about what he ate in preparation for the Olympia. It gave a visual description of the lbs. and lbs. of chicken, eggs and beef he went through in his training. The man can eat! Ronnie paved the way by eating his way to 1st place Mr. Olympia many years in a row. This guy is relentless. The thing I love about Ronnie is he never gave up. If you look at how many times he didn’t win before he finally won at the Olympia in 1998 you’d see the 8 time Mr Olympia Winner had tried several times at the title before finally becoming the champ. What a guy. http://www.ronniecoleman.net/index.php
Dr. Amen: My mother gave me this book “Magnificent Mind At Any Age”. She said “This book will explain what’s wrong with you.” I didn’t realize of course that anything was wrong with me really. So I took the book and it sat on my shelf for months maybe even a good year. Eventually I decided to take a flip through and found that there was some really interesting information there. The Dr. talks about how you can change your brain chemistry through positive self talk vs. negative, using positive affirmations to change your life and also doing very simple things to change your mental health. He includes sleep more, eating right, avoiding MSG and aspartame, avoiding alcohol and too much caffeine, exercise regularly, as a way of keeping your brain healthy naturally. I learned a lot from reading Amens Books and I highly recommend them. He has written many books on neuroscience, you can find more on him here https://community.theamensolution.com/home/
Dr. Russell Blaylock: I fell across Dr. Blaylocks writing when I was looking for answers. I was looking for answers about what’s really in the food that we eat and how it affects our bodies and our minds. After I had had a run in with various products that you can buy at the health food store I started to dig a little deeper into nutrition and what’s healthy and what’s not. Dr. Blaylocks Book “Excitotoxins The Taste That Kills” opened up my eyes to a world that I had been unaware of until then. In the book he talks about “Excitotoxins” and how they are in many processed foods and how they actually can cause brain cell loss in many different circumstances. Because of Dr. Blaylocks information I have chosen to eat as naturally as I can on a daily basis. This is a fascinating read and I suggest it to everyone. For more on Blaylock www.http://www.russellblaylockmd.com/
Thanks for taking a glimpse into my past. It has been such a journey starting from when I picked up my first fitness magazine until now. For tons of free tips, recipes, and premium subscriber only info Click Here. Cheers!