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Christmas Abbott Gym Crush

Featured in the 2017 Fitness Gurls Swimsuit Issue

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You can’t say tough without thinking of Christmas Abbott and the achievements under her belt. At 35 years of age, Abbott has become a household name within the fitness and entrepreneurial community. You may have seen her on the cover of Fitness Gurls Magazine or on popular TV shows such as Big Brother (last season), Big Brother: After Dark and a slew of intriguing and hilarious interviews. She’s our Gym Crush.

Also: See Christmas Abbott on the cover of Fitness Gurls Magazine

You were on our cover this year as our Most Inspiring Physique in Sports because you were mostly known for Crossfit. But you also are known for Nascar and now Big Brother! What gives you that confidence that no matter what you do, you’re going to be pretty awesome at it?
First, THANK YOU!!! That was such an amazing award! Confidence is a muscle that needs to be trained and worked at consistently and I have been working on it for a long time. While doing that I committed to try new things and be willing to “fail” as most people perceive. I don’t know what the outcome of my ventures will result in but I do know that I would rather try my hardest and prepare for my best and stumble than not try at all! So if that means that I am pretty awesome at what I take on, then I’ll take it!

Starting so many new projects, are you afraid of making rookie mistakes?
I have always enjoyed creating things and seeing their growth and potential; from businesses to people. It’s a beautiful thing to watch something you imagine come to life. I try my best to do my due diligence on any project that I approach to ensure it is as successful as I can make it within my ability. I often reach out to mentors, friends, and associates to get ruthless feedback in hopes to prevent any “rookie” mistakes. If it does happen, it’s a learning experience!

How was it staying at the Big Brother house… and how’s your foot?
The BB House was like adult summer camp with no phones and no contact with the outside world. It was such a unique and fun experience collectively that I feel really special to have it. The foot is healing. I have surgery soon to take out the hardware from the first surgery and after that, I am on the official road to recovery. It has been a slow and frustrating process but I am keeping positive about it and hopefully showing the world that you can have something tragic happen and still accomplish big things!

Another thing that you’re recently started is your online training platforms, what kind of shape do you need to be in to do your workouts?
BBX is an awesome combination of my workouts that can be done anywhere and for anyone! I know it sounds cliche but its true. All of my BBX’ers get workout videos, online community, downloadable e-books, and exclusive access to my other projects and offers. What I love MOST about the BBX program is that people sign up for a body transformation and they get major results along with a complete confidence transformation! They are such incredible people!

You seem like you’re even busier than ever, do you still have time to train as much as you use to?
Now that I am out of the BB House and getting to use my foot more I am back on a regiment. Even when I couldn’t put weight on my foot I was doing some sort of training to keep my sanity in check but also let my body know I still loved it. Body’s are meant to move! I am not training competition style right now and it looks like that won’t happen until the summer. I am loving my mix of CrossFit Invoke (my gym), spin class, and hot yoga. The combination is so good for my body and spirit.

Tell me what you have going on with Dick’s Sporting good and Second Skin Apparel?
Dick’s Sporting Goods launched their own apparel line, Second Skin. Second Skin is absolutely appropriately named!! They have a compression line and a training line. So I don’t have to go to two different companies for all of my needs! They have been an incredible company to work with and really take my input seriously. The clothes keep up with me, my demands for my body, and feel so darn good!!

Where did you learn so much about business?
HA! I have always been interested in business but it takes a lot of discipline. I didn’t graduate from college and went to work in Iraq as a civilian contractor instead which ultimately became my life college. In Iraq I learned how to be organized, detailed, commitment, and of course CrossFit! Those key skills aligned with passion can create a potent product. I have done a lot of research on whatever I venture into and when possible I leaned on mentors or sought out professional advice. Ultimately, I learned as I went but it wasn’t a “go with the flow” approach. I prepared for all of my projects as much as possible and as they were executed I learned more and more about business over the years.

You’re also an incredible model. How do you stay in such great shape year round?
Ha! Well, thank you again! I don’t consider myself a model rather than an athlete. I workout to help my journey with myself, it fuels me in such a positive way that I cannot get any other way. A healthy combination of fitness, nutrition, and enjoying life can keep you in the best, most positive shape possible. I love the balance it provides and I’m cautious not to get too far into body image that it affects my balance, meaning I enjoy drinks with my girls and holiday foods guilt free!

What’s next for Christmas Abbott? What should we be watching out for next?
I have just launched an amazing supplement company called Bourn Relentless! I wanted to create a line that I loved with all of the things that I would use with the ingredients I would put into my body, so I DID! I am really excited about this launch and the products that I have created so far. Check it out at BOURNRELENTLESS.com

Also, I am in the final phases of a project that has been in the works one way or another for almost five years! CAN is an online coaching nutrition program that is education driven and a one-stop shop for macro calculating, goal tracking, meal resources, workout regiments, and supplements suggestions. It is super user-friendly and will have a ton of support for the client so they feel empowered and educated throughout their entire lifestyle change. I am so proud of this project and what it will do to help people truly understand the fundamentals of nutrition within their lifestyle without feeling helpless, confused, or restricted. CAN will help people make the lifestyle changes they have been wanting! People can sign up through my website ChristmasAbbott.com to get in the know for when it will launch and even an early bird discount for sign ups!

As for life, I am enjoying time with family and friends as much as possible and leaning into an adventure. I have had a lot of personal growth this year and I want to be sure I reflect on it and not take it for granted.
___________

Find more about Christmas Abbott at: @christmasabott
Photos by Ohrangutang @ohrangutang / Makeup by Cristina Pilo @cristinapilo

Gurls

Fitness & Fashion Model Paige Munroe

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Photos by Eric Snyder Photography

She’s gone from IFPA Professional Bikini competitor to New York fashion model, Paige Munroe is one of the hottest name on Instagram and in fashion. We talk to this phenomenal woman.

Also check out: Penny Higgs Interview and Bikini Photos

How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle? 
I grew up in a small town, farm style living with animals and a big family. Physical activity, sports, outdoor adventures …it was how we stayed occupied. Before the age of cell phones and social media. I have always had an active and fit lifestyle. 

What is the most challenging thing about moving from fitness competitor to fashion model?
When I decided to make the shift from IFPA Professional Bikini competitor to New York fashion model, I had to work a lot on my body. To adjust to a more “model body type” which tends to be lean and less muscular. I changed my diet, workouts, routine, lifestyle, basically everything. Essentially more cardio with only lightweight or just bodyweight exercises paired with a very low carb diet.

When did Krav Maga start becoming a bigger part of your life?
For people who aren’t that familiar with Krav Maga, what principals does it teach?

First developed by the Israeli army in the 1940s, Krav Maga is a form of self-defense and physical training.

I have been training at the Krav Maga Academy in New York City under Matan Gavish for about 6months. Matan is a one of a kind in coach and training with him has been life-changing. He is former special forces and knows exactly how far to push you so you get the maximum but stay safe.

Before that, I trained in Muay Thai as well as boxing. My favorite style of martial arts has been Krav Maga by far. I love it because it teaches you to be strong and aware of any situation. Builds self-confidence through physical training. You use your entire body with every punch, kick, elbow and knees. The workout is amazing!

Because Krav Maga has no rules you are encouraged to think creatively. To figure out your way out of problems using proven concepts. And when in doubt always go for the balls!

They just announced they are opening a new lux facility called Fit Hit which will take this training to an entirely new level with human-like punching bags and a unique training experience.

His vision to give women all the tools they need to fend off bad guys in a fun, safe sophisticated facility is something I really get behind because I believe we can really make a difference and work to eliminate sexual victimization. No more women tagging #metoo.





Do you listen to music while you train? If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to?
Yes, music is essential! I work out hard, so I need hard and powerful music. Usually, it’s metal/rock or clubhouse music. Face paced, strong lyrics, heavy beats! 

What is your current training style, routine or split?
Now my typical workouts are high-intensity interval training, cardio and body weights. I do everything that peaks my interest. Yoga, cycling, boot camps, rock climbing, martial arts, surfing, it’s endless.

What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
I love nuts! Almonds, cashews, macadamia, walnuts, all of them! That’s my favorite healthy food to snack. I’m also obsessed with kale. 

Splurge? Bacon cheeseburger deluxe or anything smoked! Ribs, wings, and other country styled cooking.  

My daily diet includes fish/meat and vegetables. Grain and dairy-free! Very limited fruit and sugar as well. …but I’m also a person who believes in having anything in moderation. I don’t torture myself. If I crave it, I’ll have it. Anything within reason. 

What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a shoot?
The most memorable photo shoot was when I got badly stung by a big blue Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish. I was in Ibiza in an ocean inlet, on top of a float. As I swam back to the shore I felt a very sharp sensation strike my hand. I was confused and hurt. By the time I got to shore we looked at the photos and saw the jellyfish was right next to me as clear as day in the photograph. Now I have a scar on my left hand!

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
Matches, knife & chocolate. 

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? 
Hmm… Jumping from the tallest free falling drop in the world by myself. Driving in Thailand. Swimming with barracudas in the British Virgin Islands. Not sure which is the craziest, I love a good crazy adventure.
___________

For more Paige Munroe: IG @paige_munroe
Photos by Eric Snyder Photography: IG @ericsnyderphotography


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Gurls

Penny Higgs Interview and Bikini Photos

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Photos by White Six

How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?
I’ve pretty much grown into this lifestyle since being introduced to dancing as a kid. Living a very demanding athletic life, choosing dance as a career has meant I’ve had to be the healthiest version I can be. I’ve always been thicker/muscly, even growing up I was learning how to eat right for fuel, whilst the other kids were eating chips and lollies, (I envied them of course). I’ve always been able to put on weight super easy, not a great trait to have, but because of this, I’ve lived a very healthy lifestyle which can only be a positive thing.

>> Buy the issue that Penny Higgs is in below.

You’re like a triple threat, you’re a model, a photographer, a dancer… what is the most challenging thing about being in the fitness lifestyle industry?
I’ve never thought of myself as a triple threat, but I like that, I’ll take it I feel it’s not enough to be one thing, I have so much to add to my skill set, I have a creative brain in an impatient body, my most challenging thing is prioritising what needs my attention each day, balancing and fitting in everything I can, whilst also putting my personal training and health as a priority. Learning to say “no” to something in order to fit in my own training, conditioning and meal prep. I can’t let myself go whilst taking care of business, I come first, I am the business and there is no business if I’m out of the game.

Tell us when did you first fall in love with dance?
Sounds cliché, but from the moment I started. I did my first class as a kid at 12yrs old, I was a late starter. From my first class, I knew I found my “thing”. And then it shaped my life from there.

Also check out: Tahlia Christou: Fitness Influencer Spotlight

Do you listen to music while you train? If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to?
I have to listen to music when I train, there have been times I’ve forgotten my headphones and I’ve had to call it a day. Music is my motivator whilst I train if I’m lifting I’ll be listening to gangsta hip-hop tunes. Every time.

We know you train fitness classes.  What is your current “personal” training style, routine or split?
My training is a combination of compound strength training and functional fitness. I love weights, but also using just my own body weight can be an absolute killer workout. And of course, keeping flexible is essential for what I do, so I always stretch for a good 10-15mins at the end of a weights/body weight session.

What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
My every day clean food obsessions are – avocado, eggs, peanut butter, kind of clean, but could also be my splurges at the same time given the calorie density. And my splurge hands down, hot chips. Because carbs are life.

What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a shoot?
Aaah, that’s a hard one, I’ve had many outfit malfunctions on shoots, but no one batters an eyelid when a boob pops out on shoots, it’s always so professional, everyone is about the job. So with that being said, I have to say my most memorable shoots have been about the locations, so dreamy you can’t even put into words. Shooting in Fiji and Maldives are at the top until I tick Mexico off the list.

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
Music, a good sports bra and a good pair of kicks. I’ll find coffee, pants, and coconuts on the island. Coz I’m resourceful like that.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Probably going on Big Brother the reality show, not sure if it’s crazy to me, but to the average person, bearing your soul without a filter to your whole country for judgment could be slightly crazy. I say its lit.

What is your greatest strength?
Being able to keep going, picking myself up and never giving up. No matter my circumstances, with all odds against me and little support, I’ve never given up. And I won’t. I won’t settle for a mediocre life and that means never giving up when you get told no.

How do you measure success?
Success is different for everyone, my success lies in the experiences I’ve had, personal achievements in my industry and my health. I’ve created a lifestyle for myself that I love, I wake up every day with things I look forward to and it’s simple things, not a measure of money and material possessions. Happiness and health is the success.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of the gym?
I love anything that involves a good late breakfast and coffee when I have the time I also love to get in the kitchen and make raw cakes and healthy snacks.

What tips do you have for a beginner at the gym?
Don’t be afraid of venturing into the weights section, there’s a huge misconception that women will bulk up from weight training, when in fact I believe it’s the best way to shape your body. And don’t be too hard on yourself, a shocking workout is still a workout, we’re still lapping those sitting on the couch. I also believe stretching isn’t talked about enough, so lift, and then stretch. It’s essential for injury prevention and keeps you agile. We want to build long lean muscle, not short bulky muscles, well that’s me anyway.


Penny Higgs’ Workout Routine:

10 x overhead shoulder press 20kg bar
10 x bent over row with 20kg bar
Repeat twice.

10 x bent over row with 30kgs
10 x leg raises on dip bar (second set leg raises with oblique variation)
Repeat twice
10 x chest crossover on cable machine
10 x lat pulls on cable machine
Add holds in contracted positions and controlled slow release.
Repeat twice.

10 x lat pulldown narrow grip (second set wide grip)
10 x seated dip 40kgs
Repeat twice.

20 x weighted plie with 60kgs (plie also known as sumo squat)
Stretch, then repeat.
Core work on the decline bench for 5 mins.
20 x Decline Leg press with different weight variations.
Stretch then repeat.
10 min stretch on mats.
Finished.

Follow Penny Higgs on social media: @dancinpenny


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Gurls

Taylor Brown Model of the Moment

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Photo by Aleco Photography

How/when did you get started in training and living a fit lifestyle?
I have always been active and used to competitively cheer throughout grade school. Then when I started college at the University of South Florida, I coincidentally became great friends with a bunch of meatheads and quickly became addicted to the gym. 

>> Buy the issue that Taylor Brown is in below.

What is the most challenging thing about being a fitness model?
Comparing yourself to so many others and the occasional self-doubt. It’s important to focus on yourself and your accomplishments and unfortunately, sometimes it’s inevitable to compare your journey to others, which isn’t fair to yourself. 

We LOVE your physique, what can customers get out of your Personal & Online Training Programs?
Wow, thank you! I offer a very wide variety of programs and training! I currently offer a 12-week program for both men and women which comes with step by step workouts with photos, nutrition tips, cardio, and full access to me throughout the entirety of the program. I also customize programs for individuals that want more of a personal online coaching relationship as well as train a limited amount of clients in Tampa, Florida! 

Do you listen to music while you train? If so, what’s your favorite type of music you like working out to? 
ALWAYS. I actually listen to a wide variety of music, depending on my mood. Some days I’ll listen to a lot of rap, hip-hop, trap, and EDM. Other days I listen to heavy metal. It just depends on how I’m feeling walking into the gym that day! 

What is your current training style, routine or split?
Currently, I switch up my routine often. I do have a training split which always includes 2-3 leg days/week, 2-3 upper body days and either fasted cardio or post-workout HIIT. I have recently been adding a lot more circuit style training and full-body workouts into my routine to step it up a bit and lean out for the summer!





What are your favorite clean foods and splurge foods?
Favorite clean foods? Eggs and fruit! Splurge? Pizza, sushi, anything with bread, pasta and cheese! 

What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a shoot?
Probably the looks and stares I received doing a bikini shoot one day by a very large group of elderly people that must have been on some kind of trip together. There were probably 15-20 of them and they all just stopped and stared, I really didn’t know how to react! Haha.

If you were trapped on an island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
FOOD (water). My pillow and blanket. And, let’s be honest I’d try to have my phone so I could call and get a lot more necessities. 

Oh Monday is here, I got this 👊🏽 Tag someone who needs some Monday Motivation, check her page out she truly is amazing 👌🏽 ———————————————————————————————— Model: @tbrownkins ———————————————————————————————— #alekophotography #mondaymotivation #monday #mondaymood #girlswholift #entrepreneur #fitfemales #model #fitnessmodel #girlswhosquat #tooshietuesday #fitness #fit #fitnessmotivation #fitnessgirl #girlswholift #bossbabe #babesofinstagram #babes #fitfam #inspire #motivate #killthegame #portrait #portraitphotography #beautiful #strongwomen #womenempowerment #goddess

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What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I feel like most of the “crazy” things I’ve done were when I was younger. Young & dumb. Streaking around the neighborhood, skinny dipping in pools and rivers.

What is your greatest strength?
Making people smile. I always try to be a light walking into a room, you never know what kind of day someone may be having or what they’re going through. I love to just be funny and weird and make people laugh. Laughing is so important (and contagious) and a lot of people don’t do it enough!


Taylor Brown’s HIIT Circuit Routine:

Check out Taylor Brown’s HIIT circuit routine she uses to keep her incredible physique in world-class shape all year long.

1Circuit 1

25 Squat Jumps
15 Burpees
20 Backward Duck Walks

1Circuit 2

30 High Knees
30 Low Jacks
30 Mountain Climbers

Go through each circuit THREE times. You can do 1, 2, 1, 2, etc. or 1 3x through and then 2 3x through. REST 1-2 minutes MINIMUM between each set.

Tabata

20 seconds ON. 10 secends rest.
Go through 4:00 of each sets 1, 2 & 3.
Repeat 3 times total.

3 Rounds

1. Frog jumps & mountain climbers
2. Lunge pops & box jumps
3. Rope jump & V-ups

The “seconds” app is AMAZING for timing workouts. You can set it up however you want and it will tell you when to go, rest, etc.


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