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Stephanie Marie: Fitness Gurls Athlete Interview & Photos



Photo by LHGFX

Welcome to the Fitness Gurls Team Stephanie! Please tell us where you’re originally from, what you do and where you do it from!
I am a small town girl originally from Grants Pass, Oregon and currently reside in Costa Mesa, Ca. I am mainly a Trainer & currently train clients in a private studio in the Orange County area. I also offer online training! I love working one on one with clients to help them reach their goals!


Let’s rewind and go back to when it all began. What made you get into the fitness industry? Was there a pivotal point where you decided or have you always had a thing for it?
I kind of always had a thing for it growing up. I played soccer, ran track & surfed. I love being active. But it wasn’t until I moved to California at 18 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Understanding what Crohn’s does to the body, I had a decision to let the disease take control or I take control of it. Eating right, working out & maintaining a healthy lifestyle are huge factors to keeping me in remission. Through my struggle, I have found my strength & I love teaching people how to find their strength through healthy living. That’s why I love being a trainer, helping to show my clients there’s so much more to living healthy than just the benefits of looking better.

We can tell you definitely practice what you preach. You seem to stay incredibly lean consistently. How do you maintain that? Do you do cardio everyday?
Thank you! Although I do love to stay lean year round. I maintain it through a healthy diet & 45 min of steady cardio 5-6 days a week. With Crohn’s, if I stray from healthy eating I am at risk of a flare-up which lands me in the hospital. The more damage I cause in my digestive tract, the more complications I’ll have. I stay consistent with my diet and exercise which keeps me feeling great. I do make slower muscle gains, but it definitely helps keep my Crohn’s symptoms at bay. It’s been a learning process!

Do you take fat burners? What supplements do you swear by?
I have used fat burners before, but my experience with them is a hit or miss. I’ve learned personally I have to stay away from them, as it affects my stomach & Crohn’s symptoms. I do take L Carnitine and I love this supplement! It helps transfer fat to energy so, it’s like a non-stimulant fat burner!

What is your training routine like? Do you go by splits or do you do full body workouts daily?
I do focus on split routines so I can focus on individual muscle growth. I have always had a strong upper body and weaker legs. I’ve had to work extremely hard for my legs. I have 2-3 leg days a week which I lift heavy to ensure growth while focusing on the quads and calves one day, and hamstrings and glutes the other. I split my upper body routine to back & triceps, then I lift shoulders, then chest and biceps. I always switch it up though! When I lift upper body, I do plyometrics and resistance band works on my booty & legs.

Your lower body is pretty developed and we all know full legs pair well with a round booty. What exercises can you share with our female audience for a booty like yours?
Haha, thank you! Like I mentioned above, I’ve had to work extremely hard for my booty and legs. It’s crazy to hear compliments on my legs knowing how small I used to be before! I used to be 90lbs! Putting on size is my main goal: barbell deadlifts, squats & walking lunges have helped me achieve that. All kinds of kickbacks from cable kickbacks, dumbbell, ankle weight, resistance bands…I get creative! Cable pull throughs, barbell hip thrusters, & the outer thigh machine or weighted movements like that are definitely a few staples in my routine!

Having said that, do you have a favorite and least favorite body part to train?
Not at all! I love to train everything! I do have goals though, so I prioritize my lifts which kinda makes me have a favorite because I’m hungry for progress and seeing change is exciting! I’m still trying to put the size in in my legs and shoulders, so I always love lifting those muscle groups. I am pretty happy with my chest and back, so I focus on maintaining & defining.

What is your diet like? Some people seem to get away with eating not so clean. Are you one of those lucky people?
My diet is hard. Unfortunately, I am definitely not one of those lucky people. I have a really hard time eating, or at least wanting to eat. Having Crohn’s disease, my stomach is in pain 80% of the day and the worst times are usually after I eat during digestion. So it’s a turn off for me before I even get the food in my mouth knowing it might cause stomach pain. The leaner & cleaner I eat, the easier it is on my stomach so I usually stay consistent with a lean meal plan consisting of lots of lean protein sources like egg whites, white fish, shrimp. I’ve had a hard time lately with meats like chicken and steak. I usually have about 5-6 small meals a day consisting of lean protein, green veggies and morning meals include a carb source like oats, red potato or sprouted grains & lots of fruit.

Staying in top physical shape is time consuming given the time to train and food prep. What do you like to do to relax and have fun?
Growing up in Oregon, I love the outdoors! For fun, I love going to the beach to relax or for surfing and hiking to watch the sunset or sunrise of the amazing view. I’m secretly creative and have a love for painting and crocheting. I could put my headphones on and get lost in my art for hours or end up crocheting something cool like a beanie or scarf. I am a simple girl.

What is the most challenging thing about being a fitness model?
I always feel like I have to be on point. With Crohn’s disease, I have my good months, bad months, weeks where I’m fine then all the sudden I have a flare, Completely unexpected. It throws me for a loop & holds me back. When my Crohn’s is flared it’s really hard to eat because I have a lot of stomach pain. I lose my appetite & then I have no energy to lift. It’s hard to feel like I stay on point or progress when I’m fluctuating an unsteady meal plan & gym regimen at times. I just do the best I can when struggling with Crohn’s & when I have my good days, boy do I make sure to make up for the bad.

Have you ever competed or do you ever plan to compete?
I competed John Lindsay’s Muscle Contest in Figure, in 2015. I, to my surprise, placed 2nd. I was incredibly nervous and felt like a vibrator on stage I was shaking so bad! I look back now and laugh! I wouldn’t compete again in Figure, but I have thought about Bikini. I love the idea of competing to give yourself something to push for, but I’m not a competitive person when it comes to the body. Body is art. It’s a possibility, but no set plans currently.

Aside from seeing more of you on Fitness Gurls, what do we have to look forward to with Stephanie Marie the rest 2017?
2017 has already has been an amazing year. I am so excited & blessed to be working with Fitness Gurls. It’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time. I’m so honored to be apart of the team. I’m newly working with Steve Wong and Paul with BlueLineEffex they are an amazing team who work with many athletic pros. We have had a lot of things coming this year and can’t wait to share them with you guys. Stay tuned as we conquer 2017!

For More about Stephanie Marie:
IG: @stephaniefitmarie

Photography by LHGFX
IG: @lee_lhgfx


Heather Marsh Celebrates 1st Day of Summer



Photos via @heathermarsh_fitness

Heather Marsh, Fitness Gurls Athlete, dropped a couple awesome photos of her and Hope Beel on IG to celebrate the first day of summer. We celebrate with Heather with her bikini celebration.

Also, check out: Heather Marsh Swimsuit Issue

Check out more Heather Marsh: IG @heathermarsh_fitness

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Women Crush Wednesday: Fitness Gurls Top Instagram Photos Of The Week



Fitness Gurls Athletes IG

Happy Women’s Crush Wednesday. We haven’t done one of these in a bit. Here’s a showcase of some of the best from Team Fitness Gurls Instagram post of the Week.

It’s Tuesday right? Make Tuesday Great Again

A post shared by Dianna Dahlgren (@diannadahlgren) on

To love, family, health, success and happiness 🥂. . Photographer @playmodephoto

A post shared by Nienna Jade (@niennajade) on

Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is only for the chosen few, for the superstars. The truth is, greatness is for us all. This is not about lowering expectations; it’s about raising them for every last one of us. Greatness is not in one special place, and it’s not in one special person. Greatness is wherever somebody is trying to find it. Don’t forget to find your greatness 👊🏼 @west_studio @prettymemakeup #shineon #staybright #doyou #motivateyourself #lifestyle #happy #healthy #alwayshungry #neversatisfied #workforit #lovethelifeyoulive #loveyourself #livelifetothefullest #smilemore #fitfam #sweat #fitness #girlswithmuscle #fitnessmotivation #fitnessgurls #magnumathlete #doyou #workhard #inspire #barbielife #dowhatyoulove #strongissexy #beyou

A post shared by Jade Atkinson IFBB BIKINI PRO (@_jadeatkinson) on

Fasted cardio & @bambodynutrition this AM!🍩💪🏼 Both rocked my socks off! 🚧I have a volunteer hype-man that cheers me on every week day on my way to the gym. A construction worker. He noticed me eating my brownie on my walk home and exclaimed, “you eat brownies and you look like that?!”. I said, “yep!, I’m living my best life as you can see!” Which brings me to think: Are we all living our best lives? What is our best life? That brownie doesn’t significantly represent MY BEST LIFE, but it is a teeeeeenie tiny part of the bigger picture. My prep, my support, my mental space, and my energy!Are we completely happy 100% or is it graciously but strongly accepting any trouble that may weave in and out of our happiness every once in a while? Is it this harmony? Are we happy simply because we have experienced bad things? Is our happiness different? Is happiness as complicated as it seems sometimes? And where in the heck is my happiness meter…and how do I know if it’s full or not? Is a certain type of happiness more contagious than others? Three things that I can say make me very happy is: 1.) Growth: mentally, physically, business-wise, and the idea of time passing while experiencing it and working very hard for it! 2.) My Husband: the strongest person I know. He doesn’t understand 100% why I do what I do, why I use my time to do what I do, but he supports me 100% and that is what counts. To be completely honest, we have conversations all of the time about our lives and where we’re at and where we want to go. No judgement, just support, drive, and lots of love. 3.)My cats: I directly correlate my cats with relaxation, fun, a time away from chaos and talking. A quiet space in which I can appreciate them for their love, create fun for them, and always know that I am using my energy for something good. In fact, Gus is sitting in front of me right now to get off my dang phone! What are 3 things that you feel are part of your best life currently? I really want to know! Please share!💙🙌🏼

A post shared by Casey Samsel-Torres💍• IFBB Pro (@caseysamsel_bikini) on

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Fitness & Fashion Model Paige Munroe



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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