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Behind the Muscle – IFBB Physique Pro Duane Brickhouse



duane brickhouse, IFBB Physique Pro

If you had to describe yourself using five words, what words you choose?

  1. Confident – I have learned that success follows hard work, and I’ve never been afraid of doing the work.
  2. Focused – When I zero in on what I’m trying to accomplish, I tend to block everything out except for that goal.
  3. Relentless – Similar to the focus, once I know what I want, I don’t stop.
  4. Content – I still have many things that I would like to accomplish, but I have become very happy with where I am in life, both personally and professionally.
  5. Accountable – As a black male that is a parent, a husband, and in a senior position in corporate America, I feel the (self-imposed) responsibility of being a role model.

Where are you from?

I’m from Ettrick, Virginia and I went to school at the University of Richmond.  After graduation I moved to Maryland and have lived here since 1998.  Maryland has a lot to offer, but every now and then I get the urge to move back to Virginia in order to be closer to my parents.

What’s your 9 to 5?

I am one of the Vice Presidents of Finance for Maxim Healthcare Services.  We provide a variety of different services in the healthcare sector throughout the United States.  I have been here since 1998 and I have grown with the company from an entry level associate to my current position.  Although I do not provide direct patient care, it’s a great feeling to know that the company that I work for is helping to improve the lives of others.

How do you balance the demands of your career and being an IFBB Pro with being a devoted husband and father?

I look at it as an opportunity to impact others.  People are always telling me that they can’t get in the gym or eat well because they have kids, they travel, they have demanding jobs, they are too old, etc.  By making it all come together, it gives me a chance to set the example of what is possible.

It can be tough, but as long as you have your priorities straight and stay organized, it simply becomes a way of life.  My parents set a great example of how to be there for your family, so that always stays a focus.  It’s especially important to me being that I have all daughters.  I want them to know that their father is always there for them.  Obviously things happen and you can’t be at every event, but I make sure that I am there when I can be.

Over the past few years, a significant amount of travel has been added to my job responsibilities.  I enjoy the opportunity to get away from my desk and get more involved, however it of course adds a bit of challenge.  It all comes down to being prepared.  I travel with my food, call ahead to request a refrigerator and microwave, and scout out the local gyms so that I make sure I stay on point from a training perspective.

Lastly, none of it would be possible without my wife, Cristina, being a partner and supporting me along the way.  She plays a significant role in everything I do.

What is something you enjoy outside of fitness?

Outside of family and work, I probably focus the most on shoes and comic books.  I have a separate shoe closet and I have boxes filled with shoes throughout the house.  It started with Jordans and has transitioned to different brands that I wear casually and of course, different types of training shoes.  Right now, I’m a big fan of Kobe’s and Steph Curry’s line.  My latest shoe venture has me trying to introduce my wife and one of my daughters to the shoe game!

My brother introduced me to comic books many years ago and much like the shoes, I have boxes throughout the house.  I’m primarily a Batman fan, but I’m really enjoying all of the superhero based movies and television shows that are out right now.

Favorite quote:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” by George Eliot.  I found this quote when I started to compete and it has really stuck with me.  Personally, it speaks to the fact that I started my competition career at a fairly late age, but as the quote says, it’s never too late.

How can people stay connected with you? 

I’m fairly active on social media, especially Instagram.  I also have my website,

Instagram: @dbrick11

Twitter:  @dbrick11

Facebook: Duane.Brickhouse

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Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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Cover Feature

Living Fit The Civil Way – How A Healthy Lifestyle Powers Karen Civil’s Success



karen civil
Photo credit: Noel Daganta

Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today

It’s another beautiful November day in Los Angeles, and it’s shoot day. Karen Civil is en route, and the team is preparing for her arrival. You can feel how the atmosphere changes when she walks into the studio. She brings an aura of confidence, yet calmness. Even while she’s ironing out details of her schedule for the rest of the week, she’s in lock step during shoot prep. Karen is like a chameleon who can rock many different looks and shine bright while doing it.

Everyone has their own method of preparation for photo shoots. We can imagine that in being a cover girl for a fitness mag, she wanted to be ready. But, her lifestyle, work ethic, and commitment to maintaining good health and a solid physique proved to be a perfect return on investment on shoot day.

The Elizabeth, New Jersey native now residing in Los Angeles is one of the best digital strategists in the game.  Even if you still don’t know who she is by now, you probably know her work and have seen her footprint. Check some of her most notable receipts:

Remember when Weezy went to prison? Karen was responsible for the creation of his fan site, that kept his fans connected and brand intact during his incarceration. This was crucial because it was before social media gave us all direct access to our favorite celebs and entertainers.

You know all those Beats by Dre ads with notable athletes and entertainers wearing the headphones while getting a glimpse into their journeys? She spearheaded that campaign.

The booming success of mainstream artists like YG, Nipsey Hussle and Dave East and more, link back to her, as she has elevated these artists into formidable brands.

One of Karen’s platforms,, which kicked off in 2008, has been unique in the hip-hop industry because it is credited with introducing now global superstars to the world before anyone else including Drake, J. Cole, and Nicki Minaj.

Karen and her team launched the LiveCivil playground in Haiti, the place of her roots, to create a safe place for children to be able to play and express themselves.

Karen Civil is not only holding her own in a male-dominated industry, but is setting the path that women — and men — want to follow.

What enables Karen Civil to be the powerhouse that she is goes beyond her knowledge, experience, and connections. It is often said that our health is our greatest wealth. How can we live out our fullest potential if we aren’t healthy enough to do it? This is an idea that Karen takes very seriously; it gives her balance and a solid foundation.

Self-care has enabled her to successfully fight her battle with anemia, and maintain not only a solid body, but a solid mental state – something so crucial in the industry she dominates each and every day.

Flip to the next page to read our interview with Karen to find out what fitness means to her, why she felt it was best to let go of her vegan lifestyle, what keeps her grounded, and advice she has on brand-building.

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@iamnayfit – 5 Tips to Make Your #BodyGoals A Reality and Getting Results In 28-Day Challenge




What is the #Ri28 challenge?

The 28 day challenge was made when we put together all of the elements needed to lower your body fat percentage quickly and efficiently.  The combination of reducing carb intake and increase activity on a daily basis is key to fat loss.

What can people expect over 28 days?

Clients can look forward to a no stress program. No gym membership is needed , no gym equipment is required. All you need is $39 and a device to watch the workout on.

Who is the #Ri28 challenge for?

This challenge is for anyone who wants to tighten and tone. This a great way to spice up your normal cardio routine with high intensity interval training.

Why should people join the challenge?Anyone wanting for feel better and look their best should join the #Ri28 family. 2017 is coming to an end and it’s time for bring in the new year feeling and looking  like the best version of YOU!

What are your Five Tips to Make #BodyGoals A Reality?

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Elise Neal – Fit Over 50 Interview – Black Fitness Today Exclusive



elise neal, black fitness today

Watch our exclusive interview with multi-talented actress, dancer and gym lover Elise Neal! Get the full cover story and find out about Elise’s newest role in Wolverine 3 (Logan) and more about the Elise Neal Body Boot Camp on
Keep up with us!
Twitter: @EliseNeal
Instagram: @therealneale
Snapchat: EliseWorldWide

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today





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