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Interrogation – How to Choose the Right Trainer

Ilen Bell, MS, CSCS, Co-Founder of Black Fitness Today



As a former U.S. Army Interrogator, I know a thing or two about asking the right questions. And when it comes to finding a personal trainer, you should too. Not all trainers and coaches are created equal. Choosing a credible person to help you reach your fitness goals should be taken into careful consideration. Would you take a Ferrari to a backyard mechanic? Your body and health are fine luxuries. Don’t treat your Ferrari like a Pinto.

“Interrogate” your trainer so that you know credible he or she is. But first, you have to have a plan.

Planning & Preparation

What are your goals?

What type of trainer are you looking for?
• male/female
• personality
• availability

The Interrogation


Who is this person?
• If you decide to hire personal trainer, then you should know a good amount about them personally


What is/are their specialization(s)?
• Your trainer should specialize in the area(s) that fits your goal(s)

What degree(s)/certification(s) do they have?
• At a minimum, your trainer should have a personal training and CPR/AED certifications
• If your goals are more advanced such as sports performance, look for trainers who have sports specific certifications (CSCS – NSCA or PES –NASM)

CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
• The gold standard certification for sports performance professionals

PES – Performance Enhancement Specialist
• Great knowledge based certification but not as widely recognized as the CSCS


When did they earn their certification?
• Not a deal breaker, everyone needs a chance and has to start somewhere, but knowing your trainer’s amount of experience is something you may want to consider


Where did they earn their degree/certification(s) from?
• You should not be willing to invest into a trainer who is not willing to invest into themselves
• Would you take a luxury car to a backyard mechanic? Your body and health are luxuries
• Certifications- Look for National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredited

These are the best and most reputable certifications, if your trainer does not have one of certifications below, you may want to look elsewhere.

American Council on Exercise (ACE)
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
International Fitness Professional Association (IFPA)
National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
National Exercise Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
The Cooper Institute
*International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
*Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

* Not NCAA approved but reputable


Why did they decide to become a personal trainer?
• Are they passionate about helping people live healthier lives? Assess their level of passion – it is best to work with a trainer who takes their job seriously


How can they help you achieve your goals?
• Your potential trainer should be able to answer this question and provide a realistic plan that is based on progression.
• This plan should be mapped out in steps – you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you can run
• If the plan is not mapped out in steps, you may want to look elsewhere

What Else

What else do you want to know about your trainer – make sure you’re comfortable with the trainer because you are making an investment (money/time). Make sure your investment gives you a nice return.

Ilen Bell is co-founder and CEO of Black Fitness Today, a digital platform dedicated to empowering the black community through health promotion and performance enhancement. He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife and daughter and nine-to-fives it as head strength and conditioning coach for a military special operations unit.

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2Chainz Pretty Girls Fit Fest: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music



Atlanta’s Hottest Fitness Trainers Missy Mostrom, Stephanie LeBeau, DaShaun “Guru” Johnson & Lana Ector Whipped Over 200 Pretty Girls into Shape at Center Stage for the Release of 2Chainz “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” Album  

This past Thursday, June 15th over 200 of Atlanta’s prettiest girls showed up to the Loft at Center Stage in athletic gear for one reason…because they love trap music! Event attendees were excited and ready to sweat it out to 2Chainz new album “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” with a few of Atlanta’s hottest fitness trainers and were surprised to receive an official “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” pink yoga mat which came in handy during the three 45-minute workout sessions.

Session 1 featured trainers Stephanie LeBeau and Missy Mostrom of VESTA who opened the night with kickboxing moves and rotational exercises that increased heartbeats and spirits. Then the Guru of Abs himself, Dashaun Johnson, took the stage for Session 2 and after a quick warm up he turned it up and took it off! Always one to focus on breathing during his workouts, you could hear the ladies calling out the numbers of their sets throughout the entire venue. To close out the night in Session 3, Lana Ector came to represent that Black Women Workout Too and showed all the pretty girls that a little twerking can be considered a workout too.

Throughout the evening attendees were able to relax in the Pretty Girls lounge wherein they previewed the “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music” album and refreshed themselves with Propel Electrolyte Water.The next stop on the Trap Fitness tour will be….well you just have to stay tuned to find out.

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Fantasia’s ‘Journey to Fit’ – See the Exercises that Helped Refine Her Sexy



fantasia, black fitness today,

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Leading Online Retailer CEO Dishes on Best Swimwear For You and Trends for 2017



Elise Neal, Black Fitness Today, Yandy, Summer, Swimwear

We think it’s fair to assume that our January cover feature, Elise Neal, can rock anything and make it look awesome – especially swimwear. In fact, her black and white mod one-piece suit from Yandy sold out soon after our cover release. 

So, but what about the rest of us (lol)? The summer season is fast approaching, and we’re all working hard to get our bodies ready. However, no physique is the same, so what swimwear works best for different body types? What are the hottest trends we can also look for? 

Black Fitness Today chatted with Yandy CEO Thom Brodeur to answer these questions and more. Beginning as a small, start-up business in 2005, has become the leading online retailer of sexy women’s specialty apparel. offers thousands of stylish items in everyday intimates, lingerie, swimwear and costumes for millions of women around the world, of all shapes and sizes. 

Thom, how is Yandy making a splash in the world of fashion?

Yandy’s goal is to make our mark by transforming the business from a marketplace of 10s of thousands of SKUs across a dozen+ categories to a fashion brand with a sharp eye for on-trend, fashion forward design, quality construction and materials, and the right fit for real women. Our objective is to provide a wide-but-manageable variety of sexy lingerie, everyday intimates (bra & panty), swimwear, active and loungewear to every woman in every shape, size and ethnicity all underscored by our core mission…to help every woman find and own her own brand of sexy.

The brand’s mission is to help every woman discover or re-discover her own brand of sexy. Whether a celebrity like Elise Neal or an everyday woman, how does Yandy swimwear cater to women of varying body types, and what styles/pieces are best for different body types (i.e., athletic, curvy, petite, etc.)? 
Our styles were designed with a wide range of tastes and requirements in mind. Our sporty high neck styles accentuate an athletic physique. Our sexy one piece suits with high cut legs look great on a petite frame, and our high waisted silhouettes hug a curvier figure in all the right places. If you saw the Yandy Swim 2017 Collection that debuted recently at New York Fashion Week; you would have seen models ranging from 5’7 to 6’, size 0 and up, body types from athletic to curvy and full figured, and a range in ethnicities to represent our perspective on what sexy swim is… on a global level. The ideal woman’s look, figure, shape and size is different any and everywhere in the world you go. Yandy wants to continue to bring more of that to the forefront.

summer, swimwear, Yandy, Black Fitness Today, Elise Neal

What are the biggest trends in swimwear for summer 2017?
We’ve designed and put a lot of high necklines, long sleeves, high cut hips, low plunging necklines, chic off-the-shoulder looks and high waisted styles into our latest swim collection, and so far, have seen very favorable customer response. We’re excited for swim season to kick into full gear. It’s always great to let the market pick your winners, and then refine your design efforts for future cycles based on real customer feedback.

The suit worn by Elise Neal on our Jan. cover was immediately highly sought after. What can a buyer expect when they receive their Yandy swimwear? 
Yandy customers can expect sophisticated, on-trend swimwear with unrivaled fit and quality, that when worn, will make them feel confident and sexy. 

Browse Yandy’s vast array of swimwear and specialty apparel, and keep up with the brand: 

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