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From Football to Fitness: Celebrity Trainer and Fitness Minister Jay Jones



“A mental transformation leads to a conscious restoration and finally a physical activation of your most successful self.” This motto, created by Fitness Minister and Certified Peak Performance Coach Jay Jones is all about changing your mindset to overcome any obstacle you face. Jones knows all about what it means to overcome obstacles to achieve his best self. As a standout high school quarterback, Jones’ dream of playing at the next level was cut short when he broke his neck during a game. His passion and his identity rested in football and his newest challenge was to re-create himself. Rehab not only renewed his body, but his spirit, through fitness. Now, Jones uses this new passion to change lives physically, mentally and spiritually.

BFT: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jay Jones: Well, I am originally Savannah, Georgia. I played football from about the age of six. But at 17, I broke my neck during a game. I was a relatively good football player and any relatively good football player probably dreams about becoming a professional athlete. When I broke my neck, that dream was shattered and I kind of had to regroup and re-create the same excitement again that I had on the football field elsewhere. So I started acting and I carried that into college [Morehouse College], which was wonderful because I was able to gather a lot of information and education in regards to you know not only scholastic but as far as the importance of the role of the black man in society. So God has a tremendous way of doing what he has to do to get us where he designed us to be.

BFT: How did you go from the catastrophic event of breaking your neck to creating a career in fitness?

Jay Jones: After I got hurt I had to rehabilitate. They took some bones out of both my hips and they fused them with the broken bone in my neck. During the healing process I had to learn to walk all over again and I was introduced to the physioballs, resistance bands and things like that which I still use to this very day with my training practice. So, it really gave me a great understanding of the human body and a much greater passion for taking care of myself.

As I got older and I met my wife, we moved to California from New York where we were worked in theater, which was primarily where we made a living but she wanted to transition into film and TV so we moved to California in 2005. I just really didn’t transition well so I started consistently working out at the YMCA in North Hollywood, California. As I worked out other people kind of saw my training methods and they asked questions and ultimately this serendipitously happened that the YMCA was hiring personal trainers. It was crazy because I’d never ever in my life entertained even going into that field but all along in my life’s path I’d been sort of groomed and set up to be right where I was. So, needless to say I applied for the job, got the job and I went on to be certified through NESTA and started a career.

BFT: Let’s talk about your motto: “A mental transformation leads to a conscious restoration and finally a physical activation of your most successful self.” Can you explain the meaning?

Jay Jones: It’s somewhat of a mouth full but it’s designed to be. My wife and I thought about this for a while but the foundation of it all is a mental transformation. The Bible [Romans 12:2] says “be transformed by the renewal of your mind” so the mental transformation is the foundation of any change. You have to change the way you think. And when you change the way you think, it will lead to a physical activation because once your mind gets right and your consciousness is restored then you’re able to do something physically about your circumstances and situations, whatever they may be. You become aware of what you need to do, what you need to eat and what you need to do in life to maximize your most successful self.

Hit the next page to learn about the mental obstacles Jay had to overcome during his physical rehabilitation, and what it’s like watching his wife on popular shows like Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong and ABCs How To Get Away With Murder!

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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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