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Road to Competition: Laurelle Martineau Goes From Carnival to the Stage



Trinidad and Tobago native Laurelle Martineau had the desire to look great in her annual Carnival costume. Who knew that motivation would lead her to becoming a pro figure competitor? Laurelle chatted with Black Fitness Today on how important this lifestyle is to her and has advice for anyone looking to begin the journey to competing.


BFT: How did you get started in fitness and competing, all the way up to your recent successes?

LM: I am originally from the twin Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. We have an annual festival called Carnival. As part of the celebrations I often chose to wear one of the ‘sexier’ costumes. My motivation to get in shape stemmed from my desire to look good in my costume. I read tons of fitness magazines and was always testing out a new workout program or diet plan. Finally I decided to lift weights. I loved the changes that I saw in my body and with each change I wanted to see more. This eventually drove me to the competition stage. I found a great coach and he got me stage ready in less than 3 months. I placed 1st in my first competition and earned my IFPA Pro Card in my 2nd show when I won the Figure Overall title. My IFPA pro debut was not as successful as I placed 11th. This however fueled me to work harder. My determination led me to a 3rd place and 1st place Overall title on the IFPA pro stge. This year I wanted to try something new so I switched things up a bit and competed with a different association, NPC. In my first show I won the Figure Overall title which led me to my first Junior National show (NPC Jr. USA) where I placed 3rd.

BFT: Congratulations on earning 3rd Place in the Women’s Fitness/Figure Class B at the NPC Jr. USA’s! How does it feel to know that all of your hard work and dedication is paying off?

LM: Thanks! The NPC Jr. USA was the best package I have presented to date. My goal is always to be better than my last best but having some hardware to show for it is the icing on the cake.


BFT: How do you balance fitness with your personal life and what does this lifestyle mean to you?

LM: I have been into fitness for such a long time that it is almost as natural as brushing my teeth. Just as I find the time to take a shower and eat every day is the same way I view fitness. It is just part of my daily routine. Finding the time for it is rarely a burden. It actually helps relieve other burdens I may be dealing with. Fitness is my ‘feel good’ zone so I make the time for it just as I do everything that is important to me.

BFT: What you are up to at the moment?

LM: Where training is concerned, I am currently working on my next package. I am aware of my weaker areas so my focus is on bringing those up.

BFT: What is your training and nutrition regimen while training, and when you are in your “off season?”

LM:When preparing for competition I stick to my meal plan as much as possible. I measure out and prepare just about everything I eat so I know exactly what goes into my body. Workouts are carried up a notch as I increase my cardio. During my off-season, I am not as strict with my meals. While I still prepare most of what I eat I do not put as much focus on measuring out everything. My workouts are geared to improving my weaker areas.

BFT: Do you have any advice for others looking to start the journey of competing, as well as on how to reach their goals?

LM: Well first thing I usually advise a person is to “believe in yourself”. A lot of what goes into competing is mental. So having the confidence and discipline is half the battle.

BFT: What advice do you have for anyone looking to start competing?

LM: Once you have committed yourself, then I advise you do your research, read as much as you can on the industry. Talk to people around you who compete. They can offer some great advice that only comes from experience. Attend a show to see what the judges are looking for. It is a competition, though subjective, there are always distinguished features that can put you at the top of your class. Then, find a coach you trust. If you are new to competing it is sometimes hard to see your progress and know what you are lacking. This is where a coach comes in. They can provide that objective view and guidance to get you exactly where you need to be.

BFT: How people can find out more about you (website, social media links, etc.)?

LM: You can follow me on:




Facebook Page| XelleFit

Also a great video that highlights my last competition prep season can be found on my YouTube.


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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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How To Do The Barbell Hip Thrust…



Are you struggling to build bigger glutes?

Check out my video to learn about the 4 cues you must use with the barbell hip thrust in order to perform them with excellent form and maximize your gains.

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Michael B. Jordan Gained 15 Pounds of Muscle for Killmonger Role

Wallace Has Come A Mighty Long Way!



Killmonger, Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan

Erik Killmonger is a very powerful character in Marvel’s Black Panther. The supervillain, played by Michael B. Jordan, along with his dominating spirit and his pain, was just as important to the story line as the evolution of T’Challa. While there’s generally an antagonist in films (spoiler alert coming if you haven’t seen the film) – we didn’t find Killmonger to be so much of a villain after all.

Corey Calliet is the man behind Michael B. Jordan’s gains, and arguably another person who contributed the overwhelming success of the movie. The celebrity trainer, seen now on Revenge Body on E! helped Jordan bulk up, as well as help other stars like Angela Bassett, be at peak physical condition for Black Panther. Calliet has worked with Jordan in the past, most notably for Creed and the Fantastic Four reboot.

Michael B. Jordan, Killmonger, Black Panther

Photo: Men’s Fitness

“When you see him, you need to be scared, you need to be intimidated. We don’t want the nice, young-looking Michael,” Calliet said in an interview with Men’s Health Mag. He also describes his training style to that of an artist taking a chisel to a block of marble. “I’m talking about sculpting a body, not just conditioning it to be fast…I wanted to make his shoulders look better. I needed his upper chest to pop. I needed his back to tell a story. I wanted his back to look like a globe, like a map.”

So how did Jordan get his gains? Calliet trained the actor two to three times a daily and Jordan ate six meals per day. Get more details on Calliet’s training with details with Jordan here .



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5 Reasons People Quit Going To The Gym



1)  I don’t have time to workout

It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Diligently plan out the next 3 weeks, incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily regimen for 3-4 times a week. Make having an active life intentional. Put it on the same level as having lunch or getting sleep. As you work-out, it will soon become a non-negotiable, similar to eating and sleeping.

2)  It’s Too Crowded And People Watch Me

The gym isn’t the only option that will help you reach your body goals. There are various in-home regimens that you can following YouTube or your favorite social media fitness professionals. Fitness is doing more movement than you did the day before. Lunch break walks, morning workout routines, and bike rides all support your desire to have an active (and private) lifestyle.

3)  I’m Not Losing Any Weight

Getting the body you desire requires a lifestyle change. Oftentimes we believe workouts are enough, but eating and sleeping are also main components for weight-loss. Fat is burned during your body’s recovery stage and muscle building process. As you work out, obtain 6-8 hours of sleep to maximize gains. Clean eating cannot be overlooked, a high protein-low carb diet is key. We have to break our traditional mindsets of consuming 3 meals a day and get accustomed to eating 6 times a day. Eating 6 times includes 3 meals along with 3 snacks, which can also include smoothies and shakes.

4)  No One Will Know If I Quit 

Accountability is vital to starting a new workout routine. Identify a workout partner. If you can’t find one, write a contract with yourself. Sign your contract and hang it somewhere so you can see it everyday. Knowing you have a commitment to yourself or your partner will help you form healthy, weight-loss habits.

5)  I Just Hate Working Out!!!

You may hate the gym, but everyone loves a good reflection in the mirror. Everyone wants to add years to their life and working out does just that. You have to ask yourself every day, “does my lifestyle add years to my life or subtract them?”Medications and hospital bills can become very expensive so prevention has to be the focus. Remember: the healthier we are, the better the reflection we have in the mirror.

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Karen Civil, Live Civil, Black Fitness Today





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