Some of South Florida’s most dynamic fitness experts and influencers strike a healthy pose—and share the secrets of their transformative lifestyles

Photography by James Woodley
Creative Direction by Melanie Smit
Art Direction by Evelyn Suarez
Shot on location at Margaritaville Beach Resort, Hollywood Beach

Anais Zanotti

Certified trainer/Weight loss expert, Miami
Website: anaisfit.com / Instagram: @anaiszanotti / Facebook: @anaiszanottifit

Why is fitness so important in your life?
I’ve always been fascinated by health and fitness; I started doing bodybuilding at age 15. I love helping people transform their bodies—and become stronger and more badass. My journey hasn’t been the easiest because of hypothyroidism, so I gain weight easily. This is why I started paying more attention to always having a good diet and pushing harder while training.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
I work out five times per week; I give myself one or two days off for my body to fully recover. I do the split routine, which consists of working certain areas of the body each day. For cardio, I like to do high-intensity interval training, rather than being on the machines for an hour. I keep my workouts short, between 45 minutes and an hour (sometimes a little more on legs day). My training consists of compound movements and less isolations to use more muscle groups—pull-ups, push-ups, bench presses, squats, deadlifts. I always start the beginning of my training with my big lift and end it with higher reps and lighter weights. I’ll change my routine to constantly shock my body. Also, I eat carbs and protein right after my training; you have a 45-minute window where you can start to rebuild the glycogen stores, and repair and regrow those muscle proteins.

What advice do you have for people who find it challenging to commit to a regular fitness routine?
You want your routine to be part of your lifestyle. I always ask my clients what they enjoy doing—if they like training outside, that’s fine. The more enjoyable and the more convenient it is, the better chance you’ll stick to a routine. It’s also important to choose a gym that is close to your house or office. And it helps to have some kind of support along the journey, like a workout partner, friends, family or your coach.

Words of wisdom: “What works for me is having six to seven small meals per day. This speeds up the metabolism and gives me more energy throughout the day.”

 

Paige Held

Founder/Co-owner, Yoga Joint / Locations from Boca to Fort Lauderdale
Website: yogajoint.com / Instagram: @paigeheldyoga

Why is fitness so important in your life?
A long time ago, I read a quote: “A person who is fit is capable of living life to the fullest.” I realized that being fit is not just about exercising your body, but your mind and soul as well. This is why I fell in love with hot yoga. A huge component of yoga is the breathing. We practice a breathing technique called ujjayi, a diaphragmatic breath that stimulates the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which is the CEO of your body. If you strengthen this, you make better decisions, you have more clarity and energy, and you sleep better. In yoga, we are holding our own body weight in planks, down dogs and pushups; this allows you to gain strength and definition and also strengthen your joints. Plus, through yoga, you gain flexibility in contrast to most exercises, which deplete flexibility.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
I always say to my clients that the best way to stay in shape is to never get out shape. By that I mean, even if you only have 10 or 20 minutes, do something instead of nothing. I practice what Yoga Joint dishes, meaning that I take yoga and Core 45 (a Pilates and high-intensity interval training class that takes 45 minutes and is designed for everyone—young, old, injured or in peak performance shape). Core 45 targets strengthening the core and elevating the heart rate to build endurance and keep us at a metabolic, fat-burning state for 24 hours after the workout.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try and lead a healthy lifestyle?
There is a saying in the fitness world: “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Besides genetics, 80 percent of fitness is food. I make sure I eat whole fruits, vegetables and lean protein—along with drinking a lot of water. I practice this daily with “cheat meals” sprinkled into the weekends. I eat healthy as a celebration of health, rather than a punishment.

Words of wisdom: “Do you expect to get gas once in your car and have it run forever? Well, why would you expect to work out a few times and stay healthy for a lifetime? Change your mindset and change your life. Take time for you. You won’t regret it.”

 

Jenny Ho

Health and fitness influencer, Miami
Instagram: @iamjennyhofit

Was there something in your past that inspired you to become more passionate about fitness?
When I was 21, I moved to Asia to become a full-time model. When I arrived, I realized I needed to lose more weight and maintain it to pursue my career. Since then, becoming a mom has inspired me to become even more passionate about fitness.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
I like to do a balance of cardio, circuit, weight and bodyweight training to keep my body challenged. My significant other and I also engage in partner workouts to keep things fun.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try and lead a healthy lifestyle?
Nutrition, hydration and mindset are keys to my everyday life. I like to eat healthy and research interesting recipes that still help me reach my goals. As we all know, our bodies are made up mainly of water. I like to make sure my body is at an alkaline state by drinking Kangen water. Mindset also is a big factor for me; I have a health coach that helps me stay on track.

Words of wisdom: “If you’re a person who needs discipline, hire a personal trainer or find a workout partner to hold you accountable. Also, do activities that you enjoy: dancing, bike riding, hiking, swimming. Make it fun. And then set some goals—and smash them!”

 

Linzi Martinez

Personal trainer, Boca Raton
Owner of the production company, Happy Healthy Stronger TV
Website: happyhealthystronger.com / Instagram: @happyhealthystrongerbylinzi

Why is fitness so important in your life?
I am 50 years old, and I’ve never felt better. Fitness makes me feel alive, and it’s the key to my positivity and my crazy energy. I fully believe that taking care of yourself goes to the root of self-respect—and when you love yourself, you love your life. From the production of the Happy Healthy Stronger Boca/Delray Makeover TV series (which debuts globally this fall) to training tennis personalities like Chris Evert and Madison Keys to working with the mom who wants to cross the finish line of a half-marathon for the first time at age 45, fitness has allowed me to motivate and inspire people to be their very best.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
My goal in training is never to take a client from a size 2 to a 0. Instead, it’s about providing the client with the tools they need to regain control of their lives, increase their energy, and be physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. Aesthetic gains often become the secondary benefit of my training. My wide range of clients has helped me to develop a method of training that utilizes mostly the person’s body weight. I focus on functional exercises to activate and engage more than one muscle group at a time, consistently prioritizing the core. These exercises mimic real-life movements and aid in preventing injuries—specifically back injuries. Body weight exercises help rebuild muscle wear and tear that develops as we age. They build lean muscle mass that is great for your heart, hormone production, brain activity, sleep patterns—and so much more. My program is three times per week and is a full body workout each time.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try and lead a healthy lifestyle?
For me, it is imperative to arm myself with knowledge of nutrition. It begins by identifying and understanding the macro-nutrients, meaning simple and complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats, what they do and when to have them. For example, when I am relatively inactive, I eat healthy fats and proteins, which satiate me longer, and provide me with sustained energy and control of my glucose. On the other hand, when I engage activities of medium or high intensity, I consume both simple and complex carbohydrates as they provide the body with energy. I try to avoid simple carbohydrates (breads, white rice, pasta, etc.) except when my activity calls for them, otherwise the high glucose in the blood stream calls for insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone.

Words of wisdom: “The pain from the sacrifices you will make committing to a fitness routine will quickly be replaced by something amazing: a feeling of being ridiculously alive!”

 

Erica Leonard

Owner/head trainer, Core 954, Pompano Beach
Website: core954.com

Was there something in your past that inspired you to become more passionate about fitness?
I grew up modeling and acting at a young age, so keeping fit was kind of my thing. However, I really started taking it more seriously after a car accident when I was in my 20s, which left me with bad injuries to my wrists, neck and knees. I studied Pilates for my rehab to bring my body back. The pain I experienced during the [recovery] was debilitating at times. But with a bit of patience, knowledge, practice and peace of mind, I began to heal. I truly believe it was the dedication to myself and my daily fitness routine. Today I am stronger and more fit than ever.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
Over the last 10-plus years I’ve been honored to train [world-class] athletes, including Olympic hopefuls and professional boxers. Given my Pilates background, I liked to stay true to strict core conditioning and powerhouse strengthening. This was my main focus with my athletes. I saw how it would give them speed and power like nothing else.
Core954 is a Lagree Fitness studio. This incredible 45-minute workout is a perfect combo of strength training, yoga and Pilates—all integrated into one machine. The first time I took a Lagree class, I felt like I had never worked out a day in my life. … We target muscles in a safe and effective way by hitting the slow-twitch muscle fibers at precisely the perfect four- to five-second count moves. At Core954, you will never hit your plateau. The workout is never the same, and we’re constantly tricking the muscles. As a result, there is less injury over time. I like to consider this the workout for longevity.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try and lead a healthy lifestyle?
1. Stress is a silent killer. It will eat you alive and spit you out. I try to eliminate this from my life, whether through meditation, taking a swim, watching the sunrise, writing poetry or journaling. There are so many ways to create peace in your life, it all starts with ridding yourself of anyone or anything that doesn’t complement you or make you smile.
2. I’ve had my share of sleepless nights, especially with two little girls. I know for a fact that rest, even if its just micronapping, can help recharge the body.
3. Fresh-pressed juices, lots of water—and, occasionally, wine.
4. I believe it’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people, friends and family who make you shine like the brightest star.

Words of wisdom: “Find a workout you love, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a chore. Switch things up so you don’t get bored. Don’t be afraid to try new things that aren’t in the gym. Just keep your body moving. … Smile often, love lots—and repeat daily. All else will fall into place.”

 

Kenzie Mariano

Personal trainer, Broward County
Website: km-fit.com / Instagram: @kenziemarianofit

Was there something in your past that inspired you to become more passionate about fitness?
To start, I was always the black sheep in the group most of my life. On top of that, I was overweight. These two combined caused me to feel insecure and, a lot of times, depressed. I slowly started to get into fitness when I was a teen. I first became passionate about running; I could run for miles, and it felt unreal. It was like my escape from reality. I started training with a few different coaches in the gym around this time and began to learn the basics of weightlifting. By college, I was 20 pounds lighter, I’d gained muscle, and I was confident as hell, happy and addicted to the fitness lifestyle.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
My whole thing is, don’t settle for a cookie-cutter routine. It’s nearly impossible for thousands of people to follow the exact same diet and workout plan, and achieve success. The fastest way to achieve your goals is through a personalized fitness program crafted specifically to meet your unique preferences, requirements and lifestyle. This is what I do during in-person and online training. I do a mix of functional training, high-intensity interval training and circuit training to help you reach your goal as fast as possible. A big part of my training has to do with helping my clients not just reach that societal “perfect body” look, but to be the best, happiest and healthiest person possible.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try to lead a healthy lifestyle?
I’m a big advocate for mental health. I think having a healthy mindset is everything. With a strong, healthy, positive mindset, you can literally accomplish and succeed at anything in life. Along with physical exercise, I use meditation, yoga, reading and journaling to strengthen my positive thinking and overall mental health.

Words of wisdom: “Find your ‘why’ and remind yourself of it each day. We all have a purpose and reason; use that to push yourself to live a healthy and fitness-oriented lifestyle.”

 

Lisa Anderson

Owner, Cycleward Studio, Fort Lauderdale
Website: cyclewardstudio.com

Why is fitness so important in your life?
I’m obsessed with the feeling of walking away from a vigorous workout drenched in sweat and knowing that I pushed myself to my limit. In addition, since opening Cycleward, I’ve had the chance to help other people accomplish their fitness goals; along the way, I’ve witnessed a lot of lives change. Finally, I want to live life to its fullest. I want to be able to keep up with my kids—and even my grandkids one day.

Was there something in your past that inspired you to become more passionate about fitness?
My parents met in the early 1970s on a blind date at a wellness center that, ironically, was across the street from where Cycleward currently sits. My mom was a fitness instructor; my dad played in the NFL, including with the Baltimore Colts team that won Super Bowl V. His dad was the fifth-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 1944. And both my older brothers were incredible athletes growing up. I decided to follow their lead.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
I’m a goal-setter and a highly motivated individual—and I believe in constantly bettering myself. A distinguishing aspect of our routine at Cycleward, along with the fact that it’s great for all ages and ability levels, is that we use a metric system called Performance IQ. We always encourage riders after every class to take note of their average and maximum power (energy), their mileage and their calorie burn—and then try to beat those numbers during the next class. Our different workout phases include warm-up, steady up-tempo cadences, sprints, climbs, upper-body workout and cool-downs. These varied routines, along with pulsating sounds, motivating instruction and music videos, keep the workout fresh and exciting.

Words of wisdom: “A lot of fitness experts will tell you to set a realistic goal, so you don’t get discouraged. I prefer to set an ambitious goal—and crush it!”

 

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