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These Women Are Kickin’ Butt and Takin’ Names

Written By: Mimi Dang Female Fitness Influencers

Who runs the world? Girls! We brought together some influential females in the fitness world and had you choose your favorites. In the end, you chose incredible women who all have one thing in common—they inspire and motivate us to be the best versions of ourselves! So we asked them about their inspiration, fitness regime and their go-to meals to fuel (and refuel), and more! Read on to learn more about these kick-ass women!

 

Kara Griffin, Feel This | @feelthis___

Q: How did you get into health/fitness?

Kara Griffin: I danced my whole life so I’ve always had a fascination and respect with the body. When I moved to NYC to pursue dance as a career, I started teaching pilates as my ‘side gig.’ I fell in love with the energy of teaching group classes and the problem solving aspects of private training (injury rehab, helping people reach their goals, etc.) so I kept getting certified in different modalities. It was so refreshing to be able to connect to people through movement in a new way.

Q: What is your fitness routine like?

KG: It changes every week depending on my schedule. I typically book my clients, classes and sessions first and then schedule my own fitness. Working out five to six days per week and it can range from giving myself a mat workout at home to going to others’ group fitness classes to show support for the community. I gravitate towards pilates, yoga, HIIT/bootcamp and, of course, dance.

Q: Who in the health and fitness world inspires you and why?

KG: The women who were included in this poll with me! Seriously, they’re incredible examples in the fitness community. I find my daily inspiration from the people I work with day in and day out. We’re all mostly independent trainers, so we’ve found each other to make a greater community. They’re my friends, but I’d like to think that’s why we’re friends—we all have that common drive to live our best lives. And even though they’re not in the fitness world professionally, my clients inspire me.

Q: What advice do you have when someone is really struggling to gather motivation to workout?

KG: It’s all about mindfulness to me. If we’re able to tap into that amazing feeling when you finish a workout—that euphoria, that runner’s high, that sense of accomplishment—and remember it, then we can call upon it as motivation for the next time we’re feeling a little ho-hum about working out. You can work toward that positive feeling and all of a sudden the workout becomes a means to an end rather than something you’re ‘forced’ to do with only negative connotations attached.

Q: What makes the LA fitness scene stand out from other cities?

KG: As someone who grew up in Massachusetts where the weather is frequently, um, less-than-desireable, one of my favorite things about LA is that vitamin D! It’s amazing that your fitness world can exist entirely outside. You don’t necessarily have to go to a bar to catch up with someone; you can go on a hike.

Q: What is your advice for people who “don’t have time to work out”?

KG: When you’re working out in a way that serves you best and that you enjoy, you’ll find the time and make the time. That’s a discovery process—finding out the movement style that fits you best—but when you find it, magic can happen. If you’re super crunched for time, find videos of the types of workouts that you love so that they’re portable: you can take them anywhere and do them any time. Here’s my youtube channel to get you started!

Q: What is the one snack you can’t live without?

KG: Oh man, there are so many delicious, nutritious snacks but a good old fashion handful of cashews is one of my favorites.

 

Meagan Kong, You Kong Do It | @meagankong

Q: How did you get into health/fitness?

Megan Kong: Growing up, I was a competition dancer and an all-star cheerleader. Dance was my second major in college as well. It wasn’t until I graduated college and started dancing professionally that I realized I couldn’t use my profession to stay in shape, I needed to stay in shape for my profession. I learned to eat clean and train outside the dance studio so I showed up to work with my strongest self.

Q: What is your fitness routine like?

MK: I am all about switching up my fitness routine as much as possible. I love group classes: pilates, yoga, HIIT, cycling and boxing. I typically take four classes a week, jog twice and make hiking dates.

Q: Who, in the health and fitness world, inspires you and why?

MK: Movement has been ingrained in me since I was young and even still, getting back on the wellness train after a couple weeks break seems impossible. This is why I am inspired by anyone who is discovering fitness for the first time and finding the courage to try something new.

Q: What advice do you have when someone is really struggling to gather motivation to work out?

MK: Any effort counts. Don’t try to be a hero. Don’t go to extremes. It’s about consistency and making one good choice at a time.

Q: What makes the LA fitness scene stand out from other cities?

MK: Our climate makes it possible to workout anywhere at anytime. We are at the epicenter of the latest so getting bored of your workout is no excuse.

Q: What is your advice for people who “don’t have time to work out”?

MK: When I have long days on set, I’ll split my workout up. I find a circuit that takes 10 minutes and instead of doing all three rounds in a row, I’ll squeeze one set before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Splitting the circuits up takes away the cardio aspect but at least I keep up toning.

Q: What is the one snack you can’t live without?

MK: Popcorn made on the stove topped with flax oil, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Also having a corn chip with all the dips.

Astrid Swan | @astrid_swan

Q: How did you get into health/fitness?

Astrid Swan: I was an international model at age 14 and the pressure from the industry got me into learning about healthy choices and working out. So many of my peers were creating unhealthy habits and I knew there was a better way. I started ‘training’ myself and eating right and then I got more serious about it and studied for my certifications to be able to help others.

Q: What is your fitness routine like?

AS: I workout five days a week and let my body completely rest for two. I lift very heavy weights, love HIIT workouts. Get in and get out! No one wants to spend hours in the gym.

Q: Who in the health and fitness world inspires you and why?

AS: There are so many people I admire in this health and fitness space, I don’t think I can narrow down one specific. I appreciate all forms of fitness. I love people who are honest and real.

Q: What advice do you have when someone is really struggling to gather motivation to work out?

AS: The first five minutes is the hardest but once you are in it, you have zero regrets. Make an appointment with yourself for your workout. We book facials, manicures and hair appointments. We spend time shopping for the perfect dress, jeans etc., but the truth is all of that won’t look as good as it could if you don’t find the time to workout! Don’t overdo it when you are starting out and don’t give up! We were not born being able to walk on two feet.

Q: What makes the LA fitness scene stand out from other cities?

AS: I love the LA fitness scene! Options are on every corner. We are so lucky to have great weather year round and have so many talented experts to motivate us.

Q: What is your advice for people who “don’t have time to work out”?

AS: I call bullsh*t! If you want something, you make time for it. I read some quote on Instagram that said, “If Beyoncé has time to work out—so do you!” And then I laugh because how much time did you just spend scrolling through social media? You probably are laughing now too! Make time for you! No excuses!

Q: What is the one snack you can’t live without?

AS: Oh man! I love anything with almond butter and I love dark chocolate! I eat it every day. Almond butter and I should not be left alone.

 

Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, Tone It Up | @toneitup

Tone It Up’s Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott have got the skinny on everything fitness, nutrition and beyond, but what’s even more captivating is the genuine bond they share. They’ve cultivated a community of female empowerment and sisterhood that is just as enchanting to participate in as it is to watch. Their millions of followers and success stories are a testament to their success as well as a glimpse into the stunning journey ahead for these fitfluential femmes. To read more about Karena and Katrina’s, check out their Locale cover story here!

Need to Update Your Fitness Routine? Meet Your New Inspirations

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