Fitness Focus! Q and A With Fitness Model Anastasia Todorova

5,394 miles.

That is the distance from the small Russian city of Pyatigorsk to New York City’s latest borough, Brooklyn, but in the world of modeling, everyone has a unique journey all their own.

Whether one wishes to be a Instagram, glamour, fitness, bikini, swimsuit, fetish, alternative/inked, boudoir, fashion or plus-sized, models come in all shapes and sizes and from many different backgrounds.

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

With spring now here and summer right around the corner, many want to start getting to the gym, working out, getting toned and lose a couple of pounds. If you are looking for some motivation in getting in shape, looking good and getting fit, look no further than Pyatigorsk-born, Brooklyn-based fitness model Anastasia Todorova.

A NPC Bikini competitor and a certified graduate of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the 28-year-old Todorova is a rising star in the fitness modeling world, as she has been interviewed by fitness websites such as Nordic Shape, and is also set to appear in the 2017 Baltimore Grand Prix & Fitness Expo Model Search. With a well-toned and tanned athletic shape and curves to die for, and a alluring and sexy look, the 5’5 Todorova is easy on the eyes, but tough on you in the gym.

Below is my Q and A with the Russian fitness bombshell as we talk about getting fit, staying motivated, fit-shaming, her love of Philadelphia and the New York Rangers.

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

 

Name: Anastasia Todorova

Age: 28

Height: 5’5

Birthplace: Pyatigorsk, Russia

Measurements: 38.5-25.5-38.5

Social media links: Instagram: @anastasia_the_love | Facebook: Anastasia Todorova, New York

Modeling Agency: Freelance

 

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)

Anastasia Todorova: “Fitness model.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Anastasia Todorova: “I haven’t modeled for any brands yet.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Anastasia Todorova: “Brooklyn Bridge, New York”

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Anastasia Todorova: “The shoot itself. I find it to be such an adrenaline rush when I shoot. I enjoy absolutely everything about it.

From the makeup to the styling. I also find it so exciting to be published. I don’t know too much about that as of yet, but I think its so thrilling to see yourself in a magazine).”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Anastasia Todorova: “Alice Matos, Oksana Grishina, Maria Kuzmina, Wendy Fortino.”

 

What is your secret to staying in shape?

Anastasia Todorova: “It is not a secret, fasted cardio, weight lifting and strict diet.”

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Anastasia Todorova: “Training and nutrition. I will compete in fitness bikini in June.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: With fitness bikini modeling becoming more popular thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, what are your thoughts on how it can be in creating a positive body image for women?

Anastasia Todorova: “The images of fitness bikini are meant to inspire women and remind them to stay on track of their fitness goals and also represent a healthy body-image role model.”

Photo: Dave Kotinsky,

Robert D. Cobb: What are your thoughts on “fit-shamers”? I’ve noticed online, that a lot of women tend to be shaming others for being too fit, too fat, too pretty/promiscuous, as a woman, what are your thoughts on this and how can it be addressed?

Anastasia Todorova: “Fit shaming, the trend seeks to attack people who are fitness enthusiasts. It tries to make fun of people who work hard to stay healthy and fit.

Here’s why it is a problem.

While everybody is tip-toeing around the concept of fat shaming, and supporting the big and the beautiful, they are totally disregarding the harmful effects of obesity, and shepherding the way to poor metal and physical health.”

Photo: Artyom Samigullin and Kyra Ross

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting part of working out and staying in shape?

Anastasia Todorova: “I love to change my exercise routine every 6 or 8 weeks, and every training session is the most exciting part for me! Fasted cardio 6 times a week for staying in shape and, of course, I’m keeping my eyes on macros.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What motivates you to succeed?

Anastasia Todorova: “Look in the mirror.”

Photo: Dave Kotinsky,

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your opinion of the growth and popularity of “athleisure” Fitness or fashion fad?

Anastasia Todorova: It is a fashion fad.”

 

Photo: Kyra Ross

 

Robert D. Cobb: What fitness and workout tips and tricks do you suggest to keeping in shape?

Anastasia Todorova: Find room in your schedule for 30-40 minutes workout 2-3 times a week- it is possible! Take stairs instead of elevator, walk 10-15 minutes instead of getting a bus ride, stop eating junk food, eat more vegetables, less sugar. Drink more water!”

Photo: Dave Kotinsky,

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs?

Anastasia Todorova: New York Rangers. I’m a hockey lover.

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Anastasia Todorova: “Philly, I’m in love with this city!” Smile

 

Photo: Kyra Ross

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Anastasia Todorova:I’m an aspiring fitness model. In my opinion you have to be prepared for opportunities, and that entails doing more than looking up a few things on the internet, and posing in front of the mirror.

You have to know what you are doing. For example, do a digital camera test on yourself, and learn your angles.”

Special thanks to Ms. Anastasia Todorova for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images used are with permission and are the rightful property of their owners.




Fitness Focus! Q and A With Instagram Fitness and Swimwear Model Zhanna Karim

Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Located deep in the heart of Russia, Yekaterinburg is one of the hidden gems of the Russian nation.

The fourth-largest city after Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg—also called Ekaterinburg—with a population of 1.4 million has a rich and proud history that dates back to the tsars of yesterday.

 

Named after Tsar Peter The Great’s wife, Yekaterina, Yekaterinburg lies close to the border of Europe and Asia, making it a vital city of commerce and industry on two continents.

Known as Sverdlovsk during the Soviet Union era, Yekaterinburg would be the site of a failed coup in 1991, which would see the city gain its original name back during the dissolution of the now-former Soviet Union.

While it’s American sister city is San Jose, California, based on the number of sports athletes—most notably hockey players—Yekaterinburg rivals Detroit as Russia’s “Hockeytown”

NHL standouts such as former Stanley Cup champions such Vladimir Malakhov, Pavel Datsuk, top-five pick Alexei Yahsin were reared in the middle Russian metropolis and notable Olympic athletes such as Yulia Lipnitskaya, Olga Kotlyarova, and models such as former Miss Universe 2010 pageant contestant Irina Antonenko.

Perhaps the next notable resident from the so-called “capital of Urals” is Orlando-based fitness model, Zhanna Karim.

Karim, a 24-year-old fitness model, who has also dabbled in fashion, glamour and swimwear, may be the sexiest and hottest Russian import since Stolicnaya vodka.

Despite being 5’1, the diminutive brown-haired stunner has modeled for brands such as swimwear and lingerie brand Capristal and fitness company, Midway

Below is my Q and A with Zhanna as we talk fitness, working out, looking good for summer and her spring break travels in the Sunshine State.

Name: Zhanna Karim

Age: 24

Height: 5’1

Birthplace: Yekaterinburg, Russia

Measurements: 33-23-34

Social media links: Instagram: @zhannakarim | Facebook: Zhanna Karim

Agency: Freelance

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)

Zhanna Karim: I consider myself like fashion, glamour, swimwear and fitness model and of course I like to share my pictures with my Instagram followers.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Zhanna Karim: I modeled for Capristal and MidWay companies. And cannot say that some of these works I liked more or less, there is something special in every modeling job what you can take a very useful experience from.”

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Zhanna Karim: St. Augustine! With it’s beautiful beach, parks and amazing streets in downtown.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Zhanna Karim: Working with experienced photographers and the process of creation during photo shoots.”

Robert D. Cobb: Since you’re into fitness, what are your thoughts on “athleisure” fashion or fitness trend?

Zhanna Karim: First of all, fitness clothes have to be comfortable for you and not to disturb you during your exercises. And if this fact combines with pretty looking, it is a perfect combination for fitness clothes!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: With spring here, what is the best way to look good and stay in shape?

Zhanna Karim: My way to look good and to stay in shape in spring is in working out in gym, running, making procedures for hair and face, because they need a special care during spring time and also taking vitamins.”

Robert D. Cobb: Any plans for holiday during spring break?

Zhanna Karim: Spring break was excellent! I went to Key West, Siesta Keys, fell in love with those beaches”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Zhanna Karim: Regular workouts, running and of course healthy food.”

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Zhanna Karim: I like dancing, spending time with friends, working out and I adore traveling, visiting new places gives me inspiration!”

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs

Zhanna Karim: I am not a big fan of sports, so don’t have favorite teams or clubs, just usually watch some big games, championships.”

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Zhanna Karim: I will never forget an individual atmosphere of every city I have visited around the Europe. My favorite cities: Barcelona, Malaga, Rome and Budapest! I am looking forward to discovering different states for myself in the near future!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Zhanna Karim: “I would advice always to believe in yourself. To try different things in modeling and to work with a lot of photographers, otherwise it is almost impossible to find your own style.”

Special thanks to Ms. Zhanna Karim for her time and cooperation during the Q and A interview process. All images are the respective property of their owners and used with permission.




Southern Sweet Tea! Q and A With Fitness and Bikini Model Edin LaVieu

Cairo, Georgia.

A small town of roughly 10,000, this quiet little city that lies on the Florida-Georgia border is as sweet and as Americana as it gets.

Affectionately called “Syrup City” due to it’s long history of producing cane syrup from the early 1900’s to the 1990’s, it was the home of the fabled Roddenbery syrup brand, until the company was bought by Dean Foods in 1993, which would shut down the local factory soon after.

Photo: Cam Perry

While one of the smallest towns in the Peach State, Cairo has produced some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment such as MLB Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety J.J. Wilcox and Mayday Parade drummer Jake Bundrick, country music singer Daryle Singletary.

While she may be a small-town Southern belle at heart, fitness and bikini model Edin LaVieu may be the sweetest and sexist thing to come out of a town known for its syrup.

Photo: Gary Wilson

A simply gorgeous head-turning brunette, the slender and sexy LaVieu has modeled for the likes of Harley-Davidson, Samuel Adams and swimwear and intimates brand, Capristan Intimates.

In addition to turning heads on the beach and in bikinis, the 5’6 LaVieu is also a newly-certified International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) personal trainer and fitness model, who strives to be fit, toned and looking good for the hot Florida and Georgia summers down south.

A die-hard Florida State Seminoles fan, LaVieu is a passionate sports fan who loves her Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Rays.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlgfs7bIhys

Below is my Q and A interview with Ms. Edin LaVieu as we talk modeling, getting fir for the beach, a little NFL Draft, her ‘Noles and a certain other Gainesville-based blue-and-orange clad college football team that she loves to hate.

Photo: Cam Perry

 

Name: Edin LaVieu

Age: 21

Height: 5’6”

Birthplace: Cairo, Georgia

Measurements: 32-23-33

Social Media Links: Facebook: Edin LaVieu  | Instagram: @edin.lavieu

Agency: I’m currently freelance, but I’m in talks with a couple agencies!

Photo: Tim Pethel

 

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)

Edin LaVieu: “I like to consider myself a bikini model mostly; it’s my favorite! I haven’t done quite as much fitness modeling as I’d like but I’d love to get more fashion/runway in too but ya know, too short! LOL!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Edin LaVieu: “Harley-Davidson, Samuel Adams, StaffBar Company and Capristan Intimates among others. I would say I love my Harley family most, the girls are just so beautiful and sweet!”

 

Photo: Gary Wilson

Robert D. Cobb: With spring now here and summer around the corner, what fashion trends and tips do you recommend?

Edin LaVieu: “I recommend doing whatever the hell you like! But I personally love the high-cut one-piece swimsuit trend right now.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: As a bikini model, what recommendation do you have in terms of beachwear and looking sexy on the beach?

Edin LaVieu: “I would say confidence is absolutely the best accessory. One of my favorite quotes is, “the best way to get the perfect bikini body is to put a bikini on your body!””

 

Photo: Lance Washington

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Edin LaVieu: “Any beach of course!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Edin LaVieu: “The traveling most definitely, I love getting to go to new places and meet new people, all while doing what I love. It’s a blessing.”

 

Photo: Cam Perry

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Edin LaVieu: “Candice Swanepoel without a doubt. She’s drop dead gorgeous and it’s always been a dream of mine to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel just like her.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Edin LaVieu: LIFTING! It’s such a myth that weightlifting makes girls bulky. Ladies, get to the weight rack and lift a little!”

Photo: Tim Pethel

 

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Edin LaVieu: “I’ve recently become a certified personal trainer, so I obviously love the gym, but I also love shooting sports, volunteering, eating anything with chili and cheese on it, and watching cartoons. Most of my time is spent in class though, I’m still a full-time premedical student. :)”

 

Robert D. Cobb: As a newly certified personal trainer, what workout and motivation tips do you have for getting fit and toned this coming summer?

Edin LaVieu: “As far as fitness goes, I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes working out at least 5 days a week. A healthy body is a happy body. And always remember that abs are made in the kitchen! Eat well to feel better!”

 

Photo: Kara Rountree

Robert D. Cobb: Athleisure: Fashion or fitness trend?

Edin LaVieu: “Athleisure is my favorite way to dress so I’d say it’s both fashion and fitness. I’m always more pumped to workout when I’ve already dressed the part.”

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs?

Edin LaVieu: “Easy. I’m a Seminoles fan as far as college football goes (shoutout FSU!), a Packers fan when it comes to the NFL, and Tampa Bay Rays fan for baseball.”

 

Photo: Robert Hunter

Robert D. Cobb: Since you’re a Florida State fan? Who is the Seminole that every team should get in this coming draft?

Edin LaVieu: I always keep my eye on (Florida State quarterback) Deondre Francois. That golden arm though!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Dalvin Cook of Leonard Fournette? Who you got?

Edin LaVieu: “Dalvin Cook! Are you kidding? LOL not just because I like the Noles, Cook’s stats are just killer.”

 

Photo: Rick Webb

Robert D. Cobb: As a Florida State fan, outside of Florida and Miami, who is the ONE team you hate, but can’t help to watch?

Edin LaVieu: “Probably Alabama. I have a love/hate relationship there. They’re just so good. LOL!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Since you’re from Georgia and like Florida State, how much MORE do you hate the Gators?

Edin LaVieu: “PLENTY more! It’s great to be a Gator hater!

Photo: Rick Blue

Robert D. Cobb: What is it about Southern girls that exudes such sexiness amongst men? Accent, knowledge love of sports, etc?

Edin LaVieu: “I’ve been told time and time again that the accent is the big selling point, but I think Southern girls just do it better.

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Edin LaVieu: “I really love Atlanta and Miami, but Destin is probably my favorite of them all.”

Photo: Cam Perry

 

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Edin LaVieu: “Don’t let anything hold you back; not insecurities, not a couple rejections, nothing. I’m a firm believer that anyone can be a model if they are willing to work their behind off for it. I’m also a believer that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

So, no matter what, if you want to be a model, put in the work and you will get there. Don’t get discouraged. If I had let myself get discouraged, I would’ve quit a long time ago. It may take a long time (it took me years to get here), but it’ll all be worth it if you don’t give up!”

 

Special thanks to Ms. Edin LaVieu for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.




Boston Strong! Q and A With Fitness Model Lauren Melissa Hodgkins

Don’t look now, but it’s that time of year again. Spring.

Much like birds flying south for the winter for warmer temperatures and  humans not being far behind, that ingrained and instinctive need to get back in shape once spring rolls around is upon us again.

Whether it is due to seeing a non-stop array of bikini-clad Instagram models or searching on the hashtag of #motivation, the desire to work out and toned for the summer creeps up on all of us.

It could be something as benign as wanted to lose a couple of pounds, or wanting to tone up one’s thighs and derriere, spring offers one a proverbial second chance on life when it comes to getting fit and looking good.

One other sign of spring is seeing fitness models such as Boston-bred Lauren Melissa Hodgkins giving and providing fitness motivation to those who want it.

Born and bred in Beantown, the 23-year-old 5’5 blue-eyed beauty, who has modeled for the likes of big name brands such as Herbalife and athleisure brands such as Paragon Fitwear, is ready to make a big splash this coming summer all her own.

As with all native New Englanders, Lauren loves her Boston-area teams with the passionate of a true die-hard. Below is my Q and A with her as we discuss getting fit for spring, her Boston sports teams and how to get and stay motivated this spring.

 

 

Photo: Tillett

 

Name: Lauren Melissa Hodgkins

Age: 23

Height: 5’5

Birthplace: Framingham, MA

Measurements: 32-25-35

Social Media Links: Instagram: @laurenmelissafit  |  Facebook: Lauren Melissa Fit

 

Photo: Schuyler Photo

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Fitness model”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Paragon Fitwear, Gripactive, Scripted Jade, Herbalife”

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:The beach, no question! However, I have yet to model in a gym – I hope to do this in the near future.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I think of modeling as a form of self-expression. It’s exciting for me to channel my passion for health and fitness into the art of modeling. It’s a fantastic way to capture a moment in time that holds timeless inspiration.”

Photo: Schuyler Photo

 

Robert D. Cobb: What fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature drops?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I can’t tell you how excited I am for spring and summer. However, winter is perfect for layering – especially if you’re covering up that winter weight (let’s be real, we all bulk a little extra in the winter).

I love chunky blanket scarves for their versatility, and I practically live in my black ankle boots – they are such a staple, whether you’re dressing them down with some skinny jeans, or dressing up with a velvet circle skirt and some over-the-knee socks, they are absolutely perfect all winter.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Any spring fashion and style tips for women that you wish to pass on?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Every woman should own a pair of high-waisted jean shorts and a crop top. It’s my staple summer look and I think every woman looks beautiful and fresh in this attire.”

Photo: Tillett

Robert D. Cobb: Fashion or fitness fad, what is your opinion of athleisure?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I think it’s a fad, just like any other trend.

Those who work out on a daily basis might continue to reap the benefits of getting away with wearing their gym attire all day, but for those who do it just for the trend, I think it will fizzle out, just like most trends.. but who knows, it could circle back like the 90s choker trend we’re seeing again (thank god I kept all my chokers from elementary school)”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I have always been inspired by Heidi Somers, Paige Hathaway, Jessica Arevalo, and Candice Swanepoel.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:My secret is there is no secret. Don’t hate me, but diet and exercise are key.  And consistency. Stick with it.

Go to the gym, do your workouts, don’t get discouraged. Eat the best you can, and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you slip up and skip the gym a few days in a row, or maybe have one too many cookies – don’t lose heart.

We’re only human. It’s okay to indulge but do everything in moderation. Fitness and health is a lifestyle, not a diet.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Describe your workout routine?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I’m a huge advocate of lifting.

But I usually warm up with some cardio first, at least ten minutes on the stair master, elliptical, treadmill, or the bikes.

Then I’ll get into some light stretching before I start lifting.

Deadlifts and squats are my absolute favorites, but of course I’ve got to rotate the muscle groups I work. I try to isolate two muscle groups at a time each time I work out, going to the gym probably 4-5 days a week.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What’s the best way to stay motivated?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I think it’s important to keep your mind on your goals. Have a structured schedule to keep you on track, but make sure you reward yourself a couple times a week so you don’t go crazy.

Eat clean as much as you can, keep in mind that you’re doing this for your long-term health, not just to look good. But reward yourself with a cheat meal on a Friday night to satisfy those cravings.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: With spring now here, what workout tips do you suggest? 

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Honestly, any workout is better than no workout. You really can’t have a “bad workout”.

I suggest cranking up the intensity on the cardio routine (something I need to work on myself) during the warmer weather, this will help you shed excess water weight and give you an overall leaner look.

Higher reps with lower weights will also help give you that nice toned look.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Currently, I am trying to teach myself how to play the guitar! I also enjoy drawing, particularly sketching.

Anything in the realm of creative arts is right up my ally.”

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I’m a Boston girl, so naturally an intrinsic love for the Patriots and the Red Sox is in my DNA.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:I love my city. Boston will always be home. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t crave the warm weather – Daytona, Florida and Honolulu Hawaii are places I crave on a daily basis.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Lauren Melissa Hodgkins:Start somewhere, start small, start something. Even if what you are doing is not getting any recognition, stick with it. Have your friends take pictures of you on their cell phone, or get in touch with a local photographer. Little steps lead to big results – stick with what you’re passionate about and never give up.”

 

Special thanks to Ms. Lauren Melissa Hodgkins for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.




Fitness Focus! Q and A With Fitness and Pin-Up/Glamour Model, Dagmara Izabela Luka

Photo: Gary Clark Photography

Koszalin, Poland

A quiet and quaint city in northwestern Poland on the Baltic Sea, Kosazlin has a storied history and past all it’s own.

While most outside of Poland are more likely to be familiar with larger cities such as Gdansk, Warsaw, Krakow and Torun, Koszalin’s history—which stretches back to the 11th century—is littered with being a part of the German Empire, occupied by the Nazis and Red Army.

With a population of 108,000, Kosazlin may not be considered by many a top tourist destination, but it is a city with a special place in both Polish and European history.

While not known as the birthplace of fitness models, perhaps Morristown, New Jersey-based fitness and glamour/pin-up model, Dagmara Izabela Mara could put it on the map.

Mara, who left her native Kosazlin for the United States nine years because she loves a challenge and wanted to challenge herself, is a certified personal trainer that holds accreditations through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Certified Weight Loss (WLS), is currently working towards her Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) certification.

Holder of a master’s degree in Economics from Koszalin University of Technology and a post-graduate degree in Psychology/Management from the University of Szczecin in her native country.

The 36-year-old blonde bombshell and New Jersey transplant has been a certified fitness trainer for seven years and a model off and on for five years, taking time off to raise her now 13-year-old son.

Polish born and Jersey-bred, Mara is an example of following one’s dreams and making it in America if there ever was one.

Below is my Q and A with Mrs. Dagmara Izabela Mara as we discuss modeling, working out, how to get fit and in shape this spring, coming to America and how to stay and get motivated.

Photo: Jolly Roger Imagery by Michael Lee

 

Name: Dagmara Izabela Luka

Age: 36

Height: 5’4

Birthplace: Koszalin, Poland

Hometown: Morristown, New Jersey

Measurements: 33-27-37

Social Media Links: Facebook: Dagmara_Izabela | Instagram: @Dagmara_Izabela

 

Photo: Effi Amouris

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “I consider myself a pin-up/glamour model, a petite model, a swimsuit/lingerie model, a fitness model, a fashion model, a commercial model and a mature model.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “I have not been fortunate enough to have modeled for any brands. I am hoping for a better chance to do so in the near future.”

 

Photo: Effi Amouris

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “One of my most memorable experiences has been in New York City, around the World Trade Center. I love shooting outside with natural light, and it was pleasurable to be around very optimistic and a professional group of people.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “The most exhilarating aspect about modeling is the transformation that takes place mentally and physically. Doing photography, for me, is something eternal. In the image, you can mirror someone’s soul, and feelings.

Modeling is more than posing; moreover, it’s a form of creative art.”

 

Photo: Effi Amouris

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “My inspiration is Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. Cindy Crawford and I think alike. She said, “It’s not about looking younger, but about loving yourself”. I completely agree in terms of when you are content with your accomplishments in life, how it “brings true youthful energy to your life”.

I like to take good care of myself by eating healthy and working out, but most importantly being passionate and happy about what I do is what truly keeps me feeling great, which then brings more confidence into my life.

Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer inspire me because they achieve success through hard work and commitment. That’s commendable.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Any spring fashion and style tips for women that you wish to pass on?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “You could have on the trendiest, most expensive outfit in the world—but if it doesn’t fit you properly, you’re not going to look stylish, and all your effort and money would have been wasted.

The biggest mistake women make is wearing clothes that don’t fit because they don’t accept the body they have right now. You have to do that in order to figure out what looks good on you.

And besides, confidence is the best accessory. It can make or break an outfit.”

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: There is no secret to staying in shape. As a personal trainer, I know what it takes to achieve your fitness goals. It is hard work and dedication. I work out five days a week and I eat as healthy as I can to maintain myself in good shape.

All it takes is self-motivation, and dedication to get where you want to be, and you’ll get there.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Fashion or fitness fad, what is your opinion of athleisure?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “Why are people increasingly interested in athleisure wear?

I think part of it is certainly connected to the rise of fitness-conscious people who look at athletics not only as a hobby but also as an all-around lifestyle. Another part of it is simply the desire for clothing to be comfortable, even when it’s supposed to be functional, like formal wear in professional situations.”

 

Photo: Jolly Roger Imagery by Michael Lee

Robert D. Cobb: Describe your workout routine?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “First, I want to say that I’ve been consistently training for over five years now. I have always been a fan of weight and strength training. My work schedule is constantly changing, therefore; I don’t always follow any specific training days.

Photo: Gary Clark Photography

The same applies to my rest days, I take them as they come.We all have those lagging body parts that just take longer to respond to our workouts, personally it’s my legs.

When training, I like to use heavier weights, with a moderate rep range. I usually do 4-5 sets of each exercise with a rep range of 8-12. If for any reason I’d only have 3 days during the week to workout then one day I would train my whole upper body, the next day would be all legs/calves and on the 3rd non-consecutive day I would do a whole body workout, focusing on a couple of exercises for each body part with a higher rep range.

I like to stick to the same routine for no more than six weeks.

Our muscles are very adaptive, and after a while they stop responding to whatever workouts we are doing. Therefore; it is important to change your routine from time to time. To change things up, I might just change the order of exercises, rep range, weights and/or change my routine completely.

I also may add a light weight day with an increased in reps and then a heavy weight day with lower reps for the same muscle groups.”

 

Photo: Effi Amouris

Robert D. Cobb: What’s the best way to stay motivated?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “Fortunately, economists and psychologists have been studying how to crack the code of what compels us to repeatedly do something we don’t always want to do. 

Start thinking of yourself as an athlete, and not a spectator. Set a goal, enlist a friend, mark it on your calendar, and have some fun.

You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, more happiness, and more energy for everything else in your life.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: With spring now here, what workout tips do you suggest?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “Weight training for a better body.

Many women worry that weight training will somehow transform them into Hulk-ettes, so they spend hours doing cardio in order to maintain their “feminine” figure. The truth is, women just don’t have the hormonal support to gain muscle mass like men.

The hormone testosterone is responsible for large increases in muscle mass. Women’s testosterone levels are a fraction of men’s. That means you can bench press without concern that you will look bulky.

You’re right about one thing, though: training with weights will increase your lean muscle mass.

That’s a good thing! The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn. The more calories you burn, the leaner you’ll get. Increased muscle mass will also add shape to your arms, take inches from your tummy, and even add some roundness to your booty!

When women’s magazines talk about “tone,” they’re really talking about strong muscles.”

 

Jolly Roger Imagery by Michael Lee

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “My hobbies are working out, reading books on psychology, neuroscience, human body and food, and art.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “I like to watch soccer and tennis games, but I have no particular favorite team.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “There are too many nice cities all around the world; therefore, I would have a lot of favorite cities if I had traveled them all. I think all of them are special in some kind. All of them have some beauty. Krakow in Poland or Prague has majesty. Jaco in Costa Rica has amazing tropical wind.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Dagmara Izabela Mara: “My advice to women aspiring to get into modeling would be to love yourself and be confident. It is your patience, listening skills and general attitude that will get you far. You don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Beauty is within you.”

 

Special thanks to Mrs. Dagmara Izabela Mara for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images used are the property of their respective owners and are used with permission.




Fitness Focus! Q and A With Fitness and Instagram Model, Susan Sophia Rouse

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

San Jose, Costa Rica

The picturesque and breathtaking capital of Costa Rica, the former Spanish colonial outpost tucked away in Central America is as beautiful and historic a city as you will ever find.

Located in the Central Valley, Chepe—as it is sometimes called—boasts a population of 2.1 million, is the country’s major hub of transportation and tourism.

One of the top spring break hot spots annually, San Jose was ranked the sixth-most important destination in all of Latin America, per TheMasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012.

While known for being a place of paradise and great beauty, one of it’s own citizens in fitness and Instagram model, Susan Sophia Rouse may turn out to be it’s greatest ambassador.

Based in Tampa Bay, Florida and currently a student at the University of South Florida, the curvy and simply gorgeous 25-year-old Rouse is both easy on the eyes as well as being so outgoing.

 

Blessed with an eye-catching figure and athletic build, the 5’6 bombshell has modeled for Tampa-based bikini swimwear line, The Bikini Boutique with sights set on doing bigger things in 2017.

Below is my Q and A with Ms. Rouse as we discuss fitness, modeling, fashion and her love of her adopted hometown Tampa Bay sports teams.

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

 

Name: Susan Sophia Rouse

Age: 25

Height: 5’6″

Measurements: 32-27-36

Birthplace: San Jose, Costa Rica

Residence: Tampa Bay, Florida

Agency: Freelance

Social Media Links: Instagram | @so_lavish

 

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Fitness, Instagram, bikini and boutique”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “The Bikini Boutique in Tampa, my favorite would certainly be bikini and fitness style photo shoots”

 

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Being a Costa Rican/Florida girl, I would have to say the beach!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Working with amazing photographers, other models, makeup artists, etc. it’s so exciting to see people come together to make something really beautiful happen!”

 

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

Robert D. Cobb: With springnow here, what fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature drops?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Embrace this amazing weather for hair! You can wear it straight or curled without worrying about humidity. Cozy sweaters over leggings and cute boots are always a lovely stapled look, you look but together while feeling super comfy!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Any style tips for women that you wish to pass on?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “I believe that woman should own their own style, don’t just go buy whatever is popular at the moment but create your own style at the gym that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful! Everyone is different and there is so much variety in todays world that you can make it whatever your heart desires.”

 

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “My inspiration comes from a lot of different fitness models, the year round conditioning that they are loyal to shows and it’s an incredible commitment to health, and motivating others!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Fashion or fitness fad, what is your opinion of athleisure?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Athleisure has a time and place, I think it certainly is a fashion. Women can look like super models at the gym, while out running errands or even at home lounging!

I still encourage getting dressed up and putting on some makeup from time to time because you put in work in the gym you should get dolled up every now and then and show it off!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What’s the best way to stay motivated during the colder months?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “During the colder months it’s important to remember your goals that you have worked so hard for in the other months during the year, fitness is not a season it’s a lifestyle.

Success is created in your daily habits, meal prepping, training, proper supplementation and making sure you get your beauty sleep! During the cold months I always love going to the sauna to shake the cold and get into my workout! Plus cute workout winter clothes are always fun”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “My secret is really no secret at all, eat clean, train hard, hit some pre breakfast cardio 2-3 times a week and drink lots of water!”

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

Robert D. Cobb: Describe your workout routine?

Susan Sophia Rouse:

“My workout routine usually looks like this every week:
Monday: shoulders
Tuesday: back
Wednesday: legs
Thursday: chest
Friday: arms and abs
Saturday: glutes and hamstrings
Sunday: active rest day”

 

Photo: Larry Hodge Photography

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Outside of modeling I love fitness, I’m a personal trainer and I genuinely enjoy watching people accomplish their goals! I also love painting, and home projects.”

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs

Susan Sophia Rouse: “Since I’ve grown up in Tampa, I would have to say the Bucs, Rays, and Lightning!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Susan Sophia Rouse: “In the USA, I love Seattle, WA! Outside of the USA, I would have to say San Jose, Costa Rica!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Susan Sophia Rouse: My advice to women who are aspiring models: carry yourself with confidence, know that you may not be every ones cup of tea but never let that stop you, wake up every day, work towards your goals, and always take chances! You never know how close you are to making your dreams come true!”




Fitness Focus! Q and A With Fitness Model, Jennifer Modderman

Minnesota. The Land of 10,000 Lakes, ice hockey and winter at its most beautiful.

With much of the upper Midwest caught in a deep freeze and a never-ending blanket of snow, one’s thoughts turn to hot chocolate, thick sweaters and how to survive sub-zero and bitter Alberta Clippers, the North Star State is one of great natural beauty.

Despite being known as the original home state of the now Los Angeles Lakers and current home of the Timberwolves, Twins and Vikings, Minnesota is the home of U.S. hockey through and through, as evidenced by their love of the now-Dallas Stars, current Minnesota Wild and five-time national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers college hockey program.

While not considered one of the great natural Minnesota entertainers such as the late Prince, Jesse Venturs and Brock Lesnar and models such as SI alum Melissa Keller and Big Brother reality star Janelle Pieriza, fitness model, actress and singer Jennifer Modderman is both easy on the eyes and one to watch.

Blessed with an outgoing personality and a 1,000-watt camera-worthy smile, the 34-year-old native of the small southeastern town of Hollandale, is a feisty, spunky and outgoing bundle of perpetual energy.

In addition to being a certified NCSF (National Council of Strength and Fitness) personal trainer, who is also certified in yoga, Modderman has recently been cast to appear in a couple of upcoming films—a horror and a drama—and is also the current performer of our country’s national anthem from the North American Hockey League’s Austin Bruins.

An up-and-coming triple threat if there ever is one, One does not need to head north to see Minnesota’s  next shining star.

Below is my Q and A with the married mother of two as we discuss feeling Minnesota, her love of the Wild, how to stay motivated, fashion tips and her Vikings bitter rivalry with a certain team from Wisconsin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDLuNgedqPc

Skol!

 

Name: Jennifer Modderman

Age: 34

Height: 5’4

Birthplace: Hollandale, Minnesota

Measurements: Bust 34C, waist 26, Hips 34

 

Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself? (Instagram, pin-up/glamour, fashion)

Jennifer Modderman: “I think in the modeling industry you have to be very flexible with style. A jack of all trades so to speak! I consider myself able to do it all. Being versatile makes you more marketable.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy the most?

Jennifer Modderman: “I don’t have a favorite. Every style and brand has its own unique look as should the model. I do enjoy putting on a fun pair of jeans though! I’m a pretty simple easy going gal!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?

Jennifer Modderman: “Anywhere is great! When you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t really matter.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling?

Jennifer Modderman: “Modeling in a way is like being an actress. You get to be a character and dress for the role you are modeling. Your photographer may want happy, fierce, exotic, or serious. It is always an adventure and you have to embrace the character.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: With winter here and spring right around the corner, what fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature drops?

Jennifer Modderman: “Hydrate and moisturize. Your skin in general says so much about your personal hygiene and overall health. The winter cold can be very hard on skin and hair, so take care of it by drinking lots of water and finding the right kind of lotion.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your inspiration?

Jennifer Modderman: “Cindy Crawford of course! She is elegant, classy, and beautiful inside and out. Cindy has style, edge, sex appeal, and has become a very successful business woman as well. I find that very admirable.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?

Jennifer Modderman: “Make exercise part of your daily routine. I am a runner, so I put on the running shoes, listen to my favorite tunes and hit the road, or treadmill depending on the weather.”

Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?

Jennifer Modderman: “I am a singer, so I do a lot of singing at different sporting events. I also enjoy the outdoors, so there is a lot of camping, fishing and biking with my husband and two children.”

 

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs?

Jennifer Modderman:  “I am a Twins fan of course, being from Minnesota! I also enjoy watching hockey. The Minnesota Wild is a great team and I get a thrill from the fast pace movement in that sport.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?

Jennifer Modderman: “Minneapolis is not so far, and there is always sporting events or fun activities for the whole family. Not to mention the Mall of America is there.”

Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling?

Jennifer Modderman: “Always be yourself and believe in who you are! Be willing to work hard but not hard to work with! No one likes a bad attitude, and in this industry or all through life attitude really is everything!”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Any style tips for women that you wish to pass on?

Jennifer Modderman: ”Figure out who you are, embrace that and go with it! Always be yourself.”

 

 

Robert D. Cobb: Fashion or fitness fad, what is your opinion of athleisure?

Jennifer Modderman: “I don’t really have one, because it’s always changing. I just do what I enjoy, and dress the way I want to. I don’t desire to look or dress like others. It’s what makes me unique, and unique is good. Some people find that different, and that’s just fine with me, because at the end of the day I know who I am.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Describe your workout routine?

Jennifer Modderman: “I try to mix up my routine to keep motivated and see continued results. It depends on my mood, LOL!! I do kickboxing, yoga, and run.

I’m also a very outdoorsy gal, so in the summer most of my working out is running or biking. I switch up my music to keep me motivated too. Everything from hard rock to pop.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: What’s the best way to stay motivated during the colder months?

Jennifer Modderman: “I try to get outside everyday for the fresh air regardless of freezing temps or snow. It’s a mood booster and when a person feels more awake and happy they make better choices. Find some fun winter activities, like skiing, snow shoeing, or ice skating.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Musical influences

Jennifer Modderman: “Musical influences are Lady Gaga, because she is creative and has a very powerful voice.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Fave genre?

Jennifer Modderman: “Pop and Alternative.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Fave singer?

Jennifer Modderman: “That’s a tough one, depends on my mood. LOL! Lady Gaga and Kesha”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Team Katy or Taylor?

Jennifer Modderman: “Team Katy! Smile

Robert D. Cobb: Wild, Wolves, Vikes or Twins, who would you dream of signing the anthem for?

Jennifer Modderman: “I am singing at Target Field for the Twin’s finals this Sunday! I also just got cast in two Film’s that start shooting in two weeks! I also am put on the roster to sing for the Gophers as well this coming year.”

 

Robert D. Cobb: Lastly, that new US Bank Stadium is dope, any plans to go to a game?

Jennifer Modderman: “I would love to sing at US Bank Stadium. Especially a Viking/Packers game because it’s a big rivalry between families! LOL!”

 

Special Thanks to Mrs. Jennifer Modderman for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. Images are used with permission and are the respective property of their owners. Follow Jennifer Modderman online here, on Instagram @jenmodderman, Facebook here and on Youtube here.