All Articles Tagged "fitness"

Working It Out: That Time I Was Told Go To The Back Of A Zumba Class

October 22nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a new health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

Working It Out: I Was Told Go To The Back Of Workout Class

Source: Shutterstock

When you begin a new workout regimen to lose weight — or even think about beginning one — there are lots of things you can become anxious about. Can I really do this? Do I have time to do this? Do I have the money for this? Are there going to be creepy men at the gym staring at me? Are the skinny chicks who do this on a regular going to judge me? The latter actually wasn’t even a concern of mine when I got back into a Zumba routine several months ago at a studio not far from my office. I live for Zumba because the moves are ones I can actually do for a whole hour, I love Latin music, and I work up a crazy sweat. Plus the classes tend to be full of women — 90% of which are rhythmically challenged yet still doing their thing and having fun — so it’s always felt like a no judgement zone. Until the one day I met #ThisBish.

I always like to get to classes early so I can save up my energy for the actual workout, rather than running to grab a spot before the instructor begins. And because I’m one of those people who likes to workout toward the middle, if not the back, of the class. At this point in my journey, I’m just not interested in seeing belly flat flap all around in those gigantic jazzercise mirrors. The particular day I met #ThisBish though, I’d been running late and once I got to the class there were only a couple of spots left — one of which was second row left, right in front of those dag on mirrors. Though not my preferred spot, I wasn’t going to not workout because of that so I popped a squat for two minutes and began stretching when a voice not far from me said “This is kinda hard. You might wanna go to the back of the class.”

In my naivety,  which I still can’t account for because once I come into contact with people on the streets of New York City I tend to be overcome with the worst of attitudes, I simply smiled and replied “Oh, I’m okay here,” low-key thinking the woman was being sympathetic to the packed class struggle and trying to point out free space. When she returned my comment with an annoyed expression on her face I was confused, and almost as soon as the instructor turned on “Suavemente,” the light bulb went off in my head and I realized she was suggesting I go to the back of the class because there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or keep from embarrassing myself in the front of the class. “This Bish!”

When I tell you I have never pushed myself in a class so hard before I am not lying. For one thing, I’ve taken a Zumba class at least 75-plus times in my life. This wasn’t my first Latin rodeo so I wasn’t worried about keeping up. But just to prove little Halle the Hater wrong over there, I made sure I went from zero to a hundred real quick (in my Drake voice) and cut my eyes at her every time there was a break in the song to make sure she knew I caught on to her hateration. I also decided when the class was over, and my heart rate returned to a normal level, I was going to give her a piece of my mind for trying to play me. But low and behold, little miss I-do-this left the class early and I never got a chance to redeem myself.

As someone who writes about other people’s business all the time, I can’t exactly say with a straight face: why are people so concerned with what other people do? But, being overweight is always one of those conditions that, for some reason, always tends to lend itself to public scrutiny and suggestiveness as the expense of said plus-size person’s mental state. If my weight is that much of a personal affront to you, why not encourage me to push harder from wherever I am (like my Crunch instructor last week who ironically asked me why I keep going to the back of the class) or congratulate me for trying to get my life together (OK maybe not because that would be awkward to me).

Anyway, I know when some folks see me all they see is a walking burden on the health care system, but until I show up at your door with a doctor’s bill and a laundry list of comorbidities — or unless I stand right in front of you in a kickboxing class and block your view from the mirror, please let me live! I have enough stuff going on on my journey to Snatchedville. Trust me, I’m working it out. Has this ever happened to you?

9 Ways To Add More Years To Your Life

August 6th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Life can be one stressful journey, especially on the job. There are days when we’re excited and others that make us want to cry. And let’s not forget about how our actions that have an impact on our health. Like stress poor choices can zap our bodies and even cause medical issues down the road. The time has come to make a few changes. Here are some interesting ways how you can add more years to your life.

Lexy Panterra Talks About The Highs & Lows Of Her Celebrity-Filled Twerking Fitness Class, LexTwerkout

June 9th, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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Panterra with Christina Milian via @Twerkout on IG

Panterra with Christina Milian via @Twerkout on IG

Based in California but with pop-up classes all over the country, LexTwerkOut is not your average workout. Having amassed over 50,000 followers on Instagram and a celebrity clientele like Tiny, Tamar Braxton, Christina Milian, and Mel B, LexTwerkOut is is a fun and sexy way to burn hundreds of calories. MadameNoire caught up with LexTwerkOut founder Lexy Panterra to chat about the vision behind LexTwerkOut and some of the challenges she faces as an entrepreneur, including comments (and assumptions) about her race.

Madame Noire (MN) What inspired you to start LexTwerkOut?
Lexy Panterra (LP): I’ve been a dancer and a singer my whole life and I was watching some twerking choreography on YouTube that had six million views. It popped in my head that it would cool to do classes, but to make it more about fitness so that there would be more longevity to the classes. I sat on it for a couple of months and didn’t do anything. New Year’s came around and I told myself to just do it, and from there I had my first class [in late January 2014] and it grew from there.

MN: What’s a LexTwerkOut class like?
LP: We do a 15-minute warm up [that includes stretching and cardio.] For a beginner class, I go through all the moves and teach them. After that, we freestyle to one song and I have the girls show me all the moves they learned. Then we do a “twerk train line”  or have a “twerkle” so the girls can show off all the moves they’ve learned. Then, we cool down.  For the advanced class, since they already know the moves, we just get into the workout.

MN: How did you go about getting that celebrity clientele and exposure? How have they have been a factor in the growth of your business?
LP: I know Christina Milian. She took  the first class that I ever had. She has an amazing following and she posted [about the class] on Instagram. That caught the attention of Karreuche. Then [came] Tiny Harris, which is her friend as well. Next, came Tamar Braxton. They all come right after the other. They build it because they post it, so it  goes out to a whole different crowd and their fans. Celebrity exposure is a great factor for any business. Things get out faster if you have celebrities involved because they can reach out to way more people.

MN: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned these past few months about growing a fitness business?
LP: Make sure you get your branding right. Don’t make hasty decisions.  Plan ahead. Make sure you write down your income and what you spend. You have to keep track. You can’t learn everything all at once.

‘You’ve Got To Embrace What You’ve Got:’ Garcelle Beauvais Encourages Women To Love Themselves At Any Size

April 24th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Garcelle Beauvais is absolutely gorgeous and in my opinion, epitomizes what it means to age gracefully. So it’s not surprising that the 47-year-old beauty snagged a spot on People’s 2014 World’s Most Beautiful People list. While chatting with the publication, the mother of three revealed how she manages to keep it all together.

“You know, I think a lot of it has to do with the genes I was born into,” she explained. “I think it’s 80% that and the rest is that I maintain it.”

While she admits that she does watch what she eats, the former “Jamie Foxx Show” actress says that she doesn’t deprive herself.

“I try to eat healthy, but I don’t go crazy or anything. I really do believe that it’s a balance. If I’m with my kids and it’s pizza night, I am having a couple of slices of pizza, for sure. And then the next day I’ll have something a little healthier. I really think it’s a balance and also, it comes from within.”

According to Garcelle, beauty is also about establishing emotional wellness.

“I have to say that I think I’m at peace right now in my life. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve come out on the other side of it. I think it’s how I’ve been able to forgive and grow and empower and be aware. I think all of that stuff has got to help inside somehow.”

She also touched on women and the increasing pressure that they face to be thin.

“I think you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. I think that’s really a lot of it. We stress out over what size is on the label. I think if it fits, I don’t care if it’s a 10 or if it’s a 6 or if it’s an 8. No one is going to see that but me. So if it fits well, I think it’s all about tailoring and wearing something that suits your body—whether it makes you look thinner, younger, happier.

As for how she maintains her weight as she gets older:

“As you get older, the weight thing becomes a little harder to maintain. I eat well, but I also have Oreo cookies. That’s like my weakness. I think it’s a balance and I work out. I’ll do Pilates. I’ll do the treadmill.”

Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it well.

Watch Garcelle’s interview below.

Grand Slam! Serena Williams Shows Off Her Fabulous Fit Figure In Miami [Photos]

April 17th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Serena Williams’ body makes me want to get my life together…but in the meantime, I’ll just appreciate her rock hard abs, toned arms, and of course, her perfectly perched bottom (Note to self: get back on those squats!).

The tennis star took some time out of her busy schedule to relax with friends on the beach in Miami. The 32-year-old had fun in the sun in a bikini showing off a body that she recently told Fitness magazine she once struggled to accept. That’s right, at one time, she thought her body wouldn’t be a good look for an athlete hoping to play tennis for a living. However, the words of her fans helped her be more accepting:

“When I was young I thought I should be built more like an athlete — long and lean — not with a womanly figure. But then people my age started coming up to me, saying, ‘I love you because of the way you look.’ They could relate to me. That was really motivating. So I learned to be proud of my curves and to embrace my large boobs and my butt. It’s all about loving who you are and realizing that you’re beautiful.”

And embrace she has. Work, Serena! Check out more pictures of the beauty and her friend frolicking on the beach in Miami and get some gym inspiration.

Hustle & Workout Flow: Jobs That Burn The Most Calories

January 17th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Now that we are a couple of weeks into the new year many of us have probably made and broken a few resolutions to do something better in our lives. One very popular promise many of us make is to get in shape in an attempt to keep things snatched and looking cute. Did you know that there are certain jobs that can help you on your fitness endeavors? Now this doesn’t mean you should skip a session at the gym, or that you’re going to run out and take one of these jobs. But, hey, good to know. Here are some jobs that burn the most calories.


5 Tips To Stay Motivated When Trying To Lose Weight And Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

January 9th, 2014 - By Cecily Michelle
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trying to lose weight


It’s a new year and as we all know, most people’s resolution is to get in shape. While that’s all fine and dandy, it takes a lot of discipline to drop those pounds and even more control to maintain your desired weight after you’ve shed that fat. Getting and staying fit, exercising and eating right can be difficult tasks to achieve when you’re not used to it, and while I’m no fitness expert, I’ve certainly been making great strides in altering my old lifestyle of laziness and bad eating habits. During my journey, I’ve discovered a few ways to keep me driven and on the right track, so why not share? Take a look at these five tricks that can help you get it right for the new year, and keep it tight for years to come.

Source: Shutterstock

Don’t Deprive Yourself

Oftentimes, we get ourselves on diets that force out all those oh-so-good foods that are really bad. But we don’t need a quick, one-time fix that we’re going to ditch after we melt away the fat, we’re talking about changing our lifestyles here—think long-term. Our bodies need fat, so don’t think you’re not supposed to consume fatty foods, just know which ones are good for you, and indulge in moderation. (There’s good fat, and there’s bad fat, but as I said, I’m no fitness expert, therefore you can go ahead and Google the difference.)

For those junky, super-processed treats that we love so much (soda, chips, candy bars and well, you know the rest), while they really hold no nutritional value, it’s okay to chop ‘em down from time to time.  If you don’t allow yourself a day or two out of the week to enjoy those snacks you so desperately desire (remember, it’s all about moderation), when you finally get your hands on them after a long stretch of time, things won’t be pretty. So go ahead, get your Dunkin Donuts, Frito Lay and cookies and cream on every once in a while. It won’t hurt.

Looking for a Sexay Workout? Try BRUKWINE.

January 2nd, 2014 - By Rana Campbell
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…and ONE and TWO and THREE and FOUR and WINE! Welcome to the sexiest workout, ever.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Enter a Saturday afternoon  BRUKWINE class and you might think you were walking into a dancehall club straight in the heart of the Caribbean. Rhythmic tones vibrate from the speakers.  Sweat-drips from women in heels s they stand sexily in front of a fogged up mirror. Finally, let’s not forget the booty. There’s lots of booty.



Brukwine  is a  reggae/dancehall- based fitness dance class created by accomplished choreographers Tavia and Tamara. Together, the twosome’s resume is impressive. They’ve  performed alongside musical greats such as Beyonce, Sean Paul, Lady Gaga, Missy Elliot, Whitney Houston, and more!

As leading choreographers within the US Dancehall scene, their weekly traditional Dancehall classes at the infamous Broadway Dance Center are always well-attended. This past summer, the two hosted  Do Sumn! Yard and Foreign Dancehall Kik UP, a two-day dancehall intensive that brought together  students and dancehall choreographers from across the world.

And then there’s this workout they created in 2012 called Brukwine. The Sexiest Workout Ever.  Though sexy workouts have been around for a while, (striptease clases, pole dancing,  sexy heel classes,) nothing out there focuses only on Dancehall music. Dancehall music, with its sensual tones and upbeat riddims are the perfect backdrop for  this experience.

In Brukwine class, students learn a  dancehall routine ,along with signature Brukwine moves choreographed by Tavia and Tamara.  The class starts with a standard dance- style warm up and them moves into an isolation exercise. Class goers learn how to isolate and work their hips, practicing the basic whining, ticking, and gyrotonics that make up the quintessential dancehall moves. Next, it’s time to learn a short routine. Afterwards, students have a chance to perform the routine in group sections… all in heels, of course.



Brukwine is the sexiest workout ever because you don’t even realize how much of a total body workout you are getting. Go to a class and you’ll be encouraged to bring out your inner sexay and really let loose.  You are free to release your inner freak and work the room and pretend you’re on stage performing like Beyonce, in the club feeling the vibes, or performing a sexy serenade for that special someone in your life! Yes ladies, feel free to take these moves home… *wink* wink*. The new moves you’ll learn during Brukwine will be sure to surprise. Not only will you have fun and form new friendships, but you’ll leave the class with an extra boost of confidence!

 You don’t have to be a dancer (or wear heels) to have fun in BRUKWINE. Women of all ages, races, and levels of dance experience come out to the bi-weekly dancehall class. Brukwine is more than a class, it’s a movement. Just recently, BRUKWINE staged a Times Squares flash mob that brought dancehall to the streets of New York City.

Don’t believe me that this is the sexiest workout you’ll ever do? Watch the Brukwine Youtube videos and decide for yourself.

If you’re in the NYC area and want to sign up for the next Brukwine class, visit Make sure to follow Brukwine on Facebook  and Instagram.

What’s the sexiest workout you’ve ever done? Let us know in the comments section!

Rana Campbell ( is a Brukwine addict. Tweet her if you have questions. Or, check out her other fitness adventures on her Instagram accounts Ettabell Fitness & Rainshineluv.


Tiffani Joseph Makes Fitness Fashionable With SkinnyMe Bangles

October 9th, 2013 - By Sakita Holley
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SkinnyMe Bangles, SkinnyMe Fashion

Tiffani Joseph, Founder of SkinnyMe Fashion

Tiffani Joseph worked long hours in front of a computer and wasn’t a huge fan of going to the gym. But she knew that she needed to find a way to include fitness into her busy schedule. This initial thought was the catalyst that led to the launch of SkinnyMe Bangles in January.

SkinnyMe Bangles, the company’s first product, provides women with a fashionable alternative to traditional velcro wrist weights and a solution for toning their arms throughout the day without disrupting their normal routines. T-shirts are also for sale exclusively on the company’s website.

I recently caught up with Tiffani to learn more about how she launched SkinnyMe Fashion and what’s next for her young company.

MadameNoire (MN): Can you explain what SkinnyMe Fashion is all about for someone who may be hearing about your company for the first time?
Tiffani Joseph (TJ): SkinnyMe is all about helping women feel better about themselves by offering a stylish bangle that is both functional and fashionable. With SkinnyMe Bangles women can live life and [tone] their arms.

MN: Are you working on SkinnyMe Fashion full-time?
TJ: No. I’m currently a full-time copywriter, so I write commercials for a living. I just launched SkinnyMe earlier this year, so it’s still in start-up mode. But as soon as I find myself unable to juggle both, I will fully commit to SkinnyMe (hopefully sooner rather than later).

MN: What was the inspiration behind SkinnyMe Bangles?
TJ: I spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of a computer and I felt like I wasn’t doing my body any good. On top of that, I’m not a gym person; I find them intimidating. So I figured if I could come up with a product that would help my body in any way, I would have solved a big problem for myself and possibly a lot of other women.

MN: What obstacles or challenges did you face as you were looking to launch SkinnyMe?
TJ: Money! I knew it would be hard to launch a business and then keep a it afloat, so I launched an Indiegogo project late last year. It wasn’t [fully funded], but I kept going and luckily I was able to gain enough support to get SkinnyMe off the ground.

Once I knew I wanted to make SkinnyMe happen, I began putting a little money aside every paycheck. I also offered my friends and family a small percentage of the business for their investment.

MN: Did manufacturers understand your concept? How many samples did you have to get made before you found the perfect prototype for the bangles?
TJ: The manufacturers understood the fitness part of it, but they didn’t understand the fashion part of it and I was very adamant that the bangles look chic and not like clunky pieces of mess. It took us four rounds to get the sample right!

You Better Work! Kelly Rowland Flaunts Her Killer Body On The Cover Of ‘Shape’

September 13th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Kelly Rowland flaunts


Many of us were already aware that new X Factor judge Kelly Rowland was working with a bangin’ body, but for those of us who may have forgotten just how bangin’ that body is, the October issue of Shape Magazine serves as a great reminder. Inside, the “Dirty Laundry” singer talks about her intense workout schedule, “problem areas” and practicing self-control when it comes to food cravings.

On her weekly workout schedule: 

“I work out five or six times a week. I feel better, look better, sleep better….Being fit makes me feel s*xy. Isn’t that everyone’s goal when they work out, to look good n*ked?”

On her “problem area:”

“As I’m getting older, the Rowland family trait of having bigger bottoms is taking its toll on my hips and butt. The other day, [my trainer] had me doing squats that were so hard I wanted to kill her. But my behind is getting higher and tighter. Exercise really does change your body.”

On controlling food cravings:

“When I want a steak, I grill some Portobello mushrooms and put a little goat cheese on them,” she says. “And I’ve learned to satisfy my sweet tooth by replacing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with half a tablespoon of almond butter on half a banana.”

On getting personal with “Dirty Laundry:”

“When I was writing [the song], I thought my story of abuse was too personal to share, but my manager reminded me that so many women are in similar situations—and that as an artist I’m supposed to be vulnerable.”

Doesn’t she look AMAZING?