5 Fierce Females Who Have Influenced Sports And Fitness


Shedding excess pounds, unwanted fat and looking sleek for the new year are all tried and true reasons for enduring calorie-scorching workouts. It’s as commonplace as “new year’s resolutions,” and “feeling let-down” when said resolutions are inevitably broken.

Why does this happen? It’s no secret that the focus for getting-fit needs to shift to making and maintaining a complete lifestyle change, one that endures beyond two weeks into the new year. After all, many studies show that exercise reduces the risk of early death, helps to control weight and lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, some types of cancer, and cognitive decline. It can help to improve sleep, concentration, memory and mood. Getting fit is paramount, and not just something for elite-level athletes or the beautiful people parading fashion show runways. Here are five fitness-fierce females who have redefined fitness:

Alex Silver-Fagan

Courtesy of www.alexsilverfagan.com

Alex does it all and shows you that you can too through her relatable approach to fitness. Rather than thinking of fitness as a “must-do,” her non-intimidating approach is rooted in changing the way the world views fitness and movement. A NIKE Trainer, Wilhelmina fitness model and Cellucor-sponsored athlete aims to make fitness an integral part of life. This ACE-certified personal trainer also teaches yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, strength training, Olympic lifting, rowing, spinning, etc. The NYU alum also teaches group HIT (high intensity training) classes to the public, at CITYROW in NYC, as well as personal sessions with VIP/celebrity clientele. Alex works regularly with publications like Refinery29, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Self and Shape, and is fortunate enough to teach and influence thousands daily through her social media platforms. She was also named as a “Top 5 Finalist,” in the 2016 Women’s Health Magazine’s “Next Fitness Star Search.”

Cristiane Justino (“Cyborg”)

Cristiane, more commonly referred to as “Cyborg” for her machine-like ways in which she decimates her opponents, is a Brazilian and American mixed martial artist and former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion. She won the Strikeforce title on August 15, 2009, by defeating Gina Carano via first-round TKO (knockout); this was the first time that a major promotion had featured a main event between women. Cristiane lives in Huntington Beach and trains and teaches in San Diego at The Arena. She was a national-level team handball player in Brazil before being discovered by Rudimar Fedrigo, a Chute Box Academy trainer. Cristaine combines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, wrestling, submission-wrestling and boxing. As intimidating as Cyborg appears in the octagon (MMA’s version of what a ring is to boxing), she’s the perfect metaphor for what can happen through determination and hard work.

Bree Argetsinger

Bree Argetsinger, more commonly known as The Betty Rocker, works with people all over the world, helping them to transform from the inside out. Bree explains that: “I chose the name “The Betty Rocker” because it felt a lot like choosing a name that anyone could be, any girl who wanted to feel like she could totally rock at anything she wanted to.” She’s a C.H.E.K. (corrective exercise and high performance kinesiology) certified exercise coach, a Nationally Certified Structural Integration Practitioner (realignment of the body through manual therapy), an ISSA (international sports sciences association) certified fitness nutrition practitioner, and an all around fitness motivator and champion of personal growth.

But for hundreds of thousands of YouTube fitness enthusiasts (my wife included), The Betty Rocker is a highly-relatable, and understanding workout partner, via flatscreens and laptops everywhere. At half past five, every morning, my wife gets her motivation and encouragement compliments of Crocker, and for the first time in her life, at 42, has a highly developed six-pack! My wife is not an athlete, but prefers the “one-on-one,” attention, away from the gazes of strangers that are too commonplace in health clubs (Thank you Betty Rocker!).

Rocker has also written multiple cookbooks, nutrition and fitness plans that have been successfully used by thousands of people. Her “fitness as a lifestyle” approach calls for a complete, yet reasonable and practical, transformation that starts slowly with a daily focus on eating right, exercising and an overall active lifestyle. As Rocker loves to say, “Here’s to your health, your happiness, and your body.”


The United States Womens National Soccer Team, though not a typical “five fitness fierce” finalist, is simply the most dominant sports team-men or women-to ever grace the globe. They’re usually the top-ranked team on the planet, with their lowest ranking of “2,” coming once in 2003, twice in 2005, twice in 2007 and once in 2008. Our women, proudly donning the stars-and-the-stripes, have won the Womens World Cup three times: 1991, 1999 and 2015. They enjoyed a 43-game unbeaten streak that spanned two years-it began with a 4 to 0 win over Sweden in the 2012 Algarve Cup, and came to an end after a 1 to 0 loss against Sweden in the 2014 Algarve Cup.

Soccer requires tremendous (individual) fitness, and an entirely different level of mental toughness to compete, particularly as a team, at the international level. Consider this, the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final between the USA and Japan was the most watched soccer match-men’s or women’s-in American broadcast history. When Pele (regarded by many to be the greatest men’s player of all time) was asked to pick the top players in USA history, he chose two women: Michelle Akers-Stahl and Mia Hamm. He went on to defend his stance saying: “The US men’s so-called best players are, at best, mediocre; but because they’re America’s best they get celebrated.”

Enjoy USWNT YouTube videos, which show many training sessions, games and interviews that will leave the hardest couch potato powerless to resist the urge to find something spherical and attempt to juggle it-hands-free, of course!

Michele Yates

There was a time when finishing a marathon was considered a major achievement. That is no longer the case. Now “destination marathons (Big Sur),” gave way to “theme marathons (San Diego Rock-n-Roll),” and before too long (it seems) everyone will have run a marathon. We now live in the era of the ultra marathon: distance (or length-of-time) races exceeding the traditional 26.219 miles variety by a good distance. There are two types of ultramarathon events: those that cover a specific distance greater than 26.219 miles, and events that take place during time with the winner covering the most distance in that time.

Michele Yates was named Ultra Runner of The Year (UROY), in 2013. She’s won first place in the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile run, overall winner (includes male competitors) in The Indiana Trail 100 mile, 17:35:18, course record, in 2013. She has completed 20 marathons, winning nine, and is a two-time US National champion and record holder for the 50 mile trail, in 2012 and 2013. She still holds numerous course records at the elite level. If that weren’t enough, she also won “Ms. Figure Colorado,” in 2008.

Michele graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in May 2005 where she earned a degree in Kinesiological Sciences with a concentration in fitness management. Her personal training career began in 2003 with a paid internship at Club Sport Green Valley, Henderson Nevada. Michele has accumulated over a decade of experience in group training, individual training/coaching, kids fitness, fitness club and personal studio management. Michele’s educational background and experience provides her with professionalism in nutrition, strength, core, flexibility, cardio, and running. Her website offers a glimpse into that other, grittier world of endurance sports training and is proof positive that this beauty is a beast.

3 min read

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.


Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.

I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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