Location: Queens, NY
Age: 30
Profession: Personal Trainer
Fitness Style: Raw Heavy Lifting, Martial Arts and Explosive Training
Go-to Exercise: Squats
Favorite Workout Song: “Leave The World Behind (Madeaux Remix)” by SHM, Laidback Luke and Deborah Cox

How did you get started in fitness and Team Performix?

After 4.5 years of extreme domestic violence and unhealthy life choices, partying away in the flashing lights of NYC’s nightlife with alcohol, bad food habits and no sleep patterns, I woke up one afternoon, hungover as usual. I looked myself in the mirror, deep into my own eyes and I realized that I was free from the abuse inflicted upon me by the hands of someone else, but I hadn’t stopped abusing my body and soul. I understood that I was my own worst enemy and in that moment I knew I had to change my way of life. It was as if a light switched on and everything changed from that day on. I signed up to the gym that same day and in the three years that have passed since then I haven’t stopped. Performix found me through Instagram and I was on their radar for quite some time before I signed with them. I knew I didn’t want to belong to any other team so it was an obvious choice.

How are you driven in fitness and in life?

I’m an immigrant woman and came to America alone at the age of 21. I have been living here for the past 9 years and for 7.5 years as an undocumented immigrant. I have survived but also managed to thrive and grow through my hardships.

I survived extreme domestic violence by my ex husband for 4.5 years. I have been homeless, I have been hungry, I have been lonely for every holiday here but throughout these moments I have never allowed myself to lose hope or the fire in my soul. I have never allowed myself to lose my ambition, my dreams and my drive. I am driven through survival and growth both in life and in fitness. Growing as a person in every sense possible—spiritually, emotionally, mentally and, of course, physically. 

What advice can you give to our fans who are just starting out or looking to get back to the gym?

Don’t overspeculate about whether to go to the gym or not. If you overthink it you will find a million reasons not to go: you’re too tired, you’ll miss your favorite TV show, you’re too hungry, you’re too full…you will blame it on anything.

Just put yourself on autopilot and do what has to be done. You will feel happy and proud once you finish your workout and in time it will turn into a habit which will make it easier in the long run.

If you had to pick only 3 exercises what would they be and why?

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • And anything core related

The first two are power movements that will literally work your whole body. Using almost all muscles in a compound movement while increasing your testosterone levels so that you naturally can stimulate more muscle growth. Doing these power movements will also regulate your hormone levels, which are responsible for muscular hypertrophy, leading to a bigger, stronger body. It will also enhance balance and stability, boosted ego (always fun to have as long as it’s in a humble sense) and of course core strength…where my third exercise pick comes to play.
The core in my opinion is the most important body part to train and it’s not just so that you can look good in a bikini, the core is actually your body’s powerhouse! Not only does it facilitate movement, but it also houses your inner organs and central nervous system. In other words, it helps you do just about everything. Keeping strong core muscles will help ensure everything stays protected, including your spine and back. It will help you prevent injuries and build better balance while getting a strong, confident posture.

Follow Yanyah on Instagram at @yanyahgotitmade.

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