Meet the Strength in Diversity class of 2023

sid 2023

Meet the Strength in Diversity class of 2023Christina Giordano

Say hello to the future of fitness. Women’s health AND Men’s health We are proud to introduce the 2023 class of Strength in Diversity, an initiative that offers coaches in marginalized communities the chance to be mentored by elite fitness professionals and gain valuable insights from leaders across the wellness industry.

The fitness industry still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Educational and financial barriers prevent too many people from obtaining the certifications needed to become experts. The empty and enduring assumptions about who and what fitness is leave many feeling like they don’t belong. Systemic problems have consistently deprived trainers in marginalized communities of the tools they need to build a career in this industry, and that only makes it harder for people in their communities to access the kind of unique and exciting training experiences that make the fun fitness and life. changing.

Women’s health AND Men’s health I want to change that and these eight coaches too. Selected by a panel of editors, trainers and fitness and nutrition professionals, they represent diverse communities and backgrounds from across the country. They are passionate about their day-to-day work and are transforming the fitness industry from the inside out.

This summer, they’ll be mentored by expert fitness professionals and participate in an exclusive series of weekly Zoom clinics that will teach them about training, content creation, and more. They will also have the opportunity to earn certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Precision Nutrition and Functional Range Systems.

Since this program started in 2020, Women’s health AND Men’s health they collectively worked with 40 trainers from across the United States. They’ve scheduled workout series on the All/Out Studio app, shared their stories and knowledge on podcasts and TV commercials, and been featured in the print, digital, and social content of our magazines. The eight trainers below will be joining them soon, so keep an eye out for them on our channels.

Making room for more diverse and inclusive communities in fitness and wellness has been at the heart of everything we do Women’s health AND Men’s health. We are so excited to introduce you to eight of the trainers who we believe represent an exciting future for the industry and deserve to be the next big thing.

Nellie Barnett, 30 years old

Based in: Norwalk, Connecticut
Instagram: @nellbellsfitness

Nellie, a certified trainer and glutes specialist, has an appreciation for life that comes from her childhood growing up in both Jamaica and the United States. Her positive and authentic training style embraces a holistic approach to fitness that emphasizes long-term health, happiness, and lifestyle changes. “I believe that to be your best self, your body, mind, and soul have to be in alignment,” she says. “This starts with what you eat, how you exercise, and how you talk to yourself.”

nellie barnett

Courtesy of Nellie Barnett

Ari Cobb, 27 years old

Based in: Houston, Texas
Instagram: @tearicobb

Ari is pursuing a kinesiology degree while competing as a mixed martial arts fighter. He dreams of combining his two passions, fitness and fighting, to hold group kickboxing lessons. She aims to prove that fitness is not one size fits all and that women can succeed by being authentically themselves, especially competing in the male-dominated MMA world. “Exercise has always been a way of life for me and I live by it,” she says. “I truly believe that one good workout can change your whole life.”

ari cobb

Courtesy of Ari Cobb

Ashley Nicole Davis, 39 years old

Based in: Dallas, Texas
Instagram: @ashnic_rawarriorfitness

When Ashley Nicole was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she realized the trainers she worked with didn’t understand her limitations. “It became frustrating when I was asked to do certain exercises, but due to joint damage and discomfort, I just couldn’t do it,” she says. “That’s when I decided to get certified and become the person I needed.” In 2020 she founded RA Warrior Fitness with a mission to empower autoimmune women to improve the quality of their lives through faith, food and fitness. Fun fact: she is also a professional bodybuilder!

ashley nicole davis

Courtesy of Ashley Nicole Davis

DJ Gibson, 32 years old

Based in: CNY

As a fitness coach, DJ uses a combination of kettlebells, calisthenics, gymnastics, and mobility strength training to promote freedom and exploration of one’s physical capabilities. His workouts highlight areas of needed improvement that enable pain-free movement, body awareness, and self-confidence in clients of all ages. “I want to help people feel like they are in control of their health,” he says. “Fitness is often disguised as a facade of vanity, but it’s more than that: it’s the single best option for improving longevity.”.”


Justin Steel

Thaddeus Kornegay, 32 years old

Based in: Orlando, Florida
Instagram: @thadisphat

When “TK” began his fitness journey seven years ago and started seeing changes in himself, he was inspired to share it with others. Now he’s a group fitness specialist who has taught outdoor classes in his hometown of Orlando and works with local nonprofits. He also competed in Season 10’s American ninja warrior! “I am grateful and blessed to experience this evolving industry as it has made me strong in all aspects of life,” he says. “Giving up is not an option. Whenever an obstacle is assigned to me, I dig deep and see through it.”

Thaddeus Kornegay

Courtesy of Thaddeus Kornegay

Davide Pegram, 35 years old

Based in: CNY
Instagram: @dave.getsfit

Formerly a Broadway actor, David embarked on a personal fitness journey after suffering two broken feet while running Battle horse. His recovery ignited a passion for understanding the power of the human body, which led him to change careers during the pandemic. He has started an online coaching business called The Power Up, holds full classes at GRIT BXNG in New York and teaches strength, power and boxing on the Ob Fitness platform. “My ultimate goal is to surprise clients with their incredible strength,” he says.


Justin Steel

Claudette Sariya, 30 years old

Based in: CNY
Instagram: @yearofclaude

Claudette is a trainer at West Village Athletic in New York, a private gym that specializes in team training and community building. As a certified trainer and group fitness instructor, she takes pride in guiding members through proper form and technique to achieve the most effective workout without injury. “A healthy lifestyle can be achieved by everyone, but travel can be intimidating when you don’t see anyone you relate to,” she says. “I want to be the bridge that gives the high five and the smile that others can look up to as they begin their fitness journey.”

Claudette Sarya

Courtesy of Claudette Sariya

Joe Seeley, 39 years old

Based in: CNY
Instagram: @joeprofitnessworldwide

Originally from Harlem, Joe has been a fitness instructor for 15 years, working with clients in New York, Los Angeles and virtually. His extensive experience makes him equally comfortable training young adults, high-level executives, stay-at-home moms, athletes, and retirees. “More people should value the importance of getting training advice from someone professionally certified,” says Joe, who holds nine different certifications. “Not only will this allow the coach to feel more confident in their craft, but the trainees will also experience truly personalized sessions based on their goals and fitness level.”


Justin Steel

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