We looked for empowering personal stories, loud and proud herds of social media followers, savvy entrepreneurship, and savvier workouts. Our five finalists deliver—and then some. Help us decide who most deserves the title! In Women’s Health‘s fourth search for America’s top personal trainer, we pored over thousands of submissions with a truly 360-degree lens.
Photograph by Aaron Richter
About Alex Silver-Fagan:
City: New York City
Three Things That Describe Her
Eminem. “The most real pump-up songs ever.”
Hot yoga. “I go every single day, and not even as my workout. It’s an escape, a detox, for me.”
Protein pancakes. “I teach early, so days I can make breakfast are a treat. Jacked-up pancakes are everything!”
Alex knows she’s young. She knows her resume may not be as long as many of the women who applied for this competition. But she also knows that’s not what matters (it’s the Next Fitness Star, after all). What sets Alex apart from her peers is her appetite for improvement. Whether finessing her technique on Olympic lifts or handstands or acrobatic holds, she’s a constant work in progress, with one truth guiding every move: Never stop growing. “I try to learn something from everyone I meet,” she says. “I don’t ever want to be the best, because that means I’m done growing. We should all be on a quest to always be learning and improving every day.” (Pretty wise for 24, don’t ya think?)
Being a disciplined student—of CrossFit, yoga, gymnastics, boxing, the list goes on—is exactly what makes Alex a champ trainer: She’s well-rounded, and thus so are her workouts. Teaching at both New York City’s popular high-intensity rowing studio CityRow and Solace, an upscale CrossFit box, Alex’s classes combine strength, agility, and endurance training, in every plane of motion, to shape not just your body but your performance, too. “We’re all athletes on our own team,” she says. “You’re so much stronger than you think. It just takes getting out of your comfort zone to realize it.”
Her Fitness Philosophies
Strike a balance: “When I first got into weight lifting, I started in bikini competitions. I got really into it. . .at the expense of everything else. I learned that being healthy—especially for the long term—is more about how you feel than how you look. You should always ask yourself, ‘How do I feel when I wake up? How do I feel walking around?’ If you feel anything but great, you need to expand or scale back your workouts.” (Want to get in shape, fast? Check out Women’s Health’s Ignite routine created by last year’s Next Fitness Star Nikki Metzger.)
Make yourself proud: “One thing I love about CrossFit is that you record your workout details each time, so you can watch yourself get better. Everyone should do that! You often get stronger before you get leaner, so tracking your progress is a great way to stay motivated when change seems out of reach.”
Share everything: “Hiding your ‘failures’ doesn’t help you, or anyone else, learn from them. I get a crazy amount of positive feedback when I share my downs on social media, not because people like seeing others in pain, but because it’s a reminder that we’re all human and we all have bad days. I’m a strong believer that you can gain a lot more from a community, and really embrace who you are, when you share bloopers along with your highlight reel.”
Head over to TheNextFitnessStar.com to vote for Alex!