Meet the Next Fitness Star Judges


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Voting is now open for our Next Fitness Star competition, and the search for the fittest female personal trainer is heating up! Check out the finalists’ bios and videos all this week on, and head over to to vote for your favorite until August 3rd (you can vote once a day). 

Along with your vote, we’ve enlisted a panel of experts to help determine which one of our five ladies deserves to be crowned the Next Fitness Star winner. Here, they tell us: “What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?” Hope you’re taking notes.

lev radin /

NBC’s Today news anchor and Third Hour cohost; six-time marathon finisher

The best fitness advice she’s ever heard:
“To not underestimate myself and to keep pushing my limits. When I was a kid, I had an amazing gym teacher named Mr. Hinkley. I found my confidence in sports and have continued to challenge myself ever since. It’s a good thing Mr. Hinkley was my kindergarten gym teacher, because he set me up for a lifetime of loving sports very early on.”

Helga Esteb /

Cohost on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss; certified strength and conditioning specialist

The best fitness advice he’s ever heard:
“Train your weaknesses. We naturally gravitate toward the things we are good at, but if we focus only on our strengths, we’ll never be well rounded—as in, achieve overall fitness. I always lean toward strength and power because it’s easier for me and makes me feel good about myself, but when I train in the things I’m not so good at-like stamina and flexibility—it takes my fitness to a whole new level.”

Cohost on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss; CrossFit and ACE-certified personal trainer

The best fitness advice she’s ever heard:
“It was from my one and only [husband Chris Powell], actually: He told me to date every form of exercise until you find one you love. Assume you hate cardio? I would argue you simply need to ‘date’ around. Try every group class at your gym, go biking with your friends, play a new sport—there’s no better way to see what you like and don’t like than to make the commitment to play the field!”

Cindy Ord / GettyImages

NBC’s Today fitness and lifestyle correspondent; ACE-certified personal trainer

The best fitness advice she’s ever heard:
“You can and you will. My dad told me that when I asked for his advice about being a sportscaster. At the time, there weren’t many women covering sports and I wasn’t sure I could face a long uphill battle so early in my career. I repeated the mantra to myself half a dozen times, then called to accept the job. Even now, when I face a challenge—at work or the gym—those words help me push through.”

Marley Kate

Women’s Health editor-in-chief

The best fitness advice she’s ever heard:
“I get pretty amazing fitness advice every month from editing Women’s Health. But the thing that really sticks is this: You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. No matter how much you work out, if you’re eating crap all the time, your muscles are going to be covered with a layer of flab, and you won’t look toned. So you could be gyming it up 24/7 and wondering why it’s not paying off. Well, that’s why. Diet and fitness are so intertwined.”


Check back for more Next Fitness Star news, and head on over to to vote for your favorite!