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Bowflex Barbie aims to touch the world through fitness

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Dekel Quant started going to the gym at the age of 14 to accompany her father following her mother’s death from breast cancer.

Today, the Bahamian is a fitness guru with her own YouTube-platform encouraging people across the Caribbean to take control of their health.

Known as Bowflex Barbie, Quant says she just wants to touch the world.

“I want to have a team, I want to bring on other trainers under my brand not just here in the Bahamas but from all over and I want to continue to expand in the online space. I want to travel to different places, do tours and just continue to grow, and have merchandise,” the 29-year-old Freeport native tells Loop News. She recently took on a new trainer on her team.

It was at her brother’s urging following her mother’s death that Quant and her father started going to the gym. She says it was the therapy she didn’t know she needed.

“A couple of months after my mother passed, my brother kept nagging my dad to go to the gym and my father caved in and he asked me to tag along too ’cause it would be good for me,” she recalls.

“It was a great space for me and my dad to actually bond without having to talk too much. I was close to my mum, she taught at my elementary school, so when she passed it forced me to get closer to my dad, it opened up the space for us to bond and the gym was that first step towards that,” says Quant .

Bowflex Barbie

It was in college that she began taking fitness seriously.

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“I was really consistent in college and friends started asking me to train them. Even when I was home on breaks, people said I should start training them and my dad encouraged me to get into the fitness space. My brother opened a supplement retail store so my dad thought it would be a good idea to get into the training space,” she says.

At college, one of her friends nicknamed her Bowflex Barbie and the name stuck.

She says when she decided to take on clients she kept the name for her business.

In 2012, Quant held her first boot camp and in 2014, after she completed college, she started competing.

“I did a pageant my senior year in college and I got a taste of the stage and said I could do this. It gave my training a little more purpose and it pushed me a little bit more. I started competing in 2015 and I have been competing ever since in the figure category,” says Quant who stuck gold in her first year at the CAC.

“That was a really big start. I won two national titles in the Bahamas in 2016 and 2017 and since then I have competed in the US and Canada. In my latest show in Toronto, I won the bronze medal.”

Bowflex Barbie

As she builds her brand, Quant says the discipline and structure she has gained have spilled over into her life as an entrepreneur.

“Fitness is the perfect metaphor for life,” she says. “You only get out what you put in.”

Talking about her YouTube channel, Quant says when she decided to return home after college she didn’t want to be defined by the boundaries of her country so she came up with the idea to extend her brand online.

“The goal is to help and reach as many people,” she says.

She has started doing events and recently held the Bahamas Fit Fest in Nassau, where she lives. The event saw fitness enthusiasts from all over the world fly in for the weekend fitness retreat that featured local and international trainers.

Through her website, Bowflex Barbie Fitness, people can access nutrition information, virtual classes, personal training and more.

Her YouTube channel features exercises for beginners to advanced workouts as well as interviews and a documentary called Stage Ready that documents her preparation for bodybuilding. Her husband Ethan Quant. shot the documentary.

“He has wanted to document my journey for a while and last year I said okay. He loves documentaries and filming because he works in media. He just wanted to do it and I agreed. I went along with his vision and his editor did a good job of telling the story from the standpoint of someone not familiar with bodybuilding. He wanted to pull out relatable elements of the journey, the support and the discipline,” she explains.

Bowflex Barbie

Quant describes her training style as very inviting.

Just like working out was her therapy, she recognizes it does the same for others.

“I always tell people that we almost become like therapists because a lot of my clients come to me and I unpack a lot of their issues, whether they admit it or not,” she says.

“My training style is very inviting, I am not aggressive. You will get a good workout but I want to know about you, about your day and create a space for you. You release endorphins when you exercise so whether or not u know it you are helping people to alleviate stress. It is not something I state but I recognize that I have to create an environment for them to reap that benefit.”

Her advice to those beginning on a fitness journey is to have a clear understanding of their why.

“It would be difficult; there will be obstacles and bumps. Having a strong why is the foundation and knowing how to block out the noise, anyone that distracts you, the haters that come, family or friend, knowing what you are doing is for you and you are on a journey for yourself and no one else ,” Quant advises.

“Since I was 14 people were telling me don’t do too much but if I didn’t have the support system I had like my dad I probably would have listened to them and I wouldn’t be doing the stuff I am doing today . Just because you don’t see the results and rewards immediately doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Consistency is important.”

While helping others is a big push factor, a large part of her motivation to stay fit is to avoid cancer.

Stating that her family has a strong history of the disease, she says as she got older she wanted to put herself in the best position to prevent it or fight it if she is diagnosed.

She says with a laugh: “I definitely have that in my mind as I make decisions with food. I work out six days a week but I am human, I still want to eat the greasy, delicious food.”

Follow Bowflex Barbie on YouTube at Bowflex Barbie Fitness TV or visit her website at bowflexbarbie.com

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