Dikel Quandt started going to the gym at the age of 14 to accompany her father after her mother died of breast cancer.
Today, the Bahamas is its own fitness expert YouTube platform Encouraging people across the Caribbean to take control of their health.
Quandt, better known as Bowflex Barbie, says she just wants to touch the world.
“I want to have a team, I want to bring in other coaches under my brand not just here in the Bahamas but from all over the world and I want to continue expanding into the online space. I want to travel to different places, do tours and keep growing and getting merchandise The 29-year-old Freeport native told Loop News. She recently appointed a new coach to her team.
At her brother’s urging after her mother’s death, Quandt and her father began going to the gym. She says it was the treatment she didn’t know she needed.
“A couple of months after my mom passed away, my brother kept whining at my dad for going to the gym, and my dad gave up and told me to tag it too because it would be good for me,” she recalls.
“It was a great space for me and my dad to actually connect without having to talk much. I was close to my mum, she was teaching in my elementary school, so when I got through it she forced me to get close to my dad, it opened up for us to bond and the gym was the first step towards that, Quandt says.
In college I started taking fitness seriously.
“I was really consistent in college and friends started asking me to train them. Even when I was home on my breaks, people said I had to start training them and my dad encouraged me to get into the fitness space. My brother opened a retail nutritional supplement store, so my dad thought it would be It’s nice to get into the training space,” she says.
In college, one of her friends named her Bowflex Barbie and the name stuck.
She says when she decided to deal with clients, she kept her business name.
In 2012, Quandt held her first training camp and in 2014, after completing her university studies, she began competing.
“I had a pageant in my last year of college and got a taste of the theater and said I could do it. It gave my training a little more purpose and pushed me a little bit more. I started competing in 2015 and I’ve been competing ever since in the figure class,” says medalist Quandt. Gold in its first year at CAC.
“This was a really big start. I won two home titles in the Bahamas in 2016 and 2017 and since then I’ve run in the US and Canada. At my last show in Toronto, I won a bronze.”
As Quandt builds her brand, Quandt says the discipline and structure she gained extended into her life as an entrepreneur.
“Fitness is the perfect analogy for life,” she says. “You only get what you put in.”
Speaking about her YouTube channel, Quandt says that when she decided to come home after college, she didn’t want to be defined by her country’s borders, so she came up with the idea of expanding her brand online.
“The goal is to help and reach as many people as possible,” she says.
She started organizing events and recently held the Bahamas Fit Fest in Nassau, where she lives. The event saw fitness enthusiasts from all over the world travel to the weekend spa resort which included 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 beginner to advanced workouts as well as interviews and a documentary called Stage Ready that documents her preparation for bodybuilding. Her husband, Ethan Quandt. They shot the documentary.
“He’s wanted to document my trip for a while and I said last year, OK. He loves documentaries and photography because he works in media. He just wanted to do it and I agreed. I agreed with his vision and his editor did a good job telling the story from someone who isn’t Familiar with bodybuilding. He wanted to extract the relevant elements from the journey, support and discipline,” she explains.
Quant describes her training style as very engaging.
Just like the exercises her cure was, you realize he’s doing the same for others.
“I always tell people that we’ve become almost like therapists because a lot of my clients come to me and I think about a lot of their problems, whether they admit it or not,” she says.
“My training style is very engaging, I’m not aggressive. You’ll get a good workout but I want to know about you and your day and create space for you. You release endorphins when you exercise, whether you know it or not, you help people relieve stress. It’s not something I remember.” But I realize I have to create an environment for them to reap those benefits.”
Her advice to those embarking on a fitness journey is to have a clear understanding of their reason.
“It’s going to be tough; there will be bumps and pits. Having a strong cause is key and knowing how to block out the noise, whoever distracts you, the haters that come in, family or friends, knowing what you’re doing is for you and you’re on a journey for yourself and no one else,” he advises. Quante”.
“Since I was 14, people have been telling me not to do much but if I didn’t have the support system I had like my parents I would probably listen to them and not do the things I do today. Just because you don’t see results and rewards right away no I mean, it doesn’t work. Consistency is important.”
While helping others is a huge push factor, a big part of her motivation to stay fit is avoiding cancer.
Noting that her family had a strong history of the disease, she says, as she got older, she wanted to put herself in the best position to prevent or fight it if she was diagnosed.
“I definitely think about that when I make decisions with food,” she says with a laugh. “I exercise six days a week but I’m human, I still want to eat greasy and tasty food.”