In the hyper-competitive fitness industry a provocative nickname like “La Cuerpa” doesn’t land at your feet.
You earn it, every single day. For those not fluent in Spanish, “La Cuerpa” translates to…
If you’re familiar with Michelle Lewin, you already know this description fits like wet spandex. One look speaks volumes about this Venezuelan beauty. Talk about proportion. Her abs and glutes alone are the subject of international envy and conversation.
Part fitness model, part bodybuilder, part bikini babe – Michelle is visible all over the globe. After immigrating to America in 2010, she’s become the latin queen of the fitness scene.
The Miami Beach resident accommodates a rigorous touring and competition schedule, complete with fans, fanatics and the even occasional stalker. Her svelte figure has graced over 30 magazine covers, from Sports & Fitness, Her Muscle & Fitness, and Iron Man.
Seen the new La Cuerpa 2016 calendar? It’s a stunner. She’s even featured on the new Fitplan App. Such widespread appeal has garnered her another term of endearment: Miss Worldwide. Quite the title for someone who’s only 30.
Perhaps you’re already one of her 7 million Facebook and Instagram followers. All totalled, this rock-hard rockstar has the hearts and minds of over 10 million men and women across the globe. She’s a household name unseen since the likes of young Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As a public figure and as a woman, Michelle is many things to many people: a fitness diva, a sex symbol, an immigrant success story, a workout guru…
What can explain such universal appeal?
Is it her savvy blend of online visibility and vivacity? Or is it something beyond the image and the fame?
Ask Michelle Lewin how she sees herself and she’ll tell you:
“I’m a motivator.”
If you stay social with Michelle (#lacuerpa) you know she’s committed to showing the world, in detail (and in spandex), how to follow her lead. In order to better reach out and motivate others, Michelle is pioneering and defining the role of a social media icon in the fitness business.
She’s constantly updating followers with tips, techniques and encouragement from her own workouts. As the acting personal trainer for millions of viewers, she’s a dedicated instructor that leads through videos and photographic examples.
This means selfies. Lots of selfies. A post-workout pic in front of the bathroom mirror will attract 1242 likes…in one minute. Ultimately, any photo posted to social will acquire up to 250,000 viewer approvals!
And despite all the attention Michelle stays humble. She’s very candid about her body, her process and her history. Yes, they’re real: talking about the freckles on her chest. By the way, her implants are the reason she doesn’t train her chest much these days.
Charming in a girl-next-door kind of way, she’ll sometimes share her silly side. Pay attention and maybe you’ll see her making goofy faces in the gym with her mother or screaming on a roller coaster. But mostly, she’s all business – delivering the goods people want to see.
Women and young girls comprise most of the global audience. What do they want? Motivation and guidance. And so she provides. One day it’s sharing a video detailing how to sculpt those hard-to-reach areas (abs and glutes). Or perhaps it will be a photo showcasing that stunning physique in a new bikini before a competition. Regardless of visual particulars, La Cuerpa is a beacon of athleticism and inspiration for those following her lead.
To fully appreciate the spectacular success of this preeminent fitness goddess, we take a step back.
The Michelle Lewin of today was once very poor and rail-thin, growing up in Maracay City, Venezuela. When her stepfather left she and her mother with nothing, they were forced to move into a meager apartment that hosted more cockroaches than food. Michelle remembers growing up young, working with her mother to survive, even accepting neighborly charity to eat.
At one point she weighed a startling 85 pounds.
These humble beginnings remain vivid to Michelle. When she glances in the mirror, she still sees that skinny late-bloomer, with, as she says, no breasts and no behind. The one that concealed her physique beneath long sleeves and pants, unimpressed by her outward appearances.
This all changed one fateful day when, at 17, she went to a local gym with her mother. The sense of accomplishment and pride hooked her. There are fond memories of walking around feeling like wet spaghetti from the waist down. For the next seven years, Michelle religiously blasted her legs. Only her legs. And like many a gym rat, Michelle learned the hard way that an imbalanced routine is a surefire way to secure a disproportionate body.
When she met bodybuilder Jimmy Lewin in 2008 the next phase of her development began. With guidance from her new workout and life partner, Michelle began building her upper body and sculpting the idealized figure we know today. In 2010, the two were married. To this day, Jimmy is her personal trainer, agent, social media manager and best friend.
It was her husband that initially encouraged her to pursue modeling and bodybuilding competitions. The runways of Milan, Rome and Paris were not kind to Michelle. Everyone turned their nose up at her, calling her short. Admittedly, she’s not your average model type: 5’4” and 120 lbs.
But she could rock any runway waif in a body contest.
Ultimately, and for the best, Michelle found her groove in Miami. That first bodybuilding competition saw her land in…last place. But more importantly, she’d fallen in love with the sport and gradually started to make the incremental gains so fundamental to a lifestyle of fitness. Years of discipline have since seen Michelle reach the first place on the podium (NPC Fort Lauderdale Cup) and far beyond.
These days Michelle emphasizes a balanced approach to building and maintaining her hourglass figure. Her mornings are 45 minutes of cardio with weights in the evening. It all focuses on being toned and trim.
First things first: proper nutrition keeps the physique taut. It’s also where she sees the biggest changes in her body, and the most quickly. That said, she’s always ready for her Sunday Buffet cheat days. This is an all day event. But hey, she’s earns it.
She knows you can too.
Every day, Michelle looks beyond her image as a fitness model and becomes a role model. From an unlikely start she’s sculpted the body and the life she loves. Her journey and her social media mission remind us how powerful community can be at affirming the pivotal role of good health in a good life. At the end of the day she’s a fine embodiment of the American dream. An immigrant who’s shaping her life in her own image, securing health and happiness not only for herself but for anyone willing to change.
To assist in the everyday grind, Michelle has teamed up with Fitplan to bring the health community her never-before-seen fitness toolkit. Right in the palm of your hand. Download the Fitplan App to gain access to Michelle Lewin’s complete routines and exclusive workout secrets. Watch and learn from exclusive motivational videos and step-by-step tutorials from the fitness goddess herself. The app tracks your vitals, maps your stats, and charts your progress with Apple Health.