Dekel Quant started going to the gym at the age of 14 to accompany his father after his mother died of breast cancer.
Today, the Bahamian is a fitness guru with her own YouTube platform encouraging people across the Caribbean to take charge 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 in other coaches under my brand, not just here in the Bahamas but from everywhere and I want to continue to grow in the online space. I want to travel to different places, tour and keep growing, and have merchandise,” the 29-year-old Freeport native told Loop News. She recently hired a new coach to her team.
It was at his brother’s request after his mother’s death that Quant and his father started going to the gym. She says it was the therapy she didn’t know she needed.
“A few months after my mom passed away my brother kept nagging my dad to go to the gym and my dad gave in and he asked me to come with him too because it would be good for me “, she recalls.
“It was a great space for me and my dad to bond without having to talk too much. I was close to my mom, she taught at my elementary school, so when she got through it forced me to closer to my dad, it opened the space for us to bond and the gym was the first step towards that,” says Quant.
It was in college that she began to take fitness seriously.
“I was really consistent in college and friends started asking me to train them. Even when I was home during breaks people were saying I should start training them and my dad told me encouraged to enter the fitness space. My brother opened a supplement retail store, so my dad thought it would be a good idea to enter the training space,” she says.
In college, a friend of hers nicknamed her Bowflex Barbie and the name stuck.
She says that when she decided to take on clients, she kept her business name.
In 2012, Quant held her first training camp and in 2014, after finishing college, she started competing.
“I did a competition my senior year in college and I got a taste of the stage and said I could do it. It gave my training a little more meaning and that pushed me a bit more. I started competing in 2015 and have been competing in the tricks category ever since,” said Quant, who won gold in his first year at the CAC.
“It was a really good start. I won two national titles in the Bahamas in 2016 and 2017 and since then I have competed in the United States and Canada. At my last show in Toronto, I won the bronze medal.
As she builds her brand, Quant says the discipline and structure she learned has trickled down to her life as an entrepreneur.
“Fitness is the perfect metaphor for life,” she says. “You only take out what you put in.”
Speaking on her YouTube channel, Quant says that when she decided to return 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 organized the Bahamas Fit Fest in Nassau, where she lives. The event saw fitness enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the weekend fitness retreat which included local and international trainers.
Through her website, Bowflex Barbie Fitness, people can access nutritional information, virtual classes, personal training and more.
His YouTube channel offers exercises for beginner to advanced workouts as well as interviews and a documentary called Stage Ready that documents his preparation for bodybuilding. Her husband Ethan Quant. shot the documentary.
“He wanted to document my journey for a while and last year I said okay. He likes documentaries and filming because he works in the media. He just wanted to do it and I agreed. I followed his vision and his editor did a good job of telling the story from the perspective of someone unfamiliar with bodybuilding, he wanted to extract relevant elements from the journey, support and discipline,” she explains.
Quant describes his coaching style as very inviting.
Just as training was her therapy, she acknowledges that 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 workout style is very inviting, I’m not aggressive. You’ll get a good workout, but I want to learn more about you, about your day, and create space for you. You release endorphins when you exercise, so whether you know it or not, you’re helping people reduce their stress It’s not something that I declare, but I recognize that I have to create an environment for them to draw from it profit.
Her advice to anyone embarking 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 base and knowing how to block out the noise, anyone distracting you, enemies coming in, family or friend, knowing what you are doing is for you and you’re traveling for yourself and no one else,” Quant advises.
“Ever since I was 14, people told me not to overdo it, but if I didn’t have the support system I had like my dad, I probably would have listened to them and wouldn’t do this. I’m doing today. . Just because you don’t immediately see results and rewards doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Consistency is important.”
While helping others is a big motivator, a big part of her motivation to stay fit is to avoid cancer.
Stating that her family has a strong history of the disease, she says that as she got older she wanted to put herself in the best position to prevent or fight it if diagnosed.
She laughs, “I definitely have that in mind when making decisions about food. I train six days a week but I’m human, I always want to eat fatty, delicious food.