America's Fittest Couples

Featured Article, Fitness, Motivation
on February 12, 2013

Candice and Douglas Brooks are the brains behind BOSU exercise balls.

Candice and Douglas Brooks
The brains behind BOSU ball workouts
Candice and Douglas Brooks are a team both professionally and personally. “We became smitten with one another at a fitness magazine shoot in Los Angeles, where we had been hired as experts and models,” says Candace, a former IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year. Now, the couple serves as programming directors for the BOSU ball, creating workouts for the inflatable half-sphere used in health clubs and studios across the U.S. They are also co-directors of athlete conditioning at Sugar Bowl Ski Academy in Norden, Calif., a college prep school for some of the top competitive skiers in the nation, and spearhead the educational programs of major fitness brands that include RealRyder Indoor Cycling and PurMotion. “We play off each other’s strengths,” says Douglas, a former Ironman triathlete who is a member of the National Fitness Hall of Fame. “Candice leads the way in stretching and yoga, and when it comes to speed, I take the lead.”

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The story of Tyler Ingram and Mabel Modrono.

Tyler Ingram and Mabel Modrono
Romancing the dance—from Broadway to ballet
Mabel Modrono and Tyler Ingram may have been paired as a romantic couple for performance purposes only, but the spark they experienced was real—and lasting. “We fell in love while dancing to a violin canon in the Miami City Ballet,” says Mabel, who is currently performing in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, and recently had a turn in the Las Vegas production of Movin’ On. Their on-stage chemistry and off-stage romance has lasted 20 years, enduring several long-distance stints while they achieved principal dancer rankings in a variety of ballet companies. “Doing things that generate endorphins with someone you care about is about as good as it gets,” says Tyler, now dancing with the New York City Opera.

Jay and Lin Johnson train the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

Jay and Lin Johnson
This power duo’s life together started when Lin turned to Jay, a retired Army drill sergeant, to get her in shape for the Army Physical Fitness Test. “I courted her with sweat,” Jay says. After her five-year military stint, Lin teamed up with Jay to start Jay’s Bootcamp in Dallas. Their authentic military-style training has attracted national attention, earning Jay and Lin props on Dr. Phil’s Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge, HBO and Fox and Friends, among others. Jay also uses his regimented, no-nonsense style as official trainer and selection judge for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, while Lin designs the cheer squad’s fitness routines. They have two children, Charise, 28, and Sydnie, 18.

Sharon Catherine Blanks and Billy Blanks Jr. are the creators of Dance With Me.

Sharon Catherine Blanks and Billy Blanks, Jr.
The new generation of fitness
Son of Tae Bo creator and fitness innovator Billy Blanks, Billy Jr. seemed destined to carry on his father’s legacy. Make no mistake, though—the choreographer and dancer, who has performed in musicals and music videos with Madonna, Quincy Jones and mentor Paula Abdul—is a talent in his own right. Billy first met Sharon Catherine, an actress and dancer, after her show-stealing performance in the West Coast premiere of the musical Rent. After starring in Broadway and touring productions of plays such as Jekyll and Hyde and Dreamgirls, Sharon Catherine teamed up in 2000 with Billy to create fitness programs like Cardioke (a combination of cardio exercise and karaoke). “We work out together in all our videos—when one of is isn’t feeling it, the other helps with motivation!” says Sharon Catherine. Their new project, Dance With Me, fuses dance styles from hula to hip hop to disco, and is spreading across the country—and the world. The Dance With Me concept was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, where Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban signed on as an investor. Billy and Sharon live in Los Angeles with one son, Elijah, 8.

Story of Core Fusion experts Fred Devito and Lis Halfpapp.

Fred Devito and Lis Halfpapp
Together to the core         
Before they became one of New York City’s most famously fit couples, Fred Devito and Lis Halfpapp were high school sweethearts who fell in love on the sports field. “I was a football player, Lis was a cheerleader,” Fred says. “She was my senior prom date!” Years later, the husband-and-wife team is going stronger than ever. In 2003, the dynamic duo helped launch Exhale, one of the nation’s leading mind/body spas with locations around the United States. Leveraging their 50-plus years of combined experience in the health and wellness industry, Lis and Fred went on to co-create Exhale’s signature workout, Core Fusion, an innovative barre-based program that fuses numerous disciplines such as Pilates, dance, yoga and ballet. Working in tandem, Fred and Lis have produced and appeared in numerous best-selling Core Fusion DVDs. The couple resides in New York, where they oversee Exhale’s mind/body programs, teach classes, and attend workshops and training retreats across the country. The couple’s secret to staying in tip-top shape? Make fitness dates. “Choose physical activities that you both enjoy. Be each other’s work out buddy!” Fred says.