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Strength + Fitness: Joanna Jean

On the first weekend of December, in Biarritz, in the south of France, the World Fitness and Bodybuilding championships were organized by the IFBB. The event attracted tourists who enjoyed the warmer weather of the city the view of the sea, the chocolate shops and the numerous historical and tourist attractions. But, most importantly they had the chance to see women and men compete in all fitness categories (body fitness, bikini fitness and wellness fitness) for two days.

Among the competitors, Joanna Jean, a young Haitian, who has built herself a solid platform. With more than 25,000 followers on Instagram, she is known in Haiti, Canada and the USA. It was in Montreal where she first discovered that she had the potential to be a body builder. Joanna won the local, regional and national overall figure championship which gave her the legitimacy to compete internationally and represent Canada.

On December 3, she posted a picture on Instagram explaining to her fans why she only took 9th place of the championship. And because we appreciated

her modesty, honesty and humility, we decided to follow her for a week in Paris, away from the stress of the competition and discover her on a new angle.

While getting ready for her photoshoot next to the Eiffel Tower, she explained to us how it is necessary to not let the idea of fitness and workout frustrate us. It is important to eat well (she eats something every 2 hours), focusing on protein, glucide and vegetable intakes. “If I have 30 minutes a day and

only three days a week to work out,” she said. “I would dedicate the first day to her upper body, the second day to her lower body and the third day to cardio. You do not have to do it all, you just have to do it well.”

When asked how being a body builder has affected her life, relationship and image of herself, she said “Nothing has really changed beside the attention and popularity,” which pushes her to stay humble.

While visiting several historic sites with Jean in Paris, it was evident that the body builder is a very joyful person. She laughs, makes jokes, goes out and

enjoys time with family and friends. She confessed to us that it has been quite challenging to have a social life specially when she is training for competition.

“Being a female body builder puts you in the spotlight, as people will judge you for being very muscular and therefore minimize the work you have done to obtain such achievements,” she said.

When not talking about body building, Jean spends hours talking about life, music and politics. Despite the fame, she barely posts on social media. She is very down-to-earth and lives life in the moment.

On her way back to Montreal, Jean is already thinking about the projects she will be working on for the upcoming year. And on top of the list, she puts, “Bring back the trophy.”

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