Karen was recommended to me through PJ Braun, the Blackstone Labs CEO. He told me she is the best in Florida and had trained directly under him. I’ve put my trust in PJ and he has yet to steer me wrong and I will say the same thing about Karen. I told her I was nervous about competing from the start and that I would need to be shown everything from a-z, and she walked me through all of the steps. I started with what some may consider a “basic plan” (why re-invent the wheel?), but she was VERY open to adjusting things to make it work for ME. I received new plans and routines on time and as needed and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. She was also always in touch with me and checked in on me more and more as we got closer to my show. I am 1 week out from my first show and I feel confident and well prepared going into my show thanks to Karen. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a contest prep or lifestyle coach.- Jamie O. / Fort Myers, FL
Karen is caring, and experienced in Weight loss, health and wellness muscle building and shaping. She motivates you and is always there. She got me in the best shape of my life for a major competition, then helped me transition to another body building category with much success. Last year I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and my diet and lifestyle had to change a bit to help with treatment. Karen’s knowledge of nutrition has been a great help and motivater to get me through the long Lyme treatment. Karen is worth working with whether you want to be healthy or compete.- Karen Iochum / Pennsylvania
I can’t say enough great things about Diva Squad! I have lost over 100lbs. following her program. Food I like to eat, an excellent app to track progress & work-out with weights! #accountabilitymatters
#lifechanging – Stacy S. / Texas
I was 293lbs when I started with Diva Squad Fitness.. within in9 months I was down to my low weight of 198lbs. I am currently up to 209lb because at this point Karen is helping me build muscle. I feel great and do activities I haven’t been able to do in years. I have been using her for 18 months straight. Karen saved this divo’s life.
She gives you meal plans that are tasty so it’s easy to stick to the program. The workout plans are planned out and explained step by step She includes videos so if you forget you can reference the videos. She is available by phone, text, or by her app. Never had issues. I recommend her to anybody who asks me how I did it. I would give tens stars if it was an option.
Very happy in Texas – Kenny S. / Texas
I wanted to thank you once again for all you guidance and dedication with me for the last 15 weeks and I’m so excited to continue our journey together. Goal to meet in person one day !! I was so nervous of living so far from you and how it would be but you made me feel amazing you cared so much for me and always had my best interest in your mind. You have given me the tools to not only be stronger in the gym but stronger mentally !! I have by far the best physique yet. The work that went into this prep was 100% for sure but like you said this is just the beginning for me and here is to our journey together. You have no idea how happy I am we are working together !! I’ve honestly had the best experience ! I legit just bragged about you for the last ten minutes in the car. My friends think it’s amazing and said how lucky I am that I have you because how attentive you were before show day and on show day.
Thank you so much Karen- for coaching me to look like this! I loved working with you ! It’s all about teamwork and we made an awesome team. Thank you for being so supportive the entire journey and never leaving my side on show day. #bestcoachever.
I wrote this on Karens Diva Squad Fitness page when we first started training together in 2015, since then we have placed at every show we competed at: 3rd place New York Mets, 2nd Place Grand Prix CT, 1st place Cutler Classic Boston, and we WON THE OVERALL AT THE ATLANTIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIP in FORT LAUDERDALE this year. there is no doubt in my mind Karen is an amazing coach and i can only continue to say positive things about her and the team. we did get to meet prior to me competing in her home state. Karen is not only my coach but an amazing friend and im so lucky to have her in my life. – Danielle A. / Peabody, MA
In 2011, I competed in the bikini division -on my own- a few times and decided in 2013 to transition into the figure division and hire a coach which wasn’t the the best experience, unfortunately, but was suprised to find out shortly after a show I was going to have a baby.
On March 25th, 2014 my daughter came into the world and I never thought I’d compete again. Well, 3 years later I made the decision to step back on stage and with the help of a friend/ fellow team mate, Tia Hamilton, I made the decision to contact Karen Yoakum with Diva Squad Fitness!
I was a little nervous about hiring another coach, but Karen and I connected instantly. This This made me very happy and excited to be apart of something bigger than myself! Karen has made this experience one of the best I’ve ever had! Even though I placed 3rd out of 12 competitors this was a major accomplishment for me. It may not have been 1st, but it felt like 1st too me. I wasn’t expecting that placement and was completely blown away.
For one, my body looks amazing. The best its ever looked! 2nd, she’s there with me every step of the way. And 3rd, she’s always motivating me, constantly sends inspirational emails, and she -most importantly- continues to lift my spirits up when I’m down or being too hard on myself! I’m really looking forward to my up coming shows! And I’m extremely proud and honored to be a diva squad figure athlete! Karen is not only my coach, she’s also my friend.
If anyone is looking for a coach, whether to get back in shape or wanting to compete; IFBB Pro Karen Yoakum is your coach!! I promise she won’t let you down and you’ll be in the best shape of your life!
“My dream was to one day compete as a bikini competitor since the age of 19.
For more than a decade I trained myself. First, thinking hours of cardio a week was the only solution to end my struggle with being overweight. I had a perceived ideal weight of 120 lbs. At one point in my life I actually got my weight down to 120 lbs but I didn’t look like how I expected. I looked bony and had zero muscle tone. Afterwards, I felt defeated as if it was never possible.
I revisited the idea of training to be a bikini competitor. I was 144 lbs, had little knowledge of proper prep diet and lifestyle. I gave myself a show to work towards which I was nowhere near stage ready despite my dedication and motivation. This time instead of giving up, I was pissed off and more determined than ever to fulfill my goal of competing. I sought out the best all around trainer I could find. After doing some research I found Karen Yoakum, Diva Squad Fitness. I signed up almost immediately and began her online prep program with diet, cardio, and weight training. After just one week of completing her program I could see a dramatic difference with diet alone. Every aspect of the program was specifically laid out. At any time I could ask questions if I had any. Early on I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. As long as I stuck to Karen’s program, I would realize my goal.
After months of prepping for my competition debut, Karen had helped me transform from out of shape 40 year old, to a lean, confident bikini competitor ready for the stage. It was a huge milestone that I achieved. I’m certain without Karen’s help through her program, I wouldn’t have been able to do in the amount of time I accomplished it in. I would highly recommend anyone that wants to end their struggle with weight to sign up for one of Karen’s programs. “
The decision to come to Karen was one of the biggest and most life-changing steps of my life. As a woman I have struggled immensely with my self-confidence. I was confident in areas I knew best (sports – volleyball), but when it came down to it, I was not accepting of myself and who I truly was. Growing up in an abusive, drug/alcohol-consumed household, I was not given the essential needs and lessons a child must receive in order to grow as a person and be confident. Instead, I would hide from everything and everyone in fear that my “secret”, =home-life would ”get out” and make me even more uncomfortable with the person I was. I stayed in my bubble and just focused on making it through day-by-day instead of focusing on growing as an independent woman.
As if life wasn’t crazy enough during my childhood, the insanity continued on throughout my 20’s. It was a day-to-day struggle to stay focused on me, because I was constantly concerned about making sure everyone else around me was OK. It was at that time in December of 2015 that I knew I needed to make a change to better myself and to stop trying to bandage up my past. I needed to accept me for me and needed to focus on creating the best version of myself (both physically and mentally). That’s when I decided to call Karen and on a whim made the decision to commit to a 14-week competition prep program!
Just as I was prepared to finally focus on me after 27 years of trying to fix my family and crazy past; rock bottom officially slapped me in the face. That very same month I ended up going through one of the lowest points in my life. I had lost any sort of “family” that I was still trying to hold on to and tape back together due to addiction. I felt alone and abandoned by my own blood and didn’t know if I was going to get through it.
Without hesitation I knew I couldn’t stop at this point. The very next day I went and got that gym membership and committed to Karen. During those 14-weeks I felt it ALL. I not only felt the physical pain of every workout and cardio session that led to the 20+ pound weight loss, I also felt every emotion of losing my loved ones and chose to let myself deal with the pain with hopes of overcoming it with time.
As time progressed I started seeing results both physically and mentally. My new physique, the constant reminders from Karen that I was on the right track, the morning quotes from her reminding me to go after my dreams and to set aside the distractions, and all of the positive reinforcement that I WAS a sexy diva and not some un-confident scared individual started to grow on me and give me confidence as a woman that I NEVER thought I could have. I stopped thinking about all that I didn’t have and started to thank God for providing me with a loving, fitness family that cared about my goals and dreams and who also wanted to see me become the best version of me. 🙂
Thank you, Karen for your commitment to my future as a competitor and individual; but more importantly for helping me realize that my past is just that and that it does not define me!
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Nutrition and exercise is a daily routine for me in my everyday lifestyle. Competing was an entirely new level of the fitness world to me and I can say I am grateful to have had Karen as my coach through the process of transforming my body from fit to competition ready. It was not only fun, but a great experience!
I have truly enjoyed my prep with Karen & Diva Squad Fitness. The entire program from start to show day was amazing. Loved that the meal plan and workouts changed often so there was no way to get bored with any of it. Looking forward to continuing my journey with Diva Squad.