The first time I met Angela Gargano was in a small, cluttered basement room of a massive televangelical church just outside Orange, Connecticut. I was shooting for the September/October 2017 issue of Oxygen with a photographer I had never used before and a random girl from Rhode Island who had pitched herself as a fitness model. This would be an editorial litmus test for me to see whether shooting locally rather than coordinating long-distance with a team in California could actually work.
My mystery model, Angela, arrived with big smiles and energy to spare. After finishing her hair and makeup and doing some lighting tests, we shot the four-move workout. It took less than 10 minutes. No matter. Angela was beyond excited to have connected with me and with Oxygen.
That was four years ago. Since then, I have worked with Angela a number of times. She has connected me to photographers, hair and makeup artists, gym owners, trainers and more. I have hired her as a model, an expert, a coach (Warrior Shred), and now as the host and co-creator of our recently launched Fitness Quest series.
Angela sees opportunity in everything and approaches a challenge with tenacity and determination. It’s no surprise that she has been selected to be on American Ninja Warrior four times, and one day I’m certain she’ll win that thing — or blow out a knee trying. (Oh wait, she already did that!) In any case, it’s safe to say she is one of Oxygen’s favorite humans, and I know she will become one of yours, as well. Clearly the litmus test worked. | LARA McGLASHAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LOCATION Mount Arlington, New Jersey CREDENTIALS AFAA-CPT SOCIAL MEDIA IG @angela_gargano
Angela Gargano has always been passionate about fitness. She was a competitive gymnast all the way through college, but after graduation, she was at a loss for a purposeful activity. “There isn’t much for adults to do in the gymnastics world after college,” Gargano says. “That’s when I started looking into other things like fitness competitions.”
It was an easy fit for her skill set, and Gargano did more than 30 fitness competitions over the course of a couple of years. She won the 2016 Miss Fitness America title with a Jungle Book–themed routine and earned her Fitness and Bikini pro cards. She liked the performance aspect of the sport, but it wasn’t a long-term love. “These competitions definitely taught me to be confident in my own skin, but it was exhausting being on a ‘diet’ year-round,” Gargano says.
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