Training Day (Massy Arias)

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Training Day (Massy Arias)

“I think society has set a standard of how women should look, but I feel like we are all different and unique,” says Massy Arias, a.k.a Mankofit. “I want to change the face of fitness, and I’m not afraid to wear my tattoos proudly.”

This inked and yoked Brooklynite isn’t your mother’s Suzanne Somers; she’s a tough chica who wouldn’t be caught dead with a Thighmaster. When Massy Arias is in bodybuilding competition shape, the 5 ?8 ? powerhouse dials down to 12.5 percent body fat (128 pounds) and can still squat 225 pounds. More impressive a number is her social media connections. Though she only started competing in the National Physique Committee Bikini Division a few months ago, she has amassed over 581,000 Instagram followers. Fitness nuts can’t get enough photos of Arias’s fitness feats, including images of her doing an upside-down pull-up on walk signal boxes and a hands-free headstand on a medicine ball.

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“I’ve gotten such a following very organically,” she says. “Sometimes I can’t believe it myself because I’m just a simple girl from Brooklyn.”

Her feed is not all about showing off or demonstrating innovative workouts, but also about getting people active, by either challenging them or using positive motivation. “To me it’s a dream come true to do something I love and inspire thousands,” she says. “It makes me feel like my hard work is paying off … knowing I’m an inspiration for many fuels me to keep doing better every day.” Her postings include confidence-inducing quotes, memes that serve as modern-day success posters, and, in Reverend Run style, her original thoughts, such as: “In life we all need to strive for success and progress. An individual in my opinion cannot stay stagnant, there is always room for improvement, and if we don’t aim to always be an upgraded version of ourselves then how can we live a life with pride? There’s no room to feel sorry for the lives we live if we know that we are doing everything in our power to be better in every sense of the word.”

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Her missives to the world seem all the more genuine, coming as they do from a person who had to pull herself out of a quagmire. “I went through a few harsh experiences that made me fall into a depression,” she says. Instead of turning to vices, “I decided to work out because exercise is the best cure for depression. Not only did it give me confidence, but I found a new passion that felt so natural and right for me. Now fitness has become a lifestyle for me, and I think exercise has taught me discipline. It has literally saved my life.”

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Some of Arias’s ink was inspired by difficult times. Her favorite piece is the unfinished koi on her rib cage. “I got the piece when my brother got diagnosed with cancer, and every time I look at it I thank God for helping him beat it.” Her better work comes from Steve Boltz at Smith Street Tattoo Parlor in Brooklyn. “I think my tattoos help me stand out. Some people love the way I look but hate the fact I have tattoos, and vice versa. My tattoos don’t ‘wear me,’ so I think they absolutely complement me. They show the type of person I am. I’m not afraid to take risk and translate my personality into body art.”

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