Possessing boundless energy, Amy Yanagisawa (now Amy Wilkins) is a woman on the move. The 38-year-old petite beauty zooms through the streets of Washington, DC, juggling a busy and hectic schedule. Whether working as a group exercise instructor at the White House, working on a movie set as a stunt-woman, or volunteering in the community, Yanagisawa has capitalized on her athletic ability, sultry looks, and business savvy to jump start a diverse and exciting career.
Amy is a strong believer in education, which is a direct reflection of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Eiji Yanagisawa. She earned her bachelor's degree from Boston University in Mass Communications and her desire to learn more about the human body motivated her to pursue a master's degree in Human Performance from Southern Connecticut State University. Amy has also received her personal trainer certification through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT).
The third of four children, Yanagisawa was born on April 26, 1965, and grew up in a small town in Connecticut. By age 9, Amy was already an accomplished athlete and quickly excelled in such sports as gymnastics, lacrosse, field hockey, softball, basketball and diving. Her athletic progress continued when she went to Boston University where she played Division I Lacrosse. Upon graduating from college, she worked in the advertising business for a number of years however, her intense desire to get back into athletics led Amy to the Reebok Sports Club/NY working as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor.
Her success in the fitness world came quickly when she entered and won the 1997 NPC Southern New England Gold's Classic. Motivated by her success she continued to scale the fitness ladder. In just her fifth show, Amy found herself in a first-place tie with Kelly Ryan, currently one of the top 3 IFBB fitness competitors in the world, for the 1998 NPC Team Universe fitness title in New York City, New York. Kelly narrowly edged Amy for the overall (short-class) title. While Amy did not win this particular competition she did receive her IFBB pro card and respected Ironman magazine columnist, Ruth Silverman noted, "She had the best body in the class - petite, but with long limbs, a tiny waist, terrific calves and perfect conditioning. Amy is a hard worker."
She competed for two years in the IFBB placing as high as 5th in the highly contested IFBB Pro Fitness Classic, Rimini, Italy.
Staying in shape year round for her fitness career also opened doors for Amy to pursue a career as a stuntwoman and fitness model.
Quiet On The Set
Amy is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television Radio Artists (AFTRA) and works with as many as ten agencies/managers. Her film and TV credits include The Sopranos, Oz, Shaft, Coyote Ugly, Little Nicky, 28 Days, Stuart Little 2, Rollerball, Kate And Leopold, Sex in the City, In the Cut (starring Meg Ryan), Molly Gunn, Blair Witch 2, 13 Conversations About Nothing, The Job, L'il Kim Video and Now And Again.
She has also been featured on LIVE with Regis and Kathy Lee, INSIDE EDITION and National Public Radio (NPR). Amy's magazine credits include Ironman, Oxygen, Newsweek, Conde Nast Sports, Body By Jake, Musclezine (Cover), Men's Fitness, Natural Muscle, The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA Japan), Totsu Geki (Japan) and the Jul 02 FLEX swimsuit special.
Recently she has joined up with Hotskins, one of the top clothing companies in the health and fitness industry, as a show model and exhibitor. "I've loved their clothes for years and really appreciate how the owners of Hotskins, Trish and Lynn, treat me like a part of the Hotskins family," said Amy.
Amy spends many hours working on her multi-faceted career but at the same time, she has always enjoyed giving back to the community through volunteering. She has donated time to the Connecticut Special Olympics, the National Race for the Cure, and various military spouse projects, but one of the most significant events of her life was during the recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
Tragedy Hits Home
Hired for a photo shoot, Amy was in California on September 11th. As is her typical routine, she turned on the news within minutes of waking up and shocked beyond belief, she was glued to the television as she mournfully watched the aftermath of the most horrific terrorist attacks on American soil.
As a means of national security, all flights were cancelled which meant she was stranded in Los Angeles for an additional week. "Even though there was nothing I could possibly do, living close to the World Trade Center, I just knew I had to get home and get closer to my family. For the remainder of my trip, I felt totally helpless while on the West Coast," said Amy.
One week after returning from LA, she spent the next 7-weeks volunteering as a coordinator at Ground Zero two to three times per week. "I was just glad that I could contribute. To see the faces of the firemen, policemen and all the others involved in the massive cleanup was amazing and an experience I will never forget. Each and every day, these people were working to total exhaustion in the worst circumstances imaginable and I felt that it was my duty and a true honor to help in any way possible," she said.
It's A Wrap
In 2001, while working in Las Vegas, Nevada, as an IFBB official for the Olympia Weekend, Amy met her husband Rob, who is also an IFBB official. The couple married November 16, 2002 and now lives in Arlington, VA where Rob serves as a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force and is stationed at the Pentagon.
Amy's ultimate career goal is to develop her own health and fitness program for television. "I would like to create a show which would be educational, motivating, and fun. America is faced with an epidemic of obesity and it's imperative that fitness becomes an important element of everyone's life. By leading a physically active life-style, you look better, feel better, and improve your overall quality of life," she commented.
With her many career goals a life of leisure is not on the horizon for Amy. She is considering returning to school to earn a Ph.D. and has also decided to return to the stage competing (in the figure discipline) at the 2003 IFBB Night of the Champions, in New York City.
"Life is full of exciting opportunities and I'm always looking for the next challenging project. I'm having fun, so why should I slow down," she said with a magnetic smile.
To contact Amy, write to:
P.O. Box 237185
New York, NY 10023
or e-mail her at email@example.com
Compound sets... weights immediately followed by plyometric exercises using similar muscle groups.
|Compound Set - Single Leg
Squat followed by Single
Standing Vertical Jump
|Stationary Lunges with Bar
(65lbs) followed by
|Squats (95lbs) followed by
Box Jump Step Off
(one month out from competition)
|Meal #1||4 eggs whites, English muffin with margarine|
|Meal #2||Met Rx shake|
|Meal #3||Chicken, small potato, veggies|
|Meal #4||Chicken, small potato, veggies|
|Meal #5||Chicken, small potato, veggies|
|Snack||Sugar free jell-o with fruit|
|TV Show||ESPN Sports Center|
|City||New York City|
|Gym||Montanari Brothers Gold's Gym, New Haven, CT|
|Food||Broiled Eel (really!)|
|Sports||Baseball and basketball|
|Music||R & B|
|R & R||Spend quality time with my husband, Rob. We plan at least one "date" every week.|
More Pics Of Amy:
About Rob Wilkins
Rob Wilkins is a Special Assistant to the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) and a recipient of the IFBB Gold Medal. To contact Wilkins e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.