herstory.

Brazilian born, American made.

Fernanda made up her mind early in life that fitness would be her forte, and she pursued a degree in Kinesiology from a top university in Brazil. Having surrounded herself with a group of mentors, the most elite trainers in her field, she quickly rose to the top of her game through an expression of her undeniable gift. She guaranteed herself an impressive career teaching and creating programs in the top fitness clubs in Brazil, but the success could not quell a yearning inside that she was destined for more.

At the young age of 23, armed with an impressive resume, but as yet unable to speak English, Fernanda left the comfort of family, friends and her native land. She arrived in America as an immigrant, with only the clothes in her suitcase, a strong sense of purpose, and the resolve that she wasn’t going to turn back at any cost.

At first, her story was one of survival more than success… Fernanda learned quickly that it would take courage, self-love, and resilience if her dream was going to be realized. She experienced some early setbacks that would have sent many a dreamer running back home.  But Fernanda is nothing if not tough, and all the signs in her heart pointed onward.

Fernanda began making her mark on the Los Angeles fitness scene, where she was recognized for having unrivalled expertise and was employed by the premiere health clubs in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  Fernanda was sought after as a fitness model for product infomercials, she created her own clothing line, and was involved in developing a number of workout programs, including RIPPED®, 12-Week Body Transformation®, and Brazilian Booty®

Fernanda steadily became a fitness sensation. She always had an undeniable gift for helping women achieve personal wellness success, but her vision was to open her own studio. She continued to foster strong industry connections through her work in gyms and as a presenter for fitness conventions across California, drawing ever more attention and building relationships that would ultimately define her long-term success.

It was years before Fernanda publicly took ownership of her sexuality – something she had struggled with for a long time. But with her life now under the spotlight, Fernanda once again relied on her fearless nature and did not shy away from the truth.  Even her coming-out story was gilded with glamor. Fernanda was cast as the first openly gay cast member on the reality TV show, Real Housewives of OC, on which her fitness program, Brazilian Booty®, was aired.

Leveraging her elevated image as a reality TV star, Fernanda found an outlet to become an advocate for gay rights and she was invited to be the Grand Marshall of the Chicago Gay Pride parade.  Both on and off camera, Fernanda sets her sights on doing good for the body and soul, utilizing the many platforms available to her to support the LGBT Community.

Fernanda has been the Co-Owner of the Art of Fitness Gym in Laguna Beach for over 10 years. She also founded her “Fernanda Rocha Fitness” brand, under which she has created a number of functional training programs including Jiinga Fitness®, launched in 2016, and “Reset” to be unveiled in 2020.

Fernanda is happily married to her wife of 5 years and is a proud dog-mom.  She still visits her family in Brazil every year and proudly honors her heritage by inserting a healthy dose of Brazilian passion into everything she does.