Noel Arevalo’s Journey from Bikini Competitions to Powerlifting

This fitness influencer overcame a tough upbringing to became the ultimate athlete.

Photo: Noel Arevalo

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You may not be able to tell from her upbeat Instagram posts or cheery attitude on her YouTube channel, but Southern California native Noel Arevalo had a tough upbringing. 

At 13, she was already taking care of herself independently. Spending years on her own took a toll on her, and the results showed up in negative ways later in life. She was partying and drinking to suppress feelings about her past — not that she realized it at the time. But everything changed when she discovered fitness.

“I woke up one day and thought, ‘I’m not happy with where I’m at,’” Arevalo says. “I decided to compete in my first bikini show, and it transformed my life.”

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Arevalo at bikini competitions (Photo: Noel Arevalo)

Bikini vs. Powerlifting 

There’s absolutely no room for partying, drinking or poor habits when you’re training for a bikini competition. 

“It was a rigorous, whole different level of training,” Arevalo says. “It pushes you to your absolute limits, doing cardio six days a week, running on low calories, practicing poses.”

She competed in three bikini competitions, each one bringing more opportunities and opening doors for her. Eventually, though, Arevalo craved something else. A few of her friends were into powerlifting, and she was intrigued. So of course, she threw herself into competition. 

“It’s a really different kind of training compared to bikini competitions,” she says. “Polar opposite worlds, really. You’re focusing on strength and eating more. It’s physical, but you’re not as focused on physique.”

Arevalo gained a sizable social following as she began to share more about herself and her training on Instagram and YouTube. Being open and vulnerable was never a challenge for her; it came naturally. Her followers were inspired seeing her so empowered through powerlifting, and she became a coach with a mission to show women how fitness could help them the way it helped her. 

“Every week when you’re getting stronger, it’s so empowering,” Arevalo says. “You feel like a savage beast!”

Her following grew, now sitting at 270k on Instagram and 62.8K subscribers on YouTube.

“At the end of the day, it’s hard to pinpoint an official title,” she says. “I wear a ton of different hats. As much as I don’t like coining myself as an influencer, I am one. Influencer, women’s fitness coach and YouTuber.”

After years of competing, Arevalo gave herself a break.

“When I was done competing, I trained loosely,” she says. “I’m still in the gym four days a week, but sometimes when you’re on a strict regimen for too long, it can take the fun out of it.”

Currently, she’s bulking and focusing on recomposition. “I love being more stacked. I love muscle on me. I think muscle on women is sexy.”

Behind the Screen

While you’d think, because she works in the fitness world, Arevalo would be out in the sunshine doing workouts, on her feet all the time, that’s not exactly the case. A lot of people don’t realize how much time influencers spend behind the computer.

“There’s a ton of editing, emails and other things like that,” Arevalo says. “It’s a lot more than just taking pictures and filming.”

Because her workday is centered around fitness, she finds it important to have hobbies outside of that. She’s taken up golfing and also snowboards whenever she can.

“I’m a workaholic,” she says. “If I don’t keep my balance, it’s not good. I try to shut down at a certain time because there’s always something to do when you work for yourself.”

Plus, she’s tackled a huge undertaking — creating a fashion brand. Specifically, sports bras. 

“I have a larger chest with a small frame and I’ve never been able to find a sports bra that fits every need,” she says. “I’m working on a sports bra that’s super supportive, has coverage, is flattering and comfortable.”

HerFit Bra will tentatively be released in April.

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(Photo: Noel Arevalo)

Quick Q&A

Favorite protein bar?

PowerCrunch; flavor vanilla cream.

How do you take your coffee?

A simple cup of medium roast with coffee mate creamer.

What are you wearing when you workout?

Neutral colors. HerFit Sports Bras.

Favorite mode of cardio?

Outdoor running. I love a nice trail, paved or dirt.

Work out alone or with a partner?


What are you listening to when you lift?

Either house music (electric dance) or it honestly ranges from west coast rap to country. 

Favorite ab exercise?

Using TRX for mountain climbers.