FitorFlop: Local trainer competes in online competition

A Trumbull man’s efforts to fight childhood obesity could gain him a national spotlight in an online competition pegged as “The American Idol of Fitness.”

Igor Celzner, a trainer at the Edge Fitness Club in Derby, runs a class called Youth Fitness 365. Beginning Jan. 1, everyone can see and vote for Celzner and members of his group in the online competition.

It is an “innovative” competition that draws contestants from across the country, said Danielle Wechsler, an executive with the New York City-based Fit or Flop competition, entering its third season and to be broadcast online at

“We have a little bit of everything,” Wechsler said, “from fitness experts who work with adults and jump ropes or track maneuvers, to Celzner, whose brand concentrates on a variety of activities inspiring kids to be healthy. We are looking for America’s next star trainer.”

Since auditions started earlier this year, Celzner and members of his Youth Fitness 365 class have passed several auditions. More than 100 trainers traveled from as far as California to audition for this, Season III, of FitorFlop. Celzner and Youth Fitness 365 are now among some 40 semifinalists in the contest. And on Jan. 1, the online show launches to choose 14 finalists, and ultimately a winner, via audience votes and those of a celebrity panel of fitness gurus.

“Yes, it’s exciting,” said Celzner, a native of Bosnia who came to the United States in 2006 as a live-in nanny. He since became certified as both an adult and youth personal trainer, then worked his way up to be an elite trainer at the Edge Fitness Club in Derby.

For Celzner, a resident of Trumbull, it’s an important contest, but much more than that. It’s part of his mission to coach, teach and inspire children to be physically fit and healthy.

“Kids needs this,” he said. “America needs this.”

That’s why Celzner, who’s also worked as a children’s soccer coach, martial arts instructor and gymnastics coach, designed and launched the Youth Fitness 365 class at the Edge more than a year ago. Intended for children aged 6 to 12, the class is 50 minutes of exercise. The class includes proper warmup techniques, understanding proper form in all basic exercise, knowing and being able to name the muscle groups each exercise develops, performing cardisovascular exercise for endurance and stamina, stretching for flexibility, and understanding nutrition and nutritional needs, as well as associated abilities like reading labels to see and know what beneficial, harmful, and empty ingredients are in any food. There is also homework, including daily exercise that parents monitor at home.

“The kids love it,” said Amy DiZenzo, an Orange resident and nurse at Milford Hospital, whose daughters Zoe, 10, and Mya, 8, attend the class. “They get right to their homework after school, because they want to go to Youth Fitness 365.”

Not only have both girls become fitter, better conditioned and stronger, adds dad Jason DiZenzo, but “they take the time to read labels and know what’s in a product, especially fat and sugar,” he said.

“Igor is just a great coach for the kids,” said Driss Marbou, a father from Derby whose children Alexander, 10, and Amani, 8, take the class. “They surprise me. My kids know more now about exercise, muscle groups, nutrition, and how to eat well than a lot of adults I talk to at the gym,” Marbou said. “It’s a great, great foundation for the kids.”

Celzner also works with children with autism. Celzner hopes to expand the number of children with autism in the class, and to help design a facility and programs for a friend aiming to open a gym in New Haven County catering just to children and specializing with those who have autism.

But for now, the biggest event on the horizon is the FitorFlop contest, and winning that to help Celzner advance his brand, Youth Fitness 365, and his mission for fitter, stronger kids.

Every month through Sept. 1, several semifinalists will be featured demonstrating their programs at the site. Viewers can watch and vote for their favorite, and may vote as often as once every 24 hours. Two winners will be chosen each month, one by audience vote, and by choice of a celebrity panel of judges.

By the fall of 2014, there will be just 14 finalists in FitorFlop Season III, said Wechsler. Another round of airings will begin then, and viewers will vote to choose the grand prize title winner.

FitorFlop can be seen and followed at,,,, or