Greenwich trainer looks to create ‘model’ success

Some might call it beauty and the beast but to everyone else it’s a successful partnership as Greenwich fitness trainer Mike Pernice has helped aspiring fitness model Linda Liduma get her foot in the door for the career she’s dreamed of.  –Ken Borsuk

Some might call it beauty and the beast but to everyone else it’s a successful partnership as Greenwich fitness trainer Mike Pernice has helped aspiring fitness model Linda Liduma get her foot in the door for the career she’s dreamed of. –Ken Borsuk

“Wow, you look amazing. Are you a model?”

From the most sincere compliment to the cheesiest pick-up line, Linda Liduma has heard it asked so many times that just the sound of it now causes her to roll her eyes. But the truth is that not only does Ms. Liduma look like a model, but she’s actually taking steps to become one with the help of one of Greenwich’s best known and most respected personal trainers. Thanks to the connections fostered by a life of work, Mike Pernice is working with Ms. Liduma to turn her dream into a reality.

“I’m obsessed with fitness,” Ms. Liduma recently told the Post. “I love to work out. I love to train. Why would I do all of that just for myself? If I can use my body for something greater, why wouldn’t I do it? Being in the gym is my passion. I could be at the gym 24 hours a day. When you see the results of your work and can transform your body it’s amazing. You want to see more and more and keep doing it.”

Ms. Liduma is a bartender in Greenwich but dreams of so much more. She came to America from Latvia with her family, not speaking a word of English. But that’s never stopped her, and she attacked that challenge with a drive and determination that has left her on the verge of being able to make a name for herself in the fitness modeling industry as well as in physique competitions where she can show off all the hard work she’s already put in sculpting her body to just the way she wants it to be.

“I see other women who are in this industry and it motivates me,” Ms. Liduma said. “I want to be on stage with them. I want to be on their level. I see these beautiful women and I know I can do it too. I want to see how far I can go. I don’t want to stop right now. I want to get involved with this and make an impact.”


To Ms. Liduma, fitness modeling and the chance to show off her physique is a chance to put herself forward as a strong and powerful woman. And it’s an industry that people are able to break into not just through beauty and physique but also through connections. That’s where Mr. Pernice came in. Earlier this month they sat down with the prestigious MMG agency in New York City and days later that resulted in an offer for Ms. Liduma to join.

“With the modeling agencies, everyone has a gorgeous niece, son or granddaughter and you need to knock down doors with professional or serious photos,” Mr. Pernice said. “The selfies or the best friend taking a picture of you in the backyard isn’t usually going to cut it. I’ve been fortunate over the years to have some success recommending to certain agencies that they look at people I’m working with or have the knack to know what they’re looking for. I submitted some shots and put forth some very passionate dialogue with the people I needed to convince to see her.”

Having the representation that this agency offers, Mr. Pernice said, will offer Ms. Liduma the chance to be a part of not only fitness modeling, but other kinds of modeling and opportunities as well. It’s a tough industry, though, and she said she is going in with her eyes wide open.

“I’m not expecting anything from this,” Ms. Liduma said. “I know how difficult this is going to be. But I wanted to try it. Instead of just standing around and thinking about it, I knew I had to try it and see if this will work. I’m very excited by this opportunity.”

“There’s nothing to lose by doing this,” Mr. Pernice said, noting the highs and lows of the industry can be humbling and require the kind of dedication you also need to thrive in the gym. “You sign the dotted line and they call you if they feel you have a certain look for a certain campaign or commercial. You can always say no and if you say no a bunch of times they stop calling and you drift into the sunset to do something else. By signing you open up a lot of doors and then you can decide for yourself if you want to go through them. Linda is sincere and passionate about doing this and I had a feeling they were going to see that and sign her. They don’t just ask anyone to come in and meet with them.”

Mr. Pernice, a town resident as well as a longtime trainer here, knew Ms. Liduma from her work. Her beauty, naturally, caught his eye but it was her dedication to health and fitness that really connected the two into a friendship. Mr. Pernice had suggested a few times that she look into getting into modeling and from someone with as much experience as he has, those words carried a lot more weight than they did from just some guy talking to her from across the bar.

“I told her if she ever needed any help knocking down some doors or pursuing this that she shouldn’t be shy,” Mr. Pernice said. “I think her confidence is at an all-time high these days and she decided to take the plunge this time. She wants to put her hard work toward something special.”

A personal trainer and a bit of a fitness guru as well, Mr. Pernice has worked with everyone from top corporate executives to celebrities to the average person on the street looking to get into shape. And in an industry that relies on visible results and word of mouth, Ms. Liduma knew she could trust that he had her best interests in mind.

“I read about Mike and he has a great reputation in town,” Ms. Liduma said. “He knows what he’s doing and he’s helped other models. He knows what he’s doing.”

Mr. Pernice added, “I’ve seen Linda put in the work and I know she can do this. Hopefully, with some luck and breaks that have to go into any job that we do, one thing can lead to another.”

More information about Mr. Pernice may be found online at

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