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style + work
Please share a little background industry info about you.
I am a Master Trainer at ProCore Fitness. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I have their Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification, Performance Enhancement Specialist Certification, and their Certified Personal Trainer Certification. I am also certified through TRX, NESTA, as well as the Biomechanics Certification from Cooper Clinic. And I'm working on my FMS Certification, Functional Movement Systems.
How many certifications is that that you just named out?
I have three certifications through NASM; NESTA is four. TRX is five. I have my CPR and AED, which probably every trainer should hopefully have.
Right. That sounds like a lot. How long have you worked in your industry?
I have been training for nine and a half years.
What’s your typical work wardrobe, and go-to look.
As far as style in the gym, I like practical, functional, but also fun. We wear uniforms so I try and get as creative as I can within my parameters. Here at ProCore Fitness, our color scheme is black, gray and red. As long as I stay in that family, I can pretty much wear whatever I want.
I went in their store, loved the vibe, and I love their website and mission statement. It is so motivating and empowering, and their products have a lot of fun little quirks. Not to mention that most of their pants make any woman's butt look amazing. I would encourage all of my female clients to get themselves at least one pair.
Tell me about your shoes.
When do you find the time to shop for clothes?
Typically, I find time to shop on Friday afternoons or the weekends. Sometimes in the evenings, I’ll shop online. That's what I find I've been doing a lot of lately.
What are your favorite sites to shop from?
I've been buying a lot at Victoria's Secret, Express, and Nordstrom. I found some cute little boutiques online as well where I've scored some super cute dresses.
What is on your wish list to purchase for this upcoming season?
I'm always popping into Lululemon and looking at what's new. For fashion outside the gym, there are these hot Valentino heels with the studs that I want. That would definitely be a splurge for me. Those are just like woman power, kick-butt heels.
What do you carry for a work tote?
I've got a Lululemon bag that I carry. It's a purple one, it has lots of pockets on the inside. What I love about the bag is they had a sense of humor when they made it. They label where everything goes. They even have a pouch for your chocolate. I always have workout clothes in it and have a hat to throw on. I keep all kinds of good stuff in it! I love my bag and use it all the time.
Do I see like another day purse inside?
Lipstick or lip gloss?
What's the shade and brand?
What's your manicure go-to shade and brand?
What's the most important part of your beauty routine that you feel helps complete your look?
I usually have lip gloss on; and now that I've discovered eyelash extensions, I am addicted. Love them. I don't even have to put mascara on anymore.
What is your typical day look like?
If all my spots are full, I start my day at 7:00am, and I will train until 1:00pm. Then I have a break from 1:00 - 4:00pm, so that's when I am doing my own workout. I like to start my workout as soon as I'm done with that last client, because if any time goes by, then I might lose my motivation. My workout usually lasts about an hour, hour and a half. Then I will usually run home, grab a bite to eat. Maybe take a quick power nap for 20-30 minutes. Freshen up, get back to the gym by 4:00pm. Then I will train until 7:00 - 8:00pm.
What's a work tool/app or hardware or software or equivalent that's a must-have for you at work?
How would you describe your office space?
I share this office with two other trainers so we try to keep it organized, which is great because I can't stand clutter. We each have something in here that makes it personal to all of us. When I was decorating, I was trying to keep the health and fitness theme in mind, with the phrenology head and the succulent plant. It has to be functional with our measuring tools and client information. And I did a painting for one of the walls that I'm really proud of!
Okay, so that tool does the thing that ...?
Measures body fat.
Like, can you pinch an inch?
Yeah. That's exactly what that does.
What is your favorite office supply and why?
I’ve noticed that you keep this notebook with you - so what do you typically use this for?
If a client asks me a question about something and I don't have the answer, I'll write it down. Otherwise, I'll forget. Between clients, I like to write things down because usually, at the end of my day, I am mentally spent. This is also my brainstorm notebook for meetings with my co-workers, or my ideas for the office.
What do you use to help you keep up with your client's routine and progress?
For all of my clients, I use this consultation record which helps eliminate a lot of the guesswork for me. The first week of every month is measurement week and we also do our plan for the entire month. We write what exercises the client is doing, on every day of the month on the calendar. We include training sessions, rest days, and any vacations the client has. I want to make sure my clients know exactly and specifically what to do, even on the days they are not with me. I usually give a weekly goal, a daily goal, a monthly goal, and include their starting weight. The calendar is really the game plan for the month.
The second week of the month I change up the client's cardio plan, and the third week of the month, I change up the phase of training - lighter weights, higher repetitions, slow tempo, or super sets with bumped up weight. The fourth week of the month is typically where I'll hand out some kind of knowledge builder. I'll put include notes if they weren't feeling well, or if they had any kind of injury.
Each time they come in, we'll go back to the calendar and I will check in how they are doing with the plan. At the beginning of the next month, that calendar should reflect whether measurements are good or not.
How do you usually communicate with your clients? Do they all text?
If you see your clients posting pictures of giant donut things happening, do you say something?
Oh, I will definitely call them out. Facebook's another piece of the puzzle for me. If I'm seeing these behaviors posted online, I work that into the equation, because the body does not lie when it comes to diet.
What is your daily commute to work like?
Do you have a favorite song/music that you listen to on your way, or during work?
My commute is short, so I don't really listen to music. I am actually collecting my thoughts, and praying that the Lord work through me to help my clients in the best way that I can. And I thank Him for the gifts that he has given me.
Awesome. What about during?
I like something upbeat, and it also depends on the client. In iTunes, I turn on Pharrell's Happy station, and the We Come Running station, by Youngblood Hawke. When I work out, I love listening to Skrillex, which has a good beat. I also like BPM on XM Radio. Great beat, really positive, and very driving.
When you travel for work, what are your travel essentials?
In my Lululemon carry on, I have gum, headphones, a book, and some magazines. I always have healthy snacks (usually the 100-calorie packs of almonds), and protein bars. I take my water bottle with me, and I'll just fill it up once I've gone through security - because you get so dehydrated when you fly.
What is your secret to achieving your daily objectives?
I have my clipboard with my calendar, and it's how I keep track of my clients. I want to go digital, but this method works for me. I keep my personal appointments in the calendar on my iPhone. If I didn't, I would be lost.
Do you keep a to do list, and if so how do you organize or maintain it?
I just use the reminders on my phone. What's cool is if you're driving - I use Siri all the time - you know, you can say, "Hey, remind me to pick up my dry cleaning," and it knows where you are, so if you're passing by that place, it will remind you.
How do you handle job-related stress?
I pray a LOT. I work out. I do cardio; go for a run outside - that helps me clear my mind. I'll journal whatever is going on. Also, I've got a close group of girlfriends, so I talk to them, and they pray for me.
What are some of your work pet peeves?
I love what I do and when I was around trainers that didn't take it as seriously as I did, it would frustrate me. Now that I'm in this small personal training studio with two amazing trainers, and we just don't have that issue. I have no pet peeves with my co-workers, because they are awesome. So, it just comes down to my clients and it drives me nuts when they don't do their homework, or if they come in with a negative, pessimistic attitude. Laziness frustrates me.
Who has influenced your career the most?
Israel Allen was one of my former co-workers and boss. He is so passionate about fitness. He just taught me so much. I'm the trainer that I am today probably because of him. He is brilliant and with such high standards for excellence.
What is your method for networking and gaining new clients?
First, I take really good care of the people I have. I'm big on customer service. If I can take care of my people, and help them get results - they're going to tell everyone they know.
Second, I'm usually in my workout clothes when I'm running errands. When people see fitness attached to that, they ask, "Are you a trainer?" which opens the door to conversations. Fitness comes up, because everyone wants to become healthy.
What advice have you received in your professional life that has really stuck with you?
From Israel, "Knowledge is power - always learning." And I had another manager tell me, "Focus on what you can control." I was brought over to 24 as a veteran, and I had these high expectations of numbers to hit. I was just overwhelmed and a stress ball. I had clients canceling on me and I just kind of broke down. So I explained the situation to my boss. He said, "Kelli, focus on what you can control. You can't control that your client's car broke down, or that they're sick. But what you can do is go out on the floor and bring new people in. Just focus on what you can control. You can get on the phone and call people." That has stuck with me.
What inspires you about your work?
Watching my clients achieve milestones that they didn't think were possible. I get goosebumps just thinking about this. I always get emotional. They come to me and say, "I'm down another pant size," or, "I'm down another notch on my belt buckle." Or, "I ran my mile faster than I've ever run it." Or when they lose a certain amount of weight. Accomplish their first 5K. I get pumped. That's why I do what I do.
What do you do during your downtime that refreshes yourself?
I will read. I also love music. On the weekends, going to church, working out, and going to concerts. I also love painting. I can lose all sense of time when I paint. It's a great way to take your mind off anything that might be going on during the week. Also, definitely spending time in the Word, and just talking to Jesus, for sure. That is number one. Without him, I'm nothing. Spending time with him, I always feel two million times better.
How do you stay on top of industry news for your career? Which sites do you read?
How important has traveling been for you personally?
I have learned so much about myself from traveling. It can really boost confidence. It can also make you realize how blessed you really are, and how much you really do have.
How did your parents influence your career?
My dad is an engineer, so he has really pushed me to just be the best I can be in everything. Striving for excellence. Neither one of my parents pushed me into fitness. But they've been very supportive of this. My Mom is very creative and thoughtful. When it comes to really connecting with my clients, she's helped in that manner. You know, maybe little special gifts here and there.
Do you have any hobbies?
I have started playing golf. It's fun. I love going to concerts - love live music. I love traveling as often as possible. Painting, yes. I love festivals, sporting events. I love adventure. I love doing anything active, and anything that's kind of outside the box. Paddle boarding. Things I don't always do on a regular basis, but if I get the chance to do something fun and active, I love it.
Kelli in her shared office at ProCore Fitness.