When I first started training, I was hired at a big-box gym. One of the interview questions was "what kind of clients do you most look forward to training?"
Without hesitation, I said "I look forward to training beginners. People who don't feel very comfortable in a gym environment or who are intimidated by the equipment. I want to make the gym and fitness accessible to everyone and eliminate the idea that you have to already be fit in order to belong."
The interviewing manager was shocked. "That's interesting," he said. "Most people say they want to train experienced people who are dedicated and want to work hard."
As time went on and I gained more experience, I realized that beginners weren't my only favorite type of client. In addition to newbies, I also loved training people who swore they didn't have time to make fitness a priority in their life, people who needed to make changes for their health, and people who thought that certain goals or exercises were not possible for them.
I started Fit By Gab after a year of working at a gym, when I realized that I could better serve my ideal client by traveling to them instead of having them meet me at the gym. I stopped training men so that I could focus on helping women feel good about themselves and built my business on the values that are most important to me.
THE BUSY WOMAN
It seems like every woman I meet, from the 18 year old college student to the 70 year old grandmother, is inundated with responsibilities. Some are mothers with full-time jobs and kids who need to be driven to and from extracurricular activities; some are young professionals working 60+ hours a week to climb the corporate ladder; some are retired with grandchildren and active social lives; some work multiple part-time jobs to put themselves through school; and some have the responsibility of taking care of the whole house and putting dinner on the table each night.
I wanted to make sure that these busy ladies made time for themselves each day, so I developed my training program into butt-kicking 30-minute workouts. Instead of taking a full hour with warm-up, cool-down and multiple breaks, I condensed the workouts into short but difficult cardio & strength HIIT sessions. I wanted each and every woman to be able to get a killer, body-shaping workout in half the time.
By eliminating 30 unnecessary minutes and travel time, my workouts became accessible to even the busiest of women. I even meet some women at their office, classroom or the park where their kids had soccer practice.
THE HEALTH-CONSCIOUS WOMAN
In many cases, I met women who needed to make life changes for their health, as prescribed by their doctors. Sometimes it was diabetes, sometimes it was hypertension, sometimes it was hormonal issues and sometimes it was simply weight.
While exercise is a great way to aid in the elimination of all of those issues, it is never the solution alone. In most cases, diet is a large culprit of and solution to these health problems, so I knew I needed to get nutrition involved in my client's lives.
Unfortunately, most of these women, like the busy woman mentioned above, have so much of their time dedicated to other people and responsibilities, so the idea of a large diet overhaul was overwhelming. In addition, most of these women had no idea what part of their diet needed to change. Many of them took bits and pieces of Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and other diets that they had tried once upon a time and stuck to a plan that they thought was healthy.
In response to this, I introduced Robyn, the Fit By Gab Registered Dietitian. Like myself, Robyn travels to our clients and counsels them in-home. By meeting with these women and helping them to take steps toward a healthier diet, we have given them a path to improve their overall health in a way that exercise alone could not forge.
We also wrote a book with a four-week plan to take women from the standard American diet to clean & healthy eating in order to improve their health and well-being.
Healthy eating should not be reserved for those who have free time, an unlimited budget or the ability to home-cook each and every meal, and by introducing in-home nutrition counseling, cooking classes, grocery shopping assistance and custom meal plans, Fit By Gab is able to improve the overall health of even our busiest clients.
THE "I CAN'T" WOMAN
I have had countless experiences with women who told me they could not and would not ever be able to do push ups, not because they weren't strong enough, but because they were women, and "regular women" just can't perform this exercise. This really struck a chord with me.
These strong, capable women, whose strength and fitness levels were improving each and every week, were totally resigned to the idea that, because of their gender, they could not do push-ups.
In response to this, I introduced a simple way to increase the chest strength necessary to do push-ups. Instead of pausing at the bottom of the push up phase, I had clients lay all the way down and then push all the way back up, creating the strength to push their body weight before introducing the difficult pause. I would not accept "I can't" and, before long, I had women doing real, full push-ups.
Push-ups were not the only thing that women told me they "couldn't" do. Running, heavy weight lifting, burpees, squats, lunges, shoulder presses, sit ups... the list of impossible things was endless.
By developing step-by-step programs specific to each client's "can't," I make it a point to prove to each woman that she can do anything she sets her mind to. By doing the thing she once thought was impossible, my clients build self-esteem that goes much deeper than the way they look or what size clothing they wear.
I love my job and the company I built, mostly because it is representative of my core values.
I believe that women need to make time for themselves and their health & well-being.
I believe that women should be strong, confident and able to protect themselves.
I believe that women should have the ability to do anything they set their mind to.
I believe that nothing is impossible for a woman determined to shine.
I believe that health and fitness should be accessible for all women, regardless of income, schedule or limitation.
I believe that women should have a support system behind them, cheering them on and helping them to look, feel and perform their best.