IMG_6004Tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I am a coach, a dog mom, a baker, and believer in Jesus! I have a degree in Sports Perfomance, Exercise & Health from Purdue University. I live near Daytona Beach, FL where I am a personal trainer and cheerleading coach. I was a cheerleader in college and coaching is my passion whether it be cheerleaders, youth athletes, or the momma-next-door. I recently competed in my first NPC Fitness competition and won the overall to become Nationally Qualified, so I will be going to Nationals in May 2018!

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

My favorite thing about fitness is that it is truly beneficial for Every Single Person out there! Whether you are looking to stay healthy, lose some weight, get better at a sport, fighting a disease, or just trying to live a long pain free life, fitness is the answer. You don’t have to be great at it, and there are so many ways to practice it! I love that.

How long have you been into fitness?

I started sports at age 2. I did ballet first, then gymnastics from ages 5-18, I also joined the diving team my senior year of high school, and then was a D1 cheerleader in college. I’ve always been active and I was that crazy kid that would climb the walls if left unattended so Sports were my outlet. I didn’t start lifting weights until I was about 16 and I never did cardio outside of practices until I was 18.

How did you get into fitness?

The main reason I started exercising was to look a certain way. Then through high school and my first semester of college I realized that I wanted a career centered around fitness. Through my degree I learned how to program exercises to meet my goals and felt the benefits through sports and everything else I did. I knew that to be the best in my field I would need to practice what I preach and when you know all the benefits and can feel the results, let me tell you; it is easy to exercise now.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

After I graduated, I spent a few years training the general population at a big commercial gym. This is where I became aware of the bodybuilding world. I knew that the girls had a few categories and they all wore glittery thongs and posed on a stage, which was enough to detour me from joining the sport. Then I watched the Olympia for the time and found out about the IFBB Fitness category (they do a 2 minute routine to music that is similar to a gymnastics/cheer routine) and knew this was my next venture! Competing takes a ton of work and I really had to step up my training frequency and my nutrition to do well!

How has fitness impacted your life?

Fitness has given me a career, an emotional and physical release, a outlet for my competitive side, and brought me together with the man I love (having fitness in common with your significant other is so important!)

What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?

Many of my clients were hesitant to start at first but once you make it a habit and a priority it gets easier, I promise! If you’re not sure where to start, then start simple. Don’t believe everything you read online, you don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive DVD series. Just start walking before you sprint. Push ups, squats, and planks are very effective for beginners without using extra weight. If you want to learn to use gym equipment and free weights, then hiring a personal trainer is a good place to start- just make sure to check out their credentials and experience. And of course you can always ask me any questions you may have or check out my company Light + Glory Fitness for Free info, tips, and recipes!


Instagram: @katieleigh_lifts

NQ NPC Fitness Champion

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FitStyle: Katie15

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