I've been a Certified Personal Trainer since 1996. I am also a NASM Certified Nutrition Coach specializing in Weight Loss & Lifestyle Coaching for women 40+, as well as a NASM Virtual Coaching Specialist.
I create personalized nutrition, fitness and wellness plans and work with my clients primarily online and through video calls, but also in-home, if you are local to the Nashville, TN area.
A competitive bodybuilder in my teens, I started my fitness career working in the nursery at my local gym. A year later I was working on the floor as trainer, showing new members how to use the equipment in the gym and building workout plans.
The summer after my senior year in high school, I became a an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer. And from that day forward I enjoyed a blissful life of washboard abs…KIDDING!
No really, my fitness journey has been that of a typical woman. Career, pregnancy, life changes etc. all presented unique challenges and ups and downs (including weight fluctuations!) Fortunately, for myself and my clients, I turned all that into an opportunity to grow as a person and a better coach.
My love of fitness started as a young girl watching my mom workout at home and going with her to the gym. I still remember the smell of the indoor pool and the sounds of the weight clanging as she guided me to the childcare room where I would play while she took aerobics. I could not wait until I was old enough to join her! In high school, I loved working out to the infamous “Buns of Steel” videos and creating workout plans in my parent’s basement, usually working out to the Beastie Boys!
I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about fitness and nutrition. I studied books, magazines, and even nutrition encyclopedias (before there where apps for that!) At 16 I called my local gym to find out what it took to become a personal trainer and mapped out to plan to do so as soon as possible. I took a job there and began working out every day to help me get stronger and faster for soccer.
Enthralled with the process of increaing muscle mass and reducing bodyfat to create a sculpted physique, I decided to take it step further and start training for my first bodybuilding competition. I traded babysitting with a woman who was a former pro bodybuilder so she could be my coach and provide me with a plan and posing routine. I would go to the gym in the morning for before school for cardio, after school for weights then work in the nursery at night. (Not sure when I did homework exactly, but I still managed to graduation in the National Honor Society!) I competed against women at 17 years old and again at 18, before there was a “teen” division. I knew I was at a disadvantage being so young, but I approached it as an experience rather than a competition.
After high school and after I was fully certified, license and insured, I spent several years as in-home personal trainer in Brentwood, TN, married my best friend Sam and had our first daughter a few years later.
When our daughter was two, we moved to Florida where I landed my dream job as regular guest and fitness expert and on-air guest for ICON Fitness (think, in-home treadmills, equipment etc) on the Home Shopping Network/America’s Store.
I also continued to train clients in-home and opened my first fitness studio in 2005.
I spent about two years on-air sharing my excitement for in-home fitness and motivating at-home shoppers to get fit at home until shortly before our second daughter was born in 2007.
The year 2008 was a “pivotal” year for a lot of business owners (and many others!) Despite my best intentions to keep my studio open, I knew it was time to close up shop. My husband was also self-employed in the mortgage industry at the time, which was taking a huge hit, so we figured it was as good as time as any to head back home to Tennessee. Luckily, I had previous clients literally waiting for me the day after I arrived to train them again and a new dream of creating a successful women’s group fitness program.
In 2009 I started my fitness boot camp company, Niki G’s Fitness, and for almost 10 years helped thousands of women get fit at my boot camp locations and studios in the Nashville area. I even competed again (this time with my husband!) in 2012.
Unfortunately, the business grew too big, too fast, I trusted the wrong people and I could not keep up with what it took to be a success business owner managing a team of trainers and multiple locations. What started as a calling to create a program and a community to help women get fit, and to provide careers for other women in the fitness industry, became a bigger source of stress than it should have been. Long story short, I was burnt out and I needed to change. I slowly closed my locations one by one and I "retired" from the fitness industry... or so I thought.
Over the next few years, I dove headfirst into personal development and vowed to never let my life become so stressful and unbalanced. Like the enthusiasm I found for fitness as a teen, I studied everything I could on leadership development, productivity, creating habits, mindset and, of course, wellness in general, but beyond just fitness and nutrition. I wanted to come out stronger than ever, not just physically, but mentally.
I took up tennis. I started meditating. I started a job in marketing. I completely changed my lifestyle, mindset and how I related to others. I did a lot of "soul searching" for what my next step was. Inevitably it lead right back to where it all started. I could not ignore the calling to coach, teach and motivated others to get fit… but this time I had a whole new perspective and strategy to share.
I renewed my certification and earned several more. I created a website and started sharing health and fitness information through my blog and growing email list. I created programs and started coaching others again.
I have never felt more in alignment with my purpose than I do today. I still consider myself a work a progress though. I will never stop learning and growing. That is why I teach PROGRESS, not perfection.
The changes I made to my life and the technique I use to build a calm, peaceful and even healthier life are the foundation for my coaching program today. Combined with personalized meal plans, customized workouts, coaching calls and my strong belief in all my clients, my programs are helping women transform their bodies and their lives.
I would be honored to speak with YOU about your goals, current situation and help you create an action plan, even whether you decide to work with me or not. Click here to apply for coaching and schedule a free consult.
Learn how to plan, cook, prep and store your food so that you always have a healthy meal ready-to-go.