lucyPRO Tiffany Gustafson, owner of Motivated Fitness in San Bruno, CA, was preparing to become a physical therapist when fate intervened.Read more
When lucyPRO Kelly Young led a boot camp class as a fundraiser to support research for the rare neurological disease that took her father in 2008, the turnout and enthusiasm were so great, she started Kelly’s Boot Camp the following spring. “Hot or cold, rain or shine,” she and her bootcampers can be found working out in the parking lot of a shopping center in Chantilly, Virginia where she lives.
I love that you do classes in a parking lot (it’s so resourceful!) and that you say, “Hot or cold, rain or shine, you’ll find us pushing our bodies in the fresh air.” Tell me about that philosophy and how it works with your students.
My philosophy is that if you want something bad enough, you make it happen. A dedicated Bootcamper is unstoppable. If it is cold or rainy, they find the right gear, make a decision to set their alarm or head straight to the lot after work. They concentrate on how to make that happen vs. finding reasons not to.
Bodies respond really well to change, and one of the elements of change in my program is temperature and weather conditions. Working out in 20 degrees puts a different stress on the body than 90 degrees and humid.
Your motto is “Get what you came for.” What does that mean for you and your clients?
Two questions that I ask my participants is, “Why are you here? What do you want to get out of this session?” When people know what is driving them and say it aloud, they have a purpose, and they are going to be successful. You cannot get what you came for and achieve your goals, if you do not know what they are. I motivate my students to work hard, dig deep, and GET WHAT THEY CAME FOR.
Most people start off with the simple goal of getting through the class and coming back. Once they are consistent with that and their fitness level improves, they may set a goal of running a mile in under 10 minutes or getting their body fat into the healthy and fit range for their age. Usually they get results in areas they might not have considered and those are added bonuses!
I notice your classes are in the morning and evening – do you work elsewhere or do something else during the day?
I offer classes in time slots to accommodate the needs of my participants. People tend to be most successful when they establish a routine and attend when they are least likely to have obstacles. I encourage my students to schedule their workouts each week and treat them like important appointments that cannot be altered, unless of an emergency.
In addition to teaching 12 classes a week, I have scheduled personal training sessions, and offer one-on-one assessments and goal setting sessions. I also work on class development, corresponding with my students via email, sending motivating communications that include fitness and nutritional advice and seeking out incentives to keep my participants on track and motivated.
How do you balance everything?
This is forever a work-in-progress. I have 4 busy children (ages 8 to 14) and a husband with a demanding career. Having my own business does allow me some flexibility and I am not afraid to work hard to give as much as I can of myself. I feel extremely fortunate that my “job” happens to be my passion and that my participants become more like friends and family to me. Working, in many ways, fulfills my social and personal needs.
My husband is also a hardworking participant in Boot Camp and has been an incredible supporter and cheerleader for KBC since day one. He has made some remarkable sacrifices to allow me to run my business and coach my classes. In turn, his health and fitness level have dramatically improved.
What motivates you?
Seeing people get better. I love the idea that if you work hard and want something bad enough, you can make it happen. No matter what your fitness level, if you are consistent and put effort in, you will benefit in a multitude of ways. When I watch a client gain strength, confidence, and get faster and stronger, I then see the benefits enhance other aspects of their lives.
What are your daily musts?
Energy is very important to me. I am at my best when I am well rested. Because I have to wake up at 5am on most days, I have a fairly strict bedtime. I do some form of physical activity daily, and getting outside — regardless of the season — is a must. Sunday is my rest day but I often end up going for a long walk or an easy jog, just to take the edge off. I put extra effort into prepping and making fresh, healthy foods because I feel best when I fuel my body with nutritious choices.
What is your biggest challenge?
Weight management has always been a challenge for me. People always say, you workout so much, you can eat anything you want. That is simply not true. During the week, I am strict with my nutrition and on the weekend I like to loosen up a bit and enjoy some social eating and drinking. My personal philosophy is that you should get to a size that you have to work to but not kill your self to be at. I am now finding that maintaining the same weight is taking more and more effort. My goal is to look and move like an athlete as I age and that is something worth working for.
Your inspiration- person, celebrity teacher, DVD, book, anything else?
I have been active in the fitness industry for over 20 years. I am inspired by anybody that has the ability to motivate others to work hard to be their best, without trying to sell a get fit quick approach. The person that has motivated me to work at my highest level is my father. He was true to himself and earned the respect of others by being himself. He also did the right thing when it came to being a business man and taking care of his family and community. My business was born from my love of my father and desire to please him, even though he has not been present on earth, his wisdom and inner strength continue to guide me.
Snack? Before or after workout or both?
I can get much more out of a training session if I fuel beforehand. My current morning “go to” pre-workout meal is a slice of Ezekiel toast ( I toast it directly from the freezer) with almond butter on top and at least 5 sips of coffee. After workout I usually eat egg whites, vegetable and some feta or Canadian bacon for flavor. After an evening workout, I like to make a whey protein shake with spinach and PB2 powder. It sounds gross but I make it in the blender with plenty of ice and it is actually delicious!
Fave food indulgences? Or dream meal? If health were not an issue?
One of my childhood favorites is eggplant parmesan.
Secret indulgences? What’s your favorite way to unwind?
I am pretty intense and slowing down has never been easy for me. A few years ago I indulged in a therapeutic massage because I had a Bakers Cyst behind my knee that was impacting my movement. My therapist was able to release some of the pressure around the cyst and allow me to once again move freely. I have scheduled monthly visits ever since. Deep tissue, therapeutic massage has been a game changer for me. My entire body feels refreshed and rejuvenated after every session.
Beauty tips for working out?
This is not my department. I am a moisturizer, hat and ponytail kind of girl. If you are well hydrated, your hair, skin and body will look its best. Drinking water throughout the day is KEY to looking and feeling your best.
Best health and well-being tip?
Create a routine that you can stick to and be consistent with your efforts. Little efforts over time yield big results. People fail because they try to do too much all at once and resort back to doing nothing. It’s also extremely important to find physical activity that you enjoy. Many of my students may not necessarily like all of the exercises, but they do enjoy the variety of workouts and/or seeing friends that they’ve made, and that keeps them coming back.