MINDI SWIHART (February 2020)

What made you choose a career in personal fitness training?

I have always had a passion for exercise and eating healthy. I wanted to be able to share that passion and knowledge with others.

How long have you been a Personal Trainer?

I have been a personal Fitness Trainer since 2002.

What made you choose the IFPA?

I chose IFPA over 10 years ago because I liked the variety of courses offered to personal fitness trainers and group fitness instructors.

What are some adjectives your clients would use to describe you?

When I asked my clients what adjectives they would use to describe me, they said: energetic, encouraging, motivating, tough, informative, enthusiastic, dedicated, and inspiring.

What qualities set you apart from other personal trainers? Education? Experience?

I feel my business, Reflections of Health, is very unique compared to other fitness businesses. I started Reflections of Health in 2003 with the vision of reaching a very large population of individuals who do not feel comfortable working out in a “gym” setting. I also wanted to target individuals who were seeking convenience when choosing a personal trainer or a group fitness class. I offer personal training in the privacy of my client’s home or in my home gym. I also teach a variety of group fitness classes at several locations across Elkhart County (the county where I live) so individuals can choose a location that works best for them. I do not train or teach classes in a fitness facility or gym, so there is no membership fee or obligation to join other classes.

What aspect of personal fitness training do you like most?

Building a personal relationship with my clients and helping them achieve their goals. I truly have the best clients and have formed so many invaluable relationships over the years.

What is your best success story?

My best success story is a client named Amber who joined one of my bootcamp classes in 2017. With a nudge from her doctor, Amber joined in hopes of losing weight and getting healthy. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea of working out and she was definitely nervous on her first day in class. Amber had taken some Zumba classes in the past, but never really followed a regular exercise program. Over 3 years later, Amber is still faithfully attending my Bootcamps and HIIT classes. To date, she has lost 62lbs and gone from a size 18 to a size 12. She is so strong, confident, and looks amazing and healthy! She has also found a love for running and has participated in several races. This is truly Amber’s success story, but I believe that my expertise, encouragement, and dedication were key components in helping Amber achieve her goals.

How has the PFT business changed since you started?

When I started Personal Training there were only a handful of other trainers in the area. Now the fitness industry, as a whole, has really expanded. It is great to see so many more people who want to live a healthy lifestyle and be active!

How do you envision growing your personal training business?

I am very happy with the level of workload I have currently; however, I have considered offering online personal training so that I can reach a wider population.

What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome in your personal training career?

I was born and raised in the small town of Goshen, IN. I always knew I wanted to live here after college, but I also knew that the opportunities for success would be less than if I did personal training in a bigger city. That is why I created a unique business to provide fitness opportunities to a target population that was not being served. I have never regretting this decision, 16+ years later

What is your best advice to someone just starting their career as a personal trainer?

The best advice I could give someone starting their career as a personal trainer is really listen to your clients. Understand their needs and never stop educating yourself on ways to improve your client’s physique and overall health.

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