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Michelle Steinke-Baumgard


When and why did you become a trainer?

In 2009 I hit a personal rock bottom when I reached an all time weight high of 206.6 pounds.  I was nearly 40% bodyfat and miserable with myself.  I started a fitness program and 8 weeks later my husband was killed in a small plane crash.  Fitness saved my life, empowered me to move forward and gave me strength on my toughest days. For over a year I trained hard and eventually ran my first marathon and did my first bodybuilding competition.  Eventually I left my VP corporate job to become a gym trainer and now a very successful virtual trainer with clients around the world.  I’ve been featured in Shape Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Women’s World Magazine and I’m a contributor for Prevention Magazine and the Huffington Post.

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

Honest, direct, real.  I’m not about helping people create the perfect body, but rather I inspire people to live their best life and use fitness as a tool.  Fitness can help you live more and that’s a goal worth having.

What made you choose the IFPA?

The practicality of the certification. IFPA seemed to educate me in all aspects of the fitness industry and give me useful knowledge to help my clients.

How do you keep your clients motivated?

I make them all write me a WHY letter and I make them think about LIFE not just a size. Fitness should be about more and I consistently draw the BIG PICTURE about living a fit life.  Motivation over size will fade but everyone wants to live an inspired LIFE.

If you have taken more than one course, what has been your favorite certification course?

Probably my course I’m studying now on HIT’s (my favorite way to train) and also my certification on well being since that’s what I’m all about.

What is your best success story?

I have so many but probably my favorite success story is my own sister Helen who struggled for YEARS over a serious sugar addition.  We transitioned her to whole foods and got her working out for the first time in years.  She dropped around 50 pounds and then was diagnosed with early breast cancer.  Doctor said if she had not lost the weight they would have not caught it so fast….the weight loss saved her life.  She is still going strong 2 years later and is cancer free. My other favorite is a woman named Kara who lost over 100 pounds in our program and has completely changed her life.

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

Personal experience.  I’ve been there and I know how important fitness is for the MIND and the BODY.  Fitness not only saved my health, but it saved my life after devastating loss.  Fitness is one of the most powerful tools to set any life on fire.

How do you envision growing your personal training business?

Continue to do what we do best.  We are transiting on our brand to My 1 Fit Life. We want our brand to be about living your best life – not creating a body. Our virtual business is exploding and we will continue to tweak and improve.

What is your best advice to someone just starting in the business?

Speak from your heart, be passionate and love what you do.  Fitness is a gift you are giving others and in many cases a lifesaver.  Remember your roll, be positive and go change lives.

IFPA Certifications: IFPA Personal Trainer, IFPA Sports Nutrition Specialist, IFPA Physical Fitness and Wellness Specialist (In Process: HIT Specialist Certification).

Location: Bozeman, Montana

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