Kourtney Thomas, our November 2019 PFP Trainer of the Month winner, has an outlook on life gives her a unique ability to reach to her clients and empower them to achieve real, meaningful change in their lives. Rather than playing small and getting “smaller,” Kourtney teaches women to go “big.” Through her philosophy and best-selling program, Big Arms, Big Life®, she focuses on shifting mindsets and movement practices that take up space – physically, mentally, and emotionally. She also applies this same philosophy in her ongoing dedication to helping women in fitness take important strides toward greater success in the industry.
Here is a glimpse into how Kourtney is raising the bar…
- BA in Hospitality Business
- ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
- NSCA CSCS*D
- RRCA Certified Running Coach
- CHP Concurrent Hybrid Performance Coach
- Certified Spinning Instructor
- Certified TRX Trainer
- Certified ViPR Trainer
Business Name: Kourtney Thomas Fitness
Year started in business: 2013
Recognition and Awards:
SHAPE Magazine 50 Hottest Female Trainers in America 2014
What inspired you to start your business?
It’s pretty simple – getting into fitness myself changed my life, and I wanted that for others. I had no idea how powerful it could be to move, to get to know your body through movement, to feel your strength in such real ways, until I experienced it in my twenties. I knew other people would be able to relate to my experience, and I knew I could make a difference in sharing it and supporting them on their own journey.
I’m really fortunate that I haven’t had to learn too many of those in my career! I would say the most challenging thing I’ve had to work my way through is determining the appropriate balance for me across all my business channels. It’s easy to fall into the trap of more and more clients – which leads to driving all around town and burnout. It’s easy to fall into the trap of all online and passive income and volume – which leads to a lack of the personalization I’m so passionate about. It takes some trial-and-error over time to figure out what works for you and the business you want – not what the industry says is trending.
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other trainers, what would they likely say?
My clients would likely say that they choose me for my highly personalized approach. I listen to their experiences, their wants, and build an all-encompassing fitness and mindset program that incorporates everything they need to feel truly empowered. No cookie-cutters or “shoulds” here!
What is one way you are dedicated to raising the bar in the industry?
The fitness industry has a diversity and inclusion problem, and I’m actively working to address that issue in whatever small ways I can, locally and online, as an industry professional and in my own further education. There are so many places and spaces that are still exclusive and unsafe for some folks, and in a profession that’s made up of professionals who want to help people, we need to open that door and make those places and spaces more inclusive and safe. I’m a member of the NSCA Women’s Committee, working to encourage and promote advancement and promotion of women in the sports and conditioning field. I’ve also been closely aligned with Girls Gone Strong since I started my business, advocating for body-positive, evidence-based, realistic, compassionate, and inclusive information accessible to all women. We have a lot of people to help, and we need to do a better job of making sure that means everyone.
On a different level of inclusivity, our industry also tends to pigeonhole trainers into a few career paths, and I’m a big advocate of broadening that conversation and supporting both incoming and more experienced trainers so they can extend the life of their careers, while elevating the perception of the profession. I mentor and consult with many fitness business owners to help them find the right path for their business and their clients, long-term.
Thank you, Kourtney for raising the bar!