10 Questions For Fitness Guru, Coach Kimmy (Spoiler alert! She eats Brie daily.)

Last Wednesday I was given the opportunity to interview the twin Cuce Shoes Sisters about the secret to their success in partnering with the NFL. On Friday night, a friend asked me for some fitness advice to shake up her same old same old treadmill routine. Maybe I was still buzzing from interviewing girls who love football and shoes as much as I do, or maybe I burst with pride whenever I think of my sister, or, fine, maybe it was the wine, but I got the idea to ask my sister, a personal trainer and nutrition counselor, for help answering my friend’s question. Sure, I had run cross country and track throughout high school and could offer her workout directon on fartleks and tempo runs, but Coach Kimmy’s story is far more interesting and her social brand far more engaging than a link to some speed day training regimes.

This is the story of how my older sister Kimmy left her job at the country’s most gracious and dynamic fitness, sports and dining facility in the city of Chicago and started doing what she loved. This is the story of how she started her business, Coach Kimmy, offering personal training and themed kid’s boot camps.

exercise 0127 pixy

How did Coach Kimmy come to life?

I had been working full time at East Bank Club for 8 years as a Director and I felt like I wasn’t living up to my full potential. I knew I had more to offer so I decided to step away from my salaried position to work with people on a one on one basis. That is where I feel most passionate –motivating individuals and small groups instead of working with huge groups. Working with clients on their goals gives me the best feeling.

What was biggest challenge in starting your own business?

The biggest challenge was acquiring clients – whether it was training adults or getting kids to sign up for themed boot camps. My family and I moved out of Chicago to the suburbs not knowing anyone. Getting the word of mouth going about who I am and what I do was the major hurdle. Being extroverted definitely helped because I am not scared to go up to people and introduce myself.


What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

Being able to spend time with my family and spend time doing what I love without having to sacrifice too much of either one. I am not stuck at a desk 40 hours a week – instead I get to make my own schedule and decide to take on as much as I want. If my kids want to go on a field trip, I can rearrange my schedule that day to go without having to take a full day off of work.


Where do you get your fitness/lifestyle inspiration?

Not really from anybody. I do my own thing and know what works for me.

4. bonus. Really?! Well have you always been this way?

Yes, I have always been driven and athletic so I think that it probably goes back to playing tennis in my childhood. From a young age I was such a competitive athlete in swimming and tennis and I just knew to excel that it takes dedication, hours, and practice, and that has carried through as an adult.

What’s your favorite workout?

Heavy weights combined with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) moves like burpees, mountain climbers, sprints, etc. – I like mixing everything together to make it as challenging as possible.


Winter is coming…what are the best treadmill workouts for runners?

The best are those that are under 25 minutes including a warm-up and cool down – in the middle of the warm-up and cool down are those hard working 18 minutes. 18 minutes is really all you need when you are pushing it to your full max. That is my thing. If you don’t feel like you got a good work out in <25 minutes, then you’re not doing it right. It can be done. You should be cashed.


Author note: Here is one of my favorites from Coach Kimmy’s facebook page. Her time 17:34 1.72mi was tough to beat!

Warm-up for 0.2 miles

Regular running pace for 0.5 miles

Walk/recovery pace for 0.1 miles

Fast running pace for 0.4 miles

Walk/recovery pace for 0.1 miles

Faster running pace for 0.3 miles

Walk/recovery pace for 0.1 miles

Sprint pace for 0.2 miles

Walk/recovery pace for 0.1 miles

Final sprint/everything you’ve got for 0.1 miles.

See how much you can spike your heart rate as well as how quickly you can recover during the 0.1mile recovery. The more significant the drop, the better!!

Favorite indulgence?

Brie. I eat it every day so I don’t know if that counts as an indulgence! But because I workout as hard as I do every day, I get to eat Brie.

#1 most important nutrition advice?

Always eat protein with every meal.

What book are you currently reading?

Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness by Suzie Favor Hamilton.

How do you take your coffee?

I brew it at home the night before. And then in the morning I drink it black, iced in a huge mason jar.


Want more Coach Kimmy Inspo? You can see her workout challenges, ask questions, and get craft inspirations by connecting with her on Facebook.

My name is Kelly. I am a columnist for MsCareerGirl and also Coach Kimmy’s little sister! I attempted to be as objective as possible in our interview…it was kinda hard since she is such a badass. A year ago I could not do one pull-up. On Monday I did 50. Thank you for inspiring me, Kimama. Love, Kellbelle.

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Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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