Weight Loss | Transformation Stories

What does it take to become a Personal Trainer?

What does it take to become a Personal Trainer?

By Monica Gossmeyer

I’ve always been interested in bodybuilding and admired the physiques of female body builders. In high school, I began working out but never changed what I ate or stuck with it long enough to see results. Then, life happened. I got married, had two children, and went through a divorce.

As a single mother, I returned to college to pursue a degree in education.

As mothers do, I put my children first.

As a college student, I put my studies and school work above my own needs.

As a teacher, I put my students before myself. 

I was putting everyone’s needs above my own. I was taking three medication for high blood pressure and my cholesterol was on the rise too.

I thought to myself, "If I’m on three medications at 37 years old, what’s going to happen when I’m 67? Would I even make it that long?"

I knew something had to change. It was time to put myself first.

In May 2011, I began working out on a regular basis and made small changes to my diet. By August, I had lost 20 lbs. I was finally seeing results, which kept me motivated. By December, I had lost an additional 10 lbs. Then, I hit a plateau. I was still determined to lose more weight and I was ready to take my fitness to the next level.

I contacted Niki Bryant, ISSA Certified Fitness Professional and WNBF Ms. Fit Body Pro, at B-Xtreme Fitness Pro Center in Rockford, Illinois. I began talking to her about my weight loss struggles and my fitness goals. She taught me about proper nutrition and how important it was in achieving my goals.

As I talked with Niki, I knew that this was where I belonged. Niki and all of the ISSA Fitness Professionals at B-Xtreme have been supportive and have helped me get closer to my fitness goals. After working with them on proper nutrition and exercise, I lost 35 more pounds. They coached me on what to eat and what not to eat, the exercises to do, and proper form. 

Two years ago, I would never wake up at 4:00 am to workout. Now, I look forward to it. I attend  six group exercise classes and three personal training sessions a week. On top of this, I do several workout sessions on my own each week.

I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without Niki Bryant and everyone at B-Xtreme Fitness Pro Center. They helped me change my life and transform into something I never thought possible.

I’ve learned how to live a healthy lifestyle and I brought these lessons home to educate my children on food and fitness. My daughter joins me at B-Xtreme and she is transforming her own life through nutrition and exercise as well. She’s lost 40 pounds so far!

Fitness has become a family affair.

Besides working out, we also do grocery shopping and weekly food prep together as a family.

It has been a little over two years since I began my weight loss journey. It hasn’t always been easy and I still have a way to go before I reach my goals, but I’m getting there– one day at a time. I have lost over 65 pounds, reduced my body fat percentage by over 15 percent, and am medication free.

In May 2013, I competed in my first bodybuilding show. The training was tough. The diet was even tougher, but it was worth it. I enjoyed the experience and had so much fun that I’ll be competing in my second show in October.

Niki Bryant helped me change my life so much that I’ve decided to become an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer (I just finished the course!) to learn and share more with others.

My journey is not over. It has just begun!


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Certified Personal Trainer

The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.

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