Forget skinny, I’m training to be a bad ass!

By Jesse Kepka
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist


One of my sweet clients gave me my favorite tank top as a gift. It says, “Forget skinny, I’m training to be a badass.” I got to thinking about why I love it so much, and it brought me back to the first few weeks of hiring a personal trainer for myself, maybe 4 years ago. I was hooked after the very first session. Even though I collapsed on my floor when I got home (see the picture below), I felt empowered, strong, confident (something I never had before), independent (again, not a descriptor that applied to me), and was immediately addicted to the adrenaline and endorphins. I also remember being able tap into more patience to handle my two then toddler boys. But mostly, I can’t remember a time where I walked out the studio door and couldn’t wait to come right back. 

Exhausted after one of my exercise personal training sessions in April 2016.
Exhausted after one of my training sessions in April 2016.

As personal trainers, numbers are kind of pounded into our heads as far as the importance of keeping track of body fat percentages, scale weight, circumference measurements, hip-waste ratios etc…but I’m finding that what makes me the most excited is when a client just feels better all around. There are so many people that deal with daily nagging pain or find they can’t do simple tasks without having to feel terribly after the exertion. Even if the scale is staying the same, they are more comfortable in clothes. Anxiety is lessened. They feel mentally stronger in combating any sort of adversarial happenings, daily small ones or big sucky ones like Covid-19. Yard work is easy. Tossing a bag of mulch on their shoulder is no problem, digging up massive rocks, one after another, having enough balance and leg strength to put on pants without having to sit down, scrubbing the shower without fatigued arms…. those are massive victories. And I deem every one of the owners of these victories a bad ass. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think the numbers are important for benchmarks and your overall health. They can tell us a lot about your risks and what we need to do to help you get healthy. The numbers are usually what bring you to our doors in the first place, for these aforementioned reasons. But once you have a few sessions under your belt, the numbers seem to fall by the wayside, as you realize how wonderful it is just to feel strong and capable. For anything. That’s exactly what I want. I want you to feel good so you can live well. 


With the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the Priority Fit Camp community workout has moved online. For more information, check out the Meetup.


Tip shared by Jesse Kepka, NASM-certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and owner of Elevate Fitness. Jesse is a co-organizer for Priority Fit Camp. Each week, we publish a health and wellness tip that is shared at the Priority Fit Camp community workout. The free group class happens every Saturday at 7:50 a.m.  

Click for more info on the free Saturday group workout.