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Feature LBD Trainers: Mandie, Laura, Shelsea, Amanda, Alex, Kristen & Molly

"Behind every strong women there is a tribe of other successful women who have her back".

That is what I think of when I hear every single one of these ladies names. It was only fitting to feature them all while our Little Black Dress Challenge is going on. Each of these ladies are coaches for a group of ladies competing for this challenge. They all are different in ways but the thing they have in common is there care about each and every member. I thought what a great idea to ask these ladies 2 questions based around there personalities and life styles.


1. How did it all begin with Finish Strong?

There is so much to tell! I started out with my own health issues and I began to research and study for myself. You could say I was on a health quest. I transformed myself and my life- and I wanted to make it simpler for others. Health is my passion and fitness is a byproduct. I wanted to start a group of girls where it wasn't just about a good workout, there's more to it. So I started a boot camp with a small group of women who met 3 times a week- all of my equipment was kept in the back of my car!

2. You mentioned more than working out, what does that mean?

So a big part of finish strong is our workouts. We never have repeated a single workout. It doesn't end with the workouts - it starts with them! So to me, the real question is how is then body functioning on the inside? How are your organs functioning? Hows your emotional Health? You have to know how to take care of yourself from the inside out and have fun. So with that I'm always looking for something new to bring to the table - over the years the list is long!


1. Tell us a little about your fitness journey?

I had always been “fit” and athletic through high school, somehow I lost my way and ended up gaining weight and not able to even climb a flight of stairs without getting winded. I decided I needed a change when I was unhappy and able to do the things I wanted to do- and I was introduced to Molly I’ve 5 years ago- and I’m a lifer!

2. You got your your Zumba certification, what made you decide to do that?

I decided to get my Zumba certification because I love to dance and know that having fun while you workout helps you to stick with anything!


1. What would you say your training style is? (how are you different from other trainers)

My style leans more towards making a workout that is fun for everyone, but still challenging. I like to mix HIIT with some equipment and some weights. My goal is to show people how they can do workouts outside of the gym if they are traveling and short on time. I wouldn’t say my style is super different from everyone...I think that it’s just my presence and personality. I’m a bit laid back, but motivating at the same time!

2. If someone is just starting a healthier fitness lifestyle, what would be your advice for them?

Start Simple. Aim for working out 3 times a week. Find a friend who has similar goals. Start making better food choices and start with easy clean recipes. Do not go all out and starve yourself. I’ve learned people get discourage doing so. I try to live by the 80/20 and even though I overindulge at times, it’s sustainable!


1. How is yoga beneficial for everyone?

Yoga is for everyone! Something I’ve heard more times than I can count over the last 12 years of teaching is “I can’t do yoga, I can’t even touch my toes!” There is a common misconception that Yoga is all about standing on your head and doing crazy stuff with your body. It can be, but really, yoga is so multifaceted. There are so many styles of Yoga. But at the roots,Yoga is about connecting mind/body awareness. It’s about recognizing patterns in your physical body and your emotions so you can shift and change for the better. Yoga is for everyone. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

2. Tell us a little about the class you teach at Finish Strong?

My class at Finish Strong is called Fusion. You can expect high energy, loud music, and lots of burning muscles. I’m super inspired by Tracy Anderson, so if you’re familiar with her, you can expect similar moves. We use light weights and we do a ton of high rep, pulsing exercises. The workout is ballet inspired with athletic intensity. It’s a barre class without the barre, and much more challenging than your typical barre workout. The thing I love most about this class is people can take it at their own pace. There are always modifications and options to take it up and burn a ton of calories.


1. Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I went to school at East Stroudsburg university in PA - in the Poconos. I switched majors a few times and ultimately graduated with bachelors in Business Management because I still wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do. I wasn’t always motivated or health conscious. I didn’t get interested in fitness till my senior year in college and started pursing it after that.

2. What appealed to you about training/teaching at Finish Strong?

I loved finish strong after the first class. Not only was the workout fun and challenging, everyone was so welcoming even though it was my first time there,and they didn’t know me. Molly has created such a great and positive community of people. I learn new things everyday from members and other trainers.


1. I know you count macros, could you explain what are macros?

Macro is short for macro nutrient. The 3 macro nutrients that make up our diets are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Your macro goals will change depending on your fitness goals. For example, I am currently in a phase where its important to maintain my muscle mass and keep my body fat low. In doing that, I use high protein, moderate carbs and low fat.

2. What is your motivation?

I am very goal driven. I need to have an end result to be motivated. Some of my first goals were focused on weight loss, and the numbers on the scale. While that ABSOLUTELY motivated me to get where I am today, my goals have since changed. I am no way more driven by the progress I see in the gym, not on the scale. My current goals are to add more strength so that I can lift heavier weights.


1. What made you decide to get into fitness? or how long have you been a fitness instructor?

Fitness had always been a passion of mine. I have been a fitness instructor for three years with Finish Strong. My fitness journey started in high school when my sister, Leigh Ann, who is 10 years older than I am encouraged me to be active and work out with her. Actually, at first Leigh Ann made me go with her a lot of times even when I tried to refuse. I was intimidated by Leigh Ann because her activity level and competitiveness at the time was a lot higher than mine, but I was determined to keep up. I was striving to be like her and being her little fitness buddy made me happy. Whether we were walking 5 miles, rollerblading 18 miles, running up 12 flights of stairs 2 or 3 times in a hotel or doing intense ab exercises for 5 minutes STRAIGHT (#puretorture) she NEVER let me quit. Yes, Leigh Ann was badass! She believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself…she was my person. She always challenged me and pushed me a little harder each time, but the best part we always had a fun together. Leigh Ann was tough- a lot tougher than me and I wanted to prove to her I was just as tough. So, I guess that family friendly competitiveness taught me to how to fight and keep that inner fight going even when I wanted to quit. Now, my push or inner fight that keeps me going is my children. When I want to quit I ask myself, “Would you quit if Austin and Ava were watching you?" My answer is always "HELL NO- keep going!"

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