WACO, Texas — COVID-19 changed how people got fit. Gyms closed and people were stuck at home. Many personal trainers had to re-evaluate their entire businesses.
I spoke with a Waco personal trainer and accountability coach who moved her work totally online, created an app and a new program to empower her clients through the pandemic and beyond.
"I was just training full time at the gym, I had been training for 12 years. COVID[-19] happened. All of that got cut off," she said.
In 2020, personal trainer Jenny McCormick knew she'd have to get creative when it came to helping her clients. First, the Waco mom created a fitness app. Then, she took things a step further, creating a 12-week online coaching program called Empowered.
"Where people need the most support is that accountability, and the check-ins and having someone to answer their questions when they need it, and to have somebody cheer them on," McCormick said.
Her clients check in with her daily. They share their wins and gratitude lists and she teaches them what to eat and how to workout. But McCormick’s biggest goal is empowering them to bring these changes into their new lifestyle.
"I feel like my real job is not getting them to lose weight, my real job is getting them to change their mindset,” McCormick explained. “If you don't change the way you think and the way you approach things in your thoughts, nothing's going to change. My clients that I had trained for 12 years were even going through the program and I saw more change in them in that 12 weeks, than the whole time we were together in the gym."
Clients like Erika Sutton can speak on their success with the program.
"I just really kind of hit a low, I had a struggle with baby blues, and just really couldn't feel like I could get my stride. And so I started working out with Jenny to try to just have somebody help me," Sutton said.
Four years ago, the physical therapist and mom of two started working out with McCormick twice a week. She said she eventually dropped about 20 pounds.
"I pushed myself when I worked out with her, but I wasn't doing anything outside of those two days that was really going to help me get to where I wanted to be," Sutton said.
When the pandemic hit, Sutton started using McCormick’s app, Fit HQ. Then she signed up for the Empowered program.
"My skin changed, my energy levels, my motivation, my demeanor, my productivity at work, I mean, my concentration, everything got better," Sutton said.
In three months, Sutton lost 40 pounds. But for her, that's not even the best part.
"Being honest, my approach in reaction times to stressful situations, whether that is in my Christian faith, whether that's in my marriage, or how I approach my children, my fuse is much longer, my demeanor is completely different. So again, it was never about the weight, the weight is awesome. But the things that I gained from, from just being psychologically strong now are what are priceless."
Sutton said in the five months since finishing the program, she hasn't gained a single pound and she feels more empowered now than ever before.
You can find out more about the Empowered program here. McCormick’s app is available in app stores and you can follow her on Instagram for more empowering tips.