Meet ACE Pro Venus Davis
Venus Davis is a corporate wellness coach and ACE Certified Personal Trainer who works with both large groups and individuals. At The Strong Academy, in Washington, D.C., “Coach Ve” helps clients train the body and stabilize the mind by providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to maintain their newfound strength.
Prior to working in fitness, Venus lived in New York City and juggled having a corporate job, going to school, raising a son as a young single mother, and coping with the stress of being away from her family. Moving to D.C. to be near her family was part of what motivated her to begin her fitness journey. After experiencing the therapeutic thrill of “throwing around weights,” Venus found personal peace, fulfillment, and a new outlook on life. Fitness became more than a personal journey as it expanded to include her son and other family members, all on a mission to improve their overall wellness.
Thus, a career as Coach Ve began.
What Venus loves most about her career in fitness is that it is never-ending, as there is always room for growth and improvement. She chose to become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer because ACE embodies that idea. “With ACE,” she says, “the development is ongoing. Where other programs simply encourage you to further your knowledge, ACE motivates you to do so. It’s an entirely different approach to continuing education and it’s one in which I’m always easy to partake. As I like to say, ‘ACE became momentous the moment I noticed my momentum.’”
In addition to her ACE certification, Venus is a Level 1 Coach with USA Weightlifting, is certified in Functional Movement and Fitness Nutrition, and is a Health Coach through Georgetown University.
Venus spoke to ACE on her fitness journey and her approach to making people stronger, healthier, and happier.
Do you remember when you got ACE Certified, what that was like?
When I got certified it was an amazing moment. I was actually in the process of transitioning my career from project manager to wellness and getting my certification with ACE was the first step. So, it was a big moment.
Do you remember why you picked ACE?
Yes, I do remember why I picked ACE. I picked ACE because when I spoke with the coaches prior to signing up for my program, I needed to make sure I was doing a program that worked well with my time. My time was really short. I needed to make sure I had enough study time and the coaches were great with explaining to me how much time a week I would need to study, how much time I would need to review, the whole nine. That, for me, set up a really great platform for managing my time and expectation of the study materials.
So, who are the primary clients that you work with?
I work with a lot of career professionals. I work with a lot of young professionals, also—a lot of recent grad students who are starting out their roles in their companies, they’re in DC. A lot of higher-ups in their companies, as well, so their stress levels can tend to be different depending where they are in their career tracks.
What clients do you enjoy working with the most? Who are your favorite clients?
My favorite clients are folks who want to get strong. Having a passion for strength training and conditioning, I like a client who is mostly motivated. You come in motivated and you’re excited about what you’re there to do, and you kind of read my style and identified that that’s what you’re interested in, we’re going to have a good bond.
Would you say you have a passion for that?
Yes, I would definitely say I have a passion for strength training. Conditioning, as well. I like helping women and men both combat the office environment, which a lot of people have, you know, that’s their daily lifestyle in the District of Columbia. So, helping them to manage those long hours in front of a computer, or on flights even, and strengthening their bodies, their cores in particular, a lot of lower-back problems, just helping them manage that—plus with their very busy work schedules—is a passion of mine.
Do you have a “mission,” if you could put that into words?
So, my mission is, “train for life.” And again, that speaks of helping one balance their lifestyle. They’re training for whatever may come their way, whether it’s a busy job, whether it’s kids, whether it’s all of the above—my mission is to help them get through that process in a healthy manner.
Are there things from ACE that have been really helpful in working with those clients?
Yes, I can think of two things off the bat that have really helped me work with my clients through ACE. One is behavior change and that’s because—not necessarily using the terminology “behavior change” with my clients but recognizing the characteristics of them needing to change different habits in their lifestyle. Again, with them being really busy, most of them are not eating right, most of them have very big social lives, so trying to help them understand the changes they need to make and the habits they’re going to create. And, behind the scenes, using the term “behavior change” in my head goes a long way with them.
The other one would be exercise science, knowing the anatomy. I remember studying in the materials, anatomy was huge, so understanding anatomy is a really big part of it. I have a lot of clients that say, “What is this going to do for me?” and I’m like, “Well, you know what, you really need to get those lats strong because you’re going to be picking up your suitcase a lot” or “You really need to make sure your core strength is together because you sit for a long time during the day.” Different things like that. So, the anatomy aspect of the materials was huge for me being able to articulate with my clients.
Have you found a particular group of clients to be challenging?
So my challenge—the clients that are most challenging are ones that have possibly been sedentary for a while. They come in and they want to—they’ve seen something, they’ve read something, they know they need to make a health change. Maybe it’s some hereditary health issues that they just realized are kicking in and they want to make a change, or they just realized they’re overweight, or what have you, and all of a sudden they want to make a change. Well, they don’t have the proper tools in their toolkits to make those changes. So, my job is to make sure that we are implementing that in a manner that works for them and their lifestyles. So, that would be my biggest thing with them. Just making sure that we are proportionally and appropriately putting things in their toolkits to make them better.
Do you have any clients that fall into the special population?
Yes, I do have clients that fall under the special population. I have a couple of cancer recovery clients, actually, and just seeing them go from coming to me and having the goal to be stronger, and then learning that they are now battling with cancer, to them coming back after battling that and, you know, really needing to work hard on regaining their strength. It’s a process, and I appreciate ACE for providing not only the basic pieces of my toolkit on how to train them but also offering other opportunities like “cancer exercise specialist” to help me address those clients with those needs.
If you could give yourself some advice, before going through that studying, what would you tell yourself?
If I could give myself any advice for when it came to studying for my ACE exam, it would be time management, just because I know how busy I am and I know a lot other people are also. And just remember the purpose behind it, you know. There are going to be nights when the studying is long there are going to be nights when you’re looking at videos and you’re reading and you’re going back at it, but circling back to the purpose and your passion and why you’re actually doing it—I think, for me, that was a huge piece of pushing through. So, just remembering why you’re doing it, just remembering why your certification is so important, and jumping back into the materials and just knocking it out