American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

In the upcoming full-day ACE Health and Fitness Summit: Coaching and Training Women, happening on May 19th, attendees will get the pleasure of learning from Mychele Sims, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor.

Mychele’s session will be on "Debunking Myths in Women's Fitness." This session will investigate, discuss and debunk the myths surrounding women in fitness, empowering you to grow as a fitness professional as you support your clients in their goals.

The health and wellness industry has seen a surge in women engaging in fitness activities, with statistics showing that women now account for around 50% of fitness center members. But while woman have more access to a variety of movement practices and are more active now than in years past, some age-old misconceptions are still being presented as fact with no basis in reality. As a health and fitness professional, it’s critical to understand the misinformation and myths still prevalent in the industry today.

Mychele will be unpacking this and more during her summit session! Continue reading to learn more about her…

ACE: You shared in a Shoutout LA article about people in your neighborhood wanting to workout with “someone who looked like THEM.” Why do you think this is so important?

 Mychele: The fitness and wellness industry does not center on a relatable body type [and] does not promote the cultural cues, customs, and music from the lens of a BIPOC trainer or student. It is so important to me because I feel like a trusted resource. As far as looking like them goes, I’m like the fun sister, cousin, auntie or friend that makes them WERK!

I know that there is a lot more nuance to being in a space as a Black person since there are as many cultural differences as there are similarities. 

ACE: How has body inclusivity influenced who you are a coach and trainer?

 Mychele: I became a trainer because of what I saw happening to some women in big box gym settings, being coached in ways that made me shudder.

 In the past I was hesitant to show up as a coach/trainer because I felt like I didn’t look the part. I didn’t have the “shredded” look so I second guessed my place in that role. After getting out of my own head, I put myself out there and my differences are what brought people to my classes and events. I have heard it a million times from clients and students that they felt welcomed because I came as I was, so they had the freedom to show up as they were too!

 ACE: What do you wish more coaches and trainers understood about working with women?

 Mychele: Coaches and trainers need to remember that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. There is a reason for intake questionnaires and getting to know your client, and that is to tailor their training. Women have biological propensities that are distinctly different from men; and those differences vary from person to person.

 ACE: What does it mean to create a “safe” fitness space?

 Mychele: “Safe” is relative to the population you serve.  In my practice, I tend to see more Black, Latina and AAPI women, along with some of the LGBTQ+ community. My vibe and how I present myself as far as clothes, music, formats I teach, and how I speak informs a prospective student/client on what to expect when they show up.

 Additionally, my professionalism and years of experience will let them know that I have their best interest in mind when I teach. The way that I cue, correct, inform and encourage supports how they feel safe in a space with me.

 ACE: Can you share a little about what inspired you to create your business?

 Mychele: I am a trained dancer. I left that world when I became a mom, but I was lucky to find dance fitness classes. I felt at home and found a community of great people. A few of my friends had taken up teaching boot camps and yoga. They told me I would be a natural. I didn’t listen to them until 2009 when I started dancing again, and later became a fitness instructor in 2011.

 I didn’t see many “mainstream” Black instructors in my neighborhood so I decided to create a business to provide classes and services in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. That reach has since expanded from when Get2Werk Fitness became a company in 2012 to spanning to teaching nationally and  internationally. I always say that fitness has been my passport and I don't see it stopping anytime soon!

 ACE: Why do you think debunking fitness myths is so important?

Mychele: I think that the more we dispel these myths, the more women will seek to workout, move, and EXIST in ways that benefit their bodies individually. 

 ACE: What’s one communication tip you have when it comes to coaching/training women?

 Mychele: Remember that there are a plethora of ways to show up as a female client. Some women are mothers, some are starting out on their fitness journeys, some women have demanding professions, some want to train for a marathon, some are caretakers, some have health challenges, some women just want to move better, some want a killer core or to be able to breeze up a flight of stairs; all very different. Your best move as a Coach is to listen and meet them where they are without the cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.

 ACE: How does mental health impact the way that women approach fitness?

 Mychele: Women are inundated with images and messaging about how a woman “should be” and what a woman should look like. Women deserve to show up as they are for the mental health and overall health benefits that fitness provides.

Click the image below to keep learning about coaching and training women during our all-day virtual event happening May 19!


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