Brittany Hern, Corporate Fitness Centre Manager/Personal Trainer

Brittany Hern, Corporate Fitness Centre Manager/Personal Trainer

Brittany is a UCFC fitness manager and Nike Toronto trainer.

What is your morning routine?

I often joke that I live my life in 15-minute increments. It’s just how things go when you’re constantly scheduling clients, classes, meal times, and so on. My mornings need to go smoothly and efficiently, so I prep my day the night before. I wake up bright and early – sometimes at 4:30 a.m. – so the first thing I do is French press a venti-sized coffee, strong and black.

Once I’ve had my caffeine, I look over the day’s schedule: who I’m training, what classes I’m teaching, my personal workout, administrative stuff. Then I take a minute to remind myself that I’m not only providing a service to my clients, but a lifestyle as well. I make sure I’m set up with good vibes and positive energy, especially since I’m some people’s first interaction of the day. I need to set the tone right from the get-go.

Tell us about your career path.

My passion for athletics was the reason I got involved in the fitness industry. I grew up competing in triathlons between the ages of eight and 20. I attended Wilfrid Laurier University for kinesiology and competed on the cross-country team and the swim team. At the highest level of my career, I represented Team Canada. This journey gave me my love for competition, discipline, hard work and goal setting. It made me the person I am today.

Throughout my time at university, I had success and failure in my training. I grew a lot as an athlete, learning about how fast I could pick myself up and turn things around both physically and mentally. This is one of the main reasons I started training others: to encourage them to learn about themselves by digging deep, pushing their limits and getting out of both their physical and mental comfort zones.

Those years of finding my true passion and helping others reach their fitness goals led me to where I am today. I’ve managed a corporate fitness gym for the past six years, and while that is my full-time job, I’m also lucky enough to be a Toronto Nike Trainer and a group fitness instructor at Equinox and take on private clients for personal training. As you can tell, I like to keep myself busy.

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

Women are thriving in the fitness industry. Not only are we being recognized for breaking common stereotypes – yes, we can lift a lot of weight and wear makeup while doing it – but fitness goals for women have changed dramatically over the last few years. Women want to be stronger, heavier, and lift more. I used to see women stick to the treadmills, but now I see them on the squat rack. Strong is the new sexy. Thanks Serena!

What advice would you give girls who want to be the NEXT you?

Follow your passion. Don’t be scared to explore different interests, because you may be closing doors. Trying new things has provided me with amazing opportunities that I would never have anticipated. I had no idea my years of triathlon would lead to me working with Nike and Equinox. I just made sure I showcased my true self to anyone I encountered along the way.

If you don’t feel good about what you do, change it. I know it’s easier said than done, but there’s always a solution to every problem. You just have to ask yourself how badly you want it and what you’re willing to risk to get there.

Always have a strong work ethic. Many people tell me they don’t know how I manage to fit so much into my schedule. The truth is it takes work, it doesn’t happen overnight, and honestly, the hours don’t seem so long when I see the outcome.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

Fitness is a lifestyle to me, so I don’t really try to separate work from my personal life. I think connecting with friends and family through fitness is a great way to bond and celebrate, and to feel good while doing it. I’m an avid runner (having qualified for the Boston Marathon twice) and have become amazing friends with my running crew. You go through ups and downs in training and there are times times when you really count on your teammates for support, and vice versa. It’s a special kind of relationship, so I feel very lucky.

I will say, when I’m going through a tough training phase or have taken on too much at work, I enjoy some alone time. I’m constantly focusing energy on my clients, so I always carve out time for myself even if it’s only 30 minutes a day. Each night, I reflect back on my day so I can go to bed with a calm mind and reset for tomorrow. The more time and energy I put into myself, the more I can give back to my clients.

What inspires you?

My clients inspire me on a daily basis. It’s not the Olympians or world record holders, it’s the everyday people who are busy with work, family, social life, and their own personal struggles. They somehow find time for fitness and use it as an outlet, a motivator or just something to look forward to. Their efforts keep me going.

My personal fitness goals also inspire me. I may have stopped competing in triathlons but I never stopped being a competitive person. I’m always on a training plan looking to break a personal record. I like having goals, and I enjoy the journey it takes to achieve them.

My dreams inspire me too. I know big goals take time, effort and consistency. I know they’ll challenge me and test my limits. But if I keep my long term focus I know I can accomplish a lot. The thing is, if someone asked me what my big dream is at this exact moment, I don’t think I’d know the answer; only that I’m working towards it.

When you are off the clock, what are your indulgences?

I get my nails done every week, get the required amount of sleep and schedule some quality time with friends or family. All of those things brighten my day and keep me feeling energized.

I also love to travel. In the past few years I’ve been to Abu Dhabi, Italy, across the U.S. and Canada, and recently booked a trip to Colombia. I love seeing new places and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles.

Travelling is definitely an indulgence, since it means leaving my clients on their own while I’m gone. But they know if they don’t do their homework, they’ll pay for it once I get back.

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