We were lucky to catch up with Heather Stutzman recently and have shared our conversation below.
Heather, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’re complete cheeseballs and so we love asking folks to share the most heartwarming moment from their career – do you have a touching moment you can share with us?
I’ve had the pleasure to work with individuals from all walks of life over the past few years. Hands down the best stories are those where women have an ‘ah ha’ moment and start to become empowered. Fitness is physical but leads to empowerment in so many other areas in life.
I started working with a woman who is missing her right forearm and had never performed any sort of strength training. In addition she is a former alcoholic and struggles greatly with sugar intake and cravings. It was hands down the hardest custom program I’ve put together and, while the ultimate goal was increasing strength, it was as important to work around her missing limb and focus on injury prevention.
Seeing her fall in love with resistance training and becoming consistent in her routine has been incredible to watch. Her increased strength is getting noticed by not only her loved ones but her doctors and community members. She is one who loves learning and wants to know the ‘why’ behind her program exercises and goals (which every trainer should be able to communicate to clients).
She is not only stronger and has more confidence but she’s built a solid base of understanding in order to continue with her strength training. Clients like her are the reason I love what I do.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
My fitness journey started years ago while studying Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Science at the University of Nebraska. Post college I (like many others) put on a decent amount of weight and adopted a very unhealthy lifestyle filled with late nights, lots of stress, and a high sodium/high sugar diet. In 2016 I decided to change things. I revisited my love of fitness and obtained my personal trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and began taking individual courses in weight loss, metabolism, and human movement.
Fast forward to 2020 and I formed my business, WW Fit. WW stands for Worthy Women and, while I work with men, I find that empowering women and helping them to make sustainable lifestyle changes is incredibly rewarding. I work with clients to create custom fitness programs tailored to their lifestyle and goals. I have worked with women from ages 19-67 with varying physical activity levels. The custom programs help to establish consistency and give clients a routine to follow in order to build strength and prevent injury.
There are so many ‘challenges’ and ‘quick fixes’ on the internet, none of which are designed with an individual client in mind. Not only can some of these programs be dangerous for clients who have had previous injuries or have mobility issues, but they are usually not effective. By creating a program with the client in mind and working with them through accountability coaching, real change is possible.
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
The technical side of personal training and the human body is incredibly important in order to prevent injury and help clients see real results. That being said, one thing I often see missing within the fitness industry is the knowledge of basic business practices as well as sales knowledge.
While many trainers are technically proficient and oftentimes hold prestigious degrees, they struggle with things like scheduling, having an online presence, keeping accurate and timely records, and retaining clients. My background in corporate America is in business so this was a glaring deficiency once I entered the fitness industry.
Trainers would do well in taking basic business courses, understanding exactly where they revenue and expenses stem from, and make sure to communicate with existing clients in order to retain them.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I actually love the concept of ‘pivoting’ and do it often. If something isn’t working (in business, relationships, etc.) it’s important to be flexible and able to change direction. Even if things are going great, there is usually SOMETHING that can be done better or more efficiently. Just pivot.
When I first entered the fitness industry all I wanted to do was one on one personal training. While I do love to pour into individuals in this way, it’s not efficient nor practical in terms of revenue and time. I spent the first few years training in person and virtually (thanks Covid) but last year I pivoted and began really only doing custom fitness programs and accountability coaching. Not only is my stress level lower, but I find this is the space I can be most effective and the one I love the most. I still get one on one time with clients with the accountability coaching but it is less time consuming that hours of training in person.
- Website: wwfitclub.com