Meet NFPT-CPT Stevie-Lauren Pepple, another shining example of how much someone can accomplish before turning 21! She is 20 years old from Angola, Ind., and a full-time student at Purdue University Fort Wayne, slated to graduate in spring 2023. There, she is studying Elementary Education and plans to use her degree to become a Physical Education (PE) Teacher. She has been boxing since late 2018, and trains regularly at a club local to her. Shortly after learning to box, she began resistance training. Stevie-Lauren plans to secure an NFPT Fitness Nutrition Specialist advanced certificate.
How long have you been certified with NFPT?
I have been certified with NFPT for about 1 year now. I chose NFPT because Chloe Trca (an NFPT certified fit-fluencer) recommended this program. I wanted something reliable and I knew NFPT was the right choice after hearing good reviews about the program.
Why did you decide to become a personal trainer?
I decided to become a fitness professional because fitness had a huge impact on my life. About four years ago, I lost 40 pounds, going from 180lbs to 140lbs now. One of the main reasons I wanted to become a CPT is because of the adversity I went through to get where I am today. I wanted to give back to others, specifically women around my age.
When I first started out, I didn’t follow a specific program or routine. I had no idea if I was doing exercises correctly in the gym, I was just going through the motions. I was doing a lot of cardiovascular exercises and no resistance training. I would go to tennis practice and then come home and run an extra mile or two or I would go to tennis practice and then head straight to boxing practice. This was tremendously overworking my body.
After I graduated high school in 2019, I started taking the gym more seriously and I fell in love with the process of strength training. Although, 2020 was a hard year…I was undereating tremendously. By not fueling my body properly, I dealt with the consequences. Low energy levels, moodiness, and always being hungry. It was hard to have a social life because I did not have any balance with food and the gym. I would always pick food and the gym over everything else. This unfortunately led to unhealthy habits of restriction and binging. This motivates me to continue educating myself on nutrition as a future “Nutrition Specialist” because I will finally be able to help others with their nutrition so they don’t have to deal with some of the struggles I went through alone.
Towards the end of 2020, I started to realize that the route I was going wasn’t healthy whatsoever. My goal was to be strong and motivated and push others to just take that first step and start. I started to research about becoming a personal trainer and I was determined to study for the course during college. I was so motivated to get my CPT and start training clients. Once I became certified I immediately got in-person training clients at my local gym and I am currently still training them to this day. The progress they have all made is incredible. They are so motivated to continue getting stronger and pushing past their limits each and every session.
What has been your biggest challenge as a personal trainer?
The biggest challenge as a personal trainer would be when clients come to me with unrealistic weight loss expectations. This is because I do not have the qualifications to create diet plans for them. I can give them some helpful tips but it is hard because weight loss is tied up in nutrition. My job is to help clients with different types of training but a lot of it is resistance training. Resistance training builds muscle and the more lean muscle you have the more calories you will burn at rest. I always tell my clients fitness isn’t linear. There are going to be bumps along the road but as long as you stay consistent, the results don’t lie.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness industry?
My biggest accomplishment in the fitness industry would be when one of my clients wanted to transition from hypertrophy to strength training. I was so excited because she was my first one who had asked me that so of course the answer was ABSOLUTELY! I am honestly proud of all my clients wins though. They always amaze me as they strive to be better and train harder than last time. As a personal trainer, that is really all you can ask for!
What has been your most rewarding experience as a personal trainer?
The most rewarding thing to see as a personal trainer is the progress in clients’ strength because I focus on progressive overload. It truly is amazing and I love watching them grow as individuals in the gym.
What role does social media play in the success of your business?
Social media hasn’t played a huge role in my personal training business. A lot of family and friends follow my fitness journey and that has brought me a few of my clients. I do have a fitness Instagram that I like to use to keep track of my personal progress and I also post some of my clients’.
Any advice for people thinking about a career in fitness?
If I were to give advice to anyone that wants to start a career in the fitness industry, it would be to do it if you are passionate about it. Understand that it is a commitment and it takes time to build your business up. If you have been considering getting your CPT, just go get it! It will be totally worth it in the end. If you truly have a passion for fitness then just take the risk and start! You won’t regret it.
What are your plans for the future?
At this time, I plan to continue personal training for as long as I can. Even when I am a PE teacher I still want to be a personal trainer on the side. Eventually, I want to own a gym so I can start my own boxing club and have a separate free weight section. I love to stay busy and if it is fitness related I am all in! I can envision myself being a PE teacher, personal trainer, boxing coach, and nutrition coach.