Anytime is a good time to sit down and get to know Kierstin, the manager of Anytime Fitness. In this exclusive Q&A, she shares her love of working out, helping others reach their fitness goals and her own weight loss story.
Q. How did you get involved with Louie at Anytime Fitness?
A. I first met Louie when I joined Anytime Fitness as a member back in 2015! Over the years I got to know him and his wife Jessica and as it turned out we had a lot in common, mostly our love of the water/Lake Michigan but more specifically sailing/boating, and of course fitness!
Q. You have a great weight loss story, would you like to share it with us?
A. When I was about 20 and out in the world on my own for the first time, I developed really bad eating habits combined with a not-so-active lifestyle. Food had always been a comfort to me and I really had zero knowledge of what a healthy lifestyle WAS. After not so long, I found myself at not just an unhealthy weight but I was struggling to do things I enjoyed. I developed aches and pains, being outside in the summertime was miserable (and I LOVE to be outside), and honestly I was embarrassed that I had gotten to the point that I had. I don’t remember the exact thing that made me realize I needed to do something, but I’m so glad that I did.
At that point, there were two things I knew I needed to do: join a gym so I could move more and change my eating habits.
I had toured a few gyms in the area, but ended up joining Anytime Fitness in Downtown Kenosha. I needed a gym that I could go to whenever I wanted so I didn’t have an excuse not to go, but what I ended up getting was SO much more than that. When I came in for my tour, that was the first time I met Louie, and from the moment I walked into the club it felt like I was supposed to be there. He didn’t just want me to join, he wanted me to succeed and so did everyone else.
As far as my “diet”, I think I tried and failed all of the fad diets that were popular then, but what ended up working for me was calorie counting/tracking and making a conscious effort to eat well (increasing fruit and vegetable intake, drinking more water, trying not to allow myself too many cheat days).
I get asked a lot what the hardest part was, for me it wasn’t getting started but keeping going. I had to start holding myself accountable for my goals and make a plan that I could actually stick to. Through tears and tough conversations with myself, and turning motivation into dedication, I fell in love with fitness. Slowly, I started to change. I had more energy, my body hurt less and less and I felt so proud of myself for sticking to it that I couldn’t imagine giving up, and not to mention the self confidence that came along with it.
I look at physical fitness and nutrition a lot differently now than I used to. It used to seem like a punishment, but it’s really incredible to see what your body is capable of when you treat and fuel it well.
Q. What makes Anytime Fitness stand out from all the other gyms in the area?
A. Aside from the basics of being available for members 24/7, being adults only (18+ to join) and having a great location, the biggest perk of being a member here is the wide variety of equipment and space available and the support you receive from everyone, staff and members alike.
Q. What are some goals you like to set w/ new and old clients?
A. Everyone comes to the gym with different goals! Regardless of what they are working on, I love to talk about S.M.A.R.T. goal planning.
Specific – What do you want to accomplish? It should be specific
Measurable – Success towards your goal should be MEASURABLE
Attainable – Make sure your goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time.
Relevant) – How is this goal going to help you?
Time – When will you complete this goal by?
By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can easily measure progress and re-evaluate your goals as needed
Q. Can you walk us through a day as manager of Anytime Fitness?
A. While no day is “typical”, on the daily I am working with our new members to help them get acquainted with the club, checking in on existing members to make sure they have everything they need, and making sure our gym is in tip-top shape!
Q. What are some of the most important qualities for a manager or trainer at Anytime Fitness?
A. You need to be compassionate and understanding, because everyone you meet here is going to have different goals and struggles to reach them. We’re here not just to support you physically, but we’re here to help you get over the mental hurdles as well.
Q. How many trainers does Anytime Fitness have on staff & can you tell us a little about them?
A. Anytime Fitness in Downtown Kenosha has three personal trainers!
Mark- Head of training with 10+ years of experience, and his favorite part of training is seeing people grow in fitness over time, in both ability and knowledge.
Jen- Head of Group training, been training with AF for 2+ years, and she like to teach people how to build strength
Mina- Head of Silver Sneakers program, has a bachelors in Kinesiology, and she enjoys teaching functional fitness to our seniors
Q. How do you and your trainers track members’ fitness goals?
A. To track progress, we use a body scanner called “EVOLT-30”. This is a comprehensive body scan that tells us a little more than just the number on the scale, it will tell us how much of your total body weight is attributed to Muscle mass, body fat mass and a bunch of other really important metrics that help us track progress!
Q. What do you love about working in downtown Kenosha?
A. I love the atmosphere of being in the Downtown near the lake and being surrounded by all of the other small businesses (not many people realize that Anytime Fitnesses are individually owned and operated)! I am a Kenosha native, and have always enjoyed being down here, and now that I work here it’s been so cool to get to know everyone!
Q. Favorite park in Kenosha?
A. My FAVORITE park in Kenosha has to be Harborpark. I love Lake Michigan and being by the water.
Q. Favorite museum in Kenosha?
A. Kenosha History Museum
Q. Day trip, you going to Milwaukee or Chicago?
A. Milwaukee 100%, probably going to the Mitchell Park Domes, the Art Museum and stopping for dinner at Transfer Pizza
Q. If you could star in a movie, what movie would it be?
A. The Labyrinth
Q. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
A. Having a general interest and knowledge in fitness is obviously helpful, but I think what’s more important is wanting to be supportive of the people you meet in the gym. You’re going to encounter people from all walks of life in a fitness facility, and being able to offer support and solutions to their needs is key! Never stop learning, fitness is always evolving!
Q. Favorite pizza place in Kenosha?
A. Villa D’ Carlo.
Q. Ranch with pizza?
A. Not my favorite, but more controversial, I do like pineapple on pizza
Q. What is your favorite streaming service, or favorite way to watch TV?
A. I don’t really have a favorite streaming service, but I love a good stand-up comedy set!
Q. Favorite local place to see a band?
A. The lakefront! Any of the outdoor music festivals that happen in the summertime.
Q. Who is your favorite local band or musician?
A. Orange Costanza (I may be a little biased, that’s my husbands band!)
Q. Favorite Kenosha event?
A. My favorite Kenosha event is the BeachFront Arts Fest put on by Love Y[our] Community! Great music, art and food vendors and the location is beautiful.
Q. Favorite exercise?
A. Squats or anything lower body push! That tends to be my strongest lifts, so it’s fun to push myself!
Visit Kierstin & the rest of the staff at Anytime Fitness 611 57th Street – 3rd floor
learn more & become a member at anytime fitness.com
Q&A and photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman
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For everything Kenosha see visitkenosha.com
(This article first appeared in Vol 16. #1 2023 Go Downtown Kenosha Magazine)