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Community Highlights: Meet Rachel Jimenez of emBRACE Pilates & Training with Rachel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Jimenez. 

Hi Rachel, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Before I found my passion for fitness, I was a dancer (and will always consider myself one). I attended an art school as a dance major from middle school until my freshman year of college. After that year, I decided that I wanted to change my major but had no idea what I wanted to do. My whole life had been movement-focused, and with a quick internet search, I found out that USF had an Exercise Science program! It couldn’t have been a more perfect transition. That program opened my eyes to the importance of fueling active bodies, the world of strength training, and that I could build a career working with people and teaching them these things that changed my life. During the program, I began competing in powerlifting and developed a passion for training specifically for strength. As a dancer, this was incredibly empowering and freeing to shift my focus from only training for aesthetics to training for performance. During my last semester, I interned at Elite Strength and Conditioning and was hired on as a strength coach after graduating. I also began working at a Wellness Center at Advent Health (formerly Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel) from 2016-2018 as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and Pilates teacher. From there, I obtained my full comprehensive Pilates certification through Balanced Body, worked with many clients of all walks of life, and built my full-time job teaching people how to get strong and move well. 

In 2019, I opened up my own Pilates Studio called emBRACE Pilates that resides inside of Elite SC. I have the unique opportunity to teach the Pilates Method and strength training all under one roof. I feel that both methods of movement complement one another and possess such potential to teach people how important it is to move WELL and feel STRONG throughout life. I also love how both methods help build confidence. Getting to watch clients grow and realize how much strength potential they have is a very rewarding experience that I’m so grateful to have. In the past year, I added nutrition coaching to my services after obtaining my certification through Precision Nutrition to help further educate my clients and offer a more comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle. 

I am currently enrolled in graduate school at USF for Exercise Science and I’m excited to continue my education so that I can provide more for my current and future clients. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When you first enter the fitness industry, it can be incredibly overwhelming. You have to build your business (whether that be clients, classes, etc.) from the ground up, and that can take a while. I have worn many hats, worked at multiple places, and have dealt with quite a bit of impostor syndrome as a young fitness professional. Burnout is very common in the fitness industry and I think what kept me involved was my passion for teaching others. No matter how stressed or overwhelmed I may feel, that all fades when I begin a session with a client. One of my biggest challenges was opening my Pilates studio because I had to learn how to run a business on my own while building clientele and maintaining my current personal training clientele. 

I think the most important takeaway of it all is realizing that you are far more capable than you think you are. Just like I tell my clients, you have to trust the process and understand that mastery comes from practice and patience. As long as you don’t give up, you will be successful in your endeavors. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
My Pilates studio is a movement studio dedicated towards teaching the Pilates Method to whomever walks through my door with an interest to learn. I am a fully comprehensively-certified Balanced Body instructor who also has a passion for strength training. I feel that this sets me apart because I value the importance of strength through multiple methods of movement practice. I am also passionate about my own self-practice and always striving to learn more to better help my clients. I also own “Training with Rachel,” which is my online coaching business. Through this business, I offer strength training coaching, virtual personal training, and nutrition coaching, 

I am proud to be able to offer so much to my clients. I can teach you Pilates, I can teach you how to strength train, and I can teach you about basic nutrition to help you reach your goals. I know that everyone has different preferences when it comes to how they want to reach their fitness goals, so I pride myself in being able to offer multiple avenues to help get someone towards a healthier lifestyle. 

I want people to know that my ultimate goal for anyone I work with is to help you discover a love for movement, being active, and feeling strong. Whether your goal is to touch your toes, or squat 200 pounds, or learn how to fuel your body for your workouts, I am willing and able to help! 

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
My favorite podcasts (at the moment) include Barbell Lifestyle, Team Locofit Roundtable, Unfiltered Fitness Radio, and Pilates Teacher Manual. 

I currently use MyFitnessPal for tracking macros and this is what I typically recommend clients to use as well. 

One of my favorites and most helpful resources has been investing in therapy. It is so important to invest in your own mental health, especially if you have a lot going on both personally and professionally. 

Another resource that I value has been investing in my own strength/nutrition coach and Pilates teacher. In order to grow as a teacher, I find it important to always remain a student of your craft. 

Contact Info:


Image Credits
Jillian Lewis

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