Chicago Personal Training

PROOF Presents Fitness Superstar Katie Hulgrave

Katie Hulgrave’s day begins at 6:30 A.M. sharp. After enduring three hours of classes, three hours of SAS data modeling at the computer lab and two hours doing strategy planning for a Fortune 500 client, she breathes a sigh of relief before a sudden rush of adrenaline bursts through her entire body.

Is she excited because she has time to watch NBC’s Thursday night line-up? NO

Is she excited because she now has time to have $1 drafts with her friends at the Keg? NO NO

Is she excited because she can do MORE data modeling in the privacy of her home? NO NO NO

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Katie is excited because she gets to go to spin class at the Evanston Athletic Club, which will be supplemented with an intense weight training session with her personal trainer. It’s very true: No pain, no gain. Katie lives, breathes and embraces this very philosophy.

We selected Katie to be featured on because she represents a very healthy balance between working hard and working out hard. She is a good friend and an inspiration to all businesspeople. We are very pleased to share with you the interview we conducted with Katie Hulgrave, our first featured Fitness Superstar.

CPT: What got you into sports?

KH: I started playing soccer when I was 10 years old and I played through sophomore year in high school. My parents are both very active and encouraged me to get involved in activities. I participated on the varsity dance team at Naperville Central, and then started my own: “Maple Motion,” after moving to Birmingham Seaholm High School.  I was also on the varsity ski team. I have always liked fitness.  When not playing sports I kept busy with step-aerobics and spinning. Even though I liked that working out and playing sports kept me in shape, what I really enjoyed was the actual activity of exercising.

chicago personal training superstar

CPT: What do you do now to stay fit?

KH: When I first came to graduate school, I thought I would have more time to have an exercise routine, but I kept getting sucked into doing work. After Christmas break last year, I told myself that this schedule had to stop. I started working out with a personal trainer who changed my life.  The validation that I was getting from the trainer was exactly the motivation I needed.  I could tell my fitness abilities were improving but more importantly, my confidence.

I just needed my workouts to fit into a schedule, and that’s how I continue to do it. If it’s not in a schedule, I’ll tend to put priorities on other responsibilities. Instead of not doing anything, I’ll do something –  I had to get over being a “perfectionist exerciser” because it’s hard to do in a busy schedule.

CPT: What advice can you impart on women who are trying to balance their work and exercise regimens?

KH: The benefits of working out go far beyond fitting into your favorite pair of jeans. That should be your last reward. Focus more on how exercise strengthens you physically and mentally rather than how it will make you look aesthetically. Work your hardest, and realize that it’s not a competition. You should exercise because it makes you feel better. I like running, biking and being at the gym because I focus on being in the moment. And when I do that, I appreciate the accomplishment. It’s hard not want to look a certain way, but that only brings temporary happiness. You want to make the most of what you have.  Enjoy your strengths, you have earned them.

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CPT: If your gym closed down for one week, what other modalities would you use to keep up your regimen?

KH: I would do yoga and sit-ups. I would start the day with stretching and deep breathing to wake my body up. I would walk instead of take elevator. I would remind my muscles that they can’t slack off. I would compensate by eating healthy.

CPT: What are some of your guilty pleasures? Is it okay to have guilty pleasures when you maintain a dedicated fitness plan?

KH: Wine and Chocolate! There were definitely times when I didn’t think it was okay to indulge.  But, you can’t live your life being scared of vices. I don’t think anyone is disciplined enough to go cold turkey on what they enjoy and remain happy. You have to have balance with everything. If you are tired from a long night out, do some light cardio at the gym. It’s all about moderation!

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