Hello fitness ladies.
My name is Nicole. I am the Certified Personal Trainer behind Pretty Hard Body™.
Up until 2016, you could describe me as someone who used to work out casually. By casual I mean, mostly cardio and mostly working out just to avoid getting fat. It's true. I didn't care about building muscle. Since I was under medicinal treatment for high blood pressure, my only true concern was putting in the required 30 minutes that my doctor advised, thank you.
Then I turned 45. That's when I became curious about weight lifting. Everything I read pointed to the health benefits of women having muscle and since I had never tried, I began to wonder, could I build muscle at my age? Was there a way to do it safely, and more importantly, could I actually build enough muscle to tighten my arms, thighs, back and glutes without looking like a guy?
Research said hell yes, so I hit the weight room - and also started taking fitness classes. New York is filled with high intensity, calorie scorching, muscle lengthening, heart rate through the roof fitness classes. Pilates, yoga, barre, it's all here and they're all fabulous.
But for me, the moment when I almost passed out during the warm up of a popular bootcamp class, was the moment I realized that exercising in that way wasn't for everyone and how wonderful it would be for a woman to be able to build muscle while addressing the areas of her body that troubled her most - without passing out at a bootcamp.
It was in that moment that the idea of Pretty Hard Body™ was born.
Photography courtesy of Rhys Logan.