Coach’s Spotlight – Kim

This month we are spotlighting our Preschool Director Kim Graham. She has been coaching at Gymcats since 2003, which makes her the most senior coach at Gymcats.

Kim is an amazing coach with a long list of students who love her and credit her with their success. She says she got her start in coaching at 12 years old, when, as a student, her coach would call her to sub his classes. She started coaching because she loved the sport and working with kids.

Kim has been married 27 years to her husband Mark. They have 3 boys Colton, Ashton and Jaxton. They love hiking, four wheeling, camping, traveling, watching the boys play baseball, spending time as a family, and pickle ball.

Coach’s Spotlight

Girls Team Head Coach

This Month we are spotlighting our girls team head coach Jenny Benning. After a late start to gymnastics, Jenny  won state in Florida when she was a level 5 gymnast. She competed to level 10 and placed second on the beam in nationals. While working toward a college scholarship she suffered a hip injury  which required surgery  and plans changed.

Jenny loves to travel. After gymnastics, Jenny was in the Air Force for 6 y ears and stationed in South Korea and Germany where she met David, her husband. She has traveled to over 15 countries.

Jenny  has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as a certificate in personal training. In the future I would like to get into a nursing program myself my goal is to eventually become a Nurse Practitioner.

Jenny is married to David who is currently in PA school at Rocky  Mountain University of Health Professions finishing a master’s program. They have a son named Levi who turns 2 in January and another boy on the way due April 15. They also have 2 dogs, Banjo (Rottweiler mix) & Daisy (Mastiff mix).

She has coached for about 2 years. She loves being back in the gym and helping the girls reach their potential!

Something cool about Jenny is that she has been scuba diving now for 18 years and loves it! She loves hiking and anything outdoors.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself when Setting a Fitness Goal

3 Questions to Ask Yourself when Setting a Fitness Goal

by Patrick Wood, ATC, CSCS

One of the hardest questions to answer in fitness is, “What’s next?” The first step in figuring out this complicated and challenging question is to decide on your goal. For some, it might be training for a specific sport, adding muscle, or losing fat. For others, it might just be for general fitness and feeling better. Whatever your goals are, here are three questions you can ask yourself to make sure you achieve your goal.

How does my body feel?
As someone trying to get back into fitness, you have to be realistic with yourself. If you’re forty years old, thirty pounds over your goal weight, and haven’t touched a weight since you lifted in high school for football, you might want to start off slow.

Progress slowly to avoid injuries and so you don’t burn yourself out. If you’ve been intensely training and feel completely dead, maybe you should take a week to recover so you don’t end up over-training and moving backward. If you’re feeling energized but experiencing some joint pain or tautness, you might want to take some extra time to address the discomfort before jumping back into training.

Making sure you’re in tune with your body is important in staying healthy. Don’t let your ego put you at risk for potential injury. In other words, don’t try to be so impressive at the gym that you push your body beyond its limits. A fitness-related injury could be something small like a strain that could set you back a couple of days to a week or something much more serious like a complete tear. The former could interrupt your fitness routine, and the latter could affect your training for the rest of your life.

Make it a priority to always think about the long term. It’s better to stop one rep short of your limit or even take some time off to address an issue than to sustain a major injury that sets you back for weeks or even months. This is why assessing where you are at and how your body feels should be the number one priority when considering what to do next in fitness.

How’s my mind?

Are you still enjoying what you are doing or do you dread training every day? If you’re enjoying your training, keep on keeping on. If thinking of your next workout brings back a feeling of dread, something needs to change. If you dread your workout because you’re tired after a long day of work, try starting off your day with the workout instead. If you hate working out because it takes so long and you usually workout for two hours, it’s possible to get in a very beneficial workout in half that time. If you just don’t enjoy the style of training you are doing, then find something you do enjoy!

If you can only get yourself to workout once a week doing that, it would be better to challenge yourself and be more consistent doing the ten to twelve rep range with cardio you enjoy. Remember, it’s better to do an okay training routine consistently than a perfect training routine inconsistently. If you’re not doing something you enjoy, you’ll be less likely to give it your all and be consistent.

How’s my progress?

If what you’ve been doing has been working and you’re still making good progress, then nothing needs to change. If you feel like your progress is starting to slow down or has come to a standstill, you should switch it up.

In fact, it’s generally recommended to add some variety to your workout every three to four weeks. That’s how long it typically takes for your body to get used to working out, making progress, and making proper adaptations. Anything after that tends to have slower progress. If you are a power lifter and have been training only five sets of 1-3 reps, try doing three sets of ten. It might not be what the books say is best for your progress, but you will see the most improvement in the things you do the least. Do a couple of weeks of this, and then go back to your regular training to see if you’ve improved.

Always keep in mind that there is no single right answer to what you should do next. Each person has a different goal, different injuries and restrictions, different enjoyments of different styles of training, and bodies that respond differently to different styles of training. Just because one person achieved great results training a certain way doesn’t mean you’ll get those same results. Just because someone didn’t achieve great results training a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great results with that style of training.

“What’s next?” takes a lot of practice to answer. You have to try new things and learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. As long as you ask yourself these questions, you can at least be guided in the right direction.

What are you aiming at?

Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” And each of us knows from our own experience that he is right. The general flow of human life tends to be toward ease and comfort. One day flows into the next, and many of us never quite get around to turning our good intentions into reality.

Those ‘good intentions,’ while no doubt admirable, tend to remain unrealized mainly because they are too vague. Vague ideas are impossible to focus on and aim for; they are moving targets.

Do you have moving targets in your life? Perhaps you want to eat a more healthy diet or lose the winter weight that has crept upon you. Maybe you just want to establish a regular workout routine and stick with it this time.

The keys to your success are two-fold: steady the target and create momentum.

How to stop a moving target

Imagine a target shooter trying to hit a small bull’s eye on a distant target. He begins to aim, but then the target suddenly moves to the right, and before he can position himself to aim again, the target darts to the left. Will he ever hit that target? Not likely.

Without setting specific goals, your good intentions are exactly like that moving target. You would like to lose some weight, feel a little better, make a change in your diet–but without clearly defined goals and methods, you can’t focus and make it happen.

The way to steady the target so you can finally hit the bull’s eye is to define your goals and write them down:

  • How much weight do you want to lose?
  • What kind of changes do you want to make in your diet?
  • How many days per week do you want to exercise?
  • Which article of clothing do you wish would fit your body again?
  • How much weight would you like to lift while strength training?

Once you know where you want to end up, you are much more likely to get there.

But you have to start moving toward your goals. That is where momentum comes in.

Create momentum to reach your goals

In his book, Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy discusses the Momentum Principle of Success. In Tracy’s words:

This principle says that although it may take tremendous amounts of energy to overcome inertia and get started initially, it then takes far less energy to keep going.”1

There is much wisdom in his words. Sometimes, the hardest part of reaching a goal is just getting started. That first day of doing things differently or the first experience of bypassing an unhealthy treat in favor of a food that will give you more energy can be daunting. It isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t fun.

So how do you get that momentum? How do you start moving? Accountability is the answer. Having someone else involved in your efforts can be the most important factor in your success.

It is hard to change lifelong habits on your own. You need radical motivation that comes from involving others in your efforts. Setting deadlines, making commitments and entering contests all provide an external motivation that will carry you through even the toughest temptations.

And once you get started, you will find that the momentum principle kicks in and it becomes easier and easier to keep going.

Start NOW

You can make that moving target come to a screeching halt and blast the bull’s eye right out of it by taking a few minutes to write down what you want. Don’t make it your goals too broad; be specific. And then begin brainstorming ways to get others involved with you; that will provide your momentum. Success is within your reach. You can do this!


1Tracy, Brian (2007-01-01). Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (p. 107). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.