Danielle is a certified personal trainer, Wilhelmina fitness model, speaker, and the founder of Train Like A Gymnast. She is also a certified personal trainer with specialties in bodyweight training, nutrition, women’s fitness, youth exercise, kettlebells, pre and post natal exercise and she was also a former Junior Olympic gymnast, judge and coach.
Train Like A Gymnast helps formerly competitive athletes get stronger, more flexible, increase their confidence, reduce stress and develop a healthier mindset through physical and mental gymnastics-based conditioning so that they can maximize their full potential.
Q: What's your background, and what are you working on?
I’ve been a gymnast (competitively and non-competitively) since I was 4 years old. I am the founder of a company called Train Like A Gymnast, where I help adults get in the best shape of their lives physically and mentally through gymnastics based conditioning. TLAG began as a 3 month e-book, evolved into an online and in person membership program, one day workshops, destination retreats, and our latest development - our very own app! I am on a mission to keep people active, particularly women, for their entire lives and show them that they are capable of staying in shape by using their own incredible minds and bodies.
Q: What motivated you to get started with Train Like A Gymnast?
The idea for TLAG first started in 2016 when I was working my full time desk job in online marketing, part time gymnastics coaching and personal training. I noticed that I kept forgetting to pick up my checks at the gymnastics gym and realized that it was probably my passion that I should follow. I turned down a promotion at my desk job and dove head first into the fitness world without a strategy. Once I had about a year of unsuccessful attempts to get TLAG off the ground, I turned to a business mentor and put a proven system into play in 2018 that allowed me to quit my job as an Equinox Tier 3+ trainer at the time.
Q: How have you attracted users and grown your platform?
In the beginning, a lot of it was word of mouth in my own social network. Then once I got that business mentor in 2017, I worked day and night to create the backend systems needed for a scalable business that wasn’t just one on one training or trading time for money. Thanks to my background in online marketing, when I began Facebook ads to bring people to apply to our 28 Day Challenge, I did sales calls with every applicant and then after the program would do an exit interview (testimonial) and encourage them to continue training in our VIP program. Ultimately, our platform grew once we started getting people results like weight loss, backflips in a day, career changes, and spiritual healing. We continue to share what will help our ideal clients.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
Much like Crossfit, Pilates, and Barre, I picture Train Like A Gymnast becoming a new fitness method for adults as well as kids who don’t have traditional access to gymnastics gyms or don’t want to have a part time job at 11 years old. Ideally our app will continue to grow and change lives, our retreats will sell out, we will have trained staff leading workshops around the country and possibly world. I want to continue to inspire a movement with Train Like A Gymnast across the globe. I envision meetups with thousands of people, primarily female, in convention center or stadium type venues across the world either led by me or staff members where we show people how they can do incredible things with their minds and bodies through different avenues “Think Like A Gymnast” “Eat Like A Gymnast” “Stretch Like A Gymnast” etc. (Picture half SWEAT by Kayla Itsines and half Unleash The Power Within by Tony Robbins.)
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced so far?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is a global pandemic. At the end of 2019, our online membership program had started to struggle with acquisition and retention. A lot of people were craving in person events and I made an executive decision that 2020 was going to be the year of in person events for TLAG so I dissolved and ended our online program. We had our first retreat planned for February 2020, thankfully right before the world shut down. I couldn’t have predicted it and I wish I could go back and undo the decision I made to end our virtual program. In the first few months of the pandemic, version one of our at-home and travel workout kits sold out on Amazon as people scrambled to purchase workout equipment for their homes since gyms were closed. We reordered and improved our version two workout kits and by that time, sales had slowed to almost a complete halt. We tried to pivot with online summit events, and ultimately turned 2020-2021 into market research years where we used the opportunity to learn more about our ideal clients, create an ambassador program with over 80 people worldwide, and successfully hosted 3 destination retreats focused on mindfulness and personal development. Despite a huge challenge, we have still been able to positively impact lives.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
Two things I’d recommend to female founders just starting out are:
1) Market Research With Your Ideal Client Is Key
You may think you’ve just created the best thing ever, but it turns out nobody needs it. When you ask your ideal client what they need, what they struggle with and you create a product or service based around those needs, you’re bound to be a success by hearing it straight from the source. What wouldn’t you pay to have your biggest problems solved!?
2) Identify 3-5 Stories That Have Shaped Who You Are
When you can figure out pivotal moments in your life that created change or shaped the way you see the world, they can become your super power to connect, to speak, to sell, and to relate. These could be stories about turning pain into purpose, it could be one of your favorite memories, it could be about a time in your life when you discovered a talent or skill, the possibilities are endless, but I highly recommend determining them now so your foundation is strong.