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Meet Maria Pro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Pro.

Maria, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started “Muscle By Maria” soon after graduating from college while missing the training and conditioning aspect of my collegiate and all-star cheerleading squads. Knowing that I wanted to continue leading these types of workouts, I studied for my Group Fitness and Personal Training certifications. Once I attained these, I began putting friends, family, co-workers, and basically anyone else that expressed interest, through workouts. The demand for these workouts grew, and I realized I needed a more organized approach. Thus, “Muscle by Maria” was born!

What started as an outdoor boot-camp, traveling weekly to different locations in the Washington DC/Northern VA area, soon turned to 1:1 training sessions with boot-camp regulars and online 1:1 training with those unable to meet in person.

Fast forward six years, many new clients, an additional Personal Training certification, and here we are!

Has it been a smooth road?
“Muscle By Maria” has definitely not been a smooth road!

When I began leading outdoor boot camps and teaching classes at gyms, I was working as a full-time teacher in Virginia. After a few years, I relocated to Pennsylvania, still teaching and keeping fitness training as my side-hustle. It was then that I began online training as my Virginia regulars still wanted workouts, even though I was in PA!

Teaching full-time, working after work at gyms part-time, and trying to navigate the best ways to go about training people online/grow my online clientele was tricky and stressful. Juggling all of that definitely taught me a thing or two about time-management and taking “me time”.

One morning, almost three years into doing that routine, I was walking to my car before work (school-teaching-work) and running through my day in my head:

“Okay, the kids have Music today and my lesson plans are done for the week, so during that time I can write {insert client’s name here} new training program.”

“Oh man, kettlebells. Yes. I definitely want to use kettlebells in conditioning class tonight!!”

“During lunch, I should get working on that new blog post about protein…”

I caught myself mid-thought and realized, “Wow, the only things I’m really pumped about today are all fitness related…”. I then spent the rest of the car ride trying to dissect what that was telling me.

That realization filled my head for weeks and I was torn by it. I really loved teaching, I loved helping others learn and grow, I loved being someone they could turn to when they needed help or were confused. All in all, I truly didn’t hate my job, so what reason did I have to stop doing it?

After further contemplation, I noticed that everything I REALLY loved about teaching I was actually still doing outside of the classroom. Rather than teaching 6th graders about reading comprehension, I was teaching grown-ups about their health and fitness! As much as I enjoyed teaching Reading and Language Arts, I definitely enjoyed teaching the former more.

With that, I decided it was time to move away from being a school teacher and jump full-time into being a fitness teacher!

Walking away from the only career I ever wanted since I was in 2nd grade, a career with benefits and stability, and leaping into the unknown world of “fitness” was very, VERY scary. It didn’t help that the first fitness job I jumped into was a really horrible one, so there were definitely bumps along the way. However, it was actually all those hard bumps and scary jumps, all those stressful and hectic moments over the years, that forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn and grow. They are what allowed “Muscle By Maria” to become everything it is today!

To make a long story short (not that anything about that was short…), it has not been a smooth road, but I’m thankful for that because, as I tell my clients, “struggle breeds strength” and “nothing good ever came out of comfort zones” 😉

We’d love to hear more about your work.
“Muscle By Maria” is primarily a personal training business that specializes in sustainable and realistic 1:1 online training and nutrition coaching!

In a world full of fad-diets, false “secrets to fat-loss”, and way-too-complicated approaches towards eating and working out, it is my goal to slow-down, strip-back, and simplify things. I provide people the necessary tools to realistically achieve (and maintain) their goals.

I strive to teach my clients the best approaches to balancing real life and their goals, and I don’t place any ridiculous or extreme limitations on them.

I’m not going to tell my clients to eat a diet strictly of boiled chicken breasts, spinach, egg whites, and sweet potatoes, nor will I partner that with a workout regiment of two hours a day, 6-7 days a week. Why? Because that is not sustainable in the long-run.

While it may deliver some fast results in the short-term, what happens when you’re out for a happy hour with friends? What happens when you have a big event to attend or a week-long vacation? What happens when you just want a freakin’ burger and fries??

I do not promise quick-results, I promise positive lifestyle changes that will certainly leave you in a better spot than where you started.

I provide a realistic balance that allows you to have some cookies, but also grub on some vegetables. You’re encouraged to have a beer here and there, while also mixing in some protein shakes. My nutrition plans allow you to miss the occasional workout, while still making consistent progress.

Through balance and moderation, I help my clients reach their goals and provide them with the mindset and actions necessary to sustain a healthy lifestyle and positive changes.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Within the next 5-10 years, I would like to expand “Muscle By Maria” to offer more virtual group-fitness challenges, create video trainers that participants can follow along with, and offer more downloadable guides. As well, I intend to expand my capacity for 1:1 online training clients.

My ultimate goal for Muscle By Maria is to serve and help as many people as possible. Luckily, with the internet and social media platforms at my disposal, I have just the tools to make that goal a reality!

Contact Info:

Join Muscle by Maria on the morning of December 8th at the Broncos stadium for a free workout benefitting A Precious Child and Tennyson Center for Children. For more information and to register, head to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/workout-for-warmth-tickets-83262914619

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