HEATHER KIRK: THREE TIMES TREMENDOUS SUCCESS
Posted on June 14, 2016
Ever wonder what it’s like to own a fitness studio? Heather Kirk can answer that question…times three. The Baltimore native owns three outposts of Inline Fitness. Currently, one focuses on private training, one offers a slew of classes from yoga to sculpting and another is purely barre-centric. How does she handle it all and continue to build her fitness domain? SBS finds out!
SBS: How did you get involved in Fitness?
Heather Kirk: I actually got a masters in business at the University of Baltimore, and that’s where I met my husband. He had already started Inline Fitness—the one that was mainly private training—and he offered me three Pilates privates. I was hooked, kept training and eventually became certified. I was working a full-time job as a manager at The John Hopkins Hospital, but I came up with the idea to open a group class studio. My husband jumped on board, and about four years ago I shifted my life fully to fitness. I was always into working out and eating healthy, so it came naturally. When I was in business school, I came up with a women’s fitness studio as a project. That ended up being a reality in a way: We look back on that and laugh!
SBS: In the multi-class studio, is there a uniting thread between the classes?
HK: All the classes are super upbeat and taught by Pilates-certified instructors. They all work the entire body but focus on different elements. And, we are really adamant that we do classes that aren’t preprogrammed. It has to be something that we come up with on our own. We want it to be different than everything else, a way for us to stand out from all the other competitors.
Our barre class also showcases how we like unique programming. I never liked how if you go to a franchise they have a specific program where the order is the same. My body would get used to that. So I hired creative instructors who choose the order. We always do core, arms, barre and floor work, but they choose the emphasis and how long they want to do each section. That way, the customers are always happily surprised.
SBS: Since you didn’t start out in fitness, what have you learned along your journey?
HK: I have tons of knowledge now about eating. I have to be an example, so I can’t just go work out and then hit up fast food. It takes over your life, mostly in a good way! I’m a huge cook, so I love to make healthy recipes. [Check out two of Heather’s favorites below!]
That brought me to also offer healthy meal planning to our clients. It’s called the Evolution program. It’s either 4 or 6 weeks, and clients come in outside of classes when they need a kick-start. We complete fitness assessments and special workouts, and we also create meal plans. I support them throughout and finish with another assessment. We’ve had clients lose up to 75 pounds!
SBS: What are your healthy eating tips for clients starting out?
HK: Never skip a meal, especially breakfast. You’re lowering your metabolism!
And, remember: You can eat whatever you want, as long as you use portion control. Most people think they’re eating the right amount, but it ends up being twice what it should be. Making those two changes can make a huge difference without even changing the food.
SBS: What about fitness-focused advice for this same client?
HK: If you live in a walk-able place, walk, don’t drive! You can easily add that into your commute. Or, you can do workouts at your desk. Then, if a gym isn’t accessible, use the Internet! You can get awesome workouts on YouTube, whether you have a spare 20 minutes or are on vacation. Finally, make sure you’re doing cardio for heart health and overall weight loss. Move at least 30 minutes a day.
SBS: How do you manage working with your husband?
HK: We have our moments, for sure! But because we have different locations, we can have our own space. We still have our own things we are passionate about: He’s not into Pilates and doesn’t teach that, for example.
HEATHER’S FAVORITE HEALTHY RECIPES
Heather offers SBS a few options from her Evolution program:
Healthy Tuna Salad:
1 can albacore tuna in water, drained
3 to 4 tbsp sweet relish
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey mustard
3 baby carrots, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbsp onion, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
Optional add-in: grapes
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy on top of a bed of lettuce and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Zesty Turkey Burgers
1 to 2 lbs of ground turkey
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning
1 can of black beans (drained)
½ tbsp olive oil
Sliced avocado and tomato
Mix all ingredients, and form four to six patties. Cook turkey burgers in skillet for a about four to five minutes per side with ½ tbsp of olive oil. Serve bun-less on top of lettuce with sliced avocado and tomato. Optional: Add salsa on top!
Heather’s SBS Mantra: Be You is my favorite mantra. I feel like so many people come in, and they say they want to look like a movie star or someone else. Why?! If you’re in a healthy state and working toward your personal goals, I think that being you is number one.
BALTIMORE’S BEST FROM HEATHER:
- Favorite Healthy Spot: Corner Juice Bar
- Splurge: Miss Shirley’s for pancakes
- Favorite Relaxing Activities: Sitting outside in the sun, reading a book and drinking a glass of wine (when I’m not pregnant, like I am now!)
- Favorite Studios: Rev Cycle and YogaWorks