Hi! My name is Kristen Mills and I’ve been a trainer for over 15 years. I started personal training and teaching group fitness at Arizona State University while I was getting my B.S. in Kinesiology. I was originally going to follow-up and get my Master’s Degree in Athletic Training, but I honestly fell in love with weight loss training and knew that was what I was meant to do.
I graduated in 2008 and I’ve been training full time ever since. I started at a studio called High Intensity Training where we focused on, well… high intensity training. During this time I got my CPT from ACSM and learned all about the cardiovascular system and how to best burn fat. During this time period I did a lot of endurance sports and enjoyed running 6+ miles a day in the beautiful Superstition Mountains of Arizona and sneaking off to San Diego whenever I could to run on the beach.
Next I moved to a corporate gym called Fitness Works. Here I worked with lower level clients and started focusing on correctional exercise. This is where I really learned how to improve joint health and activate muscles. I also got trained in teaching Les Mills Classes, Boot Camp classes and did my first and only Fitness Competition. During this time I also became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS) through the NSCA. I also became a Sports Performance Coach from USA Weightlifting and a Track & Field Coach Level 1 from USATF. During this 6 year period I really focused on strength training, learning Olympic Weightlifting (Crossfit) and correctional exercise to stay healthy and injury free.
In 2018 I had the confidence to go off on my own, creating Skinny Without Struggle. Around then I started having some health issues. The years of training hard and working way too much had caught up to me in the form of “autoimmune” issues. I still very much enjoy training 50+ hours a week, but I have now learned better life balance. I had to give up running but I still very much enjoy walking my adorable pitbull, Stormy almost every day. I spend a lot more time cutting up fruit and veggies because my body really only does well on a vegan diet. I strength train as much as my body will let me, but that depends on my work schedule. If you have health problems and worry about exercising too hard, you are correct. But I will say that without my strength there’s no way I’d still be able to do as much as I can.
In 2020, thanks to Covid, I started building my very own studio in Queek Creek, Arizona with my fabulous husband and my cutie pie little pitbull. It’s funny where life takes you, always make sure you enjoy the ride.