Finding Out What Makes PT Fitness’ Kiki Cunningham Tick

When you think of an intense workout, the last thing you might imagine is fun. But that’s what Kiki Cunningham, the bubbly blonde trainer at Intensity Personal Training, wants to change. With a huge smile and infectious laugh, her passion for everything athletic radiates through the intimate space with beach-front views.

We chatted with her to get to know a little bit more about her training style and how she got started.

Q: What initially sparked your interest in fitness and personal health?
I was always active growing up between dancing for 17 years and being a cheerleader from the 2nd grade up until I graduated college where I cheered for Marietta College. I was raised an athlete with an athlete mindset because my dad played college basketball and was our High Schools basketball and golf coach and my mom coached cheerleading. So I have always been involved in some sort of fitness.  After graduating college I noticed without cheerleading that I had no physical activity so I started strength training and worked at a gym in Chicago and absolutely fell in love with pushing myself harder everyday and seeing how I could manipulate certain aspects of my training and diet to essentially build my dream body.  Looking back now, I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere Ohio where the knowledge and resources available for health and fitness are basically non-existent so I am empowered to share my knowledge, advice and experience with my hometown and my new home in Atlantic Beach.

Q: What's the most rewarding part of your job as a trainer?
Seeing the excitement that my clients get when they reach the small victories.  Accomplishing big goals are huge but I like celebrating the small wins that my clients achieve each session whether that's them lifting heavier, executing an exercise they didn't think they could, keeping on point with their diet, or even the whole mindset and self-love that comes with people's fitness journeys.

Q: What sets your business apart from others like it in the area?

A: My approach to training is very individualized and functional, focusing on each client's goals and things I believe I want them to improve upon.  Before moving to Atlantic Beach I completed my graduate work at Ohio University and received my Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Sports Administration.  I try to base my training from a business mindset (knowing that people want efficient workouts that get results) in which I use critical thinking and analytical skills to provide my clients with exactly what they are looking for.  Goal planning, charts, tracking, etc I'm all about being able to show the improvement that people have made over time.  And as my instagram handle implies "kikerslaughfit" we will never go through a session that doesn't involve a bunch of laughter and fun! 

Q: What advice would you give to someone starting out on his or her fitness journey?
A: Start off slow and ease into it.  There are so many factors that go into "health & fitness" that it can become so overwhelming if you are just starting out.  I suggest picking two or three things you would like to improve on in your daily life and go from there.  This is about living a healthy AND balanced lifestyle so if you cut out everything cold turkey and dive headfirst in you could find yourself getting burnt out and frustrated rather quickly.  Also seek help from a professional that you trust.  There are a lot of different wild training and diet plans out there for people to follow that are not individualized to your body and goals so it's best to get a jump start from a personal trainer to lead you down the right path for you! 

Q: What's your favorite cheat meal?
 Cinotti's Donuts OR Ellen's Kitchen Chocolate Chip Pancakes! 

Q: Best music to work out to?
A mixture between 90's pop, EDM and Cardi B.

Q: What's the most challenging part of your job?
Finding clients!

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