Training Gets Personal — with Kathy Mead

Recently an email hit my inbox from Kathy Mead who lives here in Nashville and is venturing into the world of personal training after almost 15 years of being a group exercise instructor. Kathy and I have mutual friends (the Pancake Girls that I run with every Friday morning), but haven’t ever met. This was perfect — because Kathy wanted to hone her personal training style with a few guinea pig clients that she knew nothing about.

I love being a guinea pig!

First, Kathy and I had a phone conversation about my workout history, likes and dislikes. We talked about running, my injuries (stupid ol’ knee), my recent love for boot camp and BarreAmped classes, etc. She asked me what my goals would be if I were to work with a personal trainer on the regular, and I told her that I’d love to just continue to tone up — lengthen and strengthen, people. So that’s what we worked on.

Soon after, Kathy and I scheduled two personal training sessions. Again, her goal was to practice working with brand new clients and putting together fun, effective, hour-long personal training sessions that aligned with the individual’s goals and fitness level. She also wanted to get familiar wtih her new studio location and all it has to offer.

I met her bright and early at 6 a.m. at the studio she’ll be working out of — which was amazeballs. It’s so convenient to me, and anyone in the downtown area. It’s in Hillsboro Village on Wedgewood Ave. in one of those beautiful old houses that you always wish your office would relocate to. 🙂

The entire upstairs, with a separate entrance in the back, are small fitness studios outfitted with tons of equipment for whatever your exercising heart desires. It’s called The Studio of Muscle Integration, run by Kandice King. Go to the website and read about Kandice too — she kicks major butt.

My hour-long session with Kathy went something like this. 5 minute warm up on the treadmill to get the blood pumping. Then, three sets of a circuit that involved two strength exercises and one cardio exercise. We used the exercise ball, exercise bands, TRX, dumbbells, kettlebells and more. I’m telling you, they have a little bit of everything to keep it interesting. After working hard for 50 minutes or so, we cooled down and stretched. And I was a puddle on the floor.

So, for example, we’d do a set of wall squats using the exercise ball, some tricep and oblique (I’m so workout term savvy, as you can see) exercise using a band, and then a set of burpees for cardio. Then we’d repeat that at least one more time. Then she’d introduce another “circuit” of three new things. It was awesome and I was pouring sweat.

OMG the TRX. Do you all know what this thing is? I’d never used one, but had seen it. Here’s an example of a push up using TRX. I fully expected for an elbow to give out and for me to get tangled up so badly that I’d have to be cut out of it with scissors, but it was great. Total body workout because you’re balancing and engaging your core the whole time. Don’t think me weird if I install one of these at the Flat, soon. 🙂 Here’s another one we did — TRX Side Plank.

I’ll have to be honest — personal training has always seemed intimidating to me. I’ve never done it before, but the thought of someone staring at me and only me while I workout is daunting. But not so with Kathy — she is so likeable, personable and makes you feel comfortable right from the beginning. We chatted (as much as I could while gasping for breath) about random stuff like books, exercise, travel, cocktails! and such. It was like working out with a friend — if that friend just watched you sweat and told you what do to next.

It was SO nice to have someone who knows what they’re doing to be sure your form is right and to be sure that you aren’t about to blow a knee out because you can’t properly do a lunge. That was so cool — because that’s how so many inuries happen. Kathy was great at adjusting the workout up or down as I needed.

Perfect example: on the day of our second session I had run out of peanut butter. (Huh? Yes.) If I workout in the morning I eat one spoonful of peanut butter and that’s enough to give me some protein so I don’t pass out, yet it’s light enough so I don’t puke it up. I know, lovely.

I didn’t have any PB the morning of our second session, so I crammed some dried fruit bites in my mouth and headed out the door. About halfway through our workout I was doing a simple strength exercise and was watching myself in the mirror and saw all the color drain from my face. Then I thought I was going to barf. Then I thought I was going to…well, nevermind. I had to stop, lay down, started POURING sweat and my ears were ringing. I went in the bathroom to splash water on my face and to consider what it would be like if Kathy had to break the door down to pull my face out of the toilet after I fell into it. Finally, I settled down. It was terrible.

I was so embarrassed and felt so wimpy! Kathy was totally cool of course and was like “let’s stretch.” So we did about 20 minutes of really good stretching to finish the workout. Poor Kathy.

If you are interested in personal training in Nashville, give Kathy a call, please. She is so kick ass and you will love her for kicking yours.

Bio and Contact Information for Kathy Mead:
Kathy Mead has a B.S. from Vanderbilt University in Human and Organizational Development and Psychology and a M.S. from MTSU in Exercise Science. She has been a certified group exercise instructor for almost 15 years and interned with MTSU’s strength and conditioning department as a graduate student.
She’s worked as an Exercise Coach since 2004 (also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health and Fitness Specialist since 2004) and is a VERY amateur bike racer.
She is absolutely committed to exercise and fitness as a way of life and has worked with a myriad of populations including: pre/post-natal, bariatric surgery patients pre and post-op, post-physical therapy patients, athletes, and just the everyday “Joe” or “Sue” who is interested in improving fitness or losing weight and unsure how to amp up their workout routine or start a routine all together.

Contact her at either 615-330-7308 or at for more information.


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