She said a doctor’s visit a few years ago was the beginning of a change for her. She graduated from Spelman College in 2004 and said a combination of eating and living a sedentary lifestyle resulted in her weight gain.
At 230 pounds at 5’3”, she was labeled obese at her doctor’s office after a physical. “It shook me a little bit,” she said. “I was heavy and out of shape.”
She was determined to lose the weight and enrolled in a bootcamp class at Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta. Whitmore liked the class. Her teacher eventually asked her to serve as a volunteer instructor, then Whitmore began leading classes on a full-time basis. She said this is what led her her love for teaching and helping others.
“I kept losing weight through bootcamp. It was an avenue for me to help other people to lose weight as well,” she said. “I totally believe group fitness is the way. You’re encouraging people, and that’s what helped motivate me more.” The classes, coupled with improved eating habits, resulted in her massive weight loss, which took a couple of years.
“Bootcamp was a total body overhaul,” she said. “It’s constantly varying. There’s never one day that is the same.” She said it involves running, pushups and using the environment around you.
She said when people get bored with fitness, it causes them to fall of the wagon, and bootcamp is the way to break the monotony. “When people don’t know what to expect, that keeps them motivated,” she said. She also said camaraderie of the people in the classes adds accountability, because they expect everyone to be there.
Whitmore said crossfit, a fitness regiment based of military-style training, is something she also enjoyed. Her enthusiasm and dedication to healthy living is also evident by her multiple certifications in areas such as Schwinn Cycling, Level 1 Crossfit Trainer and Nutrition Expert, TRX group suspension trainer, group fitness instructor and bootcamp instructor. She is working on a master’s degree in kinesiology and human movement at A.T. Still University.
“I’m always trying to improve myself as a coach and trainer. I’m always a work in progress,” she said. “Fitness changes so much. If I want to keep up with the ebbs and flows of fitness and be able to offer such products to my clients, I’ve got to stay in the books.”
While she enjoyed various exercise options in the city, Whitmore got the idea to open her own gym three years ago. Bootcamp, while effective, was difficult to carry out in bad weather.
“When it rains, we have nowhere to go. We were in middle schools and karate schools, getting kicked out of all these places,” she said. “Our numbers are so big. Sometimes it’s hard to find places that can hold us and satisfy us.”
Whitmore said getting kicked out the last time inspired her to fulfill her business goal. She also gathered strength from her mother.
“During my mother’s illness — she had cancer for two years — she never stopped working,” Whitmore said. “She was my complete inspiration.” Her mother died in August.
Whitmore said she refused to let fear hold her back from providing services to the community. With the help from her father and fiance, she began to get the ball rolling.
On March 3, the community was granted access to Total Fitness Revolution during its grand opening. There were giveaways, a celebrity appearance by Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas from TLC, and exercise classes. Whitmore said, “It was a great success. Everyone had a great time.”
She said Total Fitness Revolution stands out from other gyms because of its sense of community. Classes range from pilates to yoga to bootcamp to TRX classes to prenatal yoga and more. She said clients can email her to create diet plans and class sizes are small.
“You name it, we’ve got it. And if there is something you want, you have direct access to coaches to provide that for you,” Whitmore said. “We’ll do the research. A lot of times, you don’t have that direct access. We’re total fitness because we include everybody.” For more information, call (404) 441-8110 or visit www.totalfitnessrevolution.com.