By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: October 2009
The TRX is just one of the many fun tools BJ Flanagan uses to help her clients get into top shape.
Have you ever met someone who enjoys and believes in something so much, they make you believe it as well? Someone whose exuberance and excitement is absolutely infectious? If you want to get into top physical condition but need a little motivational push, call BJ Flanagan of Body by BJ. Whether you want to improve your overall health or train for a sport, BJ brings top-notch personal training right to your doorstep, and her enthusiastic personality right along with it.
For as long as she can remember, BJ has been excited about physical fitness. She spent her childhood and college years competing as a gymnast, and describes the decision to become a personal trainer after college as “a natural step for me.” After graduation, she lived in different places in the United States, all the while working as a trainer in various fitness centers, where she was able to help many people reach their goals over the years. In fact, some of her former clients still keep in regular touch.
When BJ first began training one particular client, her goal was only to do a 5K. BJ started training her on an 8.1 mile regimen. The client has been hooked ever since and is now doing full and half marathons. “She goes all over the world and still texts me sometimes,” BJ relates. “She says, ‘Thank you for my life. I couldn’t have done it without you.’ I love that.”
Once before, BJ lived in Oklahoma and helped start the fitness program at Tulsa Community College. On her most recent move to Oklahoma three years ago, she was hired at a local personal training facility. In May of 2009, she decided to open her own business, bringing fitness training right into people’s homes so they could work out on their own schedules in a comfortable environment where they would be more willing to try new things. “Sometimes I will show people an exercise and they look at me like I have two heads,” BJ says with a laugh. “But two months later they say, ‘Look what I can do!’”
BJ will work with the client’s own equipment if she or he likes, but her car stays loaded with all kinds of equipment imaginable: tubing, dumbbells, bosu, body bars, kickboxing equipment, aerobic steps, medicine balls and more. One of her favorite pieces of equipment is the TRX. “This thing is so much fun,” she says. “It’s portable, you can hang it from a tree or off a door and do just about any exercise – pull-ups, squats, lunges – you name it, you can do it.” BJ also helps her clients improve their diets through nutritional counseling and by providing an online, daily nutrition log to help keep them accountable.
For BJ, being fit and helping other people become and stay fit is more than just a career – it is a fun way of life. Her typical client starts out with a goal to be healthier, to be in better shape, or to lose weight, but she finds that their goals often change as they go along, and BJ is challenged and enthusiastic about this fact. “People often ask me if I lie awake at night and think about new things to do, new exercises, new programs,” she says with a smile. “And the answer to that is, yes.”