Why I Became a Trainer: Stories Behind FightCamp Trainers

Why I Became a Trainer: Stories Behind FightCamp Trainers

FightCamp Trainers are some of the best around. Here's why they became boxing trainers and what they love about it.

Published: April 29, 2022

Topics: Trainer Spotlight, Training

Author: Jen Crompton

You get a great workout when you put in the work – and when you have a great trainer to challenge and push you. We wanted great, we expected great, and yes, we have great.

Our FightCamp Trainers are some of the best around. They are fighters, fitness freaks, found souls, parents, and regular people doing what makes them happy. They love bringing the heat in their workouts and are inspired by all the hard work our FightCamp members have put in and the fact that our members show up day after day, ready to take on the challenge and throw some punches.

We know that inspiration is a two-way street. We want you to know more about why our trainers continue to push you and what motivated them to get into this business.

We asked our trainers two questions: Why did you become a trainer and what do you love the most about what you do?

Here’s what they had to say…

Coach PJ Shirdan

FightCamp Trainer Coach PJ Shirdan

"Fifteen years ago, I decided to pursue this passion of mine full-time. I saw a need for people to be helped, motivated, and inspired. So I became a trainer to make people better -- to help maximize their life potential and to see people from all athletic backgrounds and ages achieve their fitness and life goals. My favorite thing about being a trainer is the people -- the people I get to work with and do life with and make better on a daily basis. I love the sheer join I see in their faces when they make progress -- when they accomplish things that, at one point in their lives, were impossible. I love helping people have their best day every day."

Follow PJ on Instagram: @trainwithpj

Shanie Smash

FightCamp Trainer Shanie "Smash" Rusth

"I became a trainer because I am passionate about changing lives. I grew up watching my mother (who was a health nut and an aerobics instructor) live this lifestyle, and it was second nature for me to continue spreading the knowledge. In my early 20s, I because extremely passionate about fitness after the birth of my two children. Experiencing how exercise changed my mindset and brought me that natural high and rush of endorphins, I wanted to bring that positivity into others' lives. I love watching people gain confidence -- literally transforming their whole sense of being and sense of self-esteem through a total body transformation. Exercise is very therapeutic; you can heal a person's inner being while transforming their figure."

Follow Shanie on Instagram: @shaniesmash

Aaron Swenson

FightCamp Trainer Aaron Swenson

"I became a trainer because I love connecting with people -- and I love movement. What I love most about being a trainer is the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life."

Follow Aaron on Instagram: @swensonboxing

Tommy Duquette

FightCamp Trainer Tommy Duquette

"I started training people at Boston Boxing when I was 15 years old. Prior, I was working a part-time job after school and it was interfering with my own training schedule. My trainer wanted me to focus on my training, so he helped me get my first two training clients which allowed me to quit my after school job and be in the gym. Being a trainer is a very unique experience. It's one of the few disciplines where you have a direct impact on peoples' lives, which is very rewarding. You also get to form real relationships -- some of the people I trained became friends, and they remain my friends to this day."

Follow Tommy on Instagram: @tommyduquette

Flo Master

FightCamp Trainer Flo Master

“I became a trainer by accident. I was training myself and I tore my ACL. Then, I started to look for the best ways to recover from my injury. I started going to a lot of physical therapist and realized a lot of them did not know what the hell they were doing. That's when I decided I was going to educate myself and make myself better. So when I got better people saw that and it made them want to train with me. However, what really got thinking about becoming a personal trainer is when I started working with Usher. At first Usher called me to teach him how to b-boy. While learning how to dance, Usher saw me training and he wanted me to be his trainer. He is the reason why I started doing this. What do I love about training? I just love changing people's lives. I believe we were put on this Earth to better ourselves and better other people. There is nothing better than changing people's life besides yours.”

Follow Flo Master on Instagram: @flomaster73

Jess Evans

FightCamp Trainer Jessica Evans

"I have been an athlete my whole life, but I only started fighting when I was 21 years old for self-defense purposes. I had just left an extremely toxic relationship and wanted to be able to protect myself. From there, I fell in love with the challenge that fighting brings mentally and physically and started competing. That opened up opportunities for me to teach other women who had been through similar situations and really helped me link what I loved to do with what I believe is my purpose: to help people realize they are stronger than they think and that they can overcome whatever they are going through. Fighting has so many parallels with life, even if you aren't fighting someone, there's a good chance you are fighting something internally. What I love MOST about what I do is that I get to help people realize they are stronger than they think! Remind them that they can overcome what ever they are going through, and that a healthy future is for them, too!"

Follow Jess on Instagram: @jessevansfit

Raquel "Rocky" Harris

FightCamp Trainer Raquel Harris

"I attended a high school that encouraged seniors to pick up an internship, and in exchange, you opt out of your last quarter. Of course, everyone hopped on the opportunity. As for me, I used it as an excuse to spend more time in the Dojo. My Sensei signed my internship papers and asked me to sub the kids' classes. It was harder than I imagined. The kids wouldn’t listen (even when I was assertive) and seemed bored of me. My Sensei started teaching me techniques to capture their attention and hold it. Later, I became the kids' favorite, and had an awesome time leading them into Karate tournaments. I remember wanting to be a part of their lives long-term, perhaps open my own Dojo, but I know how much my Sensei had struggled financially. In the end, I didn’t see it as a lucrative lifestyle. Throughout my years doing fitness, I had friends ask me to train them, and I landed my first corporate fitness job teaching adult kickboxing. Watching people’s growth from beginner to advanced was the ultimate return on my investment. I was becoming really good at it. Soon after, a friend pulled me to the side and told me that he could see me becoming a top trainer in New York, then encouraged me to start my own business. He mentored me for the first month, and after my first year, I was able to make enough to support taking weeks off for vacations, entering fight camps, and to move to my dream neighborhood. I went on to train the Murdoch family, a bunch of cool people, and made life-long friendships. I know the impact my coaches had on me, and I know I make the same impact when I get heartfelt messages from clients. Between that feeling and finding what I'm good at, I don’t see myself doing anything else for a while!"

Follow Rocky on Instagram: @raquel.harris

Jen Cropmton

Jen Crompton is a co-owner and fitness instructor at FUEL Cycle Fitness, an indoor cycling + boxing fitness studio located in the Philly suburbs. An entrepreneur with a deep-rooted love of fitness and health, Jen combined her passions and talents alongside her husband to open their fitness studio in 2016 and begin building their FUELFit brand. Jen is also a Lululemon ambassador, digital marketer, writer, and mom to a 3-year old son.

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