Keep your heart rate moving and grooving!! Get in Shape. Purely You, Purely Strong.
Even at twenty-eight, fitness trainer and power lifter Kila Duncan has battled with her body. She hasn’t always loved it. Describing herself as a stress-eater she says that the bodies we are in have technically survived incredible events. As a trainer she is realistic with setting goals for herself and her clients based on their realities. It’s about being real with commitments. Commit to a purely stronger you! Body trainer and power lifter Kila Duncan shares her struggles and positive imprints on building a better self.
Kila DuncanCatherine, Host: [:
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Your positive imprint. What's YOUR P.I.?.
Today's guest is all about empowering your energy and strengthening your body.
Kila is the realistic trainer. She knows life happens. And realistically you probably can't be at the gym five days a week for hours on end, but Kila knows how to embrace that energy. And that energy is her positive imprint as she works to empower you to become purely strong and purely you. Kila,, welcome to the show.kila-duncan: [:
Catherine, Host: [00:01:45] thrilled to have you because you have such an interesting background that doesn't include a lot of, of athletic work in your background. Not like what we would consider, "Oh, you've [00:02:00] been out bodybuilding your entire life" and now you have this life now as a trainer. And we're going to talk about that, but first I have a question about your name, so Kila, but it's spelled different than what I've ever seen it before.
And I know you have a Filipino background, but I don't know if this is that, but it's K I L a for the listeners Kila.. So what is the background on that?kila-duncan: [:
Catherine, Host: [00:02:44] Oh, that is so cute. I never, ever would have thought that. I was thinking, well, maybe it's from your Filipino background. Wow. Have you ever been to the Philippines?kila-duncan: [:
Catherine, Host: [00:03:15] Well, I hope you do make it over there because with the background that you have, I know that people are just going to say, Oh my gosh, please help us set something up over here. And I bet you can do that. And you talked about your dad, you mentioned your dad, Kirk Hartom. So yes, that was episode 92 "tragedy worlds apart, a community comes together." And your dad talked about his community service and it sounds like the whole family has really worked hard at bringing wherever you're at the community and serving your community in different ways.a strength builder. I don't [:
kila-duncan: [00:04:27] Yeah. So the most recent of 2020 everybody's 2020, it was crazy. I was working at a local gym in Austin, Texas, in a very little boutique gym, very specialized gym. And we specialize in integrated strength and really teaching people like why they're doing what they're doing. And. Since we're a small gym and we're not a corporation,at the time. And it was okay [:
It's like you have to talk them through it. And it was a big adaptation that we had to do. And so, at that time, since it was rough on small businesses, we were technically a small business. So my boss had to make the decision of cutting our pay. And it, it was, it was heart-wrenching because it's like I've been working so hard to learn how to do this even more than just a regular gym or, you know, a group fitness gym.
And, you know, it was just like, I can't live in Austin, which is very, very expensive to live there. I can't live in Austin on this paycheck and especially during the pandemic and At that time, you know, I was just like going back and forth, trying to figure out, do I try to find a job in a pandemic? Do I, you know, what do I do?And so he [:
And if you'd like to follow me great, if not, it's okay. Like I'll figure out what I need to do. And literally 90% of my clients followed me . And it really reassured me like, wow, They want to keep doing this and even in this time and adapt and adapting to how to train instead of being in person.
And I must've done something, right.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:07:06] Yeah. And at that time, again, it wasn't, it was a no, at that time it was like, how do we do this? We're all trying to learn together. And on top of still doing what we do, you know, which is a lot more integrated. It's a lot more getting to know somebody at their level, the realistic level and. But it was also like trying to adapt, not just our own lives and our own training, but also try to figure out what's happening in our own client's lives and their financial situations.
And so, when, when I kind of pitched it to all my people, I just told them, I said, Hey, I'm going to be as real as I can be on my end. This is what I do. This is what I want to keep doing. This is just how my life is going to be, and I'm going to figure it out.table for them and they came [:
Catherine, Host: [00:08:02] Yeah. So what, what is the, well, first what's your background? What, what got you even started? During this journeykila-duncan: [:
Catherine, Host: [00:08:16] I hear.kila-duncan: [:
And so I was in, I was in the athletic training room, like every other day, you know, was just a tough, tough person, tough athlete. And And then when I got to my senior year, I really tried to hone in on what I wanted to do in college and figure out, you know, where I wanted to go. And [00:09:00] so to take the leap, to go to a different state from New Mexico to Texas was a huge, a huge deal for me.
I was just like, I never saw myself going to UNM. I never saw myself like. Just doing some regular degree. I was like, there has to be something out there and it's so funny. Like I didn't want to do soccer and my crazy enough, I did not want to do soccer. I've been a soccer player, my whole life. I was like, no, dad, I don't want to do it, but I'm mentioning him for a reason.
one of the colleges, I went to Concordia Texas in Austin it's a small D three college and. I was like, Hey, I'll be on the track team. I love track I'll sprint for them. I'll throw javelin discus shop with like, that's one of my other love was and they accepted me. They were like, cool.o of you being a goalkeeper. [:
And I said, she's like you already accepted to the university. Can you just play for us please? I need a keeper. And I was like, dad, what did you do? I might've sent a video. I was like, okay. I guess I'm doing it, you know, went out there and, and I played soccer all four years. I actually ended up quitting track and did soccer all four years there. And, uh, and at that time I chose to do kinesiology. So I did all sports, exercise, science, anatomy, biomechanics prevention of injury, all, all of it.
And I, and I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. And I was like, this is what I was meant to do. I've been doing sports my whole life. Like, this is what I'm interested in. So got my bachelor's in kinesiology to start off that love, you know, so it was really cool. Okay.[:
kila-duncan: [00:11:08] Yup.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:11:13] Yup. And then, so technically my, my freshman year at the end reason why I quit track was I actually tore my ACL so it put me out for a year of soccer. So I actually red shirted and the coach, I got a new coach at that time and was like, Hey, do you want to play a fifth year and go get your master's degree?
And I said, all right. Yeah. So I actually have my master's degree too, and I got to play an extra year of soccer. So that's what I have my master's in sports administration.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:11:58] So I [00:12:00] look at myself like I I'm an athlete, but like now it's just, I have an athletic background. That's what I look at it as.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:12:21] Yes.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:12:25] Right before it, you know, I, I graduated and my now husband, my boyfriend husband at the time he, he still had one more year than me and. I was like trying to figure out what to do. I was like, I don't know what to do with this degree. Like, I don't know what kind of job I should get. Like, I don't know what to do.. And I did that for a year. [:
And I said, nah, I've touched a Barfield, a barbell here and there, but. Not really. I just do whatever I was told of me. And and so she got me to that gym and then I met my boss and kind of just stemmed from there. And he, what he taught me really like just blew my mind. It was like, dang, like there's a lot more in depth.you know? . So that's how I [:
Powerlifting is just three main movements and the movements are a squat, a bench, and a deadlift. And powerlifting is about how heavy can you do that one time? And so I was so in intrigued at this, I was like, how heavy can I lift something? And being a five, one, you know, 185 pound girl, I'm like, dude, this is going to be cool and impressive to show people that I can do this and lift something like double my weight.. I can just lift that thing [:
And so that intrigued me too, of like strength training is just as important as cardio, as, you know, getting on a treadmill. And that intrigues me more than anything. And building strength around that, it comes out more and more research comes out as like strength training is actually pretty dang important.
,It's cool to know what's happening in your body when you're doing it. It's not just lifting something. It's like, I'm using this and this and this muscle, this fascia, this connection. And it's just really cool to know that stuff.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:15:39] So the last time I did it I, my squat was 285 pounds. My, my bench press was 160 and my deadlift was 355 pounds. You're telling me I'm like, how did I get to do that?[:
kila-duncan: [00:16:13] It's gone down only because we had to be at home, so I didn't have a barbell. I didn't have, uh, like platesCatherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:16:20] Yeah. So I had to figure out and I even had to figure this out for my clients. Cause that's how I was training my clients too. Was how do we do this at home? How do I not let people have to spend money that they don't have to?
Cause a barbells is expensive. Plates are expensive. People mostly don't have room for that stuff too. And especially in this time. And so we got crafty. And that's the fun part about my job now. I'll get on a zoom call and no one has everything, but I'm like, you know, what's weighted? Books.pounds. Let's squat with it. [:
That's kind of what I do. I, I teach you how to do that in just your normal life, not just with a barbell andCatherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:17:22] exactly.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:17:26] Yeah. So a lot of what I do is also improving your daily life, but also educating any educating use in like, Hey, I'm not just working you out for an hour. I'm teaching you how to do daily stuff without hurting yourself. And it's great. One of my clientshen he came to me in person, [:
And, but after we moved it, after we cleaned it up after he just be so grateful and this is all I need, I just want to be out of pain. That's one of my passions. , I just want you to make you feel good every day. I don't even want you to like, have to lift 355 pounds. I want you to be able to lift your arm, pass your shoulder.
And, and that was a big thing for me. So what's crazy is I used to do that. I used to be very manipulative on him. Like really just massaging him and moving all that into strengthening for him. And then when we went into COVID, it was, uh, I was like, I don't know what to do. Like, I can't help you. I can't touch you.know, he's moving in groups [:
He commends me for that. And I tell him you're, you're an advocate of me. , you listen, you do what you're supposed to do on your own time. And guess what? You use it in your daily life. And that's what, that's what my training is all about. It's not just about making you sweat and be miserable for an hour.
There's a reason why we're doing this. There's a reason why I'm doing this movement. And she's making me think about how to do it because. I sit every day. I pick things up every day. I have to reach for things every day. I used to throw my back out and now I don't anymore. And that's, that's what I do.
And that's what I love to do. And I don't like to just make people sweat. I promise, but it's fun. It's also, it's also to have them be educated as to why they're doing it is my big thing when I train.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:20:11] I see people's bodies in a different way. Like I can tell if you have a desk job, I can tell if your back hurts. And I learned it all from my last job, you know, he really makes you look at joint placement and your posture, and really talk to people about what they do in their lives.
And it's cool. Cause like all I'll be watching one of my clients do a squat and their pelvis is like tilted. And then I'll just ask them random question and be like, okay, does your side feel this connection? Do you feel like you're pushing through this foot and Oh, by the way, do you feel your abs and the like half of those questions I'll already know the answers to. I just need to make sure that you feel what you feel.can't be in the same place. [:
Catherine, Host: [00:21:10] Sure. So you're, you're empowering them, which I think is one of the most important things we can do for each other is empowering something that is helpful. So, Oh my goodness. Wow. So you're doing that and you're doing it online.kila-duncan: [:
He's 27 years old, 65 foot dude. I'm six, five dude. And he goes to the gym. He rings me on FaceTime. Has me watch him. , he's a big dude. He really knows how to build stuff and, but he'll, he'll ask me, he's like, Hey, what can I do when I'm not on a call with you?walks that are longer. And I [:
And that's cardio. And I like to, ICatherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:22:19] yeah, the, the, a lot of people think cardio is running biking, cycling, like hiking. Like it's, it is, it truly is, but it's really just getting your heart rate up. And so whenever I talk powerlifting, you know, I can lift up something really heavy, but who has 355 pounds lying around nobody.it depends on depends on who [:
And I have a couple they're in the same house. And I had them in group classes when I was at that gym. And, uh, they have jump ropes. So I, I do interval stuff, just jump roping. Cause they're, they also don't. They're like, we don't want to even go outside.
Like we don't want to leave our house. Like we, we, we want to stay in and it was funny when I was, uh, asking them how to, how do you guys want to change up your routine? I try to change it up a little bit, like between one and three months, you know? And I sit down with them. , Hey, what do you want to do next?
I just don't want to be out of breath when I'm walking my dog. Okay, so what do we have around the house? And they're like, okay, well we have, we have a jump rope. And I said, cool, let's do it. And so we do a little strength training and then I go, okay, we're going to go jump rope for a minute.just be like, Hey, I went on [:
So it's pretty cool. I get to do it for each individual person on how they in there, like you said, in your own life and your own realistics scenario, too.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:24:20] Never. I never, ever thought one. I even put on my website. I never thought I would be a personal trainer one and two. I, you know, I really am so thankful for the people that followed me during this time. But also they reassure me every day that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm making a difference in their life. Oh my God, I can't believe I've done this.ou release this. This is how [:
And I'm like, that's, that's all I ever wanted. I want you guys to be just as smart as I am. I want you guys to know as much as I do. And that's, , I think why I do what I do.Catherine, Host: [:
What kinds of inspirational words do you have for the listeners with regard to our bodies?kila-duncan: [:
The body that you're in right now has technically survived a lot of things, , and to bring up, you know, full circle of Ethan. And also another tragedy. My, my family just recently went through it's, you know, Stress I stress eat, uh, some days I don't even want to get out of bed. And the cool thing that she said was, you know, your body survives something, it's gone through something and guess what?at guilt trip to themselves, [:
I'm just trying to get through life. I'm trying to see, I am day to day, not just physically, but mentally. And I, I asked my people that all the time. So really just be in tune with yourself, be real with yourself. Hey today I'm not feeling it. That's okay. That's totally fine. But the days that you're like, okay, this is it.lieve you still call me after:
I, I put it in the perspective of just make one commitment to yourself. It doesn't have to be a list of commitments. Just make one. If it's getting up every day, you did it. You know, if it's going for a walk in the middle of the [00:28:00] day, You did it.
It's just those one things. If you conquer that one thing, make the next commitment, not resolution, because most people can't keep resolutions. It's a commitment to yourself, not for others do for you. And that's what I always, always remind people. If I have to remind myself of that. Yeah.Catherine, Host: [:
And I think that, , listeners certainly will take this to heart.kila-duncan: [:
Catherine, Host: [00:28:57] Right, right.kila-duncan: [:
If today's the sleeping in bed and watching Netflix day, do it, you know, and enjoy, enjoy that because I think. I've I've gone through too much as a young person to let anybody else do that. When you have your hour with me, I want you to love it. I don't want you to hate me after. Totally. I want you to enjoy what you're doing and know why you're doing it so that you can enjoy other things in your life.
Not just the hour that you have with me. So.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:29:40] So you can find me on Instagram, purely strong fitness. Uh, same with Facebook, purely strong fitness. You can visit my website purely strong.com and I'm all I'm, I'm always on there. So you can always hit me up, do all the things. And most of my posts come from Instagram. So yeah, I have motivational quotes.I [:
Catherine, Host: [00:30:06] Well, that's wonderful. And, and I certainly appreciate that you provided all sorts of different examples for people at home that are, are safe. And I certainly appreciate that you did listen to somebody. In your life where you went to this gym. And tried something new because a lot of times people don't want to try something new and you really dove into it.ens of the world, this whole [:
kila-duncan: [00:31:02] Yeah, and five and on about my clients, but one of them, you know,Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:31:12] he said it, right. He's just, he said, you know what? I look forward to this hour, just for connection for someone to, to be with. And I think most of us need that time and they've, they've really pushed me through this too. And so I always talk about them. I always tell everyone about them because they're wonderful people.
And that they're just real people. They're real, they're real and raw, you know? So that's why I love them.Catherine, Host: [:
kila-duncan: [00:32:05] Yes. Thank you so much.Catherine, Host: [: