12 Reps with Zen Gray, Fitness Coach and Motivator

Zen Gray is a longtime fitness coach, motivator, and comedienne. Now she’s a newly expecting mom, as well. Find out what Zen was like when she was a little kid who just couldn’t sit still.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to our newest feature – 12 Reps. In each appearance of 12 Reps, our coaches, writers, and occasional guests will be answering the same twelve questions each time. Go “into the locker-room” with them and get to know our coaches and writers a little bit better!

12 Reps with Fitness Coach and Motivator, Zen Gray

1. Who was your first coach and what did they teach you?

My first coach was a ballet teacher. She hit me with a ruler. She taught me to hate ballet.

2. Who is the coach you most admire?

I admire Tony Robbins for his motivational techniques. No matter how sluggish and skeptical I am, I grab hold of practical steps for improving my life after I listen to one of his programs.

3. If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?

I’d love to fly. I have dreams about flying backwards all the time like I’m swimming in reverse in the air. I have no idea what that means.

4. What athlete, dead or alive, would you most like to talk with?

I’d love to hang with Serena Williams. She’s got some POWER and I love that she designs her own clothes.

5. When did you know that coaching was your calling?

I always enjoyed coaching people with their fitness goals. I think I realized it was my calling after thousands of people wrote me and asked me for advice after being on Bravo’s WORKOUT the first season. It was such an honor being on that show and being able to reach so many people about their struggles to get in shape.

zen gray, bravo workout, jackie warner, flab to fit, zen gray fitness6. What is the best and hardest part about being a coach?

The best part about being a coach is when someone says “Thank you!” after they’ve reached a goal they thought was impossible before coming to me for help. The hardest part is working with someone who won’t share what’s REALLY going on in their head if they’re struggling to get to the next level. Everyone gets frustrated, but I know that we can figure out a successful strategy if we work together.

7. What is your favorite physical activity or exercise?

I love to go dancing. I’m ridiculously happy when I’m dancing and I love it in all forms (except ballet).

8. What is your favorite “cheat” food?

Mac N’ Cheese.

9. What is your biggest accomplishment?

It’s a toss up between doing stand–up comedy for the first time, walking across 14-feet of hot coals, or taking the GRE to try to get into graduate school.

10. What do you bring to your students/clients that is different than other coaches and programs?

There are so many good coaches and I don’t know how they all operate. But if I could guess, I’d say that I get much more involved in the psychology of motivation for each client when it comes to weight loss. I delve into what is stressing someone out in their life whether it’s work, relationship or body. There’s no such thing as TMI in my sessions.

11. What is your favorite quote?

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” – Confucius

zen gray, bravo workout, zen gray mud run, flab to fit, zen gray fitness12. What was/is your favorite sport and why?

In the summers as a kid, I would go to bed with my clothes on so I could wake up and run out the door and play. My days would consist of playing tennis, swimming, gymnastics, climbing trees, shooting hoops, roller skating, shooting arrows at the park district, and choreographing pom pon routines. I even have a tap dancing trophy. I never enjoyed sitting around and watching the typical sports like basketball, football, or baseball. I guess I just appreciate watching athletes bust through whatever limitations we THINK there are. I love highlight reels of all kinds.

Click here to read articles from Zen.

If you missed any editions of 12 Reps, be sure to check out our archives. You never know who we might talk to and what might get said!

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