Skimble’s Trainer Spotlight: Heidi aka Desert Fox


Meet Heidi, she’s a vibrant community member and dynamic certified personal trainer and yogi. While most know her on Skimble‘s Workout Trainer app as Desert Fox, Heidi’s energy is infection wherever we find her training around the world. She focuses not only on the physical aspect of training but also on mental well-being. You can see her consistently creating, completing and sharing her workouts with a die-hard group of community members who often top our monthly leaderboards. We got a chance to chat with Heidi and learn about her background. Let’s jump right in.


Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from?

Heidi: I was born and raised in Europe, but spent much of my childhood living in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, and Greece. Then I moved back to Europe, left for the United States, and later settled in the United Arab Emirates. I still commute between the US and Middle East, and have traveled 126 countries ’til today.


What inspired you to become a trainer?

Heidi: After attaining several debilitating injuries, I was written off by the allopathic medical community as *permanently partially disabled,* which led me into intense studies and certifications in homeo-naturopathic alternative healing modalities and I never looked back. My journey to self healing encouraged me to help others. Fitness has always been an integral part of my life, be it Equestrian Volting, Martial Arts (Muay Thai), Freediving, Skiing, Skydiving… anything to get my adrenaline going.


Can you talk about your path to becoming a yogi?

Heidi: About 30 years ago I began visiting family in Tamil Nadu, India and discovered yoga for the first time. It was not until decades later that I fully immersed myself with Mysore-style Ashtanga. I usually spend one month out of the year in one of India’s Yoga Hubs (Rishikesh/Iyengar/Hatha/Kundalini/Ashtanga), Goa (Hatha/Yin), Dharmshala (Tantra/Multi), Mysore (Ashtanga), or Kerala (Hatha/Mohenjo Daro-Shakti/Ayurveda), as well as the Maldives (Yin). As a NASM trainer and a teacher in the aforementioned types of yoga & integrated modalities, I noticed the importance of form and posture, be it static or in movement, and decided to further my studies in Postural Corrective Therapies.

The Yin and Yang concept is definitely reflected in my training methods.


We heard you’re quite the mountain athlete, too! Tell us about some of your outdoorsy adventures.

Heidi: Some of my mountaineering expeditions took me around the globe, from the unforgettable Himalaya ranges of Tibet, Nepal and Northern India, China’s Mt Huashan range, to South America’s Andes, American Rockies and European Alps. My last notable summit was Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro. A few months later I re-injured my already battered right leg on a night training climb for Mont Blanc Summit in the Italian Alps. Maybe I was just lucky but MMA (power/speed) & Yoga training (flexibility & balance) definitely helped me to avoid a free fall down the abyss.


What are some important guidelines you stick to in your training?

Heidi: I always get in about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching prior to working out, followed by static stretching post-workout. Those are a must in my book! Stretching during longer rests while strength training benefits muscle growth and efficiency and shortens recovery. I also personally aim for at least 3 hours of yoga per week in addition to my weight/cardio training. For this very reason I rarely experience DOMS, despite a very intense training schedule.

Wow! Where do you find the time and space to do all of this?

Heidi: For one, I’m off of social media. I am lucky enough not to need it to promote myself. Skimble is the only social media I therefore use as it is linked to productivity. These days I choose not to watch a favorite sitcom or movie, this is leisure time I do not have. I prefer being an eternal student. My Skimble Team “Wolverine”, however, was inspired by the Marvel character, as I believe everyone can find a “Super Hero” within themselves. In my free time I continue to study Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Detox methods. My social schedule is sparse, my nickname amongst friends is “Big Foot” as they rarely get to see me. I prefer solitude and nature after decades of living in the Emirates world of glitz and glam.


What’s your favorite Workout Trainer feature?

Heidi: I appreciate Skimble’s Workout Trainer app as a valuable training tool wherever I’m at. I really love this app. I’m not just saying it, I actually use it about 5 – 6 days a week. I found Workout Trainer to be an invaluable training tool for everyone; beginner or serious athlete, client or coach, as it assists the user to stay goal-oriented and organized while having access to the newest training modalities and exercise variations. Being able to create your own workouts and add your own pictures and video are other great features. Let’s not forget about the social aspect. You can learn tremendously from and get motivated by others on here, just by following the right people. I also love the integrated heart rate feature. After many years of logging over 22k workouts on this app, I have yet to find a better one.

Do you have any recommended training gear?

Heidi: My Go-To-Tools are Bands (TRX) and a lightweight yoga mat when traveling or when I find myself without gym access. They fit in every suitcase!

Got a secret health tip?

Heidi: What is worse than bad posture? The answer is: training with bad posture.
If in doubt, choose good form and posture.

Moreover, I regularly detox and maintain optimal immunity by observing my ph levels. I also stay clear from pharmaceuticals. Mother Nature provides all I need. The result? I rarely get sick and have more vitality than when I was in my 30s.


One more thing: do you have any role models?

Heidi: Since you asked, some of my personal heroes are Nikolai Tesla, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Robert Young, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Sasha Latipova, to name a few of my favorite experts in the field of medical science and research.

There you have it! Heidi is your go-to guide and all-around inspiring super human! Follow her to see what she’s doing and dishing out to stay motivated on this journey towards a healthier, fitter you.

Download the free Workout Trainer app for Android & iOS to tap into our follow-along coaching and fitness community today!

Are you a fitness professional and also want access to our online coaching tools, just like Heidi? Get started for free on Skimble’s Trainer page.

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Skimble’s Trainer Spotlight: Mark Bryant


Meet Mark Bryant, Skimble‘s latest featured Trainer! If you check out Mark’s profile, you will immediately notice his wealth of coaching specialties. He has over 20 fitness certifications under his belt. If that wasn’t enough, Mark’s a World Class Powerlifter. An 11x World Champion Powerlifter and 2x Powerlifting Hall of Famer ūüėČ  We got a chance to chat with Mark and learn about how he got his start and the challenges he had to overcome to get to where he is today.

Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from?

Mark: I was born and raised in New York City. It was a very bad area and my upbringing was hard, to say the least. Being premature and in a difficult environment, I was put in special education classes and was labeled retarded as a child. At home, there was abuse, which I endured for over 10 years. It was also very hard having to deal with gangs in the streets.

In my twenties I decided to move to Seattle, Washington. That’s when I really started to focus on fitness and personal growth, on my own terms. Years later I became a fitness professional. I believe through all the hardship I went through as a child I had a huge desire to help people, especially through fitness.


What inspired you to become a trainer?

Mark: I had a good friend back in New York. I heard him name all the bones of the body by heart and I thought that was so cool. I wanted to be able to do that, and he taught it all to me. One day I was able to name all the bones of the body as well. I just felt great after that and have always enjoyed exercising…push-ups, sit-ups, you name it. When I moved to Seattle I continued my fitness education and eventually got into powerlifting. That’s how it started, that’s my passion, and it’s not going to end ūüėČ

We heard you can lift! When did you get into powerlifting and what do your training plans look like?

Mark: I started Powerlifting later in life, when I was living in Seattle and 33 years old. I got into Powerlifting after talking to a great coach about the sport of Powerlifting and decided to give it a try. Training is normally an 8 or 12-week cycle. If it’s a 12-week cycle the first 4 weeks is for conditioning and the other 8 weeks are for competition training. The last week of the training cycle I take off so my body could fully recover. Overall, my training normally takes me about an hour to finish and I train three days out of the week (every other day).

We train on the three major lifts: Squats, Bench Press, and Deadlift. Because our main focus is to train heavy we keep our reps low such as sets of five, three, and two. As the training cycle gets closer to the end our reps are even lower, two and sometimes one (single max rep).

In addition, I eat pretty healthy…proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vegetables. Everyone is different when it comes to eating food for competition. I get plenty of rest each night and I also try to take a nap during the day if I can.

What’s your favorite Workout Trainer feature?

Mark: I like having the option to do online training with clients I also see in person. I have clients who are far away and some who have to travel a lot so to be able to stay in touch with them anywhere is very beneficial.skimble-workout-trainer-spotlight-coach-mark-bryant-powerlifting-hall-of-fame-champion-photo

Do you have any recommended training gear?

Mark: I have clients who I train for national and world meets. So, the gear I use are thick powerlifting belts, wrist wraps, knee wraps, chalk. When training my general clients who are not into specifically powerlifting, I recommend regular barbells, dumbbells, and sometimes gear belts and gloves. It depends on the client, that’s how I roll.

What fitness tips do you have to share?

Mark: Train smart and take your time. Do it slowly and focus on form. Then, REST, lie down, go to sleep! When you churn your body hard, when you break down the muscle tissue, you have to have the nutrition and hydration to feed it…and then to recover. So the ‘secrets’ to being your best self are to eat healthy and to get enough rest. Nap if you can!


Mark, thanks again for taking the time to share with us, . If you hop over to his profile, you’ll see some of Mark’s latest training certs (such as Certified Personal Trainer, Elite Trainer, Master Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Senior Fitness, Sports Medicine, Biomechanics, Stretching & Flexibility, Functional Aging, Orthopedic, Barbell Rehab, Precision Nutrition, etc.) from many of the popular fitness training organizations.

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Get the latest Workout Trainer app (Android & iOS) and be sure to follow some great trainers like Mark for inspiration and motivation.

Are you a fitness professional and want access to our online coaching tools? Get started for free on Skimble’s Trainer page.

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Skimble’s Free Workout of the Week: Lift Fit (By Trainer Tif Sippel)

Go a little heavy on your barbell weight with this one to find your personal record!

This workout was created by Skimble Trainer: Tif Sippel. She is currently accepting new clients for¬†Online Personal Training, so head on over to her profile in Workout Trainer and tap ‚ÄėStart 1:1 Training‚Äô to get help from a dedicated expert.

Workout Trainer by Skimble: Free Workout of the Week: Lift Fit by Tif SippelDo you have a fitness resolution? Make progress towards achieving your goals with Skimble’s top fitness apps and supportive community. If you’re new to Skimble, our Workout of the Week challenges offer you fresh ways to be fit. Download Workout Trainer on your Android & Apple devices and do your first workout! Remember, if you want to stay up-to-date with our Workout of the Week challenges, be sure to have your Workout Trainer notifications turned ON in the app!

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Skimble’s Trainer Spotlight: David Rivera

Workout Trainer by Skimble: Trainer Spotlight: David Rivera

Meet David, Skimble’s latest¬†featured Trainer! David is a nationally certified Personal Trainer with a B.S. in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training. This Georgia Fitness Coach developed a strong drive to help people after undergoing his own 80 lbs drop – talk about dedication!

We recently had the chance to chat with David Rivera about his personal fitness journey and how he uses Workout Trainer to help others achieve their goals.

Workout Trainer by Skimble: Trainer Spotlight: David Rivera

Tell us a bit about your shift from Athletic Coach to Personal Trainer?

David: I was an Athletic Trainer for various Sports Medicine Programs at High School, College, and Amateur/Semi-Pro level for over 10 years. Within that time I neglected my own fitness and no longer represented the knowledge and discipline I promoted. I took a step back to make lifestyle and priority changes that would allow me to find a healthy balance. After my own transformation of going from 250 lbs to 170 lbs for my first Half Ironman, I chose to become a Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach. I knew I was able to relate to individuals struggling to find a balance in life, work, family, etc. I felt compelled to help others as my educational background prepared me to not only rehabilitate athletes back from injury, but to assist individuals with any physical limitations to successfully attain their personal goals.

Having undergone such a big transformation yourself, what keeps you motivated to stay fit?

David: Feeding off the energy of other like minded individuals as we all grind through our struggles, but strive to be our best every day.

What’s your own favorite workout style?

David: I have evolved from triathlon and endurance training as a focal point and am now enjoying powerlifting. My favorite workouts are the Leg Blaster and Powerlifting Chest¬†workout. I’m also dabbling in weightlifting at the moment, I like taking on new challenges.


How has Workout Trainer helped you build your coaching business? 

David: It’s been a fantastic way to stay in contact with my clients, send workouts if schedule conflicts arise, and give feedback for improvements. I can now provide one-on-one coaching from anywhere. The workouts are great for my clients to cross-train when out of town or on vacation. As the Skimble community grows, it’s become a great place to feed off the incredible energy and motivation shared throughout.

We’re so happy to hear that! Do you have a favorite feature in the app?

David: My favorite features are the playback and audio cues that accompany the exercises. They¬†make it easy for my clients to do workouts when I’m not with them in person for guidance and coaching.

Workout Trainer by Skimble: Trainer Spotlight: David Rivera

Finally, please share a secret fitness or health tip with¬†our community…

David: Challenge yourself to your own standard of success and never let anyone dictate the path you choose in your fitness journey. There are 101 ways to attain the same goal, but it’s up to you to find the path that keeps you motivated, consistent, and progressive. Never let fear, outside influence, guilt, or doubt become a factor in your journey – Trust Your Process –

Thanks for sharing with us, David, and make sure to check out our new 1:1 Training Tools in the latest app update!

Want to follow David and other great trainers? Download the Workout Trainer app for Android & iOS, then head on over to the new Trainers tab.

Are you a fitness professional? Want to become a Verified Trainer like David and have access to free coaching tools and more? Get started on¬†Skimble’s Trainer page.

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