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How This Barry’s Instructor Helps Others Find Joy In Working Out

by Jordan Smith, NASM-CPT - March 11, 2022

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we asked Barry’s trainer, run coach and Brave Body Project Co-Founder Lindsey Clayton to share her experience as successful female trainer, run coach and motivator. Read our interview below to get the scoop on her love of training, what inspired her create a welcoming space for runners of all abilities and (of course) her favorite ways to incorporate Vital Proteins® collagen into her daily wellness routine.

Lively: What Inspired You To Get Into Fitness?

Lindsey Clayton: I was a professional dancer growing up and I moved to new York to pursue dance, had successful career with dance. I started getting into fitness as a hobby, but soon thought, “Wow I would really enjoy teaching this!” So I got certified and started teaching. I am now AFA Group Fitness certified, am a certified personal trainer, am TRX certified and am a VIDA and RRCA certified run coach. I’ve been doing this for about 10 years. I’ve found that if there was anything I loved more than dance, it’s that I have a big passion for being able to help others move, which has inspired my career.

L: How did you become an instructor at Barry’s?

LC:I just celebrated nine years as an instructor! I am currently a Senior Instructor and a founding trainer of our Barry’s X program. My friend and co-founder of Brave Body Project started working at the front desk at one Barry’s location. I was teaching dance cardio at the time, and I was good at it but I didn’t really love it. However, I really loved Barry’s, so when they were looking for new trainers I auditioned and the rest is history! Prepandemic, I taught in-studio only. Now, we have a digital platform, Barry’s X. I teach both live and on-demand classes in the app and also teach in the Red Room. This has really opened up the amount of people I get to see and help, so it’s been cool to expand in that way.

L: What advice would you have to someone that wants to try a Barry’s workout for the first time?

LC: I think Barry’s has really stood the test of time in an oversaturated industry, the manifesto is work hard and have fun. The type of client that we attract has a passion for living a healthy lifestyle, so if that’s you—don’t be intimidated. Do your research, talk to a friend that’s tried it! Keep in mind that all trainers have different styles, so you can find someone you feel like you can vibe with. And, introduce yourself to the instructor. Know that we are here to help you and make sure you have a good experience—don’t be scared, and remember there are modified versions of every move you can do. 

L: What do you like most about being a trainer?

LC: I love that even though running is hard and working out is hard, I am able to help someone realize that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Instead, they can move their body in a way that feels good, whether its 10 minutes or an hour, it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel. No matter your goals, if you can find joy in working out, that’s the difference between sticking to something and never being able to commit and that’s what I love to help people find.

This also lead to the creation of Brave Body Project. I think that a big lesson we [myself and co-founder Amber Rees], as two girls who are runners that are not the fastest, most elite runners, have learned it that you don’t have to be in the front to be a leader, you can lead from anywhere.

L: As a woman in fitness, do you feel like you’ve had to overcome barriers for success? 

LC:I’ve had to pave my own way. As a woman, you’re just not given the same opportunities as men. I’ve had to work harder and fight for the pay and respect I deserve. When I let go of what I was supposed to be and do, that’s when I found success in the industry. It’s becoming more equitable, but there is still work to do.

L: What is your favorite way to work out?

LC: Every day or every other day I’m doing a combo of strength training and running. I find the most effective and efficient workouts for me include running outside, strength training or combo of the two.

L: How do you fuel your workouts?

LC: I like to eat food, I don’t like to drink it in a smoothie. If I’m going out for a run it’s oatmeal and peanut butter first. After, I’m eating quinoa, eggs and avocado. I’m not one to shy away from a bagel.

L: What mantra keeps you going during a tough workout?

LC: Keep showing up for yourself, remember that your body and it’s ability to move is a gift. I remind myself that one day I might not be able to run but today is not the day, so I should celebrate that.

L: What goals do you have for this year?

LC: I’m gearing up for the Chicago Marathon. I’m really excited to go into this one because I’m trying to focus more on strength training leading up to it to make a stronger, faster me.

L: What are your gym bag essentials?

LC: I’m a Puma person (and they are one of our Brave Body Project sponsors), so Puma shoes for sure. I always have a water bottle, electrolytes, my Suunto watch, deodorant and snacks in my bag (cashews or pistachios or something just in case). I love to mix Vital Proteins® Collagen Peptideswith electrolytes or put it in my morning coffee.

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