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Kelli went from being able to bench press only an empty bar, to now being able to press 175lbs. She went from, "I'll never be able to do this" to "I want to go for the bench press record in my division." A working mom of 2 children, Kelli will compete in her first Powerlifting competition in March.

Here's what she has to say:

1. How long have you been training at Punch?

I joined Punch back in February 2014. I started out taking the fundamentals class upstairs and personal training with Mike downstairs. Once the personal training ended I joined in on the downstairs weight training classes. I’ve been attending those regularly since this past July.

2. There are so many gyms around. Why Punch? What keeps you coming back?

About 7 years ago after I had my son, I had joined a small group personal training gym in town. I ended up working out there for about 3 years and really loved it but then they closed. Over the next couple of years I tried a couple of the bigger gyms but I never felt comfortable. I’m not really one for the treadmills and machines. There were so many people in the classes and the Instructors just didn’t seem to care if you had the proper form or even if you did the exercises at all. Finally I just stopped working out all together and put on a lot of weight.

I live close to Punch and I kept driving by and thinking, “I should check that place out”. I was really feeling down about the weight I had gained so finally I checked out the Punch web page and decided to make an appointment to go in.

When I first met with Stefanie we went through some of the kettlebell exercises and although it was different from any kind of work out I had done in the past, I felt it in my entire body so I knew that it was what I needed. I signed up and almost immediately I noticed that it was a very supportive and friendly atmosphere.

3. What are the results you've experienced at Punch?

When first started the downstairs strength training classes, I was squatting with just the bar and now my max is 205! I remember doing bench presses when I was personal training with Mike back in February and he would add up to an additional 20 lbs of weight to the bar and it was a struggle for me. Now I can bench press 150 lbs. That is crazy!!!! It is so satisfying to see the growth.

The real life results are what I continue to be thankful for. I was just mentioning to one of the other members that when I would go shopping at Costco, I would dread having to lift the case of water or the 40 lb bag of dog food onto my cart. It really was hard for me to do and it actually gave me anxiety. Now, I lift them with ease. A year ago, if my 7 yr old son fell asleep downstairs I would have to wake him up so he could walk himself up the stairs and into bed. Now I can just let him sleep because I can carry him up.

I’ve lost only about 15 lbs since July but my body has changed. I can see and feel that parts of me are a bit tighter and less flabby. The work that I put in downstairs at Punch has led me to respect my body more and also to be more aware of what I put into my body so I am extremely hopeful that I will get to my weight loss goal.

4. What advice would you give to someone who might be intimidated to come to Punch?

There is absolutely no reason to be intimidated by this gym because the Staff here is extremely supportive and knowledgeable. They take such great care in teaching the proper technique and because the classes are small, they are able to watch and make sure that you have the correct form so you can get the most out of the movement and avoid injury. These guys know their stuff!

Through the workouts I have really begun to learn what my body is capable of doing. It keeps me coming back because I’m so curious to see what else I can do. You put the work in and you see results and it is all worth it.

I am so happy that I joined Punch. There is something so comforting about being around people who are so supportive and who genuinely celebrate each other’s successes.