Denver fitness and nutrition expert Emily Schromm is on a healing journey.
Emily Schromm probably looks familiar. The Denver personal trainer and nutritional therapy practitioner starred on MTV’s “Real World: Washington, D.C.” and “The Challenge.” The Instagram influencer (with more than 280,000 followers), who focuses on clean, dairy-free, gluten-free eating, was also named the 2014 Women’s Health Next Fitness Star. And, with her online fitness challenges and iTunes podcast, weight-training EmPack backpack, Element Tea line and a new gym opening in RiNo, her 15 minutes of fame aren’t close to being up. We checked in with the self-proclaimed “meathead hippie” to talk body image, stress relief and “getting jacked.”
How’d you get into nutrition and fitness?
“I struggled with acne and gut issues my whole life. Once I realized certain foods were affecting the way I thought and performed, I became a nutritional therapy practitioner, which was a great way to complement the personal training I had been doing. I had never looked in the mirror and been happy with what I saw. Then one day I thought, ‘I can either look this way for the rest of my life or do something about it.’ After that, every time I left the gym I felt like a superhero. And I wanted to share it with others.”
How did it feel to be named the Women’s Health Next Fitness Star?
“I was so proud because I don’t fit typical beauty standards. I am a bigger athlete with big traps. I was grateful Women’s Health saw that as a positive. It tapped into a trend where it doesn’t matter what size you are, as long as you feel good from the inside out.”
And you call yourself a “meathead hippie”?
“In a weight room, I’m in my happy place. I always joke that my goal is just to get jacked. That’s the meathead side. The hippie side has to do with dealing with stress. I have five businesses and am always close to overdoing it. Stress does so much to our bodies—it causes weight gain, harms our sleep quality … . So when I say ‘hippie,’ I’m referring to how I bio-hack my body, using essential oils, palo santo, herbal teas. If I only do meathead stuff and am just really fit and jacked, I kind of fall apart, so the hippie side is about taking care of myself emotionally.”
What has made the biggest difference in transforming your body and skin?
“I honestly think if you are having trouble with your mental state, skin or gut issues, it’s 100 percent the food that you eat.”
Describe your training style.
“My training involves both strength and circuit training. I teach all my clients how to squat and press. Barbell movements are important to me and if that interests a client, I get them into Olympic lifting because no matter how old they are, learning how to get their hands on a barbell is empowering, especially for female clients.”
What advice do you have for those just starting out on their wellness journeys?
“Every single day makes a difference. Starting out, you’re basically just making habits, so be patient. Skipping a workout doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your progress for that week. Pick two to three tiny goals, like drinking enough water, getting enough steps in or taking the stairs. Then going to the gym or working out three times a week becomes a realistic goal and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you don’t make it every day. Smaller goals may not feel like they make the biggest differences but they do.”
What the fitness pro is working on (find more info at emilyschromm.com)
- A Kickstarter-funded backpack that serves as a weight-training pack, it has water reservoirs that can be filled to add weight for workouts on the go. The new EmPack Nomad, a nimbler version of the original, is great for trail runners, hikers and fitness newbies.
- Holistic loose-leaf teas that target energy, stress, sleep and digestive levels.
Body Awareness Project
- Schromm’s online course tackles self-love, skin and hormonal issues.
- A 21-day online fitness challenge. “Generally, I want people to cut sugar, exercise every day and drink enough water. It’s a point system, so they can log points every day for certain tasks, such as taking fish oil, drinking enough water and limiting sugar consumption. They also receive an email every day with a video and a message that tells them the workout of the day or offers nutritional information.”
- A weekly iTunes podcast covering fitness, wellness and personal growth.
- Schromm’s new RiNo gym, 3198 Blake St., is slated to open this summer. “I’m a former CrossFitter and I love strength training and Olympic weightlifting, but I also really love to do triceps extensions and abs. I haven’t found a place where I feel I can do all that, a place where everyone is accepted at all fitness levels with a primary focus on strength training. So Platform Fitness is going to be a great hybrid gym with strength and conditioning classes and 24/7 access, but also with a community I think I have been missing for a while.”