Michele Burmaster is one of the busiest women in the Body Positive Fitness movement. She's the owner of Surf City Fit Club in Huntington Beach, California, the founder of Disrupt Your Diet and Body Positive Fitness Alliance, and she owns a Kettlebell Sport Apparel line called Kettlebizness.
In the pic above, Michele is happily showing off her hands after a kettlebell lifting competition. "I'm showing here that without tape my hands did not tear at all! THIS should be the new standard of bragging about your fitness. NOT blood, NOT vomit... but doing things appropriately and with great form to the point where you can pull off something SUPER hard and rad, and not have to destroy your body through it! To be able to complete a 10 minute set without tearing your hands is quite the accomplishment, and I'm more proud of this than any battle wound I've ever suffered."
Five years ago, Michele transformed her life by losing 70 pounds and developing a passion for fitness. She decided to pursue a fitness career to help others transform their lives as well. She quickly became frustrated with the fitness industry's obsession with appearance and glorification of extreme and often unsafe exercise practices. It has since become Michele's goal to help make fitness accessible for everyone.
What is your superpower?
Cutting through the BS and barriers that the fitness industry has laid out with their unrealistic expectations, often unsafe extremes, and unbalanced focus on aesthetics over mental, physical and emotional health. I'm striving to make the global standard of fitness accessible, approachable, fun, a community, within scope of practice, focused on full health and body positive.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
I'm just really proud of where I am today. I've worked really hard to grow my skill set in all facets of habit based coaching, motivating other leaders, running an efficient business and promoting positive change and I'm really glad it has come this far. Our movement is growing rapidly and it's an honor to be on the front lines.
What does a typical week in fitness look like for you?
Well, my entire life is focused around fitness. I also still work a 40 hour a week day job as a graphics designer. This allows me to pay my rent and personal bills without letting my businesses suffer. Monday through Friday I will be training members for 5 hours, working at a desk at my day job for 8 hours while running all four of my businesses in between all of that. I also find time to train myself- right now my focus is on kettlebell sport, perfecting my form so that one day I can compete at a heavy weight (20k or greater for a ten minute competition set [my last competition was two days ago and I did 18k! Getting there!]). On Saturdays and Sundays I somehow balance more training of members, family time, downtime and about 8-10 hours of running my businesses as well. My biggest goal is to ensure 6-7 hours of sleep per night.
What’s your biggest challenge/goal right now?
Getting Body Positive Fitness Alliance off the ground. It's a network and resource for all fitness professionals, facility owners and members of the general public who are passionate about making fitness accessible and approachable for anyone who wants to get fit. It's a movement that says, "You do not have to subscribe to any extremism or subculture if you want to gain strength." It breaks down barriers for members of the general public. I started BPFA because multiple times a day people from all over the globe were asking me how they can find a gym like mine in their corner of the world. I've created a structure and system for gym owners who are ready to commit to providing fitness to the other 90% of the population who just want to get strong and don't want to be judged, uncomfortable or intimidated for doing so.
How can the Superfit Hero community support you?
First, like Body Positive Fitness Alliance on facebook. Secondly, spread the word that this is the new way of fitness! Fitness professionals - implement the seven pillars in your facilities and watch how your outreach just soars by attracting individuals who've always had the desire to get fit but never had the "safe place" to do so. Individuals who want that space but don't have it can spread our mission in their communities. Meet some trainers and facility owners and let them know BPFA is out there and wanting to help them. If you don't have a BPFA gym in your community, you very well could just by letting them know we are here!