Melody L Schoenfeld, our February 2020 Trainer of the Month, started training in 1996. Having been bullied growing up, Melody was surprised to learn as an adult that she had real physical strength — and even more surprised when she realized she had a huge passion for strength sports. She’s been a Strongman competitor and was named CA’s Strongest Woman in 2016. Melody runs two businesses: Flawless Fitness, which she started in 2004 and Evil Monkey Enterprises in 2013. Each and every day, she works tirelessly to share her knowledge.
Here is a look at how Melody is Raising the Bar…
Certifications/qualifications: NSCA-CSCS, MA (Health Psychology)
Studio/Business Name: Flawless Fitness/Evil Munky Enterprises
Year started in business: Training since 1996; owned business since 2004 and studio since 2013
Awards & Recognition:
• NSCA 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year
• State and American powerlifting records in all 3 lifts
• Strongman competitor (2nd in weight class, CA’s Strongest Woman 2016)
• Can perform old-time strongman feats of strength such as bending steel rebar and tearing phone books in half
• Published author (Pleasure Not Meating You, and a new that will be published through Human Kinetics in 2020)
• Appeared on multiple news programs across the US
• Articles have appeared in everything from the Strength and Conditioning Journal to Men’s Fitness and Shape magazines
What inspired you to start your business?
I know it’s cliché, but I have always wanted to help people. I have been surrounded by people with eating disorders and dysfunctional eating patterns my entire life and that made me realize how important healthy eating and fitness are. I was never athletic growing up and was bullied quite a lot, and it was a surprise to me to learn as an adult that I had real physical strength. It was even more of a surprise to find that I’d developed a huge passion for strength sports. I am phenomenally fortunate to get to help others discover a love of movement and strength and newfound health every single day.
What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable?
I pack a whole lot into my life. I run two businesses, I am an author, I am an online nutrition coach and trainer, and I am a performing musician. I’ve had to learn how to manage my time well, I’ve had to learn how to take time to just relax for a little while every day, and I’ve had to learn how to say “no” to things (that’s always been a challenge for me).
If I asked one of your clients why they choose you over other places/gyms/trainers, what would they likely say?
I’d like to say it’s my awesome dad jokes, but I think it’s more likely that I meet people where they are at and don’t try to push them beyond anything they’re not ready for yet in the gym or in their diet. I have a lot of knowledge about biomechanics and nutrition, and I am able to help people reach their goals in a sustainable and manageable way. And apparently, according to my clients, I’m a lot cheaper than therapy.
Name one or two ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry.
I don’t have children, so for me, my legacy is the ability to share knowledge. I write books, peer-reviewed journal articles and articles for magazines and newspapers. I speak nationally and internationally on many subjects pertaining to strength, nutrition and the business of personal training. I am a huge proponent of giving back to the community, and I have volunteered to teach after-school health and fitness classes at an elementary school, spoken at schools and children’s programs about subjects pertaining to health and fitness, and held free nutrition classes for the neighborhood at my studio.