Local Highlights of Madison WI

Local Fitness Coach Highlight — Meet Ariel Mierendorf

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

At The Healthy Place, we love our local trainers and fitness coaches. These passionate individuals are changing the lives of our neighbors and friends in the Madison area (and beyond!) through helping them make the lifestyle choices necessary to ‘find their healthy place’. While we specialize in providing the nutrients, supplements, and health foods to help you all on your way, it’s these local trainers who are the ones who get to help you transform all that newfound energy, health, and motivation into action and activity.

We’ve got a lot of trainers that we partner with, support, and love. But Ariel Mierendorf is one of our favorites. We’re excited to sponsor her! As a passionate athlete, this rock-star fitness coach has won medals for body-building, races, and more. When she walks into the store to visit, you can feel the positive energy in the whole building get a boost.

We want you to get to know her too. You can read all about her in the interview below.

When/what inspired you to begin your fitness journey?

I was fortunate to come from a family of athletes. I always played sports growing up: soccer, track, cross country — and my mom showed me the way around a weight room at a young age. It was natural for me to teach my friends how to work out and to lift weights. Personal training was a perfect fit, and I have been doing some form of fitness coaching and instructing for the past seven years.

I’ve always loved being competitive and this was something I missed when I started college. So, following in my mother’s footsteps, I competed in my first bodybuilding show at the age of 20. Since that time six years ago, I have competed at the national level and earned two pro cards. This year, I ran my first marathon and plan to run another in November. I have every intention to continue to keep up my diversity as an athlete in order to keep my competitive juices flowing! Pro show or Iron Man in the future? We’ll see!

What fitness supplement/food can you just not live without?

Probiotics. Green juice. These are the powerhouses that support my health!

What’s your favorite way to workout for yourself?

A loaded question! This depends on my mood and what phase of training I’m in. I will always have a love for both weight lifting and running. I like to mix heavier weight days with lighter days.

I also enjoy HIIT style Cardio — especially when it’s in a group environment like Custom Fitness Specialists in Madison (my coaches gym). It’s so motivating to be around other driven, positive and uplifting people. Thanks to the oversight and attention you get from a personal fitness coach, as well as the team dynamic, it’s the perfect mix for me.

You obviously love coaching and inspiring others — what’s your favorite part about your job?

My favorite part about coaching is when someone tells me that the hour spent with me is the best part of their day. I love that I get to provide a time of escape and retreat from the day-to-day American hustle. When my client can lift a heavier weight or run around with their kids without feeling out of breath, it makes them feel strong and empowered. My joy lies in serving others, and I hope my service improves the quality of life for those I am fortunate to work with.

What are some of the most common roadblocks you see when helping someone get fit? How do you help them overcome these?

Nutrition and consistency. You can work out like crazy, but usually, the results are majorly influenced by your diet and consistency with that. Proper nutrition is a missing element in many fitness plans — everyone wants the ‘quick fix’. When people aren’t seeing fast results, they often get frustrated.

Keeping tabs on the progress of my client and reminding them of their goals (both long-term and short-term) helps to overcome these obstacles. I like to offer nutritional guidance and support, such as journal check in’s, recipe ideas, or even as far as going into their home to teach them how to do healthy meal prep if it’s needed. Everyone is on a different and unique journey with various obstacles, so it’s all about meeting people wherever they are at the moment.

What’s your strategy when creating a unique training program for each of your students?

It’s important to me that I meet my students where they are. I have everyone fill out a health history form, as well as a form that asks them to rate their goals and tell me about their lifestyle. Right away, I ask what obstacles they foresee along their path to reach their goals. We discuss nutrition, and I allow them to ask me some questions too.

It’s important we are comfortable with each other, and that they feel like I am a good fit as well. So, we need to get to know each other. The more you like your trainer and trust them, the more likely you are to stick with your plan!

Next, I usually take some form of measurement of their body composition. Depending on what my client’s goals are, I usually record weight, measure the circumference of different body parts, and measure body fat percentage. These measurements give us a few different lenses to look through to see how and where a person is changing!

However, if someone’s goal is to improve their 5k time or squat their body weight, then I might not take any measurements but rather do some other fitness related testing. It’s all about the individual and their goals!

Lastly, I create a plan that includes small, short-term goals. For example, if a student wants to drop belly fat and feel stronger and healthier, we might create a small goal such as replacing soda with another beverage, eating a healthier breakfast, or increasing training from zero to twice per week.

Taking small steps towards your goal is what it’s all about. Putting one foot in front of the other towards ‘the thing’: this makes for a lifestyle change that is bound to stick rather than a quick fix that will likely fade.

Ok — any good trainer can do all of these things…so what makes me unique? ME! I rarely, if ever, make anyone do the same workout twice and I always bring a fun and enthusiastic attitude. I want people to enjoy the time they spend with me, so I do my best to make it fun and with a smile!

What kind of fitness training styles do you teach your students?

I always start with mobility or proper movement of the joints. This usually looks something like yoga with basic movements to build strength through the core. I want people to feel their body so they can be more in tune with what it needs. What does it feel like to use your legs when you lift something from the floor? What does it feel like to activate your abs or sit up nice and tall?

Body awareness is key to progressing both physically and mentally. From there I incorporate some form of weight / resistance training. This benefits people in a variety of ways, including increased strength, bone density, and is a huge key to weight loss and weight loss management.

What’s your ‘cheat’ food?

Pizza and a hot fudge Oreo sundae …..busted!!

Questions on Personal Training and Local Fitness Gyms?

We keep pretty close tabs on local trainers and gyms that are doing things we love and support. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about when/where/how to start working out with a fitness coach or at a gym. We’d love to connect you to local experts, like Ariel, that can help you ‘find your healthy place’.

Already sold on Ariel? (We thought you might be!) You can get in touch with her here.


*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”


The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
6313 McKee Road Suite 100
Fitchburg, WI 53719
608-663-2640

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550 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717
608-203-5245

The Healthy Place – Apple Wellness
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Sun Prairie, WI 53590
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Middleton, WI 53562
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Rynn Jacobson is a content writer living in Seattle, WA. She's passionate about educating people on natural and alternative health and wellness options. Her favorite way to stay healthy is drinking herbal tea and hiking in the mountains.

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