Ms. Namita Nayyar: Tell us about your journey that took you to the top of the world of fitness modeling and of being a national bikini competitor?
Ms. Kendall Lou Schmidt: When I was 13 I started doing TaeBo home workouts with Billy Blanks on VHS tapes (yes I said VHS!) in my bedroom. Maybe it was the catchy infomercials, maybe I just had too much energy for my own good. What ever the reason I was drawn to it. This is the first experience of “working out” I can remember. Hey, everyone starts somewhere!
I had always loved the water, so when I started high school I tried out for the water polo team. My first exposure to weight training was for team strength training in the high school weight room. I definitely thrived in the gym and enjoyed strength training. When I turned 16 I got my first job at the local gym and started to get familiar with all the other aspects of the fitness industry.
Next thing you know 4 years had flown by and I had been in the pool and gym. After high school sports ended I had a huge hole that needed to be filled. I found a lock and key fit by teaching group fitness classes. I started teaching Spinning when I was 18 and never looked back. From there one thing led to another. Now I teach everything… when I say that I mean it… Pilates, Yoga, Boot Camp, Zumba, Step, Toning, Silver Sneakers etc etc etc.
To satisfy my competitive side, I began competing in triathlons, organized runs and of course bikini competitions. Photographers started to approach me at shows and through social media requesting to shoot me. The more good pictures I had the more photographers wanted to shoot and it just snowballed from there.
In 2014 I entered the Bodybuilding.com Bodyspace Spokesmodel search and was lucky enough to make the top 5 female finalist. This has given me opportunities to model and write for the Bodybuilding.com website and also gained me my wonderful sponsors, Athletic Edge Nutrition. It has been a wild ride and I’m loving every second of it!!!
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have an exceptionally set of educational background having a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Certifications in Personal Training, Group Fitness and much more. How did your education lead you to your current career as a fitness professional.
Ms. Kendall Lou Schmidt: Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m unusually hyperactive. Fortunately I still did well in class and excelled in school. I graduated valedictorian and varsity athlete, heading into college with every intention of becoming a doctor. While a student at UC Davis I worked as the Student Coordinator for the Fitness and Wellness Department of Campus Recreation. It was an incredibly fun experience and gave me the opportunity to lead the UC Davis Football, Basketball, Gymnastics, and Women’s Swim Team through pre-season conditioning. I also spent time training tri-athletes, instructing swim lessons, presenting workshops for student outreach, teaching diverse group fitness classes and training clients of all fitness levels, ages, and backgrounds. In only three and a half short years I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior.
As the time to apply to medical school approached, even though I had the grades and test scores to be a strong candidate, I felt my heart pulling in another direction. My passion for fitness and wellness was too strong to ignore. For this reason I put my medical ambitions aside and decided to continue my work as a fitness professional. For over a decade I have been working in Fitness and Wellness both as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Coach, Motivational & Educational Public Speaker, Presenter and Examiner for the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and most recently the Northern California Instructor Coordinator for the SilverSneakers Fitness Program.
Even though I did not follow my original path into the medical field, my educational background has greatly improved my skills as a fitness professional and has made it possible for me approach training as both as athlete and scientist. I find my job to be incredibly rewarding and feel great satisfaction in helping my clients live healthier lives.