December 8, 2016

Meet Sumi Singh

Meet Sumi

  A personal trainer with more than 15 years experience, Sumi is located in Austin, Texas and is ISSA, AFPA, and IFPA certified. She first became "hooked" on fitness at the age of 12 when she first her laid hands on a set of her dad’s dumbbells. Her father lifted every morning, "nothing heavy," but it was a daily habit. In fact both her parents walked every single day, often twice a day. So, when she joined track in high school for shot put and discus, she was encouraged my her coach telling her how strong she was for someone so small. Her family and coach's early encouragement of her athletic endeavors inspired her on a lifelong fitness journey where she proudly achieved several milestones: losing all her "baby weight" less than 2 months after a C-section; bench pressing her own body weight; and finishing a 5k in her personal best time and regularly placing in her age class. Sumi explains "these proud moments are especially important to me as an Indian woman given the tendency of our culture to dismiss the value of athletic activities. But that’s hopefully changing. It’s a gift to be fit, female, Indian trainer and a single mom. I never forget that I have a young daughter watching." Wow, right??? Who wouldn't want to train with this awesome woman!!

  While Sumi doesn't subscribe to any one method, she has always favored basic barbell training for strength, specifically free weights and dumbbells. "Ultimately, I think the job of the trainer/coach is to listen to what the client needs. What makes them happy and motivated and training now and forever with consistency. Whatever training program or nutrition program has to take into account the likes/dislikes of the client, their schedule/constraints, food allergies, their injury history, what they want to accomplish, what their training background is, etc etc." she believes. 

  Her personal fitness philosophy is practical, effective and relatable: "there are absolutely no quick fixes." If she ever wanted to get stronger,  she knows it will take time in the gym. To lose body fat post-baby, she knew it could take months and be "painfully slow when you’re not sleeping well or struggling to find the time." She shares this awareness with her clients to motivate them and to encourage them. "If you want to run strong, you got to put the miles in week after week after week. But know that with every step, no matter how small, can propel you onto a healthier path." Most importantly she helps her clients truly understand that it can be a good thing that this process can be slow, or slower than you anticipate, because "creating and ingraining healthy habits that last forever." We couldn't agree more!

  Sumi also writes a great blog on her website. We especially enjoyed her blog about teaching great group fitness class (check it out here: Sumi finds that many people begin their lifetime journey of health and fitness by taking a group fitness class. Often trainers and coaches might be the front line, the first impression a newcomer gets to see, so believes it’s important to create a fun, safe, and welcoming class experience. The trainer's impact could be lasting on their lives, and "you might be that keystone influencer that affects behaviors outside the gym. You only get  a moment but group training gives the trainer a chance to interact with a large group and spread their fitness philosophy." 

  Equally important and rewarding to her is one-on-one training because she "gets to make people strong and empowered." There’s really no better feeling than that, is there?  "You see women get under the bar and push weights that they didn’t think was possible. In a 1-1 setting you also get to tailor the workout to their goals and needs and that’s not possible in a group setting." What's more? She has gotten to know some really awesome and incredible people and she loves that it is truly a personal experience.

  We love Sumi's self-professed old-school approach: "I’m direct and I have nothing to sell you. The slow-motion, boring, un-sexy message that I advocate is that it takes time, consistency, and dedication to achieve your goal. Everyone wants to sell you a quick fix. But the majority of my clients know it’s a process and that it takes time to achieve whatever fitness goal they have. They know that if it’s worth fighting for, it will be hard work. There’s no magic workout, or a special supplement or shake you need to kick start your progress. It really doesn’t take that much to start. I advocate a “baby steps” approach. Even walking 15 minutes a day to begin is better than sitting on the couch. But START."

  We definitely think you should START training with Sumi if you're in the Austin-area! Check out her website: or email her at Don't forget to follow her on Instagram at @shailafitness and on Facebook too!