In The Gym with Robin Marion


FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers.

RM:  My name is Robin Marion. I am owner and operator of Velvet & Steel Fitness, LLC. I’m 43 years old and originally from Chicago, IL.  I reside in Waldorf, MD.

FFFC:  How did you get started in fitness and working out?

RM:  I’ve always been into fitness starting from middle school. I was a 400m sprinter and hurdler in high school. The military further enhanced that love of fitness with daily physical training. While in the military, I worked out consistently and a coworker of mine convinced me to compete in the Korea-wide bodybuilding competition twice. I took 2nd place both times. That was something that I never thought I could or would do but someone else believing in me made me want to accomplish it so I set my goal to do so. I’ve always been a hard gainer in the weight department. My body does not absorb B12 from foods so my physical activity had to be regulated as a child to keep me from losing so much weight. I decided that I would not let that be an obstacle. I move obstacles.

FFFC:  Why did you make fitness your career choice?  How?

RM:  Fitness is really my second career but the one I am the most passionate about. I love helping people and helping them to see their full potential. Often times, people really do want to make a change in their lives but do not know where or how to begin. I was a Master Fitness Trainer while in the military. I also got my personal trainer certification while in the military. This year, I received my RRCA Running Coach Certification and am currently doing advance training in the nutrition field. I want to further expand the nutritional aspect of my personal trainer certification.

FFFC:  How do you balance making time to get in your workouts with the demands of your career and personal life?

RM:  That is a tough one. I’m often told I am the only one that can squeeze 30 hours into a 24 hour day. My kids are 12 and 10 so they are very self-sufficient. I meal plan for the week and will often have 2-3 crockpots going on the weekend to prepare for the next week. I get up early if I have to to hit the gym or run or I get my strength training in when everyone has gone to bed. I figure, I can give myself an hour to hit the weights. Other less important things get my time so why not give myself time. I’m important enough. My kids sometimes accompany me on short, slower runs. My family is very much into fitness so sometimes family outings are fitness activities.

FFFC:  What do you like most about what you do?

RM:  Seeing the smiles on peoples’ faces when they see changes that they thought were not possible.

FFFC:  What is your favorite exercise routine?

RM:  I do a total body workout when I go to the gym. My favorite routine is the superset workout. Not only does it cut down on time, it taxes the muscles and produces great results.

FFFC:  What do you consider the most useful workout equipment?

RM:  Resistance bands. They are portable and give you a great workout.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this field and what you do?

RM:  There are several. The first one is a female can’t adequately train a guy. We’re not tough enough. In fact, we are generally tougher than our male counterparts. Also someone who is thin can’t understand the struggle of a heavier person when it comes to losing weight. Personal trainers are very empathetic and sympathetic people. Our clients are truly family to us.

FFFC:  What general tips do you have for the average woman trying to balance family, career with a fitness lifestyle?

RM:  Organization, organization, organization. Don’t try to do everything at once. Don’t be afraid to say no. If the laundry doesn’t get done on Thursday…it’s okay. Take time for family. The workouts will always be there but you have to take care of home first.

FFFC:  Do you have any words of wisdom to share with our  readers who continue to struggle with poor eating and drinking choices and habits?

RM:  Take it one day at a time. It is a journey and a process. There are no quick fixes. What goes off fast, generally comes back faster. Get uncomfortable with the choices you are making. Generally people continue to make the same bad choices because they are too comfortable with them.

FFFC:  What would you say is your biggest career accomplishment to date? 

RM:  The biggest career accomplishment to date would be officially launching my own business, Velvet & Steel Fitness, LLC after so many years of being a trainer.

FFFC:  Who is your fitness idol?

RM:  As strange as this may sound, I have a few but I would have to say my biggest fitness idol is my husband. He was diagnosed with thyrodism years ago and I watched him go from being a bodybuilder at 180 to 150lbs in less than a month and fighting to maintain everyday. He battled that long and hard and fought his way back from it. He has never looked healthier. He works out religiously and helps others.

FFFC:  How can our readers find you on the web or inquire about your services?

RM:  They can go to, [email protected], the FB page is Velvet & Steel Fitness, LLC.

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