Kim Reaves sees himself as sort of a preacher. But not of religion.
Rather, of healthy living.
“I preach fitness,” he says. “I don’t just look at this as a job, but as my calling. This is my purpose.”
Reaves is a personal trainer at One Life Fitness in City Center. He has been working with clients at One Life since 2010. Before that, he trained people at Bally’s and Gold’s Gym. He has been certified since 2006.
“I love what I do so much,” he says with a huge smile.
Wearing black sweatpants and a red sweat jacket, Reaves, 51, walks the floor of One Life as though he’s the mayor of the gym. Everyone knows him. He’s a “people person” at heart, stopping to talk with everyone and check his or her fitness progress. Reaves works hard at his job, averaging 25 to 30 sessions a day. In a month, he averages 240 to 260 sessions.
Most of his clients come from word of mouth, hearing about Reaves from friends who have achieved great fitness progress under Reaves’ direction. One of his clients has lost more than 200 pounds. Countless others have firmed up and regained control of their health. He helps people train for bodybuilding contests and for long races.
“This job is perfect for me. It feels like I don’t even work,” he says.
Reaves, who grew up in Burlington, North Carolina, was always a physical person. As a child, he played sports, and when he got older, he competed in body-building competitions. His wife was in the military, and her job moved them to Italy. He worked on his fitness while abroad.
Once Reaves and his wife returned, he took a job at Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), but that didn’t last long. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. His then boss told him he felt Reaves’ heart was “not with the ministry anymore.” He had another job within two weeks of leaving his CBN position.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he says.
Reaves, with lots of encouragement from his now-retired wife, took the test to be a certified personal trainer and passed in 2006. He has never looked back. He has gained a following, mostly because he takes great interest in his clients, keeping them challenged and interested with innovative workouts.
“I try to do dynamic, creative workouts,” he says. “I am going to push you, but not beyond what you are capable of.”
Not only does Reaves do one-on-one sessions, he also leads high-intensity group classes. In one of his classes, he brings in a DJ to liven it up. He also does his own workouts out in the open where people can see him and “see what I do.”
Reaves is a firm believer in a healthy lifestyle that combines physical fitness and proper nutrition. He encourages his clients to live well-rounded lives and to commit to making health a permanent part of it, not just a phase that comes and goes.
“Clients are going to get out of it what they put into it,” he says.
“Sometimes people say they were scared of me. But once they figured out I wasn’t going to kill them, they realized they needed what I had to offer. And then they say ‘that wasn’t as bad as I thought.’”
As trainer, Reaves gets to know his clients. He sometimes becomes part trainer and part therapist. He listens to them and they become friends. He is invested in their well-being, and sometimes that means helping them mentally as well as physically.
“I have cried with them,” he says. “It’s all part of it. I do it all.”
Reaves has no intention of retiring anytime soon. He is still strong, vibrant and full of energy and ideas. He has lots of wisdom left to share. Watching people change as a result of his advice and workouts keeps him going.
“I love seeing the results,” he says. “That’s what makes my job fun.”
TO THE POINT:
Kim Reaves, personal trainer, One Life Fitness
Address: 815 City Center Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606