Visalia program pairs strength training with confidence building for women

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Training like a girl is taking on new meaning in the South Valley.

"They're working out to be the woman they're meant to be," says Nikki Scholl.

Scholl started the studio with a mission to encourage women of all body shapes and sizes to find their power.

"I was told every woman regardless of genetics, your job was to be stronger and thinner, and I saw so much where women would just stop going to the gym because it was an impossible body standard to meet," she said.

Since June of 2017, Nikki and her team of coaches have paired strength training with confidence building.

"We're able to accept our bodies, appreciate them for where they're at and then apply nutrition and fitness into that level," she said.

A method she's bringing to younger generations through the "Inspire Project."

"We really incorporated the message that we wanted to hear when we were growing up," Scholl said. "No one ever taught me that I was able to just workout to be strong, to be confident, to be able to walk down the street and not be afraid.

Meeting twice a week, the teens explore different forms of movement including weight training, yoga, Jiu-Jitsu, and even hiking.

Blythe Duarte is the youngest inspire project student as a sixth-grader.

"It's kinda amazing that all these students in high school, I can just come to for advice," she said. "They're all like older sisters to me."

Each session ends with a guest speaker so the girls can learn about potential career paths.

The group time allows them to talk about everything from finding their voice to protecting themselves.

"When they're in this space and they're trying to do something they've never done before and it's hard, they don't feel like they're being judge," Scholl said. "They don't feel like they're in competition with someone else. They feel like they have 19 other cheerleaders behind their backs."
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