People: Rachel Turner's love-focused fitness program

Erica Thompson

Local nutrition fitness specialist and personal trainer Rachel Turner is not going to help you get abs in 21 days. Instead, her online personal training business, Strong Chicks Rock, encourages women to shift their mindset about diet and exercise in order to achieve long-term success.

"I think the true change can come from eating for health and eating out of love," she said. "That's why our focus is to honor your body through food, movement and self-love."

Turner's own fitness journey began in childhood in Dublin, Ohio. She and her sister were raised by a single father who worked as a strength and conditioning coach for athletes. His daughters watched from the sidelines as he helped players on the Columbus Crew SC and Columbus Destroyers.

"[Fitness] was our whole life; that's all we knew," Turner said. "We got to wake up every day and see my dad live out what he was passionate about and just kind of fell in love with it."

But Turner soon learned that she would not find her place in the industry through sports. She played lacrosse and ran track, but she was not enthusiastic about being an athlete. "When I was thirteen, my dad introduced us to kettle bells, and that's when I started enjoying movement and wanting to be more active," she said.

After high school, Turner interned with her dad and The Human Form, a holistic gym in Columbus. She received her fitness nutrition certification through ISSA and personal training certification through NASM. She was inspired to start her own business after having her son, Cooper, in her late teens.

"I was unhappy … with how my body looked and I felt depressed, and I felt stuck, and I wanted to get unstuck," she said. "Along the way, I realized I was just after this body … instead of focusing on all the aspects of being healthy." After failing to find resources that helped women improve their bodies as well as their self-esteem, Turner created Strong Chicks Rock in 2013.

During the application process, potential clients share their goals and history with dieting and working out. If accepted, they receive an in-depth assessment, a customized eating and exercise plan and weekly check-ins. Skype is a major part of the training.

Turner does not require her clients to exercise in a gym. "It can be going for a walk, chasing your kids around [or] going to a dance class," she said.

"The nutrition aspect isn't a 'here, eat this; don't eat this' [approach] … I teach them how to listen to their body and honor their body through foods that help them in their performance and just everyday life."

While Strong Chicks Rock is a virtual company, Columbus-based clients may purchase in-person sessions. Through a partnership with the W Nail Bar and Tawny Turner at Salon Lofts in Short North at the Hub, Rachel Turner is able to give her locals a discount on a makeover - which is a way for them to "celebrate their success" without indulging in food.

All members of Strong Chicks Rock have access to a private "accountability" Facebook group, where they can share their questions, victories and struggles judgement-free. "I feel like this journey can be lonely for a lot of women," Turner said. "Maybe their boyfriends or their families don't support them. So I wanted a place where they felt like they could come and have a community."

After just a few years, and at just 22 years old, Turner has helped more than 200 women both locally and in states from New York to California. Though she has had clients with significant weight loss stories, she has had even more change their outlook on life, and share their success on social media.

"Their friends are like, 'Holy crap, what are you doing?' … and they tell them, 'I'm part of Strong Chicks Rock, and it's about fitness, but it's about so much more than fitness,'" Turner said.

Visit our blog to get an exclusive workout and recipe from Strong Chicks Rock.

Name: Rachel Turner

Age: 22

Day Job: Owner of Strong Chicks Rock

Hometown: Dublin

Current Neighborhood: Grandview

Currently listening to: Banks

Favorite restaurant in Columbus: Tasi Café

Favorite Movie: "My Best Friend's Wedding"

Favorite TV show: "Grey's Anatomy"

What's the last thing that made you laugh 'til you cried? "My friend Jeff is hilarious and I feel like his life mission is to make people laugh. The last thing to make me laugh until I cried was him speaking in a bunch of different accents!"