Who am I

Get to know me and how I got started in the fitness industry.

Stevie Johnson

5/11/20236 min read

Hey there! And welcome to my blog!

My name is Stevie Johnson. I live in a rural town in Utah. I married my wonderful husband Stephen (yes we are Stevie and Stephen!) in 2014 and we have 3 beautiful children! We are just as busy as other American families who shuttle kids around to Scouts and sports and other things we enjoy like camping and riding the trails in our side-by-side.

I am a certified personal trainer. I did the NASM Program at Provo College in 2015. In 2019 I became a certified nutritionist from one of the top programs in the world: Precision Nutrition. In 2018, I pioneered the ACSM Personal Training class at Snow College where I teach my students how to become a better breed of personal trainer. I have taken several courses on supplements, macronutrients, training women through and after pregnancy, as well as becoming a Certified Online Trainer so I can help clients all over the world! I coached clients in Utah, Texas, and Georgia. Working with someone from each state is a fun goal of mine.

I am currently a competitive powerlifter and I am preparing for APF Nationals in July. I got started in powerlifting in 2021 when a client of mine told me she wanted me to compete with her. You can read more of that story here. I LOVE this sport and how it makes me feel so strong physically and makes me mentally strong as well. The support of the community is amazing as well.

So, how did I get here?

When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to get strong and put on weight. I'd always been short and skinny and I wanted to change that. So I had my friends help me and show me how to use the college fitness room. (which was SO small at the time. Not even a squat rack.) I would look up workouts on Pinterest and follow them but definitely didn't push myself hard enough. I knew I had to eat protein and my friend bought me a tub of protein. I knew eggs had protein in them so I ate those too. The protein powder my friend bought me was DISGUSTING!! I felt so bad that I hated it because it was like $80 and he had gifted it to me.

Eventually I met my now husband Stephen and he started showing me the ropes of the gym. At least, until I realized he totally knew what he was doing and I was afraid he was going to make fun of me for being weak and and not knowing how to do anything in the gym. Our first couple of dates were at the gym, and then I refused to go with him anymore. But that didn't stop him from inviting me and encouraging me. He invited me every single day for 5 months to go with him to the gym and I refused.

When I finally agreed to go with him and have him teach me, I made him promise he was not going to make fun of me, tease me or give me a hard time of any kind. If he did this ONCE, I would never go with him again. He promised and we started going to the gym together again.

Personal Training School

I was originally going to school so I could become a nurse. I've always loved helping people and nursing was my original major. But I could NOT pass chemistry for the life of me so I started looking for other ideas. I was married to Stephen by now and we were discussing what was going to happen after we graduated from Snow College. I remember telling him that I love the way working out made me feel and I wanted to help other people feel that way too! Shortly after this conversation, we heard an ad on Pandora for the personal training program at Provo College.

We signed up together and did the class together. It was a NASM-based program taught by a man named Eddie Schumacher. Now Eddie is an old-school bodybuilder and he has a no-nonsense kind of attitude when it comes to personal training and fitness. We LOVED his class and we did very well. After his class, we both did an internship at a big box gym called Vasa, but we both had dreams of owning our own gym. After we graduated from Provo College and passed the NASM certifying exam, we decided to move back to Stephens's home town and we started working on our own personal training business. We started working with a handful of clients at the local gym and started figuring out how to build our very own gym.

Optimal Fitness & Training

We had the opportunity to partner with someone who helped us purchase a small gym and he let us use one side of one of his business rentals for our gym! We opened up our gym Optimal Fitness & Training and we focused on training women and helping them reach their weight loss goals! We did 6-week challenges that encouraged women to lose weight and get stronger and toned without needing to workout forever. Many of those ladies continued on into our Month to Month program and we worked with them 3x a week in a group fitness class, circuit training style. It was honestly incredible and such a good experience. We helped many women start the ground work for a healthier lifestyle. I'm still in touch with several of them and they have all kept their weight off and have gotten stronger. I'm so proud of them.

Covid & Selling The Gym

After a while of winging it, because we really didn't know how to run a gym, we started getting burnt out. We wanted to do the training thing, we did NOT want to do the business side of things like marketing, managing client money accounts, chasing money so we could get paid and provide for our family, and all of that. As I said, we were getting burnt out and we wanted to be done. Luckily around this same time, someone in the next town over wanted to open up a gym there and asked to buy our equipment.

So we sold our equipment to her, helped her get all set up, finished out our client contracts at her facility, and then Covid hit the world and she closed her gym. She ended up selling the equipment to a friend of ours and that was the end of Optimal Fitness & Training, the gym. During this time, I had started teaching at the college 3 days a week and that provided a small bit of income but we needed more to support our family. So we got desk jobs and I had a couple of online clients.


Since Covid, my main focus was teaching my students at the college. I'm still teaching the one personal training class and updating the course with new information every semester. I love this job so much. My students are amazing. They are so smart and many of them are just as passionate about fitness and changing lives for the better as I am. I plan on teaching at the college for a long time.

On top of teaching at the college, there are a handful of clients that I train online and a few more in person. My main focus for working with clients is helping women get stronger and toned and gain confidence in the gym. Something that I'm currently practicing is working with beginner female powerlifters. I truly love this sport and think it is so fun, and I want to encourage other women to participate in it. I want to help female powerlifters learn the ropes and begin their journey. I want to show them that powerlifting isn't scary and that you can be big and strong and also be feminine.

If you'd like to get started into powerlifting or just get stronger in general, contact me, and let's do this together. My programs are completely personalized to you, no cookie-cutter programs ever. We start as slow or as fast as you're ready for. I'm with you every step of the way! So if you're interested, fill out my application form and we'll talk soon!

Me celebrating my goal of hitting my deadlift. 2.25x my bodyweight. BEST feeling!!