fashion Model Journalist Writer
“I ground myself on the pillars of our brand: Passion, positivity, philanthropy and teamwork”
with Kirk Thomas Myers
FOUNDER AND CEO OF DOGPOUND
by Julieta Miquelarena
Where are you from? How did you get immerse in the fitness world?
I’m originally from Kansas City and moved to NY a little over eight years ago after recovering from congestive heart failure for the second time. In High School, I weighed over 300 lbs. and when years of an unhealthy lifestyle landed me in the hospital, I knew I had to make a drastic change. In about two years I lost 130 lbs., which led to my journey with fitness and becoming a trainer.
For the last 17+ years, my passion to help others achieve their own fitness goals and live a healthier life has been a huge motivation.
Where did the idea of DOGPOUND came from?
When I started training in NY, my client base started to grow pretty quickly and we were getting referrals which made it very organic and true. Hugh Jackman, who at the time was part of our 5:45am workout group would bring his dog and it became a regular thing so DOGPOUND as a name was fitting! Setting up my own space was just the natural next steps and it’s not easy juggling a business in two cities, but I was lucky to have people like our president Jenny Liu, among others, from day one who are there to help make sure things run smoothly. Overall having DOGPOUND locations on both coasts has been extremely fun, and our clients love the different vibes at both locations.
What’s your fitness philosophy?
I ground myself on the pillars of our brand, which are passion, positivity, philanthropy and teamwork. These are the guiding values around everything that I do and I believe that if these are all aligned, success will come – whether it’s in fitness or business.
Our lives were suddenly changed with Covid19, so were our habits.
What would you recommend to start becoming active?
Personally it was a bit of a challenge to focus on my own health. With a packed schedule of virtual meetings and virtual sessions with clients, it was hard to find the time to eat healthy and exercise consistently while also trying to keep the business operations going during that time. That said, I would make an effort to walk while taking calls and situate myself near a healthy restaurant that had take-out/delivery to make these important things easily accessible. Also setting small goals for yourself. Seeing progress will make
you want to keep going. So I think that’s the key, make it part of your day in a way that’s accessible and realistic, start small and slowly build!
How is the team behind? What challenges did you face along the way?
Our team is amazing! We truly couldn’t do what we do day-to-day if our team wasn’t truly authentic to our pillars. From our customer service team to trainers, the maintenance team to the business /marketing team, everyone is truly one big family. In terms of challenges I don’t think we’ve faced anything different than any other business and obviously over the last year, the pandemic has been the biggest challenge – not only for the business but also to the mental wellbeing of our team. We’ve all pushed through together and I truly believe we are stronger now that we are (almost) on the other side!
Being a fitness trainer in Dogpound is the dream of many. What are the requirements to become one?
Outside of the required certifications, again it goes back to our pillars. We look at every candidate through the lens of the pillars to see if they will be a cultural fit in that respect. That said, we are a super diverse group of men and women and we love that! We have people from all over the world and country. We are looking for the best trainers who know how to be a great team player, love to interact with clients to help them make results and show up with a positive, can do attitude!
Did the success of Dogpound surprise you?
I don’t think I had time to be surprised actually, ha! Everything happened so fast but sometimes I just stop and can’t believe how blessed I am to do what I love with people I love – everyday! To have two gyms, global virtual training and as we continue to grow over the next few years, the sky truly is the limit. And although we may be known as a gym for celebrities, models, athletes, and influential people, our true measure of success is in the transformations we are able to help people make daily. I have to say, every day I am beyond thankful for the support of all our clients from around the world.
What are you wishing for in this 2021?
The same thing everyone is wishing for – the end of the pandemic!
To get more info about DOGPOUND, readers can visit www.thedogpound.com or email email@example.com We have brick-and-mortar locations in NYC and LA but offer our new Virtual Training to everyone, globally! Our trainers are experts in helping clients get fit and stay active with little to no equipment if they don’t have access to equipment. We will be rolling out some other, new exciting things this year as well on the tech and digital front that will be super exciting!