6 Lessons Learned From a 12-year Fitness Journey at Kaia FIT

Caren Roblin, owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, before and after pictures

When I meet people today, it’s often difficult for them to imagine that I was 100 pounds overweight in 2010.

The reasons why vary: I’m healthy and fit now; I own four Kaia FIT studios in Reno-Sparks; I’ve been a Kaia FIT coach for 11 years and counting; you name it.

But my journey to where I am now was not an easy one. In fact, losing 100 pounds while I was still a client, otherwise known as a “Kaia girl,” was one of the biggest challenges (and biggest changes) of my life

Only about 20 percent of Americans who lose weight are able to keep it off long-term.

I’m one of the few, and I attribute all of it to Kaia FIT… its programming, and its incredible community of strong, supportive women.

The following are six lessons I learned during my 12-year fitness journey with Kaia that will only continue into the future.

Showing up is more than half the battle

When I first heard of Kaia FIT, a co-worker was telling me about a free demo class that I could attend. I recently expressed my frustration with my weight. 

Earlier in 2010, I went to my annual doctor’s appointment like I always did. It was the only scale I would ever step on, and every year, that number on the scale would go up 10 to 20 pounds. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I gain (and lose) weight very evenly. So, when people would suggest that I looked like a size 12 but I was actually a size 22, I would take that as implicit permission to keep doing what I was doing𐆑which was very little movement and overeating processed foods.

But that year, when I had to step on my doctor’s scale, the number startled me. I was in the 270s. I quickly realized that at the rate I had been going, I would be over 300 pounds within two years. That small fact flipped a switch in my mindset. 

I knew I had to make a change. I just didn’t have any tools in my toolkit to know what that looked like or should be.

Enter my co-worker with her suggestion of trying Kaia FIT. I was all in for anything that was free. But this demo class was scheduled for 6 a.m., and I worked nights at the time. Plus, throw in a winter blizzard that week in the Reno area, and I was truly on the fence. So much so that when my alarm went off at the insane-to-me time of a little after 5 a.m., I still questioned my decision to go.

But I still put on what workout-like sweats I had, tied some sort-of-like sneakers shoes, and headed out the door to drive nearly a half hour in the deep snow.

Despite being about 10 minutes late (thanks to a few wrong turns), walking through that door at this Kaia FIT demo class immediately felt like the right decision.

What I found were about a dozen women who (without knowing me) all stood up from whatever seated discussion they were all having and came over to hug and welcome me.

I was shocked.

No one cared that I was late. They were just so happy that I was there.

And then, that workout! 

I remember it vividly, even 12 years later: a traveling partner circuit. I was paired up with the original owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, and I remember laughing, grunting, and a whole lot of laughing. 

Two days later, I was so sore trying to walk across a store parking lot that I knew that this was the place I needed to be. This was the place that was going to help me make the health changes I needed.

But showing up to anything new is the hardest part of starting any health and fitness journey. We don’t know what we’re walking into. We don’t know what to expect … or what will be expected of us.

You have to fight that fear. Spaces like those created by Kaia FIT are intended for women of all ages, shapes, and ability levels. There also was something very comforting to me about an all-women environment. What surprised me most was that it wasn’t just comfortable, but every woman in there had my back and wanted to see me succeed. It was life-changing.

Of course, your first time is just the first time. It’s imperative to continue showing up to any fitness program. Show up for yourself, and show up for everyone else there. As simple as “showing up” sounds, it’s fraught with challenges. Don’t let those hurdles get the best of you and prevent you from progressing in your own journey.

There’s such a thing as ‘my hard’

It’s easy to get in our heads and compare ourselves to each other. 

“I can’t do a push-up like that.”

“There’s no way I can run as fast as that.”

But fitness is not all or nothing. You start as you are. 

Of course, I didn’t fully realize this until I heard the following words from a Kaia coach during a workout: “Do your hard.”

That phrase changed my entire perspective. It didn’t matter what the Kaia girl next to me was doing. All that mattered was that I was going to my own hard in every exercise, whatever that might be that day.

Whether you’re an exercise newbie (like I was), injured or something else, always communicating with your coach and asking yourself what is challenging for you makes everything accessible. 

Exercise is about progression, not perfection … especially not on Day 1. Be kind to yourself and remember to “go to your hard.”

Community equals accountability and more

Women in particular thrive in a community environment. But even more than that, accountability is a top request for women beginning a new fitness program.

When I first heard about Kaia FIT, all I know was that it was being described as a “boot camp” style fitness program. This description appealed to me because I figured if it works for the military, it should work for me, too.

What I ended up discovering, however, was that Kaia FIT was so much more than just the boot camp-style workouts that were described to me. It was a strong community of supportive women. I got an initial taste of that during my first-ever class, but over the course of weeks and months attending Kaia, I was connecting with women I never would have otherwise met. I was creating friendships with women who also wanted to feel better in their skin. I knew that if I didn’t show up to a class, I would receive a text message from someone telling me they missed me there.

And that natural community immediately gave me accountability throughout my 100-pound weight loss. They would point out the differences in my body that I was unwilling to notice. They cheered me on when I ran my first timed mile. And they expected me to work out next to them four days a week until Kaia FIT Sierra expanded to a fifth day … and then they expected to see me then, too.

Accountability is critical for reaching your fitness goals. In fact, ACCOUNTABILITY STATISTIC.

With a built-in community, accountability for me was never a question.

Fitness CAN be fun

If Kaia FIT workouts weren’t fun, I definitely would have burned out many years ago and likely gone back to old habits.

But one of the pleasant surprises that I experienced was that workouts felt like “playtime” to me. I was never bored. And I definitely never had to think about what my workout should be or how it should look. All the coaches did that for me.

And that was important. I had, on occasion, been to big-box gyms, and my memories of those experiences all involved apprehension, confusion, self-consciousness, and boredom.

Kaia taught me that fitness could not only be fun but so fun that I consider it my hobby. Kaia taught me to fall in love with moving my body in different, challenging-to-me ways. That makes sustainable lifestyle changes that much easier to maintain.

Nutritional success comes down to simplicity

Before Kaia FIT, if you had asked me what eating healthy looked like, I would answer with “Chicken and broccoli, and probably an unsatisfying amount of it.”

My portion control was definitely out of wack, but even more so, I struggled with not having cheese, salt, and any other vice heavily topping all my food choices.

Every bite had to be a party in my mouth.

Nutrition can be very personal. We link emotions and memories to many different foods based on childhood and more. For me, food was an emotional crutch. If I was happy, I would eat. If I was sad, I would eat. If I was bored, I would eat. 

Plus, I never learned how to cook much, so eating out and snacking on chips, cookies, and other processed snacks was just a way of life. And working nights at the time that I discovered Kaia was just one more excuse to resist change to my nutrition.

With all that in mind, my Kaia coach simply started by encouraging me to take things slow and make a small change here and a small change there.

My milk went from 2% to unsweetened almond milk.

My Flaming Hot Cheetos transformed into veggie chips.

And so on. Small changes. 

And then, as we entered our first BRIK boot camp (where nutritional guidance is more on the forefront, as well as measurements and various special events), I was encouraged to at least read the full Kaia nutrition plan.

It was never about deprivation. It was about crowding out with the foods that truly served our bodies. Whole, nutrient-dense foods were key. 

And so, I made the leap. I opted for the easiest recipes (like soup) that I felt would be hard to mess up. I batch-cooked those recipes and stocked up on vegetables to snack on in between.

With the encouragement of my Kaia coaches, I focused on keeping my nutritional changes and efforts as simple as possible. I tracked everything I ate on an Excel document (remember, it was 2011 at this point), and I started to better understand portion sizes.

And simple won the day. The simpler I could keep it, the easier it was to stick with. Lifestyle changes don’t happy overnight. But the more you strive for them, the more they become long-term habits.

Enjoying the journey is critical

Spoiler: My fitness journey is not over. It continues to this day and beyond. If my journey was only about attaining a particular goal and being miserable until that happened, then I likely never would have reached my very first Kaia FIT goal. 

That goal was to run my first 5K (the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure) in memory of my mother who passed away from breast cancer when I was 12 years old. I couldn’t even run a full mile at the time and had about eight months to make it happen. If I hated everything about the process of race training, attending Kaia workouts, and eating better, I never would have achieved that goal. I would have thrown in the towel, if not the first morning that I didn’t want to wake up with my alarm clock, then definitely by the fifth time the Snooze button seemed like a much better option.

But keep this in mind: Fitness journeys should be (and are) lifelong. If you can’t find happiness in the here and now, then when?

Kaia FIT is a women’s fitness and nutrition program that empowers women to become the best version of themselves through personalized coaching in a group environment. We prioritize community to help connect women to each other for additional support and accountability. Caren Roblin is the owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, with four studio locations in Reno-Sparks.

7 Day Reset

We’ve incorporated inspiration and motivation to help you rock all 7 days. In the next 7 days you will make shifts in your mind and body that will boost your metabolism, improve sleep and increase energy.


This is a self paced reset, so you can start when you are ready but we recommend to continue with the reset each day once you begin to see the maximum results.

All it takes is 7 DAYS. What are you waiting for?

Kaia Tri is a ten-week triathlon training program with workouts three times a week, which is an optional extra during our spring and summer CORE sessions. We swim, bike, and run, with some cross-training classes too. By being able to set a personal pace, our triathlon training program is suited to beginners tackling their first race and intermediate athletes looking to improve their finish time.

Our mock triathlons run several times to familiarize women with the course route. We finish the season with a Triathlon Training Camp which includes paddle boarding and power workouts. The next day is our exhilarating and fun Triathlon race day for all Kaia Tri women to enjoy working out in a beautiful location. Friends are welcome too!


Kaia Sandbag combines traditional fitness with unconventional training methods. With sandbags, the weight shifts and moves in an unpredictable fashion. This piece of equipment is integrated into our conditioning & strength building workouts to simultaneously develop strength, power, endurance, mobility, and balance – with an additional emphasis on developing overall core strength and stability.

New to sandbag training? No problem! Beginners are always welcome.


TRX® Suspension Training® body-weight exercise simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, and core stability. Whether you’re younger or older, out of shape or a pro athlete, injured or at the top of your game, TRX Suspension Training meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go. TRX Suspension Training leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal. The easily-scalable nature of TRX Suspension Training makes it a practical solution wherever you are on the fitness continuum.

Need a little extra boost to keep your body guessing? Our TRX/Cardio class is an excellent complement to any Kaia FIT session. TRX workouts, which can be used by anyone at any level, builds true functional strength and improves flexibility, balance and core stability all at once. Mixed with cardio, the classes give every member the perfect balance of challenge and success.

*TRX classes not available in all areas. Please contact us your local studio.


Our trademark Kaia Cross-Training™ classes are a unique mix of cardio, functional movement, and both weighted and non-weighted exercises.

Cross-Training benefits:

Each day brings a new workout. We have an elite group of advanced coaches who infuse each workout with their own flair and focus, meaning you’re never going to repeat a workout, avoid burn-out, and fitness plateaus.

Keeping the body guessing is key to sculpting lean muscle mass. We also have a 3-part modification foundation: Balance (non-impact); Strength (mid-impact) and Kaia (high impact). Each exercise has its own progression so that everyone can feel successful.

As a part of our program, we also offer nutritional guidance to help you make healthy food choices and keep your fitness on track.

What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Our barre-based class is a unique combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates and Kaia. Using the barre as a prop to balance, you’ll complete a series of isometric holds combined with high reps of small range movements to elongate and tone your major muscle groups.

In addition to the barre, classes incorporate pilates balls, yoga blocks, and/or resistance bands for increased endurance, challenge and focus. Following each set of holds, you’ll rest and recovery with a short series of stretches and poses to increase flexibility prior to advancing.
Kaia Barre is a low-impact class that perfectly complements our program offerings. Meet us at the barre and try your first class for free!

Participating locations may vary. See the schedule page for more details.


Our dance fitness class is rooted in traditional dance. We use those foundational moves and offer a class that is easy enough for beginners yet challenging enough for the more seasoned dancer. The simplicity of the routines allows you to keep moving with ease. Although this is a workout, it feels more like a dance party with your girlfriends.


Improve your speed, skill, endurance, stamina, and strength with our Kaia running program. The program works on developing running skills that can increase speed, endurance, and overall fitness. The program is designed for you to run at your pace and and help you see improvements every step of the way.

The Kaia training is a simple, progressive program designed for women of all ages and all fitness levels. Whether you are a walker, jogger, or runner, you will be able to join this program and move at your own pace. Research has shown that even 20 to 30 minutes of running (two to three times per week) is enough to help you lose or maintain weight and improve many other important health markers, i.e. your cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin response.

Don’t be intimidated by the Kaia Run program name, each class will have walkers, joggers and runners. Keep in mind that the first mile is the hardest mile you will ever run. Once you get off the starting block, things only get easier. All you have to do is be patient and disciplined in your training, and that is where Kaia


Kaia Yoga combines mind and body with a power yoga and core-strengthening weekly workout with Pilates-style techniques. We focus on balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness through stretching, strength training and dynamic movement to improve overall fitness levels.

By creating long, lean muscles, Yoga promotes improved coordination, greater flexibility and a fuller range of motion, with a strong body that’s less prone to injury. Yoga keeps the mind centered and reduces stress through positive thoughts and a sense of mindfulness, which also inspires mental strength and confidence.

Yin Yoga, or restorative yoga, is a quiet contemplative practice. It targets the deepest tissues of the body, our connective tissues – ligaments, joints, bones, and the deep fascia networks of the body. Poses are held for 1 minute or more and transitions between poses are gentle and slow. This class is an excellent compliment to our other classes, provides dedicated stretching, and is known to reduce stress and anxiety.


Our BRIK Bootcamp sessions are offered three times a year and are designed to help you reach your health and fitness potential, and you’re welcome to start anytime!

Our BRIK Bootcamps are six weeks long and feature classes daily.* This programming fits in seamlessly with our regularly scheduled classes, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Register for BRIK Bootcamp HERE (included for Platinum & Gold Memberships)
  2. Book your classes through our branded app and Show Up
  3. Let our expert coaches do the rest!

These sessions offer great results in weight and body fat loss and an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. Our nutritional support will boost energy, help you de-bloat, increase sleep quality, and enhance your overall glow.

BRIK Bootcamp includes:

In between BRIK Bootcamp, we offer a variety of classes to meet you at your level! We also have nutrition and fitness challenges, in addition to fun opportunities to spice up your routine. What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Cardio based, calorie torching workout with certified spin instructors. It’s a party on a bike!

Try a Week Free