Name: Sierra Nevels
Hometown: Austin, Tx
What is your background?
The fitness world has been part of my life since the beginning. I grew up in a sports family. Several members of my family played collegiate D1 and D2 sports (football, softball, and track) in the elite conferences (Big12 ,SEC). Additionally, my uncle had the honor and athleticism to play football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Kansa City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Because sports are such a huge part of my family, we have this saying .. “You’re a Nevels or you’re a (insert last name)”, simply meaning we have that athletic gene within us. My family is competitive in all aspects of life, which in turn has made me into the competitive athlete and coach that I am today.
Being a “Nevels” I played all sports growing up – baseball, softball, basketball, cross-country and track. Once I got to High School, I decided I wanted to further my career in basketball. To this end, you could always find me in the gym shooting, dribbling, running and picking up games … it was a huge commitment of mine. During my senior year, I signed a “National Letter of Intent” and received a Full-Ride Scholarship to play in one of the nations most competitive leagues for D1 NJCAA. After 2 years, I was going to transfer to Austin,Texas to play for St. Edwards, but I realized that my love and passion for basketball switched from playing the game to wanting the tools and knowledge to enhance an athlete’s ability to play the game better. This is when I started my journey to becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach to help other athletes succeed in their sport.
I quickly did research and sought out Collegiate Strength & Conditioning coaches I could work for. As eager as I was I reached out and emailed every big school around me to try and get my foot in the door. While patiently waiting for a responses, I was working as a Personal Trainer in Austin at the Frost Bank Tower and commuting back and forth from Austin to Belton finishing my Bachelors Degree at The University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in Exercise Physiology.
I eventually got an email back from the University of Texas’ Women’s Basketball Head Strength Coach, Shawn McPherson, asking me to go meet him at the facility. From then on, it was game time! I spent 5 years at The University of Texas learning from the best in the Strength & Conditioning / Athletic Performance industry and working with different types of athletes and sports. Those years were some the toughest on me mentally, physically and financially, but it made me the Coach I am today. Those years showed me what it feels like to struggle for what you want. They taught me grit, toughness, relentlessness and how to seek out new knowledge. To be successful and reach your goal, you have to do things others will not, be willing to get uncomfortable and stay optimistic.
Tell us about your current fitness goals and training:
My current fitness goals are always changing because I am a coach who preaches variability. I have this saying I got from my mentor that I use all the time, “stay ready club”. Which means being prepared for any physical task, wherever and whenever. I am always gonna be ready. Currently I am STILL doing that. Nothing changes except the way or method I chose to go about it. Lift heavy? Yes. Lift moderate intensity for higher volume? Yes. Lift for strength speed? Olympic lifts and variations with dumbbells? Yes and yes. I am going to jump from implements, hop from left foot to the right foot and be explosive with it? You betcha! Am I going to sprint for 30 yards or push a sled with extreme force into the ground? Of course! Am I going to throw or slam a medicine ball into the wall or ground as hard as I possibly can? Who wouldn’t!? Am I going to run in a continuous effort from time to time? Yes.
I do it all, in different forms, in different fashions and at different loads and speeds. My current fitness goals is to stay at peak fitness and in shape for life and everything that comes with it.
What is the most common fitness myth you work through with your clients?
Most common fitness myth is what our society is putting out there in the world, on TV , in Magazines , and on Social media on what fitness is or what the industry is about. Our society is persuading the truth on what fitness and health looks like in reality and to general people. And in return that is making the true professionals job in the industry harder than what it really needs to be.
Another myth in the fitness industry is that weekend certifications make you a great Coach. It does not. The general public does not know this, so they hire anyone without doing research. It is those weekend warriors or IG fitness trainers who make the jobs of true professionals harder than what they need to be. There are so many gimmicks out there on social media these days that the true principles of training get over looked.
What do you want your clients to take away from each training session with you?
The 2 things I want my clients to take away from training sessions with me are :
- I am not here to just physically exhaust you and tax you. That is not what fitness is all about or how to make your body adapt and keep going. We are here to give you the minimum effective does your body needs to provide the greatest amount of stimulus needed to get an adaption. So guess what that means? You can come back the next day and the next day and everything will be alright. Then all of a sudden, training 4 or 5 times a week isn’t hurting your body, if you’re doing it correctly. The key is frequency of training. Keeping your body up and going. The key is to be able to adapt and sustain without stressing the body to much. Because then what? We break. ….. “Training is efficient if the highest result is achieved with the least expense of time and energy.”
- I am a coach. Which really means I am a teacher. My goal is to educate you so that once you leave the session you know exactly why we did everything we did and why we did it a certain way for YOU. My goal is to give my clients the confidence to navigate the weightroom. Whether that is me asking them on input on what lower body movement they want to do or what helps them connect to their body the most. And that choice is a lot. My goal is to give them the tools to continue training even when they are not in my sight.
What sets you apart from other fitness professionals?
What sets me apart is my worth ethic, my extreme attention to detail and my desire to be the best coach possible. My passion wont let me quit. My passion wont let me not be the best. My passion and pride in this field and who I’ve learned under, sets me apart because I do not want to fail those who have spent so much time helping mold me into the coach I am today. I have a “go-getter” and a “hustler” mentality.
What is your favorite thing about Austin Simply Fit?
The greatest thing about ASF the bosses/owners, Krista and Mark. The difference between having a great boss and not so good boss is 10 fold. It makes my work life an incredibly enjoyable experience. I am excited to come to work everyday – I am at the gym more than I am at my house because I love my ASF family so much! I also really appreciate that ASF has entrusted me to build a performance program. I could not ask for anything better.
Who is your hero & why?
Kobe Bryant. If you know what Kobe Bryant is about and you know me, this make perfect sense. He is my favorite because he is a Top 5 G.O.A.T., and quite simply, he puts in work to better his craft. He where he is because of his dedication and expects no less from others.