The model who graces the cover of the January issue of Runner’s World might look familiar to many in Hastings.
Amanda Butler, 31, has carved out a niche for herself as a personal trainer in New York City.
The 2004 St. Cecilia graduate has lived in New York for almost six years. She teaches classes at the Fhitting Room, a high intensity interval training boutique fitness studio.
She also does fitness modeling.
“I’ve done all kinds of various gigs, all related to fitness,” she said, speaking on the phone from Los Angeles, where she’d just shot videos for Kate Hudson’s clothing company Fabletics.
Her modeling career includes photo shoots for magazines such as Fitness, Self and Shape as well as clothing companies like Reebok and now Fabletics.
She’s modeled for Runner’s World in the past, too.
“They just contacted me and said they wanted me to be on the cover of their January issue,” she said. “We got together and we shot in New York.”
The shoot included driving around and stopping at locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan in October.
Butler had also previously been on the cover of a quarterly Women’s Health workout workbook.
“Working out and fitness is what I live and breathe,” she said. “So it’s pretty cool when you get to translate that to a national publication and be on the cover of Runner’s World. It’s very awesome. It’s an honor to do that. It’s very cool.”
In addition to the magazine cover, on which Butler is wearing a long-sleeve running shirt and pair of shorts, a short version of her biography and a photo of herself competing in a high school track meet as while a hurdler at St. Cecilia High School is included inside.
She also provided advice for a feature in the issue called “New Year, New You.”
“Runner’s World is a really great magazine,” she said. “They pick real people. It’s not just a celebrity on the cover every time. They are an awesome team to work with. I think they put out a very real and reliable product. I know a lot of people subscribe to it and a lot of runners love it for the content they provide. I don’t think they fluff things. I think they’re pretty real.”
When it comes to fitness advice, Butler encourages the setting of reasonable and manageable goals that will lead to the bigger goal.
“Instead of being like ‘I need to lose 10 pounds’ think about ‘OK I need to make some lifestyle changes,’ ” she said. “Make sure you’re getting seven hours of sleep, make sure you’re drinking enough water, making sure you’re active 30 minutes a day. Think about those things first instead of ‘I need to lose that 20 pounds.’ Think of the small things you need to change to get to those 20 pounds.”
She also said to help meet those goals to work with a group, a spouse or a friend to stay accountable.
In college, Butler studied dance at Oklahoma City University.
She came to New York and a started career as a personal trainer after first working as a dancer on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. While working for Royal Caribbean, Butler used to run with her cast mates while on shore leave.
“I moved straight off my ship, because it docked in New York, rolled my bags right over into New York,” she said. “It just kind of happened that way.”
As someone who was always active, working in the fitness industry suited her well.
“Growing up in Hastings I played every sport,” she said. “I was always active. I was always in the gym in high school with the guys lifting weights and stuff. It was not new to me. This is what I’ve always done and what I’ve enjoyed doing.”
She loves helping other people improve their lives.
“I’m active and I get to help people feel great about themselves or better or help them improve various parts of their lives,” she said. “Not just having more muscle or a smaller waist but that translates to other parts of their life like self confidence or feeling better about themselves overall.”
The health and fitness industry is booming in New York City, she said.
“It’s an exciting place to be,” she said. “There’s a lot to be had there, a lot of competition, so it keeps you on your toes and I like that.”
She teaches high-intensity interval training classes but also trains clients one-on-one during which the workouts sometimes include running in addition to strength training.
Running has always been part of her life. However, she was more of a sprinter on the St. Cecilia track and field team.
Now, as someone who lives close to Central Park, she runs there or along the Hudson River with her husband, who is also a personal trainer. Running is a stress reliever and a way to clear her head.
“Running in the park is super inspiring because there’s so many people running, biking, and walking,” she said. “It’s a great space to escape the city because you can’t hear all the sirens and there’s lots of trees. It’s a great escape. Running for me is a bit therapeutic. So now it is part of my weekly work out routine.”