By Cynthia Vera
Growing up as an adventurous tomboy with a passion to help people lead a better quality of life, Essex based Claire Johnson turned to fitness to channel her passion. She also wanted to make this a reality for other women! Claire had worked in Sydney, Australia with numerous esteemed businesses in the fitness industry, from there she stepped into motherhood after surviving traumatic experiences. Claire became a published author, a certificated personal trainer and mindset coach who strongly believes our mindset is connected to everything we do. That’s why she created her own business. With The Naked Warrior, she wants to enable women to let go of the mental junk holding them back by identifying the triggers and limitations first to start the journey of healing.
Claire, you’ve dedicated your work to cultivate this empowering community with The Naked Warrior Tribe for women to find confidence in their abilities. Can you talk about when your journey with fitness began and why this was the right path for you?
My journey into fitness began in early 2000 as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer where my love for fitness grew. I moved into health club management for large commercial gyms as well as in the corporate sector where I managed the gyms at HM Treasury and The Cabinet Office. I then moved to Sydney where I was the brand and product manager for a large personal training franchise as well as creating an online client site, member services and TV channel.
Throughout this time, I continued to teach and work with clients one to one, predominantly women, and studied a variety of nutrition, health, mindset, and healing principles. What I noticed with my clients was that they would get a result, yet it was the maintaining it that was a challenge or that they were held back by a lack of confidence or self-sabotage behaviours. Once we worked on their mindset, everything shifted. Their health and fitness results came quicker, they were more positive, happier and this filtered into other areas of their life as they became empowered.
The Naked Warrior woman strives to be the best version of herself, has a fierce edge and is fearless in pursuing her goals. The brand is created to ignite the spark of determination for women to reconnect to who they are and be confident with it. The 3 winning coaching programs created from this branding perspective allow women to immerse themselves in a transformational process with proven success. The Naked Warrior Tribe truly connects to the essence of being a strong empowered female who is feminine yet brave, who can be vulnerable yet strong. It moves away from the elitist and sometimes intimidating feel of a standard fitness community to create a softer, more subtle sexy connection for women.
Creating The Naked Warrior brand along with the accompanying books and fitness app that complement the coaching was right for me because it allows me to scale my business; and most importantly provide a full service to more clients so they get long lasting results to achieve things they never thought were possible.
You’re a certificated personal trainer and health coach helping women achieve their desired goals. But you also cater services as a pregnancy and postnatal nutrition and exercise specialist. How important is it that you accommodate your services to a diverse range of women from all different walks of life?
When I returned to the UK from Sydney, I was pregnant and saw a lack of support for women during pregnancy in terms of fitness services and nutrition advice so I created a specialist pre and postnatal program to help other women. From there, The Naked Warrior brand was created specifically to be a little more edgy than your standard fitness and mindset training programs. It’s designed to attract women who are looking to take their current state to the next level, to break through plateaus and push to new limits in all areas of their life.
I truly believe that women should feel confident with their choices and not stop exercising when they are pregnant, as well as knowing what they should do when returning after having a baby. Therefore, I can work with women at any stage of their life and have personal experience where I can relate to their needs and challenges. Life is dynamic and a woman’s priorities will change yet she should still be able to access the right service with real information and that is what I focus on providing.
The mindset coaching is linked into everything and when we work in limiting beliefs and identify triggers first, it’s a lot more effective in creating change.
As a fearless woman breaking down the barriers in a predominantly male dominated industry, what obstacles have you had to face and how did you overcome them?
I have two brothers and grew up a bit of an adventurous tomboy and have always found it easy to relate and communicate with men and I’m comfortable in a male environment, so I have never felt intimidated with what I do. I’m very confident and secure with what I do, plus I’m very driven, some may say stubborn, to do what I want, and I don’t let anything stop me.
Within the health and fitness industry, I have not felt that being a woman was a barrier. From a personal perspective, I lost my mum to a brain tumour when I was 26 which was the catalyst to fuel the fire to help impact more people to have a better quality of life and live disease free.
I also have experienced a miscarriage, and had to end my marriage which was toxic and abusive where I was left as a single mum to a two-year-old. This drives me to help more women and show them that they can be, do and have more; that no woman should live a compromised life. We should all be inspired, confident and empowered to live the life we want on all levels.
Moving forward in the future, what changes do you want to see in the fitness and sports industry?
I would like fitness and health to be more accessible and the barriers broken down with more government led initiatives to encourage people to be more active. I would like more nutrition and exercise education in school with a level playing field for both male and female sports and easier entry into sports for girls, where they are encouraged and supported.
Your book “The Winning Formula: Discover the Secrets to Unleash Your Alphafemale” features interviews with leading female athletes who are already established. Can you share some of their secrets that will motivate women with little fitness experience and motivation or those who might be anxious to embark on this journey?
The book focuses on sharing the mindset shifts that are required to be successful and the key traits that each of the women who I interviewed all shared. The book is designed to help provide education, motivation and help readers to create a path they can be confident to follow and hit their goals. We talk about the need to have a support crew, to be clear on your goals, to be fully committed and how to get connected to your passion and feel the joy of doing what you love.
Aside from fitness training, you advocate for women to reach an empowered and confident mindset, what does confidence look like to you and how does it affect your mindset in believing in yourself?
When you feel confident about yourself, feel good within yourself and have a healthy body, you function more efficiently and therefore, are more likely to have a more positive mindset.
Being confident and empowered allows you to step outside your comfort zone more often which overtime builds your belief and fires you up to the excitement that life brings.
I get excited by the ripple effect that creating a tribe of empowered women will have as the energy will rub off on those around them! We can all lift each other up and provide positive support.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a fitness and health trainer?
It absolutely has to be seeing the transformation when someone starts to believe in themselves! It’s seeing their confidence grow and seeing them achieve things they never thought were possible with fitness, a career, relationships, and personal goals.