Kara Jaeger conducts virtual personal training to help those who may not be ready to return to the gym, or who might feel intimidated working out in a public setting. Contributed

Kara Jaeger knows what it takes for one to reach workout goals. Despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the personal trainer is finding a new way to help those who may not be ready to return to the gym, or who might feel intimidated working out in a public setting, right in their homes. 

Jaeger is a personal trainer who spent the last three years at Mariners Hospital gym before deciding to start her own business. With the pandemic keeping people home, Jaeger said she felt compelled to jumpstart her own one-on-one virtual training program known as Destination Dumbbell.  

“I know people who live with a spouse who potentially cannot go out because they might have COPD or heart issues,” she said. “As we start reopening back up, these people still need to be confined in their homes. I saw it as a great opportunity to jumpstart my business and help those people reach their goals from home.”

Raised in Littleton, Colorado, Jaeger moved to the Keys nine years ago out of admiration for the ocean and a passion for diving. She spent some in Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Curacao where she worked as a divemaster. She eventually worked her way up to an instructor. Upon returning home, Jaeger realized just how much she needed to live by the ocean. She chose to live in the Florida Keys and began working at dive shops. She’s a current resident of Key Largo. 

“I do not teach any more, but I still love diving,” she said. “I got myself into technical diving with Horizon Divers. I became a personal trainer three years ago, which is another passion of mine. Diving, outdoor sports and helping people do what they want to do to stay fit are my interests.”

Jaeger’s training program is based on the client’s goals and key areas they wish to focus on. For instance, avid scuba divers who wish to stay in shape to get off and on the boat with dive gear can go through a program that accentuates leg strength for step-ups. 

“I like to implement in each workout a full body workout. I’m not the type of trainer that does back and biceps. To get the full body, I like to do that each time,” she said. 

Those taking classes with Jaeger pick a spot in their house, set up their computer or phone and conduct training over Zoom, Facebook Messenger or Facetime. Jaeger programs the workout based on the equipment the client has, whether it be dumbbells, resistance bands or body weight. 

“We also improvise. I have a client who is using a Tide laundry detergent bottle full of water,” she said. “The client is using that for resistance training. We can do so much and they’re learning what they can do at home.”

Jaeger writes out a four-week program for clients based on their availability and number of times they wish to workout. Clients go through 30- or 60-minute sessions during the week. Not only do trainees get the programming, the reps, the sets and instruction, but they also get consultations every week to discuss the program and any modifications they want to make. 

With online programming and virtual personal training, Jaeger said she eventually hopes to start one-on-one home sessions for clients who live between Key Largo and Islamorada. 

“That’ll be once clients feel safe,” she said. 

Jaeger is also working to obtain her nutritional coach certification to provide a clean eating program for clients. 

For more information, visit Destination Dumbbell on Instagram or Facebook, or email Jaeger at [email protected].

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