Check out our interview with Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of Corio Fit, fitness model, entrepreneur, and influencer with over 700K across all social media Katie Corio, who has continuously grown her empire by helping others reach and maintain a realistic and healthy lifestyle through years of experience.
Along with her personalized Corio Fit program, Katie is also a creative at heart with her athletic clothing line, Corio Active she created based on needs she felt were not being made by other similar companies. We would love to arrange an interview with you and Katie to discuss her incredibly inspiring journey, her thriving business, as well as the below talking points.
Follow Katie @cutekatiebug
Please tell us a little about you?
I am 29 years old living in San Diego, CA with my fiancé and two goldendoodles. I’ve been working in the fitness industry for about ten years; from bodybuilding to powerlifting, to now running my two businesses, I had no clue what I was in for when I embarked on my fitness journey. Fitness has completely transformed my life–– from providing routine and structure to my days, to increasing my self-confidence and strength, to teaching me how to love and appreciate my body… living an active and healthy lifestyle has been fulfilling in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. I consider it a privilege to be able to help others achieve the same life transformation as I had through fitness. I get to help people conquer their goals in the gym and then watch the confidence they build radiate through the other areas of their life. Helping people become the best versions of themselves, helping them become more confident and positive in the process, that’s what I live for. It’s the most fulfilling and rewarding job!
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, positive, loyal.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My father has made the biggest impact on my life thus far. He has taught me just how much someone can achieve when they pursue something they are passionate about.
What is your background?
I come from a large family of Italians on one side and Spaniards on the other. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to San Diego for university where I now live.
How did you get started in the fitness field?
I’ve always been pretty athletically inclined and drawn to being active. Growing up I dabbled in almost everything–– gymnastics, ballet, soccer, tennis and volleyball to name a few. Volleyball is the one that stuck through the longest. I played on a traveling club team as well as on my high school team until I tore my meniscus in my right knee at a tournament. The doctor told me I should avoid the sport from that point forward, and volleyball was laid to rest for the next 7 years or so. This is initially how I was introduced to weight-training. My physical therapist told me that the knee problem was caused from being extremely quad-dominant. He said if I worked on strengthening my hamstrings and glutes, I would eventually be able to play again. Happy to report that now, 9 years and lots of leg-work later, I enjoy playing beach volleyball 4x a week with my boyfriend Weston! It just goes to show you that getting a second opinion is SO important when it comes to physical ailments. Had I listened to that original doctor, I would not be nearly as active as I am today.
I did the exercises my therapist recommended, and rehabbed my knee quite a bit. By the time I got to college though, the urge to play volleyball again was put on the back-burner. I found myself falling into the typical “college lifestyle”. Going from a lifetime of being active, playing sports and eating healthy… to drinking, late-nights, poor food choices and ZERO exercise. This led to gaining the “freshman fifteen”. I remember looking at myself in the mirror one day while trying on bikinis and thinking how different I looked. I didn’t look terrible, but I definitely wasn’t in the fit shape I had been used to. That’s when I decided I need to make some real changes. I hired a personal trainer who competed in Figure competitions (@janelle4health) and she exposed me to a part of fitness that was unknown but fascinating to me… and I was SO inspired. I made it my goal to start training for my first NPC Bikini Competition.
I’ve done three NPC Bikini Competitions and one USPA Powerlifting competition since then. For those who don’t know what either are, NPC Bikini is the least-muscular level of bodybuilding for women. It requires a proportionate, lean, toned and feminine physique… not to mention LOTS of sass while on stage!
USPA Powerlifting is a competition where you perform three exercises (squat, deadlift and bench press) on a platform, lifting the heaviest weight you can with perfect form. You compete against other people in your weight class. There are experts to judge your form and everyone in the crowd cheers you on.
Both competitions give an addicting adrenaline rush, and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Training for both types of competition are extremely difficult, however, and completely different. For Bikini you train to LOOK the best you possibly can, and strength doesn’t matter at all. For Powerlifting, it doesn’t matter what you LOOK like, only how STRONG you are compared to your bodyweight.
Here is how I placed in my competitions:
1st Place Novice Bikini Class B, NPC Spartan Championships, 2013
3rd Place Open Bikini Class B, NPC Spartan Championships, 2013
1st Place Bikini Class B, NPC Ferrigno Legacy, 2015
NPC Jr. Nationals 2016, Bikini Class B (4th callouts, no place)
1st Place Women’s 140 weight class, USPA Powerlifting 2017 –– my totals for the meet were: 292lb squat, 374.5lb deadlift, 170.75lb bench press (total of 837.75lbs, 380 kilos)
I have since earned my certifications as a NASN-Certified Expert-Level Personal Trainer and a NASN-Licensed Sports Nutritionist as well as graduating with my B.S. in Kinesiology.
In the past 10 years my fitness career has taken off–– I’ve been on 3 magazine covers (can send pics), worked out with Lou Ferrigno (the original incredible hulk and Arnold’s biggest competitor back in the day)– I also beat him in an arm wrestling contest ;P–– trained thousands of people through CorioFit’s programs and ebooks, partnered with charitable organizations to raise money for good causes, and launched my own women’s activewear line!
I love achieving my own personal fitness goals, and feel driven to help others achieve their goals as well. Whether working with people through coaching or simply sharing something that helps others in their journey to health & wellness, I want to use my platform to make a positive impact. Life is so much better when you are fit and healthy! I’m a firm believer that feeding your body good nutrition and staying active & strong leads to improved mental and emotional wellbeing.
What is the #1 thing you like about being into fitness?
For me, its the mental challenge of being committed to something each day. Pushing not only my physical body but my mind to do things that are hard; whether that is grinding through a heavy lift or running an extra mile. I love the sense of accomplishment and empowerment that rushes over you when you push yourself a bit harder into the uncomfortable zone.
Now tell us about the success of your very popular “Corio Fit” training and Booty Bible?
I wanted to create a way for people to get real, professional help with a personalized fitness program as well as custom nutrition plan that wouldn’t break their bank. I am a firm believer that living a fit and healthy life shouldn’t be difficult or expensive. It should be attainable for every person, no matter what. So that has been my goal with my business. To create a way to provide quality expertise at an affordable cost. I also create one-off challenges like the Booty Bible, which is my famous ebook that I designed for glute growth. Over 10,000 people have completed it and it has only 5-star reviews! I encourage anyone who is serious about developing their glutes to give it a try.
What is different from your brand/products to other ones in the market?
My online coaching, Corio Fit, is not just another fitness app. It’s actual personalized fitness coaching. Anyone can download an app and follow a program, and those are great too, but for someone who wants more individualized help, I’m your gal. My activewear brand, Corio Active, I started with the goal to make it a philanthropic brand. My dream for the activewear company is to raise money and awareness for different causes with each launch!
What do you think is the secret to having a successful business in a very competitive market like yours?
The fitness industry is massive, no doubt, but I think there is room for everyone to be successful. I think the “secret” is authenticity. Being true to what makes you YOU and what your WHY is. People are drawn to authenticity.
Why did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I will never forget being about 15 years old, sitting in the car with my dad, when he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. He kept suggesting different things, and I kept replying with “no, no no.” … finally he turned to me and said, “So you just don’t want to work for anyone then?” I said “No way!” with a big smile on my face. He said, “Well, then you’ll have to be an entrepreneur.”
Can you share a few fitness tips for the winter?
One of my best tips for staying on track through the holidays is to get your workout/movement in EARLY, first thing when you wake up! Let’s say it’s Thanksgiving and you have a family meal planned in the afternoon. If you don’t get up and get moving right away, you’re not going to. The day will creep up, your plans will be too close, and you’ll skip it. So my best advice, is to GET UP and GET MOVIN first thing in the morning when you wake up. Get it done and over with, so you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends knowing you already accomplished your goal. If you move your body in the morning you’ll be much less likely to succumb to food temptations later in the day as well.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
That fear is usually a lot larger than the thing you’re afraid of. If I have a lot of fear about doing something and I do it anyway, I realize the fear I placed on starting vastly outweighed the reality. So the lesson is to not let fear stop you from trying.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I think my biggest accomplishment this far is building such a great community of people all learning and supporting each other. I could say the magazine covers, my business, but I honestly think the value lies in the community of it all. The people and the connections.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I am still working hard to get Corio Active to a place where I can focus on philanthropy, so I am still figuring that out. That project has been an ongoing learning experience for me.
A few personal career goals I have for myself, bucket list things if you will, are being on the cover of Women’s Health and Sports Illustrated magazines!
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
In the words of David Goggins, “I don’t call them failures, I call them attempts”. Never give up! It’s only a failure if you give up.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
I usually start my day with a morning stretch routine and coffee. Then, I’ll go hit the stairs for a morning stair run by the beach. I head home, make myself a healthy breakfast. At this point I’ll usually gather my work things and my dogs and head to a coffeeshop to knock out some laptop work. After a few hours on the laptop and another healthy meal, I head to the gym for my daily workout. Post workout I usually make another meal, shower and film things for my social media. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to squeeze in some beach volleyball in the late afternoon before heading home to make dinner and relax with my dogs and fiance before bed!
How would your best friend describe you?
Just asked her. She said “sincere, loving, loyal”
When you started your Social Media accounts, did you expect such success?
Not at all! I was just sharing to record my progress for myself really. Once it started to catch fire, I started taking it more seriously and focused on providing content that would help people. I am humbled each day that people would turn to me for advice and help, it’s a responsibility I take very seriously and with gratitude.
As a popular fitness personality and fitness influencer you are followed by so many people. How do you feel about that pressure of doing always the right thing, and encourage people to follow their dreams?
I think with all the followers comes a big responsibility. But it is one that I genuinely love having. I know that as long as I stay authentic and genuine, and not hide the struggles that we all face, I am doing my part. I want to lead with honesty and positivity always.
Now talking about Instagram, can you share some tips for keeping your account interesting?
I let the feedback guide me. I used to worry about always being the latest and greatest with fancy transitions and catchy trends, but I find that people really are simple with what they want. They want value, that want REAL. They want inspiration. I simply try to share that in a way that I can express myself too! If they have questions, I create content to give them answers. I usually never run short of things to talk about or create.
What’s next for Katie Corio and Corio FIT in 2023?
I am getting married next summer! Super excited about that, and hopefully babies soon after. I will keep grinding on my businesses, doing my fitness challenges and coaching, and launching awesome activewear.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being content with the present moment.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Pizza! Just kidding. ;P Healthy turkey tacos or healthy fried rice! Two of my specialties.
And your favorite cheat food?
PIZZA & burritos!
What motivates you to keep going and push harder?
Looking back at my accomplishments, seeing how far I have come along in my own journey. That pushes me to keep going. I always wonder, if I accomplished all that, what’s next in my story?
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Any Gipsy Kings or Kings of Leon song!
Favorite form of cardio?
Stair runs or beach volleyball
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?
I’ll give you 5:
- Eat real food
- Incorporate resistance training
- Understand that diets don’t work
- Start small
- Find something that you love
Name one your strengths?
My positive attitude
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Someone from an ancient world, like King Tut or Cleopatra; someone from ancient times! Maybe someone who survived Pompeii or lived through the Roman or Greek Empires. I am fascinated by learning about ancient civilizations. Thinking of that, maybe I would choose Graham Hancock, who has a vast knowledge of these things!
Do you support any charity?
I work closely with Unlikely Heroes and International Network of Hearts, both which rescue children from sex trafficking. I also work with a girls school in Tanzania called SEGA, which gives girls a place to live and educates them in prep for university or for being self-sufficient.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
Big bottle of water, my Corio Active sweatshirt and my dogs!
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Early morning cardio, coffee walk to get breakfast with my fiance and dogs, browse some local shops, back home, work in the garden/yard, then head to the beach for volleyball, play till the sun sets, back home for yummy dinner and movie.
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media is such a double edged sword. On one hand, it’s allowed me to start a business, connect with hundreds of thousands of people, and make a huge global impact! It’s launched my career in ways that would have been near impossible otherwise. On the other hand, it can be draining and soul sucking at times. I miss real face to face human connection and I get sick of the screens. The negative comments get overwhelming at times too. But I’ve learned to use them as fuel to keep going stronger and stronger.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: Let it be
Song: Gipsy Kings Bomboleo
Movie: Top Gun Maverick, Nacho Libre, Eat Pray Love
Travel Destination: Italy and Mexico
Food: Pizza and burritos
Sports Team: Yankees!