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Life & Work with Candace Jacobsen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Jacobsen. 

Hi Candace, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Growing up, I loved playing sports. I dabbled in cheerleading, basketball, dance, volleyball, and soccer. I ended up sticking with soccer and played from age 4 through the end of high school when I graduated at 18. I attended college at The University of West Florida in Pensacola, earning a degree in psychology. No longer having soccer to focus on, I tried to stay active by running and playing intramural flag football, but with my course load and college life, I found it challenging to stick to a fitness routine. Throughout my life, I always struggled with self-esteem and lacked confidence. I never felt like I, or my body, was good enough. I graduated college 15 pounds heavier than when I started. In 2012, I moved to Orlando and got a job in retail. I would go to the gym off and on for the next two years, never really making any progress. I was in an endless cycle of starting and giving up a few months later. By 2013, I felt stuck. I wasn’t happy with the current life I was living. I was struggling financially, didn’t enjoy my job, and couldn’t get a handle on my self-esteem issues. I started attending classes at Valencia College hoping to one day start a career in healthcare. It was here that I met Thomas, the man that would one day become my husband. We became good friends and would study together. In 2014 I decided to get back to my active lifestyle, and we started going to the UCF gym together a few nights a week. Thomas taught me how to work out with the proper form and how to set up a lifting routine. I started to see my body change. For the first time, I wasn’t looking in the mirror and picking myself apart. I was proud of myself. 2015 rolled around, and I knew that I had found my passion. I quit my retail job and started studying to get my personal training certification. I got my first job as a trainer at LA Fitness in January of 2016. I was working from 8 am to 8 pm and working out in between clients. I got promoted to Master Trainer but wasn’t happy working for a corporation. I didn’t like being micro-managed and was still living paycheck to paycheck. In 2018 I decided to move my business to a private studio in Maitland in hopes of establishing more independence. I was able to build my clientele, but I was still at the mercy of the owner of the gym. After about a year, I was the only trainer left at the Maitland location, and I felt that my clients were not getting the experience they deserved due to a lack of equipment and no sign of improvement from the owners. So, I decided to move again. The gym shut down in April of 2020, right when the country went into lockdown from Covid. For the next two months, I trained a few of my clients at their homes or sent workouts for them to do on their own until it was safe to return to a gym. I lost over half of my clientele. When the state opened up in June, I took my business to The Winter Park Train Station. Over the past two years, I have been able to build my business and help my clients the way I hoped to from the beginning. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible people from all walks of life. 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a business has been a challenging learning experience. In 2020, I lost over half of my clientele due to lockdown, social distancing, and overall fear of public spaces. I had to get a second job in order to make ends meet until I could find a way to rebuild my business. I also struggled with imposter syndrome. Personal training is a male-dominated field, so I struggled to find where I fit and what my strengths were as a woman in the profession. The combination of self-doubt and lack of knowledge made it difficult to find a starting point when it came time to rebuild. I decided that if I wanted my business to be successful, I had to invest in marketing and learn how to operate behind the scenes. I’ve spent the last year learning how to grow my business and what I can provide to clients to differentiate myself from my competitors. I got certified as a Nutrition Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I was able to connect with more clients than I had before the pandemic and feel more confident in my ability to help my clients reach their full potential. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a personal trainer who specializes in weight loss and overall healthy living. I don’t believe in fad diets or going to extremes to get results. I believe fitness should be an important part of everyone’s life but preach to my clients that a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. 

My greatest success story is my client, Amanda. She came to me in 2016, overweight and unhappy. We started working together for 30 minutes, two days a week in person, and the third day on her own with a pre-programmed workout for her to follow. Amanda lost over 70 pounds. Most importantly, she regained her confidence and her health. 

I take so much pride in my job. The best feeling is having a client tell me they are finally feeling strong and confident and seeing changes in their everyday life. My oldest client is 80 years old and trains with me from California via Facetime. She works hard three days a week and recently told me that she realized she can finally stand up from her couch without using her upper body for help. Strength training is vital for longevity, and it brings me so much joy knowing that I have helped her improve her daily life. 

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
I think my ability to adapt has helped me achieve success as a trainer. I understand that everyone is different and responds to different styles of training. Some people need a bit more understanding and compassion, while others need a bit of a strong arm to push to their full potential. I don’t give up easily, and I don’t allow my clients to give up either. 


  • 30 minutes, 2 x week: $40 per session
  • 30 minutes, 3 x week: $37 per session
  • 60 minutes, 2 x week: $75 per session
  • 60 minutes 3 x week: $69 per session

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Tai Randall
Jay Knickerbocker Media
MoMo Photography
Elaine Varona Photography
CPull Photos
DClark Media
DailyComp Media

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