From Bars to Barbells: ACC Grad Wins Austin Chronicle Best Personal Trainer Award

Erica Nix, ACC Graduation

In neon from head to toe and dance moves to boot, Austin Community College alumna Erica Nix tied for the Austin Chronicle’s 2018 Best in Austin Personal Trainer. 

“It feels great to be appreciated and seen for the work I do in my LGBTQIA community.”

This isn’t Erica’s first recognition. In 2016, she won best body positive ambassador, and in 2017, she took home her first title of best personal trainer. But, being a personal trainer wasn’t always part of Erica’s plans.  


Picture a Saturday night in Austin with the music blasting and taps pouring. Erica is on stage doing aerobics as performance art. To her surprise, people started joining in on the fun so she started a YouTube series which soon evolved into a class.

“I felt outside popular physical culture and working out wasn’t for people like me. I wanted to find a way to make working out more exciting, and it worked.” 


She started teaching three days a week. Her clients started to lean on her for their well-being. 

“I was getting questions about general fitness and wellness and I realized I am responsible for my clients’ safety. Being certified as a personal trainer helps me really take care of them. A lot of groups help you get certified but are more concerned with gains or egos than keeping people safe.” 

Instead of just hitting the weights, Erica also hit the books. She enrolled in ACC’s Exercise Science Program.

“My experience at ACC was pretty intense, but it was definitely worth it. You need to study hard to grasp the material, but the professors are there to help you succeed.”

Since graduating in 2014, Erica’s clientele has grown, and she has opened her own LGBT-friendly studio and art space called Transform.  


“I know a lot of people feel marginalized which effects self-worth and makes it harder to take care of themselves. I experienced that, and I want to provide a service that wasn't available to me.” 

For Erica, it isn’t always about getting that six-pack, but feeling better.

“The most rewarding part is when my clients feel the change. They tell me they picked up something heavy without issue or they complete a job more effectively. That means their life is literally better. The most important goal is to start from a place of self-love.” 

For more information on ACC’s Exercise Science Program, visit


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