If you haven’t taken a class with Jeimy Bueno, our newest Aaptiv trainer yet, you’re missing out on her vibrant energy, rhythm-based classes, and energetic playlists.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Bueno moved to the United States at 21 years old to pursue a career in physical therapy. Keep reading to learn more about her journey and how she transitioned into the personal training world.
Full name: Jeimy Bueno
Originally from: the Dominican Republic
Favorite snack: Cashews or avocado toast
Favorite music genre: Reggaeton
Favorite thing to cook: Spanish dishes, including rice, beans, and avocado salad
Favorite hobby: Napping
What was your favorite part about growing up in the Dominican Republic?
Definitely the weather, I’m a Caribbean girl. It’s definitely what I miss and cherish the most. With good weather comes a little bit more Vitamin D, and that contributes a lot to making people happy, more hospitable, and more welcoming.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the job that brought you to America?
A company for physical therapy was hiring back in my country for bilingual physical therapists, and I interviewed—I speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese. I got the job and transitioned to the United States. I used to come to the US before, on vacation, but that job was the big girl move into the US—working on my own, leaving my friends and family behind, and starting a new life with the American dream.
What was the transition like for you?
It was nerve-wracking. It was exhilarating. It was a combination of beautifully chaotic freedom. You feel like, “I’m 21, I’m independent.” But at the same time the chaos comes through because you become responsible for everything you do. Then you start realizing everything that your parents do for you, the little things that the community adds to you, your friends, everything that is known to you—it’s a shift of culture, it’s a shift of lifestyle, a shift of weather. You don’t know until you are in the shift how much these things impact the way you are and shape who you’re becoming.
How did you get into fitness? Did you play sports as a kid?
I played sports as a kid, but I am a dancer. The way that the two of them combined is that I always loved movement. With my career, rehab and mobility was always my goal, and I wanted to do that for myself, but in a creative way. So, I decided to pursue, within physical therapy, continued education as a personal trainer, as a mobility athletic trainer. From there I started branching out. I took a Zumba class that one of my assistants invited me to, and I fell in love with it. After two years of procrastinating because I didn’t think I had the time, I made the time to become a licensed Zumba instructor.
After that, a scouter in Connecticut said to me, “You really have good rhythm. You could crush a workout on the bike.” She paid for my education and trained me. Fast forward, I moved to my group fitness certification, and then I just kept moving and shifting. I began to spend less hours in physical therapy, and more hours in fitness. Now I’m full-time fitness.
If you want to check out Jeimy’s workouts, you can right now! They’re in the Aaptiv app.
It’s special that you started in physical therapy. You’ve seen what can happen if you don’t take care of your body.
Absolutely. It adds to the education factor. A lot of fitness enthusiasts understand the entertainment part of fitness, but they might need a little bit more in the educational part of it. Becoming that education and entertainment entity at the same time includes both having fun and being safe. I love having the ability to do both. Just in case something happens, I can help someone and say, “I’m a PT, hold on, let me help you out. What happened to you?” It’s a powerful educational tool to have.
What’s your “why” when it comes to fitness?
My “why” is definitely that fitness changed my life, and I have the ability to change other people’s lives by doing what I love to do. That’s my favorite part. Even when I’m teaching, I’m sweating and dancing with them, or I’m pushing with them, or I’m lifting with them. Those endorphins, it’s—you can’t match that. It’s a feeling that you can’t explain. When you are on stage, that feeling, it’s my favorite feeling.
What do you always pay attention to when you teach?
I pay attention to two big things: are you safe and are you having fun. I always want people to have fun in class, but to do that, I need to make sure that they’re safe. When I’m teaching my cycle classes, the first thing I do is make sure that everybody’s safe in their setup on the bike. If I’m teaching a Zumba class, I make sure that everybody’s safe in their space and not stepping on each other. Then I make sure that my coaching is concise and clear. Once I tell you the directions, I’m like the fun GPS. I am your DJ, and I’m your GPS.
What do you want the Aaptiv community to know about you?
I want them to know that it’s okay to be different and to be perfectly imperfect. It’s okay to struggle. I can relate to struggle, that’s why I’m here, to change your life from the inside out—and I’m not talking about external motivation. I mean that when you feel so good with what you’re doing, your body responds to that internal feeling. So, it’s not about perfection, it’s about a moment of community between me and them.