About Cheryl

Cheryl Keaney is a certified personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and lifestyle coach with over 18 years experience. Since May of 2010, her “Matter of Fat” column in the Times Herald has featured articles on health, nutrition, exercise and self-help topics. She shares practical, realistic and inspiring knowledge in a light-hearted and easy to read manner. In 2009, she started Buff Bodies Bootcamp, a women’s only fitness in Marysville, Michigan.  Her “Have fun getting fit” motto has helped inspire hundreds of women to workout, helping them to achieve their health and fitness goals.  


A former natural competitive bodybuilder and athlete, she experienced first hand what a significant difference the role that nutrition plays in not only developing one’s physique, but in athletic performance as well. Her love of fitness began at a young age. At 8 years old starting out in sports, then by the age of 10, sneaking down to the basement to use her brother’s weight set. Her grandmother was a big “health nut” and a distributor for Shaklee, a popular supplement company at the time. She often took her to the gym with her, had her taking vitamins and drinking protein smoothies. At a young age, she was already noticing the huge effect that exercise and nutrition made in how much better she looked, felt, and performed in sports.

This winning combination of fitness and nutrition helped Cheryl to excel in sports, especially on the soccer field. She received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Cincinnati and major in food and nutrition. In order to focus better on her studies, she made the hard decision to hang up her cleats. During college she discovered bodybuilding and fell in love with it. It was a way to incorporate and apply her love of fitness and nutrition. In training for her first competition, she totally transformed her body and looked and felt better than she ever imagined. Bodybuilding and her passion for helping others led her to taking a job at a local gym. Shortly afterwards, she got certified as a personal trainer and started her own personal training business. Her clients ranged from a 13 year gymnast training for competition, to a 90 year old woman working on improving strength and improving balance skills. She helped people of all shapes and sizes, all walks of life. Whatever their goal, she strived to get them the best results possible.

Buff Bodies Bootcamp Women
Buff Bodies Bootcamp Women

Ten years later, she moved from her hometown of Cincinnati to Columbus, Ohio. It was there that she started doing some bootcamp style group training and fell in love with it. Opportunity presented itself a few years later, and she moved to beautiful Port Huron, Michigan. She started “Buff Bodies Bootcamp” at a local recreation center shortly after moving. It was a hit, and the ladies loved it. A year later, she found herself the owner of her own studio. Shortly afterwards, she started writing articles for the local newspaper – The Times Herald. It seemed that everything was magically falling into place for her, for she loved being able to reach and help more people that both helped provide.

They say all good things come to an end, or is it just another beginning? Her mother, who was still living in Cincinnati at the time, got diagnosed with dementia. Due to the inability to care for herself, Cheryl decided to move her here to Michigan so she could help with her care. With this huge extra load on her plate, she realized something had to go. She was very blessed and fortunate that a great friend and co-trainer at her gym, Jessica Surman, offered to take over the business. It was a win win situation. Now not only has she been able to grow the business, but she has incorporated the bootcamp with her own Kinetic EFX health and wellness business that Cheryl helped her start. Buff Bodies Bootcamp is now Buff Bodies, and Cheryl is still teaching classes and partnering with Jessica to help grow the business and expand the amount of people they can serve.

 Cheryl and her mom

Cheryl and her mom

  • Training / Education

    CPR/First Aid certified
    Facilitated Stretching
    Functional Training (Core training)
    Osteoporosis – Diagnosis and Treatment
    Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design

  • Speciality Certifications

    Certified Personal trainer
    Certified Nutrition Specialist
    Certified Weight Management Consultant

  • Contest History

    ’06 Natural Detroit – Overall Winner
    ’05  Heart of America Natural Classic – 3rd pl. heavywt/bodybuilding
    ’01 Northern Kentucky– 5th pl. heavywt/bodybuilding
    ’99 Ms. Cincinnati – 2nd pl. heavywt/bodybuilding
    ’97 Ms. Cincinnati – 1st pl. heavywt/bodybuilding
    ’95 Northern Kentucky – 2nd pl. heavywt/bodybuilding