LynxFit--Strength and Fitness Training for Everyone on the Northshore

Carmen Skildum is a certified personal and group trainer with her own gym in Grand Marais. She began training while pregnant with her first child almost four years ago and now invests 20 hours each week working with clients plus additional time for programming and the business side.

A native of Grand Marais and graduate of Cook County High School, Carmen is married to local building contractor Chris Skildum. The household is booming with three kids, the youngest just 15 months old.

To accommodate her growing business, Chris doubled the size of the Lynx Fit gym last winter.

She currently trains 11 classes each week, basically two to three per day. “Group classes are what I’m best at,” Carmen said. Some classes are conducted outdoors, weather permitting.“No one wants to workout in a gym after spending all day cooped up in an office,” she said.

Carmen designs training programs for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to top-level athletes and all ages. “It’s never too late to start,” she said.

Success stories from her clients delight Carmen and are one of the rewards of her work. “Clients tell me they feel great and people tell them they look great, and that makes me feel good,” Carmen said. She really likes when clients tell her how they can do things they haven’t been able to do before building their strength. “It’s great when someone tells me they were able to bust a new move on the dance floor,” she said.

Carmen is flexible on scheduling for clients during the week but jealously protects her weekends for family time.

Carmen is building her LynxFit business slow and steady. She wants to be respected as a quality gym and fitness facility and trainer. Looking ahead, Carmen hopes to build a larger facility that will be membership-based.

In the meantime, Carmen stresses her success-based collaborative culture. Whether in group classes or personal training, her clients work well together, sharing space and equipment to get the work done. “People should not feel intimidated in a group class or in weight lifting, regardless of their fitness level,” she said. The important thing is to get started.

Next week will see a beginning strength training class.

Carmen can be contacted at or through and on social media at @lynxfitmn.