Winchester, VA

Zara Ryan, Owner

Zara’s passion for fitness began in 2003, as she achieved a personal weight loss of 40 lbs. after years of not exercising and eating an unhealthy diet. Shortly after becoming an ACE certified trainer in 2004, she moved to San Diego, CA where she went from being a novice trainer to owning a personal training gym with a staff of 6 trainers in under a year.  In 2009, Zara moved to Winchester, VA where she began a thriving private personal training business that focused on busy Moms.  HIIT Like A Girl was born when Zara’s friends asked to meet for a weekly workout in the park. After several months and a growing group of interested women, Zara partnered with Carley Walker in 2016 to form HIIT Like A Girl, LLC.  Zara believes that even though as parents we may be interrupted or distracted during a workout, it’s always worth the effort and the example that we set for our children has a powerful effect on their development. As the Head Instructor for HIITLAG, Zara can take your personal goals and turn them into reality. 

Carley Walker, Director of Business Development

As the co-owner of HIIT Like A Girl, Carley’s vision is to share HIITLAG with the Winchester community and beyond. With years of professional experience in sales and marketing, Carley is able to communicate with clients and local businesses to promote HIITLAG’s mission of Fitness, Friendship, and Fun. She believes in the power of supportive women and feels that fitness should be the cornerstone for every family.  She is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor who loves to teach HIIT classes. On the weekend you can find her kayaking, wakeboarding, and boating with her husband and two children.

Julie Shaffer, Instructor

A native of New Orleans, Julie spent her professional career working in public policy in DC. During this time, she discovered that her true passion is inspiring others to be healthy and fit. She trained for several distance races and triathlons and received her Certified Personal Trainer certification through the American College of Sports Medicine. Julie moved to Winchester in 2014 and loves making wellness a priority for her family and encouraging the community to do so as well. She is a Beachbody coach and will be bringing PiYo Live to the HIITLAG team. When she’s not teaching, you can find her taking classes with her kids, Sam and CeCe.

Heather Harrod, Instructor

Since she was in sixth grade, Heather knew she wanted to have a career in health and wellness as a Physical Education teacher. Heather currently holds a B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, M.S. in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania, and was certified as a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Prior to relocating to the Winchester area in 2014, Heather was a Health and Physical Education teacher for 5 years in Maryland. For the past 3 years Heather has been a stay at home mom and is excited to join the HIITLAG team and share her wealth of knowledge with others. When she is not teaching, you can find Heather being spending time with her family, camping, watching football, and reading.


Kate Debord-Peter, Front Royal Instructor

Kate has been teaching fitness and dance classes since 2006. She earned her Pilates Mat certification in 2006 and her Apparatus certification in 2009 after completing 740 hours of teacher training. 


She has taken additional coursework in Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Anatomy and Physiology, and has had a lifelong love for movement and a deep appreciation of the innate capabilities and potential of the human body. She believes that physical health and vitality positively influence our mental and emotional well being, which brings a greater sense of fulfillment to our lives.


Over the past 12 years, Kate has taught a variety of classes for a wide array of ages and abilities including Pre-school P.E., Group Fitness classes, Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease), Movement for Musicians, K-12 sports team cross-training, and group and personal training for Pilates Mat and Apparatus. 


Kate taught group classes and personal training at Quantum Fitness in Washington DC for four years and was an adjunct faculty member at Shenandoah University’s Conservatory for ten years prior to starting a family and moving from Winchester to Front Royal with her husband, their daughter, and their two dogs. They welcomed their second daughter in 2017 and life is FULL!  


Kate has been involved with HIITLAG since its inception in 2015 when it was a weekly workout in the park with a few friends. The program has been a tremendous source of motivation, joy, camaraderie, and support. Kate is thrilled to be teaming up with owners Zara Ryan and Carley Walker to bring HIIT Like a Girl to Front Royal this fall!


When she’s not teaching, Kate enjoys family time, music, good food and trail running.


“I understand firsthand (and 40 lbs later) that as life changes and priorities shift, it can be difficult for women to juggle it all and carve out the time or summon the energy to take good care of ourselves, but we all deserve it. I decided that I had the power to take better care of myself and that I wanted to set a good example for my daughters. I want to be here, happy and healthy, for them as well as for me. Life is more fun when you feel good.”



Stacie Haaga, RD, CLT

Stacie Haaga is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified LEAP Therapist.  Stacie is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a BS in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and she completed her dietetic internship at Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Internship program in Falls Church, Virginia.  Since becoming an RDN, she has continued her professional education in the area of food sensitivities - in part because of her own sensitivities - and their role in inflammation and autoimmune disease.  Her professional interests include food allergies/intolerance/sensitivities, healthy cooking, family nutrition, childhood nutrition, and weight management.  Stacie strives to provide an integrative and personalized approach to nutrition, health, and healing and is currently completing a Certificate of Training in Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy (IFMNT) for health professionals.


Please reload