Personal Trainers

Parent Q&A

  • Personal trainer/nutritionist for an obese adult

    (1 reply)

    Any recommendations for a personal trainer/nutritionist who can help an obese adult (male) get their health on track? We've tried doing it ourselves, but it's obvious that external motivation/education/help is needed. Prefer someone in the neighborhood of Fremont or the Tri-Valley area, but if you know someone who is located elsewhere and works wonders, we would appreciate it! Thank you in advance!

    I recommend that you inquire at your local YMCA about weight loss and exercise programs. I don't know about any programs specific to your area, but the Berkeley Y has run programs in the past that friends of mine attended. They lost weight and also got into the habit of regular workouts that they still do 3 years later!

    New replies are no longer being accepted.
  • Looking for a Running Coach

    (2 replies)

    I would like to start running for fitness and weight loss, but seem unable to get myself into the groove on my own. I am not and have never been a runner -- I've tried the "Couch-to-5K" program a few times, but never finished it. I am thinking that a personal trainer/running coach would be a big help... someone who can coach me through challenges, help me set and achieve goals, and make sure I have good form and a sustainable program. I would be starting at a very basic level; I'm not sure I could even run 1/4 mile right now! If interested, please contact me directly. Thanks! 

    RE: Looking for a Running Coach ()

    I am not a running coach, but am also a mom who would be interested in doing something like this.  Would you be interested in doing something together and hopefully splitting the trainer fees?  One issue is that I am currently pregnant with baby #2 (due in May) and was hoping to start working out during my maternity leave, maybe sometime around late June or in July.  

    Also, in case it's helpful, I had been looking at this:  But note that the Yelp reviews for it were not good....

    RE: Looking for a Running Coach ()

    I haven't worked with a coach but have found that getting accountability really helps.  I joined and joined challenge groups.  I joined Fb groups full of others tryign to achieve a fitness goal.  Seeing others report on their daily goal being completed helps t get me off the couch.

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  • Fitness trainer needed for a teen in competitive sports

    (2 replies)

    Hello BPN community,

    I have a 16 y.o. kid playing tennis competitively on a pretty high level.

    At this point we need to add a fitness training and looking for an experience trainer who can help to build strength, agility, speed and have experience working with young athletes.

    We live in Berkeley.


    I can recommend a great fitness coach for your tennis player. Natalia worked for years alongside my daughter's tennis coach. My girl fell in love with volleyball and is playing on the power team of a club now, but the fitness training she got from Natalia easily translates to her new sport. All the coaches always comment on her great agility, strength and stamina. Natalia holds a Masters degree in Sport Performance and is currently working at the Redondo Havlicek tennis academy. She is also a mother of two serious players. Give her a call at (510) 912-5135.

    Gamespeed in Concord

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  • Personal trainer in the Berkeley/ El Cerrito area

    (9 replies)

    Hi Everyone

    Any recommendations for a personal trainer in the Berkeley/ El Cerrito area?


    Jessica dibiase at the ice chamber in Richmond - near Costco- is great! Inspiring and a mother of two who works hard with her clients.

    If you are a woman, I strongly recommend Parand Behbahani who works out of her home studio in Kensington (she can also travel to your house). I have been working with her for a couple years and really enjoy it! she's professional, funny, and very good at what she does.

    I love my trainer, Pam from


    pgfit [at]

    My trainer is Zechariah Whittington, 510 417 9224.  His studio is near Target, by the highway.  He is fantastic, incredibly well educated about physiology and the like.  He works with my retired husband, my 23 year old son, and I began with him when I was home-bound with a broken leg.   He does different exercises for each of us because we all have different needs, strengths, weaknesses.  The more sessions you purchase in advance, the cheaper they are.  So I bought the largest package and it's basically $65 per session.  A friend of mine referred him to me; her daughters see him as well.  He's a terrific person, super responsible and a great guy.  

    Parand Behbahani. She's in Kensington. Top-notch personal trainer, no-nonsense, has a great sense of how to keep it new so you're not bored and how to increase the challenge when you're ready to move it up a notch. Plus she has a heart of gold. I dropped 3 dress sizes over a year of working with her and got much more fit. 415-583-4102.

    I highly recommend Michelle Gordon-Canning. Her website is:

    She was my trainer in the past. I love the lady. Isabel Sanchez C.

    I have a great trainer! She specializes in women of more than 40 years old. I have been with her for more than 3 years. It is totally worth it to go to San Leandro, her studio is by Dutton St, next to 580....

    Fit Body

     Carrie Villa (510) 421-5055

    Jonathan Devoto is a fantastic trainer. He's really smart, kind, encouraging and knows how to train so you don't get injured (which is hard to

    find in a trainer). His specialty is corrective exercises to heal from injury. He TOTALLY helped me heal my

    injured shoulder. I can't more highly recommend him.

    His email is: jon.devoto [at]

    His website is:

    Good luck

    Check out SWEAT on Solano in Albany or on College in Rockridge. The personal training there is awesome and the classes often feel like a group personal training session. I've been a regular there for almost two years and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. 

    Fit Momma

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  • Personal trainer

    (5 replies)

    I am having a baby in a few weeks and would like to work with a personal trainer after that to help me get back in shape before I have to go back to work. Ideally this person would be willing to meet me in a public park near my house. I was in reasonable shape before the pregnancy but haven't been physically capable of much exercise during the pregnancy. It would be great to find someone who could help me slowly build up an exercise routine in a way that's sensitive to the need to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Know anyone who fits the bill? Recommendations will be much appreciated.

    RE: Personal trainer ()

    I'm in the exact same situation. If you would like a partner to train and workout with (to motivate and make a trainer more affordable) I'd love to join you in this. 

    RE: Personal trainer ()

    Jessica dibiase fits the bill- she is a new mom herself and is very supportive yet also firm. She co manages a gym in Richmond near Costco called The Ice Chamber. 

    RE: Personal trainer ()

    I had a baby in May 2016 and Mary McQueen and Baby Boot Camp has been an integral part of getting back into shape while on leave.  I started with the Core9 Birth Recovery Program and have been attending Baby Boot Camp in Lake Temescal since my doctor cleared me for exercise. Mary knows a TON about postnatal fitness and offers targeted exercises and modifications based on your body post baby (for example, time since birth, c-section, ab separation).

    RE: Personal trainer ()

    This isn't exactly what you were asking for, but you might want to look into the MuTu System. It's all online and targets postpartum women. You pay for the program and can use it for as long as you want (I'm still occasionally doing the workouts, a year after I bought it). It allows you to work out at home in a short amount of time, which is perfect when you have a newborn in the house. Kudos to you for planning in advance to take things slow, by the way. I tried to jump right back in after delivery and think I did way too much, too soon. Probably set myself back for months. Good luck! 

    RE: Personal trainer ()

    Jessica Bitting, of Truly Madly Fit, is a fun, supportive, knowledgeable, patient, and very warm person. She meets her clients wherever they're comfortable, so I don't think there would be any problem at all with meeting at the park. She's a mom herself, so she understands what you're going through! If you want to exercise in a way that will help you reach your goals, and have a good time doing it, Jessica is the woman for you. Her number is 510-501-4393. You can tell her I posted this, if you like, but she'll be amazing either way. :)

    Kathleen Hunt, Esq. kathleenhunt [at]

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Recommendations Related Pages

2010 - 2013 Recommendations

Personal Trainer for out-of-shape folks

April 2013

I'm looking for advice on a person trainer for a man with a potbelly in his late 50s and a 40 year old obese woman. They could use some encouragement to kick-start getting in better shape. I'm thinking of a personal trainer at the Oakland Y to give them some guidance, goals, and keep them moving forward. I think it would be good for them to go together (and cheaper!). The man goes to the Y, but doesn't really push himself. (Better than not exercising, but not really getting stronger.) The Oakland Y would be a convenient place for them to exercise in between the personal trainer sessions. Here are the questions: is this a good plan, if they're in very different places, in terms of level of fitness (they like each other and will encourage each other). Any feedback on the trainers at the Y? Who'd be good for out of shape folks, not looking to define their abs or run a 5 minute mile. once again, thanks BPN

I just recently posted about my trainer, Billy Mars, who would be perfect for this couple. He's worked with moms, but he specializes in anti-aging and helping people in the age range of this couple, and he's ESPECIALLY good at helping people *get* and *stay* MOTIVATED. Additionally, he's very experienced working with couples and helping them to support eachother. He will individualize his program for each of them (he has to anyway, as his program for men is different from his program for women).

I have been working with him for over a year and I can't believe the results I got in just a short amount of time. He tailored his program to me and my goals, he is very patient and encouraging, and he knows more about fitness, anti-aging and complimentary nutrition than any other fitness trainer I've worked with and I've worked with several, including trainers at the Y (who are, for the most part, a waste of time, as they still teach the same, outdated stuff). No one else teaches what Billy teaches, the way he teaches it. You will see better results in a fraction of the time, because his workouts are so effective. He has 35 years of experience, and while he looks like he's in his 30's, he's actually almost 50 himself.

Best of all, Billy will come to your house to work with you (he probably wouldn't come to the Y) and bring everything you need for the best workout of your life. Working with Billy is a life-altering experience. I'm not exaggerating. If you'd like to feel *better* than you did in your 20's (yep, I do!) don't pass up the opportunity to work with this guy.

You can call him at 415-847-3772 or email him at billysundaymars [at] Fantastically Fit at 45

Need personal trainer recs

Jan 2013

Interested in recommendations for personal trainer in Berkeley, maybe in pilates? Not sure what I need, but I need something to jump start me with weight loss and toning. And I'm not interested in going to a gym! Definitely prefer a woman, too. Resolution time!

Hi. I have been working with a personal trainer, Parand, for the past 6 months and I can totally tell the difference. For the first time in a long time, I feel fit. I should mention, I am a mother of 2 small kids and work full time so I don't have a lot of spare time. Parand has been doing fitness related work for most of her life (aerobics, kickboxing, personal training, etc.) but her specialty is pilates and toning. She is very affordable--$37 per hour. A very reasonable price considering she comes to my house. She lives in Berkeley, so if you live outside of Berkeley, she may charge more for travel time. I have OK cardio tolerance which I tend to do on my own. She is good at targeting problem areas and toning which I tend to ignore when left to my own devices. Of note, she mostly uses your own weight for resistance and a couple of 3-5 lbs weights so not a lot of gear needed. She is energetic, funny, very professional and always on time. Just in case you are interested she also works with older folks (my mom uses her as well) with strengthening and balance or whatever they may need. I should mention, she prefers female clients. For me, it's been fantastic having someone come to my house since I don't seem to be able to get out to the gym that often. I highly recommend her. contact her directly at pappary [at]
I have been seeing Meridi Williams in Albany for the last 6 weeks and not only am I avoiding surgery on my back, but I am changing my body. When I walked into her office I could not walk without pain, sit or drive the car without excruciating pain. I was taking up to 2,000mg of ibuprofen just to get through the day. I am now walking for up to an hour, taking half as much ibuprofen, driving and look and feel great! Everything fits better and I am so much stronger. I have been swimming for exercise since my back issues started and I can now swim without tiring and I feel good in that bathing suit. Since she is also a physical therapist she really knows what's going on and can gear her sessions to exactly what your body needs. I have never hurt myself in my sessions with her and yet she has stretched my abilities all along. She is calm and nurturing and has a beautiful and welcoming space. I really can't recommend her highly enough. Check out her website: mallorie
With Susan Reed you don't even need to pay for a gym. She's a certified personal trainer whose business is Urban Agility. Susan will help you design a workout you can do anywhere or you can join one of her classes. She has a great personality and knows what she's doing. or 499 8200. impressed

Personal Trainer - Mr. Rogers style

Dec 2012

The personal trainer recommendations on the archive are a couple of years old, and all for 'badass' trainers affiliated with some gym or another. Is there such a thing as a trainer who will work with me to use my funky neighborhood gym (which is the only one I can afford), to the best of its potential? Someone who would teach me how to use weights and other machines there in a way that won't exacerbate an old injury, and put together some rotating workouts I can then go do on my own, checking in once in a while when I need an update? I can't afford and don't really need to have someone come with me every time and yell at me while I kill myself. I just need a 'teacher' to help me make the most of my limited workout opportunities. I need the Mister Rogers of trainers, not the General Patton. Shapeless

Dawn Miller is your trainer. She has been training people of all ages and abilities from seniors to Cross Fitters. She is a calm and collected personality. Trainerdawnmiller [at] Be Well!

Personal trainer for active 60 year old

Nov 2012

I'm failing on my own to stay in shape and would love to work with a personal trainer and see what difference that makes. I'm early 60's woman, very active and in fairly good shape, and really want someone who understands my goals and challenges. anon

Simi Tufunga at Tufunga Team Training in Emeryville is not only awesome but very reasonably priced. The gym is cheap too and has a great vibe, very low key and real people. Ben
I highly recommend Dawn Miller. She is a fabulous personal trainer, has a lot of education and experience, and is great to work with. trainerdawnmiller [at] maia
Harold Hatcher of H2Fitness is very experienced with training women of all ages, many of his clients are middle-aged to elderly. My mother, my husband and I have trained with him for a long time and we're all in much better shape than when we started. His studio is on 4th St. across from Spenger, in the bright pink building in the parking lot. His rates are reasonable and he is very personable - Call him at (415) 810-0814 or email: h2fitness701 [at] - Michelle B.

Exercise Advisor/Coach/Trainer

Oct 2012

I am looking for someone to provide exercise advice. I have tried personal trainers, but they seem to want you to do their routine with them. I don't need someone to watch me exercise; I exercise consistantly on my own. I want someone to answer my questions, such as

How do I prevent the shin splints I intermittently get when walking/running? Are there stretches I should be doing and why? What will they do for me? While I exercise regularly, I seem to remain very slow. How I can get faster? I am willing to spent 10 minutes I day on strength training. What should I do?

I would like to be able to schedule sessions with this person when these issues arise. I would like to be able to go back and say, ''I still have shin splints, even though I have been doing what you suggested,'' or ''I want to add another 5 minutes or strength training, and need recommendations,'' and get follow-up advice. Need Exercise Advice

i know you said you don't want another personal trainer, but it sounds like you just haven't found one that works in the way that you want (or maybe the ones you've worked with haven't been that great?). the personal trainer i've worked with would absolutely be able to answer your questions and would not expect you to spend hours working out with her. her name is dawn miller and she has tons of experience (which she would be better qualified to tell you about than i, sorry!). but she helped me a lot when i was training for a run, just by answering simple questions i had about my body and by periodically suggesting different things to do to. she was also really helpful in distilling what my exercise/fitness goals were. i highly recommend her. her email: trainerdawnmiller [at] anon
Maybe you are looking for someone like Daniel Kamenetzky. He is a sports medicine specialist who looks at people in motion and corrects incorrect behaviors that cause problems like yours. I hear he is expensive but well worth it. He works through Children's Hospital's Youth Athlete program, but if you google him you'll get blog and he sees adults outside of that program as well. Good luck! Always interested fitness
I would like to enthusiastically recommend my trainer, Billy Mars, who has got to be the most amazing fitness coach there is. I never thought I'd work with a male fitness coach, but Billy is so professional and respectful, as well as patient and just plain nice--I felt completely comfortable with him. I cannot say enough wonderful things about him and how great I feel since starting to work with him. I asked him if I could recommend him to you just for the consulting that you wanted, and he said he would be happy to work something out with you.

Here's what to know about how he works (I'll admit here, I did ask him how to talk about what he does, so I would do a good job explaining): Billy trains your system. In other words, he works with your nutrition, your neurophysiology, environment and other activities, because all of these things will affect how your body builds up and breaks down. Also, he is very focused on teaching proper posture and alignment so that you protect your joints, and get the most effective workout possible, so he can help you avoid or recover from shin-splints and the like. Billy is also an expert in emotional fitness, as well as physical fitness, so he can coach you on how to understand and manage stress. I found this part really helpful, because working out was so difficult for me to stick with. Billy said this is true for most people, so he has developed an amazing program that helps you not only overcome resistence to working out (hitting that wall! oy!) but helps you overcome stressful situations and bad habits (he's been helping me overcome my entrenched tendency to procratinate, which totally took me by surprise--I just thought I was just going to get fitness training from him!). I feel like Billy truly understands how to help people inside and out, but, more importantly, he's genuinely *committed* to helping others. You can feel it when you work with him, that this guy really *cares* about people.

I believe he's been in the business for over 30 years, so he's very experienced, and when you see him, you know he knows his stuff, which was the final thing that sold me after my friend recommended him to me: he is a living example that what he does really works. As am I, now that I've started to work with him. Oh, I also love that the workout that he prescribes gives me better results in a fraction of the time (which is part of why I had a hard time sticking with a work-out program: it always seemed to require so much time, and, as a mom, I don't HAVE that kind of time!).

I think I'm gushing here, but I've been having such a great experience, getting amazing results, and learning so much that no other fitness trainer ever taught me (I've tried working with trainers before). For anyone else that might be interested: I've been working with him for a few months now, and I've gone from a size 8 to a size 2. Hello! I think anyone who cares about their health and well-being ought to spend some time training with Billy. Oh, and I should mention that he's an author, too: ''Fit for Love'' is the name of his book. You can check out his web site for more about what he does at His email is billysundaymars [at] (and yes, that's his real name). Getting Fit and Loving It!

Looking for a FANTASTIC personal trainer

Aug 2012

I'm looking for current recommendations for a FANTASTIC personal trainer to help my husband and I lose some weight and get into awesome shape. Can either go to a location - ideally in the lake merritt/oakland area or come to our home. Thanks!

I highly recommend Bay Functional Fitness in Rockridge (close to where College Ave meets Broadway). I have worked with Lisa Vonnegut and Katie Ross in small class situations, but it felt like having a personal trainer. Both are amazing. They really listen to what your goals are and do everything they can to get you there. Lisa is particularly good about making sure you are using correct form so you avoid injury. They have several personal trainers on staff, male and female, and I am sure you will find one that suits your personalities and fitness goals. Love my BFF! Maria
Tami McGill is a personal trainer extraordinaire! She has my highest recommendation. I've worked with Tami for 7 years now. I was a swimmer, tennis player and golfer at the time, and fancied myself in fine shape. It all started when I was making coq au vin for a 10-person dinner party. When I was transferring the 14'' pan of chicken and sauce to the refrigerator, the pan turned in my hands and the dinner party was on the floor. I realized that I needed more core and overall strength, better balance and flexibility. Tami saved me. She designs a different workout monthly for me. I feel in better shape than ever, despite my (seeming rapidly) advancing age. It's all because of Tami's wonderful work. She serves clients all over the Bay Area. Tami's phone: 510 562-5008 LO

Personal trainer for osteoporosis prevention

Aug 2012

Does anyone know of a personal trainer/consultant who specializes on osteoporosis prevention and can advise on good exercises to increase bone density. I would prefer to do exercises I can do at home rather than in a gym. and would like someone to help me develop an effective routine. I am also curious in hearing women's experiences with post-menopausal bone loss, mine dropped significantly in the past 3 years, despite good diet/calcium intake and some exercise. Wondering how many years past menopause this usually levels off and what people's experiences are with reversing bone loss through exercise...any advice welcome! Thanx. Healthy Bones!

I can highly recommend Dr. Lani Simpson to you. She is an osteoporosis consultant in Berkeley, and is extremely knowledgeable about prevention and treatment. She has helped me sort out my issues related to bone loss and has given me exercise and nutritional guidance. It has been very empowering to address my bone loss directly and to have a better understanding about what having a diagnosis of osteoporosis really means. Her website is Satisfied patient
For osteoporosis, you need to change directions while exercising. For instance, tennis or dancing are better than walking or cycling. More info here: Anon
Rather than a trainer or in addition to one, I recommend the book Strong Women Stay Young by Miriam Nelson, PhD. She presents a simple solid program of 8 exercises for you to do at home with a minimum of equipment. You do need some weights. The book also contains a wealth of information on doing the exercises and lots more exercises for variety. Dr. Nelson also has a website. Google her name or the name of the book. My doctor recommended this book for me and it got me started on weight training. Though I don't love weight training, I love how it's helped me stay stronger and healthier. stronger if not younger at 63

Personal trainer who specializes in postpartum fitness

Dec 2011

I am looking for a personal trainer that can fit sort of specific parameters. Primarily, I am looking for someone who specializes in postpartum fitness (diastasis recti)who can design a fitness program for me that will help me lose about 20 pounds and address my stomach (I am 39 with a 1 and 3 yo and planning on a third). Motivation is not my primary issue, as I already go to the gym one hour per day, six days per week so I don't need someone to show up at my house and drag me out of bed or anything, I just (clearly) don't know what to do once at the gym because the weight has plateaued and my belly is still big. I am a member of 24hour fitness in Oakland and I can continue to devote one hour per day (mornings), 6 days per week (M-Sat) but it must be a program I can do there because they provide childcare. Any recommendations for trainers who could help me? I imagine a number of meetings early on, with assessment and one-on-one 'training' (perhaps AT the gym?) and then maybe phone support and occasional in-person follow-up? Never done this before...thanks. CSH

Rachel Tufunga at Team Tufunga is amazing! She is the best personal trainer I've ever tried. She is encouraging & inventive & super knowledgeable! Over 20 years in the business. She was written up a few years ago in the Chronicle. She also has a class at the gym on Mon & Wed at 12 you can try to check her out. I've worked with her on & off for over 10 years and still use a workout on my own she gave me back when I started.She trains some of the younger/newer trainers around town. Here's the info I have (510)655-6796 info [at]
I just 'graduated' today from a great six-week program run by Cheryl Bjornson. It's an intensive program designed to rehabilitate and repair a diastasis recti. I have two kids and I'm certainly less fit than my pre-child days, but even with consistent exercise my core was still a long way from being strong and supported. Lots of the exercise programs I had participated in locally had actually made my separation worse. It's six-week commitment but you'll be so happy you did it! Good luck! Tighter Tummy in Oakland

Personal trainer/ fitness instructor

Oct 2011

I am looking for personal trainer/ fitness instructor affiliated or not affiliated with the gym. Currently i have membership at 24hour Fitness. My goal is to lose 20-30lb and lower BMI. Also i need advice on nutrition and supplements. I am looking for the fast and visible results and willing to work hard! Thank you all. need to get back in shape

I can recommend Carmela at Fitness Evolved, on 10th St. in Berkeley ( This gym is really beyond what you would normally expect in a gym because they are so focused on working with the individual to educate as well as achieve goals, etc.. Their approach incorporates how the brain affects physiology during exercise - really a unique way of addressing fitness, and Carmela is very friendly and down to earth. Laura
I would call Allen Flemming of The Present Body. He has creative, personalized training sessions which can be held outside or in your home. i believe he's highly rated all over yelp, too! his contact info is (510) 708-6935 or allen [at] lisette
i highly recommend jennifer lynch. -sara
i highly recommend chalyn to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. in 2007 i was going to the gym on a regular basis since 2004 and i had hit the wall. i wasn't feeling motivated to continue my routine at the gym. chalyn encouraged me to do a sprint triathlon. so i decided to sign up. from that point on she stuck with me and helped me train and even found a bike i could borrow. 20 tri's later and two half-marathons she's going with me to cheer me on at my first ironman distance triathlon. cheers morgan website: email: chalynnewman [at] phone: 510 520-5929
a rare combination of creativity, wisdom, inspiration and sincerity makes chalyn a fitness and nutritional coach treasure. she has transformed my nutritional well being and cupboards by removing sneaky unhealthy cooking oils, white flour, processed foods and sugars. she gave me new ideas for school lunches for my daughter. my family now understands how to be healthy without it feeling like a chore. foods from around the world grace my table weekly. as a fitness coach she listened to my current issues and formulated a routine that addressed recovery and becoming fit. her cross training philosophy makes every workout fun and interesting. 7 months after our first consult my family is a vision of health and our exercise routines are consistent and fun. i recommend chalyn highly! satisfied parent
i highly recommend chalyn newman of vital beings for personal training and fitness. in addition, to helping with establishing a realistic personal fitness program, chalyn is very knowledgable about nutrition/eating habits that can really help to improve your health along with regular exercise sherry
i have been working with chalyn newman of vitalbeing for the last two years (off and on). chalyn is very knowledgeable about both fitness and nutrition. she helped me to do a nutritional 'makeover', coming into my home to educate me about the foods that i eat (and feed my family), plan menus, prepare food (she actually cooks with you) and help with implementation (my kids were not happy about some of the changes and she had creative ideas about how to ease the transition to healthier foods). chalyn is very hands on, which i appreciate (if i could do this on my own, i would have), but not too pushy. she gets that whatever nutritional changes we make need to fit into my lifestyle (i work out of the house) and that i need to be able to sustain them once she is out of the picture. i also appreciate that she follows up to see how things are going and will come back in if things need touching up. at the same time i was taking a hard look at how i eat, i became involved in triathlon. chalyn was instrumental in helping me to achieve my athletic goals. she designed a weekly workout schedule for me and helped me track my progress. she also helped my to modify my nutrition to match my body's needs during training. this was an area where i really relied on her expertise as i often found myself ravenous after long workouts and unsure of the best way to nourish my body. i am not as into triathlon now, and chalyn has been there to help me make nutritional adjustments so that i can maintain a comfortable weight and not feel like all of the hard work that i did on my body is undone. chalyn is supportive, non-judgmental and fun to work with. i am very pleased with my experience and ongoing relationship with her and the positive impact her services have had on our family. my kids are mostly on board, even with the whole-wheat pasta thing--which was the final hurdle! chalyn has a website ( and you can reach her directly at (510) 520-5929. happy client
we recently worked with chalyn newman as a nutritional consultant, but i know she also does fitness consulting. i would call her - she's a mom too and somehow has the nutritional/fitness thing all figured out. i found her very knowledgeable and inspiring. her company is vitalbeing and here is her contact info: website: email: chalynnewman [at] phone: 510 520-5929 good luck in your goals, good for you! kristen

personal trainer who makes early a.m. housecalls

oct 2011

i'm looking for a personal trainer to come to my home at 5am tues and thurs mornings to do a bootcamp style workout with me to help me get back into shape after having two babies in two years! i live in the elmwood neighborhood of berkeley. any recommendations of a great early bird personal trainer?

i recommend personal trainer zo de muro of left coast fitness. zo does house calls and office calls. he focuses on awareness, balance and helps you develop your commitment to doing things which promote living a full and healthy life. i swear if you were to look up 'personal trainer' in the dictionary, it should have his picture. his own personal story of physical transformation is a testimony to his success. you can contact him at zo [at] or at 510-842-7048 (option 2). lis

personal trainer/fitness instructor recomendation

oct 2011

can anyone recommend trustworthy, creative and knowledgeable personal trainer/instructor who can help me with loosing extra weight and gaining muscle strength? i live in berkeley and have 24hours club membership, but willing to workout in alternative locations, outdoor, etc; will consider small groups too. also i will appreciate advise on rates as i am not sure how much it will cost. thank you all for your input! natalie

i'm guessing you will be bombarded with responses for personal trainers but i would only call allen flemming. i have come to know allen flemming from the present body over the past couple of years and have been blown away by his skillful and down to earth training ability. he makes it feel possible for anyone who wants to get fit. he even taught a 60 year old lady how to play football. i am amazed at his depth of knowledge and his funny and warm personality. i highly recommend him to help you in your journey to get fit. good luck in your commitment! i used him in combination with tamar cohen from triholistic nutrition to reclaim my body and have been very happy with the results. allen flemming tamar cohen laura
many friends have mentioned this outdoor class to me over the years, which means this program consistently delivers and people see results! you can also find one on one personal training at the fuse fitness in kensington (across from semifreddis in the colusa circle) and be fit stay active (on san pablo just north of solano ave). anon
sarah mcclendon of proaction athletics ( on grand avenue in oakland is it. she has been my fitness/strength trainer for four months and i have gone from a size 12-14 down to a 6-8 and still getting fitter. i have tried other workouts, boot camps, gym classess, and i am the most fit i have ever been in my entire adult life. i am almost 43 years old, a mother of three kids all under the age of 5, and for a long time, i lived my life thinking that attending to my health and body were low priorities. i was one of those people who sat on the sofa, eating my kids' leftover pbj's while watching ''the biggest loser'' and thinking wishfully, how amazing it would be to have an experience like them.

finally, i was too tired of trying to suck in harder, trying to find the ''right'' angles for pictures, and trying to blame it on not having the time. i found out about proaction athletics through a living social deal, and swallowed my pride, and went for it. i committed to a four week boot camp, and it changed my life. i couldn't do more than five pushups a day that first week. that first week i was so sore, that i didn't know if i could make it. but i did!!!! i am so very thankful to sarah (owner and personal trainer who has never cancelled a class in the 16 weeks i have attended!!) . she is an amazing woman who runs a kick%#* indoor/outdoor bootcamp for women of all sizes, ages, shapes, athletic abilities. sarah is super sweet, funny, and encouraging. and it is super motivating to workout with other women and to see them pushing it everyday....i love it. you never do the same workout, she varies it everyday. she offers five classes a day. if you don't want to commit to a four week session, you can always try it out for a day and see if this is your thing. hooray to you and your health!! finally getting fit in my forties!

woohoo fit is an outstanding choice for pre- and post-natal classes. eva, the owner, provides small group classes with lots of personal attention, tailored to each participant. the workouts strengthen core muscles, keep you limber, and leave you feeling energized.

i have participating in her prenatal class for my second pregnancy. didn't start until the 3rd trimester and it was like turning back the clock--i can do so much more (with just three weeks till my due date) now than i could 3 months ago. the classes really energize me and there's a great camaraderie between eva and the other women in the class--some of whom are expecting moms, and some of whom have new babies. it's a wonderful support network, which is an added bonus. i can't recommend this program more highly. kimberley

Personal Trainer Near Montclair

Sept 2011

I am a shy, time-challenged, out of shape mom looking for a personal trainer. Ideally, I'd find one not associated with a gym, and who I could see one on one to start, but could probably organize another friend or two to join us after I get some confidence. I'd most like someone who can meet me at my house, or super close to the house in Montclair, Glenview, or anywhere near Upper Rockridge. I need to lose some weight, and I am just not very confident around fitness. I don't have tons of time - really need someone who is pretty close to me. I have no idea what trainers cost, and reasonably priced would be great. More than anything, I want someone who gets great reviews from BPNers who've seen RESULTS. I'm willing to work - I just have no idea what to do to get some muscles, and get my waist back, and I really need some support to help me get in the habit. Thanks ...! sw

I have the most amazing personal trainer! My son just turned one and I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy, with the help and support of Ivy I have lost all of my baby weight and now have set a new goal to loose 10 more pounds. Ivy's workouts are always new and challenging. It is not easy for me to loose weight and I am so grateful for Ivy's help. She is super flexible and will come to your house, she does private and group sessions, I have done both with her. I give Ivy the highest recommendation possible and thank her for getting me back in my old jeans. I promise you will be nothing but happy with her dedication to fitness, professionalism and overall she is a pleasure to be around, I look forward to our sessions. Please check her out at or email at ivyprofane [at] Thanks, Heather
I go to a fitness ''boot camp'' three times a week with Jeff Laynes (here's his website: camp/) It's really more like a personal training group than a traditional boot camp. Each week, there are anywhere from 3 to 10 people, and Jeff caters the workout to each person's goals and fitness levels. Most of the participants are women (some men), aged from 20 up to 65 (I'm 40). The workouts are at 6am or 6:30pm at both Piedmont Track and Montclair Park. I know this isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's a great group of people and Jeff is relaxed and flexible while still being very invested in your success. I'm sure he'd let you come to a session for free to check it out, if you're interested. Good luck! Adrienne
I know a great personal trainer who lives in Montclair. he was a P.T at the Berkeley Y for while back in late 90's he has martial arts background which he incorporates, also understands body types and nutrition and T.C.M prespective on total wellness and fitness. his name is Amir @ 510-904-2786 yaqob
I have a friend who has a personal training studio in Montclair. She has been a trainer for 25 years, is ACSM certified and has a Masters in Exercise Physiology. Her name is Cindy Olavarri, she charges $55/hour and her number is 510 501- 8722 sussi

Personal Trainer to work out with in home

Aug 2011

Can anyone recommend an excellent personal trainer in Oakland who will work with 2 clients (myself & a friend) for an hour once a week at our house? We are looking for someone who will design workouts based on our goals and who will keep the workouts interesting and challenging. Amy

My trainer trains individuals and small groups in their home and he's based out of Oakland. I've worked with him for 4 years and I think he's terrific. If you're interested in a boot-camp style trainer who's going to yell at you, Chet is not your guy. But if you're looking for someone who really wants you to be healthy and who has the experience and training to back it up, you should call him at 415-710-1233. lauri
I can recommend Kristy Oakley for personal training ( I've worked with her several times - she has a ton of experience and is intuitive about what will work for each person. In my experience, her prices have been fair, especially if you are doing a partner workout. Good luck! cg

I Need a Personal Trainer to Kick My Butt!

July 2011

Seeking a personal trainer with a varying routine who will kick my butt! I'm in El Cerrito. I have an awesome road bike, I'm 49 and healthy - just out of shape. I'm good for yoga, pilates, kick boxing, hiking, etc. I've never run in my life and I'm a crappy swimmer. And how much do personal trainers make, anyway? Where's My Waist?

I just started going to a great new studio called Fuse Fitness in Kensington. Awesome, kick your butt workouts! Either one on one or in group classes (owners Pascha and Kristin are both excellent). They offer a ton of variety that is hard to come by. You can find more info at Good luck! Andrea
My husband and girlfriend go to a guy that they love named John Campbell. He is fun but works you hard. I believe he charges $20 per hour which I think is very reasonable for this work (which he usually does in small groups but may do one on one for more). His email address is johnnyc109 [at] and phone is 510.2199830 Have fun! Renee
If you are seeking a local neighborhood personal trainer you must consider Ari Morimoto. He has his own workout studio right near the top of Moeser in El Cerrito. If your looking to have fun and get in shape he is the one for you. The name of his game is variety. I have been working out with him for about 6 months and not only am I much more fit but I find myself looking forward to working out and, believe it or not, to eating healthy. Each session with him is different and never boring. He incorporates many types of training into his workouts including Bootcamp style, yoga, agility training, etc. The best part is you first session with him is free! His contact info is (510) 292-6836. I believe this is his cell number. You can also email him at ari.morimoto [at] He is also a competitive cyclist so if you have a bike I'm sure he'd be excited to train you on the bike as well. anon
I did't see the original post, but you've got to see Jenn Aguirre at Aloha Fitness in Hercules. She is great! In one year Ive lost 51 lbs and she not only has you work out but monitors your diet too. My life has totally changed, I went from a size 16 to size 4! I look amazing and feel really healthy. You can google Aloha Fitness for their website and her number is (925)323-0565. Hot Mama

Personal Trainer with Expertise in Diastasis Recti

June 2011

Can anyone recommend a personal trainer, pilates instructor, or SOMEONE who is an expert dealing with women who have diastasis recti? Don't want to take the surgery route. Need some serious guidance in dealing with this condition - not just someone who ''knows about it'', but someone who can really help me. I know my tummy will never be back to ''normal'', but I really want to see if I can flatten out this bulge, even if just a little bit. Oakland/Berkeley area preferred. Thanks.

My pilates instructor of 1.5 yrs Kendal Au (check out her website google ''pilates to the people'') did wonders for my diastisis recti. She does private and affordable group sessions. She has an amazing understanding of anatomy and muscle groups.
I highly recommend Liz Gillem 510.708.8703. liz [at] I had diastasis from my pregnancy and Liz was invaluable in helping me heal and build strength. The key with diastasis is to build the trans abs, and I found it really hard to isolate those muscles before I met Liz. She helped me build my core strength and my trans abs so that my post partum tummy is a lot better. My partner is the one who found Liz and she really helped him with back and leg problems. She really understands the body and doesn't just treat the symptoms, She gets at the root of the problem, finds the weakness, and helps you build strength to eliminate the problem altogether. Liz is a wonderful person - smart, helpful, cool, fun. We love her! S.

Personal Trainer - coming out of hibernation

Feb 2010

I'm looking for a personal trainer who would be skilled at working with someone who is 60 and just getting back her health. I was formerly active in yoga but have had a long break from regular exercise due to a chronic illness that seems to be in remission now. The important thing is to find someone who won't push to the point of injury and relapse, yet will help me get back my strength. I'm able to go about all daily activities now and am cleared by doctor to start getting fit. A New Me

Aaron Holby 510 381 3107 is the trainer you want. I am 65, have been working with him twice a week for 3 years and during that time had a major illness that he helped me recover from. He also trains my partner, age 64, and helped her in recovery from spinal fusion surgery and total knee replacement. He's patient, gifted at tailoring exercise for the individual, and has a wonderfully dry sense of humor -- just what my overweight, exercise- phobic self needs to stay on a challenging program. I'm really pleased at what I've been able to accomplish and maintain. Feel free to email me if you want more details and I'll send you my phone number to talk. I found him on this network and others have recommended him as well -- he's in the archives. H.
I think I can recommend the perfect trainer for your needs. I am 55 and started working with Sando Endo two years ago prior to surgery (hysterectomy). I wanted to go into the procedure strong and recover stronger. I also have issues with my hip. We have used Pilates methods to improve my core strength and she has taught me how to achieve full body strength and proper alignment that has pretty much changed my life. Sandy knows her stuff, but what I appreciate most is her caring manner, gentle encouragement, and humor. I know that she is really listening to me, carefully observing my body, meeting me where I am each session, and expertly guiding me toward my goals. I can't recommend her highly enough. sandy [at] 510 590-6057 DB
A year ago, I started working out with Sandy Endo once a week. She is extremely knowledgeable, sensitive and kind. I love her sense of humor AND her ability to get me to do the things I need to do in order to feel better. I have noticed a huge difference in my energy level... and I my body is stronger. She combines many techniques and she really listens to what I need. Here is her website: Her e-mail is sandy [at]
I've been working with Sandy Endo privately for a while now and can't say enough positive things about her. She genuinely cares about my well-being and manages to always strike the perfect balance between encouraging me to do the most I can while still staying very in tune with my limits and preventing any injuries. I feel great after every session, not just from the workout Sandy tailors for me but also from spending an hour with a truly kind soul. Sandy's contact info is or 510-590- 6057. Good Luck!
I am sorry to say that I have to emphatically not recommend choosing a trainer at the Working Body in Oakland. I personally had a very bad experience with one of the trainers there, as have several other women that I have come into contact with (coincidentally.) Despite the fact that there are many female trainers there, the atmosphere is very macho and I did find the staff occasionally rude to the clients. (See Yelp review.) There are many other wonderful trainers in the Bay Area. Good luck to you! anon
I'm afraid I can't offer a specific trainer, but I had to write in reply to the poster who apparently had a terrible experience at the Working Body. In the year I've been going to Working Body (3-4 times/week for pilates, massage and chiropractic), I've had plenty of opportunity to interact with and observe the staff. They have consistently been friendly, helpful, and professional. I love the chiropractor there, and my pilates instructor is fabulous, but that said, I can't speak directly to the quality of the trainers. From my casual observation, it seems like there are definitely some 'macho' trainers (male and female), but the place itself never gave me that vibe. YMMV, I guess. Niki
Juliet at Juno Fitness is absolutely the woman for you. I have been training with her for several years off and on and she has always been very intuitive about when to push me and when I need to back off. I have taken breaks from fitness training for major surgery, illness and family crisis and every time I come back she builds me back up slowly and carefully. I whine and complain constantly, yet her dedication and compassion never falters.

I don't usually post recommendations on BPN, but the description of what you were looking for in a trainer is exactly what Juliet can do for you. It's a small space, you get undivided attention and there are not a bunch of superjocks milling about to make you feel self conscious. Good for you for taking care of yourself! JunoFit Fan

Need recom. for a personal trainer/physical therap

Jan 2010

It's been a year since I've had orthoscopic knee surgery. My left knee is quite bulbous and twisted out of shape. Actually my whole body is mis-aligned. I also need a personal trainer 2x a week and would love to have someone who comes to my house. To have a personal trainer with a physical therapy background would be ideal. Any recommendations? If home visits aren't possible, does anyone know a good gym/physical therapist near Solano or Gourmet Getto with easy access and parking close by? Exercised Impaired 66 year old

I'd like to recommend Georgia Gibbon who is a personal trainer and does make house calls. I trained with her for many years and she's excellent. Georgia is ACE certified with seven years' experience both a private practice as well as at the Berkeley YMCA. Her phone number is 510.301.1095 and her email is holageorgia [at] Rosie

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Need a personal trainer to get back in shape

Feb 2009

I have finally admitted to myself that I hate going to the gym and if left to my own devices, won't go. And I am not the type to workout at home. Walking isn't getting me back into shape. So, I am now looking for a great personal trainer. I've done personal training in the past and it was fine (although a little boring) but I am looking for something different. I want a trainer who programs interesting and challenging workouts that will help me get back into shape. I don't want to spend an hour with a trainer and then still have to do cardio (ugh, boring!) and I don't want to pay a trainer to watch me on the Stairmaster. And I am definitely not interested in a trainer who chats more than trains. Do you have a great trainer who keeps you motivated, pushes you and is helping you change your body? East Bay only, please. Wanting more

I love, love, love my trainer, Kevin Allen, at Namaste Fit Club in Emeryville (on Powell just below San Pablo). He owns his own personal training gym and tailors workouts to meet your personal needs. He's very experienced, creative and fun to work out with. He really helped me get back into shape and keeps me motivated. I've been going for almost a year and rarely have done the same exercise twice -- he really mixes it up to keep it interesting. Can you skip cardio on the side altogether? If that's what you want, he could make that happen. Kevin Allen phone: 510-301-1977,
You can't do better than Phoenix Gym. This is a small outfit run by three great trainers, Kelly, Juliet and Dimitri. They run two bootcamps (one at 6:30AM and one at 9:30AM) MWF, and they also do personal training. You definitely won't be bored; they do a different workout every session. And you won't be on the stairmaster. In fact, the only machine they use is a rower, sometimes. The workouts are both cardio and strength training. They are fabulous and fun and you will do things that you never thought you could do! Just be ready to work hard and sweat! Check em out at: Tired, Happy and Fit
Absolutely i have a reference: Erika Peters at EZ Phytness. she is a motivator, creative, serious and can support you with any changes you want to make to your body and she's a mother of 2 young ins. and she happens to be one of my oldest friends. she has great results and she will be able to give you references upon request if you want to contact her clients. good luck! vanessa
Check out the trainers at the Ice Chamber ( in Albany. Jessica in particular designs some interesting, tough workouts. You could also check out their bootcamps. Very fun, intense and addictive classes. I absolutely love it there. Great owners, trainers, community. An IC Devotee
I know exactly what you mean. I am not self-motivated. I used to go to the gym and go through the motions using the weight and cardio machines but wasn't getting in shape. Very discouraging. So, like you , I looked for a personal trainer. A friend recommended the trainers at Phoenix Gym and I couldn't be more thrilled. I have trained with all three trainers and am amazed by how much stronger I am, how much more energy I have and how much better my clothes fit.

The workouts are hard - I won't kid you. I've never worked so hard in my life. But they are always different so it keeps me on my toes. There are no weight machines so I am constantly doing body weight exercises like squats and push ups (which I couldn't do when I started but can now) or lifting dumbbells and barbells, which use all of your other muscles to keep stable.

Really what makes it special though are the trainers. Juliet, Kelly and Dmitri all have their own style and way of motivating you. I always get the feeling that they push me like they do not because it's their job but because they really want to see me succeed. And you don't have to worry about chatting because while they are very friendly, if you can chat, you're not working hard enough.

I highly recommend you contact them. You can do what I did, and try all 3 before you settle on one trainer. Or you can let them decide - they have an uncanny way of perfectly matching personalities. Former couch potato

My partner and I have been working out with Aaron Holby 381-3107, a personal trainer who works with us using free weights, exercise ball and a few other simple things at our home twice a week. We found him through BPN 3 years ago and also recommended him to a friend, who has been working with him for more than 2 years. The exercise regime is completely personalized and he constantly evaluates and upgrades it. He's always encouraging, has a wonderfully dry sense of humor and although I still hate exercise, I always feel better after working out and have gotten a lot stronger and more fit. We feel very fortunate to have found Aaron and recommend him enthusiastically. hedy
\xe2\x80\x9cWanting More\xe2\x80\x9d\xe2\x80\xa6 I empathize. I am a 40-year-old-mother of 3. I work part-time and consider myself an active person. I am not a competitive athlete. I have started and stopped diets and exercise programs and have had more gym memberships than I care to own up to. But, I have finally found my fitness solution. Her name is Juliet Harris. She is a truly fabulous personal trainer and is located in Berkeley. Juliet listened to my personal goals and creates a new workout program for me each visit. I don\xe2\x80\x99t think I\xe2\x80\x99ve ever done the same work out twice. The workouts she creates are different and challenging each time, but they are never intimidating in any way. Juliet has a knack for motivating me and keeps me motivated and wanting (key word is -wanting- ) to come back. And trust me, with my history that is not an easy feat! There are still days that I don\xe2\x80\x99t feel like putting my shoes on and working out, but I feel so great when I leave the gym that it keeps me on track. Juliet is clearly focused on me as an individual and what I really need and want to work on. She doesn\xe2\x80\x99t just chat and watch me work out. Juliet is engaged as a trainer. She at times incorporates partner exercises and works out along side me, guiding and motivating me as I work to sometimes surprise myself at what I can accomplish. Juliet is kind, but will not sugar-coat. She is real. But what impresses me the most is that Juliet cares. It is obvious that she has my health and well-being as her primary goal in creating my work outs. It is clearly personal training. If you want great work outs with someone who knows what they are doing look up Juliet. By the way \xe2\x80\x93 she is the co-owner of the gym that was mentioned in the last post \xe2\x80\x93 Phoenix Fitness. Juliet Harris \xe2\x80\x93 Juliet [at] Good Luck!
I've been training at All-in-One Fitness on Solano Avenue in Albany (near the corner with Curtis). I work with Jasmine (one of the co-owners) and Pascha. They're both very knowledgeable, fun, and motivating. They're trained in a variety of different methods (including pilates) and design challenging, full-body workouts. My workouts change every week, keeping things interesting, and I began to see results after just a month (I've been going for over 6 months now). Even if I feel run-down when I go, I feel energized by the end of my workout. I don't think I could have gotten in shape without them. The clientele there is also very diverse in terms of fitness level and age, though everyone is pretty low-key. It's not an intimidating space, and the trainers are very encouraging. newly fit in Berkeley
I can't believe I missed your original post! Even though money is tight, I would never, ever give up my time with my personal trainer, Kelly Mills. I'm not kidding - I can go without my Peet's, will brown bag lunch, wear my clothes and shoes until they are falling apart. But I will not sacrifice my work out. And it's all because of Kelly. Kelly is incredibly talented at pushing me beyond my own self-imposed limitations. Just when I think ''I can't,'' Kelly helps me see that I can. My body, energy-level and mood have transformed working out with her. And I am so much stronger. I couldn't even do a push-up when I met Kelly and now I can do at least 15 (and Kelly would make me do even more). I am not her most-buff client but she never ''phones'' my work out in. She is right there with me, keeping me going rep. More importantly, Kelly really listened to my goals and was honest about what she could and could not do for me. She doesn't believe in faddish diets, thinks deprivation is bad for the soul and never met a cupcake she doesn't like. She's about lifestyle changes that are reasonable. She measures success by the strength gains I make, not by the clothing sizes I have dropped (although I have lost a bunch of weight since I started working out with her. Decided I was working out too hard to erase it all with tons of junkie snacks). Kelly, too, has days when she doesn't feel like working out, so she knows how hard it is for me to put my sneakers on. When I have those days, she starts easy on me until she can tell the storm cloud is passing, then she kicks my butt. Oh, and she's really funny. I wasn't being glib in my opening - I really won't sacrifice my workout unless it meant not being able to pay my bills or put food on my table. I guess if I had to, I'd buddy up with someone (two people working out at once) because it's probably cheaper. Or I'd sell my car. Because all of the other stuff I think I need doesn't make me happy in the way that being healthy does. Contact Kelly - you won't regret it. 415-260-1112 kelly [at] Devoted
I want to recommend a great personal trainer in West Berkeley named Kelly Mills. She, and a couple of partners, run a neat little personal training/fitness class business out of a cute, funky little barn converted into a gym at Kelly's home. I did some personal training with Kelly for a couple of months before joining the bootcamp classes that the gym now offers. Kelly designs these wonderful, if not a tad evil, workouts that are actually really fun! I can't imagine ever being bored! It's always challenging, I'm usually a little sore for a day or two and I am getting SO STRONG. I can do lots of push-ups, squats, lunges as well as some other things that may not even have a name. The old me would find ways to avoid exercise, often missing classes that I'd even already paid for, but now I never miss a class, not for anything. It is obvious that Kelly loves what she does and I have no doubt that anyone looking to get in shape would be really happy with her as a trainer. helen
I have been seeing a wonderful personal trainer, Lila Heller, at Working Body (near the Grand Lake theater on Grand Lake) for prenatal personal training. She's a pilates-based instructor and really knowledgeable about the body, particularly our changing pre-baby and post-baby bodies. It's definitely a splurge, but she has taught me so much about what exercises are best for me at each stage in the pregnancy that I can tell it's made a huge difference. I am convinced that she's been a key part of what has made this (my first) pregnancy so physically manageable. I've also been able to do many exercises on my own at home. Plus, she's a total gem and has brightened every week. Lila Heller, Pilates and Personal Training, 510-435-5716. Anna
Dec 2008

Can anyone recommend personal trainer that will come to my home to train myself and my husband? We are feeling gross, but kids, intense jobs, and long commute times make it hard to find time for the gym. want to look better

Aaron Holby. He has been working out with me, my husband, and friends for a number of years. He comes to our house, and we work out there, or we run to the park, etc. He's completely reliable. Aaron always changes it up, makes it interesting. Mixes weights/strength training, aerobic, resistance, etc. You definitely won't feel gross anymore! And Aaron is just a great person -- he's funny, kind of mellow, and sensitive/supportive. He'll push you when you need it, but he's also thoughtful about what you do so you don't get injured, etc. He's a really good person to work out with if you are getting back into it. Call him at 510 381 3107. Fit and happy, sure helps to have someone come to you!
I have two recommendations: The Ice Chamber does private training and they used to go to people's houses, but they are crowded now so I don't know if they have any time slots available. All the trainers are great and used to people of varying fitness levels. If you contact them, you will probably speak to Steve, who is the owner.

If they no longer go to people's houses, then I recommend The trainers here all used to be trainers at the icechamber and are also excellent. They may have more flexibility for personal training.

Personal training changed my life and attitude toward physical fitness. I highly recommend it. Have fun and get used to feeling sore! Sore but happy

I can highly recommend Zo De Muro. I know him well. He is empathetic and listens to his clients. (510) 409 9812, web: check it out. Walter
I highly recommend Ida (blanking on her last name) for all training needs. My baby was five months old when I started training with her in order to the lose the baby weight. She was encouraging, motivating, pushed me, and yet was sensitive to my weak knees and wrists, as well as my general feelings of being out of shape. One of the things that I\xe2\x80\x99ve always loathed about exercise is the boring repetition. Ida not only made working out fun with her sparkly personality, but was always changing my exercises so I never grew bored. Also great were the written routines she gave me to do on my own \xe2\x80\x93 clear and varied. She tailored all workouts to my goals, desires, and abilities, and n a very short period of time, I was able to meet my first goal. I love that she was able to come to my house, that I didn\xe2\x80\x99t any heavy equipment, and that she was very affordable. I highly recommend Ida to new moms and anyone else who wants to get into shape! Her info is stillida [at] or 51! 0-719-0924. Melanie
I didn't see your original post but I can highly recommend one of the best trainers in the East Bay - Kelly Mills. She's really intuitive about her clients' needs, creates challenging but fun workouts and is one of the funniest and nicest people I have ever met. When she left her old gym, people were crushed and still miss her. But I just learned she's started her own business. I'm sure she would come to your house, if that's what you need. definitely contact her anon
Dec 2008

I am a busy parent who would like to find a personal trainer or some small classes in the Oakland area so I can get back into shape. Does anyone have any suggestions?

There is an AWESOME personal trainer in Orinda who may well come to Oakland. Melissa Aycock - melissaaycock [at] She is super down to earth and just a wonderful warm, non- judgmental but amazingly fit person. I really look forward to seeing her each week. She comes to my house (essential since I have young kids) yet is very affordable. I met her when she was teaching a spin class at my local gym. I have seen quite a difference in the time she has been working with me. She led tours with Backroads, does triathalons herself and has extensive knowledge of muscle groups, training styles and overall fitness. I feel so much healthier and happier since working with her. Give her a call! She will give you a first consultation/analysis for no charge. got my groove back
I can't believe I missed your original post because I know a team of incredible trainers. I'm not sure if you're looking to have them come to your house or if you were just looking for someplace near Oakland. Check out the trainers at Pheonix Gym in Berkeley. They have a very dedicated following because they know how to coax the best from their clients. You will not be sorry, but you will be sore. smiling and sore
Sept 2009

I'm looking for a personal trainer to come to my house and help me get back in shape post pregnancy. We have a treadmill, weights, etc., and so I just want some help with a plan and getting started. Ideally, I'd love a student in training or someone new to personal training to keep the cost down, but they don't need to be dirt cheap. Someone good and affordable is what I'm after. Wanting to Lose the Baby Weight

A year ago I began working with a personal trainer named Sandy Endo at the Albany YMCA. She has been training a little over three years and is in the process of completing a Pilates instructor certification. I was lacking in motivation and feeling frustrated with the weight Iblinda [at] fluidpiano.comd gained after having two kids and needed someone not only to push and motivate me, but to also be understanding of the position I was in. Sandy was all of thatb definitely able to push when necessary, capable of putting together a program that matched my needs, including cardio, strength and flexibility. Because of her Pilates and dance background she focuses on integrated/whole body movement which leads to better posture and alignment. I was so happy with my results, I got into the habit of exercising on a regular basis, Iblinda [at] fluidpiano.comm looking and more importantly feeling better than ever! And by the way, Sandy is also a mom so understands what its like after having kids. I might also say she has a great sense of humor and makes the workout fun! Please give her a call at 510.590.6057 or email: shendo77 [at] Her website is I hope you can connect with her! fit and happy
Hi, We've worked out with a WONDERFUL personal trainer. Her name is Shira and she changed our lives. Really! She trains our whole family, myself and my partner (I'm 46 and my partner is 53-neither of us is what you would call ''athletic'') as well as our two daughters, who are both 10. Shira is very affordable ($80 an hour, and she has all kinds of deals for small groups that can make it even more affordable.) She is sweet, energetic, and very wonderful with both kids and adults. She just opened her own gym (The Athletic Playground), but I think that she'll come to you, if you want her to. Her workouts are short (15-30 min.) and take EVERYTHING out of me. Thanks to her I got in shape, for the first time in my life. She uses every day objects (chairs, doorways, park benches) to do the workout. It's fun, quick, effective and affordable. Try her! Shira's #: (510)289-1733. Happy sweating! Na'ama
I know of a personal trainer who lives in the East Bay and works within people's budget. He is very experienced and gives free phone consultations for an honest, professional opinion of what type of program will best fit your goals. He has a wide range of health knowledge including nutrition. He has great references from several gyms. He has a great sense of humor and is very easy to work with. His name is Robert Alexander. Please e-mail me if you want his contact info. Kirsten
July 2009

I'm a 43 y.o. woman, overweight and out of shape. I need a personal trainer! Know anyone who would be good for someone like me? Ideal person would be in Oakland, but willing to travel for right person. I'd love someone who pays attention to core strength and good alignment, who knows about bad knees, and can help me figure out where to fit exercise into my jammed schedule. Real nutrition knowledge a plus. Also, how much should I expect to spend? Thanks! Last Chance Lucy

Try Margo Rose in Alameda... she's awesome! Jennifer
i love Andrea. she's not a crazy in your face trainer. she's mellow and encouraging and really knows her stuff (lots of education in fitness). she can come to you, and take the workout to your home/office/local park. I went to her gym (oakland) cos it worked out better for me. Andrea Johnson - (510) 725-9970 geraldine
I highly recommend Zo de Muro. He's based in the eastbay. He is sensitive, supportive and non-judgemental. I've worked w/ trainers in the past - and he is by far one of the best. He can be reached at zo [at] (, his rates are very reasonable. Feel free to also email me directly if you have any questions. -Roger
Well at 46 years old, living in Berkeley, working in Corte Madera, I got sick of being fat and tired, weak and tired, and overall sick and tired. I joined a gym in Corte Madera that I highly recommend (but not for those you commuting), but the best things was Stein Skaar, my personal trainer. He's worth making the trip to Mairn County. I've lost 30 pounds and 10 inches around my mid-section (alone!) since February. We do circuit training with some Crossfit (Google Crossfit for more on that), which is relentless and very difficult, but it does work. Most of this training focuses on whole body exercises, including a lot of core work. Please email me if you would like more info about the kind of training I am doing. Visit Stein's website, for info on him, if interested. I'm sure you can find someone in the East Bay as well, but it may take a few meetings with several people to find the ''right fit''. I lucked out with this guy. Just to let you know how awesome this 2-day a week regine has been, I took my 22 year old relatively athletic son in to work in with Stein on my last session... he was beat after the first round, while I was still raring to go. His reaction? He texted his girlfriend on the way home... ''My mom is a SAVAGE and her trainer is NO JOKE!'' Yeah, at 46 and after 10 years as a couch potato, I kicked my 22 year old son's ass. That's how good it is.

It's so empowering, strengthening, just amazing and great, great results. By the way you are probably looking at $50 - $75/per hour to work with a trainer. I train twice a week for 1 hour, and work out on my own 2 - 3 days, doing cardio workouts for 1/2 an hour. heather

I would *highly* recommend Sharon Snyder ( She works in SF so that may not work so well for you. However, you should really check out her site. She works primarily with plus-size women and is all about setting fitness goals and helping you achieve them. She is very knowledgable about issue for people with no history of excercise and physical health issues or limitations due to size and history of inactivity. She also has rates posted on her site which will give you a sense of the costs involved. mama bumblebee
April 2008

Hi there, I need some help and motivation to get started on a road toward better health and fitness. I'm currently taking 8 prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression, insomnia, yadda yadda. I feel like a walking medicine cabinet and a time bomb. I want to see my kids grow up. I have a long history of starvation diets and obsessed exercising, including anorexia and bulimia, so calorie counting and ''boot camp'' style personal trainers are a slippery slope for me. While I've stopped starving and throwing up (through 12 step recovery in OA), I now find myself obese and unhealthy. I've tried OA for my compulsive eating issues as well, but the ''tough love'' form of 12 step I encountered there sent me into a bulimia relapse. I'm seeing a therapist to work on my emotional health, but I'm in search of a personal trainer or wellness coach to help me build physical health without launching me into an obsessive exercise or diet program. Sorry for the long post, but I'd appreciate any recommendations! Anonymous

If you have not tried a Pilates class - you should try one of Karen Emery's classes held at Ashkenaz on Wed evening at 5:30, Thursday day (10:30 & 12:00) & Saturday morning at 9:00. The 10:30 AM class on Thursday is Level 1 and a great way to learn some of the basic moves and terminology and it is not that easy! Karen also does privates at her home on Pilates equipment, does home sessions and can work with you on a personalized exercise plan. You can call her at 510-236-5113 for more information. sandra
I really recommend Margo Rose in Alameda. She is very sensitive to your needs, both physical and emotional, and will tailor each workout to address your specific needs. She is also very aware of, and experienced with, all the myriad issues surrounding eating, weight, and body image. Call her at (510) 910-3719 or check out her website: --fan of my personal trainer
I think you might like to work with Brad Lebowitz, who is a personal trainer at the Berkeley YMCA. He works with the mind-body connection, and is sensitive to clients' emotional needs. He also has knowledge regarding eating issues. anonymous
Feb 2008

Over 50, couch potatoe, it's time for a change. Does anyone know of a female personal trainor in the Richmond area? done with Ohpra

Alonn Ilan of is an Ace certified personal trainer and a certified Pilates instructor. She is easy to work with and very knowledgeable. I am experiencing great results with her! You can email her at alonn [at] or call 510-508-0684. Julie
Feb 2008

Hi. I'm looking for a trainer who can help me in/near my home to help me get in shape FAST. I'm fairly athletic, but have lost a lot of ground --haven't done much except hike over the last year. I signed up to do a cross country ski marathon in March, and I need some help to get myself ready. Also, my knee has begun to really bother me, so I'm looking for someone who will design/coach me through a program and help with rehabilitating my knee. And who won't let me get away with any more loafing (while maintaining a sense of humor about it). Christine

You don't say where you live, but I highly recommend Margo Rose in Alameda. ( She can address a wide range of fitness needs, and is particularly skilled in helping people with injuries or other physical conditions that would otherwise limit their workouts. In addition she is a delightful person to spend time with, but she can also kick your butt (in a good way) if that is what you need. --former athlete who'd be lost without my personal trainer
Feb 2008

After many years of living a sedentary lifestyle my father has finally started working out with a great personal trainer in Walnut Creek. He is now moving to El Sobrante and would like to find a personal trainer in that area. My father has had a stroke in the past, a heart attack, diabetes etc etc etc. I am AMAZED at the gains he has made in just a few weeks of working out. He is motivated too, really improving in his health and loving his work outs. Can anyone please recommend a great personal trainer in the El Sobrante area that has experience with people like my dad? He is 69 too. Hopeful daughter

Hi, There's a great club in El Sobrante called Lakeridge. They have personal trainers there. In Good Health!
Nov 2007

I am very over weight and need to loose around 100lbs. I have a friend that is in same situation. Together we would like to hire a personal trainer to guide us regarding exercise and nutrition. We both are members of 24 hr fitness but would be willing to train elsewhere if necessary. We are not sure how to find someone outside of 24 hour fitness. Any names, advice or suggestions would be appreciated. anon

Bambi at Working Body on Grand Ave in Oakland is very professional, knows anatomy and physiology and the place she works at is tops, much more than a gym but at no cost to use if you train with somebody there. Bambi is skinny, that may be an inspiration or not! Todd
Bladium in Alameda, has excellent personal trainers and fun, supportive, challenging classes. The atmosphere is very low key and caring. working on getting healthy
If you are looking for a personal trainer who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and a really, really nice person, I STRONGLY recommend Nancy Burns, owner of Body Wisdom Studio. I have been working with Nancy for a number of years and she is simply amazing.

She has a vast knowledge which includes a variety of exercise methods, nutrition and massage. She uses this to tailor her training to the individual needs of each of her clients. Over the years, I have seen her work with people, like yourself, who want to lose substantial amounts of weight, people in their 80's and 90's who need help with balance, people with back problems, and people who just need to get movement back into their lives.

Just as important, Nancy is a genuinely nice person! She is not judgmental, but uses humor and (when needed) some firm prodding to keep you on track. Her emphasis is on wellness and health, not on sculpting 6 pack abs (though that does come with time :) She has made a HUGE difference in my life. It has truly transformed me physically and emotionally.

I know I sound like an ad and no, I'm not related to her. I am just thrilled with what she has done for me, my husband and daughter (who also now work out with her) and for my friends who also use her.

If you want more information or to have me gush more about Nancy, you can email me directly. If you want to reach Nancy, you can call her at (415) 722-3000 (not to worry - she is in the East Bay) or you can look at her website:

And on that note, I think I'll go down to the gym! Seriously, though, best of luck with whatever you decide. I've been there myself (lost over 70 pounds and HAVE KEPT IT OFF). It's hard work, but worth it. ida

I highly encourage you to check out the Ice Chamber. All of the personal trainers there are AMAZING, plus they offer Bootcamp classes a few times a day which can have you working out with 10-20 other folks who are doing their darndest to get fit, stay fit and increase their athletic performance. I have found it incredibly motivational to workout with and among this crowd--''sticking with it'' has been my historic problem, but not any more. They are very goal focused and will help you with mapping out milestones along your personal path.

Check out their web site: It looks hardcore...and is, but if you run through the blog, you'll see that it's an amazing community of supportive folks--many of whom have worked hard to shed many pounds and get into the best conditions of their lives. Good luck! Love the Ice Chamber

I'd like to recommend Susan Koenig as a personal trainer. She's terrific! Her e-mail is schwa [at] and she can also be reached through the Berkeley Y, which is where I met her. She'll cheerfully help you meet your fitness/weight loss goals, but best of all, you'll find yourself in better shape than you've been in years. She'll help you with cardio, strength training and agility, challenging you more than you'll ever challenge yourself if you work alone. f
We found our personal trainer through the BPN 1-1/2 yrs ago: Aaron Holby 381-3108 or aaron.holby [at] Aaron comes to our home twice a week. I've trained with him for 1-1/2 yrs, my friend LD for about the same amt of time and my partner Laura for about a year and I can say that for all 3 of us, he's fantastic! Laura and I are in our 60's and LD is in his 40's. Aaron's incredibly knowledgeable, sincerely encouraging, never macho. He's skilled at working with our various disabilities, always kind, but not afraid to push -- safely. Wonderful, subtle sense of humor. He gets me to work harder than I ever would on my own. On my own, I did not exercise at all and despaired of ever getting strong and healthy, so I give Aaron all the credit. He is constantly altering and fine-tuning the program for each of us as individuals. It's the best investment I ever made in myself. As an exercise-phobe who's tried other trainers at the Berkeley Y, in my opinion, he's the best. hedy
I would recommend Morgan McDowell as a personal trainer he has a lot of experience and holds a Masters Degree in Sports Performance Training but mostly works with everyday people looking to make a change in their level of health and fitness. He works out of Emerson Sport and Fitness Training in the Temescal area and at Club One in Downtown Oakland Caroline
I do not have a specific personal trainer to recommend but places like the Berkeley YMCA have reputable trainers on staff for many years now.

I would like to offer an alternative approach to the struggle with weight and food issues. Address the weight issue and exercise can once again become part of a balanced life. Consider going to a meeting of FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY ANONYMOUS or FA for short. FA is based on the 12-steps of AA and recovery from the physical addiction to flour, sugar and food in quantities is only the most immediately apparent result of working its program. The mental and emotional well-being that comes with it is truly phenomenal and you will get to hear the personal journeys of people who have been at their normal weight for years! FA is a wonderful free fellowship with many strong large meetings in the SF Bay Area. You can find the local meetings from the website.

Since early May 2007, I have released about 70 pounds and my blood pressure, severe chronic joint pain due to inflammation in the connective tissue from eating inappropriately as much as from the actual extra weight, and other very unpleasant results of how I was eating are all normalizing. I am doing yoga regularly now because it feels good to do it and I am enjoying life once again. Especially at the holidays, it is a great way to rediscover taking care of yourself. See: FA World Service Office New Phone: (781) 932-6300 anonymous

I'd suggest you contact Jamie Greenwood Dougherty. She is a one-stop-shop: exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, and all with a sense of humor and a non-draconian approach (what a radical idea--that you should enjoy your life!) Her number is 510-393-0437 and her website is - Best of Luck
look up the Ice Chamber in Albany on the web ( They have ''buddy sessions'' with their personal trainers, where you can split the costs of the trainer between you and your friend. I love their boot camp classes and have been a devotee to them for over a year. I feel fantastic and have dropped 3 sizes! You may want to hire one of the trainers (all are EXCELLENT) for a month or two to help get the basics of the workouts and also the nutrition help & goal tracking (they take body stats every week). Then get into the boot camp to help maintain your goals. It's not an easy workout but you'll feel great for maximizing your workout plan. good luck.
Sept 2007

I am looking for recommendations for a personal trainer at the Albany YMCA. I have two boys under three I need to keep up with while pushing forty, and wouldn't mind if my body started looking more like it's old self again (or better) too! -Motivated but a little lumpy mamma

At the Albany Y I do not use a personal trainer but I do go to a couple of the classes. You can try them out and see if they suit your needs. Mary is an excellent instructor who motivates but is not too pushy. Her core strength class is really good. Chrissy is great like Mary and teaches a great couple of cardio-kidk box classes. Some folks love the Sunday morning latin dance class at 8:30. These are all great ways to get active, fun and strngth-building workouts in. There is aslo childcare during some of these. anon
Sandy Endo is a great personal trainer. She's a mom herself and is really encouraging and positive. I highly recommend her.
Sept 2007

I'm looking for a personal trainer who can connect and motivate my middle school age daughter to work and strengthen her core muscles. She had major surgery when she was younger and her abdominal muscles were cut in the process. She is interested in working on her core muscles and has asked for someone to help her with this. Thank you. Core concerned mom

My husband and I have been working out with Aaron Holby [(510) 381-3107] for a while now, focusing on core body strength (as well as aerobic fitness). He comes to our house in Rockridge. We think he's great -- very body knowledgeable, good at adapting to meet your current physical needs, works with weights, ball, bands, etc, to do the most appropriate work. He can set up a program for you to do when you are not with him as well. My husband in particular has been really thrilled with the degree to which his core strength has developed (he has also done biking with Aaron). Aaron has worked with us well around various injuries (ranging from mild to serious), continuing to make progress. And he is a pleasure to be around -- caring person, funny too. He pushes you, but he's not a drill sargeant. Highly recommend him. Got a strong tummy!
I highly recommend Georgia Gibbon. I've worked with her for several years and she's been amazing. Core exercises on the stability ball, the bosu etc have been a key component of my program. She is a warm and caring individual and fun to be around. I know that she'd be good with a younger person since she has a teenage son herself. You can reach her at 510-301-1095 rosie
Dr Suzanne Martin is in Alameda, and is a physical therapist as well as a pilates trainer. I've been seeing her for a month or so for help rehabilitating and strengthening my back after having 2 kids and living with scoliosis. I like that she has training in both PT and pilates, as well as many other methods of healing and strengthening. Check out her website and give her a call! getting back my core strength
I know of a great personal trainer who has worked with my sister's children for the last 3 years on sports conditioning and core work. He works outside as well as in home. He also works with kids at a private high school as an assistant strength and conditioning coach, so he is good with kids. His name is Steven and he lives in the East Bay. 415 244-7577 Stevenbnow [at] Susan

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

May 2006

Has anyone worked with Irene Diamond, a ''personal weight management and exercise coach'' in San Francisco? Or does anyone have a recommendation for someone similar in the East Bay? I need highly structured, one-on-one attention; weight watchers is too big for me. thanks for your help! Overweight and desperate

I know about weight trouble, and I can tell you, if you are looking to lose weight, you really should get in touch with Courtney Zaleski. She quit for a while after she had a baby, but has said she will take on a few new clients. Her own weight loss after the baby is truly inspiring. Courtney will provide support and encouragement, but at the same time pushes you and will act as the drill sergeant that most of us need. What really separates her is that she realizes that weight loss is more about finding out how to get us to do what needs to be done not just telling us what we need to do. I believe she charges $75/hr to come to your house, and $15 for 15 minute phone check-ups. You can reach her most easily by phone at (510) 919-9952. That call is free. Best of Luck, Weight Loss Success Story
Look in to the Ice Chamber in Albany, an excerise facility on the frontage road. Read the testimonials, it really does push you to higher limits you never thought you could do. I have been doing their boot camp classes in the early morning and seeing great results, I feel better and my jeans are easier to button these days. They have nutrition plan/diet you can follow that is high on protein and low on carbs and helps you lose weight. Check out their website:
May 2006

I'm a woman, I'm in my mid-thirties, I belong to the Berkeley Y, and I'd like to find a great personal trainer starting in July. By great, I mean someone who will push me hard. I've exercised my whole life, but it's easy for me to fall into a pretty easy routine so I want someone who will motivate me to get out of my comfort zone. I think the Y only allows personal trainers associated with the Y to train people at the Y, and that concerns me a bit, because most of the trainers I've observed seem to be working with older (55+) people and acting as physical therapists (focusing on rehabilitation).

I took a three months circuit training in a small group with 2 wonderful women: Katie Meyers, who is the director of the women's fitness center, and Amanda Smith who is a personal trainer. both are great. I'm not sure that Katie does personal training, but Amanda is, and I think she is a good fit, because she works with you, she is very knowledgable in Anatomy, and also, she is good sports. she is very young and petite , but don't let this put you off In better shape now
I know of an excellent trainer who works out of a new studio in El Cerrito (called FitWise Pilates). I'd give her a call: Ronda - 415-531-2760 greg
If you are planning to pay for a personal trainer, forget the Y. We are longtime members and supporters of the Berkeley Y and would not dream of leaving them, but for a blitzkrieg get-in-shape training session, you want THE ICE CHAMBER.

The Ice Chamber has about three different programs and one will be right for you. There is the ''personal coaching,'' which is a one-on-one session and will kick your provervial flabby butt. There are also two kinds of group classes. The morning ''BOOT CAMP'' is the most intensive workout you can get, and believe me, by day 3 you are cursing Steve (your trainer) and yourself for having gotten this far out of shape. The evening ''FITNESS CLASS'' is also intense and is for long-termers (this option you probably do not want since you are already a member of the Y). Remember gym class? This is like that but harder and without the creepy coach.

My story: At 43 and a former competitive athlete (high school and college), even though I was skiing and jogging and swimming, I was out of shape and had not lost my baby weight ( my kid was 2 years old). I thought I knew what to expect: I'd worked out with a personal trainer before so I was ready for the challenge (when I was competing, I worked hard, too, or so I thought).

Enter the ICE CHAMBER. After the first day, all I could do was kiss my son and go to bed. The second day, I managed to kiss my husband and son... and then go to bed. The third day, several motrins later, as I stumbled in for my workout, Steve said, ''This is what it's like to hit the wall. You have to hit the wall to know where your threshold is.'' That was in April (I can't believe it's only April).

Since those fateful first three days. my BMI and body fat count are lowering, I'm losing weight and almost back to a 4 petite (I'm in a 4 now), and I am probably in better shape than I was in my 20s . . . or at least getting there. I am still pretty much contsantly sore, because Steve and Maya rotate the exercises and push you costantly. My abs are killing me, but I see the indentations of muscles showing through. I still have to ice my hams now and again, but they are well defined and ST-rong. I don't have waddly chicken arms, either, so I am ready for tank top season.

My food intake has changed, too. I learned that because I don't produce the kind of growth hormone at 40 that I did at 20 (duh), I simply cannot eat crap food (like Goldfish off my kid's plate, and potatoes, and burritos laden with cheese), and expect recover in time for my next workout. Naturally, I'm drinking more water and green tea, eating more energy foods (protein and leafy greens). More importantly, I'm eating less ''lazy'' foods: risotto, pasta, sandwiches, and the like (you know, kid food). And when I do choose to have a piece of cake or a glass of wine, I make sure it's worth eating. I figure I'm old enough not to drink bad wine or sugary cake just to be polite. Besides, at 43, I can always pat my stomach and say ''I'm on a diet.''

If I sound a bit evangelical, I confess that I am a convert. I had planned to only do the bootcamp for 1 month (blitz), but now I cannot see ever giving it up. My husband, too. After seeing my results, he joined the evening class and is probably going to cancel his Y membership. He was a former competitive rower who got a little chunky, and after only one month, has seen incredible results. Neither of us realized how much time we were wasting going through the motions at the gym.

As we've gotten older, we realize that this stuff about walking 45 minutes a day as a measure of good health just isn't cutting it. We're not trying to be 25 anymore (who would want to do that?), but we want to be able to telemark a run without stopping, and go bowling without throwing out our backs. Well, and it doesn't hurt to feel good about the way you look in a littel black dress.

check them out Tsan

March 2006

Hello! I'm the stay-at-home mom of a 1 year old, and wanting to get back into pre-baby shape. Can anyone recommend a good at- home personal trainer that will come to my home in Rockridge? arozum

I highly recommend Karen Parker. She's highly skilled and very perceptive about working with you exactly as you are to get you where you want to go. Her phone is 510.332.6034, karpark2001[at]
My friend and colleague is a certified personal trainer. She has run boot camps, has lots of experience and has some openings right now. Her name is Camilla Coakley and she can be reached at camilla_coakley[at] or 917-658-1347. Good luck. Nancy
I know just the person for you! I highly recommend Aaron Holby. Aaron comes to my house two days a week in the AM (in Rockridge). We do resistance training, weights and then do aerobic work (running or sprints). It has been just awesome because the workout is really varied, and I have gained core strength as well as aerobic fitness. Aaron is super because he pushes you (he is an ex-college baseball player, bicyclist, very fit), but in the gentlest way -- he is the first person I have ever worked out with who has actually encouraged me to take it *easier* on certain days when its clear I am exhausted, etc. I think Aaron has a really balanced way of looking at getting fit - - really attuned. Seems like he listens to what you want, is flexible to your goals, and really helps you get there. His number is: (510) 381-3107 Email: aaronholby[at] Good luck! Vandy
February 2005

I am looking for a personal trainer who could come to my home so I could exercise during my baby's nap times a few times a week. The emphasis would be on core strength since my pregnancy certainly changed that. I've looked through the old postings but they are rather dated and I'd love some more recent recommendations. Thank you! rachel

Dolores Allen will come to your house for personal training-- she's wonderful, and has expertise in pre/post-partum exercise! give her a call at 415/225-5711 Tell her Julie sent you! Julie
February 2005

I am a 38 yo woman. I want to find someone to help me improve my running, maybe even train for a race. Ideally it would be someone who could run with me 2 mornings a week, on the early side (maybe 6:30 or 7am). For the past 15 years I have been pretty fit (exercising regularly in the gym, lifting), but in the past year have fallen off the wagon (1.5 year old son, C- section, busy work schedule, generally overwhelmed). I need to regain my aerobic fitness -- and I want to break my dependency on the gym (after all, you can run almost anywhere). I have run off and on in my past, but never get that ''high'' that people talk about -- I am hoping to get in the groove enough with running that it gives me meaningful release from stress, and that I can make it a regular form of exercise. Too busy to drive to the gym... :)

I have a WONDERFUL running coach who is also my personal trainer. He is an Olympic Track and Field athlete who goes to Cal. He runs with me (or watches me run) and cross-trains me to help me improve my form and strenthen my left knee (which is a problem for me). He videotapes you and identifies what you need to do, and then creates a customized program. I cannot say enough good things about him. You don't have to join a gym, he will meet you at the track or trail. For gym workouts, you don't have to join the gym. Because you are his client you just get in free the days you meet him there. (RSF, on Bancroft) He often has clients at 5 or 6 am and he goes until late at night, and weekends. It costs around 500 dollars for 12 sessions, which is pretty cheap. I have lost 2 dress sizes since I have been with him (started in Oct. last year) and my knee pain is now gone. My girlfriend also goes to him, and my husband just started, too. You can call him at 510-206-8077 or email him at Yuca14 AT His name is Jorge Ivan Renteria Martinez. Paula
Check out See Jane Run on College Avenue in Oakland a few doors down from Zachary's Pizza. They have organized weekly runs. That might give you the motivation you're looking for.
February 2005

This may be somewhat of an unusual request but I'm wondering if anyone knows of a swim coach/personal trainer with expertise in swimming that I might be able to hire to put together a swim workout plan for my husband. Thanks! Patrice

My husband is taking lessons from Leslie and is very content. Her contact info is Leslie Thomas, leslie AT or kindly, Hanna
Yes, I do! Sharon Snyder at Bumblebee Fitness is a personal trainer whose main sport has been swimming. She's now doing triathlons. Contact her at sharon AT Jennie
January 2005

I'm wondering if anyone has any recent advice about someone who would meet with me a couple of times to help me organize a fitness routine. I recently lost a lot of weight, so now it's time to take it to the next step. I don't want to join a gym but would rather get some advice about organizing a fitness plan that I can implement on my own. I just need the kick-start. Thanks for any input you have! J.

I am a personal trainer in Oakland and I would love to meet with you to design a program to take you to the next level in your training. Check out my web page for more info about me. Good luck on your road to health! Tami
I'd highly recommend my trainer, Dolores Allen. She comes to your house and creates a great workout that you can do on your own in between visits. Her prices are incredibly reasonable and she is fun to work with. Her cell phone is 415/225-5711. Enjoy! julie
Sept 2004

Hi, I am looking for a personal trainer in Lamorinda. Would prefer a female, very experienced and hopefully someone who can coach me on eating habits as well. I've been very idle for past 2-4 years, and tired of aching everytime I take a short walk. Need someone who is energetic, knowlegable and motivating! thanks so much, Brenda

I love my personal trainer! It is the best money I have ever invested in myself. I meet with her once every 8 weeks to review my exercise program and to get a new weight and resistance training routine. Because of Jennifer, I have lost 50 pounds and maintained it for the past 20 months. Jenn has also given me the confidence to complete 2 sprint triathlons, a 66.5 mile bike ride in Napa Valley and swim a mile to raise money for women with cancer. In March when she suggested the tri, I just laughed. Now, I'm considering training for an olympic triathlon next spring.

Call Jennifer Hubbard at 415-543-1110. You will probably have to leave a voice mail message. She works in the City but lives in the East Bay. Jenn loves working with women over 40 and never overwhelms you with a workout that is too difficult. She is a pilates instructor and has completed many Ironmans. Tell her Sabrina gave you her name. Sabrina

Please allow me to offer my services. Although I live in Oakland, I travel all over the bay area. Check out my website: Good luck and have fun getting healthy! Tami McGill
May 2004

I'm looking for a personal trainer who can help me get the amazing abdominal muscles I've always wanted. I'm 40 and I have some post-pregnancy fat around my stomach, and I haven't been able to make the time to do much exercise (I'm a single mom). >From what I've read, really ripped abs are mostly about losing fat and not so much about intense exercise--so maybe what I need is a diet consultant? I've always been thin and I don't really even know how to lose fat. I want a really really specific program and an idea of whether I can even have amazing abs or if i should forget about it, and if I can, how long it might take. I think this is my last chance to do something like this. Please no judgments as to how my time and energy might be better spent. Has anyone out there tried anything like this? Last Chance

You might try pilates for your abs - is a good way to create lean, non bulky abs. Tends to work deeper than the usual gym style crunches. I bulk up easily doing conventional gym stuff, but pilates works great for me- keeps me looking lean and streamlined instead of wide. Plus requires some thinking about how you work, which I like- keeps me from getting bored. But from what you say maybe you also need some cardio stuff. Anyway, the pilates trainer I work is named Junko and I love her! Her phone number is 415-999-4894- she teaches in oakland. Good luck. fit after 9 months
Hi, I think the personal trainers at the Claremont Hotel are all very qualified and interesting people. They hire well there!
Hi, I'm a certified personal trainer and I just happened to read your question about abs. You're right about having to do more cardio to burn the fat. ''Spot Training'' doesn't work. You can tone the muscle underneath the fat, but you've got to burn the fat off for it to show!!

Of course, the more muscle mass, you have, the higher your metabolism becomes, and therefore, you end up burning up more calories during the course of the day. But, I still emphasize cardio for people who want to lose fat.

To get really great abs, I'd recommend doing some fat burning cardio 4-5 X per week, (either moderate intensity like walking for a min. of 30 min. or jogging for a min. of 20 min.) and doing some abs resistance work, (crunches, planks, etc.) at least 3 X per week, resting a day in between.

One of the fastest way to strengthen your abs is to do crunches on a physioball. They're available at Elephant pharmacy, Walgreens, Barnes and Noble even I think. There's a great video that you can get for abs work on the ball at Elephant pharmacy that I'd recommend. Even replacing your office chair with a ball will strengthen your abdominal muscles. (Although it may take some practice first and getting used to!)

Of course, diet plays a huge role as well, if you're wanting to lose weight. I am currently in nutrition school and am learning a lot about weight management. I'd be happy to meet with you and go over a few basics if you'd like. I could also get you started on an abs routine. Please check out my website:, or call me at 510-524-0810 Good Luck! Sylvie Nalezny

2003 & Earlier

March 2003

I'm looking for a personal trainer who can help me get into shape. I'd prefer to work with a woman, although I can be flexible with the right person. I'd love someone who is kind and easygoing, and who won't be judgmental, because I have a LOT of work to do. I'm looking to create a long term relationship so a sense of humor is also essential. Jill

I love my personal trainer, Dolores Allen. She's affiliated with Club One but also has her own company on the side which caters to coming to you. She also specializes in prenatal and post-pregnancy training. You can reach her at 415/467-3814. Patty
I would recommend Zephyr at the Nautilus at 1270 San Pablo between Marin and Gilman. She knows her stuff, communicates well and has a very positive demeanor. She has made incredible progress in reshaping her own body, but is refreshing in that she does not look like your typical trainer. She will understand where you are coming from and where you are trying to go. Call her at 451-2789. Laura
I am taking a postnatal excercise class with Helene Byrne who is also a personal trainer. She is wonderful and would be a great personal trainer even if you are not postnatal. She is extremely knowledgeable, explains things well and is fun. She focuses on alignment, body mechanics and the abdominal muscles. I have asked her questions about specific issues like my knees and she has given me some good excercises. She has also written a book that has the excercises from the class that is good too. She has a website too -- you can find it by typing her name into a search engine. Elizabeth
I've been going to Dr. Abu Pigott for personal training for 7 years now. He specializes in one-on-one training for sedentary adults. I can't say enough good things about him -- he's very flexible, with a great, easygoing personality and good sense of humor. He is also a chiropractor, which was great for me as I had a lot of back and shoulder problems from sitting in front of a computer all day. But he primarily focuses on personal training. His office is called Next Level Fitness, and it's on Mandana near Lakeshore in Oakland. Phone is 510.465.0978, website is Good luck! cathygirr
Jan 2003

I am looking for a personal trainer to design a in-home workout for me that is tailored specifically to the needs of a pregnant woman -- to keeping my body in the best shape possible during my pregnancy and to preparing myself for childbirth. I especially want help working on my core strength. I have a ten-month-old baby at home, so the gym (where I practically lived during my first pregancy) isn't an option. I looked on the website, but only found general recommendations for personal trainers -- not recommendations geared specifically toward trainers who have the knowledge and experience needed to address the specific needs of pregnancy. Trainers who can help with nutrition a plus, but not absolutely essential.

I am a perinatal exercise specialist, ACE certified personal trainer, and author of ''Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best''. You can reach me at 530-5710. Helene
I know of a fabulous personal trainer who specializes in pre and post natal. Her name is Alicia Drake and she can be reached at 510-536-5564 or at ontrackATearthlinkDOTnet. Alicia is very motivating -- and great at customizing a program based on your specific needs. I would recommend her highly. karlas
Try Marie Morel-Seytoux -- she is trained as a group instructor and a personal trainer, and she has a young one of her own, so she knows whassup. Check out her site: iningInfo.htm and give her a call. She might have openings available.
Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness with Marie Marie Morel-Seytoux Certified Group Fitness Instructor (510) 245-7587 mariemATstanfordalumniDOTorg
Good Luck.... Shahana
October 2001

I would like to use my son's naptime for some exercise at home. Can anyone recommend a personal trainer or fitness consultant who can help me tailor a regimen that can be done at home to my fitness goals, using home equipment such as a treadmill and free weights etc.? What I am currently doing isn't working the way I would like it to. Help! I would also be interested in getting recommendations for childcare at gyms in Oakland specifically. My son is 16 months old. Thank you. cheryl

Karen Peper is a great personal trainer. She can be reached at 653-8737. LIANA
I have been very pleased with the customized training regime worked out by personal trainer Laura Greenfield. After three one hour sessions in my home she left me with a series of excercises I do several times a week that help with my specific issues. She has since phoned me to check in and encourage me to contiue to follow the program. When I'm ready I will have another session to adjust and refine the excercises. The specific details of the excercises she taught me have made her program especially effective.. Please contact Laura for more information at lauragreenfiel AT earthlink DOT net or 415 383 7935 Arlene

Seeking a great personal trainer. Would probably prefer a woman over a man, but not absolutely. Would especially be interested in trainers who work with clients at the Courthouse, the Oakland Y, or the Berkeley Y. Thanks.

If you are interested in more than just pumping iron, I highly recommend my trainer, Brad Lieberman. He works out of the Berkeley Y and is also a yoga instructor there. I've worked with him since last fall, and my workouts have covered a wide variety of stretches, abdominal exercises, and cardio work as well as weight training. He's my 4th trainer in the past 5 years, and the best so far. Sara
The YMCA has a few personal trainers on staff. I worked with Pam and found her thoroughness and suggestions supportive of my training. A PTA friend highly recommends her to patients seen where she works. Nori
I highly recommend Colleen Ross. I have been working with her for almost a year and she has helped me to get back in shape after child birth. In fact I am in better shape then I was before. She works exclusively with female clients and has a low key and encouraging style. She will come to your house - or meet you somewhere. She also does body work which is great coupled with the work outs. She charges $65 dollars for a one hour session but has a reduced rate if you see her more than once a week. I was a real doubter about personal trainers before - but she has helped me to keep focused, to recognize my progress and to celebrate my achievements. You can reach her at 510 965-1978. Lora
As a personal trainer, I would like to give some advise on what to look for when hiring someone. First, find someone who really understands alignment and functional core strength. In fitness, what you practice is what you get, and if your form isn't good then you will not get the most out of your exercise sessions and will put yourself at risk for injury.

Second, weight loss demands a multifaceted approach of strength training and aerobic exercise as well as a healthy, balanced diet. Be aware that calorie deficient diets over the long haul deplete lean tissue mass and lower metabolism. They actually make you fatter, not leaner.

Third, many gyms will not let in free-lance trainers any more. They require you to use people on their own staff. Generally, clubs get a 50% cut of what you actually pay the trainer. Unfortunately these tend to be the lowest paying jobs in the industry and therefore don't attract the top people. Expect to pay $60.00 per session for someone to come into your home. Which leads to the question-- Do you own any equipment? At a gym you can expect to pay $40.00- $60.00 per session.

Fourth, as to time, the first weeks of training should be devoted to acclimation to exercise and the learning of technical skills. The next three to six month block to improving aerobic conditioning a building lean tissue mass. (Don't worry, I'm not talking about bulk.) As to weight loss, you should aim for slow and steady, only one to two pounds per week. You want to improve your diet for life, adding healthy habits, rather than going on a diet. A good trainer or nutritionist can fill in the details here. Good luck. Helene


For two years I worked with personal trainer Karen Emery, who is also a certified nutritionist and cooks for those clients who want that service. Her advice and one-on-one training helped me get in shape for a medically challenging pregnancy. My OB was amazed at how I'd optimized my health before pregnancy and how well things went during my pregnancy. Karen has also worked with my husband, who is in far better shape than I am, and a friend who has lupus, and several other people I know of who were in good shape, lousy shape, and so-so shape. She's great at taking it from where *you are* instead of where one might think you ought to be. She also does group training and can tailor her advice to the group. I highly recommend her.

A woman who teaches aerobics at the Berkeley YMCA also does personal training, independently of the Y. I know her only through the aerobics, but a friend coincidentally consulted her as a personal trainer, and loved her. In her aerobics classes, I've found her to be very knowledgeable (I believe she has a masters or higher in exercise physiology) about what bodies really need, focusing on overall health and strength, rather than just looking a certain way. And she does bring into the class (and also teaches, at the Y) things about healthy eating habits and lifestyle. And to top it all off, she's smart and funny, and very upbeat. Her name is Jayne (don't know her last name), contact the Y to get in touch with her.
Jayne Robertson is the personal trainer that also teaches classes at the Y. She is outstanding. I've been seeing her for about 4 months. After the birth of my 2nd child and heading into my late 30's I had reached a point where I really needed to do something about my fitness. I had never exercised regularly before and was very intimidated by how to start. Jayne was exactly what I had been looking for (a friend that also goes to her and has taken classes from her at the Y highly recommended her). She starts with an evaluation of your objectives and then puts together a plan of how to acheive them. She has a studio in her home located in Montclair. Her focus is on fitness and health for the long run. I see her once a week for one hour. She has some clients that go 3 times per week and some that see her at longer intervals. She has a web site ( that will give you more information about her business. She has a very strong base of clients so the only drawback may be getting a slot to see her.