After 18 years of personal training and group exercise instruction for elite professionals in Manhattan, I’m proud to bring Joyful Fitness to Connecticut.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in music from NYU, I found myself pursuing an acting career in New York. My focus quickly turned to fitness, however, after watching my father die from diabetes as a result of lifelong bodily neglect and unhealthy eating habits.
Burdened with a heavy load of low self-esteem after my father’s death, but strong drive to make serious changes, I found a safe haven at the gym. For the very first time, I was able to channel my creative energy into making positive changes that transformed my own body. Simultaneously I discovered my self-confidence. After years of training myself, I ultimately decided I wanted to help others and studied at The National Personal Training Institute before completing my personal training certification with the National Strength & Conditioning Association.
Later I became a Medical Exercise Specialist by the American Council of Exercise. This certification enabled me to work with clients who have specific medical needs and orthopedic conditions. I also collaborate with medical and physical therapy professionals to take clients beyond rehabilitation to optimal function. I have completed 200 hours of yoga training with Sacred Sounds Studio and in addition to maintaining a weekly yoga practice for myself, I often blend yoga poses with traditional strength training movements for my clients.
I worked as a trainer for 6 years at CLAY Gym & Spa where I created original concepts for many popular group classes. My programs and advice have been featured in Shape Magazine, Vogue, Teen Vogue and TimeOut NewYork.
My approach to fitness is personal. I aim to give your body welcome challenges that build you up, not break you down. As we work together I’ll learn more about your abilities, past injuries and get in depth knowledge on how movement impacts your daily life. We’ll discuss your goals which can range from completing your first 5k, to climbing 3 flights of stairs without getting winded, to playing pain free on the floor with your grandchildren, or fitting into your favorite skinny jeans again. On your way to these goals I’ll make sure we work on all aspects of your physical fitness including strength, endurance, agility, balance, and flexibility.
I like to keep my choice of exercises simple but effective. Since you’ll be working out in your home, you might feel limited by equipment and space. I’ll design your programs so all of that works nicely and easily. Sometimes I’ll suggest a few easy things you can purchase for even better workouts, but only after I have assessed your level and space. My workouts typically incorporate weight lifting with functional movement training and modified yoga and pilates exercises. I mix these modalities together in stimulating circuits that keep you motivated. None of my clients are on the same workout program because everything is custom tailored to your body.
Mel's classes are fantastic. She's an exceptional trainer and her group classes are a can't miss. They're fun and challenging and she manages to pay attention to, and calibrate the workout for, each and every student.