Balance for Life Fitness Center

Meet the Trainers

 

 

Julie Gronquist - Owner

Certified Personal Trainer/ACE Master Trainer/ Pilates Instructor/Massage Therapist

Julie Gronquist received her B.S. in Kinesiology with a minor in Coaching and Nutrition from the University of Minnesota. She started out in the fitness industry in 1993 teaching group fitness classes and is certified through ACE (American Council on Exercise) as a Group Fitness Instructor. Shortly after her group experience, Julie became certified through ACE as a Personal Trainer and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) "The gold standard of certifications" as a health fitness instructor and started to work one-on-one with individuals . Because she wanted to work with wide variety of clients, Julie also became certified from Healthy Expectations as a Pre/Post Natal Specialist and received a certification from AAHFP (American Academy of Health Fitness Professionals) in Post Rehabilitation. Julie is also trained in the STOTT® Conditioning Method of Pilates. In addition, she attended the Massage Therapy program at Sister Rosalind's in St Paul and received specialized training in Neuromuscular Therapy through St John's.

Julie has worked at a variety of facilities from large chain health clubs to a small independently owned clubs as both a personal trainer and manager. Because of her diverse background, Julie is able to work with a wide variety of clients. She specializes in assisting clients with weight loss and post rehabilitation of injuries. She encourages her clients to recognize where they are starting from, and assists them to set realistic goals and reach them with education, motivation, and positive reinforcement.

Julie Gronquist opened up Balance for Life in 2000. Her goal was to create a comfortable, non-competitive atmosphere for clients to achieve their goals. Balance for Life is a private studio which allows each client to focus on their workout with no distractions. She seeks to hire the best staff in the Twin Cities to ensure each client gets the most out of each and every session or class.

 

 

 

Sandra S

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Sandra holds a B.S. in Nutrition and is a Fitness Specialist and Nutrition Educator. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Yoga Instructor and Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant for over 30 years.  Sandra is also Certified in Fascial Stretch Therapy.  She specializes in helping individuals set and meet realistic health and fitness goals.

Sandra also works as a consultant and leads courses with Pilates Trainers, Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors to further develop their skills in the fitness field. Her workshops and lectures for clients cover a wide range of topics that all include the value of good nutrition and moderate exercise.

 


 

Julia S

Certified Pilates Instructor

Julia is a native of St. Paul, joined Balance For Life in 2011 following a full dance and theatre career on local stages.  She attempted Pilates while looking at a manual back in the 80’s but struggled with the breathing component and it wasn’t until a back injury brought her to a physical therapist that introduced Pilates exercises that worked wonders and Julia became an avid follower ever since.  

Continuing her Pilates program into the new millennium, training on the reformer, Julia was able to dance well beyond the years “allotted’ for dancers and thus decided that teaching others the wonders of Pilates was an opportunity to “give back”, began her new career as an Instructor of Pilates.  Julia is STOTT Certified in Mat and Reformer and has completed training in other equipment such as Chair and Barrels, Injuries and Special Populations, Barre Intro and is eager to continue educating herself on useful modalities that incorporate the principles of Pilates and challenge clients.  Julia has applied her knowledge and worked with clients that have been able to find relief and stronger bodies from young to mature, enjoys taking them on their journey and is delighted when they can walk out the door feeling de-stressed, stabilized, stronger and sensitive to their body mechanics.

Julia enjoys spending time with her family and friends at the lake, co-hosting dinners for large gatherings, gardening, cross country skiing and breathing in the good air.

 

 


Carrie R

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Carrie is a Certified Stott Pilates Instructor, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Yoga Instructor. Carrie started practicing Yoga and Pilates many years ago as a way to reduce stress and create balance in her life.  Carrie has added certifications in Kettlebell and TRX® Training. 
Carrie also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She also spent six years in the Army National Guard and is a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Carrie continues to expand her fitness education by attending education workshops and completing certification courses. 
In her free time Carrie enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, running, home improvement projects, gardening and (of course) spending time with her family. 

 

 

 

 

Sean F

Certified Personal Trainer / TPI Golf Fitness Instructor /ACE Certified Orthopedic Exercise Specialist

Sean is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), a Golf Fitness Instructor through Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and an ACE Certified Orthopedic Exercise Specialist. He has over 14 years of experience working with clients to improve their lifestyle, functional ability, body composition and overall health and is the functional training advisor to a major fitness magazine. Originally from Iowa, Sean has had the opportunity to train clients across the United States from Austin, Texas to Beverly Hills and Malibu, California. Sean has worked with many diverse populations to achieve their fitness goals, including amateur and professional athletes, stay at home moms and busy executives. From clients who want to lose a lot of weight or tone up to the client that just wants to function better and enjoy life, Sean has worked with them all. 


Sean is also an accomplished Golf Fitness Instructor, certified through the prestigious Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). He has worked with a wide range of golfers from the high school amateur competitor who is competing for a golf scholarship to the 74 year old weekend player who just doesn't want to have any more back or shoulder pain while he plays but would also like to shave a few points off of his score. Sean is one of only several TPI Certified personal trainers in the Twin Cities area. Combined with the large variety of sports specific and functional training equipment available at Balance For Life, Sean is in a unique position to help all levels of golfers improve their game dramatically and stay pain free for life.

 

 

 

Kandace G

Certified Pilates Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer

Kandace grew up in rural Wisconsin and relocated to the Twin Cities at age 16 to attend Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists where she studied her passion for dance. Kandace first started practicing Pilates at the Conservatory, and her interest in Pilates grew from there.  Kandace attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she received her BFA in Dance.  Kandace is a certified STOTT Pilates instructor. She has credentials in STOTT Pilates Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels and Injuries and Special Populations. Kandace is also an ACE certified Personal Trainer.  

Kandace’s goals as an instructor are: to create a safe and positive exercise experience, to educate clients about fitness and its importance in their lives, to build fun and effective exercise programs for the individual client, to help clients achieve their fitness goals, and to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone she trains.  

 

 

 

 

Sarah L

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Sarah received her B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. Shortly after graduating, she started working as a Fitness Specialist in a hospital based employee wellness center. Sarah taught a variety of group fitness classes to employees as well as patients with cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, cancer and eating disorders. Working with special populations lead her to becoming a certified STOTT Pilates Instructor in Mat and Reformer (essential/intermediate level) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)- 200 hour. Sarah is also certified through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

“I truly believe Pilates can transform your body and make you feel leaner, longer and stronger. Not only do you feel refreshed after a great workout, but carrying yourself in a whole new way. It’s an amazing feeling!”

“Interval workouts are an absolute favorite of mine by combining strength and cardio! Finding your inner athlete will drive you to your fullest potential in accomplishing your health and fitness goals. Keep in mind that having fun doing it is an absolute MUST!”

Sarah believes that learning and education is a journey that lasts a lifetime. She enjoys attending workshops and trainings to further her education in STOTT Pilates, Yoga and Personal Training.

 

 

 

Sherry T

Certified Pilates Instructor

Throughout Sherry’s life she has been involved in many forms of physical movement from jazz dance, ballet, Middle Eastern dance to weight training with a Minnesota top female competitive body builder.   Sherry discovered Balance for Life Fitness studio in 2010, and developed a deeper passion for fitness as a result of the knowledgeable instructors and welcoming studio atmosphere.  She became dedicated to the practice of STOTT Pilates over the past 3 years.  

She fell in love with the repertoire of movements and the positive way it challenged her physically and mentally.  After experiencing personal success with Pilates in strengthening, conditioning and moving beyond body pain physical limitations she was inspired to become an instructor herself and she completed the extensive STOTT PILATES Comprehensive Matwork and Reformer training.  She has also received training in working with client with injuries and is trained from STOTT in ISP (Injuries and Special Populations).  Sherry is also trained in the Cadillac, a pilates apparatus.  She has completed Anatomy in 3D, a Barre Training Intro, and a workshop in working with clients with cancer.  She continues to expand her knowledge of pilates to be able to deepen her clients experience.  With Sherry’s kind demeanor she hopes to inspire clients of all ages on the benefits of Pilates.

 

 

 

Madeline S

Certified Pilates Instructor

Originally from San Diego, CA, Madeline began studying ballet at age 4. At 16 she moved to Philadelphia, PA to train at The Rock School for Dance Education, and from there her professional ballet career took her to North Carolina and New York City. Madeline took her first Pilates class at the age of 16 while studying at the School of American Ballet in NYC, and fell in love. As a professional ballet dancer she always practiced Pilates on her own to cross train, and decided to dive deep into the Pilates Method and become a certified instructor.
Madeline studied under Lawson Harris and Michael Feigin at The Fitness Guru in Brooklyn, NY, and completed a comprehensive Mat certification and a 600-hour apparatus certification, becoming well versed on the Pilates Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Ladder Barrel. Pilates completely changed her dancing for the better, and she loves helping her clients learn the benefits of Pilates. Madeline brings her passion for movement and knowledge to each Pilates session, keeping her clients interested, challenged, and always having fun. Madeline taught mat and private Pilates in New York City before moving to Minneapolis.

 

 

 

Sara R

Certified Personal Trainer

Being active has always been a part of Sara's life. From swimming and hiking, to riding, training, and showing horses, she has appreciated the benefits of physical activity from a young age. She attended college at the University of St. Thomas earning bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Psychology. After years of working in the business world as well as participating in several mission trips, Sara decided to change her focus and pursue a more balanced family life.  She became an ACE certified personal trainer to share her passion for health and wellness with others. 

Sara enjoys working with a wide variety of clients.  Her approach is to really get to know each client and see what their individual goals and strengths are and build a program from where they are starting.  She believes in supporting clients along the way to inspire and motivate them to achieve their individual fitness goals. 

 

 

 

 

 

Brent G

Certified Personal Trainer/Certified Pilates Instructor

Brent is a Certified Personal Trainer with the American Council on Exercise; he is also STOTT Pilates Mat and Reformer Certified, and he holds a Group Fitness Instructor Certification with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.  Brent is also a qualified TRX and Kettlebell instructor.  Whether one on one, in a small group, or instructing 50+ people, Brent is at his best when he's leading motivated people through exercise.  

In his youth, Brent played Soccer and Baseball.  But he really fell in love with physical activity through Karate.  In college, Brent earned his Black Belt and Instructorship in Kung Fu.  Always one for thinking "outside the box," Brent transformed his art by becoming a fire-dancer.  Brent's performed at numerous private and public events around the state. The highlight of this part of his journey came in 2010, when Brent performed in front of more than 50,000 spectators at Burning Man. 

In recent years, while life's become busier, he's found peace in calmer pursuits.  Brent finds a lot of joy in nature.  He loves Backpacking, Snowshoeing, and Camping with his wife.
Brent loves working with people.  He's experienced the benefits of regular exercise first-hand, and he loves sharing this experience with others.  While he loves an intense workout, Brent gets the greatest satisfaction from creating balanced, well-rounded routines.  Brent's dedication to constant learning and intelligent program design make him a valuable asset for anyone training to be their best.

 

 

 

Susan W

Certified Yoga Instructor / Certified Massage Therapist

Susan believes your true treasure in life is your health and for that you cannot put a price on it.  Yoga provides the gift of aligning all aspects of the self.  She wants clients to invest in themselves and take time to focus on their needs.

Susan completed her degree in Medical Assisting in 1997 and worked in the medical field for 16 years.  She was ready for a change and wanted to switch over to be on the preventative side of health care.  Susan earned her degree in Massage Therapy and Certification in Yoga.

Susan’s focus is YOU!  It is her desire to help you achieve overall wellness and personal growth.  Helping you to bring into balance and align you in mind, body, and soul.

She focuses on working with clients on their fitness goals with Yoga.  Yoga can reduce stress, increase flexibility and tone your muscles.

When Susan is not at Balance for Life, she is spending time with her children and practicing what she loves with them from Yoga to camping and everything in between.  As for alone time, she loves to read, meditate and also believes that constantly finding ways to grow and learn are the secrets to youth.

 

 

 

 

Liz M

Certified Personal Trainer

After graduating with a B.S.Degree from St. Cloud State University, and having over 10 years of business experience,Liz decided to turn her passion for fitness into a career. Liz entered the Personal Training program at St. Paul College and earned her Associates Degree.  She became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Liz believes that a healthy lifestyle is more than diet and exercise. It’s also a state of mind, setting goals and staying accountable to your results. Liz’s objective is to educate you and help you obtain the self confidence necessary to reach your health and fitness goals. Liz is eager to share her knowledge with every client and looks forward to helping clients find the perfect balance in their life.

 

 

 

 

Rachel K

Certified Personal Trainer / Registered Dietetic Technician

Rachel holds fitness and nutrition as core values in her daily life.  She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is also a certified Dietetic Technician.  Beginning at a young age, she has enjoyed staying active through sports, running, weight training, hiking, canoeing and yoga.  After earning her B.A. in Geography from Gustavus Adolphus College, Rachel worked in the water resources field before she decided to begin a career focused on her passion for health and nutrition. She then pursued her degree in Dietetic Technology and became Certified as a Personal Trainer.  She loves helping others learn to incorporate fitness and good nutrition into their everyday lives.  

“Everything in moderation” is a good description of her nutrition coaching philosophy.   Rachel enjoys designing personalized workouts that are fun and keep you coming back for more!   

Outside of Balance for Life Rachel spends most of her time with her daughter and husband in St. Paul going for walks together, gardening, and planning the next home improvement project.

 

 

Gina F

Certified Pilates Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer

Gina received her B.S. in Kinesiology with emphasis in Exercise Science from Arizona State University. This is where she was introduced to Pilates and Personal Training, she saw her body transform. She continued on to become a Certified Pilates Instructor through the Physical Mind Institute, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Certified Personal Trainer and TRX Instructor. She has experience working with a wide variety of clients, men or women that are just getting into exercising, clients that have been exercising for years but just need to change up their routine or further challenge themselves or anyone that has injuries or limitations.

Setting goals, achieving goals, educating clients, finding balance, challenging your body, reducing stress, becoming healthy, creating positive attitudes, having fun, trying something new and building relationships is why Gina finds Training so rewarding. 

Gina believes that staying active is essential for a happy and healthy life. If you can’t find Gina in the Gym or Studio you might try looking outdoors. She enjoys rollerblading, biking, water skiing, cross country skiing and yard work. Being able to adapt with the seasons and change your routine is the key. 

 


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Massage Therapist's Bios

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Julie Gronquist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra S

 

 

 

Julia S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie R

 

 

 

 

 

Sean F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kandace G

 

 

 

 

Sarah L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry T

 

 

 

 

Madeline S

 

 

 

Sara R

 

 

 

 

Brent G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan W

 

 

 

 

Liz M

 

 

 

Rachel K

 

 

 

Gina F