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. 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 certified in Stott Pilates Mat and Reformer. Julia grew up in St. Paul and began dance training at a young age with Loyce Houlton's Minnesota Dance Theatre. She then embarked on a professional career with local dance companies, including James Sewell Ballet and Ballet of the Dolls. In 2004, she received the prestigious McKnight Dancer Fellowship Award. Julia also pursued a theatrical career, acting on local stages including the Jungle Theater, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, and the Loring Theater. 

During her dance career she experienced a back injury that required physical therapy and included Pilates. It was Pilates that helped her to improve her dancing by creating a stronger core, greater body awareness, and balance. Using the Pilates techniques, Julia continued dancing well into her 40's.  Because of her first-hand experience with the benefits of Pilate’s, she decided to become certified in Stott Pilates Mat and Reformer. She is delighted to work at Balance for Life, and to bring grace, breath, and stronger bodies to her classes and clients. 

 

 


Carrie R

Certified Personal Trainer/Pilates/Yoga Instructor

Health and fitness has always been an important part of Carrie’s life.  Growing up she was involved in dance and volleyball.  Her passion for fitness followed her through six years in the Army National Guard where she participated in and led numerous physical fitness tests and training events. 
Carrie fell in love with Pilates many years ago when she started taking mat classes at her local health club.  Carrie is a certified Stott Pilates mat and reformer instructor, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer, and a certified Yoga instructor through Core Power Yoga.  Carrie loves helping her clients achieve their fitness goals whether they are to lose weight, tone up, or improve balance. 
Carrie continues to expand her Pilates, Yoga and Personal Training education by attending training courses through Stott Pilates, Core Power Yoga and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

 

 

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.

 

 

Andee K

Certified Personal Trainer 

Andee joins the BFL community and brings many years of personal training experience to Balance for Life Fitness.  She is originally from Wisconsin (grew up in Wausau, WI) but is moving back to the Twin Cities after three years in Tulsa, OK where she worked in a health club and medical center as a personal trainer and rehabilitation specialist.   

Andee graduated from Bethel University with a B.S. in Exercise Science.  She is a former competitive swimmer who currently gets her competitive kicks from running in marathons, lifting weights and competing in mini-triathlons and psychotic events like Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash.   

She has extensive experience in one-on-one training ranging from people who are just trying to get back in shape to people who are competing in higher level competitions.  Andee is also a licensed Spin Instructor and has led other group fitness classes incorporating high-intensity interval training or HIIT.   

Andee is passionate about nutrition and empathetic to everyone who is using fitness as part of a holistic routine of getting back in shape.  She is personally and professionally familiar with the right way and the wrong way to lose weight and get in shape and stay in shape.  She won’t yell at you but she will challenge you and encourage you to a better Balance for YOUR Life.

 

 

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.  Sherry also 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 and looks forward to expanding her skills at Balance for Life Fitness.

 

 

 

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.

 


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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

 

 

 

 

 

Andee K

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry T

 

 

 

 

Madeline S

 

 

 

Sara R

 

 

 

 

Brent G