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 Fitness Center® 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 many 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. 

 

 

 

 

Kandace G

Certified Pilates Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer

Kandace’s background is in dance. She started dancing at three years old. She continued dancing all throughout high school at St Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and college where she received her BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Kandace has always had a passion for teaching, so she combine her passion for teaching and movement.

Kandace became a STOTT Certified Pilates Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer and Flexibility Specialist.  Kandace is now in the process of becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor as well.

Kandace’s goals as an instructor are: to create a safe and positive exercise experience, to spread the joy of movement, to educate clients about the significance of structured exercise, to build effective exercise programs for clients, and to make a positive difference in clients life’s.


 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel K

Certified Personal Trainer /Dietetic Technician, Registered

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.

 

 

 

Anne K

Certified Pilates Instructor

Anne has a Full STOTT PILATES Certification and is a Qualified CORE, Total Barre, and TRX Instructor and brings energy and challenge into every session or class she teaches.  She has an Associates’ Degree in both Business Management and Accounting and worked 20+ years in the Bank Management, Sales, and Operations Industry.

“It was a car accident 7 years ago, when I almost lost my life, which spiked my awareness to Pilates and how it can help rehab your body and live a pain-free life.  This life-changing event opened my eyes and helped me make a decision to leave the world of numbers to focus on my passion of helping clients uncover the incredible way to improve body alignment, posture, and overall strength.   Anne works with all levels of clients, specializing in post rehabilitation from injuries or joint replacement, athletes looking to improve their core strength and performance, and clients that want to gain strength and flexibility.  “I love to be a part of each client’s success by challenging and watching their bodies change while accomplishing an exercise they never thought they could do.” 

 


 

 

 

 

Lauren L

Certified Personal Trainer

Lauren grew up doing competitive gymnastics and soccer, and has always loved exercise and sports.  Her career began with coaching gymnastics, she has 10 years of experience coaching gymnastics, with 8 years at the competitive level.  Through coaching Lauren’s had the opportunity to work with advanced athletes who have collegiate goals, as well as young kids who are just starting out. 

Lauren wanted to also work with adults that were looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle so she went on to earn an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and two Certifications from The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor.  She enjoys working with both one-on-one creating a customized plans for individuals as well as teaching small groups.  Lauren has taught a variety of class formats and always strives to give each participant a great workout.  She believes in a healthy lifestyle, and that exercise should be fun and tries to infuse fun into each session and class.

 

 

 

 

Julie Mae W

Certified Pilates Instructor/Certified Personal Trainer


Julie Mae earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Metropolitan State University.  She is both a NASM™ Certified Personal Trainer and a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor.  She has had additional training in working with clients with injuries and has completed the STOTT PILATES® Injuries and Special Populations (ISP)® coursework.   

Julie Mae enjoys building relationships with clients so she can best support them in accomplishing their wellness goals. She has been a life-long exerciser and has a passion for assisting clients with their overall well-being and challenges clients to work hard so they can have the reward of seeing their bodies change while accomplishing things they never thought their bodies were capable of doing. 

Julie Mae keeps clients going by finding the right combination of exercises, inspiration and motivation.  With focus and commitment, clients of all fitness levels can improve their strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, body awareness and reach their goals.

Julie Mae's motto:  "Enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going!"

 

 

Joe E

Certified Personal Trainer

 

Joe is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Northern Iowa as well as a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Joe is a competitive powerlifter and has trained with top United States Olympic weightlifters. His primary areas of interest are strength training, bodybuilding, and injury prevention. He also has taught group fitness classes in kettlebells, calisthenics, interval training, and circuit training.

Joe got serious about fitness and became a personal trainer while attending college.  He enjoys teaching clients to become the strongest versions of themselves, whether it's in the gym, at work, or at home. He believes in living deliberately and in general self-improvement as a philosophy in life. Whether it's lifting a heavier weight, learning a new exercise, or winning a competition, Joe likes to focus on pushing clients to reach new milestones every week. 

Joe is a strong believer in scientific methods and spreading true information. He believes that anyone can find a way to include fitness into their life if they have the right information and the right support. Evidence-based programming, nutrition science, and consistent effort are Joe's preferred methods.

 

 

Tami E

Certified Personal Trainer

Tami worked for many years in an office utilizing her accounting degree but just wasn’t passionate about what she was doing and was feeling restless with the inactivity of sitting at a desk.  She decided to start on a new career path and pursued her passion of fitness and went back to school to earn an A.A.S degree in Personal Training from St Paul College and also earned her NASM Personal Trainer certification.  She began working in the fitness industry in 2008.  She has worked in a variety of settings including a trainer and group class instructor at a chiropractor wellness office and in a large chain health club but truly prefers a small atmosphere like Balance for Life where she can truly concentrate on each client and their individual goals.    

She enjoys learning about each client’s goals and needs so she can better educate, motivate and help them reach beyond their fitness & nutrition goals.  Her goals as a trainer/coach are to inspire, educate and motivate by making workouts fun with a variety of exercises and challenging each client to work hard and encourages clients with positive reinforcement.  

Tami wants to be a great example to clients and is always challenging her mind and body to new extremes.  From running 5k's to marathons, free weight/ core stability training and more.

Tami continues to expand her fitness and nutrition education by attending education workshops and completing additional certifications.  She loves learning new things to pass onto clients.

 

 

 

Chrissy K

Certified Pilates Instructor

Chrissy is a Certified Stott Pilates instructor in both Mat & Reformer and also received additional training in Injuries and Special Populations, and Stability Chair.  She has completed over 270+ hours of Pilates education through STOTT.

She was inspired to become a Pilates instructor because of her personal experience with Pilates.  While recovering from a herniated disk, she used Pilates to regain function of her lower back and has been pain free ever since.

Chrissy's goal is to help people regain their ability for natural movement so they can avoid injury and chronic pain. She says "Our modern lives don't allow us to move as much or with the same loads that our bodies require, so Pilates is a great way to bridge that gap to either overcome injury or avoid it all together.  I also know that barriers to fitness are often as much mental as physical. I try to educate clients that the choices they make everyday have a powerful effect on how they feel. For me, Pilates was the exercise that I actually enjoyed and I love sharing the feeling of exercise as as a gift not a chore. I want your time doing Pilates to be so beneficial and enjoyable so that you never look at the clock."

 

 

 

 

Katie M

Pilates Instructor

Katie is a STOTT Pilates Instructor trained in both mat and reformer.  She has a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of St. Thomas. In the exercise and fitness industry, Katie has been both a competitive soccer player and a youth soccer coach. She starting practicing Pilates a couple years ago while rehabbing a torn ACL and noticed how well it complimented her physical therapy. She fell in love with the emphasis on bio mechanics and muscle strengthening of the STOTT Pilates exercises, along with its ability to bring balance and serenity into her life.

Katie is also continuing her education at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. Katie enjoys analyzing the anatomy and physiology of the human body while in motion and through exercise.

Katie’s applies her knowledge of physical therapy,kinesiology and exercise science to create a safe, stable, and pleasant environment while enlightening clients on essential body mechanics to enhance their health and well-being.

 

 

 

 

Geo C

Certified Personal Trainer

 

Geo grew up playing hockey & volleyball, running track and rowing on the canal. She remained active into her adult life until she was challenged with but fully recovered from back issues and a partial knee replacement. Through this experience she realized how important it is to maintain a balanced workout routine and became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer so she can teach others. She believes in promoting safe functional training to help her clients live an active lifestyle without injury. She motivates and challenges her clients to find time to fit fitness into their busy schedules.

Geo has many tools in her tool belt and is qualified to teach TRX, BOSU, Kettlebell, Kickboxing, Barre, Tabata Bootcamp and Foam Roller. The learning process is never ending so don't be surprised when she brings something new your way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geralyn E

Certified Pilates Instructor

Geralyn is a STOTT PILATES Trainer for Level 1 & 2, in both Mat and Reformer repertoires. She has an Associates’ Degree in Business Management and Administration. She has worked in Sales and Operations, starting in the family Business; Eichten’s Cheese and Bison, since she was 12.

She started practicing Pilates 5+ years ago, at Balance for Life, while rehabilitating her own body from childhood injuries, a car accident and various jobs. She realized how well it complimented the other things she was doing and was amazed at how well it corrected and improved the body’s alignment, core strength, flexibility, & posture. She fell in love with the Pilates repertoire and practices it daily. 

After 25 years of working in the business world, Geralyn decided she wanted to share what made such a difference in her “daily” life with others and she went through the extensive training to become a Certified Pilates Instructor.  


Geralyn enjoys working with and helping clients learn, feel & experience the benefits of Pilates.  She brings energy and challenge into every session or class she teaches.  She focuses on getting to know each client, set goals and to build the right combination of exercises to meet those personal goals. While improving body alignment, posture, flexibility and overall strength. Which ultimately leads to obtaining and maintaining a healthy life style for years to come. 

 

 

 

Kim R

Certified Personal Trainer

Kim graduated from Bethel University in 1994 with a double major, B.A in Community Health and Athletic Training.  She went to work at the Institute for Athletic Medicine as an assistant physical therapist for 2 years.  She later worked for years, for a large chain health club as a Certified Personal Trainer, holding the American College of Sport's Medicine's "Gold Standard of Certifications".  Kim has an additional Certification in working with pregnant women both pre and post pregnancy.  She is also trained from STOTT in Mat Pilates.  

Kim  has years of experience working with men and women.  She is passionate about helping them attain individual fitness goals, ranging from muscle definition, toning, weight loss, pre/post natal, rehab from and injury and post physical therapy care.  As a mom of three, Kim understands how difficult it is to carve out time for regular exercise.  She is convinced of its benefits and enjoys making the health of clients a priority and encourages accountability between clients and herself.  She believes exercises is fun and makes it her goal to find a way to make it fun for clients, keep them motivated and seeing results.  

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Massage Therapist's Bios

Customer Service Reps


Julie Gronquist

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra S

 

 

 

Julia S

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie R

 

 

Kandace G

 

 

 

Sherry T

 

 

 

 

Madeline S

 

 

 

Sara R

 

 

 

 

Rachel K

 

 

 

Anne K

 

 

 

Lauren L

 

 

 

Julie Mae W

 

 

 

 

Joe E

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tami E

 

 

 

 

 

Chrissy K

 

 

 

 

Katie M

 

 

Geo C

 

 

 

 

Geralyn E

 

 

 

 

 

Kim R