Our Staff

Get to know our friendly Fitness Together® Personal Training Staff at Northshore.

Rufus Ross, Manager

B.S. Exercise Science, UTK; ACE Personal Trainer; City View Magazine Best Of Award: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

My favorite exercise or body part to train: I really enjoy to training my shoulders/traps- it’s a good burn! You can really load up the bar with trap work!

My least favorite exercise or body part to train: Like most guys I hate training legs. However, I have the discipline to push through the pain! Working the legs burns a lot of calories and really revs up the metabolism.

What fitness means to me: Fitness to me means being healthy both mentally and physically. Exercise is a great stress reliever and I always feel great leaving the gym! It is all about feeling good and being happy!

Why my clients succeed: My clients succeed because I push them beyond what they ever thought possible. I set small, manageable goals for the clients in order to reach their long term goals! We work hard together but have fun at the same time.

For Fun: I am a United States Marine and spent 2010 in Afghanistan. I learned a lot over there and it made me appreciate what we have here even more. I have recently started getting into triathlons and even half marathons. I like to set a challenge for myself, train hard, and accomplish it.

   

 

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Elise Thress

B.S. Applied Exercise Science Austin Peay University; ACE Certified Personal Trainer

My favorite exercise or body part to train:  I have a love/hate relationship with rowing. I love it because it is an efficient way to work many muscle groups at the same time, but it whips me every time. I also love burning up my legs with some lunges. 

My least favorite exercise: My least favorite exercise is steady-state running on a treadmill. I don't find it to be as effective in improving fitness as circuit training. Since I have some knee pain I like to get in a great workout without putting a strain on my knees.

What fitness means to me: To me, fitness means leading a life in which I can perform my best at the things I love. I exercise because I feel confident, healthy, and I know I am preparing myself for a lifetime in this body.

Why my clients succeed: My clients succeed because I am intentional in creating their customized program, motivating during our sessions, and I hold them accountable for their exercise and nutrition at home. 

For Fun: For fun, I like to play ultimate frisbee, swing dance, and train my dog. I volunteer at the animal shelter in my spare time. I really enjoy doing Krav Maga, so don't sneak up on me! My "secret passion" is musical theatre.

 

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Earl Moonbrick

B.S. Writing Hunter College NYC; AA Art San Diego; NASM Certified Personal Trainer

My favorite exercise or body part to train:  Core. Working my core used to feel like a terrible chore I just had to get through. Now that I’ve reached a new level of core strength it’s become the most rewarding part of my routine.

My least favorite exercise or body part to train:  Barbell squats. My skinny legs and glutes need them but pilling a bunch of weight on my shoulders and squatting up and down isn’t my favorite pastime.

What fitness means to me:  Fitness is endlessly fascinating, endlessly challenging on so many levels. A solid foundation of movement science is only half of the equation––you need to apply the techniques with creativity and a sense of adventure to get truly transformative results.

Why my clients succeed:  My clients succeed because I have a genuine care for their wellbeing and quality of life and because I feel invested in their journey towards better health. Their fitness is mine as well.

For Fun: Anything outside, in all kinds of weather. I love camping, practicing survival skills, cooking over a fire, hiking, and finding strange new ways to workout in nature.

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Jenna Bednarzyk

B.S. Kinesiology University of Tennessee; ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

My favorite exercise or body part to train: My favorite exercise is the exercise everyone else hates – burpees. To me they are a challenge but also fun! I like doing full body and HIIT workouts the most and for me, burpees are something that involve my whole body.

My least favorite exercise: My least favorite exercise is pushups. Most of the reason I don’t like them is because I’m not great at them – BUT that doesn’t stop me from doing them! I still incorporate them in my workout plans and push through them. Just because you don’t like an exercise doesn’t mean you can ignore it!

What fitness means to me: Fitness to me is a lifestyle choice that pushes your mind and your body to its limits. Staying active and keeping my body and mind healthy helps improve all other aspects of my life. By staying active, I feel stronger, more confident, and more prepared to deal with all the stress that comes with life.

Why my clients succeed: My clients will succeed because I am always trying to learn more and stay updated. I want to bring my clients the best workout for them. By being able to cater my workouts to you, I am able to give you better results.

For Fun: I love doing anything outside and bringing my dog along for the ride. We love to go biking, swimming, hiking, or just hanging out at the dog park. When not outside, you will probably find me at home watching re-runs of The Office or searching Pinterest for new recipes to try!

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Evan Simpson

B.S. Kinesiology University of Tennessee; ACE Certified Personal Trainer; BLS

My favorite exercise or body part to train:  My favorite body part to train are my legs. For years I would ignore them and then I realized how satisfying it is to have a good lower body workout. I put in so much effort when working them out, and I always feel accomplished when I’m done!

My least favorite exercise: Anything that has to do with lower back. There just aren’t near as many variations of exercises that you can perform when compared to other parts of the body. Plus, back extensions make me dizzy!

What fitness means to me: Fitness to me is about working the whole body, both physically and mentally. Physical fitness is extremely important for overall health but without the mental toughness, you won’t reach your full potential!  

Why my clients succeed: My clients succeed because I give 100% effort and focus every time I train them. I’m passionate about what I do, and I just want everyone to reach their goals, so I will do everything I can to help them get there!

For Fun: Anything that involves exercise! Soccer, longboarding, hiking, biking, ping pong, Crossfit, racquetball. I also love to play video games and watch Netflix in my down time.

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Alexa Pontius

Licensed Massage Therapist

Massage Techniques: I consider myself to be a “Body Mechanic.”  I utilize a combination of modalities to loosen fascia and lengthen and release muscles so that “knots” (trigger points) dissipate.  This restores blood flow to the affected area(s) enabling the client to have better range of motion and alleviation of pain.

My favorite type of bodywork: I prefer modalities that release fascia (connective tissue) and trigger points, restoring both blood flow and balance in the body.  This breaks the pain cycle and creates better range of motion and muscle stability.

What fitness and wellness means to me: I believe sound nutrition is the core of wellness.  There are many foods that cause inflammation in the body, causing painful muscles and joints.  Exercise is a critical component as well because without movement the body becomes stiff and sluggish.  It is also important to take time to just “be” with no planned work or activities so that both the mind and body have time to rest and decompress.

Why my clients feel better: My clients feel better because I customize therapy sessions to fit each and every client.  No matter what shape a person is in by taking “baby steps” we can achieve both physical and nutritional goals.  I teach clients to become mindful of posture and stress and the importance of stretching between sessions so that there is maximum benefit from massage.

How do I stay active: I love to hike!  I also work in my yard and have play time with my dogs.  I challenge myself in the gym to stay both strong and agile.

 

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