Welcome to our 50th podcast!  In celebration of this exciting milestone, we are giving you Fitlandian’s an insider’s view of the people and trends from the Idea World Fitness Conference that Christa attended in Las Vegas in July. This two-part series includes interviews from the fitness industry experts she encountered at the conference who focus in the cornerstone areas that Fitlandia is founded on; better nutrition, more daily movement, positive mindset and encouraging community.


Anna Gemma

Our first guest is Anna Gemma with ChoreoBarre®Fitness. This company was created in 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s formatted from Vaganova’s Method, a training devised from a Russian dancer, fusing together elements of Italian technique and traditional French ballet. ChoreoBarre® Fitness involves the entire body using cardiovascular intervals, core stability exercises, ballet inspired moves and can be done at three different levels so it suitable for everyone to try.

Want to give it a go?

ChoreoBarre®Fitness classes are in Danville, California at The Studio, as well as in Livermore, California located at LifeStyleRx in the Stanford Health Care – Valleycare Recreational Center.

Anna’s tips:

  • Consistency – getting to the gym twice a week
  • Nutrition – maintaining a healthy lifestyle by making better eating choices
  • Adequate sleep
  • Build confidence – you can do it!

Tips when feeling stuck:

  • Don’t feel discouraged about past choices – it’s a new day with a new start
  • Build confidence and believe in yourself

“We all started from somewhere, you can do it!”

Derek & Shaelah Harmon

Also at the conference, Christa found some fellow Oregonians, Derek and Shaelah who work in La Grande, Oregon at the Mountain Valley Fitness and Health. This holistic gym and physical therapy clinic has a variety of services they provide including acupuncture, group fitness classes, personal training which Derek has been involved in since 2013, a nutritionist to help with meal prepping and sports performance training to help everyone reach their health goals.

Shaelah, the manager at Mountain Valley Fitness and Health helps people daily face their mental challenges in their health journey by introducing them to other clients so they feel more comfortable in a “transitional program”. When working with his clients during personal training sessions, Derek explains that he focuses on finding what people want specifically from their training and then helps them break down walls and barriers to achieve it.

Their tips:

  • Setting goals – short and long term goals so you and track progress and reflect on how to adjust
  • Functional goals – find what works for you day to day

At Mountain Valley Fitness and Health, they work hard to provide members with the highest quality of individualized fitness experience to maximize functional abilities and improve overall quality of life.

Roy Birch

For our third interview, Christa welcomes Roy Birch to the Fitlandia Podcast. Roy has been a personal trainer for 26 years. Over his lengthy career he says he’s learned how to create a solid business through genuine care for his clients. With trust and sincerity as the back bone of his business, the relationships he’s created with his clients has resulted in 50% of his clients continuously working with him for over 20 years!

As anyone working in the health and nutrition business you see and work with your clients through various mental obstacles. Roy states the biggest challenge he sees is his clients is not believing they have the ability to take their health to the next level. This is where the trust they have in him comes in to play. Roy explained that listening to what your client is worried about will give insight on how to push them by staying in their boundaries helping them pave the way back to success.

Chris Stevenson

Next, we meet with Chris, owner of Stevenson Fitness, a 7,500-square foot boutique health club in Oak Park, California. At Stephenson Fitness, they specialize in building an ultimate member experience with group exercises, run clubs, individual personal training, childcare, general memberships and Olympic lifting platforms.

Chris grew up as a competitive martial artist, which unexpectedly turned into performing stunts for the children’s show, “Power Rangers.” After 15 years of live tours, red spandex and creating a healthy, active lifestyle, Chris traded in his spandex and became a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. He later got hired at the Chiropractic Sports Institute of Southern California and ran their injury rehab clinic and athletic training center.

This led him to opening up his personal training studio and growing into what Stevenson Fitness is today!

Client member experience hurdles:

Chris explains how difficult fitness is because of the instant gratification world we live in today and how unfortunately, fitness takes time, mindfulness and consistency. To try and bridge the gap so the journey is fun, Chris focuses heavily on training his staff to be excited and welcome their guests by first reiterating what a great choice it was coming in, instead on memberships and prices. “This starts building that trusting relationship and if they continue to come in, it will improve their quality of life”, he says!

Pro Tips:

  • Try and teach people to put their health first and create lifestyle around that
  • Create one new healthy habit once a month for a year and at the end of the year you have 12 new habits that are drawing you closer to the best, healthiest you! 

“At Stevenson Fitness, everyone leaves feeling better than when they arrived!” 

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