Ellen Barrett

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Qualifications: Certified by ACE and AFAA. Certified in the Pilates Technique by the Physical Mind Institute. Reiki level II certified. Masters degree in Education from Syracuse University.

Personal History: Because I played competitive tennis as a child and in college, I was exposed to athletic trainers and fitness coaches. I basically lived in health and racket clubs. I had a front row seat to the 80's fitness craze! I began teaching group exercise as a teenager and just never stopped. Of course, once I graduated from grad school, everyone told me to get a "real job." But, I shrugged those people off - I just wanted to be in the fit biz. After teaching for Club Med in the Caribbean and owning my own corporate fitness center in New York, I moved to Los Angeles in 1997. I quickly involved myself within the celebrity crowd, training Justine Bateman, Christina Ricci, and others. Working with all of the "beautiful people" was fun, but the east coast was calling me back! In 2004, I moved to Connecticut with my husband, Steve, and our two dogs where I opened my own studio.

Workout Philosophy: Make total body symmetry the big goal and everything else will fall into place.

Success Story: Debra, a professor of English, was a yo-yo dieter and on-and-off exerciser since she was 12 years old. Her weight and health fluctuated along with her diet and fitness regimes. When I got hold of her, she was at an all-time high of 220 pounds. In one year, she was 145 pounds and a size 8. For her whole life, she thought exercise was drudgery. This outlook upsets me, because 'exercise as torture' doesn't change people. Finding the right exercise for you - one that's enjoyable and part of a nice lifestyle - is how we beat the bulge forever. The credit goes to an exercise attitude adjustment (and a lot of laughing during training sessions!).

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