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Personal Trainer Bios

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Brenda Alexander  

"What can I do to help you do what it takes to get what you want?"
ABOUT ME : It only takes desire, determination, consistent effort and time. What is it that you desire? How strong is that desire? What are you willing to do to get it? What is really stopping you?

#1 - Designing exercise programs can be challenging when faced with limiting factors. I learn something from each and every client I work with. First I demonstrate the exercises in a particular sequence, discussing the rationale behind each. Then I allow you to practice mastery independently or with my supervision. I follow up with a review and modifications. Sometimes a completely new program is warranted if you bore easily, plateau or set new goals. Repeat this process again until your goals are met. Sounds simple, yes?
#2 - Motivating is a far more difficult task, for it involves the mind more than the body. Attitude is everything. If you hate exercise, I can make it more fun. However, it is still hard work and only hard work (or prolonged easier work) will produce results. Depending on your genetic factors, this progress may be faster or slower. There are drugs and surgeries available, but they are expensive and carry risks. You can NOT change the fact that your body requires movement to sustain health; you can however change the methods of movement as well as your attitude towards movement.
#3 - Consistency is crucial, for no plan in the world will succeed if you are not consistently following it. Most people need some support. I can only hold you accountable when you are physically with me or by an available attendance binder. I can “check in” on you from time to time, but I can’t MAKE you exercise when you’re determined not to. Hold on to your strong desire and refer back to #2.

THIS IS WHAT I LOVE TO DO : I have knowledge and I have experience. I’ve been “addicted” to weight training and sports and I’ve been more relaxed and casual too. I’ve been able to maintain an active lifestyle regardless of my changing attitudes and circumstances. I’ve had my own small gym and I’ve had nothing but a broom stick and milk jugs. I’ve worked at 24-Hour, YWCA, YMCA and here at PSU.

I love this stuff! I want you to learn to love it too. My ultimate goal is to empower you to take ownership of your health.
Please allow me to offer you my professional services, share my experiences, have some fun and get you moving in the right direction.

  • 7 years as a professional trainer
  • Various ages and populations
  • Lumbo-pelvic stabilization
  • Shoulder and knee rehabilitation
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • YMCA Fitness Testing Specialist

PHONE : 503-539-2221
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Charlie Arellano

“I may never be the strongest, I may not be the fastest but I work the hardest!”
INTRODUCTIONAloha! My name is Charlie Arellano and this is my 3rd year attending Portland State University. I am from the island of Oahu, Hawaii and Hawaii was where I started my journey into fitness. Coming from a small state, let alone island, people would either do sports or they would do drugs and alcohol. I fell under sports because I love to exercise. Throughout my life I’ve played Football, Basketball and Wrestling. I’ve participated in Fun Runs, Group X classes (Zumba FTW), Cross-Fit and placed 3rd in a bench press competition. I was also a former Vice-President of the Kickboxing Club held here at the Rec Center. Living a life of health and fitness is important to me and influenced my decision to become a personal trainer so I can promote to others how to live a healthy lifestyle. I love the idea of high intensity! The foundation of my workouts is based off of my athletic background. However, this does not mean that everyone is going to get the same workouts since it depends on the individual that I am training. From beginners to advanced, I will do my best and try to make sure that everyone walks away with something new to add to their training. All in all, I want everyone to have a phenomenal workout.
ABOUT MEGrowing up I was a couch potato who played video games every day. I drank soda like it was water and stuffed my mouth with pretty much anything. I was really overweight at this point in my life and I knew I had to do something about it. Luckily, I lived in a neighborhood where a lot of my friends had an active lifestyle. One day, one of them persuaded me to join Pop Warner football and let me tell you now, I was scared! After a few practices I wanted to quit but my friend constantly told me to “Finish what you start.” So, I stuck to it because I wanted to be athletic like him and I didn’t want to be a quitter. I told myself, if I wanted to be like him, I had to keep my eyes on the PRIZE. Without a doubt, that prize was definitely worth it. With that being said, I believe anyone can achieve their goals either by themselves or with the help of a friend and the thought of never giving up. This is where I come into play. I could be that friend and give you that little spark to help jump start your training and to motivate you into achieving your healthy lifestyle just like my friend did for me.
  • B.S in Physical Activity/Exercise (Expected 2015)
  • Red Cross CPR, AED, Firs Aid Certified
  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer

PHONE : 808-382-2095
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Erik Myers

“Be the best you can be!”
* Erik is not currently accepting new clients.

LIFE PHILOSOPHY: I am a reflection of my affiliation. Therefore, I decide to put myself in a position to learn and grow every day in a way that will enable me to live a fulfilling life. I believe wholeheartedly in the potential that each and every person possesses. Why? Because I found the potential within myself and have seen this in others! Throughout middle and high school, as well as the first two years of college, I lived with social anxiety. I overcame that constant fear by filling my consciousness with positive thoughts. It is impossible to have a negative and positive thought at the same time. If we have over 25,000 thoughts per day, it makes more sense to me for those thought impulses to generate good feelings :)
FITNESS BACKGROUND: My family constantly reminds me that my first phrase was "hat, mitt, ball!" I have been involved in organized sports since I started walking. Growing up, I dedicated the majority of my time to swimming, soccer, and basketball. At the age of 12, I competed in a swimming event at USC and earned a time that ranked me in the top 24 in the country for my age group. In high school, I focused on basketball, which is the sport that I am the most passionate about. My 3rd year of college, I earned a spot on a swim team for a Division-3 university located in Thousand Oaks, California. Sports have played a significant positive role in my life and for that I am extremely grateful. However, I am aware that not all of us are athletes and that does not mean living a healthy lifestyle is not for you. It is for everyone! I take a holistic approach to health and fitness and focus on positively influencing your thoughts and habits, which will affect your physical well-being. A healthy mind is a healthy life!
WHAT DRIVES ME: I am motivated by my family. They have given me everything I could ever imagine- and more. Whenever I want to quit, whether that is during a workout or school work, I think about them and I am fueled to find the energy to thrive. 
  • NCSF Personal Trainer
  • B.A. in Sociology (expected: 2015)
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Standard First Aid

PHONE: (503) 260-4696
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Gabe Feit

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi
* Gabe is not currently accepting new clients.
INTRODUCTION : Are you new to the gym and looking for some guidance and support?  Or have you been going to the gym for years and want a new perspective?  Maybe you're somewhere in the middle.  They are all good places to be!  Just reading this bio means you have made the choice to address and improve your fitness in some manner.  Good decision! The path to physical fitness is a journey that can transform your body and mind.  It presents itself differently to everybody, but one thing is for sure, it takes hard work!  

Why do it?  Aside from disease prevention and physical health, those old chestnuts.  Exercise encourages the brain to produce chemicals that help us deal with stress (norepinephrine) and make us feel happy (endorphins).  Exercise also helps improve cognitive function and alleviate depression.  Not to mention how good you'll feel when you look in the mirror!

ABOUT MEMy philosophy is that even hard work should be fun!  Idealistic?  Yes.  Unrealistic?  No WAY!  I love to play!  From organized sports such as ice hockey and soccer to weight lifting to frisbee in the park.  It is so important to have fun...   Seriously!  Playing encourages curiosity and helps us problem solve.  It strengthens our connections to other people, the world around us and perhaps most importantly, ourselves.  

I am a nurturer by nature.  I love to help people become the best version of themselves.  In the gym this translates to a focus on helping you achieve your goals through a combination of guidance, external motivation, helping to keep you on track and overcome personal challenges.  College is a time of exponential growth that often leaves little time for play.  But the benefits couldn't be more relevant to a student's needs.  Even the act of working out regularly, keeping a schedule and tracking your results are skills that transfer directly to college and the rest of life. 

The path to physical fitness is right in front of you.  You have already taken the first step.  Let's work our way down the path together for a bit!  

  • World Instructor Training Schools - Personal Trainer 
  • American Red Cross - CPR, AED & First Aid for the Professional Rescuer

PHONE : 503.866.2470
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Griff Tovey

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something...You want something, go get it. Period.” -The Pursuit of Happiness
INTRODUCTION : Fitness can be achieved in many ways. Whether you enjoy swimming, weightlifting, yoga, or dancing, the benefits of exercise are numerous and have an incredibly positive effect on the way that we live our lives. While fitness can be challenging, it can also be extremely fun! My philosophy is “put forth the knowledge, hard-work and dedication and the possibilities are limitless.”
ABOUT ME : My passion for fitness began in my junior year of high school when I received a gym membership for my birthday and began working out on a regular basis. I had previously played organized sports including basketball and swim team but was relatively unfamiliar with weight training. To many of us, a lack of knowledge or unfamiliarity with weights or cardio equipment can make the gym seem both a scary and intimidating place. By choosing to participate in personal training you have taken an important step in ensuring that your fitness questions will be answered and your goals will be met!  Whether you are a novice who has never set foot in a gym before, or an experienced gym goer who is bored with your routine and looking for something new, I look forward to working with you! 
EXPERIENCE : I have been weight training for almost 6 years, and have participated in sports such as basketball, and swim team on a regular basis. I also enjoy climbing and hiking, but am always on the lookout for other fun ways to exercise! 
  • W.I.T.S. Personal Training Certification 
  • American Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid 

PHONE : 520-990-2930
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Jackie Hamm

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” 
* Jackie is not currently accepting new clients.
WITH YOU IN MIND :  What is most important to me is that I help you learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  This can mean different things for different people; whether you prefer to be challenged, learn new routines, or have someone keep you accountable, I am here for you.  I understand that gyms can be intimidating, especially for those new to the REC Center.  One of the great things about Campus REC is the sense of community and support that encourage you along your journey.  My role is to familiarize you with fitness routines, build your confidence, and help you succeed in your fitness goals.  
PERSONAL JOURNEY :  I have been all over the place when it comes to fitness levels: in high school I was actively in a number of sports. However, as time went on I became less active and started making poor decisions.  After seeing myself in a photo, I realized what all of those choices had done.  I then made a promise to myself that I would live a healthy life.  I lost 30+ pounds, and I feel great.  Most importantly I am very healthy, and have acknowledged that it’s going to be a lifetime commitment.  
FUN FACTS :  Originally, I lived in Colorado, but have also lived in Montana and Vermont.  I am working on my second Bachelor’s Degree at PSU.  It’s a Public Health Education Degree with a focus in Community Health.  It’s a mouthful of a degree, but it’s AMAZING and I love it.  I am also an archaeologist and have worked in exotic places, such as Belize and Israel.   I write a health blog sporadically if you would like to check it out.  I like searching groupon for new activities (like trampolining), hiking, and I am training for my first half marathon in January. 
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • B.S. Anthropology: Cultural, University of Vermont
  • Red Cross CPR/AED
PHONE : (970) 778-2144 

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JD Newby

“A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet”
ABOUT ME : “I love long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, romance novels, and hob knobbing on my yacht…..not”

I grew up playing sports whenever possible, saying I love sports is an understatement.  I enjoy competition and striving to get better.  If I am not studying, working out or playing sports you might find me working on my cars, camping, hiking, or doing something with my hands.  Before I started going to Portland State I joined the United States Navy and became Fleet Marine Force Corpsman.  My experience with the Navy and Marine Corps has inspired me to pursue a future in Fitness and Healthcare.  It also taught me that once you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.  It is not about how heavy your pack is, but how you carry it. 

Let’s go work out! Everyone is different; there is no one size fits all for training.  I enjoy a variety of training inside, outside, weights, body weight, cardio, games.  We can find out what works best for you and have some fun.

  • Pre-Med/Exercise Science Major- 3
  • Over 12 years of playing organized sports
  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer 
  • American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR/AED/First aid)
  • Command Fitness Leader (Navy fitness specialist)
  • National and State Registered Emergency Medical Technician 
  • Registered Medical Assistant
  • Portland State Student Health Advisory Board Member
PHONE : (503) 896-7578
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Katie Gowell

“We will never be perfect, but we can always be better”
* Katie is not currently accepting new clients.
ABOUT ME : In high school I practiced and taught Martial Arts, yet when I moved away from home and training I noticed that the college lifestyle of late nights, eating on the go, and busy study schedules had added a lot of stress and weight to my life.  Feeling sluggish I needed a goal. I signed up for my first half marathon and trained for several months.  In that time, I started to commute by bike and really took an interest in the many forms of fitness, researching and reading in my spare time.  Once at PSU, I took my first Group X classes and fell in love.  I started to take as many classes as I could - Yoga, Bootcamp, Cardio Kickboxing and Weight classes. I really enjoyed sharing the joy of fitness with others and the camaraderie that developed in the fun, healthy, and challenging environment. I took the course to become a Group Fitness Instructor and learned about creating dynamic, effective, and fun workouts for all levels of participants. I found encouraging others to move and discover their fitness potential to be greatly rewarding. I wanted to learn more and help individuals reach their goals on a more personal level and continued my education with a PT certification. I believe that we all need a little help in reaching our goals and look forward to using my knowledge and enthusiasm for fitness in all its various forms to help you reach yours.  I am happy to work with a diverse population and empowering those around me to feel healthy, whole, and happy.
  • Personal Trainer Certification. WITS
  • Group X Instructor Certification. AFAA.
  • RIPPED Instructor Certification. RIPPED.
  • CPR/AED for Professional Rescuer. American Red Cross.
  • First Aid. American Red Cross.
  • In-services in Aqua, Resistance Training, and Cycle

PHONE : (978) 407-8717
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Mackenna Mastrud 

“Our purpose in life is to become the best version of ourselves.”

-Associates of Applied Science in Fitness Technology (AAS), Portland Community College 2011
-Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) certified through American College of Sports Medicine ( ACSM) 2011 
-Sit Strong certified, ADAPT 2013
-Current PSU student double majoring: Health Studies: Physical -Activity/Exercise, and Health Sciences: pre-occupational Therapy. Due to graduate June 2014.
-Future: Pacific University for Occupational Therapy.

AS A TRAINER : My goal in life is to inspire and help others to become the best version of them. I have experience and a passion for both individualized training and group instruction with an emphasis on mind-body practices and functional training. I have worked with a variety of clients each with different goals and needs, including older adults and those new or returning to fitness. My favorite kind of training is functional, which includes educating clients on exercises that can be taken elsewhere. I am willing and prepared to work with anyone from any background and I am looking forward to the possibility of taking on more clients with varied levels of physical functionality. I love that I can help others improve their lives! Come give me a challenge!

  • Experience as a guide for visually impaired.
  • Experience with chair users (certified SitStrong via ADAPT) and working with special needs. I spent 2 weeks of my 2013) summer at Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp as a camp counselor for people with severe and multiple disabilities.
  • I can adapt to/for injuries and health concerns, acute and chronic. 
  • Experience training all body types.
  • I know some sign language (ASL), confident in speaking with ESL students.
  • LGTBQIA Ally!
I have finally gained internal motivation! My favorite exercise is pole dancing, which I’ve done off and on for a few years at a local fitness studio. I also love biking, hiking, hula hooping, backpacking, camping, yoga, Pilates, stability balls, medicine balls, speed walking, dancing, NIA, and working hard on the TRX! 
HOME / HISTORY :  I was born in Bend, Oregon. I have spent about half my life in Portland and about half in Bend. I have one little boy named Caileb; he is turned 6 and started kindergarten in September (2013). I am engaged to his dad and we are getting married when I finish school. I’ve lost 100 pounds since I had my son. We happily live in southwest Portland. 

PHONE : (503) 825-8704
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Tenalyn Fontaine

“Fitness can, and should, be fun!”
ABOUT ME : Do you need help getting started on a work-out plan?

Are you unsure of how to use equipment properly, how many sets, and how many reps?
Would you like someone to help motivate you?
Do you find exercise boring?
Hello, my name is Tenalyn. I am here to help you make fitness fun. I’m not going to say it is easy, because it is not. Fitness can be hard work but that does not mean it can’t be fun. In fact I firmly believe it should be fun. I am an American College of Sports Medicine certified Personal Trainer and I am here to help. Fitness is a lifelong goal that I can help you get started achieving. I’ll see you at the gym!

INTERESTS : I am interested in almost anything fitness related. Some of my favorite activities are: Ultimate Frisbee, Ice skating, Team sports, Tae Kwon Do, running and swimming. I am also interested in Nutrition and Anatomy and Physiology and have taken courses on both subjects. I enjoy reading, watching movies and listening to music. I am also a part of a Medieval Combat group.


  • American College of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross – Standard First Aid, CPR/AED for the professional rescuer

PE classes: Weight lifting, Tae Kwon Do, Basketball, Fitness Conditioning, Team Sports, Swimming, Tai Chi.

  • November 2003 – July 2004: Sherwood Family YMCA – Lifeguard 
  • July 2004 – July 2005: Griffith Park Family YMCA – Lifeguard 
  • August 2005 – November 2007: Mt. Park Homeowner’s Association – Recreation Aid 
  • December 2009 – Current: PSU Campus Rec - Fitness Center Staff & Personal Trainer

I have experience working with many different types of equipment ranging from weight machines to free weights to calisthenics to stability and BOSU balls, resistance bands and medicine balls.


PHONE: (503) 784-9867
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Tommy Gibbons

 “In order to have what others don’t you must do what others won’t.” 
ABOUT ME: Hello, I’m Tommy Gibbons. I’ve been involved in fitness for 8 years. Everywhere from sports to weight lifting, exercise has changed my life over the past several years, both physically and mentally. Health and exercise are two of the greatest passions in my life; I want to help others along in their journey to bettering themselves, not just their body but their mind as well. Once you start meeting your goals you will realize how much more you can do as long as you stay focused and committed! I currently have my Associate of Arts degree and am working toward my Bachelors in Health Studies with a concentration on Physical Activity/Exercise. 
MY PHILOSOPHY: I am a firm believer that if your heart and mind are in it, the physical part will follow.  We are all capable of molding our bodies to our satisfaction and further. I am here to share my experience and knowledge to help you in your fitness endeavors. I believe in specific measurable goals and all the work it takes to achieve them. I have met many of my personal aims and have seen myself grow beyond what I thought possible. I am ready to devote my time and effort to make sure you reach your fitness goals and stay motivated! My program design will be personally tailored and well-rounded to make sure we are optimizing neuromuscular efficiency by working flexibility, stability, balance, endurance, strength, and power. Are you ready to make the difference?
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine- Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Red Cross- Standard First Aid, CPR/AED
  • Pediatric Plus- CPR, AED, and First Aid

PHONE: 541-212-8439
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Veronique Nyounai-Herrera

“Success is the result of motivation, dedication and consistent effort.”

INTRODUCTION : Committing yourself to your body and health is the greatest gift you can give yourself. The trick is to try various activities, find what you enjoy, and make it a priority. Fitness is not one size fits all! As a trainer, I’m here to push you and help you realize that you are capable of achieving every goal you make for yourself. I’m here to show you just how strong you really are!

I have always enjoyed moving my body and being active. As a kid, I participated in practically every sport there was. This included ice-skating, gymnastics, volleyball, and even horseback riding. In high school, I stuck with basketball and tennis, making the varsity tennis team my sophomore year and later becoming a team captain. My commitment to fitness and health began during high school, but really took off the summer before my senior year, where I began to prioritize consistent exercise and healthy food choices. These habits, over a course of time, led to weight loss and an increased thirst to learn more about various aspects of fitness, I was particularly interested in lifting. 

As a female that was freshly out of high school, I had to educate myself about lifting, as the notion amongst teenage girls is that lifting weights will make them bulky and look unflattering. I quickly learned that this was not the reality and learned of the countless benefits of lifting. Fast forward and I absolutely love the weight room. I love knowing that I am getting stronger every day and am pushing my body to its full potential. It’s like a game versus myself. How heavy can I go today? Where will I be tomorrow? The possibilities are endless. I can’t get enough!

I believe that a successful trainer is one that is well-rounded and able to relate to clients that have various fitness levels, goals, and interests. No matter where you fall, the number one thing to remember is that in order to achieve the results you desire, it takes dedication, and perseverance. Small day-to-day actions really do add up in the long run! 

  • WITS Certified Personal Trainer
  • Red Cross CPR, AED, First Aid Certified
  • Pending minor in community health education
  • Tennis player 10+ years
  • Other sports: basketball, volleyball

PHONE : (503) 708-0970
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