No matter what your level of fitness, having a pro help to push you to the next level is key

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For Marilee G. (left) of Richfield, working out in private fitness suites with personal trainer Cailin Fairbairn in a spa-quality setting at Fitness Together helps set the tone for a higher-end level of training.

By Patricia Nugent

Sixty-something Marilee G. of Richfield is a lifelong fitness aficionado, always managing to stay active since her days growing up as a self-described tomboy. As an adult, she still enjoys bicycling and hiking, and has always appreciated how working with a personal trainer brought her to a higher level of fitness.

She started working out at Fitness Together in February after receiving positive feedback from a neighbor who trains there.

“Although I was in a good place in terms of aerobic health, I recognize the importance of weight training as you get older,” she says. “A strong core and muscle strength affect everything from balance to flexibility. And also integral to your overall health as we age, fitness training improves bone density.”

As a person who has worked with a slew of personal trainers over the years, Marilee gives an enthusiastic, five-star review to Fitness Together.

“I have weights and equipment at my home, but I’m just not disciplined enough to get the most benefit from exercise as I do with the knowledgeable trainers here,” she says.

“They work with me to hit the most beneficial target heart rates and truly challenge my body. And they are concerned with safe form. The routines are always different, which makes me look forward to coming twice a week.”

Training in a Boutique Setting
Marilee mentions that working out in private fitness suites within a spa-quality setting helps set the tone for a higher-end level of training.

“Not only are the sessions totally personalized to my wants and needs, but the state-of-the-art equipment is also wonderful to use,” she says. “The sessions are one-on-one, just me and my trainer in the suite, focused on the exercise.”

The plush private suites are beautifully outfitted with the latest tools of the trade, from high-tech cardio machines to suspension bands, medicine and stability balls, battle ropes and weights.

Are We Ready for 1/1/19?
Local gyms see their biggest spike of the year in January, as they fulfill all the well-intentioned wishes of people who want to get back in shape as a New Year’s resolution. But statistics tell us that more than half of them will drop out by the time March rolls around.

This year, why not make a resolution you can stick with?

Erin Mellinger, who owns several Fitness Together locations—with the Fairlawn store celebrating its one-year anniversary this month—says the average time a client trains at the studio is a minimum of two years, far longer than most other gyms.

“Our mission is to provide a level of training that’s in tune with the individual’s needs and wants,” she says. “We are laser-focused on setting and achieving goals for each person, and that’s what keeps them with us for so long— results. We cater to each client. Some people want more demanding, high-intensity interval training while others like deep stretching and yoga-like moves.”

She notes that people who go to a gym on their own aren’t equipped to come up with a program that will make them look and feel better soon after starting it. They get bored, unsatisfied with what they’re doing, and find easy excuses to quit.

Erin has a confession to make. Even though she’s in excellent physical shape, sometimes she doesn’t push herself when exercising alone. So, she makes a point to put herself on the schedule to workout with one of her employees at least once a week.

“It’s just human nature,” she says. “I need someone to push me to do my best work the same as everyone else.”

Change Your Relationship With Food

Erin and her staff take their clients’ health and wellness seriously. That’s why they also offer the Nutrition Together program in tandem with training for clients looking to boost their progress.

“I love this program because it takes food journaling to the next level,” explains Erin. “People don’t just write down when and what they eat, but also how the food makes them feel, which is the key to changing bad eating habits.”

She reports the six-week nutritional counseling program is a healthful and mindful way to help people achieve better wellness.

“It’s realistic, not a diet. There’s no elimination of food groups or anything like that,” she says. “People simply learn the right way to eat.”

Fitness Together’s Fairlawn studio is located at 2890 Sand Run Parkway, Suite B. The Medina studio is located within the Medina Signature Square Shopping Center at 3725 Medina Road, Suite #106. Call 330-550-9839 for more information on either location. You can visit the studios online at or