Sheila Rohal had severe back pain and was able to avoid surgery with the help the team at Fitness Together

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With help from Fitness Together trainers, Sheila Rohal improved her core strength to help minimize her spinal deterioration. Today she doesn’t take medication and has avoided surgery. (Photography by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studios)

By Patricia Nugent

We’ve all got our share of obstacles that stop us from being our personal best—bad knees, no endurance, lack of time, fear of injury, zero motivation.

For Sheila Rohal, it was severe back pain. The medical diagnosis of scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, herniated discs and anterolisthesis translated into a spine that was twisted, bulging, deteriorating and out of alignment.

“The first thing the doctors offered was to prescribe pain medication,” she recalls, “then they wanted to jump into surgery, neither of which I wanted to do.”

Another doctor suggested that intense physical therapy might slow the progression of the deterioration, so she began working with a therapist.

Building a Strong Core
“To continue to improve my core strength, I started training at Fitness Together,” she says. 

“My trainer was patient and super motivating in planning my program. All the movements were based on what I could and could not do. I’ve been training with him since 2010 and wouldn’t miss a session. The exercises he takes me through have slowed the spinal deterioration thanks to building a strong and supportive core. And, I don’t take so much as an Advil.”

She reports that without any dieting, but simply creating sensible eating habits with the Nutrition Together Program, she’s been able to get back into her skinny jeans and is in the best shape of her life.

“The trainers here work around my busy schedule to make sure I can get in three times a week, which is nice,” Sheila adds.

Soccer Moms to Seniors, Students and Professional Athletes
Although Sheila is a good example of the results that can be achieved at this newly opened studio in Bay Village, there is really nothing typical about the folks Fitness Together trains, or the customized needs they serve.

“After our initial consultation, we put together a set of measurable goals and create an individualized plan to help people meet them,” says owner and trainer Cody Plank. 

“Whether it’s weight loss, muscle gain, flexibility, improved balance, endurance training or nutritional counseling, our one-on-one level of training produces results.” 

Sean Sullivan, who is also an owner/trainer, says unlike many other studios, their program is geared toward the long haul. Most of the people who train with Fitness Together stay here for years, and oftentimes their spouse or family members join as well.

Accountability is Key
“I feel people stay with us because they look forward to the sessions, which are with different trainers and include different workouts, so they never get bored,” says Sean. “We also closely monitor their progress. Accountability is at the heart of all we do here. It’s a client-centered approach to your health.”

Privacy further reinforces the experience. Each of the plush private training suites is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, from cardio machines to suspension bands, medicine and stability balls, battle ropes and weights.

In addition to Cody and Sean, clients also train with Erin Kasper, who as a life-long track and field athlete brings a special expertise to the training table. Her bachelor’s degree in exercise science is from Baldwin Wallace.

Fitness Together is located within the Dover Commons Shopping Center, at 650 Dover Center Road, in Bay Village. Call 440-671-3200 or visit FitnessTogether.com/bay-villagefor more information and to see other dramatic testimonials from people who have trained here.