Profiles in Strength

Alive! was a kick-starter in improving my life

“I think training with the trainers at Alive! has been a life changing experience.
Alive!’s personal attention to each client is outstanding.

I have a steep staircase that leads to my house. Before working out at Alive!, I had to pull myself up the staircase with my arms. My legs barely helped. Now I can climb the staircase without holding on and carrying a heavy weight, like my briefcase or groceries.

Climbing the stairs was the biggest external change I noticed. My biggest internal change is the discipline I have brought to my health. My health discipline, in turn, changed the way I look at time management. Because I have a set appointment with a trainer for exercising, I stopped letting excuses get in my way of accomplishing my health goals. I get my exercise done before the day starts.

Before committing to Alive!, my health was deteriorating. Now I have hope for improvement and for the improvement to continue. I have a much more positive outlook realizing I can handle whatever physical requirements come up in my life. You tend to do more when it becomes easier to do. I have more energy so now I walk more. Alive! was a kick-starter in improving my life.

The experience of training at Alive! is rewarding in a lot of ways. As strenuous as the exercise is, what I’m doing is still pleasurable. I look forward to going.”

– John Miller
Stronger, less back pain, more energy

“The most significant difference I see in my life as a result of strength training at Alive! is less back pain and less knee pain. I’m also stronger over-all, have more energy and my clothes fit better.

I have been a client for over a year and am privileged to have worked with all the training staff. Their friendliness, knowledge and dedication are impressive. I feel that they are truly interested in my progress.”

– Judith Sullivan
Increased bone density — off Fosamax

“My training experience at Alive! has been worth every penny, every hour devoted to it. I no longer feel like a weak and wimpy aging woman. I feel vital, healthy and powerful. I have much greater muscle strength. I have improved my bone density scores enough to be taken off Fosamax.

And it is easier to do a great many things in my daily life. I believe I can rock anything, if I choose to! My results have made me very happy.

The outstanding expertise of the trainers, the supportive environment and the calm and pleasant surroundings make training at Alive! a truly rewarding experience.”

Starting young to stay young…

“Thanks to Alive! Fitness Studio I feel like a new person. Since beginning the SafeStrength® strength training six months ago I am stronger than I ever believed I could be.

The training has given me confidence and most importantly it helps me to manage the stress of everyday life.The SafeStrength® strength training is typically targeted to adults over the age of 50. However, I can tell you that I am a firm believer that the younger you start this program the better your mind and body will be able to handle life today and into the future.

I have frequented other gyms and joined other programs, but the SafeStrength® strength training is unique in that is not only works your muscles making your physically feel better, but it also makes your mind stronger. It is a wonderful cycle, you work the program, it makes you feel strong, which makes you want to work more, which makes you even stronger.

I have more confidence in myself, both at home and at work, than ever before. Alive! Fitness Studio is the perfect venue for the training. James and Taru are special people who truly care about their clients. Because of their holistic approach, training the body and mind together, I feel totally Alive! every time I walk out their door. The long drive twice a week is definitely worth the time and effort as I feel like a million dollars after every session.”

– Jennifer Jaciw
Help for degenerating leg muscles…

“SafeStrength® strength training at Alive! Fitness Studio has been absolutely life changing. I found Alive! at the advice of my doctor.

I was diagnosed with a systemic condition that was causing the degeneration of the muscles in my legs. My doctor recommended I try a slow strength training program. I feel so lucky that I found Alive!. Since beginning my SafeStrength® strength training, I have the endurance to complete my activities throughout the day. I feel stronger and I can tell that the training has kept my condition from worsening. Without my half-hour twice-a-week workouts with James, I believe I would be in a wheelchair right now.

Thank you, Alive!, for giving me my life back! The trainers at Alive! make you feel right at home. During my training sessions I feel like the studio was designed for me and that I am the most important person there. But what makes it so special is that I know the person before me, and after me, feels exactly the same way. This is because of James’s empathetic approach and his ability to cater to each individual’s needs.

My favorite Sunday activity is to go into the city to attend open houses. As we all know, San Francisco is a city full of stairs. Before starting SafeStrength® slow motion strength training I had trouble just walking up a few stairs. Now I can walk up a flight with no problem. I am so grateful to James and the training program for allowing me to continuing cherishing my Sunday rituals.”

– Carol Gillum
Building strength to handle strenuous tasks…

“Alive! Fitness Studio has provided me with the strength and confidence to accomplish my daily tasks, on my own, without the fear of injury. Before taking part in SafeStrength® slow motion strength training I noticed a significant loss of muscle which resulted in several injuries received while performing routine tasks. Since committing to the SafeStrength® program I feel younger and stronger and can handle the strenuous tasks that are a part of life.The SafeStrength® strength training program is a wonderful program. My ½-hour sessions, once a week, are very beneficial both physically and mentally. I have more muscle, my bones are stronger, and I feel better.The SafeStrength® program is amazing, but the positive experience I have had is all due to Alive! and the wonderful staff. Alive! offers the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere while James provides the knowledge and expertise about the muscles and how they work. His attention to detail and ability to provide training catered to you and your current issues puts both the mind and body at ease.”
– Gayle Earley
Regaining function after hip surgery…

“I started out at Alive! as part of a recovery program after major hip surgery. Not only have I recovered from the surgery, but the excellent coaching at Alive! has helped me regain strength and function lost to years of joint deterioration. I feel like I’ve been able to roll back the clock at least ten years. Along with improved overall strength and mobility, my balance is making a comeback!I recommend Alive! for anyone who wants to regain physical confidence and comfort whether lost from age, injury or surgery. And if you’re a serious athlete, Alive! could be an integral part of a balanced training regimen.”

- David Ross
No worries of injuring myself…
Debbie Mytels-web

“This is a wonderful experience! Last fall I told my friend that I “felt like a bag of bones” — I had zero energy, ached in so many places, found it hard to get up from the chair. And I’m only just 60! I decided to do something about this and found a referral to the Alive! Fitness studio. I spoke with owner/trainer James Bell and his wife Taru Fisher and found them to be genuinely caring — and very knowledgeable people.I decided to give it a try.James is excellent at describing the science behind the SafeStrength® training methods, and I have learned so much about body mechanics and how muscles work.More importantly, however, I feel MUCH more energetic and really proud of myself for being able to build my strength. The best thing is the personal attention to form and appropriate, slow adding on of weight. It gives me confidence that I’m working hard, but that I’m not going to injure myself.The studio is immaculately clean, it’s quiet, and there’s a nice restroom to change into my work clothes after exercising.
I highly recommend Alive! to anyone who wants to feel better in their body.”
– Debbie Mytels
Keeping bones strong after menopause…

“The training at Alive! is really wonderful. I have been going once a week for several years. The studio is spotless and smells great, too. My motivation was to strengthen my core muscles to hold chiropractic adjustments. Getting out of bed in the morning was a serious challenge – I am way too young for that! I had to do something. I started menopause so keeping my bones and body strong is critical.
My trainer, James, makes the workout fun and SAFE. He and Taru are a great resource on health issues too. My girlie muscles are the bonus! Check out Alive!”
– Kay Harris, Graphic Designer, 
Communi-K’s Graphic Design.com
Making working out fun…

“The training at Alive! has given me strength I didn’t know I had. The SafeStrength Training is non threatening and quite fun. I drive twice per week from Los Altos to Redwood City because I truly believe in the safety of their programs. My headaches and back pain have decreased to almost zero and I have a lot more energy. Menopause has really kicked me in the — and this gentle type of training is helping with fewer hot-flashes as well as helping me sleep better.James, Taru, Linda and the gang are so much fun to work with. The studio is immaculate, the equipment top notch and the decor is lovely. I love the one-on-one attention and the positive energy too!No more excuses … make yourself a priority and try it!”

- Lara Pai, Interior Designer, 
Lara Pai Dezigns.com
No intimidation factor…

“As I stood and looked at myself in the mirror last Fall, I noticed great parts of my body seemed to be experiencing Continental Drift. Large masses (and growing) that used to occupy the northern hemisphere of my frame were rapidly moving South. Covering up the mirror worked for awhile, but I still caught glimpses of myself in windows on the street. I looked just as bad there.I finally got that I needed to do something.Needless to say, I entered Alive! Fitness Studio with a huge amount of skepticism and an equal amount of fear. I’m easily intimidated by large machines, especially those which I believe will make me look stupid as I weakly try and push them around.Now the good news: I was surprised.Working one-on-one with James and staff I felt supported, encouraged, acknowledged and even better — successful.I experienced what it was like to really use my muscles (who knew I had any???!) and yet not feel like I was going to collapse the next day. In fact, I felt more Alive! day-by-day.As weeks went on I got stronger, stronger, STRONGER! And when I walked into the studio, those machines weren’t laughing at me anymore. They were saying, “We’re ready!” and so was I.I started flexing my biceps at family functions. Showing off a waist I’d forgotten I had. And feeling the joys of living in a body that is both strong and flexible. Very cool.If I were you, I’d take up Taru on her offer. It’s a good one.Your body, I promise, will thank you.”
– Susan Schwartz, 
You Who Branding
A better workout with less effort…

“I visited the gym Taru and her husband set up for those over 50 years of age to use “slow motion” weight workouts. James claimed that lower weights in slow motion produces a better workout and a quicker muscle mass buildup for this age group. Being the skeptic, I tried the slow motion workout method to experience it first-hand. Almost immediately, I needed to change to lighter weights. To my great surprise, it was a far better workout!For those newer to working out in a gym, the slow weight workout provides a methodology for reducing strain and gaining your desired results.”

- Elinor Stutz, CEO and Author, 
Smooth Sale, LLC 
(415) 615-6887
Seeing visible results in a few weeks…

“Wow, what a difference a few weeks makes. I have been doing SafeStrength® for about 6 weeks now and I can really tell the difference. It’s not just the weight loss (although combined with Weight Watchers it has helped me lose some pounds – yeah!) but it is the strength and overall wellness that the training has provided me. I carry myself with more confidence and I feel far less aches and pains from simple tasks and activities. I can see real progress on the machines but most important I can feel that I am getting healthier. Thanks for a great program!”
– Denise Brosseau, 
Original founder of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, www.fweande.org and Co-founder of Invent Your Future Enterprises, www.inventyourfuture.com, a company who supports women executives and entrepreneurs.
Hauling luggage through the airport…

I am competing for the position of “poster girl” for Alive! Fitness Studio.I have been working with James twice a week for two and a half years. I thought I had made it when after one year I could put my pants on one leg at a time while standing. That was big.
Around the same time, I made a business trip to Finland, passing through Frankfurt airport. Because of weakness in my legs and my painful knees, I traveled with a companion and used a wheelchair for making flight connections via the miles of corridors in the Frankfurt airport.

I could not have managed without help. In June of this year I made a business trip alone to Sweden and felt very lucky that I was not scheduled via Frankfurt. However, due to an airline strike my departure was delayed a few days and I was rerouted through the dreaded Frankfurt airport, where some confusion about my ticket was uncovered.

I was sent from pillar to post, one airline counter after another, seemingly miles apart. It all worked out eventually and I was allowed to board my flight. Sometime during the long return trip my AHA! (and thus prizewinning) moment arose! I had managed with total ease the entire trip and the miles of walking between various airline counters alone…by myself!! It had not occurred to me before leaving home that I might need a traveling companion or a wheelchair.

Voila!!! My legs are strong; I can walk the airport miles, haul my own luggage, lift my carry on bag into the overhead compartment, and stand in long lines with ease and confidence. I no longer experience myself as a handicapped person in need of help at every turn.

My work with James has shown constant and subtle changes in my strength and sense of well-being. Twenty minutes twice a week seems like not very much. However, as a result of this small investment in time and money, I am stronger, stand taller, walk better, and feel much younger than my 80 years. I will move to the East Coast soon and the things I will miss most are my longtime friends, James, my work, James, my home and garden, James, the weather, James, the vastness and variety of California, and James.”

– Elaine L. Mayland, Ph.D., author of The Rosen Method: An Approach to Wholeness and Well-being Through the Body
End of knee pain…

“My husband, Kevin, and I are both doing strength training at Alive! Fitness Studio, and not only can we see visible improvement in each other (posture, clothes fitting better) we each feel stronger. I can tell I’m carrying myself differently, and I noticed during a walk last week that I was moving much more briskly uphill than I could previously.
 My knees no longer hurt. I find myself more willing to walk and use my exercise DVDs. I feel so much more hopeful that the health benefits I’m gaining will turn into permanent change.”
– Jeannie Shea, 
Bay To Bay Technical Solutions, LLC, www.baytobaytech.com 
(650) 703-8238
Recovering from a C-Section…

“I had a c-section 6 months ago…what a tough recovery that’s been!
I’ve been doing the SafeStrength® training for 4 weeks and I already notice that my entire torso can really support me! After years of pregnancy etc…it sure feels great to have my strength back. I’m even stronger than I was in college. Plus, I’m able to now carry my 4 1⁄2 year old son. You should have seen us! I carried him for 1 1⁄2 blocks last week. He sure was thrilled.”
– Lynn Strand, President,
Positive Impact Partner, Inc.
 www.positiveimpactpartner.com
Everyday tasks are easier…

“After just 8 sessions I noticed every day tasks were not as difficult. Suddenly it seemed as though heavy household objects had gone on diets and lost weight!My husband has observed changes also. While hugging me last night, he noticed my normally boney back had actually gained muscles, which is something I’ve tried to do for years. Both of us have even noticed my increased fitness while cycling, soon I’ll be able to beat my friend up the hills when we’re doing intervals.But the best benefit to physically getting stronger is that it makes you mentally stronger also.
If all of this can happen in just 8 weeks, I can’t wait to see what happens the next 6 months! Thanks!”
– Jodie Stowe, 
www.stowedesign.com
A greater sense of well-being…

“Working with James is fabulous! The workouts feel very safe and I have no fear of referring any of my friends or patients to him, even the more elderly ones. I know he takes exquisite care on a very minute level with all his clients. The SafeStrength® training is a great way to get in shape and stay that way. I have increased my overall body strength, stamina, and gained the ability to do things without so much body pain. These improvements have significantly impacted my life in a positive way. I enjoy a greater sense of well-being – life is just easier when I’m not in pain. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ll continue using the Alive! program!”
– Diandra Wood, DC
Regaining muscle tone after a motorcycle accident…

“James is great to work with! He is very knowledgeable and the weight machines are excellent – better than what is found in a regular gym. I had lost 40 lbs of muscle mass following a motorcycle accident and I feel that I’ve regained all of my muscle tone and more. My atrophied muscles had put more strain on my joints so regaining strength has been well worth the price. After 16 months of measurable and safe progress, I really notice the difference! Previously I could only do 150lb leg presses and now I’m doing 400lbs! I feel 10 years younger and have more confidence in working with various physical issues. I like the measurable progress and want to keep going. It’s obvious to me this program is very effective!”
– Chris Wesselman
Supervised training customized to my needs…

“I find James to be a consistent, dependable, and very effective trainer. If I’m having difficulty with an exercise, he determines what is causing the problem and replaces it with an exercise that is more effective in promoting healing.The regular exercise has increased my stamina and helped me maintain flexibility and mobility. I’m more active, think clearer, generally feel better, which helps me have a positive outlook which extends to others. The friendly environment and excellent support makes training an enjoyable experience.”
– Gary Martin
Focus and support to help me reach my goals…

“James is a fantastic trainer! He creates a trusting environment and provides me with focus and determination that help me reach my training goals. The one-on-one sessions with a knowledgeable trainer means that the risk of injury is very low.I work in a very busy restaurant and the SafeStrength® program has helped me increase my energy level, improve my posture, and maintain the stamina I need throughout the day. The exercise is also a great way for me to work off stress and come home with positive energy. I no longer suffer from back pain when I sleep, I am regaining my self-confidence, and I have learned the value of commitment to myself and my coach. The most significant difference I see in my life is the reconnection between mind and body. I feel I am doing as much for my body as I do for my mind.I am always telling others how great I feel both emotionally and physically after each session. This has inspired my friends to take better care of themselves and to sign up for strength training with James. The safe environment of the Alive! Fitness Studio and a trusting relationship with a coach continue to help me meet and set new goals. I tell everyone it’s one of the best investments I could make in myself!”
– Jillian Couture
Feeling stronger/healthier helps me eat better too…

“James is thorough, conscientious, careful, and adds a touch of humor that makes it worthwhile to attempt the slow strength training. He explains everything and helps me through each phase of the workout. Reminders to push through and breathe help so much as it is easy to forget what one is doing when concentrating on the physical effort. And, he happens to be a very nice man.I have strengthened my weakened muscles and gained the added bonus of increased energy. Working with James has enabled me to do a little bit more every day and his encouragement to continue other types of exercise has resulted in being able to walk further each week.As my physical strength improves I find it easier to get my weight under better control without dieting. Healthy eating and good, pure, natural foods are important but the Alive! training helps curb my appetite. I eat what I want but nothing to excess.My husband and friends say that they have observed a difference, not only in my physical appearance but also in my energy and attitude. Big improvements!It WORKS! I will be 61 years old this year and have several health issues that have bothered me for a long time. Over the years I have tried many different programs for exercise and self-improvement and usually gave up rather quickly because nothing worked or gave me the encouragement to continue. With ALIVE! it works and I notice results every week.My thanks for this amazing training. I am impressed with the results and will continue to use this program.ALIVE makes me feel just that – ALIVE!!!”
– Beth Gerousis
Taken off inches, put on muscle…

“I love slow-strength training because it’s a concentrated 20 minute work-out that has taken inches off my body and increased my muscle mass as well as my strength. I am getting more toned every week. I plan on reaching my goal of 24-25% fat and will continue the 2x a week work-out to achieve that goal. I realize how important strength training is to build and maintain my muscle mass as I get older (I am 53). Slow strength training is the best because it’s simple, effective and only 20 minute sessions! James is a patient, knowledgeable and supportive trainer. I highly recommend him and his program -for everyone.”
– Michele Fleury
Scheduled appointments help me keep commitment to myself…

“Working with James has been great. The set appointments help me keep committed to myself. My body feels great and I am holding myself with more confidence. Thanks.”
– Patricia Doody
A lot of progress in a short amount of time…

“I love working with someone as well trained in safety as James is. Very important at my age (59). I love how much progress I’m making for a very modest investment of time. And yet, despite the rapid progress, I’m never plagued with soreness. I love the privacy – I don’t want to be in with a bunch of spandex – clad 30-somethings and their perhaps equally young trainers (who may not be all that “trained”). A number of my friends have remarked how excited I sound when talking about the afore-mentioned aspects. I look forward to the (not-too-distant) day when I join in on group hikes that include some climbing. I definitely plan to continue!!!”
– Joan Gielow
Helped me improve my golf game…

“Where I see the most change is in my other sports. I’m a cyclist and the slow motion strength training has really helped me with my hill climbing. Whenever I’m going up a really tough, steep hill, I’m extra happy that I do the slow motion strength training. Also, it has helped strengthen my core muscles, which have affected my golf game. My abs and lower back have helped me drive the ball further.”
– Carol Stephen, 
 Your Social Media Works
Improved balance, strength and coordination…

“Since beginning the training last spring, I’ve noticed significant change and improvement in my balance, strength and coordination. In particular the new strength in my back and abdomen has reduced my lower back problems and I’m able to squat and stand from low sitting/ kneeling positions with ease and grace. I appreciate your gentle support and ability in the sessions to “push” me, without pressure, to attain levels of strength I would never have reached without your skill and encouragement.”
– Janet Freeland
Better posture, fewer aches and pains…


”Slow motion, high intensity strength training has significantly improved my life – I have better posture, fewer aches and pains (especially less back pain). I love the combination of having a great personal trainer (James is wonderful!), an exercise routine that has really improved my body, and a routine that is truly challenging. And the length of the program is just right. Slow motion, high intensity strength training is wonderful.”
– Howard Clowes
Gentle enough, even for a senior…

“As a senior, I was sure slow motion, high intensity strength training would be too difficult for me. But with gentle, caring guidance from James, I got a wonderful start. This is truly good for everyone.”
– Jean Lutzker
Worked for me when other types of exercise didn’t…

“Slow motion, high intensity strength training has been a new experience for me. I was not able to increase my strength or tone with other types of exercise, but I have gained strength and tone at Alive! Fitness Studios. James is a good coach and motivator. This training has relieved the chronic neck pain I have suffered for years.”
– Elisë Clowes
The best thing for me – and those that love me…

“I have been with Alive! Fitness since March 2005 and have appreciated the professionalism and James’s unique concentration to detail. The atmosphere can be quiet or you can chitchat, James keeps the gym very clean, dust free, and cool (for those of us who feel good after our workout and don’t want to drive home sweaty). But this is just the physical aspect of my workouts.Sometimes I think I will just call in and say I’m tired, but I drag myself to Alive! Fitness and once I begin my routine, I start realizing that this is the best thing I could do for myself and for those around me. After thirty minutes, I feel rejuvenated with energy. James is excellent in keeping his (our) objective and that is to get a safe and beneficial workout. And thank you James for that coaching voice through my workouts, “come on just one more” or “try, try just one more!” And after seven months, I feel great and I feel strong and realize this is NOT just a one or two month commitment, but a lifestyle change of committing to getting good, reliable, and fun exercise through weight training. Yes fun.”
– Elaine Robesky
Able to ski for a full day without muscle aches…

“This is the exercise program I have always been looking for. After only a few weeks I have lost weight, have grown muscle, and feel stronger overall – physically and mentally. On my latest ski trip to Tahoe I really noticed the difference, being able to ski for a full day without muscle aches. James is an excellent trainer, who helps me to stay on track and get to the next level. I would recommend James and his slow motion, high intensity training method to everyone.”
– K. R.
My records show exactly how much I’ve improved…

“I have worked with a personal trainer in the past, but never had a sense I was increasing my level of overall fitness. Since working with James, I have noticed a significant improvement in muscle strength and general conditioning after just 8 weeks. James keeps meticulous records of each session, and on some of the exercises I have experienced a 10% improvement, which makes it very easy to stay motivated. Overall, I am thrilled with his expert coaching and look forward to reaching new goals with two 30 minute sessions a week. I highly recommend this method of training for anyone who wants to gain strength without a huge commitment in time.”
– Ona Andre
Lifting more weight than I have ever done before…

“I’ve worked with several different personal trainers over the last few years, and James is the best. I really like the detailed records he keeps of every exercise session. This way I can track my progress and try to beat my last weight or time. With James, I have been able to lift more weight than I ever have done before when working out on my own or with other trainers.”
-Therese Guittard
Increased flexibility, able to enjoy activities again…

“James has really helped me strengthen my knee and lower back. With his strength training methods I have increased flexibility and I can enjoy various activities again – walking, gardening and holding my grand baby! James has given me the best care in a comfortable, positive environment. I’m impressed with his caring, warm manner and commitment to help me feel my best. I definitely recommend James’ and this strength training method.”
– Patti McGinnis
Private atmosphere lets me concentrate on my workout…

“I’ve done resistance training on and off for years, but James and this strength training method have given me better results than any spa or gym. I appreciate James’ gentle, positive, knowledgeable manner and this strength training method’s efficiency. The private atmosphere at Alive! Fitness Studio, Inc. lets me concentrate on my workout – just two half-hour sessions a week is all I need to get great benefits. I sleep better, feel better and have more vitality. It really is “The Intelligent Workout!”
– Steven Guy Young
The key to improving my triathlon performance…

“As a triathelete, I really need to have a strong core. I am stronger after every workout – especially in my legs. I feel this particular strength training protocol is definitely the key to keeping my strength and improving on my performance in the triathlons I enter. James is a great one-on-one trainer; he knows just the right way to push me to get the most out of each workout, and I always have a great time with him.”
– Tony Aquino
Easily fits into my busy work schedule…

“I was referred to Alive! Fitness Studio, which uses the SafeStrength®; training method, by a client of mine who heard me complain about “no time to work out.” When I heard that I can gain strength (which would also protect me from bone loss, common for a 50 year old woman whose family suffers from osteoporosis), and that I can do this in 20-30 minute sessions using the SafeStrength®; method, I joined the Alive! Fitness Studio program. I found I could reach new strength levels that I had never attained before, and I’m only six months into the program. I now find that I look forward to my work-outs (which are only 2 times each week for 30 minutes each session), not only because I recognize it is the best thing I am doing for myself, but because I am happily amazed that I am getting very strong, I can fit it into my busy executives’ schedule, and I really enjoy James Bell’s professionalism, knowledge, and true caring about my well being.”
– Mary Kasaris
Formerly a skeptic, now a believer and advocate…

“I have always believed that more reps and faster reps is better. So I was skeptical that SafeStrength® training would be effective. But I have experienced noticeable strength improvements after a year of training with James. Now I am a believer, as well as an advocate of SafeStrength® training.”
– Herb Davis
Increasing my stamina…and strengthening my bones…

“A few years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia. My doctor told me that load bearing exercise was the best way to improve bone density without the use of drugs. I signed up with a typical fitness studio and did a moderate amount of exercising. My next bone density test showed no improvement.
In the meantime, my physician had heard of James Bell’s Studio and actually had been attending his training and urged me to switch last June. I was very interested to hear that James and his lovely wife, Taru Fisher, had personally experienced substantially increasing bone mass through this type of slow movement strength exercises.
While it is too early to test my bones, I am very impressed with the improvement of my physical strength and stamina in the relatively short time. I actually enjoy going to my strength training sessions. The equipment is first class, way above that of gyms. James is a fantastic trainer and very caring. I feel confident of going to my limits knowing that under James’ watchful eye I cannot hurt myself by doing something wrong.”
– Hermann Attinger
An inspiring environment…where I’m making progress!…

“I am very thankful for the referral to Alive! almost a year ago.  James Bell’s incredible knowledge about how all of my “bits and pieces” work together and what I need is very helpful in understanding my personal “fitness”.  I enjoy the sessions in an inspiring environment and am making good progress – which I could not say about the gym.  One of my main motivations for this program is increasing my bone density, and the correct use of this top quality, medical grade equipment makes this possible.
James and his wife, Taru, are a wonderful and caring team – enhanced by the welcome wag of their new, curly-haired trainer! 
All in all, I can hike the local hills much more easily, I feel much better and am truly more ALIVE.”
– Nancy Attinger
Pre-teen getting stronger…

“I’m writing this review while my preteen does her strength training circuit. I believe she’s Alive!’s youngest client. She’s an underweight kid who wants to improve her strength for dance and sports, and I’m very optimistic. I’ve been working out with James for over three years now; my husband sees him too, and I can’t thank him enough for our freedom from pain, improved posture, better energy, and independence while traveling. (I can haul anything into and out of overhead bins without any risk of killing myself or a fellow passenger!)”
– V. R.
Strength and toning after menopause…

“Alive! Fitness Studio is a one-of-a-kind workout experience, offering a super safe way to get strong and find your power at any age and any shape you’re in. I’ve been working with James weekly, and also worked once with Lori. Both trainers are extremely knowledgeable, super friendly, very supportive, and make a challenging workout lots of fun. I was amazed to feel my quads and triceps firming up again after just a few 20 minute sessions. Now I’m loving the overall feeling of strength and firmness.  I thought I couldn’t do that after menopause. Wrong! I have a renewed sense of power and control. And all of this in only 20 minutes per week! As a former dancer, I am educated in body alignment for safety, and I can say that the trainers make it a point to know their stuff, and personalize the workout just for you and your goals.  Taru, the co-owner is often around to chat with and adds to the friendly and professional vibe. The place is immaculate and conveniently located on Laurel near 101. Do yourself a huge health favor and go check it out.
– Jenny B.
Looking forward to something I use to hate…

“Suzanne has been encouraging and totally aware of my needs. She hits the perfect balance of personalized compassion and professionalism. What attracted me in the beginning was the short sessions, but I have come to look forward to something I hated in the past: exercise!”
– Elyce Melmon
Busy life? 30 minutes in street clothes…

“My wife and I have a local business that limits our time for activities. The 1/2 hour programs Suzanne has put together allows us to effectively add exercise and strength training to our lives and they are working for both of us. In less than one year and at age 66, Suzanne has moved me to where I feel stronger than I have ever felt in my life. So yes the program does work, the progression seems slow while you are doing it so just stick with it the results will come. Lastly when your life is very busy, the convenience of this process (30 minutes in your street clothes) makes this a program you can stick to.”
– Jim Meader and Jeanne Garde
Help with injuries…

“Alive! Fitness Studio is a good solution for my injury prone body. The structure is very effective for me and I appreciate the efficiency of a short work out. Suzanne is a motivation for me on a weekly basis. Thank you.”
– George Dale
Meeting the challenges of aging with courage and hope…

“I came to Alive Fitness two years ago because I wanted regular reassurance that a neurological condition I developed was not affecting my strength. Weekly training has not only given me proof and relieved me of my worry, I’m grateful for how it adds to my overall health and strength. 
One recent benefit stands out. My trainer, Mary-Helen McMahon, changed a setting on my abdomen routine so I have developed more of my high ab muscles, right under my chest–a place that has never been exercised before. Within weeks I stood up straighter, and feel I have an articulated, solid torso. This is a great change from 60 years of feeling like all legs and arms with a smoosh in the middle! I am aware that there is more space for all my internal organs and for the business of breathing. An added benefit: my straighter posture means my chest is held higher, which makes me look younger, too! 
One of my favorite sayings (and a true one) is, “Aging is not for sissies.” Alive! Fitness Studio helps me meet the challenges of aging with courage and hope. It helps me feel I’m being proactive about my future. And I love being able to literally and figuratively pull my weight even as I move into elderhood. Thanks, Mary-Helen!”
– Gail Whipple
SafeStrength®
 Every effort has been made to accurately represent our SafeStrength® strength training program and its potential. Any claims made of actual results can be verified upon request. The testimonials and examples used are individual results, may not apply to the average client and are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone will achieve the same or similar results. Each individual’s success depends on his or her health background, dedication, desire and motivation.

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