Dee Litchfield July Member of the Month

Dee is a 66-year-old retired teacher.

What got you started working out?
I need a hip replacement.

How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
Semi-private training, 3 days a week.

What’s your favorite exercise?
Cardio, the bike!


What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
Built puffs(protein bar)

What do you find most challenging about working out?
Increasing weight for upper body exercises.

What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
Getting a hip replacement soon!

What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
You form great friendships and have great trainers.

What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
Using all of the weights.

What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
Doing upper body exercises.

What goals are you working on now?
Increasing weights for upper body exercises.

Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
I have been retired for ten years.

What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
The trainers being able to adapt exercises because of my hip.

Heather Dale June Member and Coach of the Month

Heather is a 39-year-old Paraprofessional and Bar Manager.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: Friend as me to join for kickboxing and I enjoyed the atmosphere.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: 4days: 2 kickboxing and 2 semi-private training sessions

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Deadbugs 不不不 No but the morning group is pretty impressed by my deadbug form. If they only knew, for years, that was my substitute for everything… I enjoy lifting and hitting numbers I never thought would be possible!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Fruit / cottage cheese

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Getting to the gym is the hardest for me.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: Love working out with the group of ladies in the morning. The encouragement to push and do hard things is the best. Taking on kickboxing and helping others feel good about themselves has been great too.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Start out with small goals! 

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: 不不不 Get off the bench without rolling onto the floor. No, I never would have even thought about benching 115# or squatting #200!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: My numbers and gains with lifting.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Losing fat and gaining muscle. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I’m completely fused from my neck to my tail bone. I don’t let it get me down. I’ve pushed myself to do hard things!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: The positive energy, all the encouragement and motivation! I have gained so many new positive friendships from the gym!

April Member/Trainer of the Month

Jeanine is a 36-year-old Therapist whos been training with us for 3 years and coaching for us for over a year.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I had done the 8 week summer challenge during COVID and felt really good about myself. We had then planned our first friendcation in years, so I wanted to look and feel my best!

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I work out roughly 3-4 days a week. I am part of the private training and semi private training groups.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Deadlifting

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Bananas and peanut butter!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Sometimes, it is simply just the motivation to go to the gym. Other times, I find it challenging to increase the weight out of fear of failure or lack of confidence.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: I know I always feel good after I work out – mentally, physically and emotionally. It is a great self care outlet!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: My best advice is to show up! The gym seemed so scary when I started and everyone was so welcoming, nice and willing to help. It is a pretty solid community to be a part of. 

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: Oof…I couldn’t do ANYTHING when I started! I do recall REALLY hating dead stop push-ups a lot, though. I hated not being able to do a regular push-up, let alone, stopping in the middle of it!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: My goal when I started was to do a pull-up…I still haven’t done that fluidly BUT I can (conventional) deadlift 235lbs! So that pull-up can’t be too far behind haha

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I would still love to get those pull-ups going AND I want to improve my bench (my new current nemesis).

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I have a pet fox named Eleanor Rigby after the Beatles which is one of my favorite bands.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: I love that the gym is a safe and inclusive place which makes strength training WAY less intimidating!

Jeanne Allen February Member of the Month

Jeanne is a 60-year-old Garden Center employee.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I had a Dr appointment for a check over.  Dr’s stated that I really needed to work on my core strength and my left side was pretty weak!  Shortly after that appointment a friend Kim B invited me to come workout with her.  Timing is everything!

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: During the summer I train 3 days a week.  During the winter I train 1 day a week and take aging strong Mondays and Fridays.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: I enjoy doing the lifts!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Greek yogurt!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Proper Technique.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: My motivation comes from wanting to make memories with my kids and grandson.  A year or so ago I was able to go parasailing with my daughter, this yr I was able to go to trampoline park with my grandson and was able to have alot of fun..  I need more adventures!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Go for it!! You are able! There is more to you than you believe. At The Strength Collective, they work with you as an individual, figuring out your needs to make your journey correct for you, motivating you to do more and be a better you!!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: I wasn’t able to get off the floor by myself … now I have no problems getting myself up.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Building up my core strength and improving my cardiovascular health.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Continuing to work on my strength and balance so I can be around for many more adventures with my kids and grandkids!

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I’m deathly afraid of heights and needles, but have a tattoo and went parasailing.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: I love the community and the trainers.

Jackie Cain January Member of the Month

Jackie is a 42-year-old real estate agent.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: In my mid 30’s I started gaining weight. I had planned to lose a few pounds then quit.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I come to 3 semi-private lessons a week. I like to come in on the weekends sometimes too for some quiet cardio.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: All the different types of squats.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: I love Kodiak’s Smores protein oatmeal.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: I have always hated exercising, so getting motivated to get up and go.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: Having a regular routine and knowing I feel so much better both physically and mentally after working out.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Just start. Get into a routine. Once you do, your body will remind you how much better you feel when you go.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: Get up at 5 am… Honestly benching 100 lbs and squatting 200 lbs never seemed possible, but I have exceeded both.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I don’t mind working out anymore. When I broke my wrist this past summer I actually missed coming to the gym. As soon as I was able, I got right back into my routine, and it helped me recover faster.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I have to have another surgery on my hand coming up so my goal is to work on my cardio and eating during the time I cannot lift. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I love elderly people. I love the crabby, lonely, talking too long about nothing old people. They have so much to teach us about life, while still needing to be shown how to silence their phones. They are adorable.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: The environment, both the size of the gym, as well as the people, make everyone feel like they belong.

Tessa Jones December Member of the Month

Tessa is a 29-year-old Communications Manager.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: Waaaaay back in the day, every Tuesday & Thursday, my dad would pick up my older siblings & I and take us to the YMCA to “workout” which was really just getting some shots up and walking around the track. That led into a sports career, so working out was a part of the regime. Now, being retired, I still love the endorphins working out provides and the feeling of moving my body and competing against myself. 

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: Typically, I’ll be in the gym 3x a week, that’s my sweet spot. I’ve do semi-private group training and private. I’ve taken a few kickboxing classes, but otherwise I get outside and walk or run when I’m not in the gym!

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: HIIT workouts, specifically, battle ropes. They may not like me back, but it’s such a rush & reward!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: VanDorn Nutrition Hydrate, Peach Mango flavored with an a Gala apple.

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: GETTING THERE! More than half the battle is setting the appointment & sticking to it when there’s so much going on, I want to sleep in, or I’m just not feeling it. Once I show up, it’s all uphill from there. 

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: The personal check-ins from Matt & Kat! The personal attention they give their clients is second to none and it truly holds me accountable. More so, they ensure the workouts work for ME whether I’m injured, traveling, or needing to switch it up. Having it tailored to what I need in that time is beyond helpful. Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to my accountability and life partner, Devon, who is just as competitive and prioritizes his health as much (if not more than) me. 

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Start with just an introduction talk. Just 20 minutes. Then, set out the clothes the night before (in the towel warmer if you have one). Next, set the alarm. Find your accountability partner & send them a snap or photo when you make it to the gym (or just set it to your story). Slowly but surely you’ll start showing up each day. Make it as easy on yourself as possible by preparing beforehand. 

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: A Turkish Get-Up! I had never done the exercise before in my life, so it was quite the challenge!

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: In 2015 I was in an ATV accident that changed my life. I had to switch my major from Kinesiology to Communication Studies because I couldn’t fulfill the physical requirements of some of the required classes. While in ICU for weeks, my dad would follow me in the hospital halls with a chair, just in case I fell or got too worn out. When I was released home, the goal was to walk to the end of the driveway, then to the mailbox, then around the block. Finally, just over a year later I was back in the gym and lifting once more. Since then, I haven’t looked back & have been able to become a stronger version of myself, though slowly, but surely.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Two major goals: 1) Being more consistent in getting to the gym (currently in my busy season & traveling, so it’s been more difficult.) 2) Enjoying running and eventually train for a half marathon!

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I love cheering on marathon races!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: At the Strength Collective, there’s constantly new faces joining the classes & you may not know one another, but you immediately are welcomed with words of encouragement & motivation – it’s a great environment to be a part of!

Zach Shaw November Member of the Month

Zach is a 33-year-old realtor and self-proclaimed hot dog slanger.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I need all the strength and endurance I can get in order to keep up with Harper.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I work out 3x weekly right now. Member of Strength Collective semi private training.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Bench and running!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: Bananas!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: Finding time to make it to the gym.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: I like to push myself to new levels. Working out is pretty much just playing a bunch of little games with yourself. Have fun with it!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Get your butt in here! In my opinion, the hardest part about going to the gym is going to the gym. Once youve been here a few times and start to develop a routine it gets kinda fun.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: General mobility. I can move around so much easier now than when I first started the gym.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Being able to run like Forrest Gump!

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I tore my ACL/meniscus and had surgery earlier this year. My goal is to get into better shape than before my knee injury. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I could watch pimple popping videos for hours.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: Belonging to a tribe who wants to see me succeed. Its great to have knowledgeable trainers who will keep you accountable and have your back. I also value the friendships Ive made at the gym. You develop a camaraderie when youre getting your butt kicked together.

Donna Benjamin October Member of the Month

Donna is a 58-year-old retired teacher!

Q: What got you started working out?
A: I needed to lose weight to have knee replacement surgery.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?
A: I work out 3 times a week. I am taking advantage of the semi private training sessions.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?
A: I love bench press, and stretching always feels so good!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love an RLS! (ridiculously large salad)

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?
A: Anything cardio is a challenge because my knee pain makes it difficult to do weight bearing exercise for any length of time. I have found that the recumbent elliptical and the rowing machine are my friends!

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?
A: Having the training sessions is a big motivator. I like the social aspect of it. Since I don’t work outside the home, coming to the gym helps me get out and about and seeing friendly faces. And obviously the knee surgery is a big motivator. I am also a singer, so being in shape helps me with that as well. I have to give a shout out to my husband, Bret Benjamin who is one of my best cheerleaders. Also, all of the staff are always so encouraging. Jenna, Kat, and Matt are always giving helpful hints and giving me things to think about to improve my healthy lifestyle.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?
A: Do it! Working out has helped me in so many ways! You will feel stronger. Your balance will improve, the feeling of accomplishment is worth all of the sweat you put into it. Think of it as an investment in yourself!

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?
A: I could barely get up and down off the floor. Now I can do it several times in a workout.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I am most proud of the fact that I have made working out a habit.

Q: What goals are you working on now?
A: I have 10 more pounds to lose and then I can have my surgery! Also, the exercises I am doing will make the recovery better for me.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:
A: I am a singer/songwriter and I am beginning to create content online.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?
A: I feel like there is a strong sense of community here. Also, it’s so nice to see Walter hanging out! He’s so cute!

Kim Noe September Member of the Month

Kim is a 35-year-old Program Manager.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I was at a pivotal point in my life where I had a drastic change. I knew that if I didnt start taking care of myself, physically and mentally I wouldnt become my best self. 

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: 3-4 days a week, the 6AM club only!

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Sumo deadlift – its one exercise that I totally kick butt!

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack?

A: A high protein breakfast of eggs with fruit

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: The first week of a new routine – you are always sore because you are working new muscle groups

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: Knowing that I perform my best mentally and makes sure my clothes fit better.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym?

A: Find your why. Not the easy way of I want to lose weight, but the deeper why.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: Pull-ups, even if they are assisted with the band.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Sumo deadlift of 230!

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: Im working more on the food aspect now. Eating because it fuels my body instead of helping me cope with stress, emotions, etc. 

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know:

A: I was born without wisdoms teeth. 

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: The community – I wouldnt be nearly as committed if it werent for my 6AM club – the sassy and encouraging group. 

Jessica Wiley August Member of the Month

Jessica is a 40-year-old Assurance Manager.

Q: What got you started working out?

A: I was having knee issues and my doctor told me to lose weight and strengthen my leg muscles. I did a lot of research regarding diets and various exercises and came to the conclusion that lifting weights and increased walking was the best thing for healthy weight loss. The Strength Collective was running an 8 week special, so I signed up.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of?

A: I attend the semi-private training sessions three times per week.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise?

A: Deadlift and bench press!

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out?

A: I’m a single mom of three kids, so finding time between all four of our schedules. However, there are so many times to choose from at the Strength Collective, I can usually find three days that fit in my schedule.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly?

A: After a while, I genuinely started to enjoy it. Other than the physical benefits, it has also improved my mental health. It helps reduce my stress and I just feel better after a workout.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now?

A: Oh, I have hit so many personal records! I had never used weights before I started. I couldn’t even lift the 35 lb bar in any exercise. Now I can lift 100 lbs or more depending on the exercise.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I set a goal at the beginning of this year to bench 100 lbs. I hit that this past March.

Q: What goals are you working on now?

A: I just had ACL reconstruction surgery. So my goals right now are getting back to being able to squat and deadlift.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective?

A: All the trainers are knowledgeable and friendly. They know when to modify something for you and also when to push you. Even the other members are friendly and helpful. I don’t feel intimidated when I am there. It’s a safe and inviting atmosphere.