Company: Calabrese Fitness Consulting LLC
Certifications: ACE, NSCA, NESTA, AAHFRP
Education: Rutgers University, East Stroudsburg University
many people have figured out their future
in junior high. But while other
girls were writing about their
crush in their diaries, Kelli Calabrese
down in her journal that she
one day be an exercise therapist...
she had no idea what that meant.
already realized that she was happiest when she
cheerleading, playing softball, swimming or dancing. She
off the adrenaline rush of a game of tag in the neighborhood.
she already knew that she wanted to change the
of her family history, which included heart disease,
as a successful clinical exercise physiologist, health
expert, boot camp instructor and fitness consultant,
has more than broken her unhealthy family cycle;
has achieved her childhood dream by helping others do
like all dreams, it didn't happen immediately, or without
lot of dedication. For Calabrese, it's been a lifelong journey.
15, Calabrese joined a health club for the first time (she
also, by the way, prophesized in her journal that she would
day own a health club).
After getting her driver's license, the first place
drove was a local health club, where she got a job as a
Within four months, she was teaching group fitness
classes, and a few months later, she started the first of
college degrees she would receive in exercise science, the
degree of which is a Master's in exercise physiology and
â€‘ rough college, Calabrese worked as a personal trainer and
led fitness classes on campus, at New York sports clubs, at
gym and in homes. After graduating, she became the fitness
director at the fitness club where she worked when she was
Over the next 10 years, Calabrese advanced from fitness
to manager to corporate fitness manager to co-owner.
She also founded the first ACE exam prep school for the
trainer exam in 1994. Over nine years, she, along with
her staff , prepared more than 3,000 candidates to become
certified personal trainers with a 93% passing rate.
In 1996, Calabrese was co-owner and operator of four fitness
clubs; she headed up several corporate fitness centers,
including one for Calvin Klein Cosmetics and was running
Xercise Institute Exam Preparation programs. Her exhausting
schedule left little time for her newborn son. Pregnant with
second child, she knew there had to be a better way to share
her passion for fitness and fit in family as well.
One day while on the Stairmaster, Calabrese was reading an
called "Weight Loss on the Web." She emailed all
of the companies
featured in the article, and all the companies invited her
to come on board. eDiets made her the best offer. Calabrese
a leap of faith, leaving behind 14 years in the trenches of
clubs to share fitness via the Internet. She worked for
three years, leading webinars, hosting chats, participating
weekly interviews for major media sources and developing the
entire fitness program
for eDiets and eFitness.com. It was there that she connected
with mentor Phil Kaplan. She
credits Phil with many personal and professional lessons
such as helping her to write her first
book, Feminine, Firm & Fit, in 2002 and recommending her
to speak to Sir Richard Branson's
personal trainers at his club Virgin Active in Florence,
When eDiets decided to focus more on the growth of its
dieting platform rather than
its fitness platform, Calabrese moved on, becoming the
editor of Personal Fitness Professional
During that time, she also built the house of her dreams in
New Jersey, which included
a home workout studio. As neighbors learned she was a
trainer, her home studio
was suddenly filled with 40+ hours a week of clients without
a single penny spent on
marketing. Before long, she had to hire a trainer and found
herself doing her "real work"
between personal training sessions.
In January 2006, Calabrese's husband took a promotion that
landed them in Dallas,
Texas. Ready for a new adventure, she gave her clients to
her assistant trainer and moved
across the country.
While speaking at Club Industry in Chicago in October of
2006, she had lunch with
her friend Dr. John Spencer Ellis and inquired about his
Adventure Boot Camp program.
The next month, she flew out to California for training, and
in January 2007 opened
Argyle Adventure Boot Camp. More than four years later, she
continues to meet 40-70
women each morning for a workout and has also launched a men's
In 2008, Calabrese became the international master trainer
for Adventure Boot
Camp. She and Ellis also teamed up to create IMPACT (Intense
Accelerated Circuit Training), a turn-key group personal
Calabrese has also conducted media tours in recent years for
a variety of clients such
as Blue Buffalo (organic dog food), Old Orchard, Smuckers,
Crest, Kellogg's and many
others. She is the fitness expert for Montel Williams and Ab
Coaster and recently interviewed
for Jillian Michael's position as the female trainer on NBC's
the Biggest Loser.
But Calabrese is more particular these days about projects
she accepts. "The biggest
mistake I've made -- and I've made it more than once -- is
committing to projects that
find me," she says. "Often I get calls to be on a
panel, to be a partner or an expert for a
project from people who see my resume and want to connect to
Calabrese says that most of those projects have resulted in
false promises and fell
apart with no return on her sweat equity investment.
Today, Calabrese still maintains multiple projects at a
time, but they are of her choosing.
They include coordinating Fitness Fortunes Live, growing the
Brand while supporting the coaches, re-writing her boot camp
drill book, being a star
consultant for Isagenix, creating the health platform for
CPA Network Plus, speaking at
the Staley Institute and a variety of commitments to
writing, speaking and other various
forms of media to spread the fitness gospel.
When Calabrese considers the legacy she wants to leave, it
includes being known as
someone who contended for the highest possible good in all
areas of health and life. Her
personal legacy includes walking by faith and nurturing her
amazing family to live out
a purpose filled life.
What's Your Favorite...
...workout equipment? My body!
...healthy snack? Blueberries
...quote or saying? "Your joy is guaranteed. Your
circumstances are not."