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Meet Julia Morichelli of 626 FITNESS in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Morichelli.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It was 1982, and I was an actress in between theater jobs so, I applied to a new gym opening up in a strip mall. Fitness was just starting to take off thanks to the addition of Aerobic (Group Exercise) Classes.

The gym only had one locker room so, three days a week was women’s workouts, three days a week was men’s workouts, and we were closed on Sunday. I worked full time for a year, but then when back into theater. That job led to vocal damage and ended my career in theater at the age of 23. I wanted to go back into fitness, but you really couldn’t make much money in fitness at that time. The creation of group exercise and personal training certifications didn’t come about until the late ’80s.

I made a choice to help friends with their gym and teach group exercise while, pursuing another career. In the early 90’s, personal training and fitness instructor jobs were taking off so, I quit my full-time job, took two part-time fitness instructor positions and taught group classes. Eventually, this would leed me to positions such as Fitness Director, Group Exercise Director, Kids Fitness and Director of a 30,000 sq foot health and racquetball club.

Then in the mid-’90s, I went to a class for the APEX nutrition and fitness program certification; I knew by the end of the first day that I had to work for this company so, I packed my bags and moved across the country to San Francisco I ran the program with the hope that I would be hired by them in two years. Well, thanks to my varied experience in the industry, I was hired by them in nine months.

A few months later, I was traveling the country as a National Instructor for the APEX Fitness Group & the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Eventually, I became very ill and learned I had several auto-immune disorders. The doctor advised me to stop traveling and with much sadness, I compiled. I took a job as the Corporate Director of Fitness of a chain of all women’s club and then was recruited for the same position for a small chain in Los Angeles. This position gave me more autonomy and money.

Well, this turned out to be the worst job of my life, and I decided if, I was going to work 60 hours a week, it would be for myself. Also, I realized I needed to help my immune system so, I decided that going back into training would allow me to refocus on my health. After decade of training as an Independent Contractor, I decided it was time to open 626 FITNESS!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Not at all, but then again, life is one bumpy ride! The bumps and adversities teach you much-needed lessons on how to succeed in business and life.

Learning how to communicate with different types of people was a challenge for me. I have ADHD, and while,  that has helped me adapt easily and think quickly on my feet, it made communicating in a concise manner quite a challenge for me. Some people loved me, and others could be overwhelmed or annoyed by me. I had to learn to take a step back, breath and slow down.

My health has physically been my greatest struggle and my greatest asset professionally. It has made me a much more understanding and patient person and has helped me broaden my client base. I now work with clients for general fitness, integrative movement, senior training, pelvic floor health, incontinence issues, scoliosis and much more.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the 626 FITNESS story. Tell us more about the business.
626 FITNESS + WELLNESS is a boutique studio that is truly welcoming to all people.

We offer Personal Training, Yoga Training, Integrative Movement, Pelvic Floor Health, Senior Training, Body Work, and much more. We are truly one of the most functional studios and are highly educated in the study of Applied Functional Science (AFS). We can truly say, we are one of the most unique and client centered personal training studio in on our area. What I am most proud of is the way we make people feel both physically and mentally. Our goal is to make anyone who walks through our door feel comfortable and welcomed.

I myself am a Fellow of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute and am only 1 of approximately 1,000 people to hold that title. This allows me to offer unique and much needed services to all levels of clients.

We always train our clients from where they are most successful and then we progress them from that point on. Every client’s wants, needs, goals, and lifestyle are different so, we must create an environment that leads to their individual success.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
No! I believe luck is where hard work meets opportunity. You to have answer every time opportunity knocks, or it will pass you by.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1021 E. Walnut St Suite 101
    Pasadena, CA 91106
  • Website:
  • Phone: 626-765-6264
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @626fitness
  • Facebook: 626 Fitness
  • Twitter: @626fitness

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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