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Meet Pasadena Fitness Trainer: Dana McPherson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana McPherson.  Below you’ll find edited excerpts of our interview with Dana.

Dana, please share your story with us.  How did you get to where you are today?

I worked for years as a designer (my degree is in painting), but as I got older I found myself wanting to do something that felt more meaningful and fulfilling. Then when I was 34, my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. Through the years of dealing with his illness I found both sanctuary and stress relief at the gym. As his illness progressed, I worked on building my physical strength so that I could help him as he became weaker and needed more assistance. After almost four years, my husband died leaving me a widow- I was starting over at 38. The gym had proven to be such a valuable tool for me in maintaining my sense of self that I decided to pursue a career in personal training and nutrition coaching so I could share what I had learned with others, helping them to find strength they didn’t know they had, just as I did.

Has it been a smooth road?

Getting my business off the ground has not been easy. I do not come from a family of entrepreneurs, and striking out on my own with knowledge that I had faith in but that was still somewhat fresh was a bracing experience. I worked very hard, took any opportunity that came my way, and put myself out there by teaching classes, establishing a presence on social media and establishing my reputation largely via word of mouth. There were many times when I had to dig deep to find the confidence that yes, I was on the right path and it was a matter of staying the course to get where I wanted to be. After almost five years of determined work, I am proud to say that I have a full schedule of wonderful clients and classes.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future include continuing to provide fitness and nutrition coaching to women in the LA area. I’m working on expanding my practice to online coaching in hopes of reaching a broader audience. I continue to study fitness and nutrition to stay on top of what’s new and relevant and to help my clients sort through the vast amount of available information (and misinformation!) pertaining to health and fitness. I’d also like to dive a little deeper into corrective exercise, which would allow me to work more extensively with people recovering from injuries.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your story.  What was the hardest time you’ve had?

The hardest time in my career and life was right after my husband died. The career that had sustained me for so long (design), was no longer a source of joy or inspiration for me. I had lost so much- my husband, and a week later, my job- it was overwhelming. I had to start over but I was in shock and feeling lost, unsure of which direction was right for me. It was when I reflected on how fitness had gotten me through a very difficult time in my life and how strongly I felt about sharing that with other women facing their own challenges- sharing with them how to find strength they didn’t know they had- that I felt a sense of purpose and direction again.

Do you ever just stop and think WOW – I’ve made it?

I felt that my career choice and the hard work and sacrifices I had made had been worth it when I started hearing from my clients that they were feeling better about themselves, that they were feeling strong and self-assured and best of all- when they started recommending me to their friends. I worked so hard to get to this point in my career, I am humbled and so appreciative that people recommend me to their friends.


  • Sessions start at $75/hr.
  • Group rates are available! 

Contact Info:

  • Cell: (714) 401 8541
  • Email:
  • Facebook: McPherson Fit
  • Instagram: Mcpherson Fit

Check out her work below:

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