Melissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As young girl growing up in Michigan, my upbringing was not typical by any standards. Instead of princess parties and tiaras, I was showing off for my Dad’s police officer friends with push-ups and pull-ups. As the daughter of a police officer who was fully trained in SWAT and material arts, my Dad had me in Karate at a very young age. Making sure I knew what hard work, discipline, and dedication was early on. Little did I know that years later, I would choose a career in fitness and still practice martial arts to this day.
When I was in high school, local businesses often advertised to the students when they were hiring. One day I noticed an ad hanging in the hallway. The request was for someone to clean and wipe down equipment in return for a free gym membership. I thought it was perfect for me, and so began my early introduction into gym life. Before I even had a driver’s license, I was learning about workout equipment and began developing a passion that would lead the rest of my life. It didn’t take long for me to become friends with the trainers and instructors that taught classes. After attending a number of sessions and learning choreography I was asked if I would get certified and join the team.
I continued to teach at the gym throughout high school while juggling sports, academics, and personal life. I enjoyed most all sports, but had a niche for Volleyball. I was offered an athletic scholarship to attend College, where I studied Social Work. I felt that much of what a Social Worker involves would be very applicable to my work as a trainer and instructor. While attending College and playing Volleyball, I continued to teach fitness classes at several local gyms to make ends meet. I was even asked to teach an intramural kickboxing classes at my College that was offered to students and faculty.
Soon after finishing College, I met and married my husband. As we began our family, I still found time to work out, study Krav Maga, Tae kwon Do, and train at local gyms. But as my pregnancy progressed it became increasingly difficult to exercise. For the first time since I was a little girl I couldn’t go to the gym. Being pregnant and using food to ease my morning sickness, combined with not being able to train, was a vicious cycle. I went through this process three times with my three beautiful daughters but I wouldn’t change it for the world. At my heaviest had gained close to 60 lbs. during my last pregnancy.
I knew internally what needed to be done after my last pregnancy, and so began my personal training career and specializing in and developing my “body after baby workouts”. I documented all of my own as well as my clients progress, capturing what worked and what didn’t. I also learned how I could apply my training methods to all of clients, regardless of their age or gender. I discovered that a combination of specific cardio movements, along with intense resistance training, motivation, and dietary guidance was what was needed to get that before baby body back.
As my family’s life became much more involved, I understood why many women believed that they didn’t have time for themselves. I promised myself that as figured it out, I would teach others to do the same. I was raising daughters, keeping a household running, managing my business, and still finding time for my own health. From this real-life experience I started developing programs and fitness guides of sorts. I created the programs so that other women, and men, could find the health success that I had achieved.
I have 20+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry. I now run an in-person boutique style personal training gym, an on-line virtual based training business, and hold a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I still teach weekly fitness classes at my local gym and love being able to motivate and encourage my clients. As a wife, mother of three, and business owner, I am proud to say that I have discovered through my own life experiences that you can find balance between health, fitness, and good nutrition no matter how chaotic life can be.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road by any means. I have had many ups and downs in regard to achieving my own personal fitness goals as well as building my business. When it comes to fitness, trying to lose body fat, increase muscle, and/or just improving your overall health is all trial and error. You truly have to learn what works and what doesn’t in order to succeed…. And that takes time! However, that trial and error is what allows you to grow and become a better fitness instructor, personal trainer, and business owner.
My biggest advice would be to learn to grow through your own personal fitness journey first before helping others. Get familiar with the real life struggles that clients are going to face. This will allow you to assist them with compassion and empathy.
We’d love to hear more about Melissa Vogel Fitness.
I guess I answered a lot of this in my bio, but I will say that I am most proud of everything I have accomplished 110% on my own. I have single handedly (well with the help of my husband:-) choreographed, designed, organized, and created every single pieced of my work seen on my website and workout programs. For example, just my Focused and Fit program alone we took over 650 photos. I did all of my own hair and makeup, set design, wardrobe, choreography, photo editing, and all production; in addition to creating the actual workout program. With only the help of my amazing husband we did the work that usually a team of 10-13 hired staff would do. It was exhausting and the absolute hardest work I’ve ever done in my entire life but I can say I DID IT! I pushed thought all the negativity, blood, sweat, and tears. When most people would of quite or hired out the work, I dug in deeper and pushed through. I wanted to be able to hold my labor of love in my hands one day and pass that on to my daughters….and I did.
Also, something that sets me apart from others is that I have enough faith and belief in my clients for them until they are ready to take over. The moment a client contacts me or they walk through my gym door I look at them with a complete open mind and have absolute faith that together we can make a positive change to their health and fitness. I know several trainers that take one look at their client and immediately begin to make a mental list of a million and one reasons why this client is never going to drop weight or listen to their advice. I totally believe that that negative energy immediately has an impact on the client’s outcome. I don’t judge ANYONE and regardless an if he or she has 100lbs to lose or 10lbs of muscle to gain I WILL BELIVE IN THEM…and sadly enough most clients that come to me have failed with other trainers or didn’t succeed on another programs. They already feel like they have failed and that there is just no help for them. Until they meet me! I help them find their inner fire and bring their spirit back to life. When you believe in someone for them, it doesn’t take long for them to start to believe it too and then move over into the driver’s seat.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I’ve read almost all of Robert Kiyosaki books and complete believe that we are all meant to live an abundant life. That is one of the reasons that I take so much pride in doing my own work and have such a strong work ethic. My other favorite podcast right now is called Project Me the Podcast with Tiffany Carter. She is amazing and always sharing success tips and other strategies to live you best life yet!
- Pro Membership for my online training and community is $6.99 per month
- “Gym Class Hero” Membership for more customized workout programs is $16.90 per month
- “Choose to Lose” Membership is $24.99 per month for more personalized and individual workouts.
- “Going the distance” Membership is $149 per month for more 1 on 1 time, individual workouts and motivation. Minimum 3 month commitment.
- Focused and Fit printable workout, 6 week in-home workout program $49.95
- Torch and Tone printable 12 week workout program $79.95
- Ripped and Ready printable 12 week workout program $79.95
- Website: www.
- Email: info@
- Instagram: melissavogelfit
- Facebook: https://www.
facebook.com/ melissavogelfitness/?ref= bookmarks
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/
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.