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Meet Venice Fitness Trainer: Shellie Magana

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

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

I was chunky and overweight as a child. I hated working out. One time in gym class, I even faked being sick by carrying a can of soup and pretended to throw up just to get out of running the mile. Then one day in high school, as I sat in the Taco Bell drive-thru, I looked up and saw Dominic’s gym, and something just clicked. After, of course, eating my taco salad, I went inside the gym, got free passes, and was hooked. Working out came long before eating right. I was addicted to exercise from that point on. I’ve been a vegan for almost forever, since my early 20s. I always liked helping people. Even in school, I wanted to be a coach or a trainer of some kind. I wanted people to realize that working out isn’t just for athletes. It’s for everybody, no matter where you are starting at. I didn’t get certified until 2012 through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Then I decided to make my own business doing it. I already had my own dog walking business, and wanted to train as well. It’s been an interesting adventure so far. When I first started I had a lot of clients. I’ve had one client. Now I’m kind of obsessed with training people that really love exercise and want to do it. I’m not interested in helping people be stick-bone thin. I recently offered to train a certain amount of people for free. Those that want to get up and move. I’m obsessed with doing what I love. I have two passions, working out and dogs. That’s why I even have some clients who work out with their dogs. I want to help people eat healthier. That’s why I got my Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) certification from NASM. I basically want to do as much good as I can while I’m here. That’s why I run marathons, I run with Angel City Pitbulls (ACPB). It feels good to put two passions together and to do something bigger than yourself. If I hadn’t started working out, I could have never run the marathons or become a dog walker or trainer or have my own businesses. I’m super grateful and just want to give back, make people happy, and give them the gift of movement.

Has it been a smooth road?

It’s been a struggle and at times not a struggle. My biggest struggle with people who I train is getting people to be honest about their lifestyle. We all have a bad habit. No one wants to admit it. So, finding a balance of being firm yet gentle, has been a wee bit of a struggle.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan for the future is to help more people get healthy that really want it. Everyday people. To make people feel comfortable in their own skin, whatever size that is for them. And to have themed bootcamps to make it fun. I would like Run to have a food option that we can send out to our clients (working on that component now). I’d like to have more people in the bootcamps. And to find more people who are as excited about fitness as I am, and have a playful spirit. Let’s be real, losing weight is hard, but doing it with a serious state of mind makes it more difficult. And keeping it off is even more difficult. I know a lot of skinny people, but that doesn’t make them healthy. They’re actually very unhealthy and bone thin. I want to help people find that balance and keep it!

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

My hardest time in life would be my childhood. That’s when I think I picked up the food problem. I didn’t have friends and I didn’t speak until I was almost 5. There was a lot of chaos and when you’re a child you know you don’t have any control. Learning how to talk to people is something ironically I’m great at now. I guess I finally had something to say. I learned you can’t just sit in the corner, you have to speak up or others will speak for you.

In my career, I just had that one boss that motivated me to work for myself.

Anytime I can help anybody, is a day I feel like I’ve made it. I know it sounds corny, but I’m a big cheeseball. I grew up poor and without the means (not an athlete in school because there was no money and I was overweight), so I know what it’s like to struggle to be able to make those changes. So, if someone follows me on Instagram or anyone from my personal life reaches out, and I’ve helped them, I feel like I’ve made it.

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

One of the most in awe days I had was working out with Zoe Bell. Even as athletic and skilled as she is, she’s still open to learning new things. She’s got a great energy about her. Her name in Greek means “life”. And boy does she have a zest for it. She’s a friend and that was a WOW moment!


  • $35/session 

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Check out her work below:

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