Personal Training (SQ)

"Working with people from all walks of life is personally very rewarding. Whether it is training with an 82 year old man or coaching a 16

 year old athlete, I take pride knowing that I have made a lasting impact on their lives. Please contact me to help you maximize your personal fitness plan." --Jason 

Jason Stowell, Fitness & Wellness Director

For general questions for to set up your FREE 1 hour orientation in Squirrel Hill, contact: 

Jason Stowell
Fitness Sales & Wellness Director
412-697-3521 

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Trainer Spotlight

Personal Trainer Tonja Ayala’s philosophy for personal training is obvious in her upbeat demeanor. “I like to make workouts fun,” she says. Tonja, has lived all over the U.S. as well as Spain and Germany because her father was in the military. As an adult she wanted to see different parts of the country so she took advantage of the ability to live and work in Alaska, Seattle, Colorado, Atlanta and other interesting places.

Tonja describes herself as a lifelong sports fanatic. She loves soccer and has been a Steelers fan since she was a child, even though she had never lived in Pittsburgh. She also loves volleyball. She coached at the collegiate, club and high school level for 16 years. She spends time in the summer working at volleyball camps like Slippery Rock, Penn State, Univ. of Oregon and others working with athletes and doing workshops for club coaches to teach them how to condition their volleyball players.

As a trainer, Tonja enjoys doing sports conditioning and performance, and has had great success training weight loss clients as well as military and firefighter candidates – all of her trainees have passed their physical fitness requirements.

A resident of Pittsburgh for the past six years, Tonja previously was a trainer with the YMCA both in Seattle and here in Pittsburgh. In addition to the JCC, she works as a trainer in Alcoa’s corporate fitness program. She played volleyball at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her BS in Recreation Management.

In addition to sports, Tonja’s other love is music. She loves to talk about all kinds of music while training clients. Two fun facts about her are that she has a black belt in Goju Ryu karate and she has performed three times as a teenager at The Kennedy Center with her Youth Orchestra. 

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Meet our Trainers
Jason Stowell

Jason Stowell

Personal: 
Working with people from all walks of life is personally very rewarding. Whether it is training with an 82 year old man or coaching a 16 year old athlete, I take pride knowing that I have made a lasting impact on their lives.

For general questions for to set up your FREE 1 hour orientation in Squirrel Hill, contact: 

Jason Stowell
Fitness Sales & Wellness Director
412-697-3521 

Laurie Wood

Laurie Wood

Education:
  • M.S. in Exercise Physiology, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S. in Exercise Physiology, University of Pittsburgh
Certifications: 
  • NSCA Certified Personal Trainer
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Red Cross CPR/AED Certification
  • Certified Spinning Instructor
  • BTS, Body Training Systems, Group Power/Group Kick/Group Centergy certifications
  • Physical Mind Institute Mat Pilates

Watch Fitness Tip: Almost There?

Marsha Mullen

Marsha Mullen

Education:
  • M.S. in Sports Medicine/Exercise Physiology
  • B.S.E. in Physical Education with Minor Athletic Training 
Certifications: 
  • NATA, National Athletic Training Association
  • BLS, Basic Life Support
  • Spinning
  • BTS, Body Training Systems, Group Power certification

Personal:
When I am not at the JCC, you will most likely find me at home with my family. I believe the major benefit of PT is finding out how hard you can push yourself. My JCC clients would best describe me as a task master with a big heart. I love exercise because of how I feel after the workouts. My favorite activity is gardening, playing with my son and cycling. 

Watch Fitness Tip: Role Model

Tonja Ayala

Tonja Ayala

Education:
  • BS in Recreation Management, Virginia Commonwealth University 
Certifications:
  • ACE (American Council on Exercise) for Personal Training
  • USA Volleyball for Volleyball strength and conditioning instruction

Personal: 
In addition to sports, Tonja's other love is music. She loves to talk about all kinds of music while training clients. Two fun facts about her are that she has a black belt in Goju Ryu karate and she has performed three times as a teenage at the Kennedy Center with her Youth Orchestra. 

George Bender

George Bender

Education: 
  • Post graduate work at Duquesne University & Catholic Theological Union 
  • Master's in Education, Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A. in Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
Certifications: 
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer since August 2006
  • Personal Trainer in the AARP collaborative program with ACE
  • Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) Certification through Yoga Fit and Yoga Alliance

Personal: 
When I am not at the JCC, you will most likely find me at Shadyside Hospital, a yoga studio, with my family or working out. I believe the major benefit of PT is providing support, encouragement and motivation to engage in safe, effective, efficient and goal directed exercise. My JCC clients would best describe me as caring, invested and motivating. I love exercise because it makes me feel great and helps to keep healthy and vital. My favorite activity is yoga, boot camp strength training, hiking and working my core. 

Doreen Costello

Doreen Costello

Education: 
  • B.S. Health & Physical Education
Certifications: 
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer
  • CPR/AED 
Joe DeAntonis

Joe DeAntonis

Personal:
One of only four certified specialists in Pennsylvania for Muscle Activiation Techniques, a unique and practical approach to evaluating and treating neuromuscular imbalances that may contribute to pain or injury. A personal trainer since 1994. Is an educator in exercise mechanics.

Watch Fitness Tip: Doing it Right 

Mark Haffner

Mark Haffner

Education: 
  • Bachelor Degree of General Studies, Unversity of Maryland 
  • Career Training Academy Massage Therapist
  • NLP Life Coach of California
  • Certified BLP Life Coach
Certifications: 
  • AFAA Personal Trainer, 12 years
  • NLP Life Coach - International Coach Federation
  • USPTR Tennis Professional, 12 years
  • In Line Skating Instructor 
  • Certified Senior Group Fitness Instructor
  • Licensed Pennsylvania Massage Therapist 
Bill Herman

Bill Herman

Education: 
  • B.S. in Marketing, Robert Morris University
Certifications: 
  • ACE Certified Trainer
  • TRX Certified Trainer
  • CPR Certified
Chris Howard

Chris Howard

Education: 
  • B.S. in Exercise Science, University of Pittsburgh
Certifications: 
  • ACSM Health Fitness Specialist
  • ACE Personal Trainer
  • ACE Advanced Health Fitness Specialist
  • AHA AED/CPR/First Aid 
Kevin Hutchinson

Kevin Hutchinson

Education: 
  • B.S. Sports Management/Exercise Physiology
Certifications: 
  • Powerline Personal Training Certification
  • CPR/AED
  • Professional Liability Insurance 
Jimmy Joseph

Jimmy Joseph

Education: 
  • B.S. in Health and Physical Activity, Unversity of Pittsburgh
Certification:
  • First Aid/CPR/AED

Personal: 
If I am not at the JCC, you will most likely find me working out or doing some leisure reading. I believe the major benefit of PT is getting new ideas for exercises and having someone to push you that extra step. I love exercising because it clears my head and it gives me a positive mood. My favorite exercise/activity is running. 

Christine Jowaiszas

Christine Jowaiszas

Education: 
  • Currently enrolled as Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science, University of San Francisco
Certifications: 
  • First Aid/CPR/AED

Personal:
When I'm not at the JCC, you would find me studing to be a physical therapist, running and enjoying the outdoors. My favorite exercises are running and plants. My clients would describe me as compassionate, positive and frienly. I love exercise because it's our way to give back to our body and it makes you feel great physically and mentally.  

Joshua Lyon

Joshua Lyon

Education: 
  • Currently enrolled as Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student, University of Pittsburgh 
  • B.S. in Exercise Science, Indiana Wesleyan University
Certifications:
  • CPR/AED
Military Service: 
  • 5 years Infantry Officer, United States Marine Corps  
Emily Michaels Quinn

Emily Michaels Quinn

Education:
  • B.S. in Sports Management with a concentration in Wellness and Fitness, California University of PA
Certifications: 
  • NASM CPT and American Heart Association First Aid/CPR/AED
  • BTS/MOSSA Group Centergy Certification
  • SilverSneakers
Holly Mihm

Holly Mihm

Education:
  • B.S. in Physical Education, West Virginia Wesleyan College

Personal: 
When I'm not at the JCC, you will most likely find me spending time with my family, driving my girls to their many activities or walking the trails of Frick Park with friends. I believe the major benefit of PT is the individual attention and encouragement. My JCC clients would describe me as a motivator. I love exercise because it makes me feel strong! My favorite activity is walking/running and skiing with my family.  

Matt Proskin

Matt Proskin

Education: 
  • M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with Concentration in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, California University of PA
  • B.S. in Movement Science with specialization in Exercise Science, University of Pittsburgh
Certifications: 
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Performance Enjancement Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine 

Watch Fitness Tip: Doing it Right 

Jeff Purcell

Jeff Purcell

Education:
  • B.S. in Sports Management, Robert Morris University
Certification:
  • AFAA Certified Personal Trainer 
Brittany Reese

Brittany Reese

Education: 
  • B.S. in Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh
Certification: 
  • First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Group Power Certified Instructor

Personal:
When I am not at the JCC, you will most likely find me exploring the city of Pittsburgh on foot. I believe the major benefit of PT is the senxe of accomplishment that a client feels after making improvements and meeting their personal goals. I love to exercise because it makes me feel healthy, strong and empowered. My favorite exercise/activity is group sports such as softball.   

Dan Rossi

Dan Rossi

Education: 
  • Masters in Science/Non-profit Management, Robert Morris University
  • B.S. in Administration & Management Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Certifications:
  • Member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Aerobic & Fitness Association of America 
Jason Rutkowski

Jason Rutkowski

Education: 
  • M.S. in Exercise Physiology, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S./B.A. in Accounting, Duquesne University 
Certifications:
  • Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Certified Basic Life Support Instructor, American Heart Association
  • Certified Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider, American Heart Association
Will Smith

Will Smith

Certification: 
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer 
Dmitri Theofanis

Dimitri Theofanis

Education:
  • Currently a second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student, University of Pittsburgh
Certifications: 
  • Certified Personal Trainer
  • First Aid/CPR/AED Certified
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Member, National Strength & Conditioning Association
Jamie Stoey

Jamie Stoey

Education:
  • B.S. in Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh
Certifications: 
  • CPR/AED
  • SilverSneakers MS-ROM and Cardio Circuit
  • Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease

Personal:
When I'm not at the JCC, you will find me hiking Frick Park searching for geocaches. I enjoy personal training because it gives me the opportunity to help people change and meet their goals. My favorite form of exercise is weightlifting and boxing. My clients would describe me as encouraging, passionate and animated.  

Education:

Currently enrolled as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student at The University of Pittsburgh.

B.S. in Kinesiology, Movement Science with a minor in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University.

Certifications:

CPR/AED Certified

Lifeguard

Experience:

Student DPT Clinical Affiliations: Pittsburgh, PA

Fitness Center Monitor: Rose E. Schneider YMCA, Cranberry Township, PA

Student Intern with Fitness Trainers Inc.: Paoli, PA

Student Intern in the Student Fitness Assessment Center: Penn State, PA

Friend Fitness Mentor: State College, PA

Placed in 4 Natural Figure Competitions


-          When I am not at the JCC, you will most likely find me studying or working out.

-          I believe the major benefit of personal training is gaining a better understanding of health and fitness and building a personalized skillset for achieving goals.

-          My clients would best describe me as optimistic, caring, and active.

-          I love exercise, because it never fails at making me and others feel good.  I am a firm believer in the idea that, “Exercise is medicine.”

-          My favorite activities include anything outdoors and activity-based such as skiing and hiking.