Melissa Oberti and Dina Juve started FitnessSocial in 2012. Specializing in Kettlebells and TRX, FitnessSocial brings together support and fitness with small group classes and one-on-one training in a boutique environment.
Tell Us a little about yourself, your business, how you sweat and what you do when you’re not sweating.
Dina and I started FitnessSocial in 2012 when we saw there was a need for a boutique fitness studio in the Central Valley. We really wanted to fill that void and bring together fitness in a venue that provided support, networking and motivation in a safe, non-judgmental environment. FitnessSocial was the first boutique studio to bring together fitness and a support system that was tailored to meet individual needs. We specialize in Kettlebells and TRX, but we also get our sweat on with Barre, Yoga, HIIT, Circuit, traditional ballet, and PoundFit. We use a variety of training tools in our group classes, private group classes, and personal training sessions to always keep you sweating!
When we aren’t sweating at the studio we are always looking at the latest fitness trends, giving back to our local community or spending time with our kids. It is a constant juggle that keeps us sweating outside the studio as well!
In addition to losing over 20 pounds, I also found a great group of supportive women that would share advice and help motivate each other, hence the concept of FitnessSocial. Bringing fitness and a supportive community together.
Tell us the story of how you got started. How has it evolved?
I (Melissa) met Dina in 2009 after training and completing the San Francisco Nike Marathon through Team in Training. I was not happy with how my body looked after 6 months of training and I was looking for something quick and effective to help me lose weight and get the body I desired.
I met Dina who was the first RKC certified female trainer of Kettlebells in the Central Valley and instantly fell in love with the workout. After only 2 weeks I started to see changes in my body and soon became addicted to Kettlebells. In addition to losing over 20 pounds, I also found a great group of supportive women that would share advice and help motivate each other, hence the concept of FitnessSocial. Bringing fitness and a supportive community together! Dina really paved the way by bringing Kettlebells to the Central Valley and getting women to use the Kettlebells as a training tool to quickly tone up, lean out, and lose weight!
Dina’s journey was much different than mine. Dina encountered a lot of obstacles in her life. She was diagnosed with arthritis at age 6 and lived a very unhealthy life, gaining 80lbs. in the process. At age 21, feeling depressed and unhappy with the way she felt inside and looked outside, she took control of her life. Her 4 year-old son as a big motivator in making this lifestyle change. Dina decided she had no other choice but to change a lot of her unhealthy habits if she wanted to provide a better life for her son and be a positive role model. Her life began to change in so many ways as she started making small daily changes. As she became healthier, she became more confident and eliminated a lot of unhealthy people and habits in her life. Soon she started feeling better both inside and out!
Dina had the opportunity to change her career to health and fitness over 20 years ago when she moved to Fresno. She founded Kettlebells of Fresno and started working with clients in both nutrition and personal training and helped many of her clients reach their goals. She learned that her passion in life was helping women and men feel amazing both inside and out. Dina quickly outgrew that business and soon FitnessSocial was created.
One of the main goals when planning the studio was to make sure everyone that walked into FitnessSocial felt comfortable no matter what size or shape they were and regardless of their fitness, health or wellness journey. This was important since Dina never felt comfortable stepping into a gym until she was 25 due to low self-confidence and just being uncomfortable with her body image. Those same goals are still upheld every day at the studio and clients find the studio to be a safe and nurturing environment to help them reach their fitness and nutrition goals.
What changes have you made personally?
When you are dealing with clients in the health and fitness industry, it is very personal and it can also be a very emotional journey for the clients. Having a boutique studio requires us to be emotionally involved in the client’s lives which takes a lot of one on one time and personal attention. We see every client as an individual and we love empowering and educating men and women to feel good both inside and out. Sometimes that requires us having to respond to texts, calls, and emails during the night and over the weekends. Our clients are like family to us so it is hard for us to say “no” or not respond to requests during “off hours”.
How do you balance it with the rest of your life?
It is a constant juggling act between work and family. I think over the years we have both come to realize that family needs to come first. That isn’t always easy when you run your own business and provide a personal service. Our clients become like family but our kids are growing up so fast, so although we never have that full balance, we both support each other in making sure we take the time to spend with our kids, family and friends and to take some time for ourselves as well.
We want to make living healthy a “lifestyle”. Health is truly our wealth.
What is your healthy living philosophy?
Everything in moderation. Obviously if you have a goal, have been yo-yo dieting, or trying to lose weight for a long time we are a bit stricter with nutrition plans and exercise, but overall we want to help you live the life you want in the body you feel best in. We want to make living healthy a “lifestyle”. Health is truly our wealth!
What’s next for you personally? What’s next for FitnessSocial?
We are always looking for new ways to help our clients live the healthiest and happiest life possible. We look to find exciting and new things to come to the Central Valley and are consistently juggling new projects and opportunities. We are grateful for the future and have a lot in the pipeline.
What advice do you have for someone wanting try this for the first time?
Love what you do and have a passion for it. If you love what you do then it really isn’t a job. Be reliable and caring! An individual has put their trust in you to help them with their health. If you really don’t want to help others then this is probably not the career for you.
We make sure that everyone that walks into FitnessSocial feels comfortable, no matter what size or shape they are and regardless of their fitness, health, or wellness journey.
What makes FitnessSocial unique?
We were one of the very first boutique fitness studios in the Fresno/Clovis area. From day one, we made it part of our mission to partner with local, nonprofit organizations. FitnessSocial makes sure to give back to our local non-profit charities at least once a quarter, if not more. We know that we can help make the community and world a healthier, better and fitter place for everyone one positive step at a time. Giving back to the local community is very important to both of us as well as being able to help educate the community about all of the great local resources these amazing agencies provide!
We also take a personal interest in all of our clients. We make sure that everyone that walks into FitnessSocial feels comfortable, no matter what size or shape they are and regardless of their fitness, health, or wellness journey. Clients find the studio to be safe, motivating, and in a non-judgmental environment where they can reach their individual goals.
Dina is also the city leader for Carbon38 which is a community group to break down competition barriers and bring fitness instructors and studios together. She just started this new role in January and has already had very successful results. If we all support each other we can truly make the world a healthier place to live. It does take a community and that is what the health and fitness industry should really be about.
Our motto at FitnessSocial: Real People – Real Results
Want to try out FitnessSocial with Valley Sweat Life? Here’s your chance!