Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Marisa Steiner


Though a lifetime exercise enthusiast, Marisa didn't pick up a barbell until her late 30's. She immediately fell in love and a couple years after she decided to get a little competitive. Just a few days shy of her 40th birthday, Marisa took first place in her first show. 

As a busy career woman of 3 young boys, she exudes what it means to be a strong woman. She shows us how exercise can enhance your quality of life and no matter how crammed your schedule, you always have time to take care of yourself. 


Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Marisa. I just turned the big 4-0 (and still can’t believe it)! I am a wife and mom of three boys-8, 6, and almost 4 years old and work mostly from home for the Department of Homeland Security as an Immigration Analyst in DC. I am an athlete -so I have been told-and after a lifetime of moving my body I am actually starting to believe that this term really does apply to me....

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Member Spotlight: Melanie Testa

A Note From Coach Kellie Davis:

 One of the greatest gifts in the work that I do is the real human connection I make with the Fit Thrive community. One of my fondest and deepest connections I’ve made in the four years I’ve run this site is with Melanie Testa. Melly came to Get Glutes after working with one of our founders Marianne Kane. She was a sponge; absorbing everything she could about fitness, asking questions like a precocious child who’d discovered something utterly fascinating in the world. She purchased Strong Curves and completely submersed herself in our weightlifting culture.

Melly came to us after a double mastectomy and round of chemotherapy. She opted out of reconstruction and made the decision to heal through fitness. Her fitness journey began during chemo and she hasn’t stopped since. Her journey is nothing short of inspiring as she has made huge waves in the body positive community. She chose not to lose her identity with her breast,...

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Member Spotlight: Annie Fields

Annie Fields has been an integral part of the Fit Thrive and Get Glutes community for years. She embodies every essence of a strong, beautiful woman. If you've been in our forum, you've likely met Annie. She is the first to greet new members, is always ready to answer questions, and is our biggest cheerleader.

I'm thrilled to have Annie as our Member Spotlight as she shows us we can be fit and strong at any age. I look forward to aging as gracefully as Annie and have learned so much from her over the years. We hope you enjoy this interview with Annie brought to you by Keeley Novotny.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived there until I was 22. I have two brothers who are still there with their families, as is my 102 year old mother. At the age of 22, as part of my education, I spent a couple of months in Switzerland and a couple of months in England, going to school part time and working as an intern part...

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Why You Need to Sleep More and Worry Less


Hustle. Grind. Hustle. Grind. Go, go, go!

It seems like everyone’s mantra these days is “Hustle” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” 

I can say GUILTY AS CHARGED in recent years after powering through grad school at lightning speed, re-launching my website (twice in one year) and putting out a new product while working on a second one. 

Some nights I would fall asleep around 1AM and jolt out of bed at 4 the same morning because my brain was telling me I had this big to-do list. The list was withering away in my pocket, on the verge of evaporating, which meant my entire life was meaningless because I didn’t accomplish the 75 things I planned on doing.

The success clock was ticking. It drove my every move and I was hungry to be all things to all people.

Soon I became the snarling, rabid junkyard dog you see in every coming of age movie. The slightest wrong move by anyone in my life set alarms off in my head. My teeth gnashed...

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How To Get Out of A Strength Rut

I remember when I first started working with Bret back in 2009. I’d never hired a coach before, nor had I followed a proper program—or even learned how to lift correctly.

My programming previously relied on a notebook and a round-robin approach to machines and dumbbells.

Oh, these machines work your back. Let’s do all of those. I know lunges, squats, leg extension, and leg press work the legs. Let’s do all of them today. ALL OF THEM!!!

Once Bret put me on a program and told me stop doing all the things all the time, my body responded quickly. Oh, so quickly. It was glorious!

I was hungry for more.

That lasted a good 18 months and then I stalled out. Big time. I pushed through attempting heavier lifts even though my body was warning me against them. Soon I was in a cycle of injury, recovery, slowing re-introducing the gym, and kaput again.

I was stuck. I was angry.

All my hard work seemed fruitless as I foresaw my destiny to only be so strong; to...

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9 Tips to Stay Focused As Kids Go Back To School

In parking lots all across America, parents high-five each other while overflowing cups of coffee spill onto freshly pressed dress pants. The first day of school bell rings like songs of joy in our hearts.

Though it’s great to get back to your regular scheduled programming, one thing that comes along with a new school years is a crazy schedule. Whether you are a working or stay-at-home parent, the calendar fills up fast and daytime hours seem to fly by like jets.

As a working mom of two growing kiddos, I know this story all too well. Sports, music, friends, and all the fun after school activities add up to a crammed calendar and exhausted parents.

But they are worth every lost moment of sleep.

The busier you get the more important it is to stay on top of your fitness and nutrition regimen—which sounds like the ultimate conundrum. We get so busy that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves, right?

Or is that just some lame excuse? Perhaps time is a precious...

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Naomi Sandoval


Coach Kellie & Naomi - March 2016


You discovered your love for fitness and strength training in college. Tell us a bit how your journey has evolved through the years.

In college, I discovered weights and have loved lifting ever since. In my early 20s, I discovered white water canoeing. That's the first sport I'd ever done. Learning to learn for a formerly sedentary completely uncoordinated child was a big deal. I worked very hard to overcome fear and become a solid paddler in my 20s and early 30s, using weight lifting to support this goal. I tried a few other sports like mountain biking, snowboarding and skiing, but didn't really excel at any, no matter how hard I tried.

Once I became a mom, I gave up adventure sports entirely and getting to the gym was a series of comebacks. After the birth of my second daughter, I stopped trying. I put on about 35 pounds very suddenly and got into a rut.

Enough was just enough after a few years of this. I joined a gym and worked...

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Fit Thrive Member Spotlight: Kelly Ramirez

As part of our ongoing feature, Member Spotlight, Coach Kellie Davis chatted with Get Glutes Lifetime Member, Kelly Ramirez, to learn more about her inspiring story from absolute beginner to thriving fitness brand.


Hi, Kelly! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Get Glutes has enjoyed following your journey over the past few years. Tell us a bit about your background and why you came to Get Glutes.

For years I have struggled with my weight. It's the same story as it is for many, life happens. When your daily life is happening so fast who thinks about staying healthy. I often thought what does healthy even mean? To me it was just not getting sick as much.

I never even noticed how out of control my weight was getting until it was completely out of control. It was total denial on my part.

I've tried more diets that promised rapid results than I can even remember. It was always the same story. Rapid results that made feel on top of the world to not being able to maintain...

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Mariah's Story: Because I Decided

 Mariah, everyone at GetGlutes is in awe of your transformation both inside and out. We are really excited to dive a little deeper into your story. Tell us a bit about your background. What was life like growing up for you as far your activities and nutrition?

I grew up in a family of six with a strong sense of family. Both of my parents are excellent cooks and most of my meals were home-cooked and eaten as a family around the dinner table. We rarely had junk food in the house and the only beverage we had besides water was sweet tea. I have always loved sweets and struggled with being an emotional eater. Whenever I had the opportunity to eat sweets, I took full advantage of it. I started playing softball the summer before my freshman year of high school.

Prior to that my physical activity was inconsistent and limited. Once I started playing softball, I became passionate about it. My dad and I practiced nearly every day. I played tournaments on the weekends, high school games...

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From Strong Curves to Get Strong: Lesa's Gorgeous Transformation

As part of our ongoing feature, Member Spotlight, Coach Kellie Davis chatted with Get Glutes Lifetime Member, Lesa Smith, to learn more about her experience in training with both the Strong Curves and Get Glutes program.


Hi, Lesa! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your inspiring story and transformation with us. Let’s jump right in. Tell us a bit about yourself and your fitness history.

I'm 45 and am married to my best friend who is my biggest supporter of my passion for fitness. I have a full-time career, two wonderful kids and 4 German Shepherds. I began working out when I was around 19-yrs old but honestly, I would walk a mile on the treadmill and follow that up with a McDonald's burger and fries--super-sized, of course.

I finally learned to eat a little better but would spend countless hours doing cardio as punishment for eating things such as pizza, chips, or ice cream. Throughout the next 20+ years, I became more involved with running and...

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