Before I started training with Terra three years ago, I had not set foot in a gym for at least a decade. I had gained about 30 pounds over two years and was grossly out of shape. Hiring Terra has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At the beginning, she was very patient with my lack of experience and took the time to understand my fitness goals. She encouraged me to push past what I thought I could do, but never in a way that was forceful or intimidating. As I made progress, Terra’s approach evolved with me so I was continually challenged. As a result, I dropped four sizes and am in the best shape of my life. I am not exaggerating when I say that Terra changed my life! She is truly committed to seeing her clients succeed and is willing to do whatever she can to make that happen.
— Shelby Corman, Pharm D
Terra is a fantastic instructor who genuinely cares about her clients and works very hard to help them achieve their goals, whatever they may be.

I lost a little over 40 pounds in a year working with Terra and find myself in better shape than I’d thought possible. Terra was genuinely concerned about me and served as an invaluable resource both in and out of her studio, offering me help with nutrition, motivation and information & advice about outside activities, classes, equipment and a host of other issues that proved to be of great benefit. There was no financial incentive for her to do any of this - she just cared. She’s always candid (there’s nothing slick or phony about her) and, unlike many people with her natural physical gifts, she is comfortable working with people at any level of ability, from athletes and professional dancers to the overweight and self-conscious. She can work to your goals. And she does.

What else? Her spacious, attractive loft space is always clean and there are facilities to shower and change in.

I was very fortunate to find terraFITNESS. My highest recommendation.
— Michael L – Freelance Writer
I worked out about three times a week with Brianna Hawkins, a trainer at terraFITNESS for about 8 months before leaving Pittsburgh. Bri is great! She is extremely effective in getting you in shape. Bri listens to what your goals are, and helps you meet them quickly. For example, I could do about 10 pushups at the beginning of our training together and about 80 by the time I moved out of town. My wife started working out with me as well and Bri was able to adapt the plan to make workouts interesting and challenging for both of us. The studio itself is great—it’s a warehouse loft-style space with clean mats, equipment, and it’s just you and the trainer in the space.
— Carey M. – Professor – Harvard University

I was going to terraFITNESS for more than half a year (sadly I had to move away from Pittsburgh for a new job). Alex was my personal trainer and he was absolutely amazing. I grew so much stronger over the course of these several months. Every workout was manageable but challenging. Each session combined new workouts to keep things fresh while building on previous routines. Alex was also so flexible despite my unpredictable schedule and was extremely prompt with replies. I haven’t been as fit as I have been now. Thank you Alex and terraFITNESS!!
— Stehanie P, MD
“Being the first to respond to my inquiry about a personal trainer, I knew Terra would be the eager, challenging, fun, friendly, encouraging push I needed. I spent two days for six weeks working with her to strengthen and tighten my body for an audition in NYC. I thought the time would be grueling, but I ended up looking forward to waking up early and getting my butt kicked. The time always flew by, and even now, I consider her a friend. Thanks to my work with her, I was not only able to feel stronger and more stable in any style of dance I attempted, look better in my summer bikini, and take away valuable exercises that I still use and recommend to my friends, but I was also able to make it through the audition and enjoy my second season as a Radio City Rockette!”
— Amanda McCormick, Radio City Music Hall Rockette

I’ve been training with Alex at terraFITNESS for over a year now. We do strength training twice a week with some high-intensity interval training mixed in. From someone who can be really hard on herself, training with Alex has made working out fun for me again. Through working with Alex I have been reminded that it’s consistency that is key, not necessarily doing everything perfectly all the time. I appreciate his knowledge of and passion for health and fitness. You can tell it’s something he really loves. He cares about his clients and helping them meet goals. Our training sessions are enjoyable - Alex constantly works in new exercises to mix it up and keep it interesting. He practices what he preaches: always listen to your body. You are the one doing the exercises and you know best if something doesn’t feel right. Starting to train with Alex really jump-started my fitness journey - I never thought I’d be one to say I love weight training! I found a way to stay healthy and fit that I know I’ll enjoy for life. The facility at terraFITNESS has everything you’d want in a gym - free weights, TRX, cable machine, (new) squat rack, hexbar, even a punching bag. They’re constantly buying new equipment - and it reminds me of a mini crossfit gym.
— Hannah R - 28, student
I belonged to one of those expensive, impersonal state of the art gyms with the sparkly machines and shiny people, which I rarely visited. During my monthly visits, I burned more mental than physical calories rationalizing myself out of those last 3 reps or those 10 extra minutes. I was bored with the machines, intimidated by free weights, pulleys and ropes and wanted to high-tail it out of there as quickly as possible. I was tired, lazy, unmotivated, chubby and turning 40 in a few short months. I am happy to say that Terra escorted me through that threshold of a new decade and into the best shape of my life! Before I realized it, I actually had muscle definition and I enjoyed getting there.

Terra is subtly demanding, confident, inspiring, non-intimidating, challenges you to your personal best, carries a breadth of knowledge and continuously works variety into your routine. She genuinely cares about her clients and will never let you skip that last rep, but inspire you to do 5 more. I have worked out with Terra for 3 years now and can proudly walk into any gym with the know-how to use any equipment available including free weights with the big boys. Were it not for Terra, I’d be feeling my age. Through terraFITNESS, my age feels better than ever!
— Blair Capitano, Regional Medical Research Specialist
Terra helped me with strength training in preparation for a “comeback” in my amateur running career. When we first met, I had let my job take precedence over my health. I was out of breath just walking up several flights of stairs. With her help and motivation, I completed two half-marathons and several smaller road races. Terra is tough, but allows you to work at a pace that pushes you to the next level. We also did some work outside at the track near my house to break up the scenery. She customizes a plan that works for your life and helps you to meet your goals. Most importantly, I felt better and healthier after our sessions. And what is more important than your health?
— Rhonda Rea
I tend to be independent when it comes to fitness. I spend a lot of time reading and researching to figure out for myself what I need. Then I try to work out on my own. It’s been helpful having Terra as my “online” personal trainer. She doesn’t judge or make fun of me for not being a fitness queen. She’s answered a lot of my questions, giving me suggestions of things to do while reminding me of my fitness goals. It’s kinda cool to have an online trainer and quite effective to be scolded on IM for not following the plan. These interactions have motivated me to get my gear on and get moving without someone breathing down my neck. Thanks, Terra!
— Trezlen Drake
Terra is an outstanding personal trainer- one of the BEST in the Pittsburgh area! She really takes time to understand her client’s goals and levels of physical strength and then creates a unique workout/nutrition plan tailored to each individual’s needs. Terra motivates! She is organized and cares about each and every one of her clients. After working with Terra for only a short period of time, I am starting to feel stronger and more energetic. I could not have asked for a better personal trainer!
— Manita Singh, Pharmacist
Terra has been terrific to work with. She motivates and encourages me and I enjoy every second of my workouts with her. I normally hate exercising, but thanks to Terra, I am stronger, healthier and I look better!
— Bryan H. - Physician
Like most students, I gained the Freshman-15 (+70) while an undergraduate. I entered college at 120 lbs. and a size 3; I left school at such an enormous weight and girth my own mother didn’t recognize me at the airport!

I tried working out before, and eating healthier, and I just couldn’t seem to stick to any plan. Finally, after enrolling in graduate school, I decided enough was enough. I was a miserable recluse and getting more miserable and more reclusive every day - and I wasn’t even 25 yet! I thought a personal trainer might be just what I needed - someone to hold me accountable to a plan, and force me to stick to it.

I got so much more than that when I began training with Terra. Terra’s simple, no-nonsense approach to weight and health management opened my eyes to everything that was wrong with me mentally about exercise and eating properly. Terra is a very enthusiastic woman, and the joys of her life spill over into her training methods - just talking to Terra during our sessions made me realize that being healthy wasn’t just about being ‘thin’: it was about enjoying all those things I’d denied myself because of my weight. In just a few weeks with Terra, I stopped obsessing about fitting into a smaller size, and simply decided to strive for a stronger body capable of keeping up with the fun things I really wanted to do, like hiking and dancing.

I am still training with Terra, and I look forward to our weekly sessions. She has helped me realize that I don’t have to be an Olympic-calibre athlete to reach my fitness goals. Exercising and eating healthy is no longer a chore, but simply a part of my daily life. I feel wonderful! I’m happy and more confident, and prouder of my body with each passing day.
— Ronia Holmes, Graduate Student
Terra is not only an incredible person, but an amazing trainer and nutritionist. I was lucky enough to have her guidance and motivation to whip me into shape for the Miss Pennsylvania 2009 pageant! She literally took a couch potato and turned me into a confident swimsuit-ready competitor! I would recommend Terra to anyone I know- her knowledge, patience, and amazing attitude helped put me in the best shape of my life!
— Autumn K - Miss Pennsylvania Contestant
I have worked with Terra for about a month and a half, in order to lose some weight and get in shape before my wedding. She is fabulous - candid, no-nonsense, and practical. She cares about her clients, personally and professionally. She is good at what she does and I have lost about 11 pounds in 6 weeks by meeting with her 2-3 times a week, in addition to some dieting and running on my own. My body looks great in my clothes! I definitely am more toned thanks to her. Terra keeps her gym very clean and is good at pushing her clients and teaching them correct form. She is also organized - when I walk in the door she already has a plan for me written on her dry-erase board! She was a lot cheaper to work with than the trainers at my gym (LA Fitness), and definitely more professional. She also works with my busy schedule to meet at times that are convenient for me (after work hours). I wish I could take her with me when I move from Pittsburgh soon!
— Lisa S. – Physician
I loved working out at terraFitness! My trainer, Briana, was always great- very encouraging and knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition. Not only did I get into better shape, but I also learned more about fitness and got to know the great people at terraFitness. I highly recommend Terra, Briana, and the rest of the trainers!
— Hillary C – Student U of Pittsburgh
Terra is simply amazing. She is the perfect combination of professionalism and personality. My husband and I have been training with her for three years, and our sessions never get boring or repetitive. Terra worked with me through several surgeries and other setbacks and helped me regain my strength and endurance after each one. My husband has regained his college physique and has had much less back and shoulder pain since beginning to work with Terra. Her studio is gorgeous and well-maintained. She is honest, creative, and encouraging. If you are looking for excellent training go to Terra.
— Tami F.

I have been working out at terraFITNESS for a couple of months now with Alex as my trainer and it has been wonderful. At first, I was a bit nervous due to just being back the the mode of admitting that I needed help in getting back into my fitness regime. I have always been an athlete and always needed that extra push that I remember having as a coach and it seems to be the key factor in wanting to come back each week. The sessions are incredibly hard, but that is also what I like about it. Each week is new and refreshing and as hard as it is in the moment and even days afterward; it feels like progress made and I continue to get stronger and stronger. Working out will NEVER be my thing and I’m okay with that, but Alex always provides great support even as I struggle through to finish it. It’s also helpful to see Terra, the owner of terraFITNESS, often in my own workouts as motivation, that she too continues to transform and improve her body. It’s the idea of practicing what you’d speak and she shows that. I love working out there and wish to take everyone with me as I journey on from Pittsburgh. Until then I will continue to grind and learn as much as I can. This feels so right, that I wish I’d found this earlier.
— Khadija Layne, Grad Student

I have been working out with Ellen at Terra Fitness for a year and a half now. She is an AMAZING trainer and it has been an absolute pleasure working with her. She motivates me to push myself physically in ways that I never thought were possible. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm during our sessions incentivize me to work harder every week. She encourages me while understanding my limits. Although my initial instinct is to complain and refuse to do certain workouts, she is patient with me and doesn’t allow me to give up. She is invested in her clients and in helping them achieve their goals. I came to Ellen to build muscle and get back into shape, and not only did she deliver on that in just a few short months, but she has helped me surpass both of those goals. I went from never working out to now doing something active almost every day, all due to Ellen and the inspiration she provides. Not only do I enjoy every session with her, but she has taught me how to love running outside of our sessions. I can say that Ellen’s view of running and being active was the impetus for my running habit and the reason I am now an avid runner. She supports me in races I enter and even shows up to cheer me on. She is not just a trainer, she is her clients’ biggest fan. She will convince you that anything is possible and, with her help, you will surpass any goal you come to Terra Fitness to achieve.
— Katie Pakler - Attorney