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What Makes Discover Strength Different

Educated, Expert Training Staff

Our team of Personal Trainers are not simply people who enjoy fitness. Rather, they are experts who hold degrees in exercise science with focused study in exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, and nutrition. Additionally, they hold certifications from organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine, the gold standard in the field of exercise science. Clients come to Discover Strength to learn from and be pushed by our team of experts.

Efficient

We want to see you once, no more than twice per week. Our average workout is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. You’ll be working out from the time you walk in until the time you leave. Our approach yields far better results in far less time. The scientific research is very clear: For best results, strength train less, but strength train harder.

Evidence Based

Our entire fitness prescription is based on peer-reviewed scientific research. Rather than jump on the latest fitness fad or market-driven trend, we look at the scientific evidence to determine what will work best for you. This may not be a popular approach. But we’re more concerned with helping you produce great results than we are with being popular.

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Services

Training Services

Discover Strength offers a no-compromise strength training experience. Our time-efficient, science-based workouts are tailored to your exact needs. We are fully committed to providing a five star service experience, guaranteed.

Bod Pod Test

A Bod Pod test measures the percentage of your body weight that is comprised of lean tissue versus fat tissue.
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our-team

Our Team

Direct supervision is the single most powerful element of any fitness program. With an extensive background in exercise science, our team of experts is driven by a passion to help people reach their potential.

Luke Carlson

Luke Carlson

Iconic Trainer/CEO View Details
Andy Alessio

Andy Alessio

Personal Trainer View Details
Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

Personal Trainer/Team Lead – Minneapolis View Details
Karin Anderson

Karin Anderson

Personal Trainer View Details
Emily Dzurak

Emily Dzurak

Personal Trainer View Details
Cory Ellis

Cory Ellis

Personal Trainer View Details
Tom Fairbanks

Tom Fairbanks

Personal Trainer View Details
Alex Gallen

Alex Gallen

Personal Trainer View Details
David Gschneidner

David Gschneidner

Personal Trainer/Team Lead – Plymouth View Details
Brandon Jonker

Brandon Jonker

Iconic Trainer/Director of Operations View Details
David Kramer

David Kramer

Personal Trainer View Details
Kevin Lewis

Kevin Lewis

Iconic Trainer/Internship Director View Details
Taylor Melvin

Taylor Melvin

Iconic Trainer View Details
Rick Rignell

Rick Rignell

Iconic Trainer View Details
Bronson Shepherd

Bronson Shepherd

Iconic Trainer/Team Lead – Chanhassen View Details
Kayla Slechta

Kayla Slechta

Personal Trainer View Details
Jim Trnka

Jim Trnka

Iconic Trainer View Details
Greg Viland

Greg Viland

Iconic Trainer View Details
Luke Carlson

Luke Carlson

Iconic Trainer/CEO

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

American College of Sports Medicine Cancer Exercise Trainer

Certified Head and Neck Training Specialist

As young as Luke can remember, he would follow his father, a police officer, to the gym up above the police station in Shakopee and watch him lift weights (and oh man his reps were too fast). Luke’s passion only increased through middle school and high school as he lifted weights in order to prepare for football. His love for strength training has only grown with every passing year. As Howard Shultz says, “knowledge breeds passion.” The more Luke learns the more passion he has for intelligent strength training.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about everything related to leadership, business, management, personal development and my family.

Andy Alessio

Andy Alessio

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Valparaiso University

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Head & Neck Training Specialist

Andy first became interested in strength training after seeing his father lose 120 pounds through strength training and nutrition. From seeing that transformation firsthand, he began to not only strength train and watch his diet, but he also began to create his own training programs. As this passion continued to grow during Andy’s first years at university, he realized that strength and conditioning was a career path that he could see himself doing for the rest of his life. Based on his experiences at both Discover Strength and Minnetonka High School, Andy is continually reminded of just how much he enjoys the field of strength training.

Who are you the biggest fan of?

For 16 years now, I’m proud to say that I’m the biggest fan of my little brother, Jakob. This wasn’t necessarily the case years ago as I would ask my parents when he was going “to his real home, and to his real parents.” Now, however, Jakob is my best friend, and everything I do in life is to help show him that anything is possible. Whether it be on the football field or during any other situation life throws at him, I do my best to support him in any possible way. Thus, I’m the biggest fan of my little brother, and I will continue to be for the rest of my life.

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

Personal Trainer/Team Lead – Minneapolis

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Concordia University St. Paul

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Head and Neck Training Specialist

Chris first began weight training during his freshman year of high school, but it wasn’t until his junior and senior years that he began body building with a personal trainer. Seeing the impact the personal trainer had on the lives of all of his clients, Chris immediately started seeking the certifications and degrees he needed to become a trainer himself. After the trainer’s passing during Chris’s freshman year of college, Chris worked harder to pursue a career in personal training in hopes of continuing his trainer’s work that he admired so much.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

In addition to exercise, I am passionate about learning. Anything I can learn more about and apply to create something beautiful brings me tremendous joy. The two things I’ve learned most about recently have been brewing beer and playing Klezmer music.

Karin Anderson

Karin Anderson

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota

Certifications:

American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer

American Council on Exercise Medical Exercise Specialist

In pursuit of Karin’s Psychology degree and improving her own health, she became fascinated by health psychology- what motivates people, attitudes towards exercise, and behavior change. Karin knew that she always wanted to help people and realized becoming a personal trainer or coach would allow her to help others reach their fitness goals. Karin never knew how empowering it would be to be a strong female. Through her own learning and training, she started to get stronger and knew that she needed to help others become stronger too!

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

This career is meaningful to me because it is helping me live my purpose. It is incredibly rewarding to train people each day and see them work so hard toward their goals. It is inspiring to see their improvements in strength and quality of life.

Emily Dzurak

Emily Dzurak

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from St. Olaf College

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist
Emily used to avoid weightlifting in high school. Then last summer she committed herself to gaining as much muscle as she could to improve her running and body composition. Emily instantly fell in love with how lifting heavy weights changed her body, her running ability, and her mindset. Emily was stronger; faster. She felt unstoppable. Emily has always dreamed of a vocation where she can help people better themselves through fitness. Now she’s living that dream.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

Artisanal food and craft beer.

Cory Ellis

Cory Ellis

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Cory became passionate about strength training through his participation in athletics throughout high school and college. He started to see a correlation between strength training and his improved performance in sports. This bred his passion for constantly striving to improve himself through health and strength training.

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

Being able to interact with like-minded people who are passionate about exercise and improving themselves has brought value to my career. It inspires me to continually strive to be better. I also love working with clients on setting their own goals, and even better, I love to see them achieve their goals.

Tom Fairbanks

Tom Fairbanks

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Science in Wellness & Fitness Management from University of Wisconsin Superior

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

American Council of Exercise Certified Personal Trainer

American Council of Exercise Fitness Nutrition Specialist

Tom became passionate about strength training during his 4 years at college while training for baseball and taking his college courses. Tom enjoyed the challenge of strength training, the atmosphere of working out with his teammates in the weight room and pushing each other to get better. Taking college courses helped him understand what he was doing in the weight room, and how to effectively exercise. Tom went from not only working out hard, but working out smart.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about baseball and cooking.

Alex Gallen

Alex Gallen

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College

Alex’s passion for strength training first began when he hurt his shoulder in high school. He began to strength train and rehabilitate his shoulder for hockey, and this sparked a passion he knew he eventually wanted to turn into a career.

Who was the biggest influence in your career thus far?

The biggest influence on my career thus far is my father. His passion for living a healthy lifestyle caught my attention at an early age.

David Gschneidner

David Gschneidner

Personal Trainer/Team Lead – Plymouth

Personal Trainer/Team Lead – Plymouth

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

David enjoyed resistance training through high school. His accumulation of knowledge about strength training really bred David’s passion for it and ultimately prompted him to search for how he could turn it into a career. David participated in the Discover Strength Summer Intensive Internship Program which helped him gravitate toward an evidence-based approach. This set his exercise paradigm moving forward through college and now in his professional career in strength training.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

In addition to exercise I am passionate about football, specifically offensive line.

Brandon Jonker

Brandon Jonker

Iconic Trainer/Director of Operations

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Brandon began going to the weight room with some of his friends the summer after his 7th grade football season. He realized that all of the best players on the varsity team lifted weights, and being a varsity football player was one of his biggest goals. He began to lift weights religiously and noticed that as he got stronger, he excelled at the sports he was in. Brandon was hooked from that moment on. When he got to college, he loved the atmosphere of the football weight room. He loved the indescribable feeling of working as hard as possible alongside his teammates with one common goal in mind. Brandon has always been amazed with what the human body can do and the level of abuse it can take. He is passionate about strength training because it allows you to push these limits and show what you are truly made of.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

In addition to exercise I am passionate about learning, personal development, football, and family.

David Kramer

David Kramer

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus

Certification:

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

David became passionate about strength training through his participation in high school and college swimming. He was always looking for something to give him that extra edge over his competition and David found that in the weight room. In college he realized he could take this passion for human performance to the classroom and turn it into a career.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

I am passionate about adventure. There is nothing more exciting than entering into the unknown and see what becomes of it.

Kevin Lewis

Kevin Lewis

Iconic Trainer/Internship Director

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota

Certification:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Kevin’s brothers were the real catalyst in his interest for strength training. They would bring him to the weight room three times a week starting at the age of 13. He didn’t understand what he was doing so he just mimicked his brothers. He found he was getting stronger which in turn helped him compete in football, basketball, and baseball. By the time he was 16 he was lifting three days a week and craving the feeling of completing an intense workout. Weight training also helped Kevin better control his diabetes. When he started college he had full access to the gym five days a week and took advantage of it, only to find that what used to be enjoyable had turned into a chore. That is when he was introduced to Discover Strength by a couple of friends. After his introductory workout he was left lying on the floor, trying not to get sick, and thinking to himself, “That was the hardest workout I’ve ever done.” He was hooked.

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

From a young age, I always wanted to help people. Originally, I wanted to be a doctor until I realized how much schooling they needed to do. Working for Discover Strength, I get to help people every day; help them train for an event, help them improve their quality of life, help them overcome a disease or illness. There is no better feeling than hearing someone say, “I’m in the best shape of my life and I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Taylor Melvin

Taylor Melvin

Iconic Trainer

Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from St. Thomas University

Certifications:

American College Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

SPARTA Level II Certified HIT Specialist

Certified Head and Neck Training Specialist

Taylor’s passion for strength training started in junior high school when she took a summer speed and strength class to prepare for soccer tryouts. It was her first time following a strength program on a consistent basis and loved how it made her look and feel strong. Ever since then she has been hooked. Her passion for exercise, along with wanting to help others benefit from strength training, is what inspired her to earn a degree in Exercise Science and become a Personal Trainer and Strength Coach. When Taylor learned the safe, efficient, and effective methods evidence-based resistance training offers, she knew this is how she will train for the rest of her life.

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

There is no better feeling than to be able to help someone else achieve their goals. I love helping people become better than they were yesterday. I feel value everyday in helping others to never stop improving. I also understand how amazing evidence-based resistance training is and the incredible plethora of benefits it offers. I believe every adult – young or old – should strength train and I feel proud to be able to build the tribe and make something bigger than myself.

Rick Rignell

Rick Rignell

Iconic Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and Health Education from St. Cloud State. Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University.

Certifications:

National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

S.P.A.R.T.A. Level 2 Fitness Specialist

Certified Head and Neck Training Specialist

Rick became passionate about strength training as a junior in high school (1981). Rick became fascinated with all the aspects of strength training. In his college years, Rick became more interested in running and doing triathlons, putting little emphasis on strength training for 5 years. In his late 20’s, he started to study H.I.T., Nautilus and Arthur Jones more thoroughly, and started on the road to training correctly. Rick has been training consistently ever since.

Who are you the biggest fan of?

I am the biggest fan of Batman, except for the George Clooney version. Shame on you George!

Bronson Shepherd

Bronson Shepherd

Iconic Trainer/Team Lead – Chanhassen

Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from Concordia College Moorhead

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Bronson’s passion for strength training comes from growing up as a three-sport athlete. He realized during his senior year of college that he could take that passion and turn it into a career. This goal was solidified after he attended the HIT Resurgence Conference (hosted by Discover Strength) with his strength and conditioning coach, Scott Savor. Bronson left the conference excited and motivated to learn how he could make strength and conditioning into a career.

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

My clients mean the world to me. I thoroughly enjoy coming to work everyday knowing that I am helping to improve people’s health and well-being.

Kayla Slechta

Kayla Slechta

Personal Trainer

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Kayla grew up doing gymnastics and strength training was just a natural part of the sport. To be in gymnastics, it is necessary to be strong so that you can move your body to do all of the extreme tricks and specific skills. Needing to have body awareness while doing a skill made Kayla more curious about the human body and is essentially what motivated her to major in Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, where she also continued her career in gymnastics as a gopher. The combination of Kinesiology and gymnastics lead to her being passionate about improving the human body and really understanding how the body moves.

Whose biggest fan are you of?

Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild.

Jim Trnka

Jim Trnka

Iconic Trainer

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota

Certifications:

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist

Certified Head and Neck Training Specialist

Jim has been interested in strength training since he was 15. While playing lacrosse and hockey in high school he really started to understand the significant benefits associated with strength training and human performance in those sports. Jim’s initial major was Computer Science which was not fulfilling for him. He went into Computer Science only to return to his passion for exercise and pursued a major in Kinesiology. He quickly found Discover Strength after college and fell in love with the methodology of science-based exercise.

How is your career as a personal trainer meaningful to you?

Strength training is such a unique tool because it not only allows us as trainers to give people a great experience, but also allows us to help our clients live longer and more fulfilling lives. To me, there is nothing that can be more valuable or rewarding than that.

Greg Viland

Greg Viland

Iconic Trainer

Bachelor of Arts in Health and Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolfus College

Certifications

American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist
Greg has recognized the extreme value in strength training as early as high school. Strength training has always played a pivotal role in his own active and athletic life to not just aid in performance enhancement in sport, but to ward off the aches and pains that come from sports and activity. After his college years and competitive sports, Greg really sees the importance strength training has with the increased demands of aging. It has and always will be Greg’s fountain of youth.

In addition to exercise, what are you passionate about?

I also have a great passion for history. It tells us how we got to where we are. I personally believe it’s a great tool for creating our own future. All history intrigues me, whether it be the history of the exercise industry and its forefathers, our country’s history, or even my own family’s history and where we came from. I wouldn’t be anything without my past!

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Testimonials

  • Want to recover from your race? Want more energy for daily life? Want a stronger kicking gear for workouts? Want to avoid injury? Want to run later in life? Lift weights! #provenresults At 40, after 2 Olympic Marathon Trials, I’m actually stronger than ever. I’ve trained with Greg and the amazing team at Discover Strength for 9 years and together we keep taking on new finish lines! #mastersrunning

    Melissa Gacek
  • Love that I’m pushed further than I would ever go on my own. Very impressive trainers with positive energy supported by culture of outstanding service. Two thumbs up!

    Janelle Dennis
  • Always a great workout! If you want to be pushed to your max and reach your goals then Discover Strength is the place for you. Today’s workout with trainer Bronson Shepherd was fantastic- as always!

    Tess Misgen
  • Tough workout and I’m starting to see results after only a couple of weeks. Knowledgeable trainers who push you further than you think you can go. I even got my husband to start coming!

    Jan Vickery Lillemo
  • Loving the workouts from all of the staff. Really looking forward to my next session with my next mystery trainer.

    Jonathan Townsend

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