Fitness Testimonials

Personal Training

I love training with Ilene! Each session is customized to my strengths and weaknesses, so I feel safe but supremely challenged. And if I go to a session with an ache or injury? No problem! She knows exactly what to do to make me feel better. Ilene is the ultimate pro, and I am awed by her knowledge of and dedication to her profession. Training with her has made me feel stronger, fitter, healthier, and that is empowering. Best of all she makes it so much fun! After three years I still enjoy going to every session. I am very fortunate to be training with Ilene.


Ilene has acted as a personal trainer/coach for me for years. Due to my remote location, she was able to do a one on one consultation and then keep things moving even via the telephone when necessary. She explains what she is looking for exceptionally clearly and is able to teach in such a way that I will remember the lesson long after. Ilene is also able to combine a high degree of professionalism with an extremely creative and inventive approach to everything.


To say that Ilene changed my life would be an understatement. I told Ilene she is the MacGyver of training – she could find a way to get me working and sweating in any environment, be it gym, park or apartment. Not only is Ilene a brilliant, skilled and intelligent trainer, she is a terrific coach and friend. In addition to the physical aspect of our training, Ilene taught me to embrace challenges and believe I could surpass my own expectations. Ilene is hard-working, dedicated, and a true gem.


A few years ago I underwent knee surgery to repair my Runners’ Knee condition, developed through years of overuse. Having never had surgery before, I was alarmed at the toll it took on my muscle structure. I was very concerned about permanently losing some strength in my leg as a result, which was the doctor’s prognosis. The post-op exercises prescribed to me felt uncomfortable and unsafe.

Thankfully, I had been working with Ilene for many years, and trusted her deep knowledge of post-op recovery and strength building. Having experienced surgery herself, Ilene was keenly aware of not only the physical challenges of recovery, but the emotional ones as well.

Ilene steered me toward an excellent physical therapist and kept the rest of my body in shape during my post-op therapy period. She then picked up where therapy left off, developing a program centered on re-building the muscle tone and strength in my leg. She also addressed several subtle challenges along the way, including scar tissue which limited my movement. The program was brilliantly paced so progress was steady and consistent.

I am now able to run again, something my doctor did not think would happen. I am also able to perform exercises that I hadn’t been able to master pre-op. I’m stronger now than before my surgery. My doctor (one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the Northeast) was extremely impressed and said I’ve surpassed his expectations. Ilene’s attention to my customized program is truly the reason for my full recovery. Had I limited my program to the one prescribed by my doctor I doubt I would have even half of the functionality I have today.


Ilene is committed to achieving results. If I do not seem to learn one way – she will try another. Her knowledge is so extensive she can break an exercise into the smallest of movements along with the requisite verbal cues. After just 6 months of working with her I have experienced impressive strength gains and accomplished physical challenges beyond my expectations… She has great empathy, a great sense of humor and a deep knowledge of what motivates people and how to unlock the psychological barriers that can get in the way of physical progress. She incorporates that wisdom into each and every session. I always leave our sessions feeling great.


I trained with Ilene several years ago, and reconnected with her this year. She is by far the most knowledgeable personal trainer I have ever worked with. Every workout is different but clearly is designed to concentrate on my specific individual needs. I cannot recommend her highly enough!


I have been working with Ilene for several years and words cannot begin to convey her dedication and loyalty. Over the years, as a woman going from her 30’s to her 40’s, I’ve had a myriad of health issues. Ilene, unsolicited, researched these issues, shared any information she was able to find, and when appropriate, incorporated it into our work. I see the impact our sessions have in the progress I make physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Another incredible benefit of Ilene’s training is I notice I am motivated to strive for and reach higher goals for myself outside of our training. Ilene is knowledgeable, sensitive, compassionate, intuitive, upbeat, funny, and creative with our work. She is absolutely unequaled; a true treasure.


Ilene is a fabulous trainer and motivator. Her experience and education — combined with her enthusiasm — make her an excellent instructor. I had a spinal surgery many years ago while in high school, only to have significant pain and an increasing curvature occur later as an adult. Ilene analyzed my situation and worked with me to develop a customized program over time that was therapeutic and got me moving more easily again. I now look forward to getting into the pool and going to the gym, knowing that program developed is alleviating my pain and helping me to feel more active again.


Ilene is amazing. Her way of working has enabled me to surpass my own expectations. I am in better shape than I thought I could be. My perceptions of what I can do and how to treat my body have totally changed. She’s my partner in the business of a healthier life.


Ilene Bergelson has a remarkable skill for translating complex physiological concepts into easy-to-understand directions for her students. It’s not just “stretching.” She has a knack for unlocking parts of the body that get trapped by the stresses of daily life. When I finish one of Ilene’s classes, I feel taller, lighter, and more energetic.

A session with Ilene is like a master class of stretching. She not only helps me execute the moves that make me more energetic and flexible, she also helps me understand why they work.

Ilene Bergelson is a marvelous teacher. She’s so pleasant and helpful, you almost forget about the profound physical improvements she’s helping you make.”

Jim Watkins, Anchor, WB11 News at 10, New York City

As a Naturopath I am continually guiding my clients to “reprogram their minds with knowledge about how the body really works.” When I take a fitness class, I am hoping to expand my mind, in addition to developing a stronger body. Classes with Ilene always accomplish that goal. As I walk (or run) to her classes, I always wonder what I will learn about my body today. She is a beautiful ‘athlete’ as well as a consummate teacher, and a blessing to anyone who works with her.

– (“Dr Di”), ND, CTN

Ilene teaches with tremendous warmth and clarity. Her directions and sequences are so well laid out that you truly understand what you are doing and can easily practice at home. Her attitude is genuinely positive and she sees and brings out the best in each individual, helping each student with his or her unique needs. My body always feels great after her class — more supple, stronger, taller, lighter.


Ilene Bergelson is the most knowledgeable person leading any fitness, mind/body classes I know. And she does this with humor and caring. She makes both fit and less fit students feel at home and encouraged to develop. If I am unable to attend her weekly class I am mentally and physically at a loss!


The stretch class given by Ilene Bergelson has been an important part of my physical and emotional life for many years. It has been proven to be the knowledge I need in order to understand and utilize every part of my body. It’s not boring and hardly easy. I wouldn’t be able to do all the work on myself if I didn’t do this.

What I like about the balance class is that it helps my posture. After class, I always feel that I am standing up straighter!-EP

After two short months in NYC working with Ilene, I went back home and my athletic trainer said I look the best I’ve looked since high school! Miss you, Ilene!!


Prenatal Postpartum

I started training with Ilene when I was six weeks pregnant to maintain my fitness level throughout my pregnancy. Ilene’s focus on exercises that were functional and would help me once the baby was born were new and challenging for me. Equally important, as one who has always hated sit-ups and avoids ab work whenever possible, the exercises with a focus on core strength were quite a change of pace for me. Ilene has so many exercises that “sneak in” abdominal work, I soon found I was exercising my pregnant belly more than I ever exercised my belly before.

I had a relatively easy labor, despite being induced, and delivered my first baby with only 15 minutes of pushing. The doctors at the hospital said it was a record for first babies and I attribute the speed of my delivery to the abdominal work I did with Ilene. I was also able to relax my other muscles and to access only those muscles that were necessary, so I did not tire out. Three weeks after delivery I was able to do step aerobics without any difficulty. I weigh 12 pounds less now, four months after delivery, than I did before I got pregnant!


I owe my trouble-free pregnancy & postpartum experience to Ilene’s work. Her experience and knowledge of the body, and the pregnant body in particular, set her apart from any trainer I’ve worked with in the past. I am stronger and better equipped to handle not just one, but four children after consistently following her guidance. I cannot imagine not continuing my work with Ilene after having such a positive experience.