In the Limelight with Elaine Forry: Fitness Guru
For some people, the natural talents and interests of childhood foretell future successes. This is true for Elaine M. Forry, director of personal training and group fitness for CHB Sports, Sinking Spring. After growing up as an active young athlete in Berks, she spent many years living out of state. She returned to the area in 1995 to be close to family and began building a personal training clientele. Nearly two decades later, Forry continues to help people meet fitness goals, stay healthy and enjoy exercise. When she’s not motivating clients, the Laureldale resident can be found savoring time with her husband Tim and children Michael and Kristen.
Q: You grew up in Berks, correct? Yes, in Muhlenberg Township. I moved away for a while and lived in Ohio, where I was for two years, and then southern California. I lived there for seven years but ultimately moved back in 1995.
Q: When did you start working in the fitness industry? Was that while you were in California? Actually, I started after moving back here. I always had an interest in it, but it wasn’t until I returned to the area and joined a gym that I really saw myself working in it. Before long, I was teaching group fitness classes at that same gym. By 1997, I was certified as a trainer. I started with a couple of clients, and it’s just grown to include group fitness from there.
Q: So you always liked sports or being active? Oh yes, I was an athlete from a kid on up. Early on it was bike riding and running. I ran everywhere, non-stop. Later, I liked dodgeball and was a competitive swimmer while in high school at Muhlenberg.
Q: I guess a big part of your work is getting people to find that same joy in the workout, right? Definitely. In group classes, I really like the dynamic of people helping each other, encouraging and challenging each other. This can take the form of one person cheering another on to meet a goal or friendly competition between people in a class. It is energizing and builds friendships. For personal training clients, I find activities that they really like doing and, importantly, work for them to meet their individual goals.
Q: I imagine that can be difficult; not everyone likes working out. Yes, but by getting to know the person, what they like and what they want from their efforts, it helps me design a program just for them. For the last few years, I’ve been using something called Synergy 360, a system of stations that incorporates suspension training, medicine balls, battle ropes and stability balls, among other things. People really like the variety it brings to the routine and the results they see.
Q: With your level of expertise, I wonder if you have fitness goals too? Well, I sure don’t need more exercise [laughs], but I would say my goal is to remain healthy and strong. As I age I see how important that is for all of us. And of course I want to feel as good about myself in 10 years as I do now.
Q: Do personal trainers have lazy days when they lay on the couch and eat ice cream? I wish [laughs]. Sunday is probably my closest “day off” because I might eat pizza and watch football. However, it’s the only day of the week I’m not working, so it’s my catch-up-on-life day, so I’m never sitting still for long.