Personal Trainers

Each of our Personal Trainers hold a certification from nationally recognized training organizations. Many of our Personal Trainers hold additional specialized certifications.

Chris Pickel

Hometown: North Montpelier, VT
Employed at FIF: 2007
Degrees Held: A.S. Allied Health and Science, Massage Therapy and Bodywork

Certifications: AFFA Personal Training, AFFA Group Training, Crossfit Level 1, TRX group certified, USA Weightlifting Level 1, Sports Performance Speed, Power and Agility Training, Licensed Massage Therapist, CPR

Chris has 15 Years of “under the bar” experience in lifting and coaching. Chris doesn't just enter a training session he – transforms it! A combination of incredible skill and training knowledge he defines his training presence and dominates the training industry. Whether training someone to shred down, and lose weight for the big stage, or helping them gain weight in the off-season. Chris has proven that he is prepared to transform you into the person you want to be. Are you willing- and ready?

Chris is an accomplished collegiate athlete as a starting player in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and Captain of the Men’s Lacrosse Team at North Country Community College. A former U32 athlete, Chris was Captain of both Varsity Hockey and Lacrosse and was a member or the Varsity Football State Championship Team. He remains involved with high school sports as the Assistant Coach of the U32 Boys Hockey Team.

Chris' programs include Boot Camp, and Shed & Shred. 

Stephen McKinstry

Hometown: Barre,VT
Degrees Held: Associates Degree in Personal Training from Pinnacle Career Institute
Certifications: National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, CPR/AED Certified

Steve Mckinstry is a certified personal trainer who specializes in creating customized fitness programs and plans to meet individual health and wellness goals.

Steve is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter specializing in Mauy Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Steve enjoys weight lifting, running, playing hockey and lacrosse. In his down time he works as an auto mechanic and enjoys playing with his two pit bulls.

"I have been working out with Steve for 5 months in his group classes and in personal training sessions. I don't think there is anything better to spend money on than his workouts--seriously. Steve puts a lot of effort into planning personal training workouts that are different every time so I never get bored or start counting down with the clock. My workouts have gotten more challenging and I am incorporating a lot more exercise and health into my life outside of training, and I'm also able to do more and more each time we work out. I am super impressed with his positive attitude and creativity in coming up with new challenges for me to do. Pretty much all the things that were keeping me from my fitness goals -- being embarrassed or not feeling I was capable of something -- are moving out of the way and I am really happy Steve has helped me incorporate a lot more fitness in my life."
-Testimonial from Melissa Bounty, May 7, 2013

Emma Manion

Fitness aficionado Emma Manion is a personal trainer, dance educator, and performance artist who's recently moved back to her native Vermont after honing her craft in San Francisco, CA for the last ten years. She holds her B.A. in Dance and Humanities from Bennington College and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified trainer with with specializations in Corrective Exercise and Behavioral Change. She's had a lifelong fascination with the human body's composition, capabilities, and direct link to quality of life! In her classes and with solo clients, she illustrates the joy of moving powerfully with authentic intentions and mechanical awareness.

Areas of Specialty:
• Body weight & Weight-bearing Training Programs • Strength & Conditioning circuits • Corrective Exercises
• Posture & Form • Core Activation and Utilization • Weight Loss • Cardiovascular endurance
• Mind-Body (neuro-muscular) Awareness & Control • Mobility & Flexibility • Dance, Coordination & Balance
• Sports-specific Training & Injury prevention • Plyometrics, Speed, Agility and Power
• Corporate Recreation • Healthy Lifestyle Practices • Fitness Analysis and Routine Assessments
• Postnatal Health & Fitness • Special Populations • Behavioral Change and Support

Dawn Johnson

Hometown: Plainfield, VT
Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Education
AFAA Personal Trainer Certified
CPR/AED Certified

Dawn has been affiliated with FIF for over 30 years, (back in the Wedgewood days). Over that time she has seen many changes within the fitness field. Dawn’s philosophy is to meet members where they are physically and mentally. Goals are created with the knowledge that they can be changed as personal growth occurs. She believes it is important to create a wellness plan that is realistic to daily living and that incorporates dimensions of total mind and body health. Due to life circumstances Dawn has had to tailor her own fitness program, so she is familiar with adapting due to physical restraints and of course aging! She currently continues her passion for wellness and fitness through continuing education, personal training, group aqua aerobic classes, being wellness coordinator for Washington Electric Cooperative and being outside with her dogs as much as possible.

Dawn currently teaches Aqua Aerobics on Saturday 9-10am: