When my local YMCA closed due to Covid, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a personal trainer over Zoom (on the other side of the country, no less!). I was nervous that it wouldn’t be as effective, but I’m pleased to admit that I was wrong. Karen does an excellent job demonstrating the exercises and watching to make sure your form is correct. She provides all options for modification, tailoring the workout to your goals and your limitations, and encouraging you to push just a little harder each time. Workouts are varied and enjoyable – time flies! My teenage son and I have enjoyed working out together with Karen – and we are proud to say that our pushups are getting stronger every week! Thank you, Karen!
-Mary C., 47, and son Lucien, 13
When my trainer of several years retired from the Mission Valley YMCA, I picked Karen to replace him. That was mostly because my wife liked her well. From the beginning, I enjoyed the variety Karen introduced to what had been a nearly unvaried routine. Then I needed a bone marrow transplant to treat multiple myeloma. The medical team forbade the gym–along with movies, plays, concerts, and ballgames–because I lost my life-earned immunities with the malignant marrow. But I convinced them I could set up a clean workout space on a covered deck, using mostly dumbbells and resistance bands. Karen agreed to design and lead at-home workouts. That was more than a year ago. We have added the gymnasium of the neighborhood: fast walking with stops for push-ups and dips on low walls, resistance bands on street signs, and step-ups on anything challenging enough. I am 72 years old, and I can hike 6+ miles with 2,000+ verts and do it again the next day.
When I first began training with her 5 years ago, she assessed my fitness level and designed a program especially for me. She evaluated my strength and balance capabilities and what I hoped to achieve through training. Like many older adults (I’m 73), I wanted cardio, strength and balance to make sure I’m strong and fit as I age. Since working with her, first weekly, and now twice a week for several years, my strength has increased, and my body is more toned. Also, if I get tripped up on the sidewalk, all that balance training and core work definitely shows – I am able to recover without falling. I have a bad knee, but Karen is always mindful that the exercises she offers don’t further injure the knee. She provides lots of positive support and encouragement, and she’s fun too!
Karen Barry has been my work out mentor for a number of years. I have always found her to be innovative with the workouts but also aware of the limitations of a 77 year old. She not only knows what the is doing but cares for her clients. I cannot speak highly enough of her abilities.