Barbel Fitness believes that wellness should not be exclusive to high income people. We believe in wellness for all because we realize that nutrition and exercise are two of the major pillars to a high quality of life with less risk for chronic disease or injury. Our programs have average, working people in mind who have the same awareness but are afraid they can't afford it. We offer a wide selection of customizable plans that ensure quality and affordability. Our expertise in wellness spans 3 decades. We’ve worked with the average person struggling to make a living needing to take care of their body, the high school or college athlete looking to make strides toward athletic scholarship, the grandparent looking for more energy to enjoy quality time with their grandkids, the single mom looking to get some self-care time in and many more people just like you. We bring preventive and post-rehabilitative services in an affordable and quality way and pride ourselves as part of the global initiative to get everyone involved in more intuitive and individual wellness activities at the local level.

Barbel Fitness continues to work as part of the invaluable Allied Health Team. Our staff collaborates with primary care physicians, physical therapists and their assistants, psychologists, mental health staff, sleep specialists, athletic coaches and many more team members. We believe a team approach is the best way to serve our clients. All of our staff is full-time and dedicated to doing our part in guiding you to your wellness goals. 

Founding Barbel Fitness

Barbel Fitness was founded on August 22nd, 1992 in Waterbury, Connecticut by Barbara Martinsen. Barbara is a fitness program design expert with a background in competitive bodybuilding and Judo. She was one of the first Personal Trainers to serve the diverse community of the Greater Waterbury Area. Barbel Fitness has lead the community in wellness education, youth fitness, senior fitness and personalized wellness solutions for both preventive and post-rehab care. We are now located in Middlebury, CT and have expanded to serving clients in regions such as the UK, Canada, Australia, India, East Asia, South Africa and Brazil through out online program. 

Barbel Fitness mentors aspiring Personal Trainers and Nutritionists to reach under or unserved populations impacted by the obesity epidemic and educate young people on self-care principles that mainstream fitness/diet culture falls short on. We are committed to providing the tools and skills for Personal Trainers and Nutritionists necessary to engage with the community, retain lifelong clients and prepare them to pursue their careers. 

All of our professionals bring their professional expertise, academic knowledge and lived experience to each client. If they do not know the answer, they are dedicated to finding it for you. We pull in a client-centered, strengths-based and compassionate approach to overcoming obstacles that might stand in your way. 

All of our professionals currently work full-time and are available on-site or online. All of our professionals are fully licensed, certified and are insured. 

Message From Our Founder

“There was a time when I didn’t think I needed to exercise, nor did I want to. Actually, I hated it. That’s right. And I could have cared less about eating breakfast or lunch.

A cup of joe with a lot of cream and one of those chocolate donuts made my day in the morning. I was a fast paced, cool New Yorker, back in the 1980’s, riding that LIRR to Penn Station, hopping that subway in my stilettos down to Wall Street. I loved my occasional lunch with my colleagues, and long, wine filled dinners with clients. I did not pay much attention to my health, until it started to fail. I was living at a time where the thinner you were, the more successful you were perceived. And let me tell you, I must have been perceived as extremely successful,because I was painfully thin. I ignored the headaches, the chronic fatigue and the frequent illnesses. Here I was helping people invest in their future and my future was looking very bleak at the moment.

I knew I needed to change and start investing in my health or I was going to have nothing to draw from later in life.

I think what makes me a good fitness professional, is that I have made all the those wrong choices and can relate with my clients when they speak about their own lives. There is no judgment, no arrogance. We are all on this road together.

So, by accident, I picked up a copy of Muscle Fitness and started reading the workout routines. I bought some free weights and started working out. From the first day of working with free weights, I couldn’t get enough. I had to learn more about this sport of bodybuilding, so I moved to California and started my journey in Gold’s Gym in Santa Monic. I soon went into competition and found myself in the very same magazines that I so cherished as a novice.

My life changed again, when a young woman asked me to teach her. It never occurred to me that I could help others with what I knew. So the student became a teacher and I kissed competition goodbye, as I found great joy and satisfaction in sharing my knowledge and watching my clients change their health, bodies and lives for the better.

It wasn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile really is. If the desire for change is strong, the way will be made clear. Now, after 40 years of investing in my health, I can definitely tell you it has paid off, and then some!”

–Barbara Martinsen