"I started training with Karen Ko after reading Madeleine L.'s review above and I'm so grateful that I found her! I immediately had a good feeling about Karen when I met her for the first time; obviously she's amazingly fit but she wasn't intimidating at all. She's completely non-judgmental, and I've never felt like the fat girl at the gym. Our workouts have not only changed my body (16lbs and many inches gone, plus some fun new muscles popping up) but she's really instilled a confidence in me that I simply couldn't find working out on my own. I could run on a treadmill til I pass out, but it would never give me the boost that one of Karen's workouts does.
I honestly look forward to seeing Karen and becoming a hot sweaty mess 3 times a week and can't recommend her enough!
(kind of unrelated, but the fact that her website isn't full of ridiculous "lose 20lbs in 2 weeks" claims also impressed me when I was first researching trainers; Karen really is focused on getting you the results you want but being healthy and realistic about it.)"
"I've been working with Karen since March and it has been the most rewarding as well as the smartest thing I have done for myself since I turned 50 last December. I had always considered myself a cerebral and fairly uncoordinated person who had no aptitude for physical activity and little upper-body strength. The first thing Karen did was change my self-perception with her assertion that wherever ever you are on the skill-strength-mobility continuum is fine - there is no 'normal' in physical ability or athleticism. Now almost 7 months later, I have gained strength and coordination, my posture and mobility have both improved, and the chronic pain I was experiencing from lack of exercise and bad postural habits has almost disappeared. I am certain my success is all due to Karen's approach to training which is adaptive to the learning style and needs of her client. For me, that meant patience in our first months working together and a willingness to break down into smaller steps for me what might be more basic motions for others. Now, Karen constructs each training session to include the mix of repetition and challenge I need to build on the skills I have learned. I also know I am safe with Karen and have learned techniques that I never would have considered possible for me prior to training. Who would have thought that at 50 I'd be doing pull-ups and dead-lifts? But I am and it is pretty amazing.
In addition, Karen's warm personality, her genuine interest in her client's fitness and well-being, and her commitment to feminism, anti-racism and accessibility make her a great conversationalist and my training sessions with her one of the things I look forward to each week. I would encourage anyone looking for a personal trainer to work with Karen - she is certain to help you achieve your best level of fitness."
Samara Secter (Nutrition)
"When it comes to nutrition coaching, Karen is simply amazing. Over the course of only a few weeks Karen helped me learn to see food as fuel, rather than my enemy. From taking me on grocery shopping trips to cooking with me, Karen created a very supportive environment which empowered me to work with food. I have gone from eating every meal out to only eating out once or twice a week. The best part of working with Karen, when it comes to nutrition, is that she explains why. She will tell you, in a way that you can understand, why she encourages you to eat certain things as opposed to others. She presents the information in an encouraging and informative, rather than overwhelming manner. Put simply, Karen's coaching has enabled me to regain a sense of control in my life. Since working with Karen I feel stronger, leaner, and more empowered. "
"Karen has provided me with an opportunity to gain the technical knowledge that's allowed me to really enjoy exercise and relish a well earned sweat. I have greatly benefited from dramatically improved balance, strength and body awareness that she has specifically targeted. One of many reasons I keep coming back is her positive re-enforcement of my goals and her sense of exercise as a intensely therapeutic & joyful experience. I would recommend Karen for anyone who wants transform their lives through exercise and find that mysteriously rare life balance, she has been amazing for me."
"I have been working with Karen for almost a year. She never fails to effectively motivate me to get the most out of every workout. Exercise can get boring if you fall into a predictable routine. Karen makes sure that doesn't happen by introducing new challenges well before the old ones can get stale. I certainly never thought I would learn Olympic lifting techniques like the "clean and jerk"!
When I started training with Karen, I simply wanted to get in better shape. Now, thanks to Karen, I am motivated to be healthier and stronger than ever before. To her credit, Karen's focus is entirely on health and fitness, not on achieving a certain "look" or reaching an arbitrary number on your bathroom weight scale.
I have also been impressed by the care that Karen takes to be sure that each and every workout is not only effective but safe. When I injured my shoulder playing hockey, Karen directed me to a wonderful Osteopath and, in consultation with the Osteopath, revamped our sessions to ensure a safe recovery process. She was patient (more so than me) and insisted we ensure complete recovery before putting the shoulder to the test with more challenging exercises. It was clear throughout this process that I was in good hands with Karen.
I would not hesitate to recommend Karen to anyone. Whatever your fitness level or past experience with exercise programs, I am confident she can help you achieve your best - whatever that means for you."