Jim R. - May 2008

Two years ago, I decided to make a serious shift in my life and to get back into the type of fitness that I enjoyed prior to a busy career and running a business. I went on an extensive search to find a trainer that could understand my goals and help me to get there. More importantly understand that I am in my mid-forties and I wanted to specifically stay in top physical condition as I continued to age. I am also very active in outdoor activities and wished to gain strength and flexibility in order to prevent injury. I met with several trainers before I decided on Dave. His approach, understanding and knowledge made the others "pale" in comparison. So much so, that I made the commitment to travel three mornings a week to the city from the East Bay in order to train with Dave. The results have been phenomenal. I just could not find a good trainer in my area.

Our first round was for eight straight months and then I took a few months on my own and came back for another four months. We have concentrated on everything from posture, nutrition, flexibility, balance and weight lifting tempo. The end result is that I have changed my body composition in a major way. I also have been able to work with Dave on improving performance in outside activities and sports such as Mt. biking, paddle boarding and tennis. Most importantly, I have gained so much core strength as well as muscle strength around joints, that I haven't had a single injury. He is always drilling in proper alignment and form in our workouts.

Dave is by far one of the best there is out there. I still shake my head when I am training at another gym and overhear a session with a staff trainer and client. I realize how fortunate I have been to work with Dave.

Greg L. - June 2007

Wow. What do I say about Dave Engen? Well, it would be easy to say that he is an unbelievable personal trainer who has an incredible passion for his work and the success of his clients. But that doesn't quite capture the experience over the past six months I've had working with him.

I came in to talk to Dave, frustrated with my general fitness and feeling like my body was on a long, slow decline that didn't show any signs of getting better anytime soon. I needed a kick in the pants, but I knew I needed someone who could do that with a sense of humor and meet me at my level at the same time. Dave totally delivered, and then some!

When I first started working with Dave, my motivation was all around losing weight and looking better. Hey, that's not a bad goal for most of us. But as I worked with him over months and months (and, man, did we work), I saw my motivations start to change. I found I was actually starting to get into the idea of being healthy in a broader way than just weight loss. Yeah, the weight started to slip off and I was developing muscle (cool!), but I was getting more excited about how I was feeling and what I could do physically (including starting a pretty serious bike commute that I hadn't done in years but I've always loved).

Then, something unbelievable happened that has never happened to me in my entire life: I started to really, truly enjoy my workouts. I started loving the way they made me feel and, even during the hard parts, I started to get pleasure out of working out and pushing my body to the next level. I never thought I'd say that. I've always been one of those "I work out because I should and it's good for me" people.

Throughout the whole process of this transformation, Dave was everything I could want in a personal trainer. Knowledgeable without being pedantic. Motivating without being preachy. Firm while never losing his sense of humor. What's more, he was always available to give advice via email and phone when needed because he very clearly ties his ego in with his clients' goals. He takes it very personally if you succeed and you can feel it in every interaction with him.

While I'm currently seeing what I can do on my own (with a do-it-myself fitness program that Dave designed), I plan on checking in with Dave at intervals to keep the momentum I've built with him and get advice on next steps as I get healthier and stronger.

I could not recommend him any higher! If you've ever thought about taking your health and athleticism to the next level (whether you're a couch potato or a triathlete), you absolutely owe it yourself to sit down for a chat with Dave. You won't regret it.

Diane S. - July 2008

Ok, Dave can kick my butt one day and help re-center my brain and inner peace the next. He knows how to help those of us whose intensity level on a daily basis may be somewhere above the healthy norm. His experience and training as a Holistic Lifestyle Coach is what I think largely contributes to the well-rounded approach he takes to guide me on the path to wellness.

Over time, Dave has gotten to know my personality as well as my physical abilities and limits. As my trainer and coach for the last 3 years, I have bounced from extremely athletic/energetic workouts, to quiet and slow/thoughtful workouts, to work "ins" as Dave calls them. While I may walk into the gym with the idea that I'm just there to work out hard, if my body and mind aren't both in the right place for it, Dave can sense it. He helps me refocus and re-balance without a "typical" workout. Sometimes it means doing exercises that are more slow, controlled and focused without much weight beyond my own body weight. Other times it has meant that I literally do not work out at all, but have a session where Dave leads me through a guided meditation in a quiet part of the gym.

I can confidently say that he's a part of "Team Diane" and I value our sessions immensely, whether it's a work-out or a work-in.

December 2006

It's been about a year of training with Dave now, and I still learn something new pretty much every time I train. And I train typically 3 days a week. Throughout the last year I have had ups and downs with different injuries (all from things I have done outside of training!) and every time Dave is there to guide me through caring for an injury...when and how to work out around it...and when to tend to it with kid-hands.

Every few months Dave helps me re-assess my goals. I think when it comes to training long-term this is key. A person's ability and body changes with training so what may have been a goal 3 months ago is not necessarily still valid. He's honest with me and helps me have good goals and keeps things fun while getting there.

I don't think there's a better New Year's resolution to make than to call Dave and schedule a consultation and at least a few sessions...seriously...you won't regret it!

April 2006

I've been working out with personal trainer Dave Engen of Reach Fitness here in San Francisco now for about 8 months and it is really paying off. I'm not only seeing and feeling great results but I'm learning a lot about form and technique as well as interesting new exercises. I have become one of those people who can't imagine working out alone - and I'm a very motivated exerciser - but I am learning that nothing really beats having a great trainer by your side who changes it up all the time. And who also can crack jokes and make it a fun hour even if you are in a little bit of pain at the same time...

Dave uses a lot of core stability training in his personal training workouts combined with muscle-building strength training and circuit training to keep things interesting and really well balanced. Each session we have, we do a bunch of things I'm familiar with and have done before...and gotten better or stronger at...but he also almost always introduces something new into the mix. It's amazing what kind of wacky but effective exercises trainers can come up with when there are some new pieces of equipment in front of them.

I would definitely recommend working out with Dave to anyone who wants to increase their athletic performance with sport-specific athletic training or to someone who is just looking to have a more guided, more effective, and more fun overall workout.

Jen S. - April 2007

At first I was thinking it might be a little early to write a review, but that's stupid. If I'm already feeling great, it's definitely not too soon. I have Diane to thank for her reference to Dave Engen at Reach Fitness.

Dave is phenomenal. At first sight, I was happy that he's not super bulked up. Then when I found out he used to play soccer in Brazil, I knew we'd get along. It's only been a couple weeks but he wasn't lying when he replied "3 days" to my question of when I'd start to see results. The more significant difference, however, is in how I feel. Dave has a great understanding of how our bodies should be aligned to work properly and efficiently and the kind of fuel we need to consume for this to happen. I haven't slept so well in a very long time.

Dave has been flexible with my schedule (small things make all the difference!) and I couldn't be more enthusiastic about my training with him. I look forward to writing more as I Reach (the level of) Fitness I'm Aiming for!

Maureen M. - August 2006

Anyone looking for a great personal trainer should look to Dave Engen (of Reach Fitness). I have been working with him for a little over three months and have seen incredible results (lost 30lbs and had several, "whoa, where did that muscle come from" moments.) Furthermore, it is actually fun. I am one of those people who is like, "crap...must...go...to...gym." I even look forward to workouts now. Spectacular change.

In addition to certification (through the National Academy of Sports Medicine), Dave is uniquely qualified, with an engineering degree giving him an extensive understanding of the biomechanics associated with exercise and human movement. He explains what you are working, and the benefit of that specific move.

But by far, Dave's best quality is how well he can motivate people. He encourages you to push yourself, but has realistic expectations. One of my concerns with getting a trainer was the pressure to perform and hearing negative barking in an attempt to drive me beyond my limits. If that is what you are looking for, Dave is not your guy. He is very positive and keeps workouts fun and interesting. In addition to strength training, core work and stretching, he mixes things up, for example, taking a break from something really challenging by kicking around a soccer ball (my sorely lacking soccer skills have improved immensely).

Dave is also highly skilled in sports training. He is an incredible athlete, and has many years of competitive sports experience (gymnastics, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, diving, and swimming). He is currently training for cycling time trials and will debut the results of his training system at the upcoming Treasure Island Triathlon. Dave is an avid kite surfer and thus works to stay healthy, fit, and continuously improve upon his skills, so he understands your goals and challenges first hand. He's taped me running and advised me on form and what stretches I can do to improve and relieve some joint pain. My buddy who recommended me and has been training with him for six months (and is in fantastic shape, you should see her arms) also got some advice on kickboxing techniques.

You can take Dave with you (no, not literally, he has kite surfing to do), as he is great with advising you on nutritional adjustments to maximize the results of your work with him. I can expand upon the stretching techniques he has taught me through Thai massage on my own. He has also been an excellent source of expertise when it comes to cardio that I do outside the gym (what to do, when, how much, and dealing with injury).

Bottom line (mine is getting increasingly smaller by the day, huzzah) Dave is a complete training ninja. You get results and you will have fun. I highly recommend him for those interested in getting in shape, staying in shape, improving muscle tone and strength, overall changes in lifestyle and sports training. If you recruit his services (www.reach-fitness.com), please tell him I sent you, and be sure to bust his chops about Brazil's performance in the World Cup.

Kara R.
- August 2006

Dave at Reach Fitness has had a tremendous impact on me physically and mentally. He is a great teacher and by learning the right technique with him it is amazing what your body can do. I've dropped 3 sizes since I started working with him and my body is completely different. I had back surgery a long time ago and even though I was an athlete in college, I definitely had limitations and now I can do things I never could have done, nor thought were possible.

He definitely expects a lot from you so be prepared to be challenged and pushed but he is also excellent at being aware of where you are at in your head so he is great at changing up the workouts, pushing sometimes with strength training, or core work, other days with cardio intervals, balance stuff, etc. You name it and at some point on my body, it hurt! He also just moved into a new facility in SoMa with brand new equipment and a diverse set of cardio equipment as well which has been a plus.

I am in a high stress job and he has truly had a huge impact on my quality of life from physically feeling healthier to being able to handle much more stress without falling apart. I have referred several friends after they saw the results I was getting and I have seen results in each of them too. I can honestly say my favorite hour of any day is the time I spend with Dave at Reach Fitness. I can't imagine getting through a week without him now.

Paula M.
- October 2006

Update: It is now 7 months post surgery. I feel great and am told by others "looking great!" There is no sign of a limp and Dave continues to provide training that challenges me. I always look forward to my training sessions, they're never the same, never boring. Have you called Dave?

I can't say enough good things about Dave Engen at Reach Fitness. In the five months I have worked with Dave my life has dramatically changed.

In February 2006 I began working with Dave, at that time I needed a cane to walk, suffered from end stage arthritis in my right knee, and was 40 pounds heavier. I was very concerned about starting an exercise program, but Dave's personal experience gave him insight into my injury and limitations. Under his direction I significantly increased my overall body strength and stamina. In addition he provided me with solid information and encouraged my weight loss. While working with Dave my overall well being, physically, emotionally and mentally, has dramatically improved.

My surgery was finally scheduled for mid July when I had a total knee replacement. My increased strength and improved health contributed greatly to my recovery, which impressed my doctor and physical therapist. Because I was so much stronger the day of surgery I was able to lift myself using the trapeze. The therapist was impressed that I was able to walk briskly the day after surgery. Four weeks after surgery, ahead of schedule, I was able to ride a spinning bike. At eight weeks, post op, I returned to work without the cane, which I had used for two years. Nine weeks after surgery I went back to the gym to continue working with Dave. I continue to make progress that astounds me and my medical providers.

Dave has the ability to motivate his clients to excel, because he is supportive, realistic, and fair. He is respectful, regards individual limitations, and shows concern for my overall health and well being. He insists his clients have appropriate food after workouts and rest when needed. Again, I can't say enough good things about Dave and would highly recommend him as a personal trainer.

Jojo W. - October 2006

If you're looking for an amazing trainer to help motivate you into top-notch shape, look no further than Dave Engen, trainer-extraordinaire! I have been working out with Dave for three years now and can't say enough good things about him. He is personable, intelligent, funny, beyond qualified, and motivating. His engineering degree gives him a unique understanding of body mechanics, and he knows how to explain things as you train in both technical and layman's terms.

I first met Dave at a former gym and literally told the manager that I wanted someone who would "work me hard"--and he didn't hesitate to refer me to Dave. I was not disappointed and have continued to see Dave off and on throughout the many phases of my life these last few years. He initially helped me get my upper body into better shape while I was training for a half-marathon and triathlon, then got me into great shape for my wedding. Most recently, he provided pre-natal training as the birth of my daughter was approaching, and I worked out until my due date--and felt fantastic. It's been 11 weeks since giving birth, and I just met with him this last week to start with the post-partum round. I have no doubt I will be back to my pre-pregnancy size in no time.

Dave is top caliber and knows more about the body than just about anyone I know. I highly recommend him and guarantee extremely positive results.

Myles B. - September 2006

I have been a client of Dave Engen of Reach Fitness for over a year now and quite frankly, I wouldn't train with anyone else. I have had a couple of other good trainers in years past and thankfully one of them referred me to Dave when he switched careers.

My goals were rather simple, get bigger arms and shoulders and slim down my waist. Aesthetics were the only things on my mind. I was never all that athletic in my younger days and somewhat awkward in movement.

I know that the hour we spend working out I have 100% of Dave's attention. Each movement is monitored, corrected or congratulated. He looks at my body and structures my workouts not only to achieve my goals, but to create symmetry and to improve my posture. Each exercise is demonstrated and purpose explained in detail. The kicker is in over a year, we have not done the exact same workout more than once. I know that with each training session I will be learning something new.

Dave really understands the body and how to push it forward in a way that is challenging and fun. Since he watches my every rep of every set, I feel completely safe and motivated to keep pushing and pushing. You will not hear him barking orders in some militant fashion as you see on TV, it's just not his style. But make no mistake he will push you, in a far more effective way. Not only within the gym, but in your daily life helping you shape /reshape your eating habits and your non training session gym time.

He understands and respects my busy lifestyle and helps me find creative ways to develop good eating habits and workouts on my own. He is NOT the "My way or the highway" kind of guy, however, he does not accept excuses. All of this makes him exactly what I need.

My goals have increased over the last year because I can SEE and FEEL the difference in my body. I have stopped obsessing over the scale and body fat, because the mirror tells me more. I feel stronger more coordinated and far more athletic.

Whether you are a seasoned athlete, body builder, new to training or simply want to get in shape Dave is your guy. He is an athlete in the truest sense. He understands the human body, movement and diet. Plus he is genuinely a good guy. I highly recommend Dave!

Aron S. - August 2006

At the age of 30, I couldn't believe how many back problems I was having for a girl who should be in relatively good shape! A good friend of mine recommended Dave as he'd trained with him to correct his posture and lose weight, and seen great results.

My original goal was to work on my core, and strengthen my back. Dave was wonderful in slowly working me through, step by step and building up to strengthen my body by first correcting problems like posture and misusing my body.

After a few months, the difference in my body was amazing, and I am thrilled to say that I haven't had a problem with my back in about 9 months! (knock on wood...) Once my body was in better shape, I began to work with Dave to lose weight, tone up and just be a healthier person. I've lost about 18 lbs (and counting), and I am really happy with the way I look and feel.

Dave is very personable, and makes the workouts varied and a lot of fun. I call him my coach! He is very knowledgeable, and tells you the whys and the whats of what you're doing so you understand how it works for you. He is also very well versed in nutrition, and is quite motivating. He knows how to push you to where you need to be, but isn't too pushy or overbearing. A great guy and friend, and a wonderful trainer. Get fit!

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