Pursuing a Lifetime of Fitness


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Gillian Mounsey is on a mission to spread her passion and knowledge of physical fitness to the American public. It is her personal belief that physical activity leads to a healthier, happier, and more productive life.

Gillian was born and raised in Queens, NY. Her gymnastics career started before she could walk by tumbling down down a flight of stairs. The result - her parents enrolled her in gymnastics at the Flushing YMCA at the age of two thus launching her career in fitness.

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Gillian's idols were Olympic gold medal gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton, and like her idols, her love of movement flourished throughout her childhood. Gillian would impress her classmates on the playground with her feats of strength and speed. She was intensely motivated by a desire to challenge herself and prove there are no limits. Gillian developed her own conditioning program to improve her gymnastics and used it to teach her friends. To those that know Gillian, it is of little surprise that she was a "personal trainer" at the age of eight.

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In junior high, Gillian began weight training and running as well. She joined the all boys weight training club and was determined to prove to them that gender was not a limiting factor. Gillian set a personal goal to break the school records for push ups, sit ups, and pull ups. She achieved her goal, and started to challenge her mind by reading about anatomy and exercise science at the age of 12. At this early age, Gillian knew what she wanted to do with her life.

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Gillian's passion for fitness and training others continued to grow in high school. She competed on the gymnastics team as well as the track team. Wanting more, Gillian helped create the Benjamin N. Cardozo High School Fitness Team. As captain of both the track and fitness teams, Gillian led her fellow teammates through her rigorous conditioning programs, the result - winning competitions at the national level. The Cardozo High School FitnessTeam participated in the United States Marine Corps Youth Physical Fitness Program where they competed against high school athletes across America.

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In 1995 Gillian won the USMC National Physicial Fitness Championship by placing first as an individual. Additionally, she lead the girls team from Cardozo High School to a third place finish in the country. The photo below is a depiction of Gillian being honored by Mayor Guiliani at City Hall when she returned from the competition in California.

In addition to her participation in organized athletics, Gillian volunteered her time with Special Olympics athletes and after school youth programs. She also was an active member of the Nutritional Action Committee which worked at bringing healthy food choices into the schools.

After high school, Gillian studied at State University New York (SUNY) Cortland, eventually earning her degree in Exercise Science from Hofstra University. While in college, Gillian honed her craft, and became a certified personal trainer. Her attention was largely focused on learning to work with populations with special training needs such as cardiac patients, pregnancy (pre and post natal), diabetes, osteoporosis, neurological conditions, and amputations.

While in college, Gillian found a new outlet for her enthusiasm and love of personal training. Gillian spent several hours each day in the gym and became involved in competitive body building earning her pro card at her first competition. This broadened her quest to the nutritional front.

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While finishing her degree, Gillian worked as a teacher's assistant, tutor, and lab assistant at Hofstra University helping others appreciate human movement. Upon graduation, she spent several months in a clinical setting as an exercise scientist in a cardiac rehab facility before starting her career at La Palestra in New York City.

LaPalestra employs a philosphy of merging the medical industry with the fitness industry through an approach of exercise, education, and community. This provided the foundation for many of Gillian's beliefs with regard to physical fitness and continues to guide her approach today.

Gillian spent most of her 20's at LaPalestra where she continued her career as a personal trainer. While at LaPalestra, she advanced to medical director and finally program director. As program director, Gillian created an apprenticeship program for graduate students of Columbia University and New York University that provided the training neccesary to become successful personal trainers. It is Gillian's belief that one learns and grows the most from teaching others.

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In 2008, at the age of 30, Gillian embarked on her solo career. It was during the spring of 2008 that she found CrossFit. Gillian has since been incorporating CrossFit methodolgies with her previous knowledge base and has taken her training to the next level. As a result, she is a a better trainer and a better athlete.

Gillian competed in the 2008 CrossFit games (the world championship of CrossFit) after only three 3 short months of "CrossFit" practice, and competed again in the 2009 CrossFit games, adding a third place finish in 2008 to her list of acccomplishments.

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Gillian's first love is teaching, and she recently started a personal training seminar and consulting business in June of 2009. Wanting to do more, Gillian dedicated her efforts in September of 2009 to Hope for the Warriors® - a non profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of severely injured servicemen and their families.

On November 14th 2009, Gillian orchestrated an event called "Operation Pull For Hope" to raise funds and awareness for Hope for the Warriors®. Gillian raised money through sponsorship in her attmpt to complete 100 Muscle Ups. Always a fan for human movement, Gillian asked donators to join her in her efforts. With participants completing Muscle Ups alongside of Gillian, "Pull for Hope" was an enormous success, Gillian completed her 100 Muscle Ups in less than 35 minutes and raised over $58,000 for Hope for the Warriors®. (Check out the video here: [wmv] [mov]).

As of April 15, 2012, Powerlifting Watch* ranks Gillian as follows in the American 148lb Raw class:

Squat: 27th - 281lbs
Bench: 29th - 187lbs
Deadlift: 48th - 330lbs
Overall: 22nd - 799lbs

On May 5, 12012, Gillian competed in the 2012 Southern Powerlifting Federation's North Myrtle Beach Classic in the 165lb class. All 9 attempts were good:

Squat: 285lbs, 300lbs, 310lbs
Bench: 225lbs, 240lbs, 250lbs
Deadlift: 345lbs, 375lbs, 400lbs

Total: 960lbs

Gillian has plans to compete at the USAPL Nationals in the summer of 2012.

Gillian holds the following certifications:

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CrossFit Basic Barbell
CrossFit Gymnastics
CrossFit Mobility

POSE Running Certification
Active Isolated Stretching - Wharton
CPR and First Aid (Basic Life Support)