Our Staff

Mark has an exceptional background in physical therapy and personal training. As a graduate of Blair Academy and The College of New Jersey, Mark was well prepared to enter graduate school. He graduated with a Master's Degree of Physical Therapy from the University of Saint Augustine in 2000 and was soon employed by Morris Area Rehabilitation Association (MARA) as a physical therapist. He was quickly promoted to Clinical Director. While Mark enjoyed working with rehabilitation patients, he wanted to work with people on injury prevention and maintaining fitness. He became certified as a personal trainer through the National Council for Sports Medicine Education and began working part-time as a personal trainer at the Total Wellness Center in Bernardsville in 2001. In 2003, he left MARA to work full-time as the Director of Personal Training at the Total Wellness Center. After two successful years as director, Mark decided to open his own business, Excel Fitness Center, in Bernardsville, New Jersey. While training takes up much of his free time, Mark also dedicated time to further his education. He graduated in May 2006 from Temple University with his doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Mark's clients are inspired by his dedication to his own fitness. He has competed in seventeen marathons with a personal best of 2:50:09, a team triathlon, and numerous 5K runs. Mark has recently become a certified Crossfit coach and Senior Strength Trainer through the IWA (International Weightlifting Association).

Kristi obtained her Master Personal Training and Massage Therapy certifications at the National Personal Training Institute in Orlando Florida. Her studies have included Biomechanics, Anatomy, Physiology, and Nutrition. After graduating in 2005 she joined the Excel Fitness Center Team and continued her education at the Swedish Institute of Massage in NYC. Obtaining her certification in Advance Sports Massage Therapy in July of 2009. Kristi enjoys training her clients for their lifestyles. Kristi has continued her education with a wide variety of continuing education courses and seminars ranging from Functional Training, Back to Golf, Spinning, and Strength Training. In her free time Kristi stays very active. In October of 2008 Kristi started competing as a Pro Figure Competitor in the USBF then 2009 competed with WNBF. Placing 1st in many show such as the Empire Bodybuilding and Figure Championship Kristi has done over 15 shows in 3 years. During those years she ran many 5k’s, ½ Marathons, and Full Marathons. In 2011, Kristi ran her first sub-four-hour marathon at the Marine Corp Marathon. The real victory was her and her co-workers raising money for the Semper Fi Fund.

In the spring of 2012 Kristi took on her first modeling job doing a shoot for Whetblu. She has recently signed with Wilhelmina Modeling in Philadelphia. Kristi plans to continue modeling and acting part-time while being a part of a great Team at Excel Fitness Center.

Grace’s life has always revolved around athletics and her commitment to achieving excellence. However it was her decision to pursue a swimming career at the Division I collegiate level for James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA, that led her to find her true strengths and passion in the field of exercise science and leadership. Grace graduated in May 2008 with a BS in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition. While at JMU Grace was recognized as a scholar athlete all 4 years while also achieving the Deans List multiple times. She was the women’s swim team captain during her senior year. She is certified in V02 max testing as well as acquiring one's resting metabolic rate (RMR). Grace has also recently become a certified CrossFit Coach and is a certified Spin Instructor. Over the last few years she has completed 5 marathons and a 1/2 ironman. In 2012, Grace was inducted into the Bernards High School Hall of Fame.

Jen Russell graduated from Drew University in Madison, NJ in 2002 with a BA in music. In addition to teaching voice lessons and singing wherever she could, she decided that she wanted to pursue a career in the field of health and wellness.

She is a nationally certified massage therapist, having graduated from the Professional Track program at the Somerset School of Massage Therapy in September 2004. This intensive program included both anatomy & physiology and the study and practice of a variety of massage modalities including Swedish, Myofascial Release, Sports, and Pre and Post Natal massage. Jen is also a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, the oldest and largest international organization representing the massage therapy profession.

Additionally, in May 2012, Jen became a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Bobby’s passion for sports and physical fitness started at a young age. He wrestled for 14 years and also ran track and played football at Voorhees High School. Bobby graduated from high school having earned ten varsity letters. After high school, Bobby attended the National Personal Training Institute in Orlando Florida. AT NPTI he got his certification in personal training and sports training. In 2012 Bobby completed his first marathon in Washington DC with team Excel Fitness Center. Bobby is now attending school at Raritan Valley Community College to further educate himself in Exercise and Fitness.

Kari’s passion for fitness began when she started inline speed skating at the age of nine. Her love for speed skating carried through her high school years as she also participated in track, soccer, and lacrosse. During her speed skating career Kari competed in numerous pro-elite competitions across the country. She qualified for regional and national championships countless times and in 2006 was a national medalist. Kari received her personal training certification from the National Personal Training Institute in Orlando, Florida. After returning to New Jersey Kari found a new love for running. She has run countless 5k races, four Tough Mudder events, and hopes to one day compete in a marathon. Kari competed in the 2011 River to Sea relay, and enjoyed running across New Jersey so much that she participated again in 2012. Kari most recently finished a 10K in Washington DC in which she helped Team Excel Fitness Center in raising money for the Semper Fi Fund.

Sarah Carothers is certified by the NASM as a personal trainer and cardio respiratory trainer. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Point Park University with a BA in Dance. She has performed with Paramount Pictures, Silvertree Productions, Alliance Productions, and Off-Broadway at the Elan Awards honoring dance legend Anne Reinking. Sarah has appeared in television spots on FOX, ABC, WB, PBS, and NBC and in commercials for Six Flags. She has also toured with Emmy Award winning special events producer David Thomas in “The World of Magic.” Sarah has choreographed pieces for performances in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee and has toured the US as a master class instructor and judge for the Universal Dance Association and Dance USA. She has taught dance at the Somerset County Performing Arts High School and at two private studios in New Jersey. In recent months, Sarah has also competed in a duathalon and a half marathon at the NJ shore.

At Excel, Sarah fine tunes training sessions to match client’s fitness goals. She has also introduced the Great (Heart) Rate program which has taken a number of clients to the next level of fitness, cardio-respiratory health, and body weight and fat reduction.

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