Melina Vlahos Christidis is a respected fitness icon who has been active her entire life. With her 18 year fitness career and her self made brand, she strives to educate her followers, clients, athletes and fitness professionals to not only train functionally and get fit, but to also develop and practice a lifestyle that will lead them to a rewarding success. This summer, Melina will also be offering fitness programs and trainings around the island of Mykonos.
She began the brand ‘Melina Fitness’ in 2009 after working as a trainer and then manager throughout collage at a corporate Gym – Bally Total Fitness. At the time she was finishing her masters and thought she wanted to open up her own fitness gym or get into management. However she quickly found that management at the corporate level with the gym was more about sales than actual working with the client individually. “I knew I stood out as a fitness professional and that my approach to change people’s lives was successful. It was then I decided to take a step back and go back into teaching and then just personal training on ‘the side’ on my own. I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do in this fitness industry. So I just created a general website and called it ‘Melina Fitness’ and from there I have evolved over the past decade. Building it up has been a very crazy detailed experience. My resume is stacked with several trainings, certifications, clientele, fitness collaborations and the list goes on,” Melina said.
The young fitness personality is also proud to be 100% Greek American, first generation on her father’s side and third generation from her mother’s side. “My father immigrated over to California from Zakynthos, Greece in 1955. Over the course of the past five years I have been working back-and-forth with some projects in Greece. As a Greek American it’s always been a passion of mine to spend my summers in Greece, and in 2015 when a work opportunity approached me, I had to take it. Since then I’ve been back several times working with athletic trainers and also I created a small business called ‘Club Fit International’ where I take clients over to Greece on vacation incorporating fitness, tourism, luxury and of course a whole lot of Greek fun.”
Melina’s daily schedule varies week by week, as does her personal eating and working out schedule depending on what her goals are. On a typical day, she wakes up and has her coffee, usually does a morning workout, breaks her fast with her Melina Fitness ‘SWOL’ shake and starts her day by checking in with her clients. She also has about 3-4 personal clients a day, teaches group fitness classes and works as an endorsed ‘athlete’ and fitness professional with the biggest supplement company in the world- optimum nutrition, all while constantly working on new projects and ideas to grow her brand. She doesn’t have down time very often, but she is definitely living the fitness ‘entrepreneur’ life.
“Fitness should 100% be enjoyable. I tell my clients on a daily basis that if this isn’t enjoyable for you, you need to stop coming. If you’re stressed out about going to work out, then you need to reassess what you’re doing and what regiment is needed for your personal lifestyle goals. I think one of my niche in this industry is that I make fitness fun and social. It’s super important and will keep people motivated indefinitely.”
The respected fitness icon believes she helps her clients find their inner motivation that they will keep. “Motivation is so hard to really dial in to. Everyone has different motivators and different purposes’ that drive them.” For Melina, it’s simple, she can’t imagine going a week without incorporating fitness into it, as her motivation comes from the fact that it is the one thing in her life that she has absolutely control over that makes her feel 100% confident and good about herself on a daily basis. “Goals constantly can change as can the body. However, your motivation should never leave your soul.” Melina gets her clients to dial themselves in mentally and physically feeling confident about what they’re doing on a daily and weekly basis. “This is the key to success and having a healthy lifestyle. My approach is teaching the audience, either a client or online, simplicity in their health and fitness programs. I also believe that because of my personality and how I teach things, the knowledge sticks with the audience. They absorb the information and the training techniques that I give them because of the way I make fitness fun. This keeps them constantly motivated and wanting to keep a lifestyle they work so hard now to create,” Melina noted.
Her overall goals for Melina fitness is to have a bigger online presence and continue to grow her branding. This is through e-books, a published book that she’s currently working on, online nutrition and fitness programs and expanding her presence as an influencer in the industry.
“I believe I have the passion and the drive to make others feel good about themselves, and of course not to mention kick ass workouts, effective nutritional counselling and meal plans, and a dedication to get a person to really change their life and to succeed in the goals they set for themselves.”
The best advice Melina would like to share to a person of a Greek background to live a healthy lifestyle is “Pan metron ariston. Everything In moderation. However, if something isn’t working to make you happy, then you need to change it.”
Melina also recently hosted an event with her sponsors Optimum Nutrition in Greece during the summer period. “There was a global sweepstakes where 3 winners were selected to go to Greece with me for a week. Because of my previous Club Fit International groups and fitness trips, Optimum Nutrition was intrigued by this to be a grand prize for a contest they had world wide.” The winners spent time in Mykonos, Santorini and Athens.
Following the trip, Melina is staying in Greece for the summer to offer fitness programs and trainings around the island of Mykonos. “This will be my first summer staying the whole time, as I want to see the demand for Fitness in a touristic island. I believe I will be successful as fitness is evolving and becoming a more significant factor when people go on vacation.”