About BlakSteel

BlakSteel Fitness gives clients the attention and personal service needed to help them achieve their personal goals. Whatever the goal—trimming some inches, beginning a mommy makeover, increasing muscle tone or getting ready for a big event—we’re here to help you achieve success. Work, sweat and laugh your way to the top!

Because variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to fitness, we offer a diverse array of training modalities.


Blaksteel Fitness Owner Todd

Todd Shuler, Owner and Operator

Todd Shuler has been in the fitness industry for over thirteen years. He is NCSF certified, as well as BOSU, Battling Ropes, and Active Stretch I & II certified. He has studied various methods of fitness including Boxing, Cycling, and Qi Gong. While cultivating his craft, Todd has had the opportunity to work with a number of different clients with different goals and personalities.

His experience allows him the unmatched ability to create several different modules of training and has given Todd a unique outlook on life and perspective into the minds of clients. This is what enables him to give each client a specific and truly personal experience. Todd believes we each have our best life ahead. The key to accessing this best life lies in our bodies and our health. Let Todd help you unlock your best life and inner super hero.

“As a trainer and a man, I’ve witnessed many things that affect people’s lives and joy. In all cases I have found that the happiness with one’s self directly affects the duration and outcome of those moments in life. The clarity and love in which you view yourself is guided by your physical vigor, and the height of your mental and spiritual attitude. Health is achieved by the positive balance of these things.”

Read more about Todd in Voyage Phoenix magazine.



Team Steel

Dawn Dybdahl

Dawn Dybdahl

Director of Operations

Dawn worked as a legal assistant for over 30 years, both in Phoenix and in Minnesota. She has worked in many practice areas, including commercial litigation, criminal defense and intellectual property. This extensive administrative background and knowledge is a great asset to BlakSteel Fitness.

Dawn is very passionate about health and fitness and is excited to be able to apply her administrative background in the fitness industry. She began her fitness journey when she began personal training with Todd many years ago. She fell in love with the physical and the mental challenges that fitness presented.

“Fitness to me is much more than physical. It is amazing energy, it is mental empowerment, it is a challenge – but to me it is also incredibly fun and I have met the BEST people and life-long friends since beginning this journey. I absolutely love seeing people enjoy something that I love so much.”

In her spare time, Dawn enjoys taking classes at BlakSteel, spending time with her crazy cat, horseback riding, and photography.

Read more about Dawn in Voyage Phoenix magazine.

Contact Dawn for assistance with any administrative, scheduling or other concerns that you may have.


lisa Hess

Lisa Hess

Instructor

Lisa started teaching in 2012 when her love of indoor cycling and all things fitness led her to get Barre and cycling certified. Since putting on the mic that first class at CoreBalance Studio her love for sport and people has only grown. Her respect and care for her clients has also motivated Lisa to get her nutrition certification and add more classes to her game.

When she is not in the gym sweating or motivating clients, Lisa loves yoga, reading, hiking, painting, and spending time with her kids.

Take a class with Lisa and you will sweat, dance, laugh and curse!


Jennifer Jesse

Jennifer Jesse

Instructor

Jennifer is a fun, energetic mom and native of Phoenix. Active all her life, Jennifer has participated in dance, track ‘n field, rhythm dance roller skating and softball. Sports led her to fitness and she enjoys many varieties of fitness regimens including boot camps, spin and yoga classes, hiking and trail running, P90X and Krav Maga. Jennifer seriously fell in love with fitness when she became a mom and was introduced to the Tone It Up® and Amenzone Fitness© programs. Being a new mom, she learned that health is wealth and that exercising and taking care of your body is more than just about losing weight; it is fundamental to the mind, body and soul. Jennifer loves to work with clients to encourage them to do their best, by incorporating a variety of strength and cardio movements in an exercise routine.

Jennifer believes that it takes dedication, discipline and effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. “The fact that you’re making any effort at all, that’s the biggest difference. I’m here to educate, inspire, listen and remind you.”

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not”
~ Denis Waitley


Ijeoma Ogbuchiekwe

Ijeoma Ogbuchiekwe

Instructor

Ijeoma (African-Creole Queen) is a Louisiana Native. Ijeoma recently completed 200 hours yoga teacher certification under the mentorship and teachings of Tara Martell, Hamid Jabbar, and Julie Tuomisto-Bell. She is also professionally trained in a variety of mindfulness practices. Ijeoma has been active most of her life, participating in soccer, competitive swimming, bootcamps, yoga, zumba, indoor cycling, hiking and kickboxing. She's down to try it all!!

Ijeoma strives to maintain a fun-loving, energetic, and healthy lifestyle. She values her mind, spirit, and willingness. "These assets represent my character. My mind allows me to obtain and receive knowledge, to have wisdom, and be resourceful. My spirit is lively and a beautiful part of me that helps to inspire others. My willingness allows me to expose myself to new opportunities, new people, and learning experiences."

When she is not doing yoga, Ijeoma spends most of her time being of service to her community and nurturing her well-being by planning the next wild adventure, traveling, enjoying life with family and friends, thrifting for new treasures, and breaking a sweat in a variety of workouts.


La Mar Hinton

La Mar Hinton

Instructor and Personal Trainer

La Mar has many years of personal and group fitness training experience. He is NASM certified, has worked as the Fitness Director at Anytime Fitness, and was the Executive Director of Certification and Training at AmenZone Fitness. He is also currently working towards obtaining his nutrition certification. La Mar is a former elementary school teacher and loves working with children, as well as adults.

La Mar’s coaching focuses on functional group training, boxing conditioning, SAQ (speed, agility, quickness) work, low-impact training, building lean muscle mass, and weight loss.

“I believe that one of the most challenging aspects of fitness is staying consistent with your individual goals and maintaining the motivation to want to better yourself. My goal is to push my clients out of their comfort zone and I thrive to challenge them both mentally and physically. Are you up for the challenge?"


Erika Vairo

Erika Vairo

Instructor and Personal Trainer

A Phoenix native, Erika is a lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast. She has experience as a fitness professional in personal strength training, boxing and pilates.

Erika is a vehement devotee to both exercise and nutrition. When she is not working out, training, or spending time with her family, she is working towards earning her degree in dietetics.

She is very passionate about helping others through their health and fitness journey, and is thrilled to be a part of the BlakSteel team!


Julicua Singleton

Julicua Singleton

Instructor

Julicua’s (“J”) passion for fitness began while serving in the Navy. While stationed on the USS Cimarron, she was selected to lead a bootcamp-style fitness class. Given the size of the deck and limited equipment, J had to be very creative.

While stationed in San Diego she was assigned to be the fitness coordinator. She also assisted in step and spin classes during her time there. Later, while stationed in Kuwait, J was asked to lead a spin class and lead the fitness instruction for frocked Navy’s Chiefs.

Since living in Arizona, J has worked for Maricopa County where she was a part of the design process for the cardio fitness center, while at the same time completing a fitness course through the County. Under the direction of Maricopa County Fitness Wellness Center, J became TRX certified. J recently also received her Barre certification through Barre Above.

In her free time you can find J doing hot yoga, creating flower bouquets, cooking, listening to music, and spending time with her granddaughter.

J’s classes will be filled with great music, good vibes and a fun, challenging workout!

“You can have fun and get the job done in your fitness goals!”


Annie Kertes

Annie Kertes

Instructor and Personal Trainer

Annie has had a lifetime passion for sports and fitness. She grew up in a small town in Hungary where she could always be found playing one sport or another, but it was water polo that ended up stealing her heart. She represented her national team in the European Championships and in the Youth Olympics. In 2011 she was offered a scholarship to ASU, seized the opportunity, and soon arrived in the US with one suitcase and a smile. She later transferred to UOP in California where she finished her water polo career earning an All American title, as well as GCC player of the year. She then coached collegiate water polo for a year, before returning to Arizona with her wife, Christina. In their search for a fitness home, Annie and Christina found BlakSteel Fitness. Here, Annie once again fell in love with fitness, and hasn’t looked back.

Annie recently received her NASM Personal Trainer Certification, and is currently working on completing her Behavior Change Specialist certification. She is fun, energetic, and loving, but won’t go easy on you!

“I love diversity. I celebrate all bodies. I see people as perfectly imperfect beings. I believe there is happiness to be found in every struggle. Most people (myself included) have difficulty finding time and energy to workout with our busy lives. However, you show up and you do it! Might as well have fun while you’re at it. A healthy body = nourished soul, and a healthy mind = happy heart. They are all interconnected and I believe fitness has the power to bring them all together.”


Meg McCleerey

Meg McCleerey

Instructor

Meg graduated with a BFA in Dance from University of Montana. She moved to Phoenix in 2000 and coached gymnastics until 2010, when she began her career as a Massage Therapist. She started teaching spin classes in 2017 and was hooked because it was like dancing on a bike! Since then she has gotten her 200 Yoga teacher training and is NASM certified. She loves teaching fitness and to see individuals challenge themselves in daily activities and watching their fitness and confidence grow. She believes that moving keeps the body dancing through life.

When Meg isn’t in the gym, you can catch her outside on South Mountain riding her mountain bike or hiking. She loves hanging with her husband Dan and dog Grizzly Bear. She’s also a sucker for a good book and a strong cup of coffee.


Jim McNair

Jim McNair

Instructor

Jim loves to be active. He is a fireman so staying fit is important! Jim got into teaching spin, as an alternative to road biking, mostly for safety. He road biked earlier in life, and found that he needed am efficient way to train for a triathlon. He decided to use spin as the foundation for triathlon training, including Iron Man. He was then inspired to teach spin classes after being encouraged to do so while taking other’s classes, and he loved it!

In his spare time, Jim enjoys globe trekking! His most recent adventure was hiking 4 days on the trail to Machu Picchu!

Come ride with Jim and see why he's a spin favorite! Be ready for some interval training and a high calorie burn!!


Gabriella Cooper-Navarette

Gabriella Cooper-Navarette

Instructor

Gabriella is a passionate individual who enjoys teaching others mindful movement. Her intention is to help her students improve their overall well-being through mindfulness. On the mat, Gabriella looks forward to guiding her students through a series of breath to posture movements. Off the mat, Gabriella is a driven student herself studying dance professionally under Jukebox dance studio. When not doing either of these you can find Gabriella's face stuffed in a book or under a blanket watching horror movies.



Self Protection Department (Combat Trainers)

Charles Mason

Charles Mason

Self Defense/Personal Trainer & Instructor

Charles has over 20 years of experience in physical fitness and martial art instruction. He emphasizes personal empowerment and physical well-being by consulting, designing and implementing customized fitness training and martial arts programs for individual and group sessions. His instruction will ensure clients are maintaining proper form and discipline while exercising and training; encouraging them to exceed their perceived limitations. In addition to instructing small group classes, Charles offers a hands-on Self Defense Course, “Girls on Guard” classes and personal training.

*Qualifications: US Army Physical Readiness Leader, Level IV Modern Army Combatives, Master Trainer, Gracie Jujitsu, Kodokan Judo, Okinawa Kempo, Certified "Girls on Guard" Instructor


Fidel Hernandez

Fidel Hernandez

Boxing Consultant

Since turning pro in 1996, Fidel fought over 20 fights in 6 years, finishing with a record of 17-3 with 10 KOs. He has claimed two titles as a professional – The AZ Middleweight Championship and a minor World Title.

Fidel is a consultant for BlakSteel Fitness. He is here to aid in knowledge and training for our staff and Steel Combat program. With a Champ in the house, you can count on the very best from us!!



Our DJ

DJ T-Last

DJ T-Last

DJ

Terry Lastoria, aka DJ T-Last, has been a DJ for over 15 years. His career took off in 2012 when he became a fixture at CoreBalance Studio where he dj'ed Spin classes with Mr. BlakSteel. The clientele loved the additional energy DJ T-Last brought to the classes.

DJ T-Last was soon offered many opportunities to dj in the fitness industry. He began dj-ing spin classes (known as “The Grind”) at the Madison Improvement Club, again with Mr. BlakSteel. He became the resident DJ for Amenzone Fitness©. He dj’ed tour stops for Amenzone in both New York and L.A. He had regular gigs with Reformed Pilates and Lifetime Fitness and has had numerous guest appearances at the Gypsie Bar, Ecko Store, lululemon athlitica®, The Village and Fit Republic.

Currently he is dj-ing a number of spin classes at Mountainside Fitness, the Madison Improvement Club, is the resident DJ at Let It Roll Bowl, and of course is the resident DJ for BlakSteel Fitness! DJ T-Last has also done numerous weddings, private and corporate events and birthday parties. You can also catch him every Friday night at 11pm on 101.1 The Beat!!

DJ T-Last began his career because of his love for music. He believes that music is the gateway to happiness. He loves to see the joy that his music brings to other people, he loves to see them dance, smile and have a great time. Dance, smile (and sweat) to DJ T-Last at BlakSteel Fitness, or one of his many places, to hear the sickest beats and feel the amazing energy he and his music provides.

Read more about Terry in Voyage Phoenix magazine.

Visit his website: djtlast.com



In Loving Memory


A Dog Named Playboy Steel

Playboy Steel

Guard Dog Extraordinaire

July, 2010-April 6, 2021

Forever Loved, Forever Missed