Our Team

When a new member joins Sand & Steel for personal training, they always ask me who is going to be their coach. And I always tell them the same thing — we are all your coach. No one coach is better than the aggregate knowledge and wisdom we share as a team. Sand & Steel works because we are united in our quest for safer movement, healthier bodies, and acceptance of all people and cultures.

Sand & Steel Coaching is many things, but at its heart lies a commitment to teamwork for the betterment of each other and our members. Teamwork is working together to build and secure a common vision. It is the coordination of individual efforts to benefit our members and our gym. Our teamwork-first culture is what provides us the ability to offer a level of personal training service unmatched in our industry.

So, yes, we are all your coach. We are all your team. We want you to benefit from the combined experience and certifications we all share. Learn from everyone, absorb as much as you can, and become the fittest you can be.

Our Gym

Sand & Steel Fitness is a gym specializing in Personal Training, CrossFit, Yoga & Nutrition.

We are well known in Alexandria for maintaining the cleanest CrossFit Box in Northern VA. We have smaller classes to improve coaching and instruction. We also have lower prices than nearly all CrossFit gyms in Alexandria, VA. We reinforce safety by prioritize teaching mechanics and consistency over intensity, and we employ the highest certified coaches in the DMV area so that you can get in shape quickly and efficiently.

We are a beginner-friendly CrossFit gym that welcomes people of all ages and genders. We proudly support the LGBTQ community and the military.

Paul Roberts Personal Trainer Yoga Teacher Alexandria VA Springfield VA

Paul Roberts – Owner

Certifications and Credentials

  1. Biomedical Engineer: Johns Hopkins University
  2. CrossFit Level 3 (CCFT): CrossFit Certified Trainer
  3. CrossFit Powerlifting: Strength Training
  4. M|WOD ReadyState Movement and Mobility Specialist: Movement and Mechanics
  5. Kinstretch: Mobility and Flexibility Certification for Group Classes
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Dawn Anderson – Owner

Certifications and Credentials

  • Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) Level 3 Coach
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness: Certified Personal Trainer
  • Feet-Ness Instructor: Feet and Toes Strength and Recovery
  • Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist: Human Movement Optimization. Mobility Development, Articular Strength, and Neurological Control
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Alicia Jackson: CrossFit and Personal Training

Personal Training Certifications

  1. Bachelor’s of Science – Health and Physical Education from Old Dominion University
  2. NASM Personal Training Certification
  3. NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification
  4. Level 1 CrossFit Trainer
  5. First Aid, CPR, and AED Certified
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Cindy Personal Trainer CrossFit

Cindy Moore – Senior Coach

CrossFit and Personal Training Certifications

  1. CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  2. National Strength and Conditioning Association Member/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA CSCS)
  3. NETA Personal Trainer
  4. Functional Movement Systems Functional Movement Screen Level 1
  5. TRX Suspension Systems and Rip Trainer
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EJ Thompson: Personal Training

Personal Training Certifications

  1. NASM: Certified Personal Trainer
  2. NASM: Certified Nutrition Coach
  3. NASM: Group Personal Training
  4. NASM: Cardiorespiratory Training for Fitness
  5.  CPR/AED certified                                                                                  
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Past Coaches

Some of our Favorite Coaches that Have Moved to Open Their Own Gyms and Studios

Coach Flavio Kettlebell Sport Girevoy Sport Weightlifting Powerlifting Strongman Alexandria VA

Flavio Spaducci – Kettlebell Strength and Conditioning

🌟 Sand & Steel All-Star Coach.  July 2018

Flavio’s Personal Trainer Certifications

  1. Kettlebell Sport Coach Level 2: Exam passed with highest marks, certified by Oleh Ilikia, World Kettlebell Sport Federation president, multiple time world champion and Guinness Record holder
  2. Strongman Instructor: Certified by Francesco Gioia, Italy’s strongest man
  3. Crosslifting: A new sport born in Russia by combining all of the strength sports together. Spent a week in a Russian Olympic facility, training with Klokov, Berestov, Koklyaev and Denisov
  4. Weightlifting Instructor: Certified by Giles Greenwood in London, UK
  5. Functional Training Instructor: Certified by Italian Boxing Federation

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Robin Marion Bodybuilding Figure Competitor

Robin Marion Strength Training for Triathletes

Strength Training for Triathletes Certifications

  1. American Council on Exercise (ACE) – Certified Personal Trainer
  2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) – Certified Health Coach
  3. American Council on Exercise (ACE) – Strength & Conditioning Coach
  4. American Council on Exercise (ACE) – Nutrition Certification
  5. TRX – Suspension Training Certification
  6. USAC – Certified Cycling Coach
  7. USATF – Certified Track Coach
  8. RRCA – Distance Run Coach
  9. Les Mills – Body Combat & CXWORX Certification
  10. Strong By Zumba Licensed Instructor
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Matt bio Overall Fitness

Matt Ervien
Overall Fitness

Overall Fitness is a passion. Strength and conditioning that will effect your everyday, whether it is related to work or recreational sports. Better fitness will allow for more energy throughout the day helping you excel at whatever you are doing.

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Rachel Garmon
Weightlifting and Mobility

My Certifications: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Weight-Loss Specialist, USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach, ISSA Kettlebell Certified

“The greatest feeling is watching a client achieve that which they thought impossible. Challenge yourself and challenge your body.”

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Jenn Starter Pack

Jenn Morrow Powerlifting

Jen’s Personal Training Certifications

Level 1, Junior Personal Trainer

  1. NPTI National Personal Training Institute: Kettlebell Certification, Nutrition Certification
  2. LMT Licensed Massage Therapist
  3. P-DTR Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex
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Monika Yoga Teacher eryt-500

Monika Ljungquist Yoga Teacher

Yoga Teacher ERYT500

Yoga Teacher – Various Disciplines: Hatha, Recovery, Vinyasa

  • Ashtanga yoga primary series: 2010 David Svensson, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Yinyoga teacher training: Ann Arnesson, 2010, Sweden
  • Pre and postnatal yoga training: Karin Bjorkengren Jones, Båstad, Sweden
  • Swedish massage and trigger points treatments: 2010,Friskvårdsgruppen, Lund, Sweden
  • Bachelor in nursing science, registered nurse in Sweden: 2013 Lund University
  • Yoga teacher ERYT 200 Yoga Alliance 2012: Alan Finger, Sarah Platt-Finger, Ulrica Norberg and Katrina Repka, Stockholm, Sweden
  • DOULA training: 2013 Goteborg, Sweden
  • Teacher training in restorative yoga: (2014, Stockholm)
  • Ayurveda lifestyle coaching certificate: 2015 Markaryd school, Sweden
  • ERYT 500, ISHTA yoga: Training taught by Alan Finger, Sarah Platt-Finger, Ulrica Norberg and Katrina Repka, Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Integrative nutrition health coach: 2019-2020
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Yoga Teacher and Spine Specialist

Paris Yoga Teacher and Spine Specialist

Yoga Teacher

Yoga Teacher Certifications

  • 200Hr RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher)Kripalu Yoga Center
  • Chiropractor Assistant Cert: Maryland Chiropractic Board
  • First Aid and CPR: American Red Cross
  • Reiki Degree Level 1: Shabach Yoga Studio
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Kim Ruiz Yoga Teacher

Kim Ruiz Yoga Teacher

Kim- Registered Yoga Teacher RYT 200

Yoga Teacher – Alignment & Vinyasa

  • Vinyasa Yoga RYT-200
  • Zumba Basic 1,
  • Zumba Basic 2,
  • Zumba Gold and Zumba Toning
  • AFAA Group Fitness Instructor
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Adam Spector: Personal Training

Certifications and Credentials

  1. Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: George Mason University
  2. Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS): NSCA
  3. Certified Personal Trainer: NASM
  4. Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT 200: Yoga Alliance
  5. First Aid/CPR/AED: Certified
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Kati Gunn

Kati Gunn Personal Trainer

Personal Training Certifications

  • Bachelor’s of Science – Exercise Science from University of North Carolina
  • NASM Personal Training Certification
  • NASM Group Personal Training Specialist
  • First Aid, CPR, and AED Certified
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Coach Spotlight: Jonathan Cardenas

My Fitness Journey with Jonathan Cardenas at Sand and Steel Fitness by Shelina Merchant. Jonathan and I talk often about how meditation, a positive outlook, and fitness all connect in overcoming pain (both emotional and physical). This helps you become a happier, more self-loving, and more self-confident version of yourself. He’s helped me change my perspective on working out so it’s not a chore, but rather an investment in myself that will pay off in so many ways. Sand & Steel has so many great trainers, but I wanted to take a minute to share with you why I choose Jonathan.

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Dani Simcic: CrossFit Coach

Education & Fitness Certifications

  1. Bachelor’s of Science – Political  Science from East Stroudsburg University
  2. Master of Art- Higher Education Administration from Rowan University
  3. CrossFit Level 1 Certification
  4. First Aid, CPR, and AED Certified
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