Meet our Team

Katie Monson, owner

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Katie was born and raised in Orange County, California and spent her West Coast days enjoying the beach and playing lots of soccer. In 2008, she moved to Sonoma County to pursue her bachelor's degree in Biology and found a passion for the health and wellness industry. By 2011, Katie became both an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor and was managing both the Group Ex and Training Department at Sonoma State University. After moving to Charlottesville, Virginia in 2016, she decided to make her dream of creating her own studio a reality! Currently, she enjoys connecting with people at group training sessions, going for walks in town or hikes in nature, watching live music and spending time with her family.

Katie's training philosophy is centered around the idea of seeking progress, not perfection. "Little actions every day can create large change" is her strategy in helping people with behavior and physique change. She also believes in looking holistically at someone's life in order to seek improvements. She aims to help clients create balance within their lives, instead of unrelenting sacrifice to meet goals. 

The goals of Katie's training sessions are to help you feel stronger and more confident in your physique, and to connect you with others who help you on your fit journey. She will encourage you to do your best while giving you the space to work at your own pace. You can expect to leave her sessions feeling uplifted, successful and like you did more than what you could do on your own.

She looks forward to meeting you and helping you take one step closer to that fit version of yourself!

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Matt Monson, owner

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Matt was born in Charlottesville and grew up in South Carolina.  He moved back to Cville in 2010 and began his entrepreneurial career.  He owned a whole-grain bread bakery from 2011-2016, then helped open a brewery in Cville, managed a sandwich shop, and wrote recipes for an online meal planning service.  He started teaching Group Exercise in 2018, and then wanting to go further in the fitness industry, became a Trainer in 2019.

 

Matt brings high energy and excited passion to his workouts!  Living a “hard work, hard play” mentality, he wants to see you working at the peak of your own intensity level and then cool down with nonstop jokes.  His favorite muscle groups to target are the postural/stability muscles that plague every person who spends too much time sitting.  His job is complete when someone says, “I feel like my body just moves correctly now!”  He also enjoys intense, explosive power workouts that makes you feel accomplished and complete afterwards.

 

Matt is into nerd stuff like writing a great spreadsheet formula, or talking about fantasy and sci-fi, or just meticulously obsessing over the details of any hobby.  He plays guitar, brews beer, watercolor paints, and is struggling to learn how to golf as an adult.  He feels compelled to stay active all the time so bonus points if you ever actually see him sitting still.

 

Come find out why people say, “You’re the most energetic person I’ve ever met!”

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Kala Curtis

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Kala grew up just outside of the Charlottesville area in Orange County, where all the cows live. An athlete from a young age, she specialized in tennis, swim, and lifting.

 

Kala has adopted exercise as a holistic necessity to the everyday routine of life. We breathe to move, and move to breathe. Her upbeat and fun classes will push you to challenge yourself physically and mentally, as well as encourage your inner and outer confidence.  Each class is uniquely designed to foster optimum results and success in every workout.
 

Kala's philosophy is that we support and push each other as a team more than we thought possible on our own. Going outside of our comfort levels will help us grow stronger physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  Her teaching style incorporate these core ethics to challenge and build confidence for all fitness levels, and of course make you sweat, lift, and push more than you thought you could!

 

She loves a good HIIT workout and the very occasional half marathon. You can catch Kala biking on the mountain trails, hiking with her dog, enjoying time with friends, or traveling to other countries for volunteer projects. She has been an outdoors woman leading backpacking trips through the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah mountains. She is WFA (wilderness first aid) certified through NOLS and a certified Group Fitness Instructor through ACE.  Kala also works at Albemarle High as a teacher assistant in special education.

Rachel McLean

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Twice native to Charlottesville (she grew up here as a child, and later moved back as an adult because she loved it so much!), Rachel is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and ACE Certified Health Coach, an avid runner, a wannabe foodie, interior design junkie, fresh air and sunshine enthusiast…and a mom of three amazing elementary-aged boys!

 

Driven by her healing journey through chronic illness, Rachel is extremely passionate about educating and empowering others to lead a life that is mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually enriching – with a focus on building and maintaining functional wellness for everyday life. 

 

Her favorite way to stay fit is through cross-training: incorporating HIIT strength and cardio workouts, along with a variety of outdoor activities: biking, running, and hiking.  You’ll see many of these elements incorporated into her group training style at Progress Studio!

 

When she’s not training, she works as a marketing and communications consultant supporting the growth of local businesses, enjoys volunteering with non-profits throughout the community, and loves any excuse to take in live music and go dancing! Her classes are upbeat, uplifting, and empowering, with the goal to send you home feeling encouraged and proud of what your body can do! Always fresh and fun, she structures her group workouts to efficiently work your body from head-to-toe, encouraging you to reveal your strongest self in every session.  Whether through her fitness profession or day-to-day personal interactions, her desire is to cultivate an environment that inspires joy, wellness, and authentic connection by building real community.