photos provided by Fit Monkeys

Fit Monkeys

mp_fitmonkeys4Fitness enthusiasts and mother/daughter team Denise McClelland and Kelly Riffel decided 2015 was the year to make their dream a reality. In November 2015, Denise and Kelly put their 18-plus combined years of experience working in the fitness industry and their knowledge from their various certifications to open Fit Monkeys, a holistic one-on-one training studio utilizing methodologies such as Pilates, personal training, and yoga.

Denise was introduced to Pilates in 2005 as a way to manage back pain associated with her two C-sections and the everyday life of an active stay-at-home mom. After three months of training she was free of the back pain, her posture improved, and her muscle massa had increased. Needless to say she fell in love with Pilates. Denise decided she wanted to become a Pilates instructor so she could help others like herself live a more fit, pain-free life. In 2006 Denise completed her Pilates certification and apprenticeship with the world-renowned Pilates master Julian Littleford.

“…I look forward to my weekly training sessions geared specifically for my body. I have never liked working out until I met these talented women. I have lost weight, gained muscle, and dropped a size.” – Susan P., age 63

Kelly, also having suffered with back and knee pain associated with her scoliosis and her passion for running, decided to take her mom’s advice and try Pilates. She too was amazed at how much Pilates reduced her back and knee pain and improved her running performance. In 2008 Kelly completed Julian Littleford’s Pilates certification and apprenticeship program so she could teach Pilates while completing her B.A. at UCSC, where she graduated summa cum laude.

mp_fitmonkeys3After a couple years working as Pilates instructors both Denise and Kelly became certified personal trainers through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) so they could expand their “tool box” of ways to help assist their clients reach their fitness goals. During this time Kelly also went through a yoga teacher training certification program through yoga master Katie Brauer, so she could also utilize yoga to help her clients.

Fit Monkeys differs from other fitness studios in that Denise and Kelly have the knowledge and experience to train individuals of all fitness levels safely and effectively, from professional athletes to individuals with limitations such as and not limited to: disc herniations, knee and hip replacements, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tears, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, and osteoporosis.

mp_fitmonkeys2The “fit” in Fit Monkeys stands for Functional, Intelligent Training. Denise and Kelly have had extensive education in anatomy and continue to expand their knowledge base through workshops and by staying up to date on the latest research.

Not only is training with Denise and Kelly safe, but they always keep their sessions dynamic and fun so their clients can stay motivated. Outside of their knowledge and experience Denise and Kelly work hard to provide their clients with a clean, supportive, and friendly environment so clients can escape their daily life for an hour and invest time in their fitness.


Name of Business: Fit Monkeys
Owners: Mother/daughter created and owned by Denise McClelland and Kelly Riffel
Year of Establishment: 2015
Address: 3138 Roosevelt St. Ste. J, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: 760-420-1531
Description of Business: Denise and Kelly specialize in helping their clients meet their fitness goals in a safe, effective, and fun manner, regardless of physical limitations.