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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Bodhi by Anothony Monetti

Bodhi by Anthony Monetti, now in its brand new location at 194 W. Main Street, Somerville, has a simple mission with a profound intention:  “We are a team of fitness professionals who educate you on quality nutrition and effective fitness training.  We help you create your best self.”  Co-founders Anthony and Karen Monetti, both world-class natural (drug-free) bodybuilding professionals, believe that personal training is about personal transformation, which begins with an awakening to the fact that something needs to change.  Their company name, “Bodhi” is a Buddhist term meaning “awaken” or “enlighten.”  Once we “wake up” to our current condition, we are ready to embark on the process of transformation, both outer and inner.  And the highly trained staff of “Body Transformation Specialists” at Bodhi is there to educate, coach and encourage each one of their members along every step of the process.

Individual attention is key to the Bodhi approach, beginning with a free initial consultation about health history, lifestyle, exercise experience and goals in order to determine the best place to start training.  Both fitness training and nutrition education are available, either individually or, ideally, in tandem.

Fitness training is offered in small groups or one-on-one, both of which include a carefully planned combination of functional movement, muscle building, metabolic conditioning and de-loading/restorative exercises.  A large white board shows the week’s group workout program, along with notes about members’ progress.  Another board lists the total amount of weight lost by every single Bodhi member, ranging from “5+ lbs lost” to “75+ lbs lost.”  “There are going to be a couple people in the “100+ lbs lost” category very soon!” says co-founder Karen Monetti.  Success stories like these are the norm at Bodhi:  “Members encourage each other,” Karen adds.  And it’s likely that they take their lead from founder Anthony Monetti, who has a natural gift and desire to help people dig down and uncover their potential.  This kind of coaching comes from the understanding that personal transformation takes intense energy, stamina and passion, and having a support system in the form of a world-class bodybuilding competitor to stoke the fire of determination is invaluable.

Nutrition education is the key to successful fitness training at Bodhi.  Karen, who is a Certified Nutrition Consultant in addition to being a professional figure competitor, sees “food as central to everything.”  She believes in the power of the macro-nutrient model:  proteins, carbohydrates and fats interacting to result in calories.  Only by understanding these simple building blocks of nutrition can people avoid the pitfalls of most diet programs, which she notes are unrealistic by design because “they can’t be sustained and therefore cannot offer any long term success.”  In keeping with the simplicity of the macro-nutrient model, Karen uses very few supplements in her nutrition practice, choosing to suggest only a select few when necessary.  Her primary goal is to “break down the science behind eating” so people will understand the importance of timing their meals, especially in relation to their workouts, and will ultimately become aware of “the consequences of the food they eat.”  She explains, “A member may start out thinking she wants only a fitness program,” but usually comes to realize that understanding eating habits and the science behind nutrition is the key to making the training actually work.

With members ranging in age from 8 to 65, Bodhi takes seriously the concept of individual transformation.  “We do something so different here than what big gyms do,” explains Karen.  Members are “under instruction all the time,” whether in group or individual training, or in nutrition consultation.  Even within the small group setting, Karen notes that Anthony has an uncanny ability to cater to individual needs.  “There may be 10 people on the floor, all doing what works for them.” This translates into meaningful results for individuals, week after week.  Following their recent move to a larger space, more classes have been added to the 7-day-a-week schedule, including a “Body Basics” class which serves as a starting point for all new members and from which they springboard to further training. Anthony and Karen are assisted by three staff members:  Denise Chirco is a Nutrition Coach who left the legal field to follow her dedication to health and fitness, and to help others change their lives through health awareness and nutrition education.  She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition.  Ashley LeGrand is a Fitness Coach with degrees in Public Health and Psychology, a Fitness Trainer Certification, and an extensive background in dance, choreography and boxing.  Under the guidance of Anthony and Karen, Ashley successfully competed in her first figure competition in 2011, and is dedicated to helping others transform their lives and to believe deeply in their own strength.  Ben Quinones is Bodhi’s Project Manager and brings a contagious blend of creativity, originality, enthusiasm and leadership skills to everything he does.  Down 107 pounds since joining Bodhi, Ben is also working toward fitness coach certification under Anthony’s mentorship.

Dedicated to local community, Bodhi is spearheading the “Get Fit Somerville 90-Day Challenge,” a community wide transformation challenge in conjunction with the Borough of Somerville to help residents get healthy and fight obesity.  (Complete information available at  Additionally, on April 12 Bodhi will sponsor its third annual amateur bodybuilding show for the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation, to be held at the Somerville Middle School.  Winners of the 90-Day Challenge will receive recognition and prizes at the bodybuilding show on April 12.

Both Anthony and Karen Monetti possess true passion for their work, which springs from personal experience.  Both discovered at an early age that fitness, which for them includes nutrition, would play a primary role in their lives.  Their professional natural bodybuilding achievements are extensive, to say the least.  Achieving that level of success comes from complete dedication to vision, and in the process discovering one’s own deep wellspring of strength and purpose.  The Monettis and their staff at Bodhi believe in this wellspring, and want to help others discover it for themselves.  You will find these words from Anthony on the company website (  “Find that something in life that drives you, that something that inspires you.  Believe in it.  Believe in yourself.  Move forward creating this, without fear of judgment or criticism from others.  Read that again.”

Location: 194 West Main Street, Somerville. 908-526-2288,

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