Barb Mendoza, Owner Discusses How Technology Influences Her Fitness Business
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"I like the classes at Fitness by Design because they are rigorous and demanding, yet carefully planned and monitored to combine strength building and some aerobic components. The instructors are attentive and well organized, so I am confident that I am doing the exercises in the most effective and safe way. The classes are varied enough to remain interesting, but there is enough consistency to create a sense of real progress over time. I am not always happy while actually doing the class, but I am always glad to be there and sorry when I have to miss! I know I've gained a lot of strength and flexibility - and I've had a good time as well! "
Kathy Eckhouse
""Last year, I decided to take more initiative with my health. I have been working out with Barb once a week and have recently added 2 fitness classes. I've been very adamant about taking this slow and steady- I want to change how fitness occurs as a long-term commitment. I can say that the variety of activities I participate in through FBD and the exercise I do on my own have really made a difference in my daily life. I'm stronger, more fit and have even noticed that my clothing fits better. Fitness By Design has been an all-around great addition to my life.""
PT Client
"I am really enjoying my yoga classes with Mary. I've never done yoga and I couldn't have asked for a better instructor for my first experience. Mary is fantastic - she has a very calming effect on my mind and body - can't wait for Monday evenings!""
client of Mary
"I simply can't imagine facing the challenges in my life today without the weekly care and feeding of my physical and spiritual yoga connection with Mary St Onge. I had dabbled in yoga via DVD's, but didn't know how important the in-person instruction can be. Mary takes us all where we are, knowing every day is different, and helps us learn to acknowledge, address and diffuse the physical and mental distractions that impair our clear sense of purpose. Although that may seem a little deep, every once in a while, I just have a practice that lets me tune out the world and breathe. I am so grateful for Mary's loving leadership and her direction that inspires me to challenge myself as we practice together. Still striving for flexibility. "
Margaret Buckton
""Mary is an outstanding instructor and is very prepared for her 8 week series of classes, which are challenging and interesting. She explains the purpose of the positions, checks regularly to be sure we are in sync with the end goal and gives precise instructions. There is no doubt Mary creates a relaxed and friendly environment; I feel at peace the moment I walk into the studio.""
Client of Mary
""One of the best decisions of my life was to start personal training at Fitness By Design. I feel so much healthier, more energetic and have a more positive outlook on life. What could be more important? If you are looking for a personal trainer, you have found the very best with Barb Mendoza. She deeply cares for every client and customizes a program that delivers terrific results."
Client of Barb Mendoza
"I wanted to write a note to you about my experience with Tim at your studio. I really have appreciated all your personal notes as well as the information of what goes on at FBD. Tim is so professional and thorough in everything that he plans and all his advice. Having the privacy and attention to concentrate on this life style change has been wonderful. I suffered from sporadic lower back pain and the biggest impact the personal training has had so far is that I have not had pain once since I started working out. I also have an easier time carrying my baby and toddler around and being more active with them. I wanted to let you know that I am having a very positive experience and that I think very highly of your studio and your staff."
PT Client
"If you haven't done yoga with Mary St. Onge, you haven't really done yoga yet. I have done yin yoga, mixed level yoga, Bikram yoga and yoga therapy, so I believe I speak from experience.
I had just discovered yin and was trying to learn how to teach it when I started attending yin with Mary. It begins my week with such a sense of purpose, self-esteem and serenity that I may have to travel to Minnesota in the summer. The mixed level is not just the poses, but Mary teaches them with a theme which knits the series of 8 classes together. It means you don't want to miss a class. I have also learned so much more about the marriage of breath and movement that is true yoga. Bikram is relatively new for me, but after experiencing two different instructors, I love Mary's less rote recitation of the poses. I always feel pleasurably wrung out at the end of the class."
A grateful and enthusiastic yogini
"It was great! I really enjoyed the rejuvenation. I slept great that night! I'm bringing a friend to try next week!"
Yoga Client
"I started practicing yoga at a very vulnerable time in my life and in Mary's classes I have learned how to heal myself from within and that it's ok to take care of me first. Through the practice of yoga under Mary's guidance, I have gained more confidence in myself to handle whatever life sends my way. I feel such inner peace every time I leave one of her classes that I can't wait for the next one. Mary is very passionate about yoga and brings that passion into every class she teaches. I highly recommend Mary to anyone who is looking for peace and serenity in their life. "
"I enjoyed every minute of Mary's class! It's a bit of a drive for me, but it's worth it to practice with such a wonderful teacher. "
Yoga Client
"I turned 46 this year and I have never felt better. 4 years ago a friend and I said let's try yoga....and I thought I'm not a pretzel... but we went anyway not knowing what to expect. It has been so beneficial not only for my health but my mental well being. Mary has taught me to have a better posture, how to stretch out with your own breathe for full benefit of the practice. I think one of the most important things also is how to meditate and slow your mind. I recently quit smoking and going to my breath has calmed me down numerous times....Also, Mary says yoga is a practice-- you're not expected to ever be somewhere in your practice...just what you can do when you can do it. I go twice a week and even got my husband to go on Sundays with me....he absolutely loves the class..If there was ever a skeptic it would have been me or my husband.....we are hooked and found the BEST teacher.
JD, Des Moines
"I love coming to class, each class is different, so the interest I have, and my muscles have, keeps me coming back to see what is next. The personal attention and the smaller size classes are wonderful, the instructor lets me know if I am doing the exercises correctly. My most noticeable benefit, other than feeling so much better, was skiing this past winter, I could do a complete run without stopping, something I hadn't been able to do in a long time. A positive attitude by both the instructor and the class makes this something I don't want to miss.~Group Strength Client"
Group Strength Client
"I've been attending group strength classes for more than a year and in that time my HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) has risen 16 points and my LDL (bad cholesterol) has decreased 17 points. It is remarkable to see such a dramatic change at a time when I stopped running and swimming due to injuries and shifted my exercise focus to group strength classes. The instructors are certified, well prepared, and lead with enthusiasm and humor. It's healthy and it's fun. I love taking classes at FBD."
"Fitness by Design has been exactly what I needed. I am so thrilled that I found you all. My trainer has been amazing, I adore her and we have so much in common... plus she's subtly kicking my butt. And what an amazing soul Mary St Onge is! Joining your establishment has been one of the best things I've done for myself in a really long time. Completely worth the commitment, time and money."
PT client
"My journey to a healthier life has been a slow one, and Barb has supported me all the way, pushing me when I needed it, helping me noticeably increase my balance, agility, functional strength, and confidence. This year I decided to focus on weight loss. Barb held me accountable to that, celebrated small successes with me, and helped me keep the inevitable setbacks in perspective. I've lost 20 pounds, and we're still going!"
Client of Barb
"I was made to feel very welcomed. Mary set up a area for me to use a chair if needed. "
Yoga Client
"My lungs always feel so expansive the next day, my brain is calmer, and I've lost 9 pounds! There's just something about mindfulness, energy, and quiet that is so wonderful. AND I would like to say: You, Mary, are the BEST! I've been to other yoga classes, and they just don't have the same "spiritual" tone. But it's not preachy... just simple and nice. Also, I don't ever feel that I am in danger of injuring anything. You always focus on just doing what you can without hurting anything which is perfect for me!!"
Client of Mary
""Yoga's a great way to exercise & relax both the body and the spirit.""
Karen, Client of Mary
"The class is pretty wonderful, and Mary is pretty wonderful. So happy that I signed up. It is already making a difference in my stress level and my week.
Yoga Client
"I have felt very comfortable and welcomed at your studio. Because I am "dripping wet" at the completion of each class, I know I am certainly benefitting from the classes. I appreciate the cleanliness of your studio, availability of water, a prompt starting time and your professionalism. I like that you "mix up" the routines and find them all challenging......extremely! Am I dying to come to Do I feel empowered, happier, and full of energy at the end of each class.......yes. Thank you, Barb, for wanting feedback. That speaks volumes about you and your business!"
Group Strength Client
"I loved Pilates class as well! :) I want to tell you as a business woman and a frequent flier at your Studio that I appreciate greatly what you have put together. It is clearly "fitness by design" and I love being able to pick and choose. You have chosen and retained excellent staff. Your studio is clean and inviting. Everyone is very responsive. I can appreciate how busy your professional life is because there are so many moving parts. I want you to know how much I value what you offer.
Pilates Client
""Yoga's a great way to de-stress after work!" "
Susan, Client of Mary
"If I can point out one obvious gift from God, it's having Mary St. Onge as my yoga instructor. She's a perfect fit, like a tailor made suit. She does not merely go through the motions of yoga. She plants seeds of wisdom, she explains the physical/emotional benefits of the yoga poses and is always mixing it up so you are constantly learning. I love how we actually breathe through poses slowly as opposed to sweeping through them like a hectic day. Mary is passionate about what she teaches and with that kind of energy, you get so much more from your practice. She's awesome! "
Yoga Student
"My experience with Barb as my personal trainer has been great! I have continued exercising for 7 months which is a challenge for me but is now part of my routine. I have seen wonderful results in weight loss, stamina and balance. I enjoy gardening so much more since I do not tire as easily and can work for hours outdoors. With the variety of exercises and equipment Barb keeps it interesting, challenging and we have a few laughs too."
Becky K., client of Barb
"I really enjoyed the experience. I told Mary that I was a newbie with lower back issues and flexibility issues, and she was very accommodating and encouraging for where I am at right now. I felt very welcome and comfortable and I think I am right where I need to be to get started. She was very calming and in addition to improving flexibility, I can tell that it will help me de-stress. It's nice to have "permission" to breathe! "
Yoga Client
""As a mother of 3 young boys, it is difficult to find time to work out. I know that when I work with Barb, I will get maximum results in the minimum time. Barb has learned a lot about me and knows what to focus on so I get the most out of my workout. She is incredibly motivational and I appreciate her dedication to, not only my health, but my families' health as well."
RKM, West Des Moines
"I have been going to strength training classes for over a couple of years now. I enjoy exercising with a nice group of people and have found the class very helpful at both improving my running and preventing injuries. Best of all....I can now see my triceps. "
GS class client
"I started attending Barb Mendoza's strength class once per week just 4 months ago. I also decided to train for another marathon near that time. As a woman in my 50's, I found the strength class to significantly develop my core and overall strength and I believe this really helped me throughout the marathon and, in particular, in the last 6 miles. Barb is very good about watching individual technique within the group class and offers specific feedback to gain the most benefit. I really appreciate that! I completed the marathon taking 5 minutes off of my previous marathon time and qualifying to run the Boston Marathon! "
GS Client
"Thanks also for getting me started with Jill and Julie. I learned lots from both of them. I continue to think about those things as I live and "work out"! "
Pilates Client
"You go above and beyond to give everyone individual attention and your dedication to making your studio great is obvious. I have worked out at many places in the last 30 years and hands down yours is the best I've been to. The classes are never the same and always challenging. I love going!! "
"I have been working with Tim for several years and it continues to be a great workout -- never the same thing twice -- but always a challenge. It is great that it can be additive to what I already do. Sometimes my kids come along and the are amazed at how tough it is! It is great!"
PT client
"I have had yoga instructors in many parts of the U.S. and I must say that I think Mary is the most talented that I have ever experienced. She is amazing! I was very happy with the mixed level class and plan to attend again next Sunday. "
Yoga Client
"Fitness by Design and Barb has truly helped me save my life. I have lost weight, reduced my blood pressure, and become stronger both physically and mentally. As a professional gardener I can tell you that I will be gardening for many more years because of the thoughtful fitness plans that Barb has provided for me. After just a few months of training I want to push my comfort level even farther and see where I end up. Now I believe my body is not getting older... just better. "
Client of Barb


As owner of FITNESS By Design, I welcome you to my website, which forms your first impression of my fitness studio. I hope you find it informative, positive and motivating. Those three words describe exactly what we do every day as personal trainers.

During each fitness session with our clients, we strive to be educators, motivators and positive role models. Our four private studios create an inviting, motivating atmosphere for your training session or class. I think it is important to be comfortable in your exercise setting, so you can focus your thoughts and energy on your workout. We are located on Grand Avenue in central Des Moines, across from the Des Moines Art Center and north of Greenwood Park - a convenient drive from downtown or surrounding suburbs. I take great pride in my qualified, experienced staff who can guide you on your fitness journey.

We know we can give you the best fitness experience in Des Moines. But talk is cheap and we know you have other choices for fitness, so we work hard to earn your business. Give us a chance to help you do it right this time, whether you are a first-time exerciser or an experienced athlete. Do it now, not later! Come visit us - the only upscale fitness studio in the area. Let us help you attain optimum health and get more out of life.

"Fitness is a journey, not a destination!"  - my favorite fitness quote!

Your fitness goals should change frequently as you go though life because your life journey is always changing. As fitness professionals, it is our job to give you detailed instructions on how to reach your short- and long-term goals. Along this journey, you will need to fuel yourself properly and have a positive attitude. There will be changes and adjustments to your program that keep you interested and excited about reaching your goals. Adventure and fun are part of any journey, including your fitness one!

Our private fitness studio attracts Yoga, Pilates, and other fitness enthusiasts from throughout the Des Moines metro area.

FITNESS By Design is ...your neighborhood fitness studio. If the small group setting fits your needs, I invite you to print a pass and experience a class with us! There is no hiding in the back! Classes range from 3-10 clients so you'll get plenty of personal attention. Join us for a a complimentary class and you'll receive a Welcome Guide, water bottle, 30-min massage certificate and a brief tour of the studios. It is a great opportunity to check out all the amenities available at FITNESS By Design.

Be our guest -- click here for your complimentary class pass.






Fitness By Design | 4715 Grand Ave. | Des Moines, IA 50312 | 515-277-9721