Merel Jacobs lightening bolt

Verified 4 Reviews
location-iconOutdoor & In-Home
vaccinated COVID-19 Vaccinated

About Merel

In one hour together, you and Coach Merel will conquer self care with activation & mobility of your kinetic chain and get to achieving your fitness goals. Merel researches and implements effective strategies to deliver results efficiently with expertise in strength training, body composition, athletic performance, and more. Her company, Sonder Holistic Fitness, dedicates time to implementing exercise programs in local pediatric mental health hospitals because the mind-body connection is interdependent and everyone has the right to exervise. Programs are designed to make you feel better.


Body | Mind | Self | Community



My favorite client story

I love watching my clients feel better and feel more comfortable in their skin. When clients come in with aches and pains, it is the best feeling in the world to teach them stretches to work through the knot and movements to strengthen their muscles and joints.

My favorite exercise

I am a big fan of push up!

My favorite quote

A river runs through a rock not because of its strength but because of its persistence.

My training philosophy

Exercise to feel better. Everyone deserves to feel better and everyone deserved access to exercise. My company also works with local mental health organizations to provide exercise as therapy to our community's most vulnerable children.

My training experience

I studied anatomy, biology, psychology, and neuroscience in college and have since been certified as a Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a Group Fitness Instructor with Orangetheory Fitness. I have been training clients for over a year and love coaching group classes at Orangetheory as well as at local pop ups like Athleta. I am continuously educating myself on current fitness techniques and literature to provide YOU with the best workout possible.

Areas of Expertise

  • Core and Balance
  • Strength Training
  • Weight Loss
  • Flexibility and Mobility
  • Muscular Definition
  • Muscle Gain
  • Posture
  • Kettlebells
  • Functional Training
  • Sports Performance Training
  • Cardiovascular Conditioning
  • Cross Training
  • Injury Prevention
  • Stress Reduction
  • Wellness
  • Corrective Exercise

NCCA Accredited Certifications

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Additional Certifications

Orange Theory Fitness Certified, Orangetheory Lift 45 Certified


Bachelors Degree Psychology with emphasis in Neuroscience | University of Portland

Who I Especially Like Working With

Actors, Beginners, Bodybuilders, Brides-to-be, Dancers, Disabled, Law Enforcement, LGBTQIA, Men, Middle-aged, Military, Models, Overweight/ Obese, Runners, Seniors, Student-athletes, Women, Youth

Medical Conditions Experience

ACL tear, Ankle Injury, Anxiety, Crohn's Disease, Depression, Eating Disorders, Hamstring Issues, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, IBD, Knee Pain/Issues, Limited Mobility, Prediabetes, Rotator Cuff Issues, Shoulder Issues, Stroke recovery, Ulcerative Colitis

She is an amazing coach. She helps me to understand why we are doing each exercise and how to do it on my own. She helps me to set and reach attainable goals. I’m really grateful for all of her help and cannot wait to continue on with her.


Coach Merel is one of the top trainers in Portland! You can tell she has years of fitness experience and has mentored others along the way. So easy to get along with and our sessions are the most fun. Thanks Coach!”

Kanoa H.

If you’re looking for the best personal trainer in Portland look no further! Coach Merel is skilled in training with her vast knowledge of anatomy and fitness. Her background in mental health adds a unique style to her practice as how I feel is always the top priority. Thank you for everything!

Dylan R.

The first thing that comes to mind is Merel's positive attitude! I always have a great time and actually smile and laugh while getting the best work out of my life. I love the attention to detail and the feeling of being seen and like the work outs are custom to me. I would be lost if I ever walked into a gym, so I appreciate her guidance and knowledge when it comes to training.

Alex H.

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