Maren Lakers

Maren started with PLF in March 2014 at our 132nd St location in Membership Sales and teaching Group Exercises classes. In 2016, she took on the Assistant Club Manager role. In March 2018, she was moved to our 84th and Q location. Maren likes all types of workouts, but especially HIIT classes and cycling. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy remodeling their 1965 home and are excited to have welcomed their new baby girl into their family in December 2018.


Chelsea Benson-Fitness Center Director, NASM

Chelsea Benson is a graduate of Wayne State College where she completed her Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. Chelsea has extensive, hands-on experience in the personal training industry with her time at Wayne State College, as well as her internship with Scott's Training Systems in Chandler, AZ. She has worked with clients of all fitness levels including; athletes, general weight loss, and individuals new to the fitness world. Her goal as a personal trainer is to teach clients the importance of fitness and keep them motivated!

Justin Rudiger BS, CSCS

Justin is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Exercise Science. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He has been with Prairie Life Fitness since 1998. In addition, his experience includes completing an internship with Intense City Sports Centers in Irvine, California, where at this state of the art facility he had the privilege of working with athletes of all levels, including members of the LA Angels and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. “With over 15 years of personal training experience, I have come to the conclusion that there is not one perfect training style or modality. My goal as your personal trainer is to improve your fitness level by the best means available. I believe there are 3 keys to reaching your goals: consistency, intensity and focus. You have to consistently do everything you need to do to reach your goals. You have to work as hard as you can all the time, this is the intensity component. Finally, you have to remain focused on your goals and not let anything prevent you from reaching them! Together we will develop the best exercise prescription to help you reach your goals, while still having some fun.”

Jack Hooley

Jack grew up in Coralville Iowa where he played a variety of competitive sports for different organizations and for school. He was on the 2005 State Championship tennis team for Iowa City West. In college he played number one singles and doubles for the Northern Iowa Tennis Club and also trained under former Olympian and Chinese National Weightlifting coach Jianping Ma in Olympic Weightlifting. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Exercise Science and minoring in Coaching. He is also a certified Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifing. Jack has an extensive nine years of youth sports coaching, teaching and coaching young athletes in sports such as tennis, basketball, baseball, football, Olympic weightlifting, as well as athlete development. His love for coaching athletes is now mostly in the form of sports performance, teaching sprint mechanics, weightlifting techniques, and sports psychology for youth athletes. Jack takes all of his knowledge of sports and fitness and applies it to training the general population. He treats his clients like athletes, getting them to push themselves to new limits, try new and exciting exercise programs, and has them strive to accomplish their goals. Jack is also the Youth Program Director and teaches many of the youth classes at Prairie Life such as RecClub and FitClub. Jack is a dedicated worker who loves to watch his athletes and clients accomplish their goals and transform into new healthier and happier people.

Donna Reiss BA, ATC, LAT, ACE-CPT

Donna graduated from Buena Vista University in 1996 with a degree in Exercise Science. She is a certified Personal Trainer as well as a certified Athletic Trainer. She enjoys working with all ages and fitness levels and specializes in working with injury rehab, sports conditioning, pregnancy and pre and post pregnancy. Donna and her husband have two boys and she enjoys lifting weights, running, and teaching group fitness classes. “I believe physical fitness and nutrition are especially important for parents, giving them more energy to keep up with their daily activities.” With over 22 years experience, she has helped 6 clients lose over 100lbs and many more lose over 50lbs while lowering health risks. These clients no longer need medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin-dependant diabetes. Donna takes pride in helping her clients meet their personal goals through positive reinforcement and motivation.

Chris Melvin, NASM

Chris grew up in Ankeny, Iowa, where he was active in sports all throughout his childhood and into his high school years - and has remained active since. After high school, Chris attended Iowa State University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology & Health. After graduating, Chris completed an internship that centered on developing strength and stability in senior citizens. Accompanied with that, Chris is also a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and enjoys working with people of all ages and fitness levels. The magnitude of experiences that have impacted Chris' life, since making his health and fitness a priority have been incredible. Now, Chris wants to share the knowledge he has gathered with others; so they too, can harvest the plethora of benefits that are to be had with prioritizing one's health.

Nicole Kerr, MA, ATC, NSCA-CPT

Nicole’s specialty is weight loss and strength building and loves to work with clients who are training to improve their quality of daily living. She has worked as a Certified Personal Trainer at Prairie Life Fitness for 11+ years and has always had a strong passion for helping people feel comfortable and confident in the weight room. Nicole gets clients motivated by being a committed encourager and by keeping her clients accountable. She graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas with a degree in Athletic Training and Sports Management. She earned her Masters degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Health Education. Nicole is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT). She also is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and meets the qualifications set by the Board of Certification, Inc. Nicole enjoys bike riding and spending time with her husband and children.

Kerrie Denning, NASM

Kerrie is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer who graduated from Bellevue University with a degree in Behavioral Science. While working on her degree she was also training and competing in bodybuilding bikini division. She realized that her degree could be well utilized in the fitness industry and helping people pursue health in all aspects of life including physical, emotional, and spiritual. Since finishing her certification she has found a passion for training and mentoring young adults and teenagers. Kerrie’s favorite activities are hiking, traveling, crafting and working with cows on her family farm.

Jon Gubbels

Jon Gubbels was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Nebraska called Randolph. He attended High School at Randolph Public where he participated in Football, Basketball, Track, and Baseball. Jon went on to attend Midland University for two years where he studied in the Business Management program and participated in basketball. Jon transferred to Wayne State College in the spring semester of 2011 and changed his core studies to Exercise Science. He graduated from Wayne State in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and a Coaching endorsement. After college, Jon carried on his love for exercise and sport by becoming a personal trainer. Jon is experienced in training all levels of fitness from highly capable athletes to beginner level individuals. Jon is an avid outdoorsman as he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and many other outdoor activities. He also spends a lot of time with his girlfriend Steph and his bulldog Ronin.

Philip Nation

Philip Nation is personal trainer and controlled chaos master with a B.S. degree in Health and Human Performance from Oklahoma State University and a M.S. from Creighton University in Oral Biology. Phil is Originally from Oklahoma and has worn every hat possible in the fitness industry in the past 10 years. Previous fitness pursuits include running his own training business, managing high end commercial fitness centers, and working in collegiate strength athletics. Currently, he is still trying to adjust to the cold winters here in Omaha while finishing up his D.D.S at Creighton University. His niche clientele deal with helping clients with painful backs, knees, shoulders get out of pain and back on track to smash their fitness goals which usually include bodyfat loss or just returning to their favorite activity pain free. Overall, he trains urban athletes and desk jockeys wanting to eliminate pain, increase performance, and dominate life in general. Contact Phil for any training questions or generalized witty banter.

Min Yu

BS,CPT, Certified Personal Trainer/ Pilates Instructor As a certified personal trainer as well as a reformer floor Pilates Instructor, and array of physical health science by earning a BS degree at Hanun University,Seoul,Korea and a certified personal trainer from the National Academy of Sport Medicine. With 20 plus years of experience in this profession and a long tenure here at Prairie Life Center. I have devoted my passion and trained numerous clients with exceptional and gratifying results of all ages. I have since progress into another challenging level and specialized in post rehab clients' shoulders/ hip/knee replacement and other related injuries recovery, as well as weight loss management focusing and helping the ageing populace achieve their obtainable goals to maximizing their quality of life. I access their needs and work a timeable session through a series of warmups and a series of exercises or weights so to gradually reach their goals and seeing more than a satisfactory results. In the end I want you to feel good about yourself and the importance of your physical wellness that comes with it. I offer free consultation with fitness assessment. So please inquire me at the front desk for a program that fits you.

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8525 Q Street
Omaha, NE 68127
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Call: 402-537-0430
Fax: 402-537-0432
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