TRAINERS

@mrswestisinthebuilding

MARISSA


Marissa is the founder / creator of WKS! She grew up and went to school in Northern VA. Her love for fitness started young (competitive gymnast + dance team member!) She moved to Charlotte in 2011, after making the Carolina Panthers TopCats + is a CPT and nutrition specialist through ACE. She focuses her fitness studies on cardio/interval training, resistance training, ballet barre, and Pilates.

Marissa experimented with these different fitness genres and developed the signature/Trademarked WKS methodology, incorporating cardio, strength training, and Pilates into one dynamic workout! She’s been featured as a fitness expert in major publications like Men's Health, Popsugar, + Cooking Light Magazine (Check out our Press Page here!) Marissa’s DMX voice + natural hype energy is something you must experience – once you work out with her, you’ll never want to work out anywhere else!

@hlsweat

HEIDI


Heidi is co-owner + Master Trainer of WKS! She grew up + went to school in NC. Heidi is a frequent visitor of various studios throughout the city and it was her love for fitness / getting to know others that pushed her to become an instructor. She began 1on1 personal training with Marissa at WKS in 2017. Quickly falling in love with WKS’ creative and challenging workouts (+ how fast her bod changed and got stronger), she became our Master Trainer in April 2018! She manages our trainers and handles all WKS operations + partnerships.

She is a NASM CPT + GPTS (Group Fitness Training Specialist) and will motivate you every minute of her time spent with you. With her positive energy and witty sense of humor, you will feel encouraged while also being pushed to your max! If you want to have a good time, while getting the hardest workout of your life in (to DOPE music!) you'll want to sign up for her class ASAP!

@arthurpulley

ARTHUR


After almost 2 years of courtship, we are excited that Arthur now calls WKS home! Arthur comes to us as a CPT with certifications in megaformer (Lagree) and TRX! He is a well-known trainer in the CLT fitness community (“rep rep rep rep!”) and brings a lot of expertise + knowledge to our team. Arthur will be our resident Personal Trainer running one-on-one sessions at our Plaza location, as well as, cameo’ing on the mic in some group classes on Fridays + Saturdays at our Dilworth location!

When he’s not spending time with his wife Holland, baby girls Elle + Georgia, or his sons Alex (firefighter) and Mike (hip hop artist), he is probably experimenting with his Spyder 360s or bringing his high energy to his outdoor bootcamps! Arthur will make sure you always reach the shake zone on our reformer, push yourself to the max on our tread, and get all of your aggression out on our bag!

@hlrober1

HAILEY


Hailey grew up in Lake Norman, NC and is a graduate of UNC Charlotte. When she isn’t doing West Kept Secret, she works full time for her family’s logistics company or is spending time with her husband, 2 pups, or her newest addition, Baby Girl Moroni! Growing up, Hailey was a competitive dancer and dabbled in cheerleading, but her love for fitness came shortly after becoming engaged, and she has never found another workout or methodology that changed her body so quickly and efficiently!

After being a dedicated client and throwing herself into her PT sessions, machine method classes, and floor method classes for over a year pre-wedding, Hailey decided it was time to make the leap to teach the method that changed her life to others! Whatever Hailey puts her mind to, she accomplishes with hard work and dedication. She quickly became NASM certified and does the fastest high knees East of the Mississippi! Hailey will push you until you can’t go anymore, and then she’ll push you some more. If you haven’t had a chance to jump{ing jack} your way into her class yet, you are missing out!

@darienneshae

DARIENNE


Darienne grew up in Palmyra, VA and attended Virginia Tech! Growing up she played soccer, gymnastics and figure skating, but ultimately found her passion in cheerleading. She cheered varsity in high school + her first year at VT. She also had (and still has) a love for music, becoming a member of her college acapella group! Moving to CLT in 2015, Darienne became a member of the Carolina Panthers’ Topcats; an NFL Cheerleading team. Her 3-year tenure on the team continued to inspire her love for fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle.

Darienne works at Duke Energy and is NASM certified; she has lost over 30 pounds and 10% body fat and hopes to inspire others to reach their goals. She wants to show you how your mental health can improve through fitness, just as much as physical health. For her, it’s not just about looking good, but how it makes you feel! With her positive and bubbly personality, and copious amount of dad jokes, you should definitely be working out with her weekly!

@sweattalk

ELISE


Elise hails from St. Louis, but went to college in NC at Wake Forest! She’s a foodie, loves to travel and try all the good restaurants, sing, dance, read and relax with an informative podcast! After graduating, she moved to Nashville only knowing a few people. While she can be shy, she had to learn how to make new friends and build a community, so she turned to group fitness and fell in love.

When moving to Charlotte in 2018 with her boyfriend and pup, she met a few of the WKS trainers through group classes and knew it was a place she wanted to call home (lucky us!) When she’s not on the mic, she works in social media and digital marketing at a local marketing agency! Elise will bring the most fire playlists to keep you upbeat throughout the entire class – get into her class now and jam out while you sweat!

@lakenmichee

LAKEN


Laken is our Southern Belle and has brains, booty, and is all business! In addition to crushing her full-time outside sales gig, until 2020, she danced for the Charlotte Hornets Honeybees for 6 seasons! Laken has been featured in a Sports Illustrated photoshoot + was once named SI’s Cheerleader of the Week (OOOK!) She is wife to Tucker and a Type A, old school rock music lovin’ babe!

She is a NASM CPT, certified in CrossFit CF-L1 and says our full body workout makes an hour fly by + has your arms and abs slayin’ by the end. We’re thankful she’s been following us since Marissa helped her prep for TopCats auditions in 2012 (of course she made it!) and now is a part of our squad! If you need some wild, sassy energy in your work out of the day, Laken has you covered! Come thrive in her class ASAP!

@jessdelvecc

JESS


Jess moved to Charlotte in 2014 from Colorado when she took a job to be a Family Nurse Practitioner! She is a dog mom to pup Abby and graduated from UT (GO VOLS!) Jess is a NASM CPT and also teaches at Pure Barre in Charlotte. She loves to travel, hike, spend time at the lake, wine taste + explore new restaurants!

She says WKS is a consistent, yet achievable challenge that rocks her world every. single. time. Jess’ fav color is gold glitter and her party trick is sabering a champagne bottle - if that doesn’t tell you anything about how you’ll feel when taking her class, we don’t know what does! Sign up today and come HAVE FUN with Jess!

@maddogg1290

MADISON


Madison was born and raised in SC and is a Clemson tiger! We met her when she moved to CLT and was looking for a new workout; she loves that you always feel mentally + physically challenged at WKS, as well as, being a part of our positive + uplifting fitness community! We've been loving watching her crush her bride bod goals, as her and fiancé Nick tie the knot in February 2021 and will be official parents to their labradoodle, Maggie!

Madison is sharp, outgoing, and beyond FUN – she will keep you laughing all class long! Madison is a PA in emergency medicine and whether she's saving lives in the ER or kicking ass in the WKS studio, she always brings.the.HEAT. We can’t wait to see you in her class soon!

@ariellee_fit

ARIEL


Ariel grew up in Raleigh, NC, and made the move to Charlotte after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her love for fitness began at a young age while growing up in the theater, dancing in pre-professional programs, and cheering on the sidelines at her school football games. Once she went to college, she missed all of the cheer practices and dance rehearsals and had to figure out "how to workout" between her part-time jobs and full-time studies in marketing. She soon started her journey as a fitness professional at a local barre studio and quickly fell in love with the energy in the room of a group class, and went on to earn her Certification in Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching from NASM.

Ariel has been both a PT client and a founding member at WKS, but is now thrilled to be living the dream as a WKS Trainer and promises to bring alllllll of the advancements, energy, and bomb music to the studio, she can't wait to see you in class soon!

@staffordjbraxton

STAFFORD


Stafford grew up in Richmond, VA, and attended Johnson & Wales University here in Charlotte, NC (but is a South Carolina Gamecocks fan at heart)! Growing up, he swam competitively and played basketball. Sports has always been Stafford's passion - after graduating, he took his talents to Colorado Springs, CO to work with USA Swimming and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee through the 2016 Rio and 2018 Pyeonchang Olympic and Paralympic Games. In an effort to meet new people, he began taking spin classes, and BOOM, 3 months later, he was a certified spin instructor! He lost over 50 pounds in six months and hopes to inspire others to reach their goals!

When he’s not at WKS, Stafford can be found working for the Charlotte Hornets as a Marketing Analyst! His #1 priority is making sure clients understand that being healthy comes in all shapes and sizes and that it is a multi-faceted concept - mental and physical - when you feel good on the inside, you'll feel and look great on the outside. Whether he's cracking (sometimes funny) jokes on the mic or keeping you fired up with his perfectly curated playlist, he's sure to keep you sweating and pushing yourself!