Top Cap

Sign Up For Lean Teen

Lean Teen is an interactive community of young people, learning how to achieve better health and fitness, while enjoying awesome activites, competitions, and a supportive community.

Sign Up
Bottom Cap
Facebook Link Twitter Link
Our Crew Headline 01

James Mander, Founder & CEO

James has been involved in the fitness industry since 1981, with extensive experience helping individuals from all walks of life and abilities to achieve their goals in conditioning, weight loss, and overall wellness. His fitness consulting practice, based in Santa Monica, has a diverse roster of committed clients, some of whom have been working with James for over a decade. Growing up in Pennsylvania, James was always interested in athletics and spent his teen years playing sports and working out in high school. During college, he served as a lifeguard on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where he saved a total of nine people from drowning over the course of two summers. After college, he joined the U.S. Army and worked up to the position of reconnaissance team leader in a Light Infantry division. Then in 1991, James moved to Southern California and began working at a Los Angeles gym.

In early 1992, James was retained to provide fitness consultations through the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica. Five years later, the Pritikin Longevity Center brought James on board as an independent trainer at their facility. Finally, in 2001, Mander Fitness moved to Le Merigot Hotel and Spa, where James offered personalized training programs and wellness programs to members and guests through the beautiful Spa Le Merigot.  In 2013, James resigned from The Spa Le Merigot to pursue Lean Teen full time.

Throughout his career, James has steadily built his skills and expertise to offer his clients proven methods of exercise and training along with new innovations and exciting variations in workouts, to keep routines from being anything but routine. His repertoire includes weight training and flexibility exercises, cardiovascular conditioning, yoga and Pilates, nutrition education and motivational counseling. He works one-on-one with individuals and also with small groups, offering everything from local fitness adventures to exotic vacations and corporate team-building events.


Gabriella Buzzelli, Fitness Trainer, Adventure Guide

Gabriella started her fitness and sports career as a competitive gymnast at the age of three. She trained at Gymnastics Olympica, All Olympia Gymnastics Center, and Waller’s GymJam Academy. She competed all over the United States and won a number of notable titles including: 2004 Level 5 California State Bars & All-Around Champion, 2007 Level 8 California State Floor Champion, 2009 Level 9 California State Bar Champion, 2010 Level 9 Regionals Vault Champion, and 2010 Level 9 Nationals Qualifier & Vault Champion. After a sports-related injury in 2010, Gabriella retired from gymnastics. She decided to start competing for Notre Dame High School’s track team in 2010 as a Varsity Pole Vaulter, and was awarded 2011 Most Valuable Field.

Gabriella began attending the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2012. It was here she discovered her true passion for hiking, fitness, yoga, and nutrition. The landscape of UCSC’s campus within a redwood forest made it an easy way to hike to every class session and enjoy the great outdoors. Gabriella was a preschool and recreational gymnastics coach at Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center beginning in 2013. She taught fundamental skills and strength training for Levels 1-3 and a teen fitness & tumbling class. Gabriella made the Dean’s List for several quarters and earned a BA in Sociology with Honors.

After graduating in 2015, Gabriella moved back to Los Angeles and began coaching the competitive gymnastics team at Matrix Gymnastics. She became a USAG Certified Coach. Through her personal experiences and years of coaching, she learned how to strengthen young athlete’s necessary muscle groups to excel in specific skills, how to teach proper running techniques to increase speed and power, and how to condition young athletes to increase their endurance and stamina. In order to broaden her sports backgrounds, she began working at Got Game Sports in 2016 where she teaches basic skills and fundamentals for nearly every sport. In 2017, Gabriella started working for Lean Teen to motivate and guide young adults to live healthy and active lifestyles. She works with seasoned athletes, teens wanting to lose weight, and those looking for a new hobby.



Lean Teen partners with the following independent fitness professionals. 


John Fausch, Fitness Trainer

For over 25 years, John has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as an independent strength and conditioning trainer. His primary areas of expertise include the enhancement of athletic performance and weight loss. Clients receive sound nutritional guidance as well as personalized exercise prescriptions that focus on cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. Programs are designed to meet personal fitness needs, achieve athletic goals, and provide attention to specific problems (such as obesity, injuries, etc.)

After attending California State University (Fullerton), John spent twenty years living in Telluride, Colorado as an outdoor athlete and competitive cyclist. His work as a personal trainer became focused on athletic performance for a varied roster that included members of the United States Freestyle Ski and Telluride Alpine Race teams. He also planned and implemented workouts and other training sessions for professional athletes such as Scott Mercer (Olympic cyclist), Brian Teacher (tennis, Australian Open winner) and Hank Lysted (tennis).

In 1995, He moved back to southern California and has worked for several top-notch fitness facilities as an independent strength and conditioning trainer. John's one-on-one fitness consulting has taken him on lengthy travel assignments with clients to Switzerland, Spain, Morocco, France, New York, Chicago and Houston. His interest in the anatomy of fitness and exercise science has also lead to business consulting involving the development of new fitness technologies.

Jason Ferine, Registered Physical Therapist

Jason brings invaluable skills and experience to the Lean Teen team. A skilled Physical Therapist for the past 6 years, Jason believes the foundation for a healthy and active life is built during adolescents. "Lean Teen provides the blocks to build that foundation. I am excited and proud to have this opportunity, along with the other members of the Lean Teen team, to share my knowledge with young teens to open them up to a healthy way of living."

Originally from Westchester, NY, Jason has had experience in a multitude of rehab settings ranging from skilled nursing facilities and outpatient rehab to aquatic therapy. He graduated from Quinnipiac University in January 2007 with a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy. While Jason began his professional career helping people return from sickness and injury, he has developed a passion for using his skills to help people reach their health and fitness goals.


Bryce Harbert, Outdoor Adventure Guide

Bryce has been backpacking and adventuring in the outdoors throughout California for most of his life. He has a passion for the outdoors and believes that time is best spent when immersed in physical activity in the beautiful places throughout the world. He is originally from Santa Cruz, CA and spent his childhood hiking in Big Basin State Park and Henry Cowell State Park. His primary experience comes from backpacking throughout California from Big Sur to the Trinity Alps in northern California. He has been a summer camp counselor and guide  in the wilderness for several years now and hopes to bring enthusiasm for the wilderness and national parks to Lean Teen.

In 2013 Bryce graduated from California State University Monterey Bay with a degree in Kinesiology and with a concentration in exercise science. He is also currently certified by the National Strength and Conditioning association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. A prestigious certification only given to those who undergo a large amount of studying and preparation. He has a passion for the knowledge and science behind human anatomy and physiology. It is his believe that exercise founded in science based principles achieves the best results in terms of functionality and overall health benefits.