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This Jersey City Woman + Hoboken Trainer is Dominating The Fitness Space

Balancing jobs as an instructor at two Hoboken fitness centers — Brazen Athletics + XCEL Fitness — Courtney Roselle is certainly a friendly face here in the Hudson County community. Even if you’re not a frequent gym goer, you’ve probably seen Courtney on TV (competing in Dwayne the Rock Johnson’s The Titan Games) or in a magazine (posing for Vogue) or on your Instagram feed (sharing killer workouts + fitness tips).

Behind these shiny accolades is a woman whose internal strength far exceeds her physical — and for a fitness trainer, that says a lot. With a family-and-friends-over-everything attitude, Courtney Roselle brings a refreshing perspective to the fitness sphere that acknowledges hardship + rewards hard work. In the past five years, Courtney has ventured to start her own private training business called Iron Grace, a name that perfectly captures the whole of who she is: a woman dominating a male-dominated space.

To kick off Women’s Month, The Hoboken Girl spoke with Courtney to learn more about her journey, what helps her stay motivated, and where she sees her career going next. Keep reading to learn more about Courtney Roselle, a Jersey City resident, Hoboken fitness trainer, and an all-around boss.

courtney roselle

(Photo Credit: Alissa Laurie LLC)

The Hoboken Girl: Where are you originally from if not from Hoboken, and why did you choose to move here?

Courtney Roselle: I am originally from Cedar Grove, NJ. Even though I work in Hoboken, I live in Jersey City Heights, or “The Heights” as everyone else calls it. I moved down here because I wanted to live near the big city and love all the culture surrounded by Hoboken and Jersey City.

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HG: What about Hoboken made you want to invest in the area by training here/establishing your brand here?

CR: Hoboken is such an interesting city! Full of people from all different backgrounds, all different cultures, and many different age groups. I love being challenged when it comes to growing my business. When the one gym I work for, Brazen Athletics, opened their gym on Willow Ave close to 10 years ago. I took the full opportunity to take on the “big little city.” I just love working in my gyms and this area so much!

HG: Can you tell us what makes XCEL and Brazen Athletics special compared to other gyms/fitness centers in the area?

CR: Brazen Athletics is a CrossFit gym I have been working with for almost 10 years. It is an extremely special place to me because it is where I started my entire fitness career. The community is amazing along with the other coaches I work with every day. Xcel Athletic Lifestyle is my new family. I have been working for this gym on Marshall Street for close to 2 years since we first opened. It is just an incredible facility located right on the 7th-floor rooftop looking over NYC. My staff there has grown to be my family as well in a very short time span. I love the family type of atmosphere in all my workplaces.

HG: What does “Iron Grace” mean to you? 

CR: I started my own Health and Wellness company “Iron Grace” close to now 5 years ago. It is my baby. The meaning of Iron Grace has to do with everyone possessing a masculine and feminine side. Iron represents a barbell (masculine) and Grace represents to me how you have to be when you move a barbell (Feminine). It has grown exponentially in the past 5 years beyond my wildest dreams. To say I am proud and grateful for my business, and the people who help me grow is an understatement.

courtney roselle hoboken girl

(Photo Credit: Alissa Laurie LLC)

HG: What is your favorite aspect of living and working in Hoboken?

CR: The people, the culture, and especially the restaurants! (what can I say I love food). Every time I have friends or family come to visit, they are truly in awe of this big little city, Especially when I take them down by the water and just walk along the piers. I always say “I really am just so lucky to live here.”

HG:  What inspired you to get into fitness? What were your first experiences with it?

CR: I have been an athlete all my life, so after leaving college basketball I was at a lost cause trying to work out on my own. My brother took me to my first Crossfit class and I was hooked! It brought out my competitive side and my love for being strong. Becoming even stronger than my school athletic days, not only improved my physical health but made my mental/ emotional health that much stronger. I knew I wanted more people to experience the empowerment of accomplishing things they never thought possible. I knew I had to make this passion my career.

HG: Tell us about your approach to fitness training (your mission / services / products).

CR: My approach to fitness training is mostly based on strength training. In addition, to people seeing the benefits physically, I wanted people to find a love for it. I currently provide personal and online training. I have my own clothing line, in which I love people to feel good and strong in my clothing. I also model for body positivity shoots (have been in Vogue Magazine, Self Magazine online, and shape magazine online) and have written fitness articles for various fitness platforms. Last but definitely not least, my favorite thing I do with my company is motivational speaking. I speak from girl scout troops and high schools to Fortune 500 companies on various health/ fitness topics. I love love LOVE speaking to people to help them grow.

HG: What’s something about you or your job that people might be surprised to learn about?

CR: IT IS NOT EASY! You have to LOVE being in this industry. It requires long hours and untraditional work hours, and it is truly a HUSTLE. If you do not like long days, early mornings, or late nights it is going to be tough. People think at times since I own my own business I can “make my hours” but it is the complete opposite. You have to work your hours around other people’s schedules to make it work in the long run. When you own your own business there are “no days off.” 

HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

CR: My family and friends. I come from a very VERY strong family and friend unit, that has accomplished some amazing things. They are my anchors in life. I especially want to show my baby cousins, nieces, and nephews that you can live “outside the box” and still accomplish your dreams. I took the road less traveled, and it got me to where I am today. I live through them.

hoboken courtey roselle

(Photo Credit: Alissa Laurie LLC)

HG: You were on Dwayne Johnson’s fitness show, The Titan Games back in 2020. Can you tell us more about that experience? How did it influence your approach to fitness?

CR: The experience was INCREDIBLE! I got to meet some of the most amazing human beings from all over the world, accomplishing things I believed at the time were out of my reach. We became a family atmosphere very quickly. We are still all on a group chat close to 2 years later. I was filming in Atlanta for a little over a month and could not tell anyone where I was except for close family and friends, so people thought I just disappeared. Every day was different and very long days. Hair, makeup, interviews, and competing, but the people made it all worth it. It made me realize how big this world really is, how many more things I still have to accomplish, and how NOTHING is ever outside my reach. I mean also, Yes Dwayne Johnson is an awesome human being. Genuine, hard-working, and loves making everyone laugh.

HG: Are there ever days you don’t feel motivated to work out? How do you overcome those feelings?

CR: It comes down to discipline. Of course, I have days that are very long or I have personal matters going on in my life that do not put me in the best mood. When motivation isn’t there, discipline has to take over. I love working really hard for things that can not be taken from me by someone else. That’s my health. One of my favorite quotes in life Is “grapes must be crushed in order to make wine, diamonds form under pressure, seeds grow in darkness, whenever you feel crushed or in darkness, you are in a powerful place of transformation. Keep going”

HG:  What’s a piece of advice you share with every client/person you train?

CR: Strength is King and Queen. I believe strength training is what helps us age gracefully and live a long healthy lifestyle. Once you become physically stronger your mental strength follows suit. It is an amazing transformation to watch unfold with all my athletes.

HG: Are there any other local business owners or leaders you admire?

CR: I love all the small businesses in Hoboken/ Jersey City, it is why I really love these two cities. I have a couple of businesses that are owned by my personal friends Pour Amor, Bagels on the Hudson, Spesh, Acai Ya Later, Alissa Laurie LLC, Mooneca Mullins, Brazen Athletics, Xcel Athletic Lifestyle, Wealth Kitchen, and The Ashford. I also really love supporting some local non-profits FLAG, Historic Downtown Jersey City, and Whole Spectrum Autism.

HG: What are your goals for this year?

CR: ALWAYS to grow my business into something bigger. I like to work on a silent grind basis, so just wait and see what I have in store this year.

courtney iron grace fitness

(Photo Credit: Alissa Laurie LLC)

HG: What does a typical day look like for you?

CR: Every single day is different. It’s what I love about my job. I never have the same 2 days. But most days I wake up from 4:45-5:30AM, eat a little something, coffee is a MUST, and then take all my morning clients back to back. Most days I stop taking clients around 11 am then I work out myself. I am not an afternoon/evening workout person one bit. Then I answer my daily emails and social media inquiries and make sure to input all my client’s programming. After that, I try to do daily life real human things (I know sounds funny) like do my laundry, eat lunch, prepare dinner, clean up my house, or just do errands all before the afternoon/ night shift of clients. I then take on my evening clients till about 8PM  at night at the latest. Come home, and catch up for the day with family and friends. Double-check that all my social media and urgent emails are done and wind down for bed. That can include reading a book or just catching up on the latest series on Netflix that my friends can’t stop talking about.

HG: What has been the highlight of your career/life so far?

CR: Well, there are a couple of different ones. Of course, being on the show “The Titan Games’ is one of them. Trying out for WWE is another one (that was before the Titan Games.) But truthfully, the first accomplishment that I was super proud of was being featured in Vogue Magazine. I tried out for modeling growing up and was told my body was too muscular and that “no little girl would want to flip the page of a magazine and look like me.” Yes, those are exact words. Long story short my mom met the assistant editor of Vogue Magazine at the US Open, they became friendly, and my mom started talking about my dream to be a fitness model. The next couple weeks were set up with interviews on my story, then the Vogue Magazine two-page spread came to life. That’s the very short version, but straight to the point.

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HG: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into fitness training?

CR: Nothing happens overnight. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Growth doesn’t happen overnight You have to trust the process that everything works out for a reason. Love the hustle, remember the reasons why you love fitness so much, and make sure to express that to your clients. Then everything else will unfold. Authenticity always wins at the end of the day when you are trying to grow your own business. It attracts the best people to help you grow.

HG: Anything else you want to share about Hoboken, your business, or yourself?

CR: If you have not taken advantage of the small business community in Hoboken, I highly suggest you make a list. Make a list of all the businesses you like to visit or non-profits you would love to donate money or time. Hoboken is a pretty amazing place and is made up of small businesses that all have a dream. Make an impact, and every single business makes a special impact in Hoboken, which in return makes it the incredible city it is today

You can follow Courtney on Instagram + TikTok, and learn more about her Iron Grace business here.

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