Deaf Business Spotlight: Sponge Up Fitness

October 6, 2017



ALEX: Hello, today's Deaf Business Spotlight is... Sponge Up Fitness. It is owned by Melanie Nakaji, an expert in fitness and nutrition.


She used to be a figure competitor and now has a healthy lifestyle, offering various fitness programs such as Boot Camp, personal training, fitness retreats, and spinning -- and also provides nutrition guidance.


Check it out!



IAN: Hi, I’m Ian, South California Community Curator. I’m here to meet a personal trainer by the name of Melanie Nakaji. She owns a business named Sponge Up.


MELANIE: Hi, I’m Melanie Nakaji and I’m the owner of Sponge Up. I offer one-on-one personal training, nutrition, nutrition services, group training (which is like a class), and retreats out of town.


Hi! Right now I’m going to type out the workout program for tomorrow’s class. We will include upper and lower legs, core, and I’ll be doing a workout, too. Once I’m done with that, I’ll work on nutrition training. I’ll type out the things you can eat with lists of meals. I send the email invite and I can track progress for 2 weeks.


IAN: I’m now here at Dawn Sign Press (DSP). Melanie is here to provide workout training for the employees of Dawn Sign Press. It’s really cool. Dawn Sign Press hired a Deaf personal trainer, so you can see how the Deaf ecosytem works through their support with one another.


I’m ready to go and see the training right now.


MATT: I like how we can both sign. We can communicate what I’m doing right or wrong. I really enjoy it, and she pushes me well.


HOLLY: Melanie is… awesome! She’s a very cool Deaf personal trainer. I want to thank my boss for offering a class here at Dawn Sign Press.


JOSEF: Me as a hearing person, I appreciated her visual cues and clear communication. Her energy is always there, so I appreciated that.



ALEX: Wow, that looks like a tough workout and Melanie looks like an awesome trainer.


You can check out her website at to learn more about her and how you can join her classes or sign up for an online 12-week program.



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