Who We Are

Smugs Fitness is an Atlanta-based fitness company offering a variety of services to
help you reach your health and fitness goals. We have two locations in the historic
Kirkwood Neighborhood.

Sam Mugavero, Ph.d.

Sam Mugavero, Ph.d.

owner/coach

A two-sport athlete in college, Sam continued to foster his passion for fitness while working on his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. After completing his degree in 2007, he moved to Atlanta with his wife and spent 5 years teaching science and coaching tennis while spending his early mornings and evenings instructing fitness and strength training. While a teacher, Sam started an employee fitness program for faculty and staff at Woodward Academy and simultaneously formed the Smugs Fitness Outdoor Fitness Program in Barrett Park (College Park, GA).

Sam has since opened the Smugs Fitness Lab in the Historic Kirkwood Neighborhood and works with individuals and small groups to achieve their health and fitness goals. Sam’s coaching provides people with the tools they need to move, feel and look their best! In addition to personal training and small groups, Sam works with companies large and small to help develop and maintain corporate wellness programs for their employees.

When not in the Smugs Fitness Lab, Sam drinks coffee (a lot of coffee) and spends time with his wife (Kristy) and daughters (Lilly and Clara).

Kory Nichols

Kory Nichols

general manager/coach

MBA, ACSM-CPT, PN1, SFG, SFL

Kory bases her coaching on the belief that movement should enhance one’s life and food should nourish one’s body. In 2012, Kory decided to transform her own life through the addition of strength training and a healthy diet, and she hasn’t looked back. She takes her role as a coach and educator to clients very seriously and works to provide a truly custom experience for her clients. She draws on her past experience as both a busy finance professional and a stay at home parent to determine solutions that work for a variety of lifestyles. Her mission is not only to help clients reach their goals but also to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to continue with their healthy lifestyle after the coaching period has ended. 

She currently offers both in-person and online fitness and nutrition coaching to a variety of clients including many of Atlanta’s busiest professionals, including CEOs and local celebrities. Kory utilizes a combination approach including in-person instruction, virtual training, and distance programming to ensure every client has a program that works for their schedule, even through unpredictable times.

If you’re ready for a different approach to health and wellness and want to look and feel your best, Kory will build a program for you. Please contact us to apply for a spot on Kory’s custom training schedule.

Nick Barbas

Nick Barbas

director of programming/coach

CSCS

After researching strength training, conditioning, and motor learning in preparation for an international martial arts tournament, Nick went to study Kinesiology at the University of North Georgia. Throughout his education, Nick worked as a personal and group trainer. Following the completion of his B.S. in Kinesiology, Nick moved to Atlanta to begin personal training full time.

Nick emphasizes a balanced approach to health and wellness through gradual, sustainable changes. His experience with martial arts guided Nick to focus on teaching clients to move safely and effectively while developing strength and decreasing movement-related pain. Nick’s goal is to equip clients to take control of their health and training. In the words of Socrates: “No [human] has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a [human] to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which [their] body is capable.”

Outside the gym, Nick enjoys food (especially pastries; he makes really good cinnamon donuts), board games with his wife, and sci-fi/fantasy books and movies.

Nate Hooey

director of athletic performance

Nate is a strength coach with a diverse background, having worked with professional fighters, tactical and military athletes, professional cyclists, members of the Secret Service and others. Nate focuses on the mastery of the basics, believing the best athletes are the ones who are best at the fundamentals.

Nate’s athletic career began with general military fitness during his service in the Air Force, which progressed into a passion for long-course triathlon. The COVID pandemic marked a pivotal shift as he transitioned to strength sports, transforming his personal and coaching philosophy. This focus now defines his coaching approach, with the emphasis on strength training being essential for athletic success at all levels.

When not coaching, Nate is a prolific reader and outdoorsman, spending much time planning his next great adventure. Winter Ski Trips and Summer Portages often top the list, but only the horizon is the limit.

Lorna McGee

Lorna McGee

coach

NASM-CPT, SFGII

It wasn’t until Lorna found activities that she enjoyed that she contemplated her own fitness. Her passion for recreational endurance races became much more enjoyable when complemented with a fitness and recovery regime. Throughout years of IronMan triathlon, ultramarathons and adventure races Lorna worked with and learned from amazing coaches that ultimately inspired her to pivot from her long career as a technology specialist to a fitness career of her own. For Lorna the ‘big picture’ of fitness is to enjoy the present while progressing towards enjoyable longevity. Lorna is dedicated to creating fitness programs that will enable you to enjoy your favorite things in life even more; strength training, racing, playing with children or making your day to day activities easier.

Sharee Clarke

Sharee Clarke

coach

SFG

Sharee discovered a love for fitness dating back to when step aerobics was the “it” thing!  Fitness passions later turned to spinning, marathon running, weight training, CrossFit, and kettlebells.  Sharee holds a StrongFirst Level 1 certification in kettlebells and also is certified through the National Personal Training Institute.  She believes in effective training and having fun while you aredoing it!

Outside of the gym, Sharee enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Emma Rabbit

Emma Rabbit

coach

NASM-CPT

Emma loves to play and move their body. Emma is a NASM-CPT and 200hr RYT yoga instructor with more than 1,000 teaching hours accrued in the past four years. Most of their career has centered around helping male athletes achieve their mobility goals. Emma’s teaching style is casual, playful, and permissive with lots of room for laughter and exploration.

Monica Moukalif

coach

Monica grew up playing softball and soccer, played golf on her college team, and bicycled her way into middle adulthood. An outdoor enthusiast, she also enjoys hiking, kayaking, and photographing the natural world. She came to Smugs as a beginner kettlebell training client in her late 40s, and she’s been swingin’ (and lifting!) ever since. Now StrongFirst certified in kettlebell training (SFG1), she is accepting personal training clients. Before joining Smugs as a Coach, Monica was a public interest litigator, and before that she made a living as glassblower and stained-glass restoration artist, woodworker, warehouse worker, school-bus driver and baker, among other things. Monica came to coaching because she wants to partner with people to live their most fulfilling lives, both in and out of the gym. She believes movement helps us find our strengths and invites you to start where you are, then keep going.

Christina Ellenberg

Christina Ellenberg

registered dietition

RD, LDN, CSCS

Christina is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) practicing in the Atlanta Metro Area and beyond.  She has practiced as a Dietitian Nutritionist since 2016, serving a diverse mix of people from those managing complex medical conditions to those who are well and desire to prevent disease. She also has an in-depth knowledge of sports nutrition and holds bachelor’s degrees in Dietetics and Health Promotion from Appalachian State University and a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from Georgia State University.  She believes that every person’s body is different, therefore, there isn’t a blanket approach for everybody’s nutritional and wellness needs. 

Outside of the gym, Sharee enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.