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Meet Matt Cipolla of ChipFit in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Cipolla.

Matt, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve had a very unique path to where I am now. In college, I majored in Chemistry and attended grad school at UCLA for Chemistry. Early in the graduate program, I realized that I personally found no meaning, purpose or passion in my chosen field. So, I started to think about life a little differently: “What am I meant to do? What is my purpose?” I didn’t know the answer, but I knew it wasn’t to be a chemist. I stuck with the program until I received my Master’s degree.

Throughout college and grad school, I got really into fitness. I devoted a lot of time to my personal fitness and really figured out how to improve my strength and physique. Fitness was one of my favorite hobbies. Shortly after finishing grad school, I stumbled upon a small group fitness and private training gym that blew my mind wide open. As a member there, I learned how to optimize my entire lifestyle. I learned more about fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, healthy habits, intentionality, etc. My quality of life drastically improved. I attribute this to the excellent coaching and teaching I received from the coaches at that gym. I realized they were teaching my vital things that I felt everyone should know. I found myself filled with a strong motivation to take what I had learned to as many people as possible. It really bothered me to see so many of the people around me not living to their fullest potential, merely because they lacked information and coaching.

This motivation set me on the path to becoming a fitness coach. I devoted most of my free time to do what I could to become a coach. I latched on to some very well-established coaches and people I really looked up to. I soaked in as much as I could from them. I made myself available to shadow, help, assist these people who were ahead of me. I learned as much as I could. I attended seminars, workshops, and certifications. I enrolled in the coaching development program at the gym I was a member of. Eventually, I was ready to start training some clients and teach some group fitness classes. I did this in the evenings and on weekends when I wasn’t working at my full-time job. After more time elapsed, I received a full time coaching position at the very same gym that transformed my life while I was a member.

After years of working at and growing at that gym, the time came for me to focus completely on my independent coaching business. As of Fall 2017, I have been working completely for myself doing private training, small group training, and online coaching. I am thrilled to be doing something I believe in. I really want to continue to bring health, wellness, fitness and good habits to as many people as possible. The benefits are extraordinary.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all! In the beginning, it felt like I was constantly working. I was at my day job all day Monday through Friday and I was focusing on coaching in the evenings and on weekends. It was definitely draining.

When I made the switch to full-time coach, I took a pay cut, because my entry-level coaching job was not high-paying. I was able to slowly advance back up over time.

When I made the switch to independent coach, it was scary. I left behind the security of working solely for someone else’s establishment. I’ve had to really hustle to build my independent practice. I really thrive in that environment though. I’ve just had to put my head down and grind, but the reward is worth it. I have the flexibility and autonomy to really help my clients in the way I best see fit.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with ChipFit – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
On the surface, I am a personal trainer. I work with clients one-on-one, in small groups, and remotely via the internet. It so much more than that though. I think a better way to describe how I show up for my clients is as a lifestyle coach, friend, partner, listener, and inspiration. Yes, they are coming to me to be pushed to exercise and improve their physical fitness, but in the process, they learn how to optimize their entire lifestyle. I teach my clients how to set up effective sleep routines so that they are getting adequate rest and recovery. I talk to them about how to fine-tune their nutrition. I show them ways they can set healthy boundaries for TV, electronics, email and social media. I teach them the importance of mindfulness practices such as meditation and journaling, and I provide them with resources for doing those activities. Essentially, the physical workout is just a gateway to all the other important aspects of a flourishing lifestyle.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Is it cliche to say the weather? I mean seriously, the weather! I was walking on the beach the other day connecting with a colleague in between clients soaking up some sun in the middle of February! We live close enough to the beach and the weather is nice enough, to be able to do that for a few minutes during the workday. Wow! Also, I often take clients to the beach or the park, and we can do that year-round. It really makes the sessions enjoyable for the client. And it’s so good for them to be outside because most working people are cooped up inside all day.

What I like least about our city is the cost of rent. But these two things are related. The reason I love LA (the weather) is one of the causes of the high cost of living. Everyone wants to be here! It’s easy to dwell on how annoying and expensive this place is, but I think it’s much more effective to use it as an opportunity to work harder and be more successful.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 401-378-3471
  • Email:

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Anna

    April 3, 2018 at 16:41

    He’s cute!

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