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Meet Dave Mugavero of Custom Bodies Fitness in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Mugavero.

Dave, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It’s really amazing for me to reflect back on my life to see how I actually got to help so many people and be in a profession that I am so passionate about. As I tell my clients, “Everybody who comes to me has their own unique story about why they want to improve their lives through fitness”. When you can tap into your own story and understand your “Why”, and how you got there, that’s when your life can change forever.

From the time I was seven years old, I had a burning desire to help people. I got involved with sports at a young age and had some tremendous coaches who were very influential in my life. They were people who believed in me and gave me the confidence to believe in myself.

I founded Custom Bodies Fitness with that same vision. I wanted my clients to have a private, personal mentor to believe in them even if they didn’t initially believe in themselves. I really wanted to help support them on their journey to a better body and better life through fitness and nutrition.

My inspiration to create our weight loss and fitness programs started over 40 years ago.

I truly believe I was destined to create these programs and reveal to my clients the truth about weight loss and fitness for good reasons; you see, my last name literally translated means “EAT THE TRUTH”, and I’ve been helping my clients combine fitness with nutrition to create some amazing results over the past 30 years. However, the true passion to create Custom Bodies Fitness came from my experience with a life-threatening illness.

I was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal brain tumor at the age of 15 and was not expected to live. My battle to get my body and mind healthy again proved to be the turning point in my life and the catalyst that led me to devote my life to helping others do the same. I can honestly tell you that I’ve had real life struggles with my body, my mind, and my will to live, but because of some amazing people in my life, I never gave up.

I became a competitive bodybuilder at age 18 and by age 26, I started my personal training business.

My entire life has been about transformation. I was able to transform myself first and I’m grateful every day to be able to help transform my clients.

I love that I get to help people achieve their dreams the way so many others have helped me. There are so many more people out there that need and really want help. It’s my calling to make a difference for them.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There’s an old saying that goes “Overnight success takes 30 years”… I can relate!

I have probably done everything wrong you can imagine in the process of growing my business. I spent way too much money building and furnishing our first location. I hired way too many people, offered too many program options, and had far too many unnecessary overhead expenses. I thought that by building a bigger facility I would have the ability to impact more people, but, I found out that I was always so stressed out because I spent more of my time on upkeep and maintenance of the building than I did on upkeep and maintenance of my client’s needs.

My real success began when I simplified everything and started doing what I always loved to do; focusing on how I could help others, one person at a time. What I really discovered was that my success was never about me. The only way I ever get successful is by helping someone else succeed.

Custom Bodies Fitness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our company specializes in semi-private and private personal training programs with an emphasis on functional training, corrective exercises, weight loss and body transformation. We also offer private gym memberships and senior fitness programs.

All of our personal training programs come with a free gym membership, diet and nutrition counseling, and a full money back guarantee, which is unheard of in the fitness business. We want to make sure that our clients get the results that they want and that we are held accountable for their success as much they are.

We are known for our “Jumpstart” “Try-before-you-buy” Personal Training program. Most gyms give their prospective clients a one session introductory training session in which the trainer is instructed to give the client the hardest possible work out that they can and then take them over to the sales manager to try to close the deal by making the client feel that they are grossly out of shape. That high-pressure tactic is not only unethical but it is very unsafe.

Our approach focuses on the safety of the client first.

Our four session introductory “Jumpstart” training program allows our clients to evaluate our gym and our training methods, and it also allows us as trainers to evaluate the clients needs to see if our solutions are a good fit for both parties before we design a more comprehensive program. The program is only $69 for four sessions, and in our opinion, it’s the best way for a prospective client to select any training program. It is what separates us from all other health clubs.

Our clients range in age from teenagers to 93 years of age, with our average demographic population being women and men 30 years of age and older who are sick and tired of looking and feeling 10-20 years older than they really are. Our clients want a more upscale private gym experience without high-pressure sales tactics and large crowds that bigger fitness clubs cater to. The bottom line is our clients want someone who cares about them, and they want results.

What I’m most proud of as a company is that we are family owned, have been in business for over 30 years, have a great reputation in the community, and operate our business and personal relationships with the highest degree of integrity. I’m very proud that we have many relationships that have lasted 10, 15, and even 25 years or longer. It truly is a caring family atmosphere.

I’m developing my “Eat the Truth” weight loss video series to help people achieve their weight loss goals. I’m creating this series because I know not everyone can afford a private personal trainer and I want to make this information accessible to everyone. My trainers and I also train private and semi-private training clients at our Irvine, CA location, and I work with private nutrition clients all over the world via zoom videoconferencing.

The question I often ask myself is, how can I create more value for more people who desperately need help to lose weight and create a better life for themselves? What good is it to have knowledge without using that knowledge to help as many people as I can? My goal is to give back by impacting as many lives as I can.

My promise to my clients is pretty straightforward and simple:
I promise to make your body incapable of storing fat
I promise to teach you the weight loss and muscle toning secrets that I’ve developed and perfected over 30 years.
I promise to give you a step by step plan to lose weight so effectively that once you lose it, you’ll never put it back on again.
And, I promise to never put you on a diet or give you a meal plan that you can’t possibly follow for a lifetime.

All you have to do is be coachable and be willing use the information in my system to eat the truth, follow a sensible workout program and lose the weight forever.

We also have an In-Home division of our company that does private and semi-private training. We travel to clients homes or work if it is more convenient or preferred for them to train at home. We do bring all the necessary equipment if the client does not have it.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’d have to say that the proudest moment of my career so far is when my son Chad decided to become a trainer and work side by side with me. Chad grew up in the fitness business and started working at our club when he was only 12 years old. He too has changed his life by overcoming his own health struggles with childhood asthma. He’s a great trainer and truly cares for his clients. I am honored that he felt compelled to help change the lives of others through his example.


  • Introductory “Jumpstart” personal training program-$69 includes Four sessions with a personal trainer •30 day gym membership •Fitness valuation •$100 gift card redeemable for any training program or 12 month membership.
  • Private and semi-private personal training-$398-$687 monthly average rates. Includes: • Training 2-3 times per week • Gym membership included while training • Comprehensive nutrition consulting • 12 week money back guarantee • Unlimited email and text support • Refer-A-Friend discounts
  • Gym membership-$47 per month •Month-to-month membership •Prorated for the current month •Member pays first and last months dues when enrolling • No long-term contracts • Refer-A-Friend discounts 30-day cancellation required

Contact Info:

  • Address: 14522 Myford Rd
    Irvine, CA 92606
  • Website:
  • Phone: 714-544-4010
  • Email:

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.

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