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Meet Gary Heshiki of Gary Heshiki Fitness in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Heshiki.

Gary, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My initial exposure to lifting came at age 16 where I noticed immediate improvements in sports and was hooked on the gym. Most notably the stronger I got the better I became as a cross-country runner. This continued throughout college until I decided to pursue cooking.

After a few years of working as a line cook I was always into exercise constantly reading and learning everything I could in an attempt to get stronger. A trainer at the local gym I worked out at mentioned that I should look into turning my passion for fitness and serving others into a career.

I got certified by NASM and was hired by a large corporate gym where I was able to put into practice all the information I had accrued through the years. These were some of the best times as it allowed me to iron out what I liked and didn’t like in both training and the type of clientele I wanted to work with.

Today I work out of a private gym in Pasadena and am happy being my own boss, running the show as I envision. I continue to cook, only now they’re healthy prepared meals for clients. I believe finding your passion is thinking what would you do if you could do it all the time? Do that.

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?
Since leaving the corporate gym scene, I’ve failed twice at running a fitness business. Both times included having a brief period of success only to end up having to go back to cooking because I couldn’t make my business grow sufficiently.

It took a final stint in professional cooking to come to terms with the fact that I disliked the unhealthy lifestyle line cooks had, the hours and worst of all having to work for somebody else.

Without a penny to my name, I decided to give it one more go at training. It dawned on me I needed to use the same work ethic I had in the gym for my business and that has made all the difference. Now with a renewed passion and work ethic, I’ve made it work.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gary Heshiki Fitness – what should we know?
I specialize in weight loss through empowering my clients to become educated strong confident individuals. I’m proudest when my clients surprise themselves. This can be a feat of strength or fitting into a pair of jeans that haven’t fit in years. This is what motivates me to continue to learn and get better.

I’ve also been getting more into the rehabilitation aspect of training as I’m currently in process of becoming a Massage Therapist so that I will be able to perform manual therapy to help correct muscular imbalances and restrictions.

I believe what sets me apart isn’t only that I care about my clients like family but my laser-like focus on learning and becoming a better coach is what allows me to stand out. I’m not content with my clients only getting a workout but making sure they grow both in and out of the gym. I work every session with this in mind: is what I’m doing allowing me to put my clients in the best position to succeed, if the answer is no, then I change course immediately.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?

I know it’s cliché but I never used to hustle. I would work four hours and think “I worked hard today”. In what world does this even make any sense?!

After my second failed attempt at running a business I realized that I needed to devote the same time I spent learning kinesiology towards the other aspects of my business. I hardly ever touched any business or marketing material. I wouldn’t use any social media as I thought it to be a waste of time. I was unfocused, disorganized and lazy thinking if I’m the most knowledgeable coach people will come. They didn’t.

Today I plan out social media posts, blog articles and video content on a weekly and monthly basis. I watch little to no television. When I drive I’m listening to an audio book or podcast relevant to my industry or business. I audited my time and realized how much of it I wasted on useless things.

Hard work is the variable to success.


  • Rates start at $350/month

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Image Credit: Sara Tso

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