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Meet Jon of Brandi Fitness in Mid City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jon.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jon. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I struggled most of my teenage years into my 20s with anxiety and depression. I think it was 1998, I was in my early 20s I saw a documentary on the musician Sting. In it, he was talking about yoga, how it had brought him a sense of peace and that it had enabled him to do things in his 40s that he wasn’t able to do in his teenage years. Curious, I decided to take a yoga class at a local gym. The class was challenging but after it was over I felt relaxed, significantly less tense and a sense that the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders. I knew after that first class that I wanted to help others feel the same way and I decided that I would teach yoga one day. I continued to take classes fairly regularly for the next couple of years.

In late 2001, I was laid off from my job at a tech company and was offered a severance package. Initially, I had many questions as to what my next step would be. Shortly thereafter, I realized I had an amazing opportunity to use my severance package to help fund my training to become a yoga instructor.

I applied, and was accepted to the yoga teacher training program at the Kripalu Center in Western MA. It was the most amazing experience, I learned so much about myself and so much about the practice of yoga. After the training, I immediately started teaching yoga and have been doing so ever since.

Fast forward to 2011, I decided to relocate to Los Angeles and was interested in taking my physique to the next level. I ended up being referred to a gym in Huntington Beach called Rise Above Fitness, and there I met trainer Mike Axe. I worked with Mike for a period of 2-3 years and was able to take my body fat down from 15% to 5-6% and gain 10lbs of muscle in that time. I had done weight training before, but Mike showed me proper form and specific tempo techniques I could employ that would help me build a strong and structurally balanced body. He also helped me a great deal with nutrition and supplementation. I am grateful for his help, I had never felt better. Training with him lit a fire in me to again share this with others to help them live, move and feel better.

Since then, I have completed my NASM Personal Trainer certification and become a certified nutrition coach. In addition to yoga, I have been training folks in strength & conditioning and nutrition.

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?
The journey has definitely been a bumpy one at times. Prior to my move to Los Angeles, I was sidelined with bicep tendonitis (I couldn’t lift weights overhead without pain in my shoulder). It was frustrating to have to go to physical therapy and take time off from the gym as I was itching to get back to it. Thankfully, I did learn to embrace the time at PT and learned a great deal about rehab exercises which I use with my clients to this day after my time in PT was through, I went to see a strength and conditioning coach who is known for arm/shoulder care in MA named Eric Cressey of Cressey Sports Performance. Eric works with numerous Major League Baseball athletes and has helped players of all kinds especially pitchers. He has become known as the “go to” guy for athletes with shoulder issues. I gained so much more knowledge on how to train the shoulder from his programming and progressions and it has paid dividends for my coaching ability when working with our members.

Additionally, training to get down to 5-6% body fat is quite a challenge as well. Dedication to diet (no cheating) and sometimes 2 a day workouts were required. I am thankful for having gone through that process and that I stuck with it as I feel it built character and perseverance in me. It also allowed me to coach our members with the firsthand perspective having gone through the process myself. I also had a greater sense that I could achieve more in my life than I originally thought possible. It may be similar to how someone feels after running their first marathon.

Brandi Fitness – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Brandi Fitness is a dynamic husband and wife team (my wife Cassie and I) that loves fitness and serving people.

We offer our members a wide range of fitness services, including one-on-one and semi-private training, yoga and Zumba classes, healthy living & nutrition coaching, physical role prep coaching for actors, corporate seminars, and online coaching for people all over the country. Our members are our family, and our commitment is to work with them every step of the way to ensure that they have everything they need to not just reach their goals, but to shatter them!!

We are so proud of the dedication of our members to achieve the results they have. Everybody that commits to their purpose and does the work sees results. In fact we recently launched our online coaching curriculum in Feb and in just 2 1/2 months we have had members losing 10-20lbs!

What sets us apart is that we serve our members from a holistic perspective through lifestyle, nutrition and exercise habits. We coach them to find real life solutions to live healthier sustainably. We find programs that fit their lives, not making their lives fit the program. Our slogan is “Healthy Living for Your Everyday Life”

We have a home office where we do our member signups and assessments, and rent out space at various locations to offer our services. We do a majority of our training at Lockbox Performance Center in Mid-City Los Angeles.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
This is a tough one … nothing specifically comes to my mind when I think of a “proudest moment”. In fact, I am more excited about the more frequent “tiny breakthroughs” that happen for our members and for me as a coach. For example, it can be something as simple as a member hitting a protein goal consistently for two weeks, or it could be technique or coaching cue I read about that I use in a session that helps a member get the most out of an exercise. These “tiny breakthroughs” over time lead to significant lifestyle change. I think of coaching as a team process of igniting a fire to facilitate that change. As a coach, I am just there to hold the match and encourage them to create the spark in their lives to ignite the flame that burns away old patterns and creates hope to make things new.

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