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Meet Studio City Fitness Trainer: Meryl Hawk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meryl Hawk.  Below you’ll find edited excerpts of our interview with Meryl.

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I am a Personal Trainer because I did gymnastics for 16 years, was an International Elite Gymnast at the age of 11 and had so many injuries after leaving the sport that I had chronic pain in various parts of my body and these crazy headaches that the doctors kept telling me I was imagining. The headaches got so bad that I would just start randomly crying and pain pills didn’t even make a dent. I’ve also had 3 knee surgeries, and my knee really started hurting also, so bad that it would wake me up in the middle of the night. Since I was the only one who knew I wasn’t crazy and making all of this pain up – I mean who wants to be in pain? lol – I googled and googled and finally found this doctor named Dr. Mark Adickes at The Houston Medical Center. He had me meet a physical therapist who introduced me to the stability ball, a couple of key exercises that activated muscles of mine that had gone dormant and were not working thus causing pain, and the foam roller, which gave me myofascial release and got rid or a good amount of pain on the spot after just one use. I have had various sizes and types of foam rollers by my side at all times ever since. The program that this physical therapist showed me helped me get back to life without pain. I was so grateful. Anyway, I took what the program my physical therapist gave me and tweaked it by adjusting the exercises to suit my fitness level, added in a few new exercises, took out the exercises that didn’t really help me so that I obviously ended up with a physical therapy program that was personalized. I kept tweaking my program and kept feeling and looking better and better, and that’s when a friend suggested I become a Personal Trainer. People also kept asking me if I was a trainer. That’s when I got certified in Personal Training. I enjoyed it from day 1, because I was able to help people through their own version of my story – whether it was chronic pain, incredibly weak muscles or very poor endurance, I am driven to help people do the seemingly impossible and help them figure out their bodies, just like I figured out my own. I have since developed a plethora of thorough and effective fitness, nutrition and life coaching programs that help people reach their highest fitness level, create sustainable nutrition plans and also become the best person that they can possibly be. I know all of the secrets to pain elimination, sustainable I nutrition and life

Has it been a smooth road?

Not a smooth road at all. At one point a private gym owner kept interrupting me in the middle of my training sessions to talk to me about irrelevant things and caused me to lose business. At another private gym, the owner harassed me and all of my clients with incessant phone calls when I left the gym to train out of a gym closer to my home. I lost a lot of business then too. I have always been able to bounce back, though, as I’m just not a quitter. I know that there will always be ups and downs and people won’t always be ok with my success. I just have to show them that I’m not going anywhere. I think I’ve done that. Today I train at out Ricky’s Private Boxing Gym in Studio City, and I have a great relationship with Ricky. He is just the greatest guy. We’re a team.

What are your plans for the future? 

Zip Zap Fit will have an online store that will offer supplements, instant access online programs, an audiobook and subscription programs for starters. The new Zip Zap Fit website will be live this August 2016. Currently, our website is just a splash page – All of the online products will be available in 2017.

More specifically: 

I am writing an audiobook on fitness, general health, nutrition, happiness, motivation, and inspiration. Title coming soon. I will probably end up titling the book “Zip Zap Fit” because those three words really encompass everything my business and the book are about (how to get fit in an efficient, effective, fun and sustainable way).

The instant access online multimedia programs will cover topics such as: fitness, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, motivation, inspiration, happiness and positivity for those who would like supplemental programs while on their fitness journey with Zip Zap Fit and for people who are not in the LA area but would like to learn from Zip Zap Fit.

The subscription programs will cover a myriad of topics including fitness, nutrition, goal setting, inspiration, and motivation.

Let’s dig a little deeper into your story.  What was the hardest time you’ve had?

The hardest time in my career was when I was training out of a private gym in Sherman Oaks and the owner started harassing me and all of my via telephone call and text message literally nonstop when I made it clear I would be leaving the gym. I chose to leave the gym because the owner and his wife treated my clients poorly.

Because I was bringing in quite a bit of money to the gym owner in gym rent per client, he was going to lose a good deal of money per month if I left. Needless to say, I had to end up getting a lawyer to write a cease and desist letter to the gym owner and his wife, and I lost a lot of clients because the gym owner harassed them all. I thought this guy (gym owner) was my friend. Boy was I wrong.

I was able to bounce back because at the same time the gym owner betrayed my trust, he also gave me the gift of unwavering resolve. I was determined to prove that I could build my whole operation back up, even if someone tried to tear it apart, and I also knew I had a great service to offer. You must have resolve as an entrepreneur because there are so many ups and downs when you’re running your own business. There is no other option but to bounce back. If you stay down, you go out of business. The gym owner also taught me that I had to become extremely shrewd, vigilant, and most importantly, always find the opportunity in every setback. I truly thank him for those lessons and wish him the very best.

Do you ever just stop and think WOW – I’ve made it?

When I made the transition from working at 24 Hour Fitness as a Personal Trainer to running my own business so easily. Most people don’t have the courage to start their own business and most fail even if they try. Now I know I’m here to stay because I’ve been up and running for so long.

Yes, a good amount of clients followed me to my new business at the time (Zip Zap Fit) when I left 24 Hour Fitness of their own free will, but you don’t just do business with the same clients forever. You have to learn to grow your clientele, consistently appeal to the changing needs of your market niche and develop your brand. I also had to come up with a solid brand if I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. I sort of just knew I had to do those things. I have found out over the years that people actually go to college for that stuff. I guess I just have a knack for it.

Also, people have always told me that they love my personality, they have incredibly fun time training with me, that I inspire them workout after workout and that the fitness, nutrition and lifestyle information I teach them really does work. Maybe they’re right? 🙂

People I would like to thank for my success: My parents for knowing I would succeed, my sister for being there for me through thick and thin, my mentor Ani Avetyan for cultivating my inner strength, Ray Caccioli and Lisette Bross for helping me find Ricky’s Boxing Gym (gym I train out of) and Ricky Quiles for having my back.


  • All new clients start with a commitment-free Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle Assessment, which is-
  • $55 in our private gym in Studio City
  • $99 in the comfort of your home. 

Contact Info:

  • Phone: (818) 860-1749
  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram:
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • YouTube:
  • iTunes Podcast:

Check out her work below:

9924-Meryl-_-Bari-1-web 9923-Hawk_handstand_drawing_black_and_white 9922-Hawk_Portrait 9921-Meryl___JoJo_2 9920-Meryl___Kylie 9919-Meryl___Ray_apple_1 9918-Meryl___Shawn 9917-Meryl___Dorene 9916-Meryl___Ricky 9915-Meryl___Amy


  1. Scotty mohr

    August 3, 2016 at 21:57

    Hi Meryl. This is mr Mohr. Glad you are doing well. Always knew you would. Wish you were here I could use you to train me

    • Meryl

      July 18, 2017 at 05:34

      Thank you!!

  2. Dan

    August 24, 2016 at 12:32

    I’m a big fan. Been listening to your podcast. Love it. Keep it up Meryl.

    • Meryl

      July 18, 2017 at 05:34

      Thanks Dan! Will do.

  3. Shannon Gruber

    September 4, 2016 at 20:37

    So inspiring! You will do great things 🙂

    • Meryl

      July 18, 2017 at 05:35

      I appreciate it Shannon 🙂

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