How We Got Here!

What's your story? I love a good story. As you sit there and read this, I know that you are someone who has their very own story!

Your story may be that you dared to dream several years ago. You pursued your passion (whatever that is) and you went for it. Did you ever make it?

Several years ago, I had a reoccurring dream. I'd be standing on a tall building ledge with no room whatsoever to bend forward, sideways, or even think about moving. That wasn't even the troubling part.

Right by my right foot was a gift. It was wrapped perfectly in bright green with a big red bow on top. My Dreamweaver told me that if I could just get that box, open it, there was a key inside to open the window and presto! I'd be inside safe and sound.

I couldn't move. How in the world could I get that pretty green and red box?

Then I'd wake up.

What the heck is coach Trent trying to say here?

Standing on that ledge and not taking a risk to at least TRY; is something that plagued me for a long time.

Then things began to change. Good things. Things that made life worth living.

Here's my story if you're interested?


This story is about myself, my family, and Mitchell Fitness Systems. What exactly got us to this point? It's a story about our personal journey.

My mom had the joy & pleasure of taking me with her on a shopping outing. I was around ten at the time, so that puts it at somewhere around 1969-70. Mom couldn't afford much, so I'm sure she was just buying the essentials. As mom shopped for the "must haves", I perused the magazine rack as I still do to this day when I'm with my wife Vicki.

I remember it vividly. Robert Kennedy's "Muscle Mag International" with Frank Zane's glistening freakish form staring back at me. I'd never seen anything like it in all my young ten years.

I just had to buy that magazine and learn more. The "essentials" we needed certainly did not include a magazine with an almost naked man on the cover. So, I set out to earn the money to buy the mag in a big hurry.

To raise the funds, I got a job mowing yards. I even mowed Mrs. Hughes two acre yard with a push mower for a whopping two bucks a cut. That was a little under pay scale for that time for a budding but excited entrepreneur. But, I had the money and excited intent!

My bike and me headed out to that same drug store to make my purchase. My bike actually went 60 miles an hour on it's return back home (or at least that's the way it felt) with that magazine tightly fit between my hand and handlebar.

I was excited to learn how that guy on the cover got those muscles. You can imagine how I devoured every word and picture of that first muscle magazine! When your passionate about something, you put yourself into it!

There would be hundreds if not thousands more to come. Fast forward to 1986, while training Clair Furr, who placed second to Corry Everson at the Ms. Olympia in New York, I appeared in Robert Kennedy's "Muscle Mag International" magazine as well as many of his bodybuilding books that came out in the next few years.

I've competed and won a few local and state bodybuilding shows.

A lack of genetics and an unwillingness to jeopardize my health to keep pace with the big boys ended my bodybuilding career earlier than I wanted. Funny how ones priorities change with a wife and growing family! I digress.

After only one year living in Somerset, New Jersey in 1986, where I ran The Health Club at Somerset with my friend Jamie Kelly, Vicki and I moved to California with a loaded four by six U-Haul trailer pulled by our little brown Toyota Corolla.

So, with wife Vicki in the passenger seat and two year old son Paul in his baby seat in the back, we began our journey to the Golden State with excitement and a passionate dream.

From 1987 to 1992, I hosted and did nutritional segments for ESPN's American Muscle Magazine TV show. It was a great gig but didn't pay much at all. Most of the time I had to threaten the producer that I'd take him to court in order to get a pay check.

It was a tough time financially as I also worked as a bouncer at The Bandstand in Anaheim, CA for a whopping six dollars an hour. I got the job because I was a muscular 240 pounds at the time and lied that I'd had plenty of experience (I needed to feed my family).

Vicki, Paul and I slept on blow up air mattresses, and our kitchen table was a large cardboard box that Vicki covered with a beautiful table cloth to make it match the rest of our California décor.

We didn't have much, but we were happy. After one particularly bloody night at The Bandstand (I was always busy breaking up fights between drunk people), Vicki informed me that I wouldn't be clocking in for another shift.

Next up, I became a security guard at the Marriott in Torrance for another whopping six dollars an hour. This didn't last too long before I got closer to THE MECCA....Gold's Gym in Santa Monica.

They hired me to work in their mail order department as I had (actual) experience earlier in my work years with Doc's Sports in Riverdale, GA. Vicki and I both worked for a company called Male Pac as well as Doc's in those early years.

Every time Vicki and I had to move because of jobs or opportunities, we made sure of one thing; find the town gym and live as closely as possible to it or to work, preferably right between the two (priorities).

My training had always stayed a high priority as it does to this day. I know that taking care of my body says that I love my family loud and clear!

Vicki has been and always will be the anchor in my life. She's withstood many challenges with me over the years and through it all, still loves me.

Vicki delivered three (two with midwife's) of the most gorgeous children you'd ever want to know as she has raised them pretty much all by herself. We decided early that I would work and she would raise our kids. That's just what we did.

Tangibles have never out weighed intangibles. We wanted our kids to be home and not be raised by anyone but us. Even if that meant doing without.

Presently (2021), my youngest (Thomas) is thirty, Anna is thirty three, Paul is now thirty six. All three of our children bear their mom's integrity and character, which is stellar.

Early in our kids lives, we took them to church and made sure they had a good grounding in Christian values. We also made sure they understood and respected others, no matter their culture, religious beliefs, or color. Their friends reflect this.

All along the way throughout my many job experiences, I never stopped learning and developing my understanding of health and fitness matters.

I've basically been training others since I was eighteen years old. At forty eight years of age in 2008, I earned my Masters degree in Human Movement at AT Still University in Mesa, AZ. with the urging of Vicki and a wonderful friend and mentor of mine, Dr. Tom Storer. Learning is one of life's special treats and I absolutely love to learn.

Back in 1979 to 1982, I earned my B.S. degree in Business Administration from Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO. Although a mediocre quarterback with the Vikings, I started for two years before an injury to my back "side-lined" me for the last time.

Those were great years! Mostly because I met Vicki on a blind date and that is still one of my very favorite stories to tell.

While working several other jobs, I eventually started to build up my personal training clientele. Pretty soon that income started to outweigh the small money I made trading hours for dollars.

So, with Vicki's urging, I became a full time personal trainer and absolutely loved every minute of it as I still do. Vicki and I moved our business from one gym to another and even tried training clients in our garage that we converted into a gym.

After several more moves, we found our current location in Torrance. Mitchell Fitness Systems studio was opened in May of 2005 with a small loan from one of our valued clients who we are so very thankful to.

Our motto is "Transforming Lives One Training Session at a Time" because to us, health & fitness is only a part of one's self. We truly want to be more than that to our great clients. Listed here are our core values...

1. Practice what we preach!

2. Over deliver and WOW our clients.

3. Make a positive impact on our community.

4. Teach safe and result producing fitness systems.

5. Strive for constant & steady improvement.

Presently, we're in the process of putting the finishing touches on our new fitness challenge called 28-Day Body Transformation Challenge. It's a "kick start" program that incorporates all aspects of a well rounded health & fitness program. It's been designed to get the very best results in the shortest amount of time with life long benefits.

The Challenge is also offered as an individual program as well. Mitchell Fitness Systems continues to grow and thrive and as we look forward with great anticipation of what the next several years will bring.

We are excited about all those who we get to help!! That's what this is all about! It's why we love getting up every morning, ready to tackle life's challenges.

We offer private, semi-private and online personal training. Other services include Corrective Exercise Programming, Post-rehab for most injuries, fitness programs deigned for those with diabetes, mild to moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to name a few.


So, I'd love to know your story! You're passion may have driven you to succeed in life! That's a good thing. Congratulations!

What did it cost you?

Have you neglected your physical self? If so, I can help you. That's what I have the passion for.

Maybe while neglecting your health, you blew out your left knee playing weekend warrior flag football? Or, you basically bent to tie your shoe and the pain in your low back was excruciating.

It could also be that you just got word from your doctor that your blood pressure is up as well many other important numbers.

When I couldn't pick that gift up laying right beside me in that dream, it haunted me.

What if?

Your story makes you who you are. Special and unlike no other. I'd like to help get you back on track, begin to eat healthy, enjoy productive workouts on a regular basis, and think of positive things in your life.

Help you enjoy all that you've worked so hard to accomplish.

That's what I do. It's my passion. And you really can do this.

Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Simply bend down just a little, pick up your cell phone, and contact me at the information below.

I'll talk to you soon.

Trent Mitchell can be contacted for guest speaking engagements by calling 213-215-0080 or via e-mail at

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trent before and after
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