The Mitchell Fitness Systems Story
How We Got Here!
Everyone likes a good story. I'm no different! 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 in case you'd like to know. Read on and enjoy!
My mom had the joy & pleasure of taking me with her on a shopping outing. I was around 10 at the time, so that puts it at 1970. 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. The magazine gig keeps the legs from going limp following her around shopping for stuff I don't care too much about (you know what I'm talking about guys, right?)
I remember it vividly. Robert Kennedy's "Muscle Mag International" with a bearded Frank Zane's (pictured to the right) glistening freakish form staring right back at me. I'd never seen anything like it in all my young 10 years. I just had to buy that magazine and learn more. The "essentials" certainly did not include a magazine with an almost naked man on the cover. Mom did not oblige my request, even for a split second as she looked at me with one raised eyebrow. So, I set out to earn the dough in order to buy the mag in a big hurry.
I got a jobs mowing yards to get enough together. I even mowed Mrs. Hughes two acre yard with a push mower for a whopping two bucks. With more money than any 10 year old should have in my pockets, I got on my bike and 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 in tow. 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" as well as many of his books that came out in the next few years.
Over the years I competed and won a few local and state bodybuilding shows but a lack of genetics and an unwillingness to partake in the huge amount of "hormonal therapy" needed to keep pace with the big boys kept me from maybe placing higher and possibly preserving my health, thank goodness. Funny how ones priorities change with a wife and growing family!
After only one year living in Somerset, New Jersey in 1986, where I ran The Health Club at Somerset with my awesome 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 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 done it many times before (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 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. So, 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 hired me to work in their mail order department as I had 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 Sports 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. My training had always stayed a high priority as it does to this day. 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.
Tangibles have never out weighed intangibles. We wanted our kids to be home with us and not be raised at the Humpty Dumpty. Presently (2014), my youngest (Thomas) is twenty three, Anna is twenty six, Paul is now twenty nine, and 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 up bringing.
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 seven years of age from 2008-2009, I earned my Masters degree in Human Movement at AT Still University in Mesa, AZ. with the urging of Vicki and a wonderful friend of mine and mentor, 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 and took me out of the game for good. Those were great years though as I met Vicki on a blind date and that is still one of my very favorite stories to tell to this day. While working several other jobs, I eventually started to build up my personal training clientèle. Pretty soon that income started to outweigh the small money I made trading it for hours working for someone else.
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 Your Best Body Fitness Challenge (YBBFC). It's a 3 month "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 YBBFC will be offered bi-yearly 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 the folks we get to help!! That's what this is all about! It's why we love getting up each and everyday, ready to tackle life's challenges.
Currently, we offer private and semi-private personal training and it's our hope to offer small group classes again. 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.
If you've ever wanted to hire a personal trainer but felt it was too expensive, it just may be the best investment you'll ever make in yourself! Vicki and I believe that old saying, "If you can believe it, you can achieve it!" We've been through many struggles in life, but the best part of life is really the journey when it's all said and done. Now, back to my latest issue of "Muscle Mag International". Trent Mitchell can be contacted for guest speaking engagements by calling 310-961-2610 or via e-mail at customerservice@FitnessCoach4U.com.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."
Hebrews 12: 11-13