We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay Jarrels and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jay, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success I’ve had so far is consistency. Consistency is the culmination of repetitive behaviors and standards you set for yourself that come to produce a reliable and dependable personal training experience. Consistency is showing up for your sessions early, not rescheduling or canceling sessions, while providing a safe and enjoyable training experience with science based education; and you do this every single day of every single week of every single month of the year. This means if you only slept 4 hours the night before or you’re dealing with issues in your personal life, you continue to show up for your clients with a genuinely positive attitude and a quality workout. With personal training, you have to be someone that people WANT to spend multiple hours per week with, and it’s the consistency behind the energy, education, and experience that you provide that will determine whether you retain your clientele or find yourself constantly seeking new business.

In the early days of my career, I wasn’t consistent, and my business suffered as a result. What do I mean by that? I mean going out to bars during the week, staying up late binging a show, or some other self sabotaging behavior that resulted in me feeling like I needed to cancel my early sessions or worse yet, over sleeping altogether. When your clients are investing thousands of dollars into you as the person who helps facilitate some of the greatest behavioral changes they may make in their lifetime, you owe them consistency at the very least. In my almost 10 years of personal training, when I finally started doing all of the things I should have been doing from day one CONSISTENTLY, that’s when my business really seemed to take off. When people know they can rely on you as a person and depend on you for results, they are much more likely to refer other people to you, and this cycle repeats itself. Conversely, if you aren’t showing up for your sessions, if you are canceling at the last minute, or if you are bringing your own problems to the gym, I promise you your business will fail. We are what we repeatedly do, so be consistent!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a private personal trainer in Los Angeles and I work with the general population as well as artists, actors, directors, writers, and athletes. My primary methods of training involve strength and conditioning, muscular development, and weight loss. Currently I train half of my clients out of a private gym setting and the other half I travel to their houses. When I’m not working with clients at the gym, I’m usually bustling to Beverly Hills, the Palisades, Silver Lake, Encino, and pretty much anywhere else I can fit clients into my google calendar.

I’m from a small town in rural Virginia and I attended Virginia Tech where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise with an emphasis in Exercise and Health Promotion. I ran cross country and track briefly at the collegiate level and eventually found my way into personal training on campus. Here is where I discovered my passion for helping people and what I view as an intangible ability to connect with others. At 22 years old and three months after graduating, I decided to take the leap and move from small town Virginia to not so small town Los Angeles. My LA training career started at Crunch Gym in West Hollywood where I was really able to develop the skills necessary to handle it on my own as a private trainer. After two years at Crunch, I transitioned to the private sector which leads me to today. I currently see anywhere from 15-16 regular clients and I service 35-40 sessions per week, or more.

With that said, I’ve had my fair share of struggle along this journey. When I moved to Los Angeles in 2014, I didn’t think about the “culture shock” that it probably was to me at the time. My goal was to get as many clients as I could and just work work work. Over the years I started to lose myself though, and that translated into me not taking care of myself the way that I should, which translated into my clients not getting the experience they deserved. These were self-inflicted and completely preventable obstacles, but seeing the effect that it was having on my business was the wake up call I needed, Since then, the principles I preach on consistency and persistency in pursuit of ones goals are a byproduct of my own personal struggles over the years, and my ability to overcome them.

What sets me apart isn’t necessarily specific to the type of training I do with my clients. Fundamental education and proper programming should be the bare minimum when it comes to personal training, but real people don’t want to feel like they’re sitting in a lecture the hour that they’re dedicating from their busy schedule to be with you. What sets me apart or at least what has given me success over the years and the ability to retain clients for up to 7 years since being in LA is my ability to connect with people. With our ever increasing obsession and over consumption of social media, we live in a world of increasing personal isolation. My training experience serves as a haven from that world for people who yearn to still have interpersonal connections with real people; it just so happens that you’re going to get in really great shape while you do this. The number one goal at the end of the day is how can I help the person in front of me achieve what it is they’re looking to do with their body or their mind while providing a fun and sometimes entertaining experience for them. That is what keeps people wanting to come back. As one of my mentors once said, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” I’ve seen many trainers much smarter than me struggle over the years and even quit training because they have all the knowledge in the world but lack that ability to actually reach people on a personal level. It’s important to remember the PERSONAL aspect of personal training, and that is where I thrive.

I want the world to know that my goal is not to sell you a guru type training regimen, or a cookie cutter one for that matter. Everything we do is tailored specifically for what the individual’s goals are. The work we do is done in conjunction with science-based principles and FACT, and that when you work with me you aren’t just sitting on a machine while someone counts out your reps. I teach people how to use their bodies to maximize efficiency in their everyday lives as well as developing the strength and stamina to fight off a mountain lion while hiking Griffith Park (not that I recommend the former). My passion and persistence in connecting with people is intended to help foster physical, mental, and overall lifestyle changes in a dependable environment you look forward to being a part of.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Favorite restaurant – Scopa Italian Roots, Jon and Vinny’s, Cecconi’s, The Little Door

Favorite brunch – Elephante, The Ivy, Toast

Favorite bars – Ep&Lp, 71Above, Mama Shelter, Employee’s Only

Favorite hikes – Hollywood Sign, Wisdom Tree, or Los Liones Canyon

Best beaches – South Venice (Marina del Rey), Point Dume, Hermosa Beach

Events – Lakers and Dodgers games

Concerts – Hollywood Bowl or Greek Theatre

Late night food – House of Pies or In N Out

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I moved to Los Angeles in 2014, I was fortunate to arrive at Crunch Gym under some pretty amazing trainers. Had I arrived a year or two later, the experience could have been vastly different so I’m forever grateful that I met these people when I did. Quincy Burgers, Keith Johnson, and Amelia Rose just to name a few were some of the trainers who inspired me and imparted a lot of wisdom to me in my early days of training. They helped me understand the mastery behind running your own personal training business, but also gave me guidance in handling difficult situations.

Secondly, I’d like to thank my fiance Demetra for making me a better person over the years. Her positive influence in my life is directly correlated with the success I’ve had running my own business and I don’t know where I’d be without her encouragement, guidance, and love.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of my clients who continue to believe in me to help them change their lives for the better. I love you all and I don’t have any of this success without your collective belief in me!

Instagram: @jayjay_fit

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