In The Media

The following article is featured on the ACE web site –


Passion to Profession Testimonial

JJ Brawley

San Diego, Calif.

 “Simply put, training has become my love and my clients have become my family.”

 Recognizing the need for a major lifestyle change several years ago, JJ Brawley began to consider different career options and examine what it was he felt most passionate about. He knew he didn’t want to jump into anything just for the sake of having a job—he wanted to do something positive and impactful. After discovering how much he enjoyed working out with friends and how his help could influence their lives in such a positive way, JJ got certified through ACE and feels he has found his true calling. Here, JJ shares his passion for fitness and training:

Before becoming a personal trainer, I was in the entertainment business in southern California working as a concert promoter. To advance myself professionally, I purchased and managed a night club for several years, which ended up being much more taxing on me than it was rewarding. I was up all night every night and sleeping my days away to try and recover, but I still felt run down. Facing a lot of pressures and unhealthy lifestyle choices working in the nightlife industry, I also knew that if I didn’t make a positive change in my life, I could get stuck on a dangerous path that some of my former friends and associates had ended up taking.

At that time, I had started a regular workout regimen to keep busy and stay fit, and I was bringing friends to the gym with me. I didn’t know the first thing about training, but I just told them “come do what I do” and we’ll have fun. As we all started seeing results, it hit me—I enjoy fitness and helping people more than anything, and I can get paid to do this!

In 2005, I went through the American Council on Exercise program to receive my certification in Personal Training and I haven’t looked back since. Over the years, I have worked with a variety of clients—from those dealing with physical conditions, to people battling obesity—and while I was proud to motivate and train each and every one of them, I recognized the need to define myself as a trainer and identify the type of clientele I am most aligned with so that I can serve them to the best of my ability.

Now, I am mostly focused on running co-ed boot camp classes which sets me apart from the segmented, smaller classes in my area. The high energy and group participation really meshes with my personality, and I am encouraged by the fact that I can influence several people at one time as opposed to solely training one-on-one. My clients have truly become like family to me, and I am in constant communication with them, whether it be via e-mail, text message or even Facebook. If someone is not showing up to class, I always want to make sure I’m reaching out to encourage them if they’re losing motivation, or to lend an ear if they feel like discussing some issues they’re facing.

My mission in life has gone from promoting concerts and night club venues to educating people on proper exercise techniques and motivating them to get fit, stay in shape and lead healthy and happy lives. Since the beginning of my career, I have held monthly tracking with all of my clients and, to date, I am very proud to review these notes and see that I have helped them lose a combined total of 6,000 pounds, in addition to helping them build muscle, increase confidence and overall health, and – more simply – have fun!

— JJ Brawley

ACE-certified Personal Trainer