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Life & Work with Azhar Gonzalez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Azhar Gonzalez.

Hi Azhar, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I’ve always had an interest in fitness and wellness. I was an athlete growing up and knew I didn’t want to stray far from the field. It wasn’t until I began helping a few friends get into the shape that I realized my passion was in teaching them how to fall in love with exercise and, even more so, how to fall in love with themselves. I changed my major from nursing to kinesiology with a focus on exercise science and set my heart on training people and changing as many lives as I could.

In my last semester of college, I took an internship at a gym called Heavy Metal Fitness. My work ethic landed me a permanent job and in the last two years it has opened up a whole new world of fitness for me. My passion has allowed me the opportunity to work with all ages, all fitness levels, and all walks of life. This is still only the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what more my passion can teach me and where it’ll lead me.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I switched majors in college a few times in hopes of landing a career that would ensure more than just a financially stable life. I was told multiple times that Kinesiology was not the way to go, but I knew I had to do something I was absolutely passionate about if I wanted to feel any type of fulfillment. I switched majors to Kinesiology and decided to pour my heart and soul into my schoolwork, my friends who gave me the opportunity to train them before it became my career, and into learning everything I needed to about any client I might potentially have in the future.

Unfortunately, right when I began my career as a certified personal trainer, COVID hit and all gyms were shut down. I took this time to figure out an alternative in how to continue helping people who were looking to better their lives physically and mentally. While social media seemed like the best way to go, influencers without credentials were taking over. As a person who takes the utmost pride in what I do, I knew I had to offer more than just wild workouts.

I continued to perfect my craft and began offering online programming. However, this was not enough. The global pandemic had a good amount of the population worried about more than just fitness – it also affected mental health.

I took this time to get certified as a Behavioral Change Coach and decided to focus on how to help people make healthier changes that would affect not only their physical self but their mental health.

As I learn more and more about the factors that deter people from reaching their goals, I am gaining more knowledge and certifications to assist my clients in leading happier and healthier lifestyles.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I currently hold a bachelor’s in Kinesiology with a focus on exercise science. I am a certified Personal Trainer and Behavioral Change Coach, and I am in the process of getting Nutrition certified.

I work out of a gym called Heavy Metal Fitness in the mornings and spend my afternoon programming for online clients and learning more about my craft.

I take a lot of pride in my versatility as a coach. I’ve worked with clients with meroamelia, rare connective tissue disorders, pregnant women, and chronic pains/injuries to young athletes, professional boxers, aspiring powerlifters, and strongman competitors. No client is too basic or too difficult or too advanced. I do my research and learn all I can to best assess and assist my clients.

What sets me apart from others is that I go above and beyond for my clients. It’s not just workouts I’m providing. I send morning motivations out, I am available to my clients at all times of the day (within reason of course), and I am constantly checking in on them and asking what more I can do to ensure we reach our goals together as a partnership.

My goal as a coach is to teach my clients how to live healthier and happier lives – this includes learning how to workout in a gym, dealing with anxiety in a gym setting, learning to develop a healthy relationship with food and working out, weeding out people and things that have a negative effect on their wellbeing, and feeling damn good about themselves in and out of the gym.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Taking risks is imperative in my line of work. Every individual’s body and mentality are completely different, which means having a basic format for all clients is nearly impossible. Add in health factors and physical disabilities, it’d be very easy to play it safe and only take on healthy clients with a positive mindset. However, these are not your average clients.

My line of work challenges me by presenting me with clients who have all sorts of limiting factors. It is my job to take them on and to help them as much as possible. This requires additional research and sometimes even trial and error – which is a risk in itself.

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