Clubhouse Fitness Trainer Gabreal Velez has always had a deep appreciation and passion for all things fitness. We caught up with Gabreal to discuss his past expertise, plus the health-focused experiences at Ascaya’s Fitness Center. Whether guiding kickboxing and HIIT classes or leading personal training sessions, Gabreal inspires residents to work on achieving their most aspirational wellness goals. Read on for our full conversation with Gabreal.
We understand that you have extensive experience in the fitness industry. Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fitness and wellness?
I started my fitness training journey in high school. Early on, I noticed that the females in class were not participating in any of the weight training activities, so I approached a few of them and asked why they were not taking advantage of the gym. They responded by telling me that they were embarrassed because they had no idea what to do, so I decided to invite a few of them to my health club after school to show them a few exercises that they could do in class. I wanted them to have the same appreciation that I had for fitness and it worked.
How did your fitness journey evolve after high school?
After high school, I enrolled in the local community college while working full-time for the Marriott hotel. I spent seven years working with the Marriott in Warner Center Woodland Hills. I enrolled in a weekend personal training course and received my first personal training certificate. At that time, personal training was a relatively new concept, so there wasn’t much demand for personal trainers. After I left the Marriott, I started my personal training journey with Bally Total Fitness as a floor trainer. During my employment with Bally, I was introduced to Andrew Steinfeld, Jake Steinfeld’s brother who was hired by Bally Total Fitness to overhaul their personal training program. This encounter changed my life. I was hired by Andrew and his company Body Design, to implement his training program at the new Bally training facilities. Soon after, I was promoted to lead Body Design VIP trainer. My job consisted of performing private training sessions with Hollywood’s elite actors and actresses.
How did you go from working for Bally Total Fitness to creating your own fitness business?
After my employment with Body Design, I opened the first west coast location of Crunch Fitness in New York. While training at Crunch Fitness, I quickly became one of the most sought-after personal trainers in West Hollywood. With the overwhelming demand for private training, I started my own Professional Private Fitness Training business. I spent the next few years working exclusively with Warner Music Group and Clear Channel, Hotel Bel-Air, and the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills as their executive fitness trainer. After three years of traveling and training clients in Europe, I decided to move back to the United States to continue my personal training career. I moved to Las Vegas in 2015 to partner with a boutique hotel project and private gym facility. It was at this time that I was introduced to Ascaya.
How did you hear about Ascaya and what led to your position as our Clubhouse Fitness Trainer?
If I remember correctly, I was reading a magazine and came across an advertisement for Ascaya. I was immediately intrigued by the location and the philosophy behind the project. I received an invitation to the clubhouse opening. After touring the facility I knew 100 percent that Ascaya was indeed where dreams are made. I inquired with the sales director and was offered the position of fitness ambassador to Ascaya.
At Ascaya, new homeowners will receive a complimentary personal training session + orientation of our Fitness Center with you, our Clubhouse Fitness Trainer. What can residents expect from your personal training sessions?
I share the same philosophy as our homeowners and future residents. They expect the most professional and thorough private training that only Ascaya can offer. I truly care about the health and well-being of each and every one of our residents. Our clients will receive a comprehensive fitness routine that is custom-tailored to their fitness goals. This includes a well-balanced routine that consists of stretching and a combination of high and low-impact exercises designed to maximize results.
What is your personal philosophy on fitness and wellness?
I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle is the key to a successful lifestyle. Your exercise routine is a direct result of that. The success you have in the gym translates to the success you have in the real world.
What keeps you motivated to continue leading a healthy and fit lifestyle?
As a fitness advocate, I’ve experienced firsthand what living a healthy lifestyle can do. I love having the opportunity of sharing the gift of fitness through exercise and wellbeing. Exercise is lifelong and long-term.
There are extensive community trails surrounding the homesites of Ascaya. What are some ways residents can get active outside of the Fitness Center?
We are surrounded by the most desirable views in Las Vegas. From our organized monthly hiking to mountain biking, residents can take full advantage of the beautiful outdoor landscape that Ascaya has to offer. With the addition of our new park and recreation center, residents will have plenty of options to enjoy the additional facilities at Ascaya.
What advice do you have for residents at the beginning of their fitness journey at Ascaya?
Be realistic with your fitness goals, and above all enjoy your fitness training. We have so much to offer from yoga to circuit training, to kickboxing classes. There is something for everyone. I highly recommend scheduling a complimentary training session to get you started on the right path to success.
From kickboxing to hikes to circuit training, what’s your favorite way to get active?
I enjoy them all. Kickboxing is an excellent way to relieve stress and improve eye and hand coordination. Circuit training covers all the fitness areas including core, stretching, cardio, and strength training. Our organized monthly low-impact hikes allow residents to interact with each other and enjoy the beautiful landscape of Ascaya.