By Hamed Hamad
Orange County, California has always been a mecca for surfers, diners, and lively music goers. However, some may not know that it is also a place where lives are changed one child at a time.
John Reiss was raised in a healthy household. He and his siblings swam competitively from a very young age. John continued to swim in high school and played soccer and boxed at a local club. That love of the water came from John’s father who became disabled and still swam until the age of 81 — up to three days before his death.
When John was in college, his vision was to be a graphic artist and after graduation, he got into the advertising industry. While John enjoyed working in advertising, the dream of a career in fitness began to unfold. John says he knew that he wanted to be a trainer: “I’ve been coaching Special Olympics for 12 years and really like the energy and joy of it.” After leaving advertising, John enrolled in the NCCPT training program to become a sports coach and personal trainer for mentally challenged kids. The curriculum was perfect for John; the exercise videos were interactive and career counselors were readily available to answer questions and support him along the way. Equally important, NCCPT founder, John Platero’s weekly LIVE chats with students was an invaluable source to the success of mastering the curriculum.
After passing his exam, John went straight to business. He created John Reiss Fitness, and his roster of kids and young adults is still growing. The company focuses on stretching, balance, coordination, strength training and cardio health. John Reiss Fitness classes comprise of exercises with light hand weights, resistance bands and boot camp style races. The students run from station to station doing curls, pushups, lateral raises and each is timed as their family and classmates cheer them on. “The competition is fierce!” John says. “We usually do three rounds of races and the students are still revved up, wanting to race again. At the end of each class we sit on the floor and talk about healthy living and healthy food choices. Each week I challenge the students to try a new vegetable or to do some new physical activity every day.” The students come back the following week to share their stories with the rest of the class. John Reiss Fitness not only transforms bodies, but also provides a social outlet where students can make new friends and maximize their talents.
When asked about the future, John says that he is lucky to have a job that excites him and challenges him every day to become a better trainer and coach. “Everyone deserves a chance to be healthy and reach their own highest potential,” says Reiss.
For more information on John Reiss or to connect with him personally, please visit the following: