We caught up with Celebrity Fitness Trainer Ron Boss whose clients include: Ne-Yo and Kevin Hart. He shares how he came into the fitness industry, his approach to working with clients, his partnership with Cellucor, how important it is engaging audiences at fitness events, as well as his social media is in order to showcase his brand and vision.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to creating Just Train what was your background before becoming a celebrity fitness trainer?
RON BOSS: I kind of got my start from football. I was always an athlete and my background just always came from sports teams and always being in the gym and competing with myself to be better and to compete with my teammates and starting Just Train came from that mindset.
AM: What was the moment that you decided that in addition to being a fitness trainer, you also wanted to have a brand?
RB: Well for me, it was always about something bigger than myself and once football was one of those things that were kind of taken away from me or that I didn’t excel at it the way that I wanted to, I obviously had to change careers and being very passionate about entrepreneurship, I didn’t want to go to work for anyone. If I did create something, then it would need to be something that benefited multiple people. That’s kind of how we started to build.
AM: How do you define yourself as a trainer and what do you think that people are looking for when they want you to train them?
RB: I define myself as a committed trainer. I approach it from a psychological standpoint and with those that are committed in terms of their long term goals and not a short term one. We’re going to get results, but obviously, the main focus is to mentally challenge people. I believe that if you train the mind, the body will follow. We want to get people to believe that they can do anything at first and that’s really my approach. So, we use competition, we use a lot of reassurance, and also holding them accountable for when they fall short. So using competition and doing this throughout their workouts will build upon the things that they may not be good at.
AM: What methods or modalities can clients expect when they are training with you?
RB: Well you’re definitely going to come and feel like an athlete. That’s one of the things that I love to get my clients to understand that everyone is an athlete. I want you to move a little bit more and to have fun. We’re going to put our bodies into various positions and I want you to do a number of things – not just lifting weights, but to move, and feel good that you can do all things whether it’s lifting, or jumping or running. Having a strong core and all of those things which is why I have an athlete's approach to training.
AM: Which is what we saw when we were going through your Instagram - seeing all of the drills that are like what athletes go through.
RB: You want to make it fun for people and one of the things that you see on TV every day is sports and sports is fueled by athletes who are very motivating not only to young kids, but to athletes who they have motivated us as young people when we were growing up. That’s where we get a lot of our fuel from and thinking back we look to athletes that inspired us and why not try to be more like that by moving more and creating longevity in our body and to look good while we’re doing it?
AM: What are 3 routines that you feel that people should include in their workouts regardless of what their goals are?
RB: Oh haha you’re going to be put me on the spot. I think that plyometrics is very important in being able to move without weight – calisthenics for pullups, pushups and things like that, I obviously want people to do and jump. The third one is core – keeping a strong core. We focus a lot on that as it’s the base of your body and is the center and we want it to be strong. Those are all great things that I like to approach with my clients is being able to move your body weight, move from side to side, plyometrics – jumping and things like that and obviously, the core component for foundational movement which keeps it as the baseline.
AM: We know that you are a Cellucor athlete as you did a session recently at Model Volleyball in Miami, you were recently at The Retreat - FUNKSHION at SXSW - why is this synergy between you and the brand such a great fit?
RB: Well I have been with them going on for 4 or 5 years now. One of the main reasons why it's #1, I appreciated them for the being the leader in the industry and I saw an ability for them with their amazing products that I use and then to have the ability to continue reaching people through energy and motivation. To be able to be at events like that and to spread the knowledge and to be with them as they evolve. To see them focusing on the body builders to the everyday moving people to also dealing with the natural products like C4 with the natural zero energy is incredible to be with people who not only knows that it works, but to push it in order to continue to evolve.
AM: How is that beneficial for you in terms of extending your brand and do you feel you will do more of these engagements?
RB: It's important to have these type of events and partners to gain more exposure and I gain more exposure. We have a really unique message. I am on the go all of the time – they have a product that is on the go and it benefits and tells people that you don’t get to make excuses and you can make time no matter where you are. You’re busy but you can make time. I’m flying all of the time from here to there and you never know what to expect and there is never a reason for you not to train!
AM: The challenges of building a business and growing it can be intense, what are lessons that you learned that have carried you through your business?
RB: Just stay consistent to the plan. It’s not easy – it wasn’t easy. When you’re building a business, it’s always important that you stay and believe in the core mission of where you are trying to go. People won’t understand it, but if you do it and remain consistent and hold yourself accountable with the things that you do good and the things that you do bad – nothing is a guaranteed success, but you have a damn good shot at it to excelling and being successful. You have to define your success in the beginning of the process and if it’s money, it can’t be that, it has to also be other things that continue to motivate you and take you to the next level.
AM: In order to commit to working out and being where you want to be, we know you have a no talking policy when working out - what are 3 must haves of other things that are essential for clients to know when working out with you?
RB: There aren’t three things, there is only one thing – the mind, once you’re ready to go. I don’t care if you’re not a great mover or the best mover – if you’re not mentally ready, to be able to challenge yourself, that’s the thing – the mind. To be able to come out and work out with me, you have to be mentally prepared to challenge yourself to the next level. So, for me its not a three part thing it’s a one part thing. Once you have decided that you want to see a change, no matter whether it’s fitness or entrepreneurship or going to work – when you decide that you want to be the best, it starts with our mind first. So when you decide to work with me, it’s a mindset thing. All the physical components will fall into place.
AM: You train a number of celebrities including Kevin Hart, how did that come about as his trainer who also travels with him, how do you balance that schedule along with your other clients, trainers, etc?
RB: Yeah you know that I have been fortunate enough to build a team. You know, you find a balance. I met Kevin through Ne-Yo, well honestly, I met Kevin back in 2004 when we met at the barbershop so we go way back and I was training another client, Ne-Yo and they are really good friends. Kevin and I just had this energy to continue to build something with one another and we just found ourselves building towards some runs, fitness movements and then it kind of got us to this point.
You just find yourself between that balance of doing what I am hired to do and what I want to do which is again – to building something that is bigger than myself. If it was just about me being a Celebrity Fitness Trainer, that would not be interesting to me for the long term, so we have to get these moments with the Just Train idea, the Cellucor partnerships and the things that we have been able to build along the way!
AM: As someone who travels a lot, what are 3 must haves that you have in your bag that are your essentials?
RB: I keep resistance bands on me all the time. You have to have some good deodorant on you so that you don't get musty! I always like to have a pair of fresh work out clothes because you feel good and you look good. You’re motivated to keep going into the gym to put in good work. Contrary to the last few weeks, I haven’t been changing my clothes very often because I have been in my focus mode. You really want to stay and look good when you go to the gym and you want to build on that!
I keep resistance bands, fresh outfits and some deodorant to make sure that I smell good!
AM: We love that your Instagram shows you working out, including videos of you and Kevin, people that you have met who are inspiring and just you when you're just hanging out - how important is social media and having this well rounded presence to your business?
RB: I’m just so fortunate to have social media right now to be able to spread a lot of messages to get up and do more and move more. Physical fitness has been a by-product of that to challenge people to that part of the life. Social media has been a great way to be able to reach so many different people in so many different walks of life. It’s very interesting to be a football player and then for people to be able to come and find you – they say, “man where can I find you?” and then you give them your Instagram and then they’re like, “man, my boy on Wall Street – he follows you.” What’s the chance of that and it’s cool when they say that their mom follows me and it’s like “oh shit” – social media is a really great tool to do that!
I don’t know why they are following me, but I want to be a source of good energy and social media has been able to provide me that and I want to be able to create good content to be able to motivate people. It inspires them that they are able to train and do great things as well as being able to live and have fun! It’s not about being one dimensional. I don’t believe in eating a certain way, I like to enjoy life, take vacations – whatever it is. But social media has been able to allow me to show that life is not one dimensional. You don’t have to just wake up, go to work, go to the gym, sleep, wake up and do it all over again.
AM: We are all about tribes and those that inspire us to be our best selves - who are 3 people that you look to in your tribe as sources of inspiration?
RB: I’m inspired by my family number 1 as an overall. The people that I am around – Kevin inspires me just because you can’t become complacent! The third person is myself - if that’s ok to say! When you look at who you are and where you came from and that there is more that you can give as you know where you have been and where you can continue to push that ball forward.
AM: When you hit the gym, what songs are on your playlist at the moment that you enjoy listening to?
RB: Aww man! I’m kind of all over the place these days! I like R&B, a lot of slow jams then I go to a lot of old school 50 Cent’s “Get Rich Or Die Trying”. Man, I go to A-list R&B, I don’t know, it just depends on the mood. Sometimes I’m really in a sweet mood and everybody says that I am not a sweet guy because I don’t smile much but actually, I’m the opposite! So, I’m really a nice person and listening to slow music makes me happier.
AM: When it's time for a bit of down time and you're not focused on clients and your brand - how do you take time for yourself?
RB: I take time for myself by going to the gym actually. Really thinking about things and sometimes I just need to sit down in a room or in my office and think about my thoughts. I like drives. It sounds corny but sometimes I like to just get in the car and just think about and look at things that I want to achieve and accomplish and it just helps me to refocus!
AM: Tell us about your style. What's your go-to's for working out, going out, around town and lounging?
RB: Just Train apparel is amazing and I wear it a lot! There are some other brands that are really cool – Alo Yoga has some really cool men’s stuff that came out recently and that’s kind of my loungewear. I’m really simple as I like comfortable t-shirts and pants when I go out at night. I love Jordan 1’s as it’s kind of one of my favorite shoes – I have a number of them as well as some exclusives that are really cool. A nice kick will make a whole outfit look 10X better.
AM: In the city that you're based, where can we find you grabbing a drink or meal, working out and to go shopping?
RB: I’m based in LA so when I’m shopping, I like Nordstrom, it’s one of my favorite department stores because you can get really expensive stuff although I am a middle kind of guy so I like to get really nice t-shirts and things like that. In LA, you’ll find me at a restaurant called Leo & Lily a lot. They have a homemade breakfast. There is a new spot called Mister O’s for a good brunch on a Saturday morning – it’s really incredible there and is owned by the people who own Bull Steakhouse.
I have a Just Train gym here in LA that has really cool equipment that influencers can come in and use. A lot of trainers in this industry don’t have the equipment or place that they can go to where they can train their clients as well as to build content, to my partners over at XD Fitness Equipment, they built this whole gym facility that is super cool so that people can come in and be as creative as they want to be to film content. So I love to go there and if not, I am at Equinox in the Valley just kind of putting in some work. I like the space of creativity to kind of do what I want and to just throw shit around!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Ron Boss + The Retreat FUNKSHION
You can hear Ron Boss' interview in April on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast shows.