When one of our Cali faves, Carly Lind, raved about her trainer J, we knew we had to learn more. Joeriz Edralin (now known as J), leads his own personal training company, JRo Fitness, out of LA and neighboring areas, pushing his clients to reach their full potential.
The Santa Clarita native knows full well about striving for personal goals: As a child, J was what he calls “chubby” until he started playing basketball and joining leagues. While he pursued a career in the medical field as an Xray tech, he found no passion in it even though he loved helping people.
As he got older, he thought more and more about his health. So, when a friend asked him to join her at Glow in the Dark Fitness in Burbank, he went for it. The high intensity cardio training was different than anything he’d done, and he was hooked.
Eventually after a year of dedication, he had dropped from 175 to his goal weight of 125. Then, to add muscle on top of his new physique, he started working out on his own, going to trainers and reading books. He had caught the fitness bug! Read on to learn how this journey turned into J’s professional life, as well as his top tips for your own workouts.
SBS: How did you transition to become a professional personal trainer?
J: A friend of mine was going to open a gym, EFC Gym in Burbank, and asked if I’d like to become a trainer. At that point, it wasn’t really my thing. I didn’t know how to transition from being a client to telling clients what to do. But, eventually I decided to give it a try, and I gained certifications from ISFA and American Sport Fitness and Association.
SBS: How did you handle that transition to trainer?
J: You have to figure out how to get the attention of potential clients you used to work out with. I had to learn to set the tone, standing that ground of, ‘I’m the trainer now, and I’m here to help.’ I learned how to put my foot down, teach them the proper form and help them learn how to do things safely.
SBS: When did you start JRo Fitness?
J: During the time I was at that gym, I was training a client and his wife Ronya. She was in the fitness world doing bikini competitions. So, we ended up combining forces, and that’s where J and Ro come from.
We wanted to help clients who wanted to lose weight, build muscle and do different things in fitness, whether gaining upper body strength for a spartan race or learning how to lift weights properly.
At the start, we moved to a private a gym called Lucky Gloves in Glendale.
Now it’s all me, but I’m still in Glendale. She gave me all the rights, but I’ve left the name the same because it has recognition.
SBS: What services do you offer?
J: I do everything from personal training and bootcamps to transformation challenges and competition preparation; I’ve trained four bikini competitors and one figure competitor in the last two years, and they all placed in the top five. My overall approach is to push you to the limit and help you reach your goal every step of the way.
I keep it real with all my clients. I don’t follow all the trendy Instagram workouts, especially because working out a couple times does not make you a trainer. Do you have the certifications and knowledge?
SBS: What should clients look for in a trainer?
J: It’s really a chemistry thing. Before I take on a client, I give them an hour fitness assessment. For the first 30 minutes, I’m trying to get to know the person and really understand what they want to gain. It’s almost like a relationship; it’s not a fast fix. You have to follow the program and instruction, and you’re going to see each other often. So you have to feel that out.
SBS: What are red flags with a trainer?
J: They don’t listen or seem to care when you’re experiencing pain or discomfort. They can’t or won’t explain how their workouts will help you reach your goal. They lean on body-shaming for motivational purposes. They utilize the exact same workout format (number of reps/sets/exercises) each session. They spend more of the session looking at themselves in the mirror than coaching you, and/or they aren’t checking in with you or coaching you through exercises.
SBS: What’s a workout that’s effective if time and space are short?
J: Do four rounds of the below:
- 25 jumping jacks
- 25 squats
- 25 mountain climbers
- 10 push-ups
You’ll be getting a great upper and lower body workout, plus cardio.
SBS: What is the most misunderstood exercise?
J: Sometimes you’ll hear someone say they’re doing squats for their glutes, but they’re actually working their legs. The thing is, there are different ways of doing squats. If you want to do a squat that includes glutes, try a squat to a box. First, I’ll have a client squat to a box beneath them. Then, I’ll remove the box, and they’ll squat as if the box is still there. They get so low that the glutes are activated.
SBS: What is a fitness trend you love or hate?
J: Instagram is a love/hate relationship for me! There are some trainers that are certified and solid, and I like them on social media. But you also have influencers trying to become trainers, and they aren’t working with correct form. So be careful who you follow.
SBS: What’s your own wellness routine?
J: I stick to eating five times a day, and I show clients that I work out every day. I do the stair master for 45 minutes, too.
J’s Cali Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Whole Foods
Splurge Restaurant: Newhall Refinery
Fun Activity: Playing basketball
Calming Activity: Hanging out with my dog
Fitness Studio: Equinox
Athletic Shoes: Nike
J’s SBS Mantra: Be Mindful. For example, make decisions mindfully: You know you have a cheat day, but are you going to do so the whole day?
The best, zaniest part of being J: I’m a fun trainer. I make my clients laugh during breaks; I like to cheer them up. I love to dance too!