Juan Leija

functional fitness, strength

Austin, TX

With over 2 decades of experience, Juan has been transforming bodies and lives both mentally and physically. He blends both conventional and unconventional training methods to provide a dynamic training experience that helps people achieve their goals. As one of the original trainers at Onnit, Juan is currently the Director of Fitness Programming to support people on their fitness journey and help them map out the best plan possible to get healthier, gain strength, and move better. A master of simplicity and movement - Juan has taught thousands his expertise in barbell, kettlebell, and rowing workouts to build five core competencies: Mobility, Power, Strength, Body Composition, and Core.
  • Director of Fitness Programming at Onnit
  • Founder of Become Your Own Superhero program

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10 MINUTES WITH JUAN

Q: WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR TWENTY-YEAR OLD SELF?

I would tell my twenty year old self to keep doing what you love, it will all work itself out. Ease up on the partying, there’s a lot more fun outside of that.

Q: WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM FITNESS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE?

I have learned that you are capable of more than what you think you can do if you’re put in a difficult situation, all it takes is to have the right mindset and team around you. You must take care of yourself both mentally and physically to be able to perform at any stage, you only have one body and longevity is the goal, in order to build a durable life you gotta be strong in all areas.

You gotta challenge yourself with tough workouts to check in with yourself, so you know what you’re capable of.

Q: WITH ANY NEW MODALITY YOU GET INTO, HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT IN ORDER TO MASTER?

Most importantly to me is to continue to be a student and learn from the teachers by having patience because even though you suck at it now, if you focus and put in hard work you will get better.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FAILURE? HOW HAS THAT SET YOU UP FOR LATER SUCCESS?

Being broke and living in a trailer that had no restroom, then having to drive to my aunt's house when I had to shower and get ready for work. This made me realize that no matter how hard things got, family always had my back, and as long as I was willing to bust my ass I would get to a better situation.

Q: WHAT'S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS DREAD? WHY?  

The one workout that I always dread is the one that I didn’t rest or fuel for properly but if it’s a workout that I love to hate is Onnit Gym’s To Hell And Back which consists of

Buy In x 400 meter run

Workout

Bike/Ski/Row

50-40-30-20-10 calories

Intermission x 800 meter run

Bike/Ski/Row

10-20-30-40-50 calories

Cash Out x 400 meter run

Q: WHAT IDEA, PERSON OR BOOK HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR LIFE? WHY?

My Mom and Grandmas, because they always taught me to treat everyone equally no matter their background, to always stay humble and work hard. Plus they taught me about good Mexican food.  

Q: WHAT'S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO? WHY?

The workout that I look forward to is anytime it involves throwing around heavy kettlebells like one this 30 minute EMOM that consists of

-Single Kettlebell Swings x 10 reps

-Double Kettlebell Gorilla Rows x 10 reps

-Double Kettlebell Cleans x 10 reps

-Double Kettlebell Front Squats x 10 reps

-Double Kettlebell Push Press x 10 reps

-Double Kettlebell Front Rack Reverse Lunges x 10 reps

Hella reps but quick burner to get you in and out.

Q: WHY DO YOU PRIORITIZE FITNESS IN YOUR LIFE?

Because I practice what I preach and I want to help others in their process to level up their fitness, plus I want to live a long healthy life.

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