The Sit Down: Mohamed Elzomor

I always feel a strong connection to a person who believes that fitness, health, and wellness don’t begin and end with how many burpees you can do (one of my least favorite exercises, by the way). The mind is a muscle that needs to be exercised too and having a positive, can-do attitude can mean the difference between making your dreams a reality … or not. Personal trainer and fitness expert Mohamed Elzomor has built a successful career based on this mind-body philosophy that is a true representation of what I call “raising your game”—and he’s got a list of devoted clients to prove it, from celebrities to international C.E.O.’s. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Mo started out working at a local Y.M.C.A. as a kid and, with the ideals of empowerment, passion, and perseverance as his guides, not only achieved his professional goals, he also continues to challenge himself to make his better the best. “I think we would live in a much better world if everyone really knew the power of love and kindness,” he says, “and just having the right, positive thoughts on success and how attainable it really is.”

His beginnings: “I’ve loved sports and fitness for as long as I can remember. At the age of 16, I managed to get a job at the local Y as a gym attendant. A couple of years later, I obtained my trainer’s certification and got my first training gig at New York Sports Club.”

His career: “The best part of being a trainer is the ability to connect with someone in a deep and meaningful way. You get close to your clients—you want to see them [succeed], not just when it comes to fitness, but also in life. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing a person reach his or her potential and become a better version of themselves.”

His P.O.V.: “I think it’s important to realize that those three words—health, wellness, and exercise—encompass not just the physical, but also the mental and spiritual aspects of life. To me, wellness is more than just eating better and walking an hour a day. It’s about doing what you can to strengthen your mind as well, which is the foundation your body lays upon.”

His turning point: “I’m blessed enough to say that there have been many! If I had to pick one, it would be the day I got hired at The Core Club. That opened up a new world for me, and led the way for the other amazing opportunities that followed.”

His specialty: “EMS stands for Electric Muscle Stimulation. It’s a 20 minute workout that activates 90% of your muscle fibers, and helps improve strength, speed, and endurance.  It allows you to get an excellent workout in a fraction of the time.”

His success secret: “One word: mindset. There’s a special formula to being successful, and the ‘recipe’ has a long list of ingredients, all of which are valuable and absolutely needed. The desire for your goal has to be strong; your self-belief needs to be unshakable. You must demonstrate tenacity, and yet learn to be patient. You have to be obsessed with what you want, and yet grateful for what you already have. Most of all, you need to be passionate, for that is the fuel that will drive everything else.”

His must-haves: “Over the last few years, I’ve tried to create new habits to help me grow. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but pretended not to have the time to do it. Now I can finally say it’s a must for me [because] if you’re not learning, then you’re not growing.”

His inspiration: “About eight years ago, I read a book called The Secret and it changed my life in a profound way. I went from being depressed, jobless, and broke—I even managed to get myself kicked out of college, too—and after reading and applying the principles in the book, I took responsibility of my life and became the author of my own story.”

His dad style: “[Fatherhood] has been such an incredible time in my life. My wife, Julia, and I couldn’t be happier. Leia is now 17 months old, and she’s a handful. It’s hard to say if I even have a style of parenting yet. I know one thing though, she’s definitely got me wrapped around her finger!”

His motto: “If you can create it in your mind, you can create it in your reality.”

His future: “I’m still trying to figure it out myself! I’d love to transition into mental/manifestation coaching in the near future. Physical fitness is very important, but it’s only one slice of the pie. Once you’ve mastered your mind, everything else begins to fall into place.