The fitness industry is so big – yet so small. I pride myself on seeking out the diamond in the rough instructors…and bringing the secret to my #fitfam!
Meet Rob Ovalle, a competitive MMA fighter and fitness instructor specializing in boxing, MMA, kickboxing, weight lifting, and TRX, who's kicking things up a notch in the NYC fitness scene. I met Rob at Nimble Fitness at his 7am TRX class, and my friend Annie (shout out!) who happened to be in the same class, suggested that we get together to train. Since I don’t have a traditional gym membership (where my ClassPass users at?) Rob suggested we train in the park so we could utilize the space and benches – and boy did we ever.
In the 90 degree heat, Rob had me jumping rope, squatting on benches, doing burpees, lunges, and of course his forte – some boxing pad work. It was SO humid out, sweat burning my eyes hot, but we got it done! Rob is a mobile trainer so he can literally kick your butt from just about anywhere (in my case, Stuyvesant Park).
Rob created his own fitness brand, My Loyalty Fitness, and is expanding fast. I asked him a few questions about his passions, how he got started, and more, check it out – along with the intense park circuit he created for me. You really can get fit anywhere – there are 0 excuses.
1. Where are you from?
Originally I'm from Texas but grew up on Long Island for a while. Then, I bounced around for a few years and ended up in Brooklyn when I was 17 and was there until about two years ago when I moved into Manhattan.
2. How did you get started in the health and fitness field? Has it always been your passion?
I got into the health and fitness industry because of my fight career. I was actually a plumber for over 10 years, but the physical labor, work injuries, accompanied with training and preparing for fights was too much. I had to make a change and felt personal training and teaching classes made the most sense. I first started training friends for free to test the waters. I loved it, got certified, and the rest is history.
3. Do you have your own wellness journey?
My wellness journey is to be in the best shape I can and finding longevity in my body. I want to help guide individuals on the same journey and share the knowledge I have. I’m also big into positivity and what it can do for my own, or another person’s wellness journey. Lastly, I want to be the best fighter I can be, and to one day be the greatest.
4. What type of training do you specialize in?
I don't know if I would say I specialize in anything. I have a variety of clients with a variety of goals. I try to stay knowledgeable on all fronts to help them reach each of their goals.
5. You teach boxing + TRX – what are the main differences between the two, and which is your favorite?
Well, boxing is an art of combat that takes many years to master, and has many lessons to be learned. TRX, on the other hand, is an instrument for exercise. Suspension training can be used in many different ways for a full body workout and can help you on your path to becoming a better boxer. But I'd say the biggest difference is that anyone can use a TRX, but not everyone can be a boxer. Teaching boxing, kickboxing, and MMA is my favorite of course!
6. Do you still fight MMA? If so, what have you learned from the experience?
I'm still an active, competitive fighter. MMA is my main discipline, but I have also competed in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and San da. I think one of my biggest takeaways so far is understanding what can be accomplished when you dedicate yourself completely. Also, MMA has shown me how the power of positivity can make a huge difference in training. Both of these have changed my life for the better. My life has changed in so many ways, and I can honestly say I owe it to this sport, or even martial arts in general.
7. With boxing, would you say you are more of a tough love motivator? How do you like to encourage your students to be better?
I'm firm but I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a "tough love" motivator. I like to joke around and make the environment fun. I like encouraging and getting individuals to think they can accomplish anything. I'm big on positivity and making people feel good and empowered.
8. What is your favorite song to work out right now?
Haha! That's a tough one! I have a few, but I guess one that I never get tired of is Leatherface by Big Pun. It always gets me hyped!
9. Outside of helping others stay fit – what are your hobbies?
Hobbies? Ain't nobody got time for that! To be honest, as of right now I have no hobbies. I'm either concentrating on building my brand, My Loyalty Fitness, or training for fights and trying to further my fight career.
10. What is your current class roster around NYC – where can readers find you?
As far as classes, I teach boxing classes at Work Train Fight on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a TRX class for Nimble Fitness on Thursdays. I'm a mobile trainer so I train at gyms, apartments, and parks are all my office space!
Rob will be teaching pop-up classes and retreats at different locations in NYC and worldwide with HUB Seventeen, Fitness and Foolishness, Forte.fit, and his own brand, My Loyalty Fitness. Check him out below:
Fitness and Foolishness
• Pop-Up Class: Thursday 8/18: Time is TBD
• Fitness Retreat: March 2017
Lululemon Hub Seventeen: Intro to Boxing and HIIT Training (located on 17th street and 5th Ave)
• Wednesday - 9/7 - 6-715PM
• Friday - 9/16 - 6-715PM
• Wednesday - 9/21 - 6-715PM
• Friday - 9/30 - 6-715PM
International Retreats: Rob will be hosting monthly fitness retreats in Sweden starting in September 2016.
FORTE.FIT: Rob has started partnering with www.forte.fit, a live streaming fitness platform that streams avant-guard boutique fitness classes worldwide direct to your device. Forte is still in beta, but will be launching to the public in September. But keep on the lookout for pop up classes over the coming months!