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The Hidden 'Gym' of BTC

Did you know that working with a personal trainer could (and should) go beyond benefiting your physical health? In this article, we delve into what makes a great trainer, how they can help you achieve maximum success and wellness, and what that means for, well, humanity (no pressure). 

What better example to bring to your finger-tips than our local legend Grady Zapata. For 10+ years, Grady has been the sole proprietor of Intensity Personal Training, the Beaches Town Center’s “Hidden Gym” that sits right above Ocean 60 restaurant overlooking First Street in Atlantic Beach, FL. With views of palm trees, powerlines, and our magnificent ocean horizon you immediately feel a sense of peace followed by that little ping of anticipation to see what lessons Grady has in store for the day. 

Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL Grady Zapata received his very first “Personal Trainer and Counselor” certificate at age 18. Little did he know the plan that was in store for him… a  booming business, hundreds of meaningful relationships, and a platform to impact lives in a deep and meaningful way.

Versed in all types of physical training from youth sports to senior fitness, Grady has become renowned for working with professional athletes from pro surfers to rising baseball MVP’s. It is imperative he pushes his clients to be the best versions of themselves because “To be successful is to be structured,” which isn’t half as bad when you have a friend sent from God above by your side.

Grady is a life-coach in disguise. NO negative talk while in the studio with the intent to establish a strong work ethic, positive persistence, and a grateful attitude with every client. “Words have power,” he’ll say and without evening knowing it, Grady ends up training the mindset as well as the body. He calls this the Soul and Shell mindset. 

Why is a Soul & Shell mindset important? Well, if you ask Grady “the mind is what ENABLES the body. Everybody needs a strong shell to enable a strong soul.” Of course, growth takes time and it is grit and persistence that gets his clients to their greatest potential, but when it comes down to it, we all possess the capacity to simply “try harder!” That’s exactly what star client Ben Gamel did this summer… 

Ben Gamel is a professional baseball outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball and previously played for the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. Like many, COVID-19 was a blow to the season. Lots of “what ifs, whens and buts,” but that didn’t stop Grady from coaching or Gamel from training. To play it safe during ‘lock-down’ Grady set up shop in his garage at his home in Neptune Beach, and boy, did they get to work! Consistent training along with mind mentorship and the reminder that we are taken care of (always) by our savior above sure does work miracles, especially on the field.

“Gamel is red hot! He has so much power on the field… He’s the strongest he’s ever been and that shows. It’s 100% because of the work we did over the summer; he’s been hitting lasers!” Goes to show how a coach is the first step to maximizing the influence we have on the world. 

Grady is passionate that his clients take what is learned in the studio and apply it to the community and beyond. “There is power in demonstration. The best way to impact your own soul is by impacting someone else’s. Set positive examples that are fueled by the love of thyself and thy neighbor!” he goes on, “we are so blessed to be here, to have health, money, and the ability to train and recover. Personal training teaches us how to say THANK YOU. Together, we practice gratitude and learn how to share those blessings - how to be a blessing - to someone else.” 

This eternal impact just may be the training the world needs right now. You’ve got to take care of yourself before you can show up for others so take the first step to feel more connected to your mind, body, and soul and TEXT GRADY. 

Follow Grady and Intensity Personal Fitness on Instagram @intensitypt and FaceBook

Phone (904) 334-3636


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