This article originally appeared in the June print issue of LOCALE Magazine.
Co-Owner Rodrigo Iglesias Talks Fitness and Motivation
Expert: Rodrigo Iglesias
Credentials: Co-Owner of Balanced Fitness & Health
Balanced Fitness and Health is downtown San Diego’s newest full-service health club. Led by former RMD founder and current competitive swimmer Rodrigo Iglesias, the gym offers services like personal training, group classes, functional fitness and fitness-testing technology, including the Omron Body Composition Analyzer and VO2 Max. Balanced focuses heavily on personalized guidance, and members receive free personal training, free nutrition counseling and 30-day check-ins. Fitness expert Rodrigo Iglesias gives LOCALE an inside look at his career in the sweat industry and how Balanced is leading the San Diego health and fitness community.
Q: What is the story behind Balanced Fitness & Health? How did it get started?
Rodrigo Iglesias: Balanced Fitness & Health is a fully integrated functional fitness gym. We wanted to create an intimate family-oriented environment where we focus on individual results. We are not just trainers and we are not just keeping you active—we want to be life coaches. We want members to reach the balance they are looking for in their lives. At the core, we want our family to understand that two to three times a week at a gym is enough. We want people to understand the stress-relief, confidence and mental aspects of working out. We want to educate people. When we began, we felt like the industry needed something from this educational, comprehensive standpoint, so Balanced began.
Q: San Diego is among the healthiest cities in the United States and is teeming with boutique studios and big gyms. What makes Balanced Fitness & Health different from other fitness spots in San Diego?
RI: We are a boutique-style fitness center, but what makes us different is the customer service aspect. Since we are small, we can put attention to our members. We want to make their day better than when they walked in. That starts with the front desk and leads into our trainers in the gym—everywhere at Balanced.
Q: Tell me how you got started in the fitness industry. Did you always know you wanted a career in fitness and health?
RI: Yes, absolutely! I come from a water polo and swimming background. When I left RMD [Group], I wanted to get back to fitness; that was my true love and my true background. But, when I was with RMD, I really loved the customer service and interaction. I decided I wanted to combine customer service and fitness together with Balanced.
Q: What does your day to day look like?
RI: I wake up at 4 a.m. and start my day at the gym. I work the front desk. I love getting to know our members personally. I get my daily business operations done and end my day around 5 p.m. After work, I go for a swim. I still swim competitively and actually [went] to Masters Nationals [USMS] in April.
Q: What inspires you to grow Balanced? What is your driving motivation?
RI: My driving motivation is to educate more people and help the general public understand fitness. I feel like a lot of people picture bikini competitors when they think of fitness. I want people to know that’s not what all health and fitness is about. I want people to also understand that working out does not need to be a chore. We do that in the gym, and out in the community. We want to create a community of fitness so we are involved locally in San Diego with block parties and charity events. Most recently, we did Core Sessions with San Diego Downtown Partnership, a block party with DJs. This year, we are also working with Spartan racing and the Del Mar Mud Run. We will be hosting other block parties throughout San Diego too to get the community involved with what we are about.
Q: What are you most passionate about in the health and fitness industry?
RI: I get a kick out of helping people be and feel better. I love when people come in and feel differently. I love when their health and fitness positively affects their relationships. When I talk to our members and they say, ‘thank you’—it’s the best thing. We get to hear stories and get to know people through the positive changes we are helping them make in their lives; seeing how a healthy lifestyle can affect much more than just physical appearance, and sharing in those triumphs, is truly rewarding.
Q: As a fitness professional who cares for others’ physical and mental health, what advice would you give someone who wants to transition to a healthier lifestyle?
RI: It starts with baby steps. Big goals can discourage people, so break it down. Depending on their goals, you do not need to go cold turkey with carbs, proteins and so on. Let’s just take what you do now and do it in moderation. Focus on long-term consistency rather than 100 percent for just a few weeks.