Aaron Alaniz (Fitness & Nutrition Coach)

Aaron Alaniz is a fitness and nutrition coach based out of Houston, Texas.

Born just north of Mexico in the town of Edinburg, Texas, Alaniz had a turbulent childhood, one that was marred by instability within the home.  

“My mom was really solid, but my dad had some alcohol issues, and that was a big factor in a lot of things that happened in my childhood,” says Alaniz.

Finally, after a decade of marriage, Alaniz’s parents agreed to a divorce, a decision that sent Alaniz, who at the time was in high school, spiraling.

Alaniz then began to act out in ways detrimental to his well-being.

“I started to become a rebel,” Alaniz recalls.

“I wasn’t doing well in school, and I was hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

Fortunately, Alaniz’s mom eventually remarried, finding safety and security in a man that Alaniz describes as the ideal male role model, and an integral part of him reversing the downward trajectory he was on.

“My stepdad is my actual father, in the sense that there is a difference between a dad and a father,” he clarifies.

His homelife resurrected, Alaniz got into wrestling.

In fact, Alaniz was so dominant on the mat that during his junior year of high school he had fielded over twenty offers from colleges around the country.

With a budding wrestling career giving him healthy amounts of confidence, Alaniz appeared primed to use his athletic gifts as a gateway to a college education, but then, adversity once again reentered his life.  

“Right before the district tournament my junior year, some cat went for my knee, and I ended up tearing my ACL, PCL, and LCL,” Alaniz says, an injury that was so severe, it completely derailed his wrestling aspirations.

To say that Alaniz was devastated would be an immense understatement.  

“And after that I got back into my dark habits,” he notes.

“I was smoking, drinking, and taking pills.”

Alaniz admits he could have better handled the misfortune he was presented with, but the allure of drugs and alcohol became too much.

His athletic potential disregarded in favor of a good time, Alaniz was never able to regain his prowess as a wrestler.

Consequently, gone went the scholarship offers he once received.

Later out of high school, and without a clear plan for his future, Alaniz leaned into his athletic background and secured a job at a local gym in Edinburg as a personal trainer.

By then recovered from his horrific knee injury, Alaniz was in good shape, but one day his manager approached him with a suggestion laced with indirect pressure.

“He ultimately convinced me that I could sell a lot more gym memberships if I was 190 pounds at 5% body fat,” Alaniz says.

“But to get to that point, he said I would need to start taking steroids.”

A month later, after having succumbed to the pressure to take steroids, Alaniz’s body was in pristine shape, and he felt invincible.   

Just like his manager had predicted, he did indeed sell more gym memberships, but just as momentum appeared to be building, Alaniz was let go when the gym ran into financial trouble.

“I got fired because I was relatively new, and so I ended up moving to Austin and getting a job as a personal trainer at an Orange Theory Fitness,” he shares.

He was still cycling through steroids when he arrived in Bat City, and before he could achieve even a semblance of comfort, his living situation fell through, relegating him to sleeping in the confines of his truck.

Not long after, Alaniz weighed the long-term ramifications of consistent steroid use, an internal debate that led to him forgoing the use of the performance enhancers.  

Physically, his body had to readjust, but mentally and emotionally, he was once again subjected to anguish.

“I had built up an identity as a jacked guy, but when I stopped taking the steroids and my appearance wasn’t as obvious, people stopped wanting to be my friend,” Alaniz reveals.

“That hurt.”

His universe rocked by dejection, Alaniz stopped working at Orange Theory Fitness and got a job at Target.

Once there, he reverted to old habits and ingratiated himself to the wrong crowd.

That regression, in combination with his compromised emotional state, levied a major blow to his psyche.

Alaniz discloses that thoughts of suicide crept into his mind, but thankfully he also had the wherewithal to call home and see if he could return to Edinburg for a reset.

“Me calling my mom was admission that at that time I was not able to stand alone on my own two feet,” he says.

Of course, Alaniz’s mother allowed her son back into the family home, but for Alaniz, the battle for clarity was just beginning.

Once home, the physically imposing Alaniz dabbled in rap music, but mentally he still needed help.

After a trip to the doctor, he was prescribed medication intended to combat the depression and anxiety he was diagnosed with.

Contrary to what his physician hoped would happen, Alaniz didn’t markedly improve after starting the medication.

The Edinburg native notes that there were entire days he spent in bed, scrolling aimlessly through YouTube.

Complicating matters, the COVID-19 virus soon arrived, but for Alaniz, even after the lockdown measures were instituted, his daily life wasn’t affected.

“When the pandemic hit, nothing changed for me,” Alaniz says.  

“That’s when I realized something was seriously wrong.”

Perhaps it was a moment of reckoning, or maybe Alaniz simply emerged from the abyss his mind was trapped in.

Either way, that period was the turning point in Alaniz’s life.

Due to his stepfather’s hours at work being cut shortly into the pandemic, Alaniz’s parents could no longer comfortably afford to subsidize his medication.

He could have explored alternative options, but instead Alaniz opted to stop taking his depression and anxiety medicine altogether.

No one knew what the consequences of that decision would be, but soon, Alaniz was free.

“I was finally able to think clearly because all the medications were out of my system,” he says, adding that more freedom was afforded to him when the state of Texas began to taper back their lockdown and social distancing requirements.

This led to Alaniz going back to the gym, which then led to him picking up several personal development books.

He started to get into really good shape, only this time his musculature wasn’t aided by steroids.

Slowly but effectively, Alaniz had rebuilt his body and sharpened his mind, the compounding effects of his efforts then leading to him starting his own online personal training business.

His goal was simple:

Use his expertise to help clients improve their fitness in sixteen weeks by implementing much of the same strategies he used to achieve results.

Alaniz didn’t immediately generate sustainable revenue, but over time his client base grew, and any money he made went toward living expenses and growing his business.

“I soon got into an apartment, and from there any extra money went right into coaching, courses, and personal development,” he says.

“All things considered, I invested around $20,000.”

One key element to Alaniz’s plan was his focus on hiring a coach who could take him to the next level.

For that, he enlisted the services of Brandon Carter, a renowned fitness guru who has amassed nearly 850,000 followers on YouTube.

Among other things, Carter taught Alaniz the importance of building a business before working on a brand, a strategy that is unconventional, but if carried out effectively, can save an aspiring fitness expert years of struggle.

“What most people do is they make free content, and then they try to figure out how to monetize that,” Alaniz explains.

“For me, I monetized before I started trying to get more attention.”

Moving forward, Alaniz is seeking to continue growing his platform and business by creating his own supplement lines.

Beyond that, he’s also looking to showcase more of his personality for his 11,000+ followers on Instagram by producing more video content that isn’t exclusively centered around fitness.

It’s an evolution that Alaniz is excited to make, even if there are other industry types who don’t agree with his tactics.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that what has been big for me is understanding the importance of not listening to other people,” Alaniz says.

“That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be open to advice or constructive criticism, but don’t listen to the people who are telling you to think smaller or to think more realistic. People will place their own limitations on you to justify the reason why they are not successful.” QS

**

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