ALEX ZUNIGA

OWNER AND CEO

I am Alex Zuniga, owner and CEO of Elite Spartans. I founded Elite Spartans in 2012 with one grand vision in mind: to help as many people in my community as possible get healthier, become stronger, and discover what they are possible of with guidance, motivation, and fitness education. Starting Elite Spartans was the best way of combining my 10+ years of experience in the health industry with my vision, along with my determination to provide a world-class experience for all of my clients.

Certifications

I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LEAVE FEELING FITTER, MORE MOTIVATED, AND MORE INFORMED.

More About Me

The vision to empower people through their health was inspired through a series of events I’ve experienced. I have had a life-long commitment to a lifestyle of fitness beginning when I was six years old, playing soccer in Mexico City. From this time on, fitness became an integral part of my development as an individual and proponent of the fitness industry. At 13, I began an unforgettable life-altering experience as a cadet in one of the best military schools in Mexico City, spending the next three years training for military combat, self-defense, semi-professional boxing, and most importantly learning the value of self-discipline.

Beyond learning the value of self-discipline, I learned the importance of working with others as a team. As it is said, the sum is greater than its parts; each individual has something to offer and through complementarity we create a stronger and more well-balanced whole. This notion was ingrained in me during my time in military school and remains ever present in my business and how my team at Elite Spartans functions as a team, a strong, effective unit.

Following military school, I attended law school in Mexico City before moving to the United States for further educational opportunities. Unfortunately, despite my time in law school in Mexico City, I was unable to transfer most of my 47 units and had to essentially start over in the US. As an international student, I attended SJSU but due to expensive international tuition rates I transferred to San Jose City College, earning an Associate of Arts (AA) with a minor in Journalism & Communications, after which I returned to SJSU.

During this time I was in a car accident that changed the entire direction of my life. A drunk driver struck the car I was in, and as a result of the accident I was in a wheel chair for a period of time before I was able to recover without surgery. Despite doctors’ orders for back surgery, I was determined to heal another way. Through hours and hours of physical therapy, I regained most of my mobility. It was during this process that I fell in love with the healing aspect of fitness.

After recovering from my injuries, I had healed well enough to return to athletics and I competed in track and field for SJCC. Following graduation from SJCC, I continued on to San Jose State University and majored in International Business. During this time, I competed for SJSU in track and field in the 100m and 400m events, and was able to balance full-time school with a full-time job in one of the most recognized corporations (at that time) in the United States, Bally Total Fitness. My love and passion for the fitness industry led me to become one of the most successful managers in the fitness industry, which is reflected in the multiple awards and honorable recognitions I received. The success and experience that I found in the corporate fitness world was invaluable.

In 2012, I branched out and began a ground-up operation beginning with boot camps at the park and training PT clients at the small gym at the apartment complex in which I lived. Since then, I have had the fortune to grow the company exponentially, more than 900%, through hard work and determination, and winning one of the highest awards as Personal Trainer of the Year/2018 at Fitness Business Summit in San Diego, CA.

The success has come in part as more and more clients find great results in their health and fitness due to the professionalism, knowledge, experience, and passion for working with individuals and groups of all ages and capabilities. In addition to growing my own business, I have spent several years learning directly from the best fitness business owners in the world through various professional developments and business communities that have inspired me to go even further for our clients, to ensure they receive the world-class experience when at Elite Spartans.

I encourage all individuals who are interested in starting their fitness journey to give us a try and see what we have to offer you! Join us at our FREE Elite 1:1 fitness assessment, or sign up for a FREE trial Spartan Body bootcamp (SBBC) class. I guarantee you will leave feeling fitter, more motivated, and informed. Come and check us out, it’s FREE and you have nothing to lose!

I look forward to meeting you!

My Story

A lot of you know me as a very strong and physically fit guy. But I wasn’t always like this. There was a time in my life I was depressed and overweight due to a car accident I experienced 13 years ago.

I was injured so severely that I spent a period of time in a wheelchair, with a back injury so bad, a couple of doctors told me that I would be lucky if I ever got to walk normally (without limping) again unless I got a surgery. I declined the surgery and focused on intense physical rehabilitation instead. It took me a year to walk normally and two years to be able to jog again.

Two years after that (2005) I was competing for college track and field.

Why am I telling you this now?

I attended a fitness conference hosted by the #1 guy in the fitness industry in America, Bedros Keuilian. I attended this conference with the goal of being able to reach more people; to reach and help more people positively change their lives and improve their health. After I told Bedros my story, he asked me if people knew the struggles and physical challenges I experienced as a result of the car accident. I responded that not all of them knew, because for me it has been a private story. Bedros is the one who told me to make this public, because that’s the main reason why I ended up in this industry. People need to know my story.

It was spring of 2002 and I had recently moved to the United States from Mexico City for college. I had settled in to my apartment, began taking classes, joined a soccer team, and got a part time job in San Jose, CA. I was starting to become accustomed to my new life when I decided to take a trip home to visit my friends and family for spring break. I was back in Mexico City in April and in some ways it felt like I never left. I was welcomed back by my family and friends who I had missed very much, and I went out with my friends to celebrate my return. My life was as perfect as possible in those moments.

While leaving the club that night to go home I got in to the backseat of my friend’s Volkswagen Golf (those cars with no trunk). We sat idle in the car for a few moments as we waited for the rest of our friends to join us when suddenly, everything went dark. When I regained consciousness I was in the hospital bed.

Later the doctor retold the story of what happened to me. There had been a drunk driver in a Mercedes who had passed out on his steering wheel and left his foot on the accelerator. His car ran straight into ours, crashing in to the back of the Volkswagen Golf at 70 mph. Remember, I was in the backseat, and there was no trunk to reduce the impact I experienced. The police officers who arrived on the scene had to pry me out of the backseat by cutting open the car and rescuing me. The lower half of my body was crushed.

Later the doctor retold the story of what happened to me. There had been a drunk driver in a Mercedes who had passed out on his steering wheel and left his foot on the accelerator. His car ran straight into ours, crashing in to the back of the Volkswagen Golf at 70 mph. Remember, I was in the backseat, and there was no trunk to reduce the impact I experienced. The police officers who arrived on the scene had to pry me out of the backseat by cutting open the car and rescuing me. The lower half of my body was crushed.

The doctors told me the only reason I didn’t become a paraplegic after the accident was because of the strength and size of the muscles in my legs and back. Doctors warned me that I would be lucky if I could ever walk again, and even then I would have a permanent limp.

The doctors recommended back surgery to fix (my back) but I declined, as I had heard people who had back surgery were not guaranteed to walk again. I chose to rely instead on my own dedication and resiliency in intense physical therapy rehabilitation, hoping that my dedication would pay off and I would have the chance to recuperate the life I was living before that fateful night.

The news I received after the car accident sent me in to a depression for a few weeks. I had always been so active and fit, playing soccer and boxing and especially, running, my favorite activity of all. Laying in a hospital bed, thousands of miles from my new home and life in the United States, I couldn’t help but focus on what I had lost in a matter of seconds. My situation felt dire.

After being released from the hospital I was faced with a decision. I had to decide between giving up on my dreams of college in the U.S. and staying in Mexico, or move back to the U.S. immediately to continue school and take my chances with my recovery, as I had already missed some school and couldn’t afford to miss more. Despite the physical limitations I was now dealing with as a result of the accident, I had a moment of clarity in which I decided I would not let this horrible event define the rest of my life. I decided in that moment that not only would I walk again, but I would do anything it took to run again.

I left Mexico two weeks after the accident in a wheel chair, headed back to San Jose. I knew I had a long road in front of me but I believed in myself to overcome what I was experiencing, especially because exercise was such an important aspect of my life. I spent the first year back in San Jose attending intense physical therapy rehabilitation, learning everything I could about my injury and what solutions existed to help relieve the pain in my back. I continued with my life as much as I could, attending class and my part time job while also focusing on my recovery. It was a year before I could walk again, and as promised by my doctors, with a limp for the first 9 months or so. It would be two years of intense recovery before I could walk normally again, and jog lightly. Four years after the accident I was as fully recovered as possible, and I was able to compete in my college’s track and field team, running the 100 meters in 11 seconds.

Living with so much pain from an injury was a life changing experience, not only physically but mentally because I suffered in my own personal identity. Not only was I dealing with pain, but I was suffering the discrimination of society toward a handicap person. It was after the first year of my rehabilitation I knew that I wanted to spend my life helping others recover from injuries and pain, so they too could return to their lives as they knew them before the pain.

I’m telling you this because besides being fit, and getting the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, I am in the health industry due to the gratitude I have for recovering from injury and the desire to help others feel the same. Despite having gone to San Jose State University for Business Administration, I chose to follow my heart in to the fitness industry. My number one reason for making this my career is my desire to help people relieve the pain of injuries they experience and return them to a life of physical activity, extending their longevity and quality of life.

Whereas all of my certifications, credentials and experience allow me to train all people regardless of age, gender or ability, my specialty is women between the ages of 30-50 years old who struggle mainly with weight loss after pregnancy, lower back injuries and knee injuries. As I have personally experienced back, knee, shoulder and neck injuries (among others) and recovered from most without surgery, I am a true believer in healing the body through consistent physical rehabilitation.