How Guido Trinidad Built a World-class Training Facility Flavored with Miami-vibes

How Guido Trinidad Built a World-class Training Facility Flavored with Miami-vibes
/ Apr 18, 2022
Rob Miller

Competition runs thick through Miami-native Guido Trinidad’s blood. He grew up playing football with Miami greats such as Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Jonathan Vilma. Because major universities considered him undersized, he wasn’t heavily recruited. Trinidad proved them wrong and attended Division III Benedictine College in Kansas, where he racked up 340 tackles and numerous awards, including the conference Defensive Player of the Year.

Following college, Trinidad played professional football in Europe for two years, then returned to the US and started working in corporate America. Many of us have faced a similar transition from pursuing our passions to pursuing an income, sometimes losing the former for good. But Trinidad decided early that wasn’t going to be his path. He ditched corporate America to build one of the first CrossFit gyms in South Florida and one of the most well-known CrossFit events in the world.

We sat down with Trinidad to hear his story….

"Most of the time we're like robots." - Guido Trinidad

How did you start your career in fitness?

After playing football, I took a sales job for a big company but hated it. I didn't have any money to start my gym, and CrossFit and micro-gyms weren’t really a thing back then.

So I started a personal training business called Peak 360. I worked with a diverse group of athletes, including some NBA, MLB, and NFL players, but I realized that many of them didn’t work very hard–they were just really talented and physically gifted.

I started running boot camps, too, where I would train average Joe’s the way I trained myself while playing football. About that time, I found CrossFit and fell in love with the methodology and the competition. My bootcamps loved the training and pushed themselves really hard. Harder than the pro’s were pushing themselves. In 2009, I found a facility and affiliated as one of the first CrossFit gyms in Miami.

From there we grew, and it was a super-busy time because I was training to go to the CrossFit Games, and also started the CrossFit Festival Wodapalooza in February 2012. Now I also work with Faith RXD, an organization whose mission is to "Unite and strengthen the fitness community, to live for Christ, share His love and serve the world."

You're running multiple businesses. You still want to train, right? And you’re a husband and father. How do you find balance in your life?

What helps me is aligning my priorities and reflecting on a daily basis. Left to my own devices, I’ll just work myself to death. Even though I love my family and growing my faith, those things will take a back burner because my ambitions sometimes, will get the best of me. So it's really about being intentional and consistent at establishing routines.

For example I may have a morning routine that consists of exercise, reading the Bible, and journaling. In the past, if I didn't get as much sleep the night before, I might just skip my morning routine and just go right to work. And now I'm like, you know what, like, I'm not going to sacrifice this, if this is what I say is most important.

Also, I carve out time for deep work. I'm not even going to the office because I know I'll get distracted there. Most of the time we're like robots. We're very reactive and not very intentional. We just do whatever pops up on our screen or take every phone call, answer every email right away. I want to be very strategic with how I spend my day, so I’m a big believer in zooming out a lot. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? What should I be doing?

What does a balanced life look like to you?

Peace. Internal peace. When there's a misalignment between what you know you should be doing versus what you're actually doing, there’s internal tension. And tension breeds anxiety and restlessness, like I can’t keep up.

Entrepreneurs really get hung up on questioning “How productive was I today?” I have to fight those demons on my way home every single day. The flesh tells me you didn't do enough today. You just didn't get enough done.

But then I look at myself as a whole person, and I think AH! I worked out today. I woke up at a decent time and I spent time growing in my faith. I went to lunch with my mom. I picked up my kids from school. That's valuable stuff that I'm contributing to this world. Why would I tell my myself that I'm not productive and beat myself up? So I think balance, it just takes a look at the big picture of who you are as a person and kind of grades himself on that scale, not just how much work I accomplished.

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

Helping people see themselves in a way that maybe they wouldn't have been able to see themselves otherwise. For example, if you can help somebody learn how to snatch a little bit better, then that person is a little more confident and maybe steps into a meeting, differently and more confident. There's a trickle down effect that goes way beyond just teaching somebody how to snatch.

Tell me about a time where you took a risk and failed

As I was starting Peak 360, I helped start a couple other gyms. And to be honest, I really didn't have a lot of business experience. I was just an operator. I was a really good coach and an operator, but I didn't really know much about how to set up a business so that it can operate itself and then replicate that model.

But really, I don't consider those endavors failures because I learned from them.

Tell me about a time where you took a risk and succeeeded

In my personal life, it was definitely getting married. I mean, you risk giving yourself to someone and then getting your heart broken and you're not working out. It's a scary thing, but the reward is like nothing else. It has definitely paid off the best.

In the business world, some might consider starting Wodapalooza a risk. Although I think sometimes when you risk something, there's something at stake. In those terms, starting Wodapalooza wasn't much of a risk. I didn't know what I'm doing, but I didn't have much to lose either.

But the reward was that we created something that hadn't ever been created before in that way. Our focus was not on finding the fittest person. Our focus was on celebrating and having fun. The location definitely helped, and the timing was right too.

You gotta meet people where they're at. Most people are suffering pretty bad in the middle of a workout.

What do you look for when hiring a new coach?

Character. Someone who is in it for the right reasons, like they genuinely want to help people. A coach wears many hats. He's a hybrid of many different roles. He's not just a teacher. He's also a group manager. You got to manage a lot of chaos. Can you make people laugh and have fun? You don't have to be funny. You have to be able to create a fun environment.

You've hired a lot of coaches. What's the number one thing you have to teach a new coach?

How to teach. Just because you know the subject doesn't mean you actually know how to communicate your knowledge. Some coaches do a really good job of helping you see bad movement, poor movement and correct it. But that's not teaching. That's different. That's correcting.

A lot of coaches struggle to actually teach something, especially to people who already know how to do it. How do you teach it in a fresh and innovative way or in a way that's actually relevant to this workout?

Have you ever had to coach an uncoachable person?

Oh my gosh. Happens all the time. But some people just have a rougher edge and it's about understanding them. You gotta meet people where they're at. Maybe you're trying to coach them at the wrong time. And then you’re like “Oh, they're super uncoachable.” Most people are suffering pretty bad in the middle of a workout. They don't want to be talked to. So, let them do their thing, unless they're going to completely kill themselves and talk to them afterward.

I believe a perspective of “I don't deserve this, I've been given this” leads to an overall higher level of satisfaction and joy, regardless of the outcome and circumstances.

Beyond nutrition, what are three at home activities you recommend to your members to supplement your gym training?

First, I would say mobility. After I brush my teeth and make coffee, it's the first thing I do. I roll out a mat and mobilize.

Second, breath work is also really important. It could be meditative, but it doesn't have to be. You're just focusing on your breath and you're doing exercises to increase your ability to breathe in oxygen and take in more oxygen.

Lastly, gratitude training. Yeah, it sounds cheesy. Most people consider themselves grateful. But if you ask people what they are specifically grateful for right now? They’d probably just list a bunch of random things that pop in their head. When you start to be more intentional and develop it as a practice in your life, it allows you to step into a variety of different circumstances that you're going to face throughout the day. I believe a perspective of “I don't deserve this, I've been given this” leads to an overall higher level of satisfaction and joy, regardless of the outcome and circumstances.

The next time you’re in Miami, drop in for a workout with Guido and his team.

To learn more about Guido Trinidad and Peak 360, visit https://www.peak360fitness.com/about.

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