Mohamed Elzomor is part trainer, part life coach (although he’s too modest to take on that title), part philosopher. He helps people change themselves through exercise, diet, and the power of positive thinking and believes in the power of positive thinking. His list of clients includes some impressive names, like John Legere, the CEO of TMobile, Pamela Baxter, the CEO of Christian Dior, and Cherie Blair, the wife of the former Prime Minister of England. When asked how to maintain a positive attitude when things aren’t going your way, he said, “Go read the news. You’ll immediately realize how lucky you are.” For more on how to change your perspective and actually accomplish your goals, read on!
How do you describe what you do?
I am a personal trainer…plus. I don’t just help you get in shape and look good for the summer. I don’t just help you put on that dress that you’ve wanted to get on for six months. That’s just a part of what I do, and it’s great – you’re going to carry that confidence with you in all aspects of your life. But I’m really about the mental aspect of things. I’m about helping people develop a mental fortitude that they can use throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the rest of their lives. When you build on that, it allows you to be successful when it comes to working out, looking good, getting the job you want, achieving your goals, whatever they may be. I try my best to instill that in my clients. I wouldn’t say I’m a life coach, because I train extremely successful people that could be coaching me, but I can at least help those people see things from a bit of a different perspective.
Tell me a little bit more about that, and about your journey.
Growing up I was a bit of a pessimist. If you were to tell that to people who know me now, they wouldn’t believe you. I’m probably one of the most optimistic people I know. I believe you’re shaped by your environment. Being surrounded by friends and parents who aren’t that positive really influence your outlook. My motto used to be, why work hard if there’s no guarantee of success? I’d seen so many cases of people working throughout their entire lives and not really getting anywhere. I was pretty lucky. I got things easy. I didn’t get the very best, but it was good enough. I was able to get by. That’s not a good perspective if you want to be successful. You don’t learn how to push yourself or how to have perseverance. The first time I was exposed to a different mentality, I was 18. My girlfriend at the time told me about this book called The Secret. I read it and I was like, “Forget this crap.”
You weren’t a big self help person.
Not at all. I didn’t believe it, and it didn’t make sense to me. I wasn’t raised to look at things from that perspective. But I decided to give it a shot. Despite it being somewhat ridiculous, it worked. I was shocked. My only two priorities at the time were girls and football. That began to change.
Did you play football professionally?
I played semi-pro, and eventually then I tried out for the New York Jets and the Dolphins. That came after I changed my attitude – I would never have tried out when I was younger. To make a long story short, I started to practice the visualization techniques in there. And things slowly began to change.
Where are you training now?
About 40% of my clients are from the CORE: Club. I train at the Peninsula, the Carlyle, and the Royalton. I also have private clients. It’s an interesting thing, working with people from different backgrounds. I started my career at New York Sports Club in Forest Hills, which is a fairly wealthy place. It’s one of the most expensive places in Queens. So you have people with a good amount of income. Then I ended up working at Lucille Roberts for four months. That was a whole different ball game. It’s all women. I was surprised they hired a guy. I did it for two reasons: I needed to attract clients, and I wanted to work in the city. So I would train at Lucille Roberts, where I made $11 for a half hour session. But I would walk away thinking in my mind that I had made $100. Everyone was like, “You’re crazy.” But it worked – it motivated me. Then I went to Sports Club LA, where I went from being #52 on the list in sales to being #1 at the club in four months. Then my goal was to be #1 in the country. That came a month later. At the time, I still had two courses left in college, and I wanted to graduate. I told my manager I couldn’t do those kinds of numbers anymore because I had to finish. While I was going to school I started a program called the Transform Program.
So it was a plan for the club.
It was optional. Anyone hired by the club had the choice to join my team. It was extra work. I had three meetings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We would meet in the conference room, and we would go over our goals. We would start with the question, “What have you done this week that you are proud of?” It could be something as simple as getting to work fifteen minutes earlier.
That’s a goal I need to set.
It’s possible. If you really think that’s the case, your timing will be impeccable. If you really think you’re going to find parking, you’ll find it. It’s really all in your head. Granted, it’s not going to happen 100% of the time, because nothing is foolproof, but the more you practice it, the more often it will happen. It’s kind of hard to tell people that when they’re not accustomed to it being the case.
Let’s go back to you installing your program at the club.
I ended up with six people on my team, three people who had been on the staff for years and were in the bottom ten of the rankings, and three new hires. Within three months, we were all in the top 10.
You need to publish a book, you know.
One day. I feel like I haven’t accomplished nearly enough to write anything worthwhile. But if I continue down this path and stay focused and accomplish something really cool, then it’ll be something worth talking about. At the moment, I need financial security. I’m I got married in January. It puts things into perspective. But I also want to leave a footprint of some sort – everyone does. I’d like to get my thinking out there. If a book is the way I could touch as many people as possible, that would be awesome.
What are three simple changes you can make to your life that will have the biggest impact?
- Gratitude lists in the morning. It’ll only take you a minute. When you get up, write down three things you’re grateful for. And then write down one goal for the day. People get stuck in a monotonous daily routine of getting up and going to work, and then, before you know it, 40 years have passed by. If you have a goal for the day, you increase your chances of getting something off the to-do list. And you should be visualizing accomplishing that goal. You should be sitting down and imagining it actually happening. That’s the important part. Because if you don’t see things in your mind enough times to feel some emotion about it, then it doesn’t mean anything.
- Keep yourself responsible at night. Instead of just coming home and watching television and falling asleep, grade yourself. Ask yourself, “How did I do today? Did I actually get closer to my goal?” And give yourself a number from one to ten. Be very honest with yourself. Imagine having five 10s in a row. How much closer are you going to be to what you want? Not to mention the fact that when you see that you’re moving in the right direction, your motivation increases.
- Read good books. The majority of people spend their time on Instagram or Facebook or watching garbage television. Take 30 minutes to read a book that you can really fall into. It doesn’t have to be a self-help book, but it can be. There are so many good ones. I notice that whenever I read in the morning, I am pumped for the rest of the day, and things just start to fall into your lap. You have to subconsciously get yourself to believe that getting what you want is possible. You have to train your mind 24/7. You have to constantly filter your thoughts. If a negative thought comes into your mind, tell it to go away. Change the scene in your head. If you do that enough times, the bad thoughts will stop knocking on your door. You won’t think negatively anymore. But it takes time.