Workout Better Not Harder

Exclusive Interview with Encinitas-Based Fitness Trainers, Jeff and Josh Gregson



Brothers Jeff (left) and Josh (right) Gregson

Photos provided by Jeff and Josh Gregson

Standing 6’3’’ and weighing 240 pounds—give or take—brothers Jeff and Josh Gregson, without a doubt, look and play the part well. Which of course, is the point. And for nearly 20 years, the San Diego-native entrepreneurs have been making their mark as two of the most sought-after fitness trainers in North County. “Honestly, we love what we do,” says Jeff. “Walking our clients through this process and watching them become happier and healthier individuals is priceless. Fitness is certainly a personal passion of
ours that began in our early teens, thriving on the drive to become the best. And now, it’s something we get to share with our clients.” While strength and circuit training are their forte, it is their optimism, comradery, and easy rapport that embody their charm. But as always, business remains personal; as everything is tailored to the needs and goals of the client. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with and get to know the duo. As athletes turned fitness trainers, they offer quite the dynamic for those looking for a greater whole life balance—a personal investment of sorts in fitness and well-being; even offering a few pieces of their expert advice for our readers. And without further ado, meet Jeff and Josh—both of whom, are 44.

FROM ATHLETES TO FITNESS TRAINERS

After relocating to the Midwest at an early age, Jeff and Josh spent their youth surrounded by cornfields in small-town America. But an afternoon trip to the batting cages changed everything. And soon after, the boys were playing and training hard—even winning three state championships with their teams as preteens. 

“Baseball just came naturally to us,” says Josh. “And in a small town in Oklahoma, it really was a ‘field of dreams.’ We would work every day on becoming the best players: two hours at the batting cages, followed by an hour at the gym, and then running sprints in our driveway at 10 p.m.—it was our entire focus. We challenged each other. And we were obviously just really motivated and driven. We wanted to be the best. And still do.” In high school, the two started on the varsity baseball team as freshmen, switching between first and third base, even pitching on occasion—with Josh focusing on the speed of his fastball, while Jeff handled the complexities of a curveball and a change-up. Both held state records—Josh in home runs and Jeff in RBIs, and even helped their team win a state championship as juniors. That same year, the two were selected to participate in the Junior Olympics for Team South in Los Angeles—playing alongside A.J. Hinch, the current manager for the Houston Astros. “For the Opening Ceremonies,” notes Jeff, “which were held at Dodger Stadium, walking onto the field in an Olympic jersey was truly monumental—definitely a personal highlight as an athlete. We even got to hit during batting practice, hitting a few dingers along the way as well.” To no surprise, both were being scouted by major league teams; with Josh drafted by the New York Yankees in the 31st round of the 1992 amateur baseball draft. An offer that their father unfortunately declined.

After playing college ball, the two decided to reestablish themselves in San Diego once again, pursuing a career in fitness—stemming from their experience as athletes. In 1999, both become ACE certified as trainers. And currently, hold a certification through The National Council for Certified Personal Trainers. “Fitness training just seemed like a natural path for us,” says Jeff. “And over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to partner with a variety of clients—which honestly, we love the challenge of. From working professionals and stay-at-home moms to young athletes—including coaching baseball for 5-year-olds to high school teams, to 68-year-old retirees, post physical therapy patients, and everyone in between.”

“We’ve truly seen it all,” notes Josh. “Whether it’s weight loss, building strength, gaining endurance, or even for a specific goal—we are here to help. But it must be said: it’s not just about our weekly training sessions but is dependent upon how committed the client is throughout the week as well. We give you the tools and will coach you through the process, yes, but you also need to be dedicated. Training is a puzzle and a process, not a quick fix.”

TRAINING APPROACH

“Our approach is tailored to each client,” says Josh. “It depends upon what they want and need. After the first few sessions, we can customize a plan—taking into consideration your age and gender, but also your overall health and fitness goals, as well.” That plan, of course, involves three key components: nutrition, strength/weight training, and cardiovascular training. The duo contend that fads come and go for a reason, but after three decades of working one-on-one with clients, “it always comes back to the basics,” notes Jeff. Strong believers in interval/circuit training–which involves both high- and low-intensity workouts with rest stops along the way, as they help keep the muscles from “getting into a routine,” but also to keep the heart rate influx as well. 

But what exactly does this mean? Simply put:

Nutrition: “Accounts for 75-80% of training. We recommend a high protein diet with low carbs and saturated fats. No fad diets. And water intake is also key. 64 ounces is the minimum, but we recommend 100 ounces—or roughly 3 liters—a day with training. Both help repair and rebuild micro tears in the muscle caused during a workout.”

Strength Training: “To get stronger, you lift weights. But there’s a cadence to it. And after doing it for 30-plus years, you learn a few things.”

Cardiovascular Training: “With cardio, you should be sweating and breathing heavy. This could include the elliptical and treadmill, stretches, or even resistance exercises, too. Think aerobic. It allows the heart rate to spike and slow down intermittently for a more effective workout.” And for the results? “It depends upon how committed the client is and what exactly their goals are,” notes Josh. And over the years, they’ve seen it all; from weight loss and strength gain to stronger athletes and balanced lifestyles. While individual results may vary, Jeff and Josh both enjoy being part of the process; and ultimately, helping their clients reach their goals. “It’s very gratifying, knowing that all the time and energy spent with this person is paying off,” says Josh. “We obviously enjoy an easy rapport and friendship with our clients, which is rewarding in and of itself, but hitting those goals is extremely fulfilling. That kind of impact on someone’s life makes it all worthwhile.”

THEIR EXPERT ADVICE

As an exclusive inclusion, Jeff and Josh offered a few pieces of advice for our readers. “Have a plan when you walk into a gym. Know your goal and know what you want to focus on. You waste your time not having a plan and not knowing what you’re going to do.” When looking for a fitness trainer, look for three things: “(1) That they are nationally certified, (2) that they keep a log or a journal of every session to track your progress, and (3) that they look the part—after all, would you go to a dentist with bad teeth?” And Jeff and Josh certainly look the part. Both train individually six days a week for 1-2 hours respectively, focusing on different muscle groups each day. For example, Mondays focus on the back and biceps with cardio; Fridays feature the chest, triceps, and abs; and Saturdays are rest days with 20 minutes of cardio. “Why do we train so hard?” asks Josh. “We have always wanted to be bigger and stronger than the next guy. Our drive is definitely rooted in our baseball days, but as trainer, the goal remains the same.” Driven, motivated, and extremely optimistic, they credit their success to having an open mind and allowing their clients to teach them constantly. “I’ve personally learned something new every year. Every time you learn something new you can cross reference that to another client: how to communicate more effectively, how to incorporate training, how to engage interpersonal and life skills. It’s all connected.” You could say that the combination of their experience and their passion are their secret weapons. “We love what we do more and more every year,” the two contend. 

Jeff trains clients at Encinitas Boxing and Fitness and Josh is available for studio or in-home training with sessions Monday through Friday for both. And by the way, did I mention that Jeff and Josh are twins?

Jeff can be reached at 760.828.7463 or gregson17@aol.com
Josh can be reached at 760.828.8395 or tobie1616@gmail.com