THE PERSONAL TRAINER NEXT DOOR
Jeff Grossman Starts the Next Chapter of His Career: A Workout Studio in his Alphabet Streets’ Garage
Alphabet Streets resident Jeff Grossman has had a rich career—spanning from being drafted into the Vietnam War, stints with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles City Department of Water and Power, leading seminars for a self-help organization and, in 1980, the start of a 35-year career in real estate.
Yet, when Grossman finally retired in 2015, he still wasn’t done.
“At the end of 2015, when I retired from real estate, I knew two things,” Grossman told the Palisadian-Post. “I wanted to continue to learn to speak Spanish and I wanted to continue cooking.”
He and his wife, Diane, were focused on fueling their bodies with health-conscious foods, sharing that he wanted to be as healthy as he could be for the rest of his life.
The couple transitioned their diet to gluten- free, then grain-free then Paleo.
“I’ve lost 15 pounds,” Grossman shared, “which I’ve kept off.”
At that time, his workout routine included Pilates once a week (even though he aimed for two to three classes per week) and the elliptical twice a week (even though he planned to use it four to five times per week).
That’s when he discovered slow motion, high-intensity weight training—learning from the book “Body by Science” by Dr. Doug McGuff.
McGuff’s program is based on four principles: high intensity, brief workouts, infrequent workouts and precise record keeping.
Grossman, who was finding it hard to stick to his desired routine, was intrigued. McGuff’s clients worked out once per week and saw results.
“Once a week, 25 minutes, very intense and obviously very beneficial,” Grossman said of the workout.
Then Grossman had a student-becomes- the-master moment: What if he combined his previous careers, which included recruiting and training agents, with his love of his new workout program and began training clients of his own?
“I felt light bulbs going off by my wife,” Grossman said. “She was really excited. She said, ‘Honey, this is it, you could do this, this could be the career for you.’”
And so Grossman, at the age of 70, went back to work. The first step was getting certified as a personal trainer, a process that took about nine months. Once certified, he began working out of two studios: one in Brentwood and another in Burbank.
The travel time began adding up. Most of Grossman’s clients in Brentwood lived in Pacific Palisades, so with a little encouragement from his wife, Grossman decided to open a studio of his own in his garage.
And thus, in December 2017, The Workout Garage was born.
“A guy I knew had some equipment, the exact five machines I wanted,” Grossman explained.
A session in Grossman’s garage includes a leg press, overhead press, chest press, seated row and lat pull-down.
“Those five machines—the ‘big five’ in ‘Body by Science’—provide a full-body workout,” Grossman told the Post.
Grossman’s program is ideal for those who want to work out but don’t love the vibe of a gym—his website advertises no pulsing music, no juice bar, no social scene.
The client spends about 1.5 to 2 minutes on each machine, with 10 seconds on the positive and 10 seconds controlling the negative. The focus is on time under weight, as opposed to the number of reps.
“We’re looking for you to go slowly, with as little momentum as possible,” Grossman explained. “You’re under full tension the whole time.”
Sound intense? Grossman explained that this workout is designed for the regular person. (Although the Post recommends meeting with your primary care physician before starting any new routine, we did the workout ourselves and lived to tell the tale.)
“This workout is not really for body builders or professional athletes,” Grossman shared. “This is for regular people who want to be strong, who want to add strength, to increase their cardio function, their bone density, their glucose tolerance.”
Grossman’s current clients are mostly 40 years and older, up to 80 years old so far. He works with a range of clients with different needs: one man has had two knee replacements and a woman has had two hip replacements.
“I say to people, ‘I want you to get the intensity of the workout, but I don’t want to scare you away,’” he explained. Grossman works one-on-one with clients to customize their workouts to their personal level of desired intensity.
“Jeff’s workout is such an asset for our middle-aged bodies,” one client, who visits Grossman from Malibu, shared. “If you are looking to retain and build lean muscle mass in a very effective way that doesn’t take a lot of time out of your schedule, I highly suggest his training. His passion, expertise and care will inspire you to stay strong and healthy.”
“I’m obviously very enthusiastic about this,” Grossman said. “I’ve been doing the workout myself. I’m lean—I was stocky all my life. I’ve increased upper and lower body strength, and my muscles are harder than they’ve ever been in my life.”
And, perhaps the best part? It’s hard to talk yourself out of going to scheduled sessions.
“If you did it more than once a week, it might be too much,” Grossman said. “It’s once a week, that’s it.”
For more information or to schedule a session with Jeff, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 424-237-4130.