February/March 2012 - Issue V

The Champ and His ChampionFit Gym

Only four months after his retirement, Leija inaugurated his very own boxing gym where he would train amateur fighters as well as individuals looking to get into the shape of their life. After taking a couple of his classes, let me tell you that it is no easy task. Talk about feeling guilty after eating a cupcake or two, Leija not only trains you personally in the art of boxing but teaches you how to eat right. It is no secret that obesity is slowly killing many of our Chicanos but this champ is set out to make a difference in his community by helping with the fight against obesity. In speaking to Jesse James, he told us that he takes the fight against obesity very personal and he tries to make a difference in the lives of his clients "one pound at a time. There’s no magic pill or potion, the way we change lives at ChampionFit Gym is through hard work, there’s no other way around it," said Leija.

Jesse James’ thoughts when he first opened the gym were a bit doubtful in regards to the success it was going to have. "I wasn’t sure if it was going to be successful or not. I wasn’t sure if older men and women were ready to train like a fighter, and sure enough a lot of people joined and truly enjoy the classes, and in turn, I love teaching them," said Leija. After six years of having his gym, he’s trained people from all walks of life, from kids, to football players, business, men, former mayors, even Spurs players, and stay at home mom’s too–"to be able to teach someone who has never been inside the ring and train them to do one of the toughest sports there is, which is box, is a true passion for me and is entirely too rewarding," said Leija.

What was one of your biggest success stories?

"It would definitely have to be one of my female clients. She’s been training with me for about 4 years now, she’s 41 years old and has lost about 65 pounds and is at a healthy 102 pounds for her height. When she first began her lifestyle change she felt heavy and didn’t have the best self esteem, you look at her now and she is in the shape of her life, and is a completely different confident woman who always walks with her head held high."

So we spoke to the woman who Leija helped throughout her lifestyle change and we simply asked her 3 questions to sum up her experience at Championfit gym with Leija.

1) How has Jesse James Leija helped you?

"He is not just great as a trainer but also at life coaching. He has taught me to pick my head up and walk proud. Also gave me back the confidence I had once lost in myself."


2) What’s the biggest thing that you’ve taken away from boxing?

"Boxing is for anyone who can handle it. I have watched people come and go but it’s the ones who stick with it who really understand the benefits of it."


3) How do you feel now after losing 65 pounds?

"I feel great! It is the results that keep me coming back. They say you must diet and exercise; you truly must do both to get your best achievement of all."


See for yourselves how this beautiful woman, Suzi Dugosh, has truly transformed her life with the help of a trainer who not only helps you feel better physically, but helps you feel great emotionally as well.

To see Suzi's transformation register with chicanochannel.com to view the virtual or PDF version of Chicano Channel Magazine