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Orlando Industry Interview with:

Personal Trainer - Atlas Custom Training

Atlas Custom Training

Atlas Custom Training in Central Florida

David Puglisi


Physical activity and exercise an important part of the daily life of millions of people around the world. In the United States, people spend around half an hour per day on sports, exercise, and recreation. Amongst popular outdoor activities are hiking, camping, biking, running & jogging, and fishing.  Exercise and Diet go together in billion-dollar segments in North America. The Fitness category in Central Florida has had some delays and hardships due to COVID 19.  People weren't able to go to their gyms or fitness centers due to our phases opening up in stages.  Personal trainers relied on a majority of their clients to come to the centers that they worked at so that they can be part of the value-added services for that location.  Some trainers have pulled away from working directly out of fitness centers so that they can give their clients a few more additional levels of service.  Not only is it about the physical training, but it is about the mental and nutritional aspects that need to come together for someone to really break out of the rut or yoyo dieting cycle that they may be stuck in.  Finding the right personal trainer who can connect with you and relate with what you are going or have gone through is key to success.

David with Atlas Custom TrainingThis week's interview: David Puglisi he is a Certified personal trainer in Central Florida.  He has helped hundreds of clients reach their dream physiques. His clients range from stay at home moms to elite athletes and busy executives. If you’re tired of walking around aimlessly at the gym or not seeing results from your home workouts then…It’s Time to ACT! 

David started his business during COVID19 so he didn't need to pivot or adapt, he started out figuring out how to best use one on one time, the internet, and video calls to help his clients reach their goals.  By working on mind and body with our new world in mind David is guiding and educating his clients on how to Act and move forward with a few new improvements towards a healthier lifestyle. 





Tell me about yourself and what you do…

Atlas Custom Training, It’s an in-home and online personal training and nutrition coaching business.  It started due to Covid after my gym closed down.  I took action and adapted due to our current situation.  That's when Atlas Custom Training became a reality.


What are you thankful for?

David:  My health and being in Florida.  Being able to train people outside at their homes and in parks.  The impact that the sun has on your and your energy level is a good experience.  My family is up north being down here puts things into perspective.  The impact that the sun has on you, everything gets better!  So, I’m thankful for my health, the fact that my family’s been healthy, and the fact that I’m able to be outside all time. 


Atlas Custom Training at HomeWhat was the moment that turned this from a hobby to a business venture­­?

David:  I was the youngest of 3, the “runt of the litter”, got picked on as the youngest in the family.  I had darker skin from my siblings, was cubby, they gave me the nickname of “Chalupa.”  I was never the fittest kid, but I always loved sports growing up. Sports helped my mentality I saw how sports could help me. I went from a shy kid to a team member who felt good about myself and this could grow my social circle.  This motivated me as I grew up and then eventually realized I could make this into a career.  Sports was like a gateway.  I was in team sports and always “doing it for the greater good”.  I take my job seriously and I don’t want to do it for the money, I want to be able to help people reach their fitness goals and feel better about themselves.  The amount of people I have been able to help has been so rewarding! 


Did you have a mentor?  Who is your inspiration?

David:  I have always had so many people in my corner to help show me the way.  My family has definitely always been there for me  I was trained by the Baltimore Ravens strength and conditioning coach, and physical therapists with focus on human movement. 

Mike Matthews -  Started to do his books “Muscle for life.”  He taught me that my training can be something that people can use for life.  This is something that struck home for me and could be something that can be done for the long term.

As far as mentors go, my family has been the biggest factor for me!  They are all there for me to lean on, and to ask questions too.  We all come from a business background so we all have our niches that I can pull from. 


Who would you most want to meet if you had the chance to pick anyone?

David:  I’m attracted to people that have accomplished amazing things and defied a lot all of the odds.  I think that Arnold Swarzenegger would be an interesting person to meet. 

From bodybuilder to actor to governor.  That life he had is pretty amazing.  I would like to learn what motivated him in all those different areas 


Atlas Custom Training Client

What’s your favorite Orlando, local’s location?

David:  The predictable answers are the Disney related parks, but I have not been to one of them since I was three.  If I’m in Orlando to visit my family, if we don’t stay home and grill and stay in, the 2 staples for me are going out for sushi and shooting guns.  My dad and brothers have small collections and we like to go to the gun range.  It’s fun to go to a gun range! 


What is your favorite Pizza Restaurant? 

David:  I’m going to disappoint you so hard right now!  I’m a pizza snob – I like to make my own pizza. I make a ground chicken crust – it’s a high protein pizza.  Sorry to disappoint you!  I have been doing that with any topping you want on it, it’s my go-to for pizza!


What would you say is the closest comparison between sports/training and small business?

David:  You would think it would be any team sport!  It’s becoming more of a general manager-type position vs being a player on a team or on the field.  You have to know your role but you also know that the job has to get done so you might need to wear different hats to get that job done.  My major was sports management, I learned that minor league baseball managers were also the groundskeeper.  You have to be comfortable wearing many hats and knowing that a job has to get done.  You have to be willing to get the job done if it's necessary.  It can be a group effort but at the end of the day, it's down to your decisions.


How much of your job is being a psychologist? 

David: 100% of my job! No joke it is the most. During this time of COVID people’s stresses are up and I’ve been that release for my clients.  I’m very accessible for people and I enjoy being that “go-to guy” for them.  However, I’m learning also to have time for myself.  I have to have separation from work for personal time. It’s important to be able to disconnect regularly as well, you have to have those breaks to in turn be successful.  This whole plan is about sustainability!  The amount of support is important to my clients.  I have to be able to have my time like my clients need to have time for themselves.  How are you switching off?  How many bright ideas come from when you took a break, like taking a shower?  You must give your mind a break. 


What’s more important diet or exercise? 

David:  It really depends on the goal.  One of my other go-to guys is Joe DeFranco.  His statement is “Everyone is different.”  Why does it need to be a black and white answer?  Being a fit guy, I love the workout because it allows me to eat the way I want.  It does need to be a balance!  It really does depend on your goal.


What is your cheat food? 

David:  It used to be steak! It was a treat because we didn’t’ have it a lot growing up. Now I would say it’s burgers.  I could go to town on cheeseburgers.  


What’s the one mistake that most people make? 

David:  They give up too soon! They want it to be so linear, so simple.  When they hit a wall, or they mentally check out, they give up. When they take extended breaks, they revert to their old ways, spin their tires.  The yoyoing, they get discouraged. My whole philosophy is for the long term.  Short-sightedness is going to get you motivated for a few months, but we can’t keep that pace up.  My goal is for long term sustainability.  Let’s look at little changes! 


David WallWhat phrase from training did you think you would never have said?

David:  Oh man, I have to think who I am talking to right now.  I will go with a PG version right now, “Push the butt out” “think like you’re twerking.”  Who would think that would have made it into my fitness talk?


What social media platform do you enjoy the most?  Best post?  Is this your creative outlet?

David:  This may come as a surprise but I feel nowadays that we all have a short attention span.  Anytime I see something on Facebook that is longer than four lines, I’m probably going to skip it. For me it’s Instagram, a picture is worth a thousand words!  Instagram has been my go-to!

You can find David and Atlas Custom Training - for Instagram and here for Facebook -


We reached out on social media for an outside question from one of my followers we got this from @Bradtheman12 – Have you trained anyone famous?

David:  When I started with my training experience, I got thrown to the wolves fast. I worked with NFL athletes at the Raven's training facilities, I saw what amazing athletes they are.  They are training to be better at their sport.  They are not freaks of nature in the gym, they are sweating and struggling and working at it just like we are.  They are just like us at the gym only more focused!  Athletes' programs are tailored to them. 



Best quote from our talk: 

"If you don’t have that clients trust, why would they want to work with you"


Transworld has many Fitness and Health Care businesses for sale or can help to list your business in this category or any other!

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407-326-6990 or


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