Meet The Owner: John Moljo

See the below story for how he got started in the Fitness Industry!

In January 2006 I was playing high school football right here in Putnam Valley - we were in the midst of an incredible season when I re-aggravated a herniated disc in my back and then ruptured my ACL.

Not the ideal finish to a high school athletic career…

...I ended up in the doctor’s office and at that moment my life changed.

The doctor’s visit went like this, “If you have surgery you will miss your last season of lacrosse and at 293 pounds you are too “big” to be fitted for a brace so you won’t be able to play. You can “try” to lose about 20 lbs in 6 weeks and we can “try” to fit you for a brace and hopefully get you back on the field.”

I remember all of the negative thoughts that entered my mind….

→ You will never lose that much weight.

→ You will always be fat, obese, and out of shape.

→ You are not a good enough athlete to play college sports.

→ You should give it up before you injure yourself even further!

Six weeks later… I had a follow-up appointment with the same doctor. I had lost 38 pounds. “Let’s get me fitted, sir” I said. I will never forget that moment, the look on his face. He was in pure disbelief. I had proved him wrong.

This was the point in my life in which I learned a few lessons I will never forget:

→ You either do things or you don’t; there is no trying.

→ If you want things you need to be gritty.

→ You need to be relentless.

→ You need to be disciplined.

→ Discomfort is only temporary.

→ Losing weight is simple, but it’s not easy.

→ Don’t quit…...ever!

A key influence in my journey through this was my first mentor, Dan Girolamo.

He gave me a few simple steps to follow, but they weren’t easy:

→ eat better

→ crush cardio

→ train vigorously

→ don’t complain….no one cares

I had fallen in love with the process, my new mindset, how I felt, and how I started to look. I learned that the doubt of others is what motivates me to do more and the road ahead was windy and filled with doubters and mentors. 53 pounds down and college football still out of the question, because of my torn ACL, but it did not seem to matter.

My and fitness was fueling me…

I majored in business management and I worked for a physical therapy office for 3 years. I was surrounding myself with what I loved.

My junior year of college I transferred to SUNY Plattsburgh.

The fitness center was hiring for the next semester, which was the start of my senior year. They usually hire underclassmen and pay for their necessary certifications with the expectation that you will work for them for 2-3 years. I was told not to bother applying...senior bound students don’t get the job. But do you remember what happened the last time someone told me I couldn’t do something…

...I interviewed for the position and the rest was history...I got the job, became an AFAA certified personal trainer, and interned as co-director.

I still visit the school yearly and present to the students who are majoring in fitness. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree online through Plattsburgh.

After graduation came the “real world”. I kept moving, made a few shifts, and met many more mentors…

I became a Personal Trainer at Club Fit in Jefferson Valley and transitioned to a Parisi Speed School Performance Coach. There I met another mentor, Jason Needle.

You can, You Will! R.I.P Jason, I hope I have made you proud.

Those around me were always pushing me further, which pushed me to the next level….

In 2012 I started my first business, Kettlebell Inferno, with a very good friend and role model, Pat McMahon. Unfortunately, this did not go as planned and shortly after I was asked to resign from Club Fit. I was told I was not a good trainer and did not work well with kids. Again, that did not stop me….

The next 4 years, with the loyalty of my clients, I continued pushing forward.

In early 2014, I began studying for one of the most reputable certifications. The NSCA- CSCS. I took a giant leap forward in my career and became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. In September of 2014, I was approached by another great mentor, Joe Bellino, who had an incredible amount of business expertise and pushed me to opening my first facility right in my hometown of Putnam Valley.

I worked with athletes who knew I was once in their position and I worked with families who knew me and wanted to help me grow my network. I shared the idea of opening up a gym with my family. My brother’s initial response was, “I will pay you any amount of money to NOT open a business in Putnam Valley, it will fail”...

…. by now you should know what my next step was…

I opened my first location in Putnam Valley….I had a vision, a following, a brother (who dedicated a ton of time), 4 incredible clients/friends, and 2 established professionals in the industry who were bought in.

After 3 years of growth in Putnam Valley Team Moljo then relocated to Shrub Oak. With an incredible team and tribe Team Moljo continues to build a S.T.R.O.N.G. and healthy community in a fun and empowering environment. Fitness has consumed my personal and professional life, and I would not have it any other way. At 210 pounds, I live an incredibly healthy and active life with a desire to help thousands of people achieve their fitness goals.

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