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LEADERSHIP

10

|

thebossmagazine.com

|

January 2017

As the smallest kid in his classes

growing up, Powell constantly

struggled with being underweight.

At several inches shorter and

many pounds lighter, he was

bullied throughout his primary

school education. When high

school sports came around, his

love of football overruled his size

and he tried out for the team.

“I was railroaded every time I

was out on the field,” he said.

“It discouraged me and broke

my spirit. I knew I didn’t have the

size I needed to have to be out

there, so I quit.”

But with supportive parents and

a weight lifting set, things soon

turned around. Every day after

school, Powell tried lifting a little

more than he did the day before.

After a month, he began to see

and feel the results.

“I felt strong again—mentally and

physically. It empowered me. It

was the beginning of everything

for my path going forward.”

Today you know the super fit

trainer from

Extreme Weight

Loss

, which ran successfully for

five seasons on ABC. On top of

being a reality TV trainer, he’s

also an author. He and his wife,

Heidi, have coauthored a book

titled

Extreme Transformation:

Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days.

But it’s been a long journey from

finding his love of fitness to

turning it into a viable business

and living.

Finding an Audience

With his exercise science degree

from Arizona State University,

Powell knew he wanted to work

as a trainer. But he knew it’d be

tough in this part of the country.

“There’s a trainer on every

corner in the sunbelt,” he said.

“I needed something that set me

apart from everyone else.”

To stand out amongst the noise,

Powell began filming short fitness

segments on

Good Morning

Arizona

. Six months later he

began receiving pleas of help from

people who wanted to change

their bodies and their lives.

The first email he received of this

nature was from David, a 25-year-

old man who had been stuck

in his basement for two years

because of his extreme weight.

At 630 pounds, he asked Powell

for help to change his lifestyle.

After setting reachable dietary

and fitness goals, Powell

“I WENT FROM A LOCAL

FITNESS GUY TO A

GLOBALLY KNOWN TRAINER

ALMOST OVERNIGHT. IT

WAS CHAOS. “

helped the man lose 400

pounds. Three years after the

weight loss, Powell helped him

become a trainer. He posted the

transformation pictures online,

and David’s story went viral.

The Transformation Story

From

Oprah

to

20/20

and

The

Today Show

, everyone wanted

the success story. This opened

Powell’s eyes to how people

gathered around the feel-good

tale of transformations. So

when TLC approached him

about turning this journey into a

documentary, Powell knew he

had something.

It was the highest viewed

documentary for TLC in 2009,

and Powell was riding high.

“I went from a local fitness guy

to a globally known trainer almost

overnight. It was chaos. And

although people had seen this

incredible success, I was at a low

point in my own life.”

Powell had invested money in an

idea, borrowed money from the