The Rise Of A Rookie: Pro Sports Trainer - Travelle Gaines Talks With Rookie Rise
Travelle Gaines Q&A
I met Travelle Gaines, Owner of Athletic Gaines, a few years ago. I got ahold of him when he was Training Brandon Roy of the Portland Trailblazers. At the time, Roy was putting Portland back on the map. I messaged Travelle and told him about this clothing line that I was working on, he was in to it. Shortly after starting the brand, I ended up closing down the line and restructuring everything. Travelle and I lost contact during that time, a few years went by 2010-2015 to be exact. During that time I changed the name, tweaked the logo, then launched Rookie Rise. I tried to get ahold of Travelle and as I figured, he wasn't so easy to reach the second time around. He was building his name bigger everyday. After failing to reach him, a few months went by where I gave up hope. I knew he busy training star athletes all over the country. He was all over the internet, ESPN, Fox News, paving his path to success. He made it, big time. One random day my phone rang, "Tadd! It's Travelle Gaines, man. How have you been?!" We caught back up and talked about everything that was new in life. In just a few years he turned into the man to train with, in professional sports. He was in Hong Kong when at the time when he called me. He was constantly on the go, traveling with his athletes. I gave him the run down of what Rookie Rise was about, he gave a big ups on the logo, designs, story and we've been in contact every since. I flew to Vegas where he invited me over to his condo to chat it up. We discussed what ideas I had for the future of Rookie Rise and how he could help. When he heard what I proposed he said "man let's do this" I'm just glad to call him a friend and have him represent Rookie Rise and what it's all about. Everytime that he calls, he always has good news or big ideas. Travelle is the busiest person I've ever met. He's never "just chilling at home" Because he's hardly ever there. He's always working and helping athletes excel in their profession. I asked if he'd do an interview to share a little bit of his story with every one, in hopes to inspire all of you to move forward with your big visions. He found a few minutes out of his day to make it happen. Here's the interview.
Q: How old are you?
Q: What age did you start to chase after your passion?
A: You know, so I went to college, you know what I’m sayin'. My whole goal was always to help people, I got into training right after college and I’ve been in it ever since. So yeah, I was 22 when I started this. I wanted to be in a position to help people out. Help them become confident in what they do and good at it.
Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: So many people inspire me. I’m one of those guys, I’ve always seen the underdogs come up, the ones who made it to where they weren’t expected to be. So I guess guys like Jay Z, Sean Combs, my friends inspire me a lot. I have a lot of friends who do a lot of cool stuff. I surround myself with everyone on a positive path, they all really inspire me and keeps me pushin'. I never set out to be like anyone. I don’t go to clinics I don’t hang out with the trainers, I don’t follow any trainers on social media and I don't mean to sound any sort of way but just saying, I had a whole different path that I was looking at when I started this. I’m kind of my own person and unique to what I've been doing with this.
Q: What approach did you take to finally realize, Ok… Now I need to get my own gym?
A: I never wanted my own gym. I was always fine just working for the people. I feel like a boss or CEO, you gotta take on all services of a company, the books, how the floors are swept and all of that. I was always fine with being that guy who could focus on my job. But we were getting bigger, we had a really good run and reputable people who we made a lot better, and it simply came down to that I just needed a new challenge. I never knew what was going to happen. A lot of bumps, hiccups and challenges were involved with all of this. I was doing it all on my own. It was tough man, It was like buying an airplane and trying to learn to fly it at the same without any instructions. I found out quick that when you’re the boss, everyone gets paid before you get paid.
Q: Who was the first big athlete that you had to train and made you realize, Dang this is crazy? I’m the guy who they want to train them? I must doing something right.
A: There are two athletes that I owe my career too. Reggie Bush, he was one of the most popular guys in the NFL at the time that I was training him, he was also dating Kim Kardashian and it was huge for me. Timing was in my favor. The other athlete was Brandon Roy. He was one of the greatest guys that I was around. He was one of the first athletes to put his trust in me. He was bringing a lot of eyes to Portland. So I was getting recognition as well. those two guys I have to give a lot of credit for my success.
Q: What changed the game of being that one personal trainer, to a name known around the sports world?
A: I don’t know… I don’t look at myself like other people look at me. Sports Illustrator, Fox sports look at me, and announce me as the best trainer in the Country. It’s just been cool though, I’ve had so many great athletes to work with, Marshawn Lynch, Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Jimmy Butler, Reggie Bush. Just working with a lot of athletes that do really well, Man. Every year I get these phenomenal athletes to train. I get these athletes who end up doing really well during their season and my name ends up in the media. As you know this year I have jimmy butler, Antonio brown. I’d call it, a lot of luck but I don’t look at myself the same as most view me. like I was sayin' I don't put myself as the greatest at anything. I don’t really talk about myself in that aspect. But I’d say a lot of it is luck and a lot of it is word of mouth that helped me out along this path.
Q: What was your early life like. Pre-Career?
A: I grew up pretty normal, now what I’m saying, I went to college at san jose state where I played football, baseball, track, I never saw myself as a star athlete. I was a good athlete, but never thought I was anything special. I think for me, the older I get and see these professional players, the more I realize that I wasn’t that great at sports at all. I feel like everyone is an Al Bundy. The older you get the better you were, ya know (laughs). My girlfriend really pushed me in a good way. You know what? ...hold on I’m gonna call her right now give me a second…
Travelle: Keyona…. Tell Tadd about what I just asked you about
Tadd: Yeah the line dropped, I’m here.
Travelle: I down play myself. So I’ll let her tell it.
Keyona: Basically, I’ll never forget this day. He came to Arizona.
Travelle: OH MY GOD…
Keyona: Do you want me to tell him or not?
Travelle: Yeah, yeah, my bad, go on..
Keyona: We met for lunch in Arizona. He looked at me like someone stole his dog. He looked soooo sad. He told me about a situation where he was working before at API training facility and he was let go to go do this on his own. He planned on staying at API as a career. I said "Travelle, instead of being sad I see this as a blessing." I said "Travelle, you know you are an entrepreneur, you don’t need to be that person that you think you need to be for me." Then he started going after it. Everything happened so quickly for him. He just started running right out of the gate. How quick was it babe?
Travelle: It was fast, I don’t even know.
Travelle: API was a gym that I worked at they had a couple locations. It was a great place to work. I would've stayed there my whole career. Good people man.
Keyona: He’s an extremely great athlete, he’s so humble, SO HUMBLE! He never admits it but he is. He’s considered one of the best trainers in the world and his resume shows that, so he should accept it.
Q: What would you be doing today, if you weren’t chasing this dream?
A: Um… I would be an inner-city High School principal. I just like to help people. Matter of fact, I may do that when I retire from training. Yeah man, I really like helping people.
Q: What drives you to get up every to rise to the next level?
A: I think like, I’m not supposed to be here because I went through so much tragic and heartache and I had every reason to be a failure. I just want to win the day, everyday, Monday through Sunday! What really drives me is that theres’s always something positive to keep my head up to keep me moving forward.
Q: If you could send a message to everyone what would it be?
A: Hard work pays off. If you wake up everyday and work hard at what you do everyday you will see the results. I have a website and I don’t even go on it, I put all of my focus on my athletes. I had one dude the other day begging me to train him, and I have to be careful because as you find out in life, bad news travels fast, a lot faster than good news. With that being said, while you're out their working hard, be cool too.
Q: What’s your favorite motivational quote?
A: Hard Work Pays Off, that’s it. That’s all you need.
Q: Who was one of the toughest, fastest, beastly athletes that you’ve trained. Which athlete made you say “Damn, this guy is hungry!”
A: Andrew Luck, Antonio Brown, Jimmy Butler. Andrew Luck though, that guy man… but yeah those three are beasts man.
We partnered up with Travelle for a T-shirt collaboration. These will be worn by Travelle's Athletes which include some of the biggest names in sports today. "The Season Favors The Prepared" Now availabe in the Rookie Rise Store.
Check out his site at